Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Hail Caesar: The Road to Damascus 1148AD

Jim & Mark's Crusaders v. Steve & Chris' Muslims

This was the Road to Damascus scenario from the Hail Caesar rule book, slightly modified to suit my  Crusader collection & Steve's Muslim collection.  We used a few ancient Persian ring-ins to get the Muslim numbers up.  It was the first battle for both my Fire Forge Crusaders & Steve's Muslims.  The pics are a bit fuzzy as the SLR's battery was flat & I had to make do with the Ipad.
The Crusaders come on in a column in the near corner & to win have to exit 3/4 of their army through the gap in the rivers in the middle of the far edge.  At the start the Muslims have an infantry division and a light cavalry division as a blocking force and the head of their relief column coming on down the road from the far corner.  The Muslims got first go and sent their light horse forward to harass the Crusaders.
The Crusaders tried to deploy their cavalry to the right while bringing up their foot to attack the holding force.  Poor command dice resulted in a traffic jam going nowhere.  Meanwhile the Muslim reserves were pouring down the road at 3 moves a turn, every turn.  
The Crusader cavalry has formed  defensive line to face the Muslim reserves.  An attempt to harry their flank by moving archers out of the farmland was met with a charge of sergeants.  The Crusader foot deployment remained painfully slow.
Somehow the Muslim archers withstood the sergeant's charge & fell back into the farmland while Muslim cavalry moved up in support.  The first Crusader foot division has finally gone forward, but the other two have again refused to move.. 
The 5th Test just lasted long enough for me to paint my plastic Fire Forge knights and mounted & dismounted sergeants.  They are very good figures - robust & easy to assemble.
The walled field is providing the weaker Muslim foot just enough protection to hold up the crusader foot while poor command has precluded the Crusader's attempt to wrap around the village & swamp the defenders.  The Crusader cavalry is now facing a hail of arrows while their foot still refuses to move up in in support.
Frustrated at lack of infantry support, the Crusader horse launched a desperate attack through the farmland, but the Muslim horse & foot hold them off.  The attack on the walled field grinds on, still indecisive, still without support.
Finally there has been some forward movement by the 2nd & 3rd Crusader foot divisions, but it's way too late.  The Crusader cavalry are being ground down by Muslim arrows.  The left flank infantry has even blundered further away from where they are needed.
 The Crusader foot have finally taken the walled field, but it's too late.
The hail of arrows has broken enough of the horse to give the crusaders over 25% casualties & fulfil the Muslim victory conditions.  The Muslims have lost one unit to the crusader's 7.  The Crusaders will have to retreat to Jeruselem.  There was much talk about using certain infantry commanders as trebuchet ammunition.

This was a very interesting & challenging scenario.   In this instance, the Muslims had a very sound plan that good command dice made even better.  The Crusaders plan of sending the cavalry out to isolate the blocking force so the infantry could overwhelm it became a disaster when bad command dice totally compromised the infantry advance. Maybe there was better way of doing it we'll find for next time. 


John Lambshead said...

Interesting game. Nice batrep.

Anonymous said...

an interesting reversal to the result in the rule book.