Wednesday, 7 March 2012

XI. Second battle of Damascus - The byzantines continue their onslaught deep in the middle-east

Long retreat for the egyptians back to arab territories in order to replenish their army fully (Creta was conceded by Saladin) and Damascus is where the war is joined anew. Palaiologos followed with a full army and the odds are even (no pun intended :)

On the wind-swept dunes of damascus, men prepare to kill or be killed. Saladin deploys in a long line of horsemen and some light infantry on the left. Across the desert, the byzantine double-headed eagle is waving proudly.

Palaiologos mixes his troops and arrays his cavalry all across the front, with varangians and light troops on the right, and skutatoi with some light horse on the left.

Both generals are confident and it seems this is going to be a close one. Saladin splits his troops in three main groups and moves forward in the open plain.

The greek general sends his seljuks and varangians on the dunes to take over on the right. At the same time, his army's main body marches forward in the center.

The arab war-horns sound the attack and the deployed egyptian line charges forward! The iraqi bows in the center look a weak link, endangering Saladin's plan. 

Indeed, the skutatoi make short work of the iraqis and they open a wide gap in the egyptian center. The rest of the line fights it out with bravery.

On the byzantine right, pachenegs are shot down, leaving Palaiologos exposed.

On the left the byzantines start picking off arab units. The berber light horsemen are cut down by cumans and things look grim for Saladin.

Critical kill! The ghulam cavalry is routed by kavallarioi and the egyptian center is no more. Palaiologos is preparing to celebrate another victory in his enemy's lands.

The pechenegs complete the triumph on the far left. Another berber horse is down and the battle is almost done.

Seconds before the egyptians break, Saladin gazes upon his opponent and knows he is defeated. Palaiologos salutes his enemy and sends his troops to chase down the routing arabs.

RUN! The desert saw enough blood for the day. The egyptians retreat and the greeks give chase. A grim day for the ayyubids.

Disgraced by the greek general, Saladin rushes back to camp to grab his wives and flee. The byzantine empire has expanded beyond any expectation.

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