Monday 8 September 2014

Tarawera Weekend - Day 2 Thursday 4 September

After a hearty breakfast we made our way to the garage for the next game, this time set during the Crusades.

The game was split into two parts; one in the morning, the other in the afternoon, around a central theme - a Crusader siege of a Saracen castle. 

The morning game was based around an attempt by the Saracens to relive the siege and was set in fairly open desert terrain some distance from the castle. The Saracens had three wings, one (forming their left wing) comprising of primarily light troops, a second (in the centre) made up of medium cavalry and infantry and the third (on the right) a mixed force. Opposing them was a powerful Crusader force of four units of knights, two of sergeants, some heavy infantry, crossbowmen and archers. The Crusaders were also divided into three battles.

The battle commenced with two flank wings of the Saracens attempting to envelop the Crusaders. The Crusaders needed to do little more than hold the line, let the Saracens take all the risks. The Saracens obliged and on the left moved to make the first contact. Their light cavalry skirmished with the Knights of St John, drawing them forward until they charged. The horse archers, evaded and shot down several of the knights. Over the next couple of turns the Knights were drawn into a trap where they were slowly destroyed, as were other units of the Crusader right. But the action here was draining for both sides and the two wings eventually came to a standstill. 

The battle line from the Crusader side.

On the Crusader left the Saracen advance was soon halted and the Crusaders pushed hard against them. The Saracens struck back with a concerted attack, but were halted and driven back.

The charge of the knights in the Crusader's centre

In the centre the Crusaders slowly pressed forward until finally they were able to charge. The Saracens, badly mauled finally collapsed and were driven off, ending this attempt to raise the siege.

The second, the afternoon, game was the assault of Crusaders against the castle. The players were reversed so that I, who played Crusaders in the morning, now played Saracens. 

The Saracens wait inside the castle walls.

The Crusaders were equipped with a ram, a siege tower and a number of catapults. Against one wall they hurled rocks from the catapults, while at the same time a path was made for the ram and the tower. The tower reached the wall first, the ramp was lowered and the first assaulting party stormed onto the walls.

The first Crusaders make it onto the walls

At almost the same time the catapults made a breach, while on the other wall the Crusaders mounted the wall on their scaling ladders.

The wall is breached

Finally the wall was shattered by the ram. The Saracens fought valiantly but could were overwhelmed and the casle fell.

The ram finally breaks through

Meanwhile at the other end of the table another Saracen force arrived and attempted too raise the siege, but was easily driven off. 

The relief force fails to break through.

The game over we returned to the house for drinks and snacks while the next game was set up. After a breifing for the next game, dinner and DVDs followed.

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