Crusader Rex is a game covering the

Third Crusade. One player commands the

Franks, the other commands the Saracens.

Game Turns

The game is played in a series of six

years starting at 1187. Within each year

are six (6) Game Turns. Each Game Turn

has four (4) Phases, played in the sequence


[1] Card Phase

Both players start every year with six

(6) cards. Each Game Turn they both play

one (1) card face down. The cards are then

revealed to determine play order. See 4.0.

[2] Move Phase

Player 1 completes all movement and

then Player 2 moves. See 5.0.

[3] Battle Phase

Battles/Sieges are resolved one by

one in the order chosen by Player 1.

See 6.0.

[4] Draw Phase

Both players draw one (1) block from

their Draw Pool (except during 1187).


The mapboard depicts the Levant,

from Antioch south to Egypt. The Frank

player sits on the western edge of the map;

the Saracen player sits opposite.


The map shows the key towns of the

12th Century. They govern the movement

and location of blocks.

1.11 Town Rating

Town Rating is the number of shields

near a town's name. Most towns have 1-4

shields. Minor towns have no shields.

1.12 Town Control

Saracen towns are in Syria and Egypt.

They are friendly to the Saracen unless

occupied by Frank blocks.

Frank towns are within the realms of

Antioch, Tripoli, and Jerusalem. They

are friendly to the Frank unless occupied

by Saracen blocks.

Masyaf is the Kingdom of the Assassins

and cannot be entered by other blocks.

IMPORTANT: Changes to town control

are effective instantly. Occupying any

vacant enemy town makes it immediately

friendly, but it instantly reverts to enemy

control if vacated.

Towns have two playable areas: castle

and field. In a siege, one player defends

the castle, while the other defends the field.

1.13 Home Seats

The town named on a block is its home

seat (starting location). Matching shields on

the map are alternate seats.

Example: Bohemond's home seat is

Antioch. Latakia is an alternate seat.

1.14 Ports

A town with an anchor symbol is a

port. Tripoli and Tyre are fortified ports.

Sea Movement (5.4) is possible

between friendly ports.

1.15 Unplayable Towns

Some locations like Bethlehem or

Nazareth are shown on the map only for

historical interest. They are not playable.


Seven (7) towns are Victory Cities.

The Saracen starts play controlling Aleppo,

Damascus, and Egypt; the Frank controls

Antioch, Tripoli, Acre, and Jerusalem.

The object of the game is to control

a majority of the seven (7) Victory Cities

after the year 1192 is played. A sudden

death victory occurs if one player controls

all seven Victory Cities at the end of any

Game Turn.

NOTE: A besieged Victory City is still

controlled by the castle defender for victory


Rulebook Organization

This rulebook is formatted so that the sidebar

(this column) contains designer and historical

notes to help you understand and enjoy this



Surprise is an exciting aspect of Crusader Rex.

Blocks generally stand upright facing the owner.

This promotes bluff and innovative strategies

because players are uncertain of the strength or

identity of an enemy block.

Battle Sites

The main battles of the period are shown on

the map for interest, red for Frank victories and

green for Saracen victories.

Names & Places

Modern day translations of names and places

from the Crusading era can vary. When

confronted with spelling choices, we have

generally deferred to Lyons & Jackson’s Saladin:

The Politics of Holy War.

Town Control

Because changes to town control are effective

instantly, retreat/regroup options may change

during a game turn as a result of enemy moves,

retreats, or regroups. It is also possible to

occupy a vacant enemy town with one move,

making it friendly, and then immediately muster

or sea-move there with another move.

The Early Crusades

The Crusades began on November 27, 1095, when

Pope Urban II called upon Christendom to reclaim

the holy land. Although Jerusalem had been under

relatively benign Muslim rule for over 400 years,

Urban II decried a rising tide of deprivations

and desecrations by “the enemies of Christ.” Less

than four years later, the Franks completed a long

and bloody march to Jerusalem, whereupon they

slaughtered every Jew and Muslim they found in

the city. Independent kingdoms and principalities

were established in Jerusalem, Tripoli, Antioch, and

Edessa (modern-day Armenia), which collectively

became known as “Outremer” – the lands over the


The Crusader States prospered for 45 years until

Zangi, the Atabeg of Aleppo, conquered the County

of Edessa. The new military hero of Islam was

soon murdered by a servant. Zangi’s young son Nur

al-Din took command and braced his Emirate for

the inevitable Frank counterattack.

Pope Eugenius III launched the 2nd Crusade on

March 31, 1146. German, French, and English

armies under the command of King Louis VII of

France and King Conrad III of Germany opted to

strike first at Damascus, then an ally of Outremer

and an enemy of Aleppo! Their assault upon

Damascus was broken when Nur al-Din’s forces

swooped down from the north. The Crusaders

retreated in panic, and the 2nd Crusade ended in

disaster. The Zangid Empire under Nur al-Din now

controlled Aleppo and Damascus.

Copyright © 2005-11 Jerry Taylor & Columbia Games Inc.





The wooden blocks represent Frank

(orange) and Saracen (green) forces. There

is also one Assassin (black) block.

A sheet of die-cut labels is included.

One label must be attached to the face of

each block. Lightly position each label,

ensure it is straight, and then press firmly

to the block.

• Green labels on green blocks

• Tan labels on orange blocks

• Black label on the black block.

The blocks add surprise and secrecy

to the game. When standing upright,

block type and strength is hidden from the



Blocks have numbers and symbols

defining movement and combat abilities.

2.11 Strength

The current strength of a block is the

number of pips on the top edge when

the block is standing upright. Strength

determines how many six-sided dice (d6)

are thrown for a block in combat.

For example, roll 4d6 (four six-sided

dice) for a block at strength 4; roll 1d6 for

a block at strength 1.

Blocks vary in maximum strength.

Some blocks have four steps, some three

steps, and some only two steps. For each

hit taken in combat, the block’s strength

is reduced one step by rotating the block

90 degrees counter-clockwise. The sidebar

shows a block at strength 1, 2, and 3.

2.12 Combat Ratings

The Combat Rating is indicated by a

letter and number, such as A1 or B2. The

letter determines initiative for combat.

All A blocks attack first, then all B blocks,

then all C blocks. The number indicates

firepower, which is the maximum roll that

will score a hit.

Example: a block rated B1 only scores a

hit for each “1” rolled, but a block rated B3

scores one hit for each 1, 2, or 3 rolled.

2.13 Move Rating

A block’s Move Rating indicates how

many towns a block may move along



Frank blocks contain a mix of knights,

infantry, and archers.

2.21 Outremers

Ten (10) blocks represent

the Christian feudal lords of

the Kingdom of Jerusalem,

Principality of Antioch, and County of


2.22 Military Orders

Seven (7) blocks represent

the elite fighting orders of the

Hospitallers and Templars.

2.23 Turcopoles

Two (2) blocks represent

Syrian light horse employed by

the Franks.

2.24 Crusaders

Nine (9) blocks represent the

English, French, and German

forces of the Third Crusade.

2.25 Pilgrims

Three (3) blocks represent

numerous small groups of

warriors who came to the Holy

Land. Three prominent sources are named,

but pilgrims came from Castile to Jutland.


Saracen blocks contain a mixture of

light horse, horsebow, and infantry.

2.31 Emirs

Nineteen (19) blocks represent

Saladin and the Muslim lords

loyal to him.

2.32 Nomads

Twelve (12) blocks (Arabs,

Kurds, Turks) represent a

variety of irregular forces from

off-map regions.

2.4 Assassins

The black block represents

the Assassins. It is deployed

in Masyaf and used to attack

an enemy block when the

Assassin event card is played.

The Military Orders

The Templars and Hospitallers were the military

elite of Christendom. Members were primarily minor

nobility recruited from all over Europe, although

the majority came from France. They were deeply

religious, highly trained, well disciplined, and

ferocious in battle.

The Order of St. John of the Hospital of Jerusalem

was founded by Italian merchants prior to the

crusading era as a charitable medical organization.

Once under the supervision of Benedictine monks,

it evolved into an autonomous religious institution

with a distinct military caste by around 1160.

“The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Jesus Christ,” on

the other hand, were founded by nine crusading

knights in 1119 as a religious order dedicated to the

protection of pilgrims. Their headquarters at the

al-Aqsa mosque on the southern edge of the Temple

Mount (known to the crusaders as the Temple of

Solomon) earned them the name “The Templars.”

By the time of the 3rd Crusade, the religious orders

had become fearsome military powers and were the

wealthiest landowners in Outremer. Their leaders

treated the Kings, Princes, and Emirs of the Middle

East as sovereign equals.

Members who fell into enemy hands were generally

executed. The military orders refused to pay

ransom. “I wish to purify the land of these two

monstrous orders,” declared Saladin, “whose

practices are of no use, who will never renounce

their hostility, will render no service as slaves,

and are all that is worst in this infidel race.” Two

hundred and thirty were executed en masse a few

days after capture at the Battle of Hattin.


Strength 1

Strength 2

Strength 3







(Taqi Al Din)







Copyright © 2005-11 Jerry Taylor & Columbia Games Inc.





Both sides set-up their blocks at their

designated seats. Blocks are deployed at

full strength.


Outremers, Turcopoles, and Military

Orders start at their named seat or any

alternate seat. Castle Limits cannot be

exceeded during deployment. The Frank

player must make Seat adjustments before

the Saracen player draws his Nomads.

Examples: Lord Balian may be

deployed at Nablus or Ascalon. Any one

Templar may be deployed in Amman.

The 12 remaining blocks (Crusaders

and Pilgrims) are placed face-down off

map as a Draw Pool.


Emir blocks start at their noted seats,

except Saladin can be exchanged with any

other block of his family. Hence, Saladin

has Damascus as a seat, but may switch

with the al-Aziz block from Egypt or the

al-Zahir block from Aleppo.

The 12 remaining blocks are nomads

(Arabs, Kurds, Turks). They are placed

face-down off map as a Draw Pool. Four

(4) of them are immediately drawn and

deployed at their appropriate seats.


The game has twenty-two (22) Move

and five (5) Event cards. At the beginning

of each year, all cards are shuffled and six

(6) are dealt out face-down to each player.

Players may then examine their cards.


Both players start a Game Turn by

playing one card face-down. The cards are

then revealed. The player with the higher

card is Player 1 that Game Turn. Resolve

ties with a 2d6 die-roll. Reroll ties.

4.2 Move Cards

Move cards enable Group Moves (5.2),

Musters (5.3), or Sea Moves (5.4).

4.2 Event Cards

Event cards give a player a special

action as noted on the card. Events are

executed before Moves.

If both players play Event cards, the

Game Turn is cancelled, including siege

attrition and the draw phase.


A Move card allows any combination

of Group Moves, Musters, or Sea Moves.

Blocks move up to their Move Rating

along roads that connect towns, but must

stop in a town defended by enemy blocks.

Each block can only move once per

movement phase. Players are not required

to use all their moves but they cannot be



Road limits apply to group moves,

musters, retreats, and regroups.

Major Road (thick): Four (4) blocks

maximum per movement phase.

Minor Road (dashed): Two (2) blocks

maximum per movement phase.

NOTE: Road limits apply separately to

each player. Player 1 can use a road and

then Player 2 can use the same road.


A group is all blocks located in one

castle, even a single block. For 1 Move,

any/all blocks in a group can move to 1 or

more towns within their move rating.


A Muster allows several groups to

move to the same friendly town for

1 Move. Designate one friendly town

and move any/all blocks with enough

movement to reach that town.

Example: 4 blocks in Jerusalem, 1 in

Jaffa, 2 in Tiberias, and 2 in Beirut all

move to Acre, the designated muster town.

Musters cannot start a new battle, or

respond to a battle started by Player 1, but

you can muster at (or pass through) a town

you are besieging.


Either player may make Sea Moves

between friendly ports. Remember

that Tripoli/Tyre are still friendly to a

besieged defender. Each Sea Move costs

one (1) Move per block.

NOTE: English Crusaders may attack by

Sea (7.22).


Attacking blocks (excluding Reserves)

prevent an equal number of defending

blocks (Player 2) from moving. Player

2 chooses which blocks are pinned.

Unpinned blocks can move/attack, muster,

or sea move normally, except they cannot

depart via any road that the Attacker used.

Saladin & The Ayyubid Empire

Salah al-Din Yusuf ibn-Ayyub (shortened by the

Franks as “Saladin”) was a Kurd born into high

places. His father was the Governor of Tikrit in

modern day Iraq, and a shrewd political advisor

to both Zangi and Nur al-Din. His father’s brother

– Shirkuh – was a veteran general of the Zangid

Sultanate and commander of Nur al-Din’s military

expedition in 1164 against Fatmid (Shiite) Egypt.

The young Saladin joined his uncle on this bloody

but successful conquest. When Shirkuh died of

illness in 1169, the 31 year-old Saladin inherited

control of Egypt.

Tensions gradually rose between Saladin and his

nominal lord in Damascus. Open war between the

two loomed, but Nur al-Din died from an untimely

illness in 1174. Saladin quickly marched an army

into Damascus and seized power from the regency

governing in the name of Nur al-Din’s 11 year-

old son, al-Salih. Civil war ensued, but Zangid

loyalists were no match for Saladin’s political savvy

or military strength. By 1186, Saladin controlled

Egypt, Syria, most of the old County of Edessa,

and all important city-states of Mesopotamia except


Saladin had a mixed reputation among his Islamic

contemporaries. Many lionized him as a wise and

compassionate ruler, a deeply devout Sunni Muslim,

and the greatest hero in Arab history. Nearly

as many, however, disparaged him as a cynical

opportunist and power-hungry usurper more bent

on war against fellow Muslims than the Crusader


The 3rd Crusade was called by Pope Gregory VIII

in 1187 after Saladin defeated a Christian army

at Hattin (near Tiberias) and then seized the entire

Kingdom of Jerusalem except Tyre.

EVENT CARDS (Clarifications)

Assassin: choose any one enemy block, reveal

it, and fire the assassin block once. The assassin

is then returned to Masyaf with no enemy return

fire. Assassin can target a besieged (no double

defense) or besieging block. Can be played and

used in a Winter Turn.

Guide: increases road limits to 4/8. It also

allows these higher limits for Retreats and

Regroups in the same game turn.

Intrigue: cannot be played in the first Game

Turn of a year.

Jihad: the attack bonus applies to storming

or field battles. You may choose any 1 battle,

not necessarily involved with the move made,

but you must declare the Jihad location before

Player 2 moves.

Manna: Add one step to three different friendly

blocks, even if besieged or besieging. The blocks

can be in different locations.


4 blocks are attacking via one road, while

another 2 blocks are attacking the same castle

via another road. If 5 blocks are defending, 4 of

them are pinned by the main attack, but 1 block

(defender’s choice) is unpinned.

Copyright © 2005-11 Jerry Taylor & Columbia Games Inc.





After all movement is complete,

Battles and/or Sieges occur where enemy

blocks are located in the same town. They

are resolved, one by one, in a sequence

chosen by Player 1.


Before any blocks are revealed in any

battle, the Defender decides where to

deploy blocks. Blocks can be deployed in

the Field to fight a battle, or in the Castle,

subject to Castle Limit (6.52).

Blocks deployed in the Castle cannot

Retreat or fight in a Field Battle except

by Sally (6.55), and are subject to Siege

Attrition (6.57).

NOTE: Because both players move before

combat, the Frank player can be defender

in some battles while the Saracen is the

defender in other battles.


Each Battle/Siege is fought over a

maximum of three combat rounds. This

can be three rounds of Battle, three rounds

of Siege, or any combination, such as two

Battle rounds and 1 Siege round.

In Battles, the attacker must retreat

all blocks at the end of the third round

if there are any defenders in the field. In

Sieges, the attacker may retreat or stay on


Each block can Fire OR Retreat once

per Combat Round. The sequence of

combat turns depends on combat ratings.

All “A” blocks fire first, then all “B” blocks,

and finally all "C" blocks. Defending “A”

blocks fire before Attacking “A” blocks, and

so on. Individual blocks of one player with

the same initiative fire in any order.

Example: Conrad (B3) and Turcopole

(A2) attack Zangi (B2) and a Kurd (C2).

The sequence for each combat round is:

Turcopole, Zangi, Conrad, and Kurd.

After all blocks have taken one battle

turn to fire or retreat, this ends Combat

Round 1. Repeat the sequence for Combat

Rounds 2 and 3, except with Siege

Combat, a siege declaration occurs at the

beginning of each new round.


Blocks fire by rolling as many dice as

their current Strength. A hit is scored for

each die roll equal to or lower than the

block’s Combat Rating.

6.31 Combat Hits

Enemy blocks cannot be targeted

individually. Each hit is applied to the

strongest enemy block at that instant. If two

or more blocks share the highest Strength,

the owner chooses which to reduce.

6.32 Knights' Charges

In field battles, Frank/Crusader

knights (all are "B" blocks) have the

tactical option to Knights’ Charge. Each

block must declare this tactic before firing

in their combat turn. The effect is to

increase firepower by one (B2=B3), but to

take one hit for each “6” rolled to reflect

disorganization, blown horses, etc.

Knights may charge when they Sally,

but not when Storming.

6.33 Harrying

In field battles, Saracen Nomads and

the Frank Turcopoles have the tactical

option to Fire and Retreat (but not

Withdraw). Each block must declare this

tactic before firing in their combat turn.

Harrying blocks fire and then immediately

retreat subject to normal retreat limits

and locations. Blocks cannot Harry when


6.34 Eliminated Blocks

Most eliminated blocks come back into

play eventually. Place eliminated blocks

in the Draw Pool face-up. They cannot be

drawn during the current year.

Some blocks are permanently

eliminated and never go to the draw pool.

Franks: Crusaders and Military

Orders are permanently eliminated.

Saracens: Saladin and the 4 blocks of

his family are permanently eliminated.

WARNING: Permanent elimination

applies in all cases, including Winter

Attrition, Assassination, Siege Attrition, etc.


6.41 Main Attack Road

When attacking via two or more

roads, one road (attacker choice) must

be declared the Main Attack. Blocks

attacking along other roads are Reserves.

Reinforcements do not fire, retreat, or

take hits in Round 1. They arrive and take

normal combat turns at the beginning of

Round 2.

IMPORTANT: Battlefield Control changes

if the Attacker wins in Round 1 before

Defending reserves arrive. The Attacker is

now the Defender for Rounds 2 and 3.

The Assassins

The Assassins were extremist members of a Shiite

Ismaili sect dedicated to the destruction of Sunni

power in the Middle East. The term “Assassin”

derived from the Arabic word Hashishyun. The

Hashishi (users of hashish) were drug-crazed

fanatics who served as an early form of suicide

killer. By the middle of the 12th Century, the

Assassins claimed 40,000 followers living in secure

mountain strongholds.

Rashid al-Din Sinan, the fabled “Old Man of the

Mountain” during the 3rd Crusade, was perhaps the

greatest leader of this bloody sect. Sinan, like his

predecessors, hated both the Franks and Saladin's

Ayyubid Empire and played both against the other.

In 1175, the leaders of Aleppo paid Sinan to

assassinate Saladin, a feat which would surely have

succeeded save for the heroics of Yazkuj in Saladin’s

defense. In 1177, the Zangi Vizier of Aleppo caught

the Assassins’ knife, as did the Vizier of Baghdad

the following year. In 1192, the Assassins murdered

Conrad of Montferrat before his coronation as King

of Jerusalem.

Losses from the Assassin card represent the disorder

and demoralization caused by an Assassin attack.

Combat Fires Example

Saladin at strength 4 rolls 4 dice. His combat rating

is A3, meaning all rolls of 1, 2, & 3 are hits. Rolls of

4, 5, & 6 are misses. If the dice rolled are 1, 2, 4, &

5, Saladin scores two hits and two misses

Combat Hits Example

Frank 3-step block rolls two hits against one

2-step and one 3-step Saracen blocks. The first

hit must be taken on the 3-step Saracen block

because it has the most steps. The Saracen

player may apply the second hit to either block

because they both now have two steps.

Combat Reserves Example

The Saracen has 2 blocks in Nablus, 2 in

Baisan, and 2 in Hebron. All three groups

attack Jerusalem. The Attacker declares the

Nablus-Jerusalem road the main attack road.

The blocks from Nablus and Baisan using this

road are the Main Attack. The 2 Hebron blocks

use another road and will arrive as reserves in

round 2.

Optional Rules

[ ] IRON BRIDGE: The road section from

Antioch to Harim has a special move limit of 3

blocks in either direction.

[ ] Forced Marches

Blocks can increase their move +1 by

force-marching. Place a die on each block force-

marching. After all normal movement is done,

roll one die for each block:

1-3: lose one step

4-6: no effect

Unless eliminated by step loss, the block

always completes the extra move. Force

marching is permitted to Muster.

Copyright © 2005-11 Jerry Taylor & Columbia Games Inc.




6.42 Defender Response

Blocks moved by Player 2 to reinforce

a battle started by Player 1 are reserves,

arriving at the beginning of round 2.

This applies to blocks using one road to

reinforce; those using other roads arrive at

the beginning of Round 3.


Unlike field battles, which end after

three combat rounds, sieges may continue

for several Game Turns. The besieger may

remain on siege after the three combat

rounds. Sieges cannot occur at towns

rated ø (no shield), only field battles. Siege

combat can occur in three ways:

• Existing sieges.

• New siege if the Defender does not

deploy any blocks in a field battle.

• When a field battle ends, victorious

attacking blocks may begin siege

combat next combat round.

Sieges require a Siege Declaration

(6.53) at the beginning of each combat

round, besieger first.

6.51 Siege Control

Besieged blocks defend a castle, but

besieging blocks defend the field. The

besieger controls ports except Tripoli and

Tyre, which are fortified ports controlled

by the besieged player.

IMPORTANT: Blocks in a siege are not

revealed until they Storm or Sally. Once

revealed, blocks must remain face-up until

they are no longer storming or sallying. The

besieger must always keep one block face-

up to indicate which player is the besieging.

6.52 Castle Limit

Town Rating (1.11) limits the number

of blocks that can defend inside a castle.

Additional blocks must defend the field

outside the castle.

Castle Limit is also the maximum

number of blocks that can Storm a castle.

6.53 Siege Declarations

In existing and new sieges, the

besieging player makes a Siege Declaration

at the beginning of each siege round:

1. Storm: the besieger declares and reveals

which blocks are storming, subject to

the Castle Limit.

2. Siege: The besieger declines to Storm.

The besieged player may declare a Sally

(6.55) with any/all blocks, causing a

field battle this round.

The besieger may decline to Storm in

one round, then do so in a future round

when possible. However, if both players

agree to pass, proceed to Siege Attrition.

6.54 Storming

After storming blocks are revealed,

a round of combat is fought against the

besieged blocks in the normal sequence of

combat turns. A storming block may fire

OR withdraw back to the field on its turn.

Double Defense: Blocks defending a

castle require two hits to lose one step.

Each "half-hit" has no effect, except the

next hit must be taken on that block. A

half-hit carries forward from one Combat

Round to the next, but is recovered if

storming ends (even if storming resumes

in a later round).

Fragile Alliances

Saladin’s hold on power was tenuous. He faced

external threats from emirs in Turkey, Armenia, and

Baghdad. Egypt and Iraq smoldered with sedition

and vanquished Zangi loyalists had to be watched


Frankish Outremer was a seething cauldron of

intrigue and tension. King Guy was bitterly opposed

by the Hospitallers, Count Raymond of Tripoli, and

Baldwin’s widow Maria Comnena, a princess of

the Byzantium Empire – all of whom thought the

new king a weak interloper. After the disaster at

Hattin, with King Guy a captive, internecine conflict

continued with Conrad of Montferrat seeking the


The Crusaders were also at each other’s throat.

Richard’s last-minute rejection of Philip’s sister

as his bride (because she had been the mistress of

his father, Henry II) so soured relations that the

French King spent only four months in Palestine

before sailing home to plot the seizure of Richard's

extensive holdings in Normandy, Anjou, and

Aquitaine. Three times thereafter the French army

under the Duke of Burgundy abandoned the field

and twice the French refused to fight – once in

September 1191 when Richard proposed invasion

of Egypt and again in June 1192 when Richard

proposed a march on Jerusalem.

Battle of Jerusalem

The Saracen player attacks Jerusalem from

Hebron with 4 blocks (main attack) and from

Jericho with 2 blocks. The Frank (Player 2) has

2 blocks defending Jerusalem, and now moves 3

blocks from Jaffa to help defend Jerusalem.

Battle Deployment: Frank deploys both

defending blocks in the castle. This avoids a field

battle, but lets the Saracen besiege the castle.

Combat Round 1: Saracen declares a Storm

with 3 blocks, the maximum that can storm

Jerusalem. Defending and Storming blocks fire

in their respective Combat Turns. Defender has

Double Defense.

Combat Round 2: Reserve blocks for both

players arrive. Frank Reserves cause a field

battle, so the besieging blocks cannot Storm.

This allows the 2 besieged blocks to also Sally.

for round 2. This round of field battle involves,

6 Saracens defending against 5 Franks. The

Saracens, inflict severe losses on the Franks.

The weakened knights all charge causing

considerable damage, but not enough to break

the Saracen defenders.

Combat Round 3: Saracen fire eliminates all

but 1 Frank. This block withdraws into the castle

on its combat turn, ending Round 3.

Summary: Jerusalem is held by one weak

Frank and is likely to fall next Game Turn. The

Franks might have done better to deploy in the

field, reinforced by 3 reserves arriving for Round

2. This would have given them the advantage of

defense, including the chance to make knights

charges on rounds 1 and 2 before most Saracens

could fire.

Copyright © 2005-11 Jerry Taylor & Columbia Games Inc.



Battle of Jerusalem


At the beginning of each subsequent

siege round, the besieger can add reserve

blocks from the field to the storming blocks,

subject to the Castle Limit. However, if all

storming blocks are eliminated or withdraw,

the current siege round ends immediately.

6.55 Sallying

If the besieger declines to storm, the

castle defender may declare a Sally with

any/all blocks, causing a field battle this

round. After sally blocks are revealed, one

round of combat is fought with all blocks

currently defending the field.

IMPORTANT: Sallying blocks are

attacking if they initiate a field battle or

assist a relief force. But if they join current

defenders in the field, the sallying blocks are

still defenders. In either case, sallying blocks

no longer have double defense.

Sallying blocks cannot retreat. They

may withdraw to the castle on their combat

turn, and must withdraw after combat

round 3 if they haven't won the field battle.

Some blocks may sally while others

stay in the castle. Such blocks may sally to

join a field battle at the beginning of a later

combat round.

6.56 Relief Forces

A player may try to relieve an existing

siege by attacking the besiegers. This

causes a field battle and prevents Storming

this round. Blocks in the castle may Sally to

assist the relief force.

Main Attack relief forces sent by

Player 1 arrive for Round 1; those of

Player 2 arrive for Round 2. Relief forces

using other road(s) arrive one round later,

meaning Round 2 for Player 1, and Round

3 for Player 2. Players can Storm or Sally in

round(s) before relief forces arrive.

Relief forces are attacking and the

besiegers are on defense. Relief force

blocks can Fire or Retreat normally, but

cannot Withdraw into the castle.

6.57 Siege Attrition

Besieged blocks are subject to a

Siege Attrition roll each Game Turn. The

besieged player rolls 1d6 for each block:

1-3: Lose 1 step

4-6: No effect

TYRE & TRIPOLI: These towns had

castles at the end of narrow causeways

with an attached fortified port. They could

be supplied by sea when under siege. Siege

Attrition losses apply only on rolls of 1.

Also see winter campaign 8.2.


Each block may retreat or withdraw

instead of firing on its normal Combat

Turn. Harrying (6.33) blocks can fire and

retreat on the same turn.

Neither player can retreat to an

enemy-occupied town, nor to an

unresolved (new) battle. Retreat off-map is

not permitted.

Blocks that cannot retreat when

required are eliminated.

6.61 Retreat Roads

Per combat round, a maximum of four

(4) blocks may retreat along a major road,

and two (2) block along a minor road.

Attacking blocks must retreat to

friendly or vacant adjacent towns, via

road(s) used to enter the battle. Defending

blocks may retreat via any other roads.

When both players enter a battle along

the same road, only Player 2 may retreat

along that road.

CAUTION: When attacking as Player

1, leaving a strong force to protect your

retreat town is recommended.

6.62 Siege Retreats

Besieged blocks can never retreat.

Blocks fighting in the field can withdraw

into the castle, if friendly, subject to castle

limits. Blocks attacking or defending the

field can also retreat normally.

Blocks may Retreat to an adjacent

siege provided the field is friendly. Such

blocks can participate normally in any

combat occuring later in the Game Turn.

6.63 Withdrawing

Withdrawals are retreats between

the field and the castle. Instead of firing,

a block in the field can withdraw to the

castle or a storming block can withdraw to

the field. Withdrawals not subject to road

limits, just castle limits.


When a field or siege battle ends,

whether by retreat, elimination, or attrition

the victor may Regroup any/all victorious

blocks to any adjacent friendly or vacant

town(s). Normal road limits apply.

Blocks may Regroup to an adjacent

siege provided the field is friendly. Such

blocks can participate normally in any

combat occuring later in the Game Turn.

NOTE: Regrouping is optional. When a

field battle ends, the victor may Regroup

some blocks and lay siege with others, if


Richard the Lionheart

Richard Plantagenet, the King of England, Duke

of Normandy, and Earl of Anjou, was arguably

the greatest military leader in medieval history and

the deadliest knight of the Middle Ages. The name

“Lionheart” was well earned and widely known

even before his adventure in the Holy Land, but

his campaigns in Outremer were the zenith of his

career. An emir from Aleppo wrote to Saladin that

“Never have we seen his like or met his peer. He is

ever foremost of the enemy at each outset; he is first

as befits the pick and flower of knighthood. It is he

who maims our folk. No one can resist him or rescue

a captive from his hands.”

While Richard far outshone Saladin as a warrior,

Saladin was a far better student of men. The English

King made enemies of many powerful allies such as

King Philip, Conrad of Montferrat, and Leopold of


Barbarossa’s Crusade

The 67 year-old Frederick Barbarossa had ruled

the Holy Roman Empire for almost four decades

and was one of the most powerful and respected

monarchs of his day. Despite the Emperor’s age and

past disputes with the pope, Barbarossa reacted to

the debacle at Hattin by rallying 15,000 men and

3,000 knights – the flower of the German nobility –

for war in Outremer.

The German army was forced to cut its way through

armies fielded by the Byzantine Empire and the

Sultanate of Rum, and it did so with fearful effect.

Saladin was so alarmed that he called-off his

campaign against Tyre and Tripoli and dismantled

castles and city walls as far south as Ascalon to

deny Barbarossa’s army any comfort or supply.

In an amazing twist of fate, however, Barbarossa

drowned while crossing a river near Tarsus on June

10, 1190. Internal dissension quickly broke out,

and when the army finally staggered into Antioch,

an epidemic swept the city – a final blow that

convinced all but a few thousand Germans to return

home. By October 1190, the remaining Germans led

by Leopold of Austria reached Acre and provided

King Guy with meager reinforcements for his

depleted army.

Saladin had been spared from fighting a formidable

foe. In Crusader Rex, he may not be so lucky.

Leopold's Flag

The Austrian flag is said to date from the Third

Crusade. After a fierce battle, Leopold's white

surcoat was stained blood red, except for a stripe

under his belt.

Declarations and Retreats

Declarations are always made at the beginning

of combat rounds. They allow players to engage

enemy forces by Storm or Sally. Retreats

and Withdrawals are made during the round on

a block's combat turn. In effect, it is relatively

easy to start a storm or sally, but withdrawing

from them is not as easy.

Copyright © 2005-11 Jerry Taylor & Columbia Games Inc.





There are no block draws in 1187.

Starting in 1188, each player draws ONE

block per Draw Phase, except the Winter

Turn. Player 1 draws and deploys first.


Each player maintains an off-map area

where blocks are kept face-down. Some

blocks start the game in the Draw Pool

and eliminated blocks are generally placed

there. Exceptions, see 6.34.


7.21 Crusaders

When drawn, German, French, and

English blocks are placed face-up in their

matching staging space on the west edge of

the mapboard. After all three blocks of any

nation have been drawn, those blocks are

eligible to move in a future game turn. Not

all need move at the same time.

7.22 English & French

English or French blocks require one

Sea Move to move each block from their

staging area to a Friendly port.

Richard's Sea-Legs: The three (3) English

blocks can Sea Move to attack an enemy

port. If combined with any other attack(s)

on the same town, the English must be the

Main Attack. Retreat by sea is prohibited;

the attackers can retreat normally by road.

7.23 Germans

German blocks require one move

per block to enter at any/all of Aleppo,

Antioch, or St. Simeon, subject to road

limits. They can attack these towns if they

are enemy-occupied, but cannot retreat


7.24 Pilgrims

Pilgrims are deployed in a friendly

port. If none, return the block to the Draw

Pool and forfeit the Draw. Remember that

the ports of Tripoli and Tyre are friendly to

the besieged player, but castle limits apply.

7.25 Outremers

Outremers (and Turcopoles) are

deployed at full strength in their home or

alternate seats unless enemy occupied, or

at strength 1 in any friendly town.


Saracen draws are deployed at full

strength in their home or alternate seats,

unless enemy occupied, or at strength 1 in

any friendly town.


BALIAN – Balian of Ibelin, Lord of Nablus.

Negotiated favorable terms for citizens of

Jerusalem after capture by Saladin in 1187.

BARBAROSSA (Redbeard) – Frederick I, the

67 year-old Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

He drowned in 1190 before reaching the Holy

Land and most of his army returned home.

BOHEMOND – Bohemond III, Prince of


CONRAD – Conrad of Montferrat, feared

warrior and claimant to the throne of the

Kingdom of Jerusalem. Murdered by the

Assassins in 1192.

FREDERICK – Frederick of Swabia, son of

Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.

KING GUY – Guy of Lusignan who married

Sibylla, sister to King Baldwin IV. He

outmaneuvered Raymond for the throne in

1186 after the premature death of Baldwin from

leprosy. Captured and ransomed by Saladin after

Hattin. King Guy never regained his throne,

being shunted off to be Lord of Cyprus, where

his descendants ruled long after Christian

Outremer perished.

HUGH – Duke of Burgundy and commander of

French forces after the departure of King Philip.

JAMES – Count of Flanders, a tough Alsatian

who took the green cross as his badge of


JOSSELIN – A notable Crusader family and the

titular Count of Edessa (Saracen controlled after

1164). Josselin led the rearguard at the Battle of

Hattin. He survived that battle, but is thought to

have perished during the Siege of Acre.

LEOPOLD – Leopold of Austria. Commanded

German forces at Siege of Acre. Insulted

by Richard, Leopold returned the favor by

imprisoning and holding the English king for

ransom when he returned home through Austria.

PHILIP – King Philip Augustus Capet of France,

a brother-in-law yet deadly rival of the English

king. Conspired to seize Plantagenet lands while

Richard remained in the Holy Land.

RAYMOND – Raymond III, Count of Tripoli,

and Lord of Galilee (though marriage), former

regent of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, and

opponent of King Guy. Raymond was a friend of

Saladin and many suspected him of treason.

REYNALD – Reynald of Châtillon, former Prince

of Antioch (through marriage) and present Lord

of Oultrejordain. This bloodthirsty and ferocious

warrior, a close ally of King Guy, was personally

executed by Saladin after Hattin.

REYNALD – Reynald Garnier, Lord of Sidon.

RICHARD – Richard I, the Plantagenet King of

England known as “The Lionheart”. His military

prowess and personal bravery were remarkable,

but his political acumen was faulty.

ROBERT – Robert of Normandy, Richard’s most

loyal supporter.

WALTER – Walter Grenier, Lord of Caesarea.


AL-ADIL – Saladin’s younger brother and Lord

of Egypt. Also known as “Safadin”.

AL-AFDAL – Saladin’s eldest son and Lord of


AL-AZIZ – Saladin’s second son and Sultan of

Egypt. He ruled Egypt after the death of Saladin

in 1193 and took the name Uthman.

AL-MASHTUB – a Mosul Kurd and Grand

Emir, longtime ally of Saladin. Captured by the

Franks when Acre surrendered in 1191.

AL-ZAHIR – Saladin’s third son and Lord of


BAHRAM – Lord of Baalbek.

JURDIK – Mameluke, and longtime ally of


KEUKBURI – Lord of Sumaiset, al-Ruha, and

Harran. Commanded the Saracen Left Wing at

the Battle of Hattin.

QAIMAZ – Ayyubid commander in Banyas.

QARA-QUSH – the Turkish word for

"Eagle", a slave who became a talented

military commander in Egypt and the Sudan.

Commanded at Acre and surrendered to King

Philip in 1191.

SALADIN – Salah al-Din Yusuf Ibn-Ayyub,

founder of the Ayyubid Empire.

SANJAR – Lord of Jazirat, a rich emirate

northeast of Aleppo.

SHIRKUH – 16 year-old son of Nasir al-Din

Muhammad (Saladin’s Uncle) and Lord of


SULAIMAN – Lord of Artah.

TAQI AL-DIN – Saladin’s nephew and greatest

general. Commanded the Saracen Right Wing at

the Battle of Hattin.

TUMAN – Emir of Homs, a former ally of


YAZKUJ – Lord of Ashtera, a former Mameluke

of Saladin’s Uncle Shirkuh.

YUZPAH – Ayyubid military commander in


ZANGI – Prince of Sinjar, and former Atabeg of

Aleppo and Mosul. A rival of Saladin for power

in Syria.

Copyright © 2005-11 Jerry Taylor & Columbia Games Inc.






The sixth and final card played in each

year is a Winter Turn, used to move blocks

to winter quarters.

Blocks move normally, except they

cannot start or reinforce battles/sieges.

They may occupy vacant towns.

There is no battle phase, siege

attrition, or draw phase.


If Winter Campaign is played in

the Winter Turn, determine turn order

normally. The Winter Campaign player

can maintain one (1) siege over the winter.

No movement or combat is allowed, but

Winter Siege Attrition is harsher: 1-4 is a

hit (1-2 in Tripoli/Tyre). The victor of a

winter siege can regroup normally.

NOTE: The Winter Campaign card is a

special Move card and is not canceled by

an Event card. It may be played anytime

as a normal Move "1" card. If played as

Move 1 in the Winter Turn, see 8.1.


A town can supply blocks equal to its

Town Rating. That is, Acre, Town Rating

3, can support up to three blocks in winter.

Minor towns (no shield) can supply one

(1) block in winter. Excess blocks (owner

choice) and all besieging blocks are


NOTE: Blocks eliminated in winter can be

drawn next year. Place them face-down in

the Draw Pool.


Each town provides replacement

points (RPs) equal to its Town Rating. For

example, Ascalon provides two (2) RPs,

which can never be transferred to another

town. Blocks gain one step per RP. Multiple

steps on the same block are allowed.

All blocks wintering in the enemy

kingdom require 2 RPs to gain 1 step.

Hence, in Ascalon, Saracen blocks gain

only one step for both RPs. Neither player

gains replacements for towns under siege.


Advance the year. Turn over face-up

blocks in the Draw Pool. Reshuffle all

cards back into the deck and start the next

year by dealing out six (6) cards to each



Game Design:

Tom Dalgliesh

Jerry Taylor


Karim Chakroun

Martin Scott (Cards)


Grant Dalgliesh


Forrest Atterberry

Nick Benedict

Peter Bogdasarian

Rob Buccheri

Leonard Coufal

Dan Dolan

Ron Draker

Stuart Pierce

Bill Powers

Dan Raspler

Cody Sandifer

Cal Stengel

Justin Thompson

Jeff White


Richard the Lionheart

© Chris Collingwood, Cranston Fine Arts






Combat Hits


Combat Ratings


Combat Reserves


Combat Turns


Double Defense




Knights' Charges






Castle Limit



2.24, 7.2

Double Defense






Draw Pools


Winter Turn








Military Orders












Sea Moves



2.25, 7.24



Tripoli & Tyre

6.51, 6.57

















Sea Movement






Castle Limit


Relief Forces




Siege Attrition

6.57, 8.2

Siege Control


Siege Declarations






Victory Cities




Winter Campaigns


Winter Replacements


Winter Supply


Winter Turn


Year End


Columbia Games, Inc

POB 3457, Blaine

WA 98231 USA


800/636-3631 (toll free)

For game updates and discussion, see:

Copyright © 2005-11 Jerry Taylor & Columbia Games Inc.