Crusader rules test.

The battle, being used primarily as a rule test and a spur to paint more units, worked well on both counts. The rules, developed from Piquet's Field of Battle by Brent Oman, look like they will be perfect for recreating Crusader warfare. Of course, being a first play test, the game moved from action to action with some discussion, and this resulted in a 'slow' game.
The battle began with an advance by the Turcoman tribesmen. These moved into position to shoot. Never having faced the Franks before, instead of shooting they charged headlong into the wall of shields and spear points presented by the Frankish foot soldiery. This was involuntary move by Peter, both of his Turcoman command groups rolling a 1 on their first combat die; indicating a charge rather than shooting. The results was that the first Turcoman unit managed to draw its first round of melee, thus forcing the rest of the group to charge home in support; two units were routed and one was forced to retire.
Time for the knights! These charged into the faltering Turcoman unit and duly routed it, but even though its die result was 'odd' (as opposed to 'even') it failed to pursue because the Turcomans out paced it. [First rule change - pursuers must move one move of pursuit on an 'odd' melee die result].
From this point on Peter handled his remaining Turcomans well. Whenever they got a double move on a 'march' card they advanced to close range, shot, and then retired to their previous position. But the Frankish foot were tough cookies, and every time they suffered unit integrity loss they managed to turn a 'command' card and successfully rally it back. [We also discovered that against unshielded cavalry the Frankish foot was deadly, especially when shooting during their reactive phase. Next time we play, tonight as it happens, we will not allow reactive shooting versus active shooting; this is a big PK change, but I think the game will be better for it.]
To bring on a general action the whole Frankish force now began to advance. Its knights charged out and got stranded in no mans land surrounded by the enemy. This was a doubly poor move as it allowed the Seljuk Askaris to charge home versus infantry without any support to their rear. The infantry broke leaving a big hole into which the whole of the Turkish cavalry could pour. [It became apparent that a crucial factor had been left out - Cavalry Vs close order spear men in the first round Down 1. It has been added].
It was now 11pm and time for Peter to go home. The game ended. Notes on the rule amendments were hastily scribbled [a few more than has been mentioned], and it was agreed that the armies should be re-set for a second go. I have added the amendments to the rules, and the game has been reset with three extra units - newly painted Turkish infantry.
All in all a profitable evenings play. I can't wait to be the Turk!

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