Harran by ER Bickford

Harran

Crusader Kingdoms of Antioch/Edessa

May 7, 1104 AD

Baldwin II of Edessa and Joscelin of Turbessel have their forces set up on the Crusaders’ right flank. Baldwin is in command of the Edessan knights and Joscelin has the Edessan pike infantry.

Behind the hill on the left flank, we find Bohemond of Taranto and Tancred of Taranto with Sicilian Norman knights and pike infantry of the Antioch Army. We will see how these two formations these hold up against the Turkish Army.

The Turkish army is lead by Soqman the Artukid of Diyar-Bakr and Aleppo. This army largely consists of Turcoman light cavalry, supported by Syrian and Cappodocian medium cavalry and Danishmend light cavalry. It purports to be an interesting battle.

The Turks begin the activation. Soqman starts things by advancing with the Turcoman light cavalry archers. These cross over the Balikh stream, but still remain out of range of the enemy forces.

Baldwin II responds by ordering his Edessan knights to charge into the archers. The knights experience reaction fire and one formation is eliminated. The rest are disordered so they will not get to charge. The Turcoman cavalry all retreat before shock and some are left disordered as a result. The Edessan knights advance. Joscelin obtains a continuation and maneuvers forward. His Edessan archers fire at the Turcoman cavalry and managed to disorder them. Also, the Edessan crossbows advance and do the same. The return fire has no effect. The pike infantry advances and the good order Turcoman cavalry retreat before combat. A disordered cavalry formation is forced to retire after being shock attacked by Edessan pike.

Soqman activates the Turcoman cavalry again. These ride forward and wreak havoc on the disordered Edessan knights. Some are eliminated and others are forced to retreat. The Turcoman cavalry simply ride away after firing their arrows. The Crusaders’ flight level is already up to 11 points.

Joscelin activates his Edessan foot units. The pike advance into contact with the Turcoman archers along the stream bed. These units are disordered. Their reaction fire is ineffective and the Edessan pike infantry manages to eliminate two of the cavalry formations. Baldwin II fails his continuation roll. The Turks have 5 flight points now.

Soqman resumes his dash toward the disordered Edessan knights. Another is eliminated and a pike infantry unit is forced to retire. The rest of the hit and run attacks move the Edessan forces backwards. The Crusaders flight level is now at 14 points. The Turkish continuation fails to materialize.

Joscelin activates and maneuvers his Edessan pike units into contact with a formation of Turcoman cavalry. These are disordered. The two pike units attack and eliminate the cavalry. This raises the Turks flight level to 8 points. Baldwin II obtains a continuation which allows him to rally some of the Edessan knights. The Crusaders fail to continue.

Then Soqman orders his archers to resume the attacks against Baldwin’s Edessan army. The cavalry hits the Edessan crossbows on the right and these retire. An Edessan pike formation also retires and another one is eliminated. The Turcoman cavalry attacks cause another Edessan knight unit to retreat and they eliminate another Edessan men-at-arms force. The Crusaders flight level has risen to 20 points.

Then Qaradja of Harran activates the Syrian medium cavalry. These units ride across the Balikh Stream. They are still out of contact with the enemy, but will likely divert the Crusaders’ attention.

The Crusaders activate Baldwin’s standards. This rallies 5 retired units which drops the Crusader flight level back down to 15 points. (The flight level is 30 so things were beginning to get near the die roll range.) The Crusaders attempt to bring their right wing into play, but Bohemund fails his activation roll. Apparently the Antioch Army is remaining cautious.

Soqman continues to attack the Crusaders’ Army of Edessa. The hit and run tactics of the Turcoman cavalry effectively destroy another Edessan knight formation. The Edessan army is forced backwards and the Crusaders flight level climbs again.

Then Qaradja of Harran obtains a continuation with the Syrian medium cavalry. These ride forth into the right flank of the Edessan Army. The Edessan archers attempt reaction fire to no effect. An Edessan pike formation is shock attacked in the flank and it becomes disordered. Then the archers in the center are destroyed by a two pronged shock by the Syrian medium cavalry. Another pike formation is eliminated and somehow, Joscelin survives this disaster. The Crusaders Flight points now stand at 25 points.

Soqman obtains a continuation and proceeds to strike the Edessan Army further. The Turcoman archers resume their attack on the disordered knights. Another is eliminated. Then Baldwin II’s last Edessan knight formation is hit with archery fire and it too is eliminated. Baldwin II survives and he flees the battlefield! By the time that the Turcoman cavalry are done, the Crusaders flight level is at 35 points. Using the free activation to rally retired units is not even enough to prevent immediate flight. The Edessan Army flees! Upon seeing this, the Antioch Army also flees! The Turks win.

2 thoughts on “Harran by ER Bickford

    • like it a lot. simpler than GBoH. ALmost as much flavor. Ideal command structure for the Era. I’ve played several scenarios and owe this title more time!

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