1st Crusade - Seljuk war    
  1st Ramla, 7 September 1101   1 unit = 120 HI, 40 LI or LH, 80 LMI , 60 Cav
     
 

Background:
The town of Ramla lay on the road from Jerusalem to Ascalon, the latter of which was the largest Fatimid fortress in Palestine, and which the Crusaders had failed to secure after their victory over the Fatimids in 1099, for which Raymond of Toulouse was blamed (Both he and Godfrey of Bouillon had claimed the city and their quarrel prompted the Fatimid garrison not to surrender). From Ascalon the Fatimid vizier, Al-Afdal Shahanshah, launched almost annual attacks into the newly founded Crusader kingdom of Jerusalem from 1099 to 1107. The two armies would meet for 3 such battles at Ramla. At the first battle the Egyptians were led by Saad el-Dawleh, while the Crusaders were under the command of King Baldwin I, who had only 260 cavalry and 900 foot soldiers. He arrayed his force in six divisions to face an Egyptian force about 10,000 strong. The first two divisions were wiped out in the initial attack but when the third division was pursued after being routed by the Egyptians, Baldwin ordered a counter-attack. In vicious close-quarter combat, the Crusaders repulsed the Egyptian forces, who retreated in panic.

Game note:
It has always been convenient for a victor to exagerate an opponent's strength, either to embellish the achievement of his victory or to excuse the embarrassment of his defeat. In the absence of reliable figures for the Fatimid army, and in the interest of a game with a plausible historical outcome, I've taken the liberty of reducing their strength to 2500 (a factor of 4!)

Terrain:
An broad valley with open hills on either side, a road running down the middle of it. Crusaders arrive from the east, Fatimids from the west.

Aftermath:
The battle did not stop the Fatimid attacks and a second battle of Ramla was fought in 1102, where Baldwin made the error of over-confidently outmarching his infantry to charge the Fatimids with his knights only, causing the loss of most of them.

 
     
 
CRUSADER ARMY Crusader - list 186
Command: +3 Army demoralisation value: 20
  Command 1         command strength 9
CinC King Baldwin included competent  +1 CP Range: 6UD      
units Troop description type Quality move strength Range M ft M mtd Abilities & notes
4 260 Knights and sergeants* Med KN Elite 4UD 5   3 4  +1 impact; armour; impetuous; furious charge
       can dismount as spearmen HI spear Elite 2UD 5   4 5 armour
 
  Command 2         command strength 5
Sub commander included competent  +1 CP Range: 6UD      
units Troop description type Quality move strength Range M ft M mtd Abilities & notes
2 240 spearmen MI spear Ordinary 2UD 5   4 5 no armour
2 160 crossbowmen LMI crossbow Ordinary 3UD 3 3UD 2 3 no armour
  Command 3         command strength 6
Sub commander included competent  +1 CP Range: 6UD      
units Troop description type Quality move strength Range M ft M mtd Abilities & notes
3 360 spearmen MI spear Ordinary 2UD 5   4 5 no armour
2 160 crossbowmen LMI crossbow Ordinary 3UD 3 3UD 2 3 no armour
 
     
 
FATIMID EGYPTIAN ARMY Fatimid Egyptian - list 194
Command: +3 Army demoralisation value: 30,5
  Command 1         command strength 11
CinC Saad el-Dawleh detached competent  +1 CP Range: 6UD      
units Troop description type Quality move strength Range M ft M mtd Abilities & notes
1 80 Mamluks* HC bow Elite 4UD 5 2UD 3 3  +1 impact; armour
5 300 Berber lancers ** MC lance Ordinary 4UD 4   3 3  +1 impact; no armour; evade
3 180 Bedouin cavalry ** MC lance Ordinary 4UD 4   3 3  +1 impact; no armour; evade
** scenario rule: despite having impact, Berber and Bedu MC can still evade
  Command 2         command strength 9
sub commander detached competent  +1 CP Range: 6UD      
units Troop description type Quality move strength Range M ft M mtd Abilities & notes
8 960 Sudanese Abd-al-Shira spear and bowmen MI mixed Ordinary 2UD 4 4UD 4 4 Shoot as ordinary; melee as mediocre; +1 melee on contact; no armour
  Command 3         command strength 10,5
sub Berber commander detached competent  +1 CP Range: 6UD      
units Troop description type Quality move strength Range M ft M mtd Abilities & notes
4 480 Berber infantry* MI Ordinary 2UD 5   4 5 no armour
3 120 Berber archers LI Bow Ordinary 3UD 2 2UD 2 2  -1 fire; evade
2 240 Sarairaya HI Ordinary 2UD 5   4 5 armour
2 160 archers LMI bow Ordinary 3UD 3 4UD 2 3 unarmoured
 
 
 
Download scenario here