Game Title: Arsuf: Lionheart vs. Saladin Game Released: July 2012
Decision Games, PO Box 21598, Bakersfield, CA 93390
Decision Games hereby grants permission for its customers to download and/or print copies of this file for their personal use.
After recapturing the port of Acre in 1191 from Saladin’s Moslem garrison, Richard the Lionheart led the army of the Third Crusade southward along the Levantine coast. His eventual goal was to establish a base from which he could supply an offensive to recapture Jerusalem. Richard to adopt a strict march discipline to prevent a repeat of Saladin’s destruction of another Crusader army at Hattin in 1187. There, Saladin had lured a Crusader army into a waterless waste. The Crusaders became strung out as horses outstripped the exhausted infantry. Saladin then destroyed the column piecemeal.
To prevent a recurrence, Richard marched along he coast, with a well-stocked fleet just offshore. The Crusaders avoided the heat of the day by marching only in the morning. The Crusaders maintained a tight formation, with lines of infantry and cavalry protecting the baggage trains. Moslem raids made no effect.
Finally, Saladin sensed an opportunity just north of Jaffa, where the Crusaders had to cross a river. Hoping the crossing would disrupt the formation and make it vulnerable, Saladin deployed his entire army on the plain between the river and the city of Jaffa. As Richard’s army emerged onto the plain, the Moslems swept forward. The ensuing battle was a contest of Moslem mobility against Crusader discipline, of lightly-armed archers against heavily armored men-at-arms. Richard emerged victorious when he turned a momentary counterattack into a general charge, but it could have gone the other way.