Monday, 27 April 2015

Crusade, big battle AAR

This Thursday we had a big battle in the age of the Crusades using the Hail Caesar rules. About 600points was on each side.








Danish overall commander in front of the Scandinavian crusader contingent.

Battle line of heavy infantry belonging to the County of Tripoli.


The heavy cavalry brigade of the Crusaders, Sergeants and Knights from the County of Tripoli and a unit of Holy order Hospitaler knights.
I expect these to throw a heavy punch in the coming battle.




And with a dashing start my Turkomans gallops forwards trying to inflict some casualties on the Hospitaler knights. 
On the furthest flank my Turkomans are being chased by enemy heavy cavalry.
   


As the flanking force of enemy heavy cavalry pushes forward in pursuit of my horsearchers they are venturing a little to close for my liking and I tries to charge them in their flank with two units of mounted Mamluks, but alas they did not respond fast enough. 
And the enemy instead had time to reform and close combat was initiated.

Enemy heavy cavalry brigade managed a three order move and was over my archer line in no time. The Turkomans just managed to get out of harms way.

My own heavy cavalry are still tied down with Frankish heavy cavalry sergeants.

We had two unit of archers blundering on the first round and left their positions and stormed forwards. After they managed to loosen some arrows enemy heavy infantry charged them...
It was not a pretty sight... 
The commanders are surveying the fields of battle.

On our left flank Turkoman horsearchers are exchanging arrows with the Scandinavian contingent.

The position of the archers are overrun and the tent camp is as good as taken by the enemy. I could still hope to contest the objective by my archers or by hoping to get help by the spearmen militia from another brigade close in. But things do look dark here.

Atleast I managed to charge one knight unit with a Mamluk unit, and with another Mamluk unit in support from its rear, a Turkoman unit supporting from one side and a Turkoman unit charging in on the Franks in its flank I was able to dish out a lot of dices...

A lone unit of Scandinavian knights are caught on their own.  They were charged in the side by some archers and as they didn´t want to change heading as charge response in fear of the Arab medium cavalry to its front they could not get the bonus of their lances.


How things looked from the other side. Outnumbered gajilion to one...

And they were slaughtered to a man.

Johan looks happy indead...

On my flank I had managed to brake another knight unit and was getting ready to try my luck on those dark clothed Hospitaler knights.

The two heavy infantry units that had vanquished the two archer units continued forward and charged our medium infantry.

Scandinavian knights on foot moves forward.

The archers are caught in the flank and is in a world of hurt.

I had ordered my Naphthas forward and had the plan to take position on that hill and tossing Greek fire onto the Westerners... Unfortunately the order blundered and they somehow got the idea to instead pull their knives and charge right into a unit of knights....
Somehow they actually managed to inflict two casualties with three dices in the charge. This was of course not enough and they were never seen again...
  
I have by now lost one unit of Mamluks to the Hospitalers but are still looked in combat. Both the Hospitalers and the Mamluks are shaken but neither gives ground.
 
The Westerners on our extreme left flank are closing in and are chasing a unit of harassing African skirmishers as they approach our line. I saw no gain in advancing but I felt now that they could maybe threaten our flank.
The troops of course took no notice of my orders and was happily standing still as the enemy closed in...
 

In all the chaos erupting from the battle a civilian takes his chance in getting rid of that dreadful musician...  

The Mamluks and the Hospitalers are still looked in combat. My overall commander got injured by an Hospitaler and was forced to pull back.
 
The foot knights advances and pushing everyone aside.


Finally... The Hospitalers gives ground...
These are a beast, even when outnumbered they managed to wipe out one unit of my heavy cavalry and fight the other one to a stand still...
Both the Mamluks and the Hospitalers are shaken by the casualties sustained and are unable to initiate further combat.
I had fought the knights to a standstill.


The battle was by now over and both forces consolidated their positions. We deemed this to be a small victory for the Saracens.The Crusaders army had broken but had managed to capture one if the objectives. The Saracens had taken serious casualties but was still standing with some brigade still able to function.


Wow what a tight game with lots of surprises and funny moments. I do love the blunder results... The game could have ended in any way as their were not that many units still standing.
Thanks to all who wanted to join in on this game.





Saik Abdil "the teacher of the wise" saw where the infidels had placed their heavy cavalry and took command of two units of Mamluk heavy cavalry, a unit of Mamluk heavy archers, two unit of Turkoman horseachers and a unit of Sudanese archers on foot. The plan was to hold the small  tent camp with an line of archers and having the heavy cavalry Mamluks on their right side to threaten the eventually movements of the Crusaders. The Turkomans was to harass enemy movement and was sent forward to teas the Westerners to brake formation.

An unexpectedly quick advance of the enemy heavy cavalry chasing after on of the Turkoman units opened up an opportunity to be able to hit them in the side with both the Mamluk units. The units was ordered to charge but did not reach the enemy in time before the enemy had noticed the threat from their side. This resulted in the enemy flanking unit instead was met head on equal terms.

When this enemy was defeated and their overall commander was seen injured in the melee and pulled back but before Saik Abdil "the teacher of the wise" had time to reform the Mamluks the infidels whole line of heavy cavalry stormed forward. The enemy must have had the wind in their back because the infidel Franks stormed forth with such a speed that they were on top of us in no time.

Their thick armour could not be penetrated with our arrows and no noticeable casualties was seen.


Enemy lances and swords made an tremendous damage but as through a miracle my Sudanese archers made a strong defence and managed to fell untold number of Frankish knights. The casualties on our side was non the less overwhelming.
My heavy armoured Mamluk archers was pushed backwards by this mass of knights and war stallions, they decided to march to the
rendezvous point.Its worth pointing out that they did not flee, they were pushed backwards by the result and with the number of casualties taken were not able to re-enter the gaming board again. But they were in overall relative good shape and good courage.
The Sudanese archers hold their position against the knights onslaught.


About this time my Mamluk cavalry had reformed and attacked the enemy that had in the last second been able to turn its front against me. (cavalry chargereaction)




After a hard fight where my Turcomans loosen arrows after arrows at close range, and my Mamluks went in to close combat the fanatical Frankish heavy cavalry eventually was broken. My very hard pressed cavalry manage to press through and are coming head to head to the black clothed Hospitaler holy order knights, the crème de la crème in the enemy arsenal. This is a push almost too far and the drainage of strength gives disorder amongst my ranks but I had to try and not give the enemy time to react.

My Sudanese archer unit had by now been charged in the flank by another unit of knights and was pushed towards our center and sought protection by moving towards Faizal of Damascus troops.
(Johans forces)
By personal courage and example Saik Abdil "the teacher of the wise” lead his Mamluks and managed to stop the heavy cavalry of the Franks. But the tent camp could not be protected.

One of my unit of Mamluks was forced to brake during the melee with the Hospitalers and the other unit was suffering heavy casualties when they eventually manage to push the Hospitalers back. Both the Hospitalers and the Mamluks have by now suffered so much casualties and are so tired that no one is able to close in on each other.


This bravery by personal example leading from the front has unfortunately meant that Saik Abdil "the teacher of the wise" was forced to be threatened my physicians after the battle had faded. A sword from an Hospitaler had resulted in blood loss, but nothing serious.







Here are the words from my friend Johan, commander of the Saracen centre.


The fighting had been long and dire, the crusaders were now retreating from the battlefield with their tail between the legs. The mood in the muslim camp was however not one of great joy, the victory was hard fought and many a good believer had fallen to the infidels. One of the great names to fall was Faizal of Damascus, one of the great leaders in the alliance of the prophet. Faizal had however been plagued by leprocy that was slowly eating away his body, and this death was seen as a preferable one.
The battle from the point of view of the arabs. On the left flank, the crusaders advanced slowly, an inexperienced commander botched up the movement around a ruin and some light cavalry archers broke up the crusader formation even more. Battle was never joined on this flank before the crusaders retired.

In the centre the battle started with a warcry from the archer units, an order had been misunderstood and the men cried “ALLAHU AKHBAR!” as they charged, alone across the battlefield. Faizal, seeing this unexpected and very unwanted reaction to his orders to advance quickly sent up a contingent of light cavalry archers to support the impetuous archers. The combined might of their archery made a right mess of the crusader battle line.
Crusader heavy infantry charged the archers who were beaten to pulp in the desert sand, this went mostly ignored by the archer commander who was drunk beyond compare. The light cavalry formation was charged head on by a unit of heavy cavalry, the horse archers opted to retreat from the threat but overestimated their speed somewhat and fell back across the battlefield and off it, they did not return until the very end as they had been hard to locate by the commanders aids.
The charging crusader knights now had their flank exposed to a unit of archers hiding on a hill, these charged down and engaged the knights in concert with a double front charge of arab medium cavalry lead by the venerable Faizal of Damascus. The infidels were crushed in a rush of bloody violence, but Faizal was also killed in the din of battle, falling from his horse with a split skull.
The crusader infantry now joined combat with the arab infantry who victoriously and resolutely beat them off.






The overall commander of the forces from County of Tripoli (Håkan) had this to say about the battle.
Here are the translated words from the Crusaders:

On the flank with the heavy cavalry a small unit of mounted archers approached the up most flank. After some irritation the knights had enough and stormed after them and chased them to their own lines. The rest of the cavalry rode steadily forward and heard that clashes was soon to follow in the centre and on the flank.
The commander rode ahead of the lines shouting "In Gods name" and with a thundering battle cry the knights stormed straight forward into the enemy lines. With casualties the Crusaders managed to brake the lines and the Hospital knights that hadn´t been committed to the heaviest fighting noticed lots of heavy cavalry beyond the the forest engaged with a unit of knights, the knights seemed to take heavy casualties and were forced to flee.
In their anger the Hospitalers charged and after a very bloody fight they managed to brake an unit of enemy knights.


The centre started with medium infantry heading straight against my lines and the cavalry unit that was left and not yet in combat saw them advance against my flank and they rode forth to engage them.
In an heroic attack they charged the medium infantry but was after a bloodied fight forced to brake but not without giving heavy casualties.


The knights inflicted heavy casualties in their flank but it was not enough to turn the flank around and hit the enemy in the centre from the side.

But it was fun.




And here we got some last pictures of two of the objectives we thought over, two tent camps.




2 comments:

  1. Thanks great looking battle, having played lots of different rules I still haven't managed a game of hail caeser, so this is something I need to change I think.

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