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  Dorylaeum 1097AD

 

General Briefing 

"The Turks surrounded our men and shot such a great number of arrows that rain or hail never darkened the sky so much, and many of our men and horses were injured. When the first band of Turks had emptied their quivers and shot all their arrows, they withdrew and a second band immediately came from behind where there were yet more Turks... the Turks, seeing our men and horses were severely wounded and in great difficulties, hung their bows instantly on their left arms under their armpits and immediately fell upon them in a very cruel fashion with maces and swords." - William of Tyre 

It is 1097. The Crusaders are on their way to Jerusalem, led by a contingent of Byzantines. The city of Nicaea has fallen and is now in the hands of the Byzantine Emperor Alexius. The next stop on the way to the Holy City is Antioch.

The Seljuk Sultan Kilij Arslan had only begun to realise the seriousness of the situation. He hurriedly patched up a squabble with Danishmend, ruler of the Eastern Turks, and together they are marching west. On the way they have picked up a contingent of Kappadocains under the Emir Hassan. 

Players' Briefings - Saracens 

The Rumi - Sultan Kilij Arslan 

Your Empire is falling apart! First you had to deal with a series of rebellions and then the Romans call in their Frankish mercenaries to invade Anatolia. Your aim is to crush the Franks as thoroughly as possible so that not only does their expedition fail, but also they will never attempt it again. 

The Danishmend - Sultan Melik Ghazi 

Your people have been fighting the Seljuks over possession of Armenia but the arrival of the Franks have caused you to suspend your quarrel and join the Seljuks to defeat the invaders. Your aim is to help the Seljuks defeat the Franks while minimising your own casualties. 

The Kappadocians - Emir Hassan 

You are Emir of the Kappadocians and loyal to Sultan Arslan. You are foremost of the Sultan's men that have followed him to the west to defeat the brutal Frankish mercenaries of the Roman emperor. You are suspicious of the Danishmend, since he has only recently be brought under Seljuk control. You are surprised the Sultan trusts him. 

 
Players' Briefings - Crusaders 

Bohemond of Taranto 

You have great ambitions and want to be given command of the entire Christian army. This means winning the credit for victory. You must not let your rival Raymond steal the show; however, if hard-pressed, you may send for help to the second column, which is behind your forces. You do not like the Greeks any more than the Saracens, but you have a contingent with you, commanded by an eunuch no less! You don't trust them at all. 

Primicerius Tacticius 

You are the great Primicerius, trusted officer of the Roman Emperor Alexius. You have been unfortunate enough to have been tasked to lead this unruly horde of barbarians through Imperial territoey to Jerusalem. Your aim is to get the job over with as quickly and as painlessly as possible and get back to Constantinople. Bohemond is the most dangerous and barbaric of the Celts and you must try to neutralise his authority. Raymond, on the other hand is almost civilised. The Emperor would be very pleased if Bohemond faded quietly into obscurity. You must not sacrifice your troops when the barbarians could do the work. 

Raymond of Sainte-Gilles 

You are the most important and experienced of the Christians. The Pope intends for you to command the Pilgrims and the Papal Legate, Bishop Adhhemar du Puy, supports you in this matter. Unfortunately, the upstart Bohemond of Taranto (he holds no rank as he is lowly-born) also claims overall command. You aim is to become the undisputed leader of the Christians. This means discrediting Bohemond. The Turks must be defeated as a result of significant action by your troops. You roll to arrive on-board 2 turns after Bohemond sends for help; otherwise 4 turns after contact with the Saracens is made.

The Crusader army led by Byzantine forces under the Imperial Eunuch Primerius Tacticius on the road to Antioch.

The castle in the distance would provide a good site to camp for the night.

Approaching the castle, the Crusader column is ambushed by a Saracen force led by the Rum Seljuk Sultan Arslan himself!

The Rumi - ruminating?

Fair haired Franks contemplate their next move.  The Imperial Eunuch is unimpressed by these barbarians!

Watch my Byzantine Light Horse handle these Steppe nomads in Saracen pay.

Osama's horde!  Cry JIHAD!  And let slip the dogs of war!

 

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