Friday, February 12, 2010

Siege of Jerusalem 1099

Of course, Wargames Illustrated's First Crusade theme issue wasn't all about me. As I stated in the initial post of this week of blogs, a lot of people came together for this project.

Author Neil Smith handled an in-depth review of the crusaders' hurried campaign against the Holy City and the factional problems in leadership that hindered them from moving against their objective for almost a year after they captured Antioch (and withstood its attempted recapture). Their unbelievably successful lightning march in the spring of 1099 put them deep within enemy territory. A well-timed delivery of wood and craftsmen at the port of Jaffa enabled them to erect massive siege towers with which they finally took the city. The battles for Jerusalem's walls were pretty incredible, the resulting massacre of its citizens unbelievable.

Neil wrote a very cool game scenario for the gauntlet that was the crusader's mission to Jaffa. He captures the Franks' divided command structure and agendas for personal glory quite well as they try to escort the crucial cargo of siege supplies back to Jerusalem.

The article features a photograph of a scale model siege tower. The very excellent modeler-supreme Paul Davies constructed this marvel and the issue features a how-to article for building one yourself.

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