Welcome to The Siege of Augusta XXVIII: The Crusades!

This year we’re going to get medieval on some gaming! (Don’t cringe; that was funny and you know it)

Our theme looks back at the Crusades: its trials, triumphs, and travails. For 500 years it captured the attention and imagination of all of Europe. The great holy orders of knights were founded, and Western European mythos had a new hero: the gallant knight-errant, holy and pure, strong of arm and bravery. Our collective imagination transplanted this metal-clad super-man into our oldest legends, even those of Arthur and Charlemagne. The concept of chivalry became synonymous with manhood. The celebrate the Crusades is to celebrate the pious virtues and ceaseless striving that has indelibly imprinted upon our weltanschauung the concept of the ideal hero.

If we look more closely, however, we also see that we have taken the best, and left the worst. The Crusades were also a period of slaughter and rapine. In truth, the image of the stoic knight is a fantasy; real knights were drawn at first, perhaps, by the chance for holy vegeance and the liberation of Jerusalem. When he got there, however, he became and instrument of death and destruction. The people of Jerusalem that longed for freedom from Turkish rule soon learned to fear more the blade of the Crusader even more.

In all, the Crusades were violent, bloody era, but one that, for good or for ill, changed the course of history. The Crusades’ ostensible purpose, the liberation of the Holy Land, ended in failure in 1291 when the last Crusader outpost fell. But that purpose had been abandoned long before that: in 1204, the Fourth Crusade ended with the sacking of Constantinople. The destruction of Christendom’s largest city was a catalyst for Turkish expansion and conquest. The Turks captured the former Byzantine lands, effectively ending European adventures in the Middle-East until the age of Napoleon. Crusades continued in the east, however, extending the reach of the Catholic Church all the way to the Balkans, and in 1492 Spain defeated the Emirate of Granada and erased the last Muslim foothold in Western Europe.

Game Registration is open!

You can now sign up to run games on our events page. You’ll notice a few changes.

First, the “long” table is now reserved for really large games, such as naval or large set-piece battles. Games that expect to have 10 or more people can email the Events Coordinator (whoever THAT lame guy is [oh, is it me?]) here. Be sure to note the time slot, and include your game information (look at one of the other tables to see what kind of info I will need.

Second, there is now an option to require players to sign-up for your game. You can choose this option now, although the actual sign-up functionality is not there yet. It is forthcoming. I will put out an announcement when it is available.

The Siege exists for the sake of these games. The Siege is nothing without them. That means we need volunteers (like you; yes, you!) to run games and invite people to play. Every year we have curious guests who have no idea what’s going on. If you invite them to come sit down and play, you can make a lifelong gamer and help keep our hobby going in perpetuity.

Tournaments

We have a large number of tournaments returning this year, and we will let you know all the details as soon as we get them!

Tournament organizers, send the details of your tournaments to the Director (and CC the Web Master!) so we can get them up on the Tournaments page!