Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Last Battle of Antioch (Wargames Illustrated)

I wrote a scenario for the crusader's breakout from Antioch (June 1098). After taking the city after a long, cruel winter, the crusaders found themselves trapped within the walls shortly after their moment of triumph. Surrounded by a larger army and with little to sustain them in the way of depleted food stores, the Franks decided to make a last ditch effort against the enemy hordes. Fortunately, they had excellent tactical leadership with Bohemund of Taranto and Robert of Normandy, religious fervor spurred by the discovery of Christ's Lance, and a reluctant alliance as their opponent. They actually won the battle against the overwhelming numbers of foes  who for the most part, don't seem to have fought - the ones that did were challenge enough, though.

This was a cool game scenario to design because it does away with the typical mounted crusader image. Many of the knights engaged in this battle without horses because they had lost so many during the hard siege. Bohemund commands most of the cavalry in his reserve formation, punching at the enemy as needed. 

This article was originally written as part of the 'Introduction to the First Crusade' article, but instead lives on the Wargames Illustrated website (and a pdf) here.

The photograph is taken from the online article page. I really love the Perry Brothers' work and Dan F's eye for pics.

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