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Trial by Battle: Battle of Hattin 1187

A new scenario for Trial by Battle.

You can download this as a PDF as well: Battle of Hattin 1187

Battle of Hattin, 1187

The Battle of Hattin was one of the most significant battles between the Crusader states and the Ayyubids attempting to retake their lands. The defeat of the Crusader army at Hattin lead to the loss of Jerusalem and nearly all the of the Crusader-held cities except Tyre. The Third Crusade was launched as a direct result of the losses resulting from the battle.

The Ayyubid army led by Saladin had launched an invasion of the Crusader states following the breaking of the truce by Raynald of Châtillon. Saladin laid siege to Tiberias on the western shore of the Sea of Gallilee. Tiberias belonged to Raymond III of Tripoli and his wife, Eschiva, was trapped within. Despite this he tried to dissuade Guy de Lusignan, the King of Jerusalem, from attempting to lift the siege, fearing the strength of the Ayyubid army. But Guy took other advice and marched the full strength of the Kingdom’s army out to intercept Saladin. The Crusaders left the springs of La Sophorie and marched towards Tiberias. But they were constantly harassed by Ayyubid horse archers which delayed their advance until they found themselves desperately short of water. They changed their direction of march in search of springs to the north of Tiberias. Saladin’s army closed in for the kill. Horse archers harassed the army from the flanks. In the historical battle this caused the infantry flanking the knights to flee to the high ground of the Horns of Hattin for protection, where they were picked off at the leisure of the Ayyubids. The knights tried to force their way through the Ayyubid forces standing in the way of their path to the springs. Repeated charges largely failed, except for one contingent led by Raymond III. Eventually the King was forced to surrender to Saladin.

Objectives

The Crusader army are desperate to get to a supply of water, but Saladin’s army are standing in the way. The Crusaders must attempt to get at least half their army off the board to the East. Saladin’s Ayyubid army must stop them.

Forces

Crusaders

2 Mounted Knights

2 Infantry (4 Stamina only)

2 Archers (4 Stamina only)

Ayyubids

4 Light Cavalry

2 Infantry

1 Mounted Knights

Battlefield

The battlefield for this scenario is fairly flat except for the main feature which is the high ground where the extinct volcano known as the Horns of Hattin was located. This can be represented simply by a large hill taking up part of the southern third of the battlefield, or a couple of peaks can be added as well.

Battle of Hattin scenario map

Deployment

See map for deployment. Only the Ayyubid Mounted Knights and Infantry start deployed on the table. The Crusaders enter from the Western table edge in the formation shown. Ayyubid Horse Archers enter from the flanks as shown on their first turn.

First Turn

The Crusaders take the first turn.

Special Rules

The Crusader Infantry and Archers are particularly vulnerable to the Light Cavalry horse archers deployed by the Ayyubids. Historically most of them fled to slopes of the Horns of Hattin (an extinct volcano whose crater formed the distinctive double horned landscape). To represent this the Crusader Infantry and Archers must take a Unit Courage Test once they take four hits. If this test is failed, then they must move to the raised ground of the Horns of Hattin when next possible to do so. If the test is passed, then they will make a test whenever they take more hits. After the first failure they move to the Horns. If they fail a second test they break. They may fight and shoot as normal, but once on the high ground area they may not leave it for the rest of the game unless the Crusader General goes to rally them.

Duration of the Battle

Until one or both armies fail an Army Courage Test or until the Crusaders exit three units from the Eastern table edge.

Victory Conditions

An army wins when the opposing army fails an Army Courage Test and they do not. If both armies fail an Army Courage Test the battle is a draw.

The Crusaders can also win by exiting three units from the Eastern table edge.

Download as PDF: Battle of Hattin 1187.