Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Battle of Dorylaeum, 1 July 1097

I wrote this article and scenario as part of Wargames Illustrated's recent First Crusade theme issue.  

The battle of Dorylaeum took place in the river valley hinterland of Anatolia (Turkey), where the large vanguard of the crusader army found itself caught in a large ambush shortly after its initial successes against the Seljuk Turks at Nicaea. Their Turkish foes caught them at a valley junction and the Frankish warriors and pilgrims hurriedly set up a defensive position at the edge of a marsh. They withstood repeated charges and volleys of arrows and javelins from morning to afternoon, when the rearguard arrived to rebuff and outflank the persistent enemy horsemen.

As a game scenario I approached this engagement in two phases. Just like the real event, if the desperate vanguard survives the initial onslaught, the game continues to the next phase, when help decisively arrives. Both players get a chance to pour it on a disadvantaged opponent.

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