Regional megagame groups often favour the future as a setting for exploration and entertaining possibilities. The past can similarly provide the template for examination and enjoyment with the added advantage of a cast of historical characters and constraints with which to engage.

Successful modelling of historical situations for group role playing may vary from conventional boardgames catering from often two to six players to large scale, all day events involving up to a hundred participants. From experience. Taking elements from both formats an attempt has been made to develop a historically meaningful gamification of the First Crusade suitable for numbers that may generally be expected with a classroom setting and capable of being resolved within two to three hours.

Initial experience from testing on an undergraduate class at the end of their period of study on the Crusades encouraged us to develop the game more fully. While the cast of playable characters may involve up to 24 players, provision has been made for amalgamation of roles for as few as 2 players. With larger numbers the opportunity for players to negotiate a pathway using their personal resources toward goals of their own choosing can vary very widely.

Whether Frankish or Byzantine Christian, Seljuk Turk or Fatamid, the individual is never constrained to follow one course of action. Gameplay has been constructed to resemble the strategies and goals of the historical persona. Nonetheless, making the best of opportunities which may arise randomly or by others’ poor decisions may diverge the player considerably from recorded history.

The scenario begins with crusading forces confronting how they move forward now they are deeply into Anatolia, the Byzantines yet to commit wholeheartedly and a patchwork of rival Moslem polities. Each player has assets of treasure, military forces, prestige and an awareness of personal goals to count toward success.

Time to have your name reverberate in history!