And so the battle began....
The Saracens pushed their scouts across the river towards the hill. Knowing that coming within 12" of the Antiochenes just beyond the crest would activate them, the scouts were happy to stop at the bottom.
This photo shows a slight change to the shape and position of the river on the Saracen left flank - I've pulled it back a bit to slow the scout's advance.
The main bulk of Turcoman horse skirmished with the Edessans using 'advance, fire and retire' tactics, effectively firing at closer range whilst the enemy shoots at longer range.
In Ager Sanguinis the movement isn't actually performed because the cavalry must always end up where it started if it wishes to gain this tactical advantage. Shooting otherwise stops further movement on the sequence card - advance, fire and stop.
Then the Saracen turned his first Stratagem card and the Eddessans were put into uncontrolled advance. The Crusaders immediately turned a March card and went forward.
Jekermish decided not to wait for the Eddessans to cross the river. He attacked and put the first unit of Eddessans to flight (turcopoles, right foreground). This was pretty much the end of turn one.
The Crusading units in 'uncontrolled advance' were marked with 'wheel counters'. However, it wasn't long before they were removed as the Crusaders rallied on command cards. They seemed to rally very easily. They were rolling D8 or D10 vs D8 in the main, so perhaps they were just lucky. This was partly the fault of the Saracen as most of the turcomans had moved too far away to down rate the Crusader's chance of rallying.
Having two Stratagem's helped a great deal in keeping them coming on.
It was probably a good thing that Jekermish had chosen to advance.
His cavalry began to pour across the river.
Jekermish's advance had activated the Antiochenes. Bohemund and Tancred came forward to Baldwin's aid. It is now a race against time.
They have a long way to go, especially as they are impeded by the move rate of their heavy infantry.
Not all of the Eddessans rallied. Some were still going forward and had to fight, against the odds, at the river bank.
All of the time the Eddessans were being enveloped. The first of Jekermish's cavalry have crossed the river. Also note the Frankish knights uncontrollably advancing across the river.
Crunch time is narrowly avoided by the ending of the turn quite early on 'same Army Dice initiative rolls'. It's a good point to stop and do this post. The game will continue..........