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Crusaders & Saracens

For all things involving the Warriors of Faith

Crusaders & Saracens

Postby Sir Tobi » Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:50 pm

I'd like to bring SAGA into the crusding era as soon as possible. With the Crusaders I'll simply use the Norman battleboard but I'll create a hero (Richard the Lionheart - who else) who allows the use of a unit of up to 8 knights templar (one additional attack die, so 3 instead of 2) and also has Williams "the bastard" rule (of course I'll rename it).

For the Saracens I find the Welsh list very suited, because many abilities also fit the Saracen style of fighting. The rules that don't fit are "children of the land", "holy ground", "the rising out" and "war dance", so I'll substitute them with the abilities from the Norman board "Cahrge!", "massed volley", "storm of arrows" and "aimed volley". These abilities cost exactly the same in terms of probability as determined by SAGA dice and therefore should not affect the faction-equilibrium to much. They also give the Saracens the same shooting abilities as the crusaders (in which they definitly were at least as capable). Combined with original Welhs rules such as "taunting" and "hit and run" this should rather well represent the Saracen tactics. The "charge" rule may only be used with mounted units that are not equipped with javelins or bows (see below).

For the Saracens there will be a hero (Saladin), who has the special rules of the Welsh lord Gruffyd ap Llywelyn (which means in effect the substitution of javelins with bows or (for the use of the charge! rule) lances and melee-weapons. Instead of the Scouts rule he will enable the Saracen player to field a warrior unit of naphta-armed shooters. Naphta weapons have the Range S but reduce the targets armour by -1. They can also be used in combination with the "deadly strike" rule for a further reduction of the armour, making it a formidable but short ranged weapon (as it was in reality).

I think this might just work very well and I'll do a test game shortly. What do you think about these ideas?

Best regards,
Tobi
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Re: Crusaders & Saracens

Postby guitarheroandy » Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:55 pm

Generally sound ideas, except the Templars with 3 attacks. That'd possibly unbalance things, as they'd really kick major ass in combat! Maybe limit the unit size to 4 (giving them 12 attacks, same as a unit of 6 ordinary hearthguard...) Other options are to allow them the normal attack dice, but to re-roll any missed attack dice if they charge into the attack on any turn?

Anyway, try it your way and see what happens, but I'd always be wary of bumping up a major stat like combat dice for one faction if its main opponent hasn't got a counter to that...
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Re: Crusaders & Saracens

Postby nosher » Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:28 am

Balancing the templars will be an issue - 8 is probably way too much given that the army is likely to feature lots of knights (not all Military Orders of course!)

I'd also consider making the knights slower in movement scales to give lighter armed cavalry a chance of evasion/bettr manouvreability

Would love to see where this list goes though!
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Re: Crusaders & Saracens

Postby Admin » Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:48 am

Actually I don't see a problem with the 3 attacks templars. Basically, as Richard costs one point, it means that you have "lost" 4 Heathguards to get that upgrade. So instead of say 12 2-attacks knights, you got 8 3-attacks templars. In the end, the same number of attacks and if they lose one model, they lose 3 attacks and not two.

The main thing to look at with the Heroes of the Viking (Crusade?) Age is that they cost one point. So the balance is between w-the special rules they provide and either 4 Heathguards, 8 Warriors or 12 Levies. In the end, the question "Do I take a Hero" shouldn't be obvious as it would mean that Hero is unbalanced.
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Re: Crusaders & Saracens

Postby janner » Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:01 pm

Some great ideas there.

Given that Saga are skirmish rules, naphtha may be out of scope - at least I've not come across naphtha troops in any primary source accounts of battles or skirmishes during the Third Crusade. I may have missed something of course. The cavalry would benefit from tip and run, with the option for lightly protected horse archers and the more heavily armoured Mamluks, Syrian horse etc. (but also normally bow armed)

I think that MOs deserve their own list, with characters (such as Richard de Sablé), serjeants and turcopoles as well as the brother knights. Ambroise and the Itinerarium have them operating as separate military formations and running their own patrols. Although lay conroi had to come to their assistance on the odd occasion, I've not come across mixed patrols, but only attached liaison officers, such as Baldwin of Carron.

Richard can then add a special ability to his own list. One that he is documented to have introduced at Jaffa: the use of archers (probably crossbowmen) popping up and loosing between two men with long shields,before dropping behind them to reload.

I would warn about mixing and matching abilities based on the scores. I understand that a great deal of work has gone into the balance of abilities on each board. Swapping will need very careful play testing to avoid irregular combinations.

Regards,
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Re: Crusaders & Saracens

Postby Admin » Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:58 pm

Good comments Janner.

Based on the fact that we did not hesitate for a second to put the berserkers in Saga ('cause it was fun) I would be disappointed not to be able to burn to death the Crusaders with primitive fire throwers. 'Cause it's fun!
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Re: Crusaders & Saracens

Postby guitarheroandy » Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:35 pm

[quote="Admin"]Actually I don't see a problem with the 3 attacks templars. Basically, as Richard costs one point, it means that you have "lost" 4 Heathguards to get that upgrade. So instead of say 12 2-attacks knights, you got 8 3-attacks templars. In the end, the same number of attacks and if they lose one model, they lose 3 attacks and not two.
[quote]


Aah yes...of course... Hadn't thought of that...
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Re: Crusaders & Saracens

Postby Sir Tobi » Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:24 pm

Many thanks for your kind comments. I'm aware that this list is dominated by a rather obvious approach of history-bending in order to please a wargamer who want to put all his Perry-toys on the table. Here I wholeheartedly agree with our esteemed Admin - "because it's fun".

Concerning Richards Bow(X) - tactics (expressed in DBM-terms) I actually thought about it, but I don't know what it will do to the balance, as the templars are already an important special rule. I'll do some tests with this variants and keep you posted - of course with some nice pictures.
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Re: Crusaders & Saracens

Postby janner » Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:37 pm

My point was more that Richard I had his own, very professional, troops and didn't fight at this level alongside MO knights.

So if we went down the route of Crusader lists you should need a (potentially named) Master to get the brother knights whilst Richard would bring other toys to the party, Barbarosa his Reich ritters and Phillip II a fast boat to Paris :lol:
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Re: Crusaders & Saracens

Postby Sir Tobi » Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:29 pm

I have prepared two opposing forces and built some scenery in order to test the proposed rule-modifications. You can see pictures of the figures and scenery here: http://paintpot.ulmer-strategen.de/

Image

Best regards,
Tobi
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