Thursday, 23 March 2023

Dupas' Division Attacks @ Wagram, scenario 2 with Soldiers of Napoleon

Game 2, and still the evening of July 5th, this time General Dupas’ division (Bernadotte’s Corps) launches itself across the Russbach stream and up the Wagram, mainly at the defending (and large) Argenteau Regiment of Austrian regulars, with some aid from von Stutterheim’s brigade of jaegers, landwehr and the some attached chevau-leger. The French/Saxon objective was to force the Austrians back and secure a foothold on the high ground, using the ‘Grand Assault’ and ‘Take the High Ground’ battlefield objectives, whilst my Austrians just had to ‘Hold the Line’.

After deployment, the battle began with the French/Saxon brigade on their left crossing the Russbach and shelling the crest of the Wagram slope, as my guns returned fire down onto the French. The crest would become a hot-spot killing-zone, but I had a plan to minimize French artillery by pulling back from it (after doing some damage) and inviting the French up the slope to fight me there, out of cannon support. I’d pull back my guns and so hopefully get the upper hand in that firefight. This worked, sort of too well, as a handy withering volleys special event sent the first French and Saxon grenadier battalion, coming up the slope, tumbling back down in utter chaos. They stalled to rally and regroup, and I pulled back, leaving his cannons (unable to cross the Russbach stream) with no targets.

On the French right, the 19th Line’s three battalions didn’t make much progress. Harassed by accurate jaeger skirmish fire and then the Austrian chevau-leger coming forwards, two battalions formed square and thus, any attack here just halted. French guns did take their toll though, and after a lucky (unlucky for me) bombardment my jaegers broke and ran… grr! Still, I had my revenge when the Saxon grenadiers on the opposite flank also broke. It was even in VPs so far.

Thus far it had been an all infantry fight, and the Austrians were doing just fine against some good French infantry. Skirmish fire harassed me, but the Argenteau were standing strong, muskets primed for when the French/Saxons next appeared on the crest. This they did, and another good volley saw the Saxons retreating as well, leaving their dead behind.

After four turns the game changed. Reserved arrived. My light cavalry rode in, the Hessen-Homberg Hussars and some more chevau-leger. Seeing this, Bernadotte (as he did on the day) released Sahuc’s light cavalry brigade to meet them. True to the day, the two light cavalry brigades would meet in a swirling melee. The French first made good use of a ‘well-drilled’ special event to gallop forwards at top speed and deploy into line on my side of the stream - slick. My hussars spurred in, sabres out, and charged, to be counter-charged, and the following melee was close, but a narrow Austrian win (hussar! literally). The cavalry would reengage next turn, after a swift rally each, both using command points to re-roll and form back into good orderly lines. So far, I had nudged ahead in VPs and the French were looking worried. They had 1 turn to complete the ‘Grand Assault’ objective or give me the extra VPs, which might be enough to win it. Nothing for it but to attack, despite the odds. His battered cavalry charged again, all 3 chasseurs regiments, but he needed a fourth charge as well. His light infantry, bloodied after their first attempt, tried up the Wagram again, took another scything volley, but charged. They need a 6 to cover the distance, chances where they would fall short… no, a 6! “Vive L’Empereur!’ They French came in, bayonets lowered, but lost the melee anyway. As did his light cavalry, as my hussar counter-charged and drove them back again (heroics from usually useless hussars), breaking one regiment. It was very close as we added up VPs. I had won 2 melees, and routed his chasseurs. But he had completed the Grand Assault objectives (at a cost) and rolled a 6 for VPs, gaining 6. Ouch! That just broke the Austrians as the Argenteau and the cavalry pulled back. The French had 1 morale point left before breaking themselves, so close, so close. The French had saved the day, by sheer desperation (and rolling 2 6s).

Another marginal French win in the campaign then. Again, given the scheme of the battle, it would avail the French nought for tomorrow’s fighting, so was worth 0 VPs for the campaign – just a waste of men and horses really.

That concludes the fighting on the evening of July 5th, after 2 games it is still 0-0 on VPs. All t play for on July 6th. In game 3, the Austrians launch their own dawn attack at Grosshofen on July 6th. We play that next week.

French light infantry and two Saxon battalions cross the Russbach

The 19th Ligne also cross the stream.

von Stutterheim's small brigade, the landwehr hanging back as the jaegers do the early fighting, and pay for it after an 'artillery bombards' event.

The mighty Argenteau regiment's lines await the French arrival.
and here they are, skirmishers out!

Pulling back the gun battery (and ammo caisson) from the crest, to present no target.

French form square, wary after the beating they took in game 1 from the chevau-leger.

Guns unlimber as the regiment's 3rd battalion arrive.

Chevau-leger chase off a few French skirmishers in the stalemate on the French right.

The Hessen-Homburg hussars gallop in. Go the Hussar!

Chasseurs deploy into line, swift and disciplined, as the light cavalry close in on each other in the centre.


More cavalry action in the swirling melee, chevau-leger meet chasseurs.

The Austrian line spread out across the Wagram, but starting to look shakey.

Wednesday, 1 March 2023

Baumersdorf @ Wagram, scenario 1 with Soldiers of Napoleon

We’ve trialed this style of re-fight game before, with some Waterloo scenarios, but its time for a different battle, one that better suits our forces. Wagram seems the obvious choice for lots of Austrians to fight lots of French (and German allies). So, this will be a series of games to recreate that battle in SoN-sized actions. The first would be on the evening of July 5th as the French make their probing attacks towards the Wagram high ground. One such was conducted by Oudinot’s Corps, in the French centre, using part of Grandjean’s division to try and take the village of Baumersdorf, which sat on the Russbach stream at the base of the Wagram slope.

The game would see two French infantry brigades (actually regiments), the 57th Line and 10th Light on their left and right respectively, face an screening brigade of Austrian jaegers and the 2nd battalion of the 'Erherzog Karl Legion' holding the village itself, under General Hardegg, and more Austrian infantry and guns up on the crest of the high ground (Weid-Runkel's brigade). Behind them, the only reserve committed to his fight, was a single light cavalry regiment, the Vincent chevau-leger.

The French mission was to take Baumserdorf and get over the Russbach and up that slope. 

Baumersdorf, Russbach stream and Wagram slope, from the French side.
Austrian side

The game started with the French attack moving up on the village, all three battalions with their supporting cannon fire. As the 57th Line advanced, the 10th Light would wait, skirmishers going forwards to target the jaegers which lined the stream’s ditch, but hoping for Baumersdorf to fall before they pressed on to cross it. With a cry of ‘Vive L’Empereur!’ the 2nd battalion the 57th charged the houses and, with great elan, drove the Karl Legion out, who fell back over the stream bridges (or waded it, it was only about 2’ deep) to take up new positions in buildings on the opposite bank. The French had achieved an early objective though, taken a strong point, as their other battalions moved up and sent more skirmishers into the village streets and gardens. They grabbed an early lead in VPs.

That is where the 57th Line’s swift advance halted. The Karl legion found some better determination (and useful rally special event cards) and their attached jaegers laid down accurate fire at the voltiguers on the opposite back, sniping back and forth, with occasional ineffective volleys, the French halted and just couldn’t get across the stream. (This is exactly as it happened on the evening of 5th July, 1809).

Meanwhile, the jaegers in the Russbach were delivering more accurate rifle shooting and had the 10th Light concerned. This was the jaeger's kind of fight, a stand-off attritional skirmish with them in good cover. French artillery firing at them did nothing.

Up on the Wagram, Weid-Runkel’s brigade had little to do, except wait for an attack that wasn’t coming. They sent out a few skirmishers, and marched a battalion of the Frelich infantry towards Baumersdorf, in case reinforcements were needed. It would be costly in Orders, being so far from their command stand, but it’s not like the brigade were using any Orders at the moment anyway. Behind them, the light cavalry arrived and galloped in marching column, for speed, through their lines and down the Wagram slope, heading for the stream. If the French wouldn’t come to us, we'll go to them.

A few fallow turns followed, stalemate of skirmish fire in the village, both sides happy to hold the buildings they had. Ineffective cannon fire, and more skirmishing along the Russbach forced a French rally. The cavalry moved up, formed a line and waded through the stream with menace.

Then, suddenly, the deadlock broke. First, at Baumersdorf, 1st battalion of the 57th Line moved out and tried to get across the stream, charging and taking a single Austrian 6 pdr gun which had been harassing them all game. This pushed the Austrians closer to their (already low) break point. They, in-turn, took a lot of fire from the jaegers to the left and right and were now in disorder. This meant that when the reinforcing Frelich battalion column came rushing down the Wagram and used a consecutive order to charge, the veteran French infantry lost the melee badly and where thrown back over the stream in complete chaos. They would rout. On the other flank the Vincent chevauleger now charged as well, the French forming line (not square), but my cavalry needed a good roll to cover the distance, or face a big volley. It was a risk, but hey, no point in waiting to be ‘skirmish fired’ to death, just go!. The charge, by good dice rolls (and a handy command point re-roll), made it and rode into the French line, winning the melee and driving the French light infantry back to the table edge in disorder. It was costly to rally them and avoid them routing too. More VPs for the Austrians, closing the earlier gap.

After an eventful turn and a few rallies, the Austrians were now just 1 VP from breaking, the French 4. Another tense last turn then, as both sort to maximize their MV return. More skirmish firing in the village saw the Disruption build, but not enough to break the others unit, whilst the Austrian chevauleger charged again, winning the melee again (they were very keen) and driving the forlorn French battalion off the table. Was it enough to sneak a win?

No. The French had broken the Austrians by 2 morale points. The French were on their Breakpoint now. So a marginal, very marginal, French win, by just 2 VPs. We decided that with such a close game neither side should gain any VPs for the wider campaign-battle (winning games gains Battle VPs, over the course of 9,10,11 games we’ll see who wins the day). So, exactly as on July 5th, the fighting at Baumersdorf throughout the evening gained neither side anything for the next day’s fighting.

Scenario 2 will be Dupas' division (of Bernadotte’s Corps) attacking up the Wagram on the same evening (to the west of this battlefield). I’ll have another French assault to repulse, slight larger that this one, which was on the small end of a SoN game.

Weid-Runkel's brigade atop the slope. 6 pdr cannons currently (and mostly) out of range.

57th Line advance!

Storming the first houses and taking them.

Erherzog Karl legion and jaegers hold the other side of the stream, much skirmish fire back and forth. Some terrible French shooting here. Miss, miss, miss...

The Frelich infantry manouevre into place. One battalion makes for the village, just in case. 

The 57th Line stalled at Baumersdorf, before 1st battalion (furthest) tried to go round

Vincent chevauleger gallop on.

Melee over the Russbach, the French are defeated and thrown back, as jaegers continue take their toll too... 1st battalion breaks and runs.

The Vincent chevauleger close in for a second charge, to finish off the French light infantry. Heroics, but not quite enough to win the day.

Monday, 27 February 2023

Sanguis Arvum, Britannia, AD46 – with Soldiers of Rome

A big, one-off, pitched battle using 'Soldiers of Rome' as my legion faced the ever-troublesome Britons. There were a lot of Celts, thousands of them…a hairy, half-naked, horde.  

After some thought and one selected army list and a defensive battle plan that was ditch in favour a simple one. I would play to the Roman strength in heavy infantry, to grind it out, go on the ‘all-out attack’, with 10 (all we have) Legionary Cohorts, deployed 3 on both flanks and 4 in the centre, supported by small units of auxiliary archers and blocks of spearmen, either flank would have a cavalry squadron to guard it and try to quick engage skirmishers, who have a tendency to run away faster than the cohorts can advance. That was it, led by my Legate, Minimus Decimus Meridius, their feted commander. So, go forwards, as fast as heavy infantry can, march and charge, and get into them as quickly as possible. I was expecting a lot skirmishers, slings and archers etc, and so, being engaged in melee would be the best defence. So the order was simple, drive forwards and kill anything ahead, no prisoners…

The Britons plan was to harry both flanks, with many slingers backed by warriors and, on their left, fanatics. Their centre was their strike force, allied mounted nobles with chariots, lot of them in support and more warriors with dismounted nobles too. It filled the table edge in a mob of Celts, and was led by their fearless queen, chariot-mounted, red-hair flowing, a chosen champion of the Gods. She had to die – bring me her red-haired head!

The first turns saw both sides advancing towards the centre of the tabletop, on the Celt’s right, their horde of stone-throwing slingers unleashed volleys and the first Disorder began to build, but Roman armour can resist stones. In response, the auxiliary cavalry did their job and, at the gallop, spurred in (no spurs actually, I know) and charged some slinger-youths, routing them. Worth it, but the accurate returning stones and arrows from the village overwhelmed the cavalry and they couldn’t be rallied and saved and also broke. But, they had bought some respite from the hail as the legion cohorts crawled forwards. The Celts in the centre seemed less keen to get to grips, as the Roman line of steel approached. Their leading cavalry paused. On the Roman right, the advance also saw the other auxiliary cavalry have to deal with some scary dogs… javelins at close range eventually did for that annoyance, but again, the slingers took their toll on the cavalry and they had to rally. Over here, the marshy ground was impeding both sides advances.

The big clash in the centre was approaching, whilst on the left the Celts, having rushed forwards, now fell back into the village, behind more arrows and sling stones. Then, with an ‘impetuous cavalry charge’, played by the Romans, the Celt’s chieftain cavalry charged… into the veteran praetorians, too eager. Now, the big fight in the centre was on. In melee now, the Celts decided to go for it and rushed their chariots up in support as the other allied cavalry charged in too. Suddenly, javelins and pilum flew and both side’s gathered Disorder down the line. Furious spending of action cards followed, as the Celts rallied to fight again. The Romans, cohorts like immovable objectives, started the grind – rotate those front ranks, step-on, stab, step-on, stab. Could the best the Celts had hold the cohorts? Tbf, they had a damn good try and forced an important Rally on the centre, but the discipline was good, and the cohorts held the initial impact. That was ominous, because in a long melee grind, the cohorts really excel.

Break for lunch, tea and bacon butty, and the Celts were, it was agreed, looking in some trouble. The Romans were on the attack and had seen off the worst of his skirmishers without too may losses. The cohorts were either in a melee, or close to it. The Celt's Disorder was building fast. The afternoon’s play would see the true carnage though.

It did, as all along the line the Romans were fully engaged in melee, left, centre and right were spending cards to rally, charge, melee, loose (often into the melees by the Celt slingers and my own archers behind). It was no holds barred for a few turns. Crisis’ came and went. The Celts brave chieftain cavalry finally broke, leaving the chariots to fight on, but in the Roman centre two of four cohorts also broke in the mayhem, a big dent in Roman morale. It was close and the Celts, from looking in trouble at lunch, had clawed it back. Heavy use of Fear cards had helped them, a strong suit for the barbarians.

But Roman steel is tough… and the veteran cohort on the left was holding against his mercenary warriors, more warriors in support and a flank charge by slingers. Almost surrounded, they held on. The chariots were now losing in the centre and soon, they broke too, but not before his leader had seen a chance at glory and charged my Legate, leaving them in one-to-one combat. Neither side wanted to lose that fight, it would be costly, and so cards were expended to stay in it. She hit me, I hit her, and then both rallied it off. Why won’t she die? On the right, my cohorts were mired in the marsh, fighting naked men, and not doing too well. But, the handy auxiliary spearmen, having already dispatched more dogs, got into the flank of the Celts and turned the fight my way, when the fanatics died, in a bloody massacre, the writing was on the wall. The Celts were very close to breaking. Except, so were the Romans because, using her 'fearsome reputation', the Celt’s queen scared off my Legate! What? … he ran-off!  So much for the ‘feted leader’, his loss was costly in MV, leaving the Celts with 2 MV left, and the Romans with just 4. It would be a tense last turn then.

That turn was, by good fortune on the cards and dice, for the Romans – Mars was with us. The cohorts did their gladius-work, and broke more of his warriors. It had been very close, but it ended with the Celts fleeing and Romans with just 2 MV left, a narrow win. But bought at a cost, we had lost our feted commander… and three cohorts had been broken (along with some less important auxiliaries). What a fight… I was exhausted… the Celts had fought tooth and nail and pushed my Legion to the brink of defeat, but in the end – Roma Victor! (just). We can add this little part of Britannia to the empire.

Shots of the action… 

The bloody field, the Celts have their village and crop fields, Romans coming to get them.

The mob in the village, slingers, archers, warriors and armed civilians.

Celt's centre, a fast moving strike force of mounted chieftains and chariot support.

Celt's right, more slingers and fanatics, with more chariots, they love a chariot...
Roman right and centre, cohorts backed by small units of archers, for supporting fire, even into melee.

Far left, cohort with cavalry support, to chase off the skirmishers, who run away faster than the cohort advances.

Far right, same as the left.

Roman advance begins and the cavalry, having already seen off some slingers, take the brunt of the incoming shooting.

The hairy horde on the Celt's left wade into the marsh - they ain't got no clothes to get wet anyway. 

Slingers, caught by the Roman advance and massacred... a good start, lots to go though.

Steel wall in the Roman centre, rumbles forwards, a steady advance, no gaps...

Approaching the village as the Celts fall back (run-off).

The centre all kicks-off, after a rash cavalry charge. One in, all in...

Auxiliary cavalry javelin dogs to death, they are very annoying, scaring the horses.

The Roman right about to engage, just one more charge card required.

Charge! The spearmen deal with more dogs, before getting into the exposed flank.

Your small wattle fence won't save you...

Big melees in the centre, both with 'Charge!' cards behind them, so the fighting is fast and furious. Four cohorts engaged and spearmen in support. 

Struggling in the marsh, this cohort would eventual be broken by the fanatics crazy attacks.

My Legate makes the rash decision to get stuck in...

And finds himself in one-to-one combat with the Celt's queen (on her chariot of course).

The centre's work is almost done – enemy cavalry, dead. Enemy chariots, dead. Now on to these guys, more tribal chieftains, and their noisy horns. 

The Celtic queen's 'Fear' card sees my legate run... but it's not quiet enough to win the day. Behind, Praetorians still at it, archers lending support, but the Celt's centre is largely gone.

Tuesday, 14 February 2023

The Horns of Hammad, 1179 - with Soldiers of God

This would be a large field battle, over the twin rugged desert hills, the ‘Horns of Hammad’, as the Saracens troops of the Ayyubid Caliphate lined up against the muster of the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Having selected our forces, both had gone for similar battle plans. The Saracens would 'Hold and Harass', with twin flanks of horse archers whilst the centre held the line, backed by archers, ghulam and ballista. The Crusaders would 'Harry and Harass', matching the mobile flanks with their own turcopoles horse archers on their right and skirmishing archers, with crossbowmen, war engines and men-at-arms on the left to repel the horse archer waves. Their centre was their strike force, two units of knights and a third of the Holy Order of the Hospital of St John. Once all were deployed, it looked like an even fight. The Marshal of Jerusalem was wary enough not to have weak flanks against the horse archer threat and to have plenty to shoot back with, both flanks would likely be fierce archery duels. In the centre, well the Saracen’s line of levy infantry screened their own archers and ghulam (all bow-armed). The heavy cavalry would charge and try to break them, a simple battle plan really, go hard and fast with the heavies straight up the centre whilst the flanks hold back the enemy light cavalry. Mine was the opposite, attack hard on both flanks, whilst the centre holds on and tries to shoots those knights to ruin. Let the bloodshed commence…

Saracen right flank, horse archers in open order, reserve ghulam behind.

The lines in the centre, archers and dismounted ghulam behind a levy screen of 'expendables'. Mounted ghulam wait at the rear again. Each 'battle' had one of these units, a alst reserve to counter-attack. 

Horse archers on the left, with arab light cavalry behind. I thought I might send these on a flank march, but never got the card. Instead, they joined the horse archer' advance.

Crusader right, skirmishing archer lines to match the horse archers and crossbowmen.
Meet fire with fire...


And it did, from the first card play the knights advanced, and the horse archers on my left set out at a gallop for the enemy lines, eager to get the arrow storm underway. The knights followed with a fierce charge and clashed, at a gallop themselves, into the unit of horse archers, lances levelled. By fortune, I had a Skirmishers Move card and those horse archers immediately wheeled away from the melee and retreated, to then regroup and avoid being destroyed in the first clash. They’d recover and continue to harass those knights with arrows for turns to come. A lucky early escape.

On the left, the Crusader’s turcopoles also advanced and loosed the first arrow volley, and so it started, my horse archers returned fire and Disruption began to mount, but as yet neither side routed. This would a close, tit-for-tat exchange.

On the opposite end, with cards in demand elsewhere, the crusader’s skirmish archer line advanced, but the horse archers didn’t respond, they’d wait to counter when the cards suited them better. No messing around in turn 1 then. One unit knights was already almost upon my line, the others following on across the central valley’s floor.

Turn 2 continued it, the knights advanced again, closing in, moving faster in open order but they held onto a Manoeuvre card (from turn 1) for use later, when the charge card turned up, they’d be able to close-up and quickly spur-in. My archery was largely ineffective in the centre and, on the right, the turcopoles had a great turn, hammering my horse archers before withdrawing, and causing me to have to Rally them. Hmmm… my horse archers where getting their own medicine here, and losing so far. Still, rallied, they’d stand and behind them the supporting ghulam moved up, they’d charge if the card came up and see off the turcopoles with lance and scimitar. I had the that option, but the turcopoles didn’t.

Turn 3 saw the knights charge (they got the card), and all three units smashed into the front rank of my infantry line, an expendable screen of ahdath levy that would die, and I had no qualms about loosing all my archers into those melees as well. The ahdath just had to hold, a turn or two (all they can do really), and let me get more shots in. It would have worked if my archers could hit anything, a hail of short range arrows resulted in more damage to my units that to the enemy. 

Horse archer duel about to commence as the turcopoles advance to meet them.

Knights close in on the centre's front line.

Bit of skirmishing archery, back and forth on my right. 

Combat all along the centre's front, as the levy infantry take a beating.


On the right the horse archer duel continued and we traded shots, but a extra Loose card gave the turcopoles the edge and I had to expend a few cards to prevent losing a unit, and then a deserters card saw 1 stand flee anyway. Still, my counter-attack, of ghulam and supporting tribal arabs cavalry was in place, and I held a Charge card in hand. If I could get a March card, I could storm forwards, through the horse archers, and slam into line at full gallop. My plan was to destroy this flank, it was his weakest and I had the edge in troops (if not the rolls and cards, so far). If the centre held, I could win it here.

The left remained quite, a few skirmishing archers shots was all, so far I hadn’t committed to the advance. It would come, and the horse archers would inflict heavy damage on those pesky archers in return. But it is hard to be busy with all three ‘battles’ across the table, cards get sucked up elsewhere. Still, that is the ebb and flow of the battle, quiet here whilst all hell was breaking loose in the centre and on the left.

That centre was creaking, the knights keeping up the slaughter of levy, breaking one unit, the first lost so far. In return, a levy panic card saw the crusader’s armed pilgrims flee without a shot being fired at them… best try a pilgrimage to somewhere else. I send my ghulam storming forwards, but found his turcopoles quickly pulling back after another flurry of arrows, then another (he had an extra Advance, Loose and Retire card, and it hurt). My ghulam were shot to destruction, dying in a bloody massacre under the arrow storm. Arghh, best laid plans and all that… but that meant I wouldn’t win a melee battle so I had to out shoot him. This I did, the last play being my horse archers ripped off volleys into his turcopoles and two units broke as the laws of probability snapped back into place and they failed most of his resolves tests. The flank was in big trouble, only 1 unit left (and the command stand). Kill them, kill them all!

Whist his flank had cracked and could only now try and retreat and fight a last stand action, beset by horse archers and javelin throwing Arabs, his knights carved blood ruin into the centre, my ahdath were all routed and he had another Charge card (no!) in hand. The knights slammed into my line of archers next, they would not stand long. Only the ghulam , still shooting into the melees would be left. It was a race, flank against centre.

Except, now I launched the right flank forwards, time to give the crusaders new problems and extra pressure on their cards. In another missile duel his archer-skirmishers broke and fled as the horse archers pressed into range. Behind them, their own supporting ghulam turned and moved back towards the centre, they be needed as a emergency reinforcements. If only I got the cards to move them quickly enough. I didn’t, and they didn’t manage to intervene, but the threat was enough to turn some of his knights to face them, after breaking the archers and killing the centre’s command stand as well.

By now the victory points had really added up and, I was just 2 points from breaking. In return, the crusaders were also 2 points from breaking. It was close, so very close. This would the last turn surely. We dealt cards and pondered our options hard.

As it played out, more shooting on the right left his crossbowmen about to break, by 1 point and they could be saved by expending a card, but that card was a Challenge, that could allow the knights to break the dismounted ghulam in the centre. Was the loss worth the gain? A tight call again, given that his flanks command stand was also being defeated in combat, and could go out in the blaze of glory, taking the Arab cavalry with them. In the end, the knights issues a challenge, boldly going for the win in heroic 1-to-1 combat (saving the crossbowmen would have made it a draw, we worked it out). The knights then lost the final challenge as the ghulam champion rolled a lucky 6, and the extra Disruption broke the knights instead, a freakish result.  That left the VPs total heavily in the Saracen’s favour, my force broken by 1 point, the Crusaders by 10… but the plaudits are for going for it and not taking the safe option of a draw for chance to win it. Very tight, tension on those dice rolls, a great game, so close to the end and the cards made for hard tactical choices through-out.  I real fun wargame, hard fought down to the very last dice roll. 

The levy hang on, whilst being mercilessly shot by their own side.

The flank light cavalry swarms about to meet, who could out shoot the other?
The crusader army is capable of matching horse archer firepower with their own, if they include these often over-looked troops.

Dismounted ghulam's turn to hold the knights for a few turns, and die trying.

The crusader's right is turned, at a cost, but very costly in VPs.

The Arab cavalry finish off the crusaders right flank command stand.
The last reserve of the centre, ghulam about to face the relentless charge.
The old foes fight it out, with not much left in the Saracen's centre, slaughtered,
but expended to buy the victory.