Deus Vult

God Wills It

By Terry Martin

The megagame of the First Crusade

London (South), 20th October 2018

GAME

This is a game about the last years of the 11th. century, when three cultures came into conflict, when the old rivalries between East and West took on new meanings, and when religious fervour and materialistic greed seemed to serve the same ends.
 
The First Crusade changed the course of world history for hundreds of years afterwards; directly it led to the establishment of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, indirectly it led to the final decline of the Roman Empire of the East and the fall of Byzantium nearly 400 years later; from another culture's point of view it was the one of the early manifestations of the clash between Sunni and Shi'ite Islam that still bedevils the Muslim world today.

The day will start with three entirely different games, and there are three distinct phases to the day. There is a Western game, a Byzantine game, and a Moslem game. During the day, it is more than probable that these games will interact with each other, but when that happens is not laid down in any design rules; if it happens it will happen as and when two or more of the team games start to interact with each other - and that will be dictated solely by what the players do.

This is your chance to take part in one of the greatest events of the Middle Ages – recreate the events that changed the world, or change history. Give us your contact details now to be kept up to date and to make sure of your chance to play in this game, by talking to us now or writing to telmartin@aol.com

BACKGROUND

Deus Vult is about the events of the last years of the 11th. century, when three cultures came into conflict, when the old rivalries between East and West took on new meanings, and when religious fervour and materialistic greed seemed to serve the same ends.

The First Crusade changed the course of world history for hundreds of years afterwards; directly it led to the establishment of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, indirectly it led to the final decline of the Roman Empire of the East and the fall of Byzantium nearly 400 years later; from another culture's point of view it was the first great manifestation of the clash between Sunni and Shi'ite Islam that still bedevils the Moslem world today.

The game is an attempt to look at the First Crusade not as a great and romantic Christian venture, and equally not as a barbarian invasion from the West, but to look at events from the point of view of the three great cultures that were involved. As Runciman said in the Preface to his great History, " to tell the story from the point of view of the Franks alone or of the Arabs alone or even of its chief victims, the Christians of the East, is to miss its significance. For, as Gibbon saw, it was the story of the World's debate".

 

TEAMS

Play any role from Pope to prince, Emperor to Emir, Catholic to Orthodox, Sunni to Shi’ite. Free Jerusalem from the infidel, or defend it from the barbarian Franks! Carve out a kingdom for yourself, or have all your mortal sins forgiven.

The game is for a minimum of 47 and a maximum of 78, plus 10-12 Control. Players can be either Crusaders (Franks, greater and lesser magnates on the great adventure to take the Holy City), Byzantines (the Emperor and Court of the richest Empire in the East), Seljuk Turks (Emirs and sultans striving – and fighting to overall supremacy in the Seljuk empire) and Fatimid Arabs (rulers of Egypt and its expanding lands).

Crusaders

There will be five main teams, representing the five armies that set off for Constantinople; these are :

  • ·Southern French, led by Raymond de St Gilles, Count of Toulouse. With him are his three major vassals and also the Papal Legate, Adhemar of Le Puy (5-9 players)
  • · Sicilian Normans, led by Bohemond of Taranto, accompanied by his cousin and nephew (4-8 Players)
  • · Lotharingian Germans, led by Godfrey of Bouillon with his two brothers (4-8 players)
  • · Northern French, led by Robert of Normandy, Robert of Flanders and Stephen de Blois, with their friends and vassals (7-10 players)
  • · Parisians, led by Hugh de Vermandois and William the Carpenter (2-4 players)

So 22 – 39 Crusader players in all, each with their own forces but initially in the five separate contingents.

Byzantines

  • The Emperor Alexius Comnenus and his leading diplomats and generals (5 -8 players)

The Seljuks

  • The Moslem world is in a state of constant squabbling and often open warfare between not just Sunni Seldjuk Turks and Shi’ite Fatimid Arabs, but within each team as well. The principle contenders for power are Sultan Kilij Arslan, Al-Husak, Emir of Danishmends, Duqaq , Emir of Damascus, Ridwan of Aleppo, Yaghi-Siyan of Antioch, Kherboga of Mosul, Soqman of Diarbakir, Banu’Ammar of Tripoli and Ilghazi of Jerusalem. Each player has their own forces and income. (15- 20 players)

The Fatimids

  • Recently unified under the strong Vizier, al-Afdal, now trying to expand into Southern Palestine and Syria (5- 9 Players)

The control team will consist of Game Control (1), Team Control (5-6), Map Control (3-4) and ideally one ‘New Player’ Liaison.

This game is designed to give each player a role- some are more political and some more military but most have an element of both; the role dictates how players fit into the game and their relations with other players.

I do strongly believe that everyone will get a better game out of trying to fit into the role of their character, and trying to understand the mindset of eleventh century generals and politicians, than they will by ignoring them.

As for language and modes of address, that's up to players. But they should remember that rank, birth, and correct manners were important to the men and women of this period, and you ignore them at your peril, if other players take them seriously.

Religion isn't just important; it is central to all their lives. Some may be more overt in their religious observances than others, and have more respect for the priests of their own culture than others, but there is not one of them who does not believe in their God, and in a life after death, with all that that implies in terms of reward and/or punishment for deeds done in your lifetime.

Even if they do forget, their followers will not, and it is quite likely that they will lose support should they forget their duty to God. To aid in this we will have a system of ‘faith points’ which players can win by carrying out various good/religious deeds. These points will have a value in the game beyond self-satisfaction. They may attract more followers and could even give an advantage in battle.

*Booking Options*

To book for this game, please Email us. (info@megagames.org.uk)


If you have been to one of our megagames before then just let us have
your name and team/role preference. If you haven't been to one of our
megagames before please also include your full name, postal address,
mobile and contact email.


We will then send you a link to confirm your place with payment of the
full game fee. Please note that your booking will not be confirmed
until payment is received and we anticipate quickly filling the games
(as usual).

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