Wednesday 8 June 2022

Battle of Daravish, with 'Soldiers of God'

The second game as a way of introducing a new player to the rules.  After this one, I think they have got it! 

The Crusaders launched a echelon left attack, massing their knights on the left and sending them in an all or nothing charge. Unfortunately, the Saracen right was its weakest flank, with light cavalry screened by militia infantry (a screen only to slow the enemy down and buy time for more archery). In the centre was the desert village of Daravish whilst on the Saracen's left they would be attacking the Crusaders defensive line, with crossbows and men at arms backed up by archers, with horse archers and their own Ghulam and Al-Halqa.

By the end of turn 1 it was clear the Saracens had a problem. Firstly, 2 March cards had seen the knights storm across the table and then, using their gallop, Charge! directly into those militia and mangle them under lances and hooves. The Saracens here hadn't yet been able to advance at all, and no table space going forward meant none to retreat into for the light cavalry. That side would become condensed, and horse archers like space to gallop around in (and run off). Plus, the Saracens archery was already loosing into combat! 

On the other flank the Saracen advance had been slow, the horse archers galloped out and traded archery, but the Ghulam and Al-Halqa guard cavalry hadn't got very far (no move cards).

The fight was on, and the knights were already fully engaged, with their Charge card and then a few Melee cards too, the Saracens were casting away cards to just not rapidly lose units. The archery was hurting back, but then, a Rally card, the Crusaders had what they needed and the flank was already in big trouble. The arab camelry were the next to be charged and they stood no chance in a stand-up fight. 

As the combats continued, the Saracens center infantry had to manoeuvre to face to the threat from their right, the horse archers kept shooting but were on their own table edge now, nowhere left to run! The slow Saracen cavalry attack had moved off, but still had a long way to go to get stuck in. They needed to hurry up!

This they did and the Al-Halqa and Ghulam galloped and charged, meanwhile the horse archers had also charged a unit of archers only to find them standing firm. Back on the messy right flank, more carnage, arab cavalry were defeated and broke, the knights ploughed on, into the centre's infantry. I kept shooting into the melees, which mean the knights were never safe, even though the Templars were now joining the fray too, but they again had a Rally card, or discarded to keep those knights safe. 

By turn 4 it was looking all over, the knights pounded into the horse archers and killed the right flanks command stand as well, despite his heroic efforts as a 'bold leader'. The flank's 5 units had all been routed from the field and the lost 'battle' meant a lost battle. A decisive victory for the Crusaders as their knights just hammered my flank as an unstoppable force (well, with those units facing them). Sometimes, the 'KISS' plan works and the big all-out charge had here. Tbf, my hand wasn't very kind. I rarely had any way to move, March and Charge! cards were dominated by the Crusaders, and when I did have him in trouble, he had the Rally required in hand. Such are the vagaries of war...

OK, lessons in game rules are over, the gloves are off!

Saracen centre, most of the infantry, facing the village. The plan was to just move up and hold it. That didn't happen!

The far right, horse archers move up to engage his defensive line and trade shots with his archers and crossbowmen. They held out well.

Knights rush in, and charge the militia in turn 1. Ot-oh!

Mopping up the left flank, all three knight units crush their opponents and charge on!

Too little, too late, the Saracen cavalry attacks, but can't defeat the Crusaders line before the right flank is annihilated.


  1. Beautiful looking game one of my favourite periods 👍

  2. Really great looking game and so interesting game mechanics!!