Monday, February 21, 2011

Crusades Project - Background

I have a lot of work to do on my 15mm Crusades armies. Re-basing figures, painting buildings, working on "brown world" desert terrain, buying some additional figures and other tasks that I am sure haven't even occurred to me yet. At the same time, the other main objective of this project is to help Chris with Day of Battle 4. I am afraid that if I get too bogged down in all the miniatures related tasks, I'll never get around to playing anything. So this is my plan...

I will create a new character to build the campaign around (and let's hope I can keep him alive for a little while!). I will do the pre-game prep for the first battle, up to the point of army creation. Once I see what I need for that battle, I will re-base the figures needed (but only what is immediately needed), fight the battle, and so on. This should force me into a nice mix of background tasks and actually playing.

Our Story Begins
We'll follow the exploits of Reynaud, a lesser son of a minor French noble who has come to the holy lands in the wake of the First Crusade to find fame and fortune. Or at least fortune. It is the middle part of the 12th century, let's say 1148. Reynaud has some experience in battle from his days in France, and has been granted lordship of a small fief in the northern part of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. His holdings are modest, but more than he could have dreamed of back home. The town of Aarma, and its tiny little castle are his home, and he has feudal authority over the nearby villages of Dafna, Ghajar, and Baj al Malouk. The people of his fiefdom are a combination of Frankish settlers and locals, who he has treated well and are for the most part loyal to him.

His first couple of years have been mainly consumed with settling the area better and winning over the locals, but this inland area is in a historically contested area near the Syrian border, and things seem to be flaring up... There are raiding Syrians, roving bands of bandits, unfriendly "friendly" neighbors wanting more influence in the area, and all sorts of other potential enemies.

The Games
Chris has been kind enough to throw together drafts of the army lists from his On Holy Ground supplement for my use in this project. As I intend the character to be a Frankish settler between major Crusades (I and III primarily), depending on the circumstance I will be using the Domain lists for Early Crusaders, Syrians, and a homemade blended list for "Early Frankish Settlers". I want Reynaud's core Domain list to be the kind of amalgamation of western and local troop types that such a holding would have had access to. And it also gives me the opportunity to mix in Byzantine mercenaries and pretty much anything else that strikes my fancy. Once I draft this "Frankish Settlers" list I will post it here and forward it to Chris for his review and input.

Now on to Game 1...

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