tiistai 7. kesäkuuta 2016

Deus Vult: Battle of Arsuf - Report completed!

Mighty Battle and a mighty man feast!

This was a long term plan: prepare for the first BIG Deus Vult gae of the year: Arsuf. Plan started to develop and it evolved into a weekend trip to Sultan Kallah's summer cottage. So an umpire and 4 mighty warlords packed their armies and supplies and gathered for an epic battle... read on how the both battle and all side events unfolded... 

As soon as kin responsibilities in the form of "ylppärijuhlat" had been accomplished we took off and headed to the peace of the Finnish country side... this peace wouldn't last long!

Orders of battle were:

Angevin Empire (myself and Grand Master Juha as battle leaders)

Total Roster Cost: 1765

King Richard
Disciple 2, Courage 3, Command 4, Duel D4, D10, D12
Lionhearth, never courage -1 from overwhelming if attached to unit
The fortune of war, once per game, re-roll single dice. Must take second result.' 9th Grand Master Frá Garnier de Nables
Disciple 3, Courage 3, Command 3, Duel D4, D10, D12 Robert de Sablé
Disciple 3, Courage 3, Command 3, Duel D4, D8, D12 James of Avesnes
Disciple 2, Courage 1, Command 2, Duel D4, D6, D10
Disciple 3, Courage 2, Command 4, Duel D4, D8, D12
Influential, command range 12"
The fortune of war, once per game, re-roll single dice. Must take second result.' Al-Afdal
Disciple 2, Courage 2, Command 3, Duel D4, D8, D10 Aladdin of Mosul Musek
Disciple 2, Courage 2, Command 3, Duel D4, D8, D10

King Richard I - The Lionheart
  Crusader Knights, 145 pts = (base cost 0 + Full Mail 5 + Veterans 5) + 4 stands 135
  Crusader Knights, 115 pts = (base cost 0 + Full Mail 5) + 3 stands 110, komennossa      Henry II of Champagne (fluffy, ei battle leader)
  Crusader Crossbowmen, 85 pts + 3 stands 85

Knights Hospitallers - 9th Grand Master Frá Garnier de Nables
  Crusader Crossbowmen, 85 pts + 3 stands 85
  Crusader Spearmen, 120 pts + 4 stands 120
  Turcopole Horse Archers, 55 pts + 4 stands 55
  Hospitaller, 210 pts + 4 stands 210

Knights Templar - Robert de Sablé, moraaliupseerina Guy of Lusignan, King of Jerusalem
  Crusader Crossbowmen, 85 pts + 3 stands 85
  Crusader Spearmen , 120 pts + 4 stands 120
  Templars, 210 pts + 4 stands 210

James of Avesnes co. French and Flemings (8#, 485 pts)
  Crusader Spearmen, 120 pts + 4 stands 120
  Crusader Knights, 145 pts = (base cost 0 + Full Mail 5 + Veterans 5) + 4 stands 135
  Armed Pilgrims, 65 pts = (base cost 0 + Holy Visions 15) + 4 stands 50
  Crusader Archers, 80 pts + 3 stands 80

Anglo-Normans, Richards Standard

Ayyubid Dynasty

Total Roster Cost: 1840

  Army Standard, 75 pts
  Turkish Ghulams, 245 pts = (base cost 0 + Veterans 15) + 6 stands 230
  Arab Heavy Cavalry, 120 pts + 6 stands 120
  Arab/Bedouin Skimishing Cavalry, 35 pts + 4 stands 35
  Arab/Bedouin Skimishing Cavalry, 35 pts + 4 stands 35
  Ahdath Infantry, 115 pts + 6 stands 115

Al-Afdal ibn Salah ad-Din  (Al-Afdal (Saladinin poika))
  Arab/Bedouin Cavalry, 115 pts + 6 stands 115
  Arab/Bedouin Skimishing Cavalry, 35 pts + 4 stands 35
  Ahdath Infantry, 115 pts + 6 stands 115
  Muttawi'ah, 140 pts + 6 stands 140
  Arab/Bedouin Archers, 60 pts + 4 stands 60

Aladdin of Mosul Musek, Grand-Emir of the Kurds
  Arab/Bedouin Cavalry, 115 pts + 6 stands 115
  Aladdin of Mosul Musek, 50 pts
  Arab/Bedouin Skimishing Cavalry, 35 pts + 4 stands 35
  Arab/Bedouin Archers, 60 pts + 4 stands 60
  Arab/Bedouin Archers, 60 pts + 4 stands 60

Skirmish Divion (11#, 430 pts)
  Ghazi Cavalry, 170 pts + 6 stands 170
  Arab/Bedouin Skimishing Cavalry, 35 pts + 4 stands 35
  Arab/Bedouin Skimishing Cavalry, 35 pts + 4 stands 35
  Ghazi Infantry, 190 pts + 4 stands 190


In order to win Crusaders needed to...

* Proceed towards Aleppo (Crusader right side table edge)
* Destroy enough of the Saracen army to hinder their further plans
* Take out Saladin

In order to win Saracens  needed to...

* Stop Christians from proceeding towards Aleppo (Crusader right side table edge)
* Destroy enough of the Crusader army to hinder their further plans
* Take out Richard the Lionheart

Preparations - Saturday 18:54

Immediately we set to work under the direction of our umpire and Grand Master Sami...

Soon Saracen hordes, that seemed overwhelming, descended on the table. Sheik Markoh deploying.

Crusader divisions forming up

Last meal Saturday 20:21

As the battle was set, our commanders set out for the last meal. We were shocked, when we realized, that our Saracen Warlords Markoh and Kallah feasted on grilled pork meat as eargerly as their Crusading counter parts.

After the meal, this pious Hospitaler Warlord set for a moment of prayer and meditation before the battle.

Saracen Warlord seemed far more concerned...

Battle begins - Saturday 21:05

Finally the armies and commanders were ready to go. Tactical plans had been made and initiative was rolled. Saracens won the initiative, which was fine for us, as our Tactics were to hold back first and pepper the enemy with our missile fire (plenty of crossbows with killing range 15") and then charge forward with our knights.

Crusader commanders discussing their tactics as Saracen skirmishing cavalry pushes forward with the rest of the army following up (21:42)

Some redeployment needed - Saturday 22:40

We soon realized, that our numbers in the head of our line (right flank) were too small and sent forth some crusader knights to help the knights templar -division. In the far left we had succeeded in neutralizing Saracen firepower and our Turcopole cavalry was sent forward to harass the enemy. The battle line showed first signs of swinging...

Our extreme right (Knights templar) facing a strong Saracen division supported by their skirmishing division.

Close up from Crusader left flank: Turcopoles advancing with crusader spearman and Hospitaler knights building pressure... (23:01)

Battlefield after two rounds

Sauna break, more beer

After two rounds we took a retreat to sauna to contemplate our next steps and to enlighten / baptize ourselves in the still quite refreshingly temperatured lake.

Hostilities continue - Sunday 00:35

That (and the beer) seemed to have worked miracles on Crusader courage as our third round saw several bold moves... some of them eventually proving to be very bold indeed, but not so smart!

Crusader left flank maneuvering to keep up with the fast Saracens trying to outflank them!

Violence will soon erupt! Redeployment to left still ongoing.

Sheik Al-Kallah pondering his next move as dust clouds raised by troops partly block visibility (01:04)

Saracen right flank perspective

Battleline after round 3. 

Round 4. Saracen Charge! Sunday 01:34

Saracens won the extremely critical initiative and their Ghulam elites charged forward; small unit of Crusading knights were smashed to pieces and Ghulams swept forward into the Crusader battle line, that faced quite heavy casualties but held - encouraged by the Lionhearth himself!

Encouraged by the Ghulams, some Saracen light cavalry dared to charge Knights Templar into their flank, but they were none the less repulsed bloodily! Sheik Markoh making his moves...

View from the left: Hospitaler division facing a strong opposition - 02:16

Decisive moments - 02:44 

Things weren't looking too good and some drastic decisions were needed... Hospitaler commander made the decision: spearmen would need to hold the left flank - supported by crossbows - as long as they could! Hospitaler knights turned to help the crusader pilgrims - or actually to hunt down Saladin fighting with his Ghulams bodyguard in the front of the crusader battle line!

Right flank: redeployment completed and not a minute too early! Knights Templar had just succumbed to overwhelming enemy numbers!

Crusader spearmen facing the Saracen cavalry, so close already...

Hurray - we won the next initiative and King Richard called out the overall charge (scenario special rule). Hospitalers skewered several Ghulams, but yet their performance was clearly below average and Ghulams held! This was a great disappointment to crusader commanders as our plan to get to Saladin was slipping away...

... as the Ghulam units finally remembered their Kar-wafahr -rule and bolted out of the combats. Darn cowards! It was still amazing, that our pilgrims and archers had stood their ground! At least Saladin was wounded by a lucky crossbow bolt, while retreating.
 On the right flank our spearmen actually got a charge in against Saracen cavalry!

In our left flank the Crusader Spearmen were selling their lives dearly as alien metal objects started to crowd the battle field - clearly a bad omen! 03:30

At this point our brave commanders started showing first signs of battle exhaustion (but not due to lack of drinking!) - 04:07

Clash of the titans! - Sunday 04:20

Once again ( I guess round 6 or 7) Saracen took the initiative and showed their mastery of the Karwa-farh tactics: Saladin and his bodyguard, whom had just escaped from the fight with crusader bowmen, now charged the flank of King Richard's Crusading knights. An epic duel followed, already wounded Saladin fighting the mighty Lionheart !

But Saladin managed to stand his ground and as his Ghulam elite finished of the disordered knights, the duel was interrupted in a most un-chivalrous way and King Richard captured!

Last heroic spearman still standing in the right flank! -04:55

Right flank status: French knights challenging Saladin (who cowardly retired) and rest of the crusader forces pushing towards Aleppo.

I went to bed at 04:55!

Battle recommences - Sunday 13:05

Round 7 had been completed in the first hours of morning and then all of the commanders had taken some much needed downtime.
Battle was continued to actually just wrap it up...

French knights still had fight left in them and they charged the Ghulams, who stood in the way, covering the retreat of their wounded  master. They fall where they stand.

In the right flank crusaders push forward facing hails of arrows...

The center of the battlefield is in Crusader hands, but in left only the crossbowmen stand in front of the never ending Saracen horde!

Another perspective to right flank:

Final charge: what remains of the French spearman finally reach the Saracen archers and start slaughtering them...

Too little, too late...


Time to pack it up and take a one more round of Sauna and some barbeque.

6 kommenttia:

  1. Looks like an massive battle, nice

  2. Wow great Teemu. So many minis on the table.

  3. It was quite massive, even if we didn't even use all of out "resources". I will finalize the blogpost within few days.

  4. Brilliant ! Thanks for the excellent report.

  5. Great report of nice session, thanks!

  6. You're most welcome, comrades in arms