Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Crusade battle. Hail Caesar AAR

Last week my friend Håkan and I had another great game of Hail Caesar.
The scenario wee decided to play was that one force would be the attacker and the defender would have 75% of the points, I think this was an old Warhammer scenario. We decided to play 8 rounds.
We managed to gather 708points for the Franks and this gave me 531 points for my Saracen force.

We did some point adjustments to the units as lets face it, the point system aint really balanced.

Units with:
0 in Moral save gets -1 point cheaper.
6+ Moral save, no adjustments.
5+ Moral save, cost 2 points more
4+ Moral save, cost 6 points more.

This wont make it perfect but at least somewhat better. Its a small simple adaptation that feels right.

Christian army deployed for the attack.

The Hospitalers are leading the Frankish right wing attack of heavy cavalry.

Saracen Left and Center.

The Sudanese holds the Saracen Right wing. These troops have served me good in previous games so Im so certain of their performance that I gave them almost the whole Right wing by them self.

My heavy cavalry centre. The initial plan was to hold them back or if I could use them to hit the Crusaders knights before they had formed up their heavy cavalry.

The Crusaders had a nice flow with the movements with the knights starting form up behind a large stone pile. I held my heavy cavalry back but sent lots of light cavalry to harass them forward.

My latest unit, Cataphract Camel Guards...

You can here see the Frankish knights forming up, heavy infantry line is forming up on the other side.  My heavy cavalry is still holding back but more and more light cavalry is attacking the Franks or trying to attack them from range or just to draw them out of formation.

The combined effect of my Sudanese mixed infantry and the Turcoman horsearchers managed to drive a unit of knights back with casualties, they run through a unit of infantry and both units became disordered. 

Frankish Left wing advances. A unit of heavy Sergeants and crossbowmen have pushed far.

The light cavalry is swarming the flanks of the Frankish knight.

A small swing with some of my Saracen are intended to be used to threaten the flank if the enemy knights starts to advance.

Enemy medium infantry is pushing far now. I might have some real problem here.

The enemy knight unit continued backwards and left the table. A real relief for my force.
Hopefully it will take some time before they are back and threathening my troops.

Not wanting the Franks to decide when we should fight I ordered troops into the combat. I used a small unit of Turcomans to attack a small unit of German knights forcing them to rearrange their position facing them and by that denying them to support the main attack.
The picture you see here is in the Crusaders turn and a fresh unit of knights have charged the Turcomans and outnumbered and charged in the side by knights are in deep deep trouble.

The Cataphract Camels first combat, and their special rule had little effect. At least they look good.. :)

A picture from the other side. Showing more of my heavy cavalry that are blocked from joining in the fight.

The officer defending the hill decided that he wanted to have a say in the game and his unit of dismounted Mamluk heavy archers.

This is not a good picture... I have lost a unit of Mamluks to those Hospitalers and my other forces are pushed back. Fortunately the Crusaders have taken some damage to.   

The knights from the County of Tripoli pushes forward, continuing the fight. The Hospitalers are a little more worried about their flank so they turn a little to counter that.

The German knights have taken the last casualties by the dismounted Mamluk heavy archers which makes them Shaken.
With the help of Sudanese light cavalry the crossbowmen where defeated in close combat leaving the ruins free for my skirmishers. 

 That unit of knights from the County of Tripoli are defeated and I close in on the Hospitalers.

The flank of my Azerbaijanis are my heavy cavalry, if the enemy decides to attack them they will have to deal with the cavalry.

I tried to attack the enemy infantry in the rear but they managed to hold on and now my light cavalry are in trouble...

I did not move fast enough to completely surround the Hospitalers and a unit of heavy infantry hit me in the flank. Not good.

Many Saracens lost their life... 

Frankish heavy infantry lines.

I have redrawn my Sudanese lines giving ground to buy me more time and to save my outnumbered troops. The light cavalry did not survive and skirmishers are trying to harras the enemy and trying to draw the enemy atension to them self.

The enemy knights  are target from missile and javelin bombardments as my heavy cavalry close in.

Seeing an exposed flank my Naptha trowers leave their mounten position and manage to disorder the enemy heavy infantry.

With the enemy locked in combat my dismounted Mamluk heavy archers draws their sword and attack the flank of the enemy knights.

Enemy heavy infantry charge my Naptha trowers

With the help from the Hand of God, the cursed Hospitalers are finally removed.
Those are the nastiest worriers the enemy can muster, in the games we have played with them so far they always seems to be able to take care of two-three their numbers of my heavy cavalry even after I manage to maneuver and single them out.

And that was the last of the eight turn. The enemy had pushed forward but was meet with strong counterattacks and a hail of arrows from my light cavalry and infantry.

We decided to call it a draw. We counted up the kill score and it was something like 40-60 points of difference in favour of the Saracens only. My force had managed to stop the stronger Crusader army from pushing forward and Im proud of my troops.

It was a nice way of playing a battle with uneven points as it forced me to think a bit differently. Only risk my troops were I felt the odds were in my favors, and when not just trying to hinder the enemy movement or drawing their attention elsewhere. For in real battles the forces involved are seldom perfectly balanced.

Big thanks for another gret game of Hail Caesar.


  1. That looks absolutely stunning! I just love the variety of troops and colours on the table, a real feast for the eyes.

  2. The figures are very nicely painted, especially the crusaders.Real nice pictures too!

  3. Very dramatic! So much work on display there!

  4. Looks like it was a fun battle and the troops look really good