Had the gang over for wargaming on Saturday (Mark, Patch and Jason). We decided to go for a four-player game of Onward Christian Soldiers (1st Crusade), the three of us having enjoyed our previous experience, and wanted to try it with an extra player.

Jason, as the new person to the game, got the Northern Franks and the Sicilian Normans. I got the Southern Franks and Germans. Patch took the Mosul Turks and Mark had the Syrians.

It’s been very interesting. Jason got out of Anatolia as fast as he could, and headed for the area near Antioch. Some issues with what it takes to unite two armies under one command kept him from being able to start a siege. However, he proved adept at the assault rolls, and managed to take Antioch late in our session (about the 5th turn) for fairly minimal losses without ever starting a siege. He’s also established a few bases along the coast.

I hung around and took Lampron and Tarsus to base out of (Tarsus surrendered in return for me letting the troops go). Some poor activation chit draws really slowed me down. The Germans have since turned east with the idea of starting a County of Edessa. However, Kerbogha showed up at the earliest possible time, and that has kept the Germans busy. Baldwin just took Aleppo, so there is now a Christian base in the area. Kerbogha immediately marched north to engage Godfrey. A tense battle ended up with an unpredictable result that lost Kerboha a fifth of his army. He maneuvered around Godfrey, picked up reinforcements, and a second battle saw both sides get good formations again, and another Christian win (though a narrower one). At the prospect of a third battle, my nerve finally broke, and Godfrey retreated and hasn’t managed to move since.

The South Franks got a slow start, but have worked their way down to Syria, while Mark has managed to get a good number of troops in the area to block the Crusaders with. Mark has also been recruiting like mad in Damascus, but has largely gotten ‘1’s so far, leaving him far short of the manpower he’d like to have. Also, he’s lost two of the North Syrian leaders to successful assaults on the cities they were holed up in. Either someone is going to start moving south towards Jerusalem soon, or there’s likely to be a number of sieges where the Crusaders try to eliminate entire armies by holing them up in cities and assaulting them. Adhemar has already tried moving south, but ran into serious trouble and is now down to about 5 ASPs, after several battles.

Next time, we will (hopefully) finish off the game. It’s a messy situation, and a couple bad defeats could swing things.

During the game Jareth called with a problem: He’d just gotten a Blu-ray player and needed people to help test that it was working properly. ^_^ So, me, Smudge and Baron headed over that evening. Baron fixed a spaghetti dinner for everyone, and we watched a collection of Pixar shorts (Blu-ray) and introduced Jeremy to Giant Robo (DVD). And just talked a bunch.

A fun, fun day.