Crosses and crescents and sand…Deus Vult!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I stumbled on the Crusades project almost by accident based on sampling different scales. My interest was initially taken by the Third Crusade, mostly because the characters of King Richard and Saladin were too damn fun to pass up and it would let me use the Holy Orders as well to add some flavour to the Christians. Most of the forces can be stretched into other Crusade periods as well and will be expanding them in future.

First up my generals starting with King Richard and Saladin themselves:

Grand Master Garnier de Nablus and Grand Master Robert IV de Sablé of the Hospitallers and the Templars:

Emir Muzaffar ad-Din Gökböri (“Blue Wolf”) and General Al-Afdal:

I plan to add a couple more generals to this mix in future including Saphadin and Guy de Lusignan.

The mighty Mameluke cavalry under the esteemed Saladin, Sultan of Egypt:

Ole Dicky Lionheart here (with his infantry borrowed from Henry V):

The billmen and archer’s, while flavourfully English, are not the most period appropriate. I have been using them here and there, but plan to replace them all with more mixed infantry appropriate to the period.

Al-Afdal’s plucky militia troops, with some skirmishers and light archers from the Sudan:

Now we have the Holy Orders bringing their forces to bear with Knights, Sergeants and Turcopoles:

Last up the Sudanese forces, I’m less happy with these, especially the basing on the warbands at the back, so may rebase them at some point in the future:


That’s it so far. I’ve plenty of areas to expand into, including adding another couple of commanders – most likely the pathetic Guy de Lusignan and the esteemed Saphadin. I’m aiming to put together a scenario for the Battle of Arsuf, for which I’ll need:

1) Hordes of horse archers. This is the gaping hole in the Saracen forces – light cavalry and horse archers. I’ve noticed this in games where I’ve only had foot skirmishers and then heavier Mamlukes for mounted archers. I proxied some Turcopoles as Turkomen in a recent game but I’m going to need a lot of them for Arsuf.

2) Crusader infantry. Now that I’m a lot more knowledgeable about the period than when I first started, the billmen and archers feel out of place and I’ve avoided using them. At present, the only period infantry I have are the Hospitallers infantry, so I plan to make a matching set of them for the Templars and then make some use of a mix of medieval and dark age infantry to do some mixed foot units and crossbowmen.

3) Terrain. Mostly trees, maybe some scrub. I have a bag of premade trees from eBay so can hopefully base them easily enough to provide a bit of sparse woodland.

4) Rebase Sudanese infantry. I originally based these in loose formation on 60*40 bases for large warbands, but I rarely play them as such and I don’t like the look. Not strictly necessary for Arsuf but I reckon I could get three units of close order infantry by rebasing them onto 40*40. I now regret basing with milliput…

5) More knights. I have about half a units worth painted from before, so would like to pick up enough to finish it and maybe do a unit of the Knights of Jerusalem in their fetching turquoise and gold outfits.

I’ll post up some past battle reports I have photos of for these forces in posts to come.

Thanks for reading,




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