Sunday, 8 January 2017

Third Crusade - Battle Of Arsuf, 7th September, 1191.

Crusader cavalry try to repel Saladin's attacks
The Crusaders are approaching Arsuf down the coast road. They have to pass a large wooded area close to the coast road and Saladin has decided to use this wood to launch a major attack on the Crusaders.

This battle represents the early stages of the battle just after Saladin launched his attacks from the wood on the rear of the column. Historically the cavalry on both sides was deployed behind the infantry and when the attacks were launched there was some confusion as the cavalry pushed through the infantry. Rather than trying to resolve this on table I've assumed that stage is over and each side can deploy within their deployment zones as chosen.

I used Sword & Spear rules.

Rather than have one large army on each side, I tried representing the two rear columns of Crusaders as two separate armies, and similarly for the Ayyubid Egyptians. This gave two armies on each side of about 290 points and 8 units each.


North is at the top of this layout.
Crusaders on the left defending against Saladin's attacks from the woods on the right.
Saladin chose this place for a major attack because the woods gave a covered overnight camp and approach, while the battleground was relatively open and suited to cavalry attacks.

Crusaders - Army 1
General, 2 x Knights, 1 Miltary Order Knights, 1 x Spearmen, 1 x Crossbowmen, 1 x Miltary Order Searmen, 1 x Archers, 1 x Turcopole Cavalry

Crusaders - Army 2
General, 1 x Knights, 1 Miltary Order Knights, 2 x Spearmen, 1 x Crossbowmen, 1 x Miltary Order Searmen, 1 x Archers, 1 x Turcopole Cavalry

2 Ayyubid Egyptian Armies - both have the same forces
General, Captain, 1 x Cavalry, 2 x Ghilmen, 1 x Turcoman Light Horse, 1 x Turcoman Cavalry, 1 x Ahdath Militia Spearmen, 1 x Archers Light Foot, 1 x Javelinmen


Initially the cavalry on both sides closed the gap.
The Crusader Knights have the Impact ability which gives them an advantage if they actitvate and charge in first in the next turn. If the Egyptian Ghilmen get to activate first they can either loose arrows or charge first and negate the Impact ability of the Crusader Knights.

Third Crusade - abandoned scenarios 3 and 4

I did plan to report on a couple more scenarios based on the Crusaders moving south down the coast and being harassed by the Egyptians. These were to be:

Scenario 3 - Skirmish Attacks on the Column
30th August, 1191
Saladin intended this to be a major assault, but it didn't develop that way.

Scenario 4 - Determined Attacks on the Column
2nd September, 1191
Another attempt to break the deadlock resulting in fierce fighting.

After a couple of attempts to make these battles different to Scenario 2 - Break Up The Column, using different set ups and rules, I decided it wasn't worth pursuing. One attempt, using Soldiers Of God rules was a complete failure mainly because of the difficulty in manoeuvring. I even added in the 4 blank cards to the deck as extra Manoeuvre cards but even so the Crusaders were not able to change direction to react to the Egyptian attacks.

I've made the mistake before of posting non-event battles and I don't want to repeat it in a hurry.

So it's straight on to Scenario 5 - The Battle of Arsuf.