Holy War Part 2

The Holy War between the Barony of Nusquam and the Emirate of Lamakan kicked off here, so please read that if you want more background. This is the second battle in the campaign, a Crusader raid on a Saracen village. Apologies for the poor lighting, going to need to get some better lights for this room.

“We must take the fight to them again and again, we must crush these invaders under our feet, we must darken the skies with arrows and fill the rivers with the blood of the infidel! We must…”

“Yes uncle, thank you,” Makan-ah-din held out a hand to calm the red faced Barbai, “our scout’s however report that the Franks are almost upon us and we must protect this village before we can strike back again.”

“I just don’t feel right cooped up in one position. We should be riding like the wind around these pale faced demons, not hiding inside!” Barbai grumbled.

“Why don’t you take our tribal allies across the river to the south and harass them, there is plenty of open ground there, you can be as windy as you like there…” Makan-ah-din conceded.

“That’s more like it!” Barbai slammed his fist against a stout tent pole, failed to hide his grimace of pain, then with a bow left the tent to gather his forces.

“What about me, father?” Asked Wot-ah-din.

Makan-ah-din clasped him on the shoulder, “Son, I want you to defend the northern approach. The main bulk of the enemy is coming from the south but our scout’s tell us of dust clouds north too, we must beware of then bypassing our defences there.”

“I will do my best, father and if Allah wills it we will be victorious and drive them from our lands this day!”

“You will make me proud, son, I have no doubt. Ma’a assalaamah.”

The Saracens had ample time to set up a defensive perimeter around the village. Crusaders enter from both sides, Sir Hugh de Chass leading Sir Roderick’s Riders to the south east, Sir Luke de Loupe leading the Old Turks turcopoles and the Black Wolf Company hoping to redeem it’s name after previous poor showing to the west. A small force of turcopoles, the Rose Petals, seek to harass from the north east with Sir Henri de Hippo.
A well defended position, Barbai, Grandfather of Aquisition, holds the south with tribal allies, Wot-ah-din waits to the north while Makan-ah-din, Emir of Lamakan deploys in the centre.
The Rose Petals turcopoles, in an uncharacteristic show of impetuosity surge forward, unleashing arrows into Islamic infantry ranks before madly charging into their midst. Disturbed by what must surely be these light horsemen’s destruction after such insanity, Sir Henri flees the scene.
Sir Hugh advances a bit.
Those wiley Arabs have snuck up behind crusader lines, but unbothered, Sir Luke sounds the charge with Sir Roderick’s Riders alongside and ready to tear into the heathen.
Sir Hugh continues his ponderous advance while the Baron crosses swords with Barbai.
Battle is further joined as Sir Roderick’s Riders crash into their foe
Makan-ah-din orders his troops to move into support against the infidel.
The Black Wolf Company finally work up the nerve to charge and exchange blows with Raadi al-Malek’s infantry. Battle ripples languidly across the field with no-one really taking any advantage.
Barbai and the Baron fight on, though neither can best the other.
The Arab tribal allies finally move to support the fights while to the north, the levy troops, despite seeing no action and being the safest troops on the field decide to flee in terror.

After many hours of gently tapping each other on the helmets and running away or whatever madness had seized the battlefield this day that rendered everyone impotent, the Baron of Lamakan finally called the retreat, more from sheer bloody bordem than any collapse in morale.

The forces of Islam defending the village of Manhanaa Al-nahr let out a half hearted cheer then shrugged and went back to their hookahs.

As you may have guessed from the report, this was not a great game. I’ve done my best to spin a yarn from it but I’ve come to the conclusion that the raid scenarios in these rules are fundamentally broken. Two games in a row that were at the complete extremes. At no point did it feel like a battle in the holy land, just a long slog of bordem and senseless events. In truth I just called it quits. The Crusaders were down slightly on points and would probably have lost if I’d ground out a few more rounds of inactivity anyway.

That’s one each to the sides. Next in the campaign is a small battle. I’m going to use a different ruleset for that when I get to it as I can’t face another game of this. I may give the rules one last go when I get to the big battle but probably not as I’d been quite looking forward to this campaign and it’s taken the fun out of it a bit.

I actually started writing up some ideas for my own ruleset for the period to try and get a nice balance of flavour and mechanics, based on the feudal Japanese rules I’ve been developing as I’m trying to make a core set of rules for feudal warfare that I can expand with period flavour. Though for the next game I’ll maybe use To the Strongest or Hail Caesar just.

Thanks for reading, hopefully the next one will be more exciting!


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