Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Crusade AAR

Last Thursday some friends and I had a Crusader game using the Hail Caesar rules.
It felt like ages ago we had our last game so it felt good to bring out the miniatures and throw some dices with friends.

The scenario we played was a bit special and improvised and next time we definitely need to do some more work with balancing the scenario and the table set-up.  But ignoring  that we still had a blast playing the game with some really funny moments.

The game was set up as a three team game. Two muslim armies was meant to battle each other but a christian force just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Caught in the middle the would sell their life dearly. Three buildings was placed in the middle inside the crusaders deployment zone. One point was given at the end of each turn for each building occupied. The thought was that the crusaders would be given some free points until the stronger muslim forces would take the buildings and start adding up on points. This would further spur the muslims to hasten the assault and at the same time working to try to stop the other muslim faction from gaining a building on their own. This set up did not work really good in our game so the scenario will need some further tinkering to work out. But no matter, we had a blast.

My Saharan brigades advance is checked by a unit of Sergeants from the County of Tripoli.
But I got lucky and my archers managed to push them back

Taking shelter from the arrows the Sergeants rest in the comfort of their friends.

My light cavalry tries to inflict some damage with arrows and throwing spears in the Sergeants. They were more of an annoyance then a real danger, but I think they did their job with harassing the enemy.

Johans saracens advance with archers in front.

Led by their leader from the front.

Knights of Tripoli, I love this unit.
(and fears it...)
 A lone infantryman holds the gate...

Medium cavalry on guard.

Saracen light cavalry readying their bows.

I sent forward my Saharan light cavalry unit trying to do some damage by throwing more spears onto the Sergeants.

 I have taken a temporary position in this old ruin.

Arrows and spears still raining down on the westernes, they have taken some damage but the heavy armour is hard to pierce.

The crusaders medium cavalry charges a unit of Turcoman horse archers, they respond by fleeing and a small unit of African skirmishers get caught in the charge instead.

The forces of Tripoli are assembling a line of defence, one unit of knights and two units of heavy infantry.
The medium cavalry unit from the westerners are finally dealt with... A unit of Arabic heavy cavalry charges them from the front, a small unit of heavy cavalry supports and a Turcoman horsearcher unit attacks from the rear and my Commander joins in.
It was not a nice sight...

Johans line of muslim infantry closes in.

Two units of heavy Mamluk cavalry... I love these two....

The crusaders heavy infantry have made a sort of V shaped formation and the knight formation was pulled back in an attempt to help out on another flank.
My Saharan spearmen unit have just been charged by a Sergeant unit but did hold their ground and with the help of nearby units and the light cavalry infront of them I managed to wipe it out.

This looks impressive....
But it is not what it seems to bee. The knights have taken some arrows (in the knees?) and are forced back by the enemy muslim forces on the other side, they retreat through the heavy infantry units making them disordered.

Muslim infantry on the other side is pushed back by the christian archers in the buildings.

Here continues the confusion...
What I should have done was to use the Initative orders to charge the knights... But I wanted tofirst charge them in the side with one of my light cavalry units and making them respond to that charge first and by this loosing the ability to counter charge my Mamluks using their lance rule. But the light cavalry didn´t make it as far as they needed to and when it was my overall commanders turn to give out orders he failed to order the Mamluk to charge the knights and even with the Highest Commanders special rule of reroll...

 So they are left another turn starring at each other... Nether side wanting to risk casualties apparently.

A charge order was given to the knights but a dubble six was rolled and this results in a blunder... Apparently the knights got really confused and thought that the light cavalry closing in on its flank was a threat and charges them instead of the heavily armed Mamluks just in front of them...
As you might have guessed the overall performance of this unit of knights left us all laughing... Fist disordering the heavy infantry units and then starring down on the Mamluks just to leave them to charge a light cavalry unit...
On the other side the Crusade knights lead by a commander charges two unit of Arab medium cavalry led by the commander for Johans whole muslim army.

The knight totally crushed the medium cavalry units... The lance rule against medium cavalry makes their moral save 5+ into a 6+, this combined with the good dice rolling of Marco and the bad by Johan resulted in a big hole in the muslim line.
The knights got heavy casualties to and got Shaken but they had at least stopped the muslim cavalry.

We chose to end the game here as it was so late. The crusaders managed to hold the muslim forces at bay long enough.

It was a fun game but the scenario will have to change next time or we just have to start earlier so we can play more turns. I think we should have a narrower game table to, so we can get faster into the actions without spending to many turns manoeuvring about. And especially when a commander fails his orders and his whole divisions stands still.
And I need to paint more commanders, having my force divided by three commanders was really to clumsy to command. My highest commander had ten units under him and with all those small horse archer units and skirmishers it was really hard to achieve all that I wanted.

Big thanks to Johan, Håkan and Marco for the game.


  1. Superbe table de jeu, les figurines sont très belles. A bientôt Christian.

    1. Thanks Christian. Its a nice feeling to see all the miniatures on a table like this. The terrain is simple but effective.

  2. Great AAR! Sounds like you had a fun game!

  3. Great looking game, this table is amazing (love the ruins) as are your armies, Knights of Tripoli are really impressive!