In our Soldiers of God mini-campaign the crusader’s advance has reached Homs itself, the Emir’s army (me) heavily defeated in the Orontes valley it would be a scratch force to hold the city walls as the enemy set their siege and began preparing their war engines, including building a siege tower. Homs was in peril, the bloodthirsty enemy would show no mercy in sacking the city and looting it. The Emir has sent a messenger for aid, and a relief army was on the way, but first the garrison had to hold out long enough. After a month of building (and painting) work (literally), the Franks of Lord Andrus de Renard were ready to assault the walls. They chose the city’s eastern walls, at the Gate A-Dayr. As dawn broke they stood arrayed for the assault, behind them their trebuchet and mangonels had ranged in. Almost all his units carried siege ladders. It would be a bloody day…
… it would be disastrous day. Good grief, talk about deserted by cards and dice, the traitors! I could not buy a half decent dice roll when I needed one, all my defensive plans failed, I lost melees I shouldn’t have, my multiple burning oil and Naffatun attacks did very little (and on average should have massacred something). The defenders on the walls crumbled, his siege tower was pushed up, refused to topple despite many hits from my war engines and unleashed his fanatic Knights Hospitaller onto the walls to wreak carnage. His own trebuchet eventual smashed down the gate and his mounted men-at-arms charged in through it, another Naffatun attack rolled a 1 and did zippo. The gate fell, the men on the walls routed or were massacred and my defenders did embarrassingly little damage as Homs fell to the Crusader’s sacking and looting… they’d all be going home rich.
This was a trounsing. I just didn’t get the action cards, and when I did, rolled badly (I’m starting to think there are no 6s on my dice). I was also under the weather myself - to make more excuses. The lurgy was setting-in, so my defence might not have been as determined as usual. The Emir was not feeling well today… but still, the Crusaders have now decisively won the campaign, 4 victories to 1.
The A-Dayr gate and city walls.
Inside the walls, a last stand of local Ahdath militia was deployed to fight for the houses (and mosque) if the enemy broke in.
My war engines on one of the gate towers
Inside the A-Dayr gate.
Lines of Array, as the Franks deploy for the assault. Siege tower is scratch built.
My defenders at the gate.
The Frank's trebuchet, guarded by monks!!
They just came to see God's will triumph over the infidels. Prayers answered today.
The siege encampment, at the back.
The last of the Ghulam (dismounted) on the walls.
The siege ladders close in, yellow dice are disorder on the units, from my rather feeble archery.
Siege tower reaches the wall and disgorges the Knights Hospitaller, who massacred my Ghulam in a display of inept melee skills.
The gate is gone. My black-clad fanatics prepare to die for Allah, holding it.
Ahdath militia in support.
In come the mounted men-at-arms.
Enemy at the gate... and streaming up the ladders.
We have decided, given that this game was a bit of a disaster for me, we’ll play a 6th game in the campaign, as the relief army arrives too late. Unwilling to allow that new force to harry his men and their loot all the way back to Tripoli, the confident Crusaders are going to come out and face the relief force in final large open battle before the walls of the city. A chance for a little payback for Allah’s forces, a face saving (if pyrrhic) victory. Back to basics for this one… horse archers and cavalry, hit ‘em where it hurts (then run off).