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Downloads Home » Stronghold Crusader: Invasions » Battle of Arsuf by Lord_of_Hell

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Battle of Arsuf by Lord_of_Hell

Author File Description
File Details
Map Size: 400x400 (Large)
Difficulty: Hard
Made with version: 1.1

Battle of Arsuf

Greetings to all Strongholders!

After many houres of playtesting, story & instructions writing and 'iron patience', I have the honour to submit this scenario. This is the first map ever representing the great battle of Arsuf, happened at 7 September 1191. For the map room presentation go here:,3475,,10

General Details:


Battle of Arsuf




Peter2008; (and myself)

Game version:

Stronghold Crusader 1.1

Scenario version:


Map size:


Map type:



Hard - Very Hard

Playing type:

Attack and Defense (Cede map)

Win conditions:

Blessed ---35% Population --- 170
Drinking Ale --- 100 %
Gold Aquired --- 10.000
Complete Castle
No enemy & Invasions Left

Lose condition (before Cede):

No people left

Lose condition (after Cede):

Lord Killed (any)

Starting date:

1301 May (After Cede Event)


- After conquering the City of Arsuf, you will be able to train only arabian troops. As you are on an arabian domain, the european soldiers can not be trained. If you want many european soldiers you have to survive the battle with many troops as possible.

- (After conquering the City) As you will be able to build only low walls, be aware of what high walls do you destroy cause you may not be able to build them again in the same way and remained troops will be blocked there. But, if this happens, use a siege tower to get them down.

- I strongly suggest to save very frequently so that to be able to load if something goes wrong in map.

- Do not expect easy playability in the scenario and do not underestimate the power of the invasions. Only veteran players will be able to finish this mission for good. Also, do not get angry if some bad events will happen. The scripting is done in such way that it will respond to the player's behavior. If you're a strategic player, who wisely use his economy for training troops and rise money little by little, you will most probably have part of good events. However, if you are a player who sells everything, who sets ‘downright taxes’ and destroys everything for money, you will have some very bad surprises. Saying it with other words, this mission is not beatable without a very good micro-managing of economy and small trading between market and the very limited stockpile.

However, please play the map at least once before to open and read the detailed instructions! The best way is to develop your own strategy, not to copy the ones from instructions. Thanks.


The Battle of Arsuf was the biggest battle of the Third Crusade which the Crusaders fought with Saladin’s army. Both armies were of equal numbers of troops but had different kinds of them. The Crusaders, under the command of Richard the Lionheart, had 14.000 men of infantry, 4.000 knights and 2.000 turcopoles (mounted archers). Saladin’s troops were mostly mounted troops, all heavy and light cavalry.

The battle took place on September 7, 1191, near the City of Arsuf, south of Acre, at the Mediterranean coast. Saladin was defeated with almost 7.000 troops dead and 32 emirs lost. And while Saladin’s loses were immense, the excellent battle strategy of Richard made the Crusaders win the battle with almost only 700 casualties, among them Jacob de Avesnes.

The advance from Acre to Arsuf was organized by Richard with great care to every detail. At first, Richard didn’t mean to stop at Arsuf, but the pression imposed by Saladin forced his army to fight near there. Although pressed by time, Richard was marching his army only in the morning, before the heat would install on the middle of the day. Also he made frequent rest stops on water sources and under the shadows of trees. After the disaster at Hattin when the Ayyubid Dynasty won the battle, Richard and the Crusaders knew that their army’s greatest need was water, and the heat exhaustion was one of the main problems. The fleet was sailing along the coast for additional support in need, provisions and as resting place for the wounded soldiers. As the enemy was making hit-and-run attacks against the main army, Richard kept it in a strong formation. The centre was composed by twelve mounted regiments, each one of a hundred knights. The infantry was marching on the left, landward flank, covering the flanks of horsemen. Tormented by Saladin’s archers and by night tarantulas, Richard assured keeping the orders and discipline in the toughest circumstances. Baha ad-Din, the Muslim chronicler of Saladin, describes the Crusader’s march like this:

"The Muslims were shooting arrows on their flanks, trying to incite them to break ranks, while they controlled themselves severely and covered the route in this way, travelling very steadily as their ships moved along at sea opposite them, until they completed each stage and installed the camp.”

When Richard’s army was marching through the long side of the river of Caesarea, Saladin gave his own instructions. He planned to move his army near the old Roman roads from inside, and letting free any occasion to attack in any direction. However, the Crusaders' march along the coast forced Saladin to follow them in a parallel way. Because the firsts small attacks against the Crusaders didn’t have any effect, they grow in intensity, thereby becoming some mini-battles. While Richard’s army was approaching to Caesarea on August 30, the rearguard led by Hugues III of Burgundy was the target of a major attack getting separated bfrom the rest of the army for a short time.

Saladin analized the enemy line of advance very carefully and decided to hold it at Arsuf, near Jaffa, with his army facing to the west. His northern flank was protected by many natural surroundings so he had all reasons to concentrate on the Crusaders. His plan was to attract them by a series of advances followed by simulated retreats and to kill them by sustained attacks once their lines were broken. Richard had a very small space at his disposal: about three kilometres between the sea and hills of Arsuf, cancelling the possibility of a strong, concentrated attack of his armoured troops.

The battle was announced to be held on 7 september 1191 by Richard’s heralds. At once, all the troops were adjusted congruously. The Knights Templar, led by Robert de Sable, were positioned in front of army, together with Angevins and the Bretons, followed by Guy de Lusignan and the men from Poitou. Then came the Anglo- Normands and the Flamands under Jacob de Avesnes. They were followed the French and finally by the Knights Hospitallers under Fra’ Garnier de Nablus. A small party of troops under Henric II of Champagne was choosen to explore the hills, and a group of knights under Hugues de Burgundia had to ride back and forward along the army to assure keeping the strong formation.

At 9:00, the first Arabian attack took place. Attempting to destroy the enemy’s cohesion and its ethic, the attack was sustained by clashing of cymbals and gongs, trumpets blowing and men screaming. The Itinerarium Regis Ricardi relates to the attack like that:

“Therefore the heartless Turks were coming over our army from all sides, from the sea and from the earth. There was no single space of at least two miles around, not even a piece of earth remained uncovered by the hostile Turkish kind.“

When these action hadn’t done their expected effect, the attack was changed to the left side of Crusaders, the Hospitallers being forced to bear the greatest pression. Little by little, the battle expanded over the rest of Richard’s army, as well.

The incursions followed the same pattern: The Bedouins and Nubians shot arrows and spears in the enemy, before parting to allow the horse archers to proceed, to attack and then retreat, which was a very good tactic. The Crusader’s longbowmen and crossbowmen responded these attacks any time when necessary, though their first mission was to hold steady against Saladin’s forces. In a few spots along the ranks the two armies were engaged also in a hand-to-hand combat.

As the mighty forces of Saladin and all his efforts couldn’t break the Crusader’s ranks, Richard began to plan a concentrated counter-strike with his knights but when the Saracens began to kill some horses of them, some of knights began to wonder themselves if a counter-strike would be really possible. In the same time, the army began to suffer from heat exhaustion and thirst.

When the vanguard entered Arsuf, the Hospitallers crossbowmen to the rear started to have trouble with the enemy and were forced to aim and fire walking backwards. They lost cohesion and the enemy took the advantage against them very quickly. After this critical moment, Richard charged with his army into the Saracen ranks, and the French followed to attack them, as well.

Just as Garnier de Nablus began his attack, Saladin's archers had dismounted to direct their arrows more accurately, and were overwhelmed by the unexpected Hospitaller onslaught. The third attack against the Arabians was led by Richard himself toghether with Norman and English knights. The King was in good heart of fighting, and the Itinerarium confirms:

“King Richard pursued the Turks with singular ferocity, fell upon them and scattered them across the ground. No one escaped when his sword made contact with them; wherever he went his brandished sword cleared a wide path on all sides. Continuing his advance with untiring sword strokes, he cut down that unspeakable race as if he were reaping the harvest with a sickle, so that the corpses of Turks he had killed covered the ground everywhere for the space of half a mile."

Attempting to restore the situation, Saladin’s nephew, Taqi al-Din, led 700 men to the Richard’s left flank. Noticing this, Richard gathered his soldiers once more for the final charge. The pressure was higher than the enemy could withstand, and the Crusaders resisted the attack. As the darkness was coming in, Richard allowed no further pursuit and the battle ended with a glorious victory of the Crusader’s side.


1. Scenario overview:

2. The Reinforcement's Ship:

3. The Begin of War

4. Layout of City of Arsuf

5. Arsuf Citadel

Additional comments:

In my opinion this is my best scenario so far. I hope you will have an excellent time playing it. All downloads, comments, feedbacks and reviews will be heartily apreciated. The Story and Instructions are written by me. Special thanks goes to Peter2008 who helped me immensely playtesting the map and correcting the Story & Intructions for mistakes.

Good luck and Happy gaming,

AuthorReviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Map Design4.5
Battle of Arsuf.

A historical map which abounds with stirring battles and some economic objectives. The city and it’s splendour exemplifies the author’s effort, patience, & understanding of the proper tools of the game. Having played the map a few times, I feel it truly warrants a review.

Playability/Balance: 4

The initial battle is exciting, well thought of, more importantly adds certain attribute to the map. However, this is only a small part of what make this map enjoyable. You may, at first, go with the daring clash only to be left with a few troops standing to finish the mission successfully. After the cede part, most of your efforts will lie toward recruiting mercenaries, in micro-managing the economy and in gathering enough archers to guard the walls, towers & bastions before your enemies start invading in their hundreds. And when they do, they do it with force leaving you scurrying for the mercenary post. While you may get past the cede, beyond that, you may get the feeling of being incapacitated with a desperate hope for your strategy to work when confronting the massive invasions, juggling with what you have. The key here is to minimize troop’s loss from the initial battle, strengthen your defense with thicker walls guarded by archers & protect them even if it means sending your swordsmen or your melee to confront the enemy archers & horse archers so your archers can defend the walls thereafter. With timely management of your economy, the economic objectives can be achieved with relative ease.

With that said & as you might have noticed from my ramblings that the invasion part is difficult as is intriguing. However, there are some things if considered well, will make an improvement. For instance the signposts; which are are kept clustered in only two locations making the enemy approach quite predictable. But this is understandable as the city takes up a rather sizeable portion of the map. Moreover, having to constantly trade materials to keep the small stockpile from being full will seem a bit tedious at times. It appears the stockpile space doesn’t quite commensurate to the size & population of the city. The map can use a more events between each invasion as only a few come up. Most of the time the engineers and the slaves will sit idle. The number of enemy troops can be reduced to a half and scripted to work subsequently. Both Playability & Balance - 4

Creativity/Design: 4.5

Battle of Arsuf offers a blending of creativity and design. The author has used some good techniques and has been able to create quite a fortress. The game offers limited tools in it’s editor and given these tools, it is a challenge to create something close to resembling the actual structures. There are lots of amazing small touches you can see, some of which you will notice instantly like the Citadel, stockpile location, re-enforcement ship & the gibbet all skilfully created. You will also find that the author has made good use of the elevation tool. Speaking of which; one slight facet may have been slightly overlooked maybe not, but to be precise, the fortress of Arsuf sits on a cliff above the Mediterranean Sea. Nonetheless, a job well done.

Story: 5

The map follows historical events from the third crusade. This category is subject to the readers' choice; be it fictional, or historical. The author has a presentable description page along with some screens from the map. You will find a set of instruction guidelines, layout – plan view of the City and the citadel. A wothy 5 for the effort.

Gook luck on your future maps

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