Thursday, 23 January 2014

Bloodshed Beyond the Walls of Acre. SoW AAR Pt 3.

Right then first off a small disclaimer, this game was played over an evening and an afternoon. Photos where taken during and some afterwards so if some photos show units not quite  where the narrative puts them that's why. Also there is more detail and rules within the game than Ive comment on, but if every rule etc was explained as it was used I think the AAR would go on to long. Hopefully the write up will give enough information to make people want to go out and give these rules a go.If there are any mistakes during game play these are my own. a
Note: it is picture heavy, give em a click to make em bigger and normal playing time I'd say would be about 1-2 hours.

Brief Background.
After many months of campaigning the Mamluks head towards Acre to drive out the Crusaders from the holyland forever.

 5th April , Sultan Khali establishes his HQ on the eastern side of Acre and the Mamluk army moves into its siege positions.

6th April , The Mamluk siege of Acre officially begins

11th April. Mamluk siege engines start bombarding Acre.

15th-16th, 18-19 April. Sorties are made by the Defenders of Acre to keep the Mamluks at bay.
This Battle report will hopefully reenact one of those sorties...sort of, the real sorties where made at night against the Mamluk camp and siege lines.

Terrain was set and both armies deployed (as per photo). 

The Crusaders got first turn, All units passed discipline tests and steadily moved forward, in SoW all units roll a discipline dice at the start of their turn to ensure they don't do anything Rash and to see what type of move can be made, Simple or Strategic. The Crossbowmen only moved at half rate which allowed them to shoot at a unit of Mamluk Spear causing no wounds.In SoW each stand in the shooting unit rolls the relevant die type for that unit, once rolled all dice scoring 1's are removed.Then the defending player rolls the number of relevant amour dice equal to the hits taken.  Each set of dice are then compared high against low ie: att rolls 5,2,4, and def rolls 6,1,3. so 6 cancels 5, 3 cancels 2  and 4 beats 1 thus one hit scored. (hope that made sense and is right)

The Mamluk noble bellowed his orders to hold  fire with the Trebuchets and keep the Siege towers where they are(I only put them on the table for a bit of eye candy, they play no part in the game).All Mamluk units also passed Discipline tests and set off to meet the Crusaders toe to toe.The Archers opened fire on a unit of Crusader spear but no wounds caused. 

Next turn the unit of Hospitaller Knights on the far flank failed  the discipline test and rashly headed straight for the nearest visible enemy unit. The crossbow also fail and act rashly shooting at the nearest Mamluk unit and caused a wound(result!!) The rest of the army continues its advance.

The Mamluks pass all test but decide to hold the line,even if you don't want to do anything all units must still take Discipline tests.
The archers shoot at a crusader spear unit causing one wound. 

This turn all Crusader units behave and the Hospitaller knights on the far flank decide to charge the Mamluk spear unit.The unit of Knights on the other flank charge a unit of Mamluk light Cavlary risking opening themselves up to being charge in the flank  by a unit of spear during the Mamluks turn.

The Crossbowmen seeing the danger opened fire on the spear unit causing a wound and making the unit lose a stand all stands in SoW have two wounds, thus because the unit took a hit last turn a stand had to be removed, but the spear hold their ground(bugger). In a bloody melee the Hospitaller knights on the far flank pile into the Mamluk spear,but only make one hit as the Mamluuks hold strong, but being unable to gather any strength the spearmen  fail to hit back and lose combat. They take a morale check,  and on hearing their mighty lord in the distance, they pass the test. The knights on the other flank attack the lightly armoured Mamluk horsemen but roll very badly and only cause two wounds removing a base. No hits made back, but again the Mamluks hold their ground.Combat in SoW is carried out like shooting were in the attacker rolls the relevant  die type and the defender rolls his relevant defence dice, then defenders attack back and the original attacker rolling defence dice then results are compared and losing side takes morale check.

The Mamluk army pushes forward the Heavy Cavalry charging the centre of the Crusader line ploughing into the nervous looking spear,The Mamluk spear on the left flank charge the Crusader knights that are involved in the combat with the light Cavalry, Archers shoot at  the crossbow unit  causing no hits.In combat the crusader spear in  the centre lost combat  and broke with the Mamluk heavy cavalry on their heels, the crusader knight on the left flank were mauled by the units of spear and light cavalry  they also turned on their heels and ran. The only sign of  hope was the unit of knights on the far flank who beat and broke the Mamluk spear riding them down.

The knights on the left flank rallied and turned to face the pursing Light horse and  spearmen.
The Crusader spear in the centre also found courage and and fought on against the pursuing Mamluk Heavy cavalry, but fell doing so. On the far side of the battle field the knights Hospitaler made their way back toward the action.
In their turn the Mamluk spear charged the crossbowmen and the light cavalry carried out a Feight charge on the knights, as the light cavalry wheeled their horses away at speed the knights fail a morale test and pursue the lightly armoured mamluks and in doing so put themselves in the open to be shot at by the Mamluk archers who are in the middle of the field which causes two wounds. In the combat between the crossbow men and the Mamluk spear it takes two turns but the crossbowmen fall. 

In the last turn of the game the Mamluk heavy cavalry and the remaining Spear charge into the last full unit of Crusader Intfantry and after some prolong fighting the crusaders take flight and the Mamluk noble orders the bombardment of Acre to continue, then the Siege towers start to advance and as it was in history the Mamluks take back Acre. 

So with more than a little artistic licence ie: different city, different year and not the same chap, but I thought it fitted in :-)

Now what do I think of Seasons of War? Well I like it ,a lot.Yes, the above battle was fought on a 2' x 2' with very basic armies but even at this base level it plays great, yep there were rules we missed etc ( I forgot my heavy cav had Bows!!) and I may have played some rules incorrectly whilst in the middle of taking notes and photos etc. 
The only thing that did stand out I think the range of missile troops is a bit too much on such a small battlefield, but the game played on a 4' x 4' as the author recommends this wouldn't be a problem. Give it a go I think it will be one that you'll want to play again and again, Well there you have it a brief overview and just my 2p's worth,


  1. Very good AAR and insight of the game Jason!

    Range for the shooters? How long was to long on the smal gaming table?

    Any thougts about the command and control, the role of the leaders?

    Do you think they are Usable for My 28mm? 15th century?

    Best regards Michael

    1. Hi Michael,
      Range for shooters 18" so great for 4x4 but a bit much for 2x2.
      Possably okay for 28mm with some tweeking fo bases sizes etc.


    2. Got them...your fault ;)

      noticed that the bases used was 40mm so thats perfect for my medieval 28mm as they have 40mm bases:)

      18" range for shooting are quite ok when gaming with 28mm on a 4x6 table.

      Will try them out for my Kalmar Union War game...

      best regards Michael

  2. Great looking game and sounds interesting. How does it compare to Impetus?


    1. Hi Christopher,
      Thanks, oh tough question Impetus along with WMA my favourite system but to be honest I think this set will give them both a run for their money:-)


    2. Ok, thanks I'll keep that in mind.


  3. Cool looking siege game - never heard of these rules - sounds like they worked well though. 2X2 foot board? I thought it would be larger with all the cool looking terrain and figs. Dean

  4. Hi Dean,
    Yep, Gave it a try on a small board and it played good so on a 4x4 should be great.

  5. Hi Jason great looking game, figures and terrain look great. Left you a message over at pendraken Drop me a line.

    1. Hello Sean,
      Pendraken message sent

  6. Hi Jason,
    Great game and very impressive figs !
    Actually, I'm looking for saracens banners and yours are simply amazing : could you please tell where did U get them ?

    1. Hello Clement,

      Thanks for the comments,
      The banners are From 'Little Big Man studios'


  7. Thanks Jason.
    I love you work : incredibly inspiring !