Frankish Kingdom of Jerusalem by ER Bickford
November 25, 1177 AD
Saladin’s Ayyubid Army is organized in a terrible deployment. He has been racing to the area and his units are tired and they have no room to maneuver. To simulate this, these units all begin in disorder. Although greatly out-numbered, the Frankish Army is aggressive and King Baldwin IV of Jerusalem leads his Frankish knights into the midst of Al-Afdal’s cavalry.
The knights smash into the Seljuk cavalry and these evade the archers reaction fire. Most of the knights obtain continued attacks. Four formations of Seljuk cavalry are eliminated and one has retired to the standards. This has placed the Ayyubid flight points at 9 points. Due to the continued attacks, three more Seljuk formations are destroyed and two others retire. The Ayyubid flight level is now at 15 points. Raynald of Chatillon does not receive the continued activation.
Al-Afdal uses the free activation to rally as many of the Seljuk cavalry as possible. This may give them an opportunity to get away. Saladin attempts a continuation, but fails, so the Ayyubid Army remains stunned.
Note: The Ayyubid Army flees with 60 flight points. The Crusaders only collect 15, but they also have no die roll. The knights are difficult to destroy.
Baldwin IV activates the Frankish knights again. Two of the formations are in a position to charge. One unit strikes the Berber medium cavalry in the flank. It is eliminated. Another Frankish knight charges into the flank of a rallied Seljuk cavalry unit. The Seljuk cavalry is forced to retreat but it is in a congested area with no retreat path and it is destroyed instead. Several more of the Seljuk cavalry formations are destroyed by the shock attacks of the Frankish knights. Three have attack continuations. Two good order Seljuk units successfully retreat before shock. This allows them to get away. Regardless, the flight points are Ayyubid 33 to Crusaders 0. Raynald obtains a continuation. He marches forward with the Frankish men-at-arms. These are not able to make contact with the enemy position.
Like the way I spelled Seljuk in the photo?
Al-Afdal uses another free activation to get his men into order. This finally succeeds. Several of the Seljuk archers ride hit and run missions against the Frankish knights and men-at-arms. This leaves a couple of the units disordered. Al-Adil obtains a continuation and this allows him to rally the Syrian and Berber medium cavalry. Saladin fails the next continuation roll. Baldwin’s knights are now engaged with light cavalry that have rallied. Now in good order, these successfully withdraw before combat.
The Ayyubid Army has its free activation. Taqi al-Din activates. His formation consists of Kurdish light cavalry and Mosul light cavalry. These all return to good order but are unable to move as a result of the rally. Saladin attempts a continuation but fails. Nonetheless, a large part of the Ayyubid Army is rallied at least.
Baldwin IV’s knights resume their actions. The Frankish knights engage with one of the Berber medium cavalry, which is still disordered. It is eliminated. Baldwin’s Frankish knights surround another Seljuk cavalry formation and it is unable to retreat and is destroyed. The knights in the center have an attack continuation and strike another of the Berber cavalry. This unit becomes disordered and is forced to retreat. The Ayyubid Army’s flight level is up to 37 points.
Taqi al-Din takes the free activation to move his Kurdish and Mosul cavalry to the Ayyubid Army’s right flank. This takes them out of harm’s way for the time being. Saladin obtains a continuation and gets the Mamluk heavy cavalry into good order. Then Taqi al-Din obtains another continuation allowing him to pull away from the Frankish knights. One of the formations of Berber cavalry is disordered so now it will have an opportunity to regroup.
Baldwin IV manages to surround another of the Seljuk light cavalry. The charge leaves the archers disordered and the continued attack eliminates the formation altogether. This brings the Ayyubid flight points up to 39 points. Raynald fails his activation.
The Seljuk archers attempt to destroy the disordered knights but only manage to cause them to retreat. The Seljuk cavalry continues to ride up to the knights, fire their arrows and then run away.
Baldwin IV takes a moment and rallies the Frankish knights. Now these are ready to attack again. Raynald fails another continuation attempt, the scoundrel.
The Seljuk archers attack again and leave a large part of Baldwin’s formation in disorder. Baldwin IV orders the knights to sally forth. These surround another good order Seljuk cavalry unit, which becomes disordered as a result and then is forced to retreat. It fails to find a retreat path and is eliminated. The Ayyubid Army’s flight points escalate to 41 points. Raynald fails the continuation roll.
Al-Afdal orders the Seljuk archers to resume their ride by attacks against the Crusaders. There are only limited effects and no losses to the Crusaders. A couple of formations of knights and men-at-arms become disordered and must retreat though. Taqi al-Din obtains a continuation and advances on Raynald of Chatillon’s flank. These are still out of fire range.
Raynald and Baldwin both get activations and push into the Seljuk formation. These simply retreat as the Crusaders could not get a good position. Taqi al-Din advances on Raynald’s formation and destroys on of the men-at-arms. This puts the Crusaders flight points at 1 point.
Then Baldwin IV’s knights manage to pin one of the Seljuk cavalry formations, leaving it without a retreat path. Baldwin’s Franks charge and eliminate the hapless light cavalry unit. This brings the Ayyubid Army’s flight level to 43 points. Another light cavalry unit retreats just before being attacked by the Templar Knights. Raynald obtains another continuation and pins a disordered Seljuk cavalry unit. This unit is subsequently destroyed, but it does leave one of the knights disordered due to reaction fire.
Now Baldwin IV successfully rolls for a continuation. (This was highly unlikely at +2). This allows him to surround two more Seljuk light cavalry units. One is eliminated and the other is left disordered.
Al-Afdal activates the Seljuk cavalry which runs up on Raynald’s formation and destroys another men-at-arms unit. Another one retires. Then he strikes at Baldwin’s formation with the archers but this inflicts minor damage to the knights. The continuation attempt fails.
The Crusaders activate the standards and get their retired units back. Baldwin obtains a continuation and attacks the Seljuk cavalry. A disordered light cavalry unit is surrounded. The cavalry is subsequently destroyed. Then the knights attack the retired units attempting to rally at Al-Afdal’s standards. These are all destroyed. (Should I have rallied these earlier?)
Raynald obtains an unlikely activation (zero die roll) and moves the Frankish crossbows toward Baldwin’s position for a little protection. Then it fires at range at a Seljuk light cavalry unit and leaves it disordered. The return fire also disorders the crossbows. The men-at-arms at Raynald’s standards manage to return to good order.
The Ayyubid Army uses its free activation to move the standards, since there are still enough Seljuk forces to rally. With 52 flight points accumulated, a flight die roll is made. (a six). It passes. Saladin’s formation attempts an activation but this fails.
Baldwin IV has an opportunity to attack a disordered Seljuk cavalry so he takes the free activation. (The Crusaders would rather have taken Raynald first as his initiative rating is lower.) As a result one of the cavalry is eliminated. Another is disordered and retreats. It is in a vulnerable position.
Then the Seljuk cavalry resume their hit and runs against the disordered knights. The replacement leader is attempting to get at these units. This pays off and a Frankish knight is destroyed. This brings the Crusaders flight level to 5 points. Then Saladin obtains a continuation. He launches his heavy cavalry into the disordered and fatigued knights. Unfortunately, one of the Frankish knight formations countercharges and this leaves the Mamluk heavy cavalry disordered. The other charge goes along a bit better, but this is of limited effects and the Frankish knights simply retreat. They remain disordered. (It may have been a mistake to attack the knights with Mamluk heavy cavalry. Their countercharge ability is quite devastating.)
Taqi al-Del obtains another continuation and he orders his light cavalry to advance on Baldwin and Raynald’s forces. These focus primarily on the Frankish crossbows which are already in disorder. They eventually retire to the standards. The rest of the Mosul cavalry sets up a defensive position to keep Raynald’s formation separated from Baldwin.
Baldwin IV launches his first attack against the Mamluk heavy cavalry. It is surrounded, but Baldwin’s knights are all in disorder. As a result, the attack flounders with no result. The knights on the right flank attack the other Mamluk heavy cavalry. This unit is disordered and retires as a result of the shock. This drives the Ayyubid flight points to 54 points. The flight die roll is an 8, so the Ayyubid Army flees! This was a scary battle for the Crusaders though.