The Perfect Captain
I think that I should not omit to say that a certain Turk, noticing that one of our Knights knew the Persian language, addressed him saying, 'I say to you, Frank, why make a fool of yourself since you labour in vain.? You can in no wise prevail against us, for you are few and we are many.'

From Fulcher of Chartres' History
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The Perfect Captain


Princes of the East
is a political/military game of the period immediately after the first crusade. Each nation strives for supremacy. Only the strongest, most cunning, will leave a legacy of stabilty and survival for his people. This game can be played face-to-face or by e-mail. Included are the rules, counters, sheets which allow control of a state, individual named leaders for use as councillors or as generals, tables, expenditure charts and a map of Southern Asia Minor and Northern Syria.
Choose the Principality you wish to rule!
Click on each individual image to learn about the nation in question, including background, territory, trade, special characteristics and victory conditions.
Troops of all types are available. Native troops are inexpensive, but few. Mercenaries are plentiful, but expensive. They are listed by the names they are called by contemporaries; Light Horse are called Skyths by the Byzantines, Turcomen by Muslims, Turcopoles by Christians. Alan Light Horse are also availabe to Byzantines. There is no qualitative difference. The same goes for Cavalry; you have Ghulams and Cataphracts. Always note the image rather than the name. You'll get used to it.

-the perfect captain-
You will notice that our ruleset "Ironbow" has conversions for the forces included with Princes of the East so that engagements can be played out on the tabletop.
The game begins in the winter of 1100-1101. Each turn represent a season or part of a season. Players write their turn's activities, first expenditures and skullduggery, then for movement and combat. Each winter, taxes are collected and trade deals are made. Any alliances must be thought out carefully, as once trade deals are organized, they can be broken at any time, but not renegociated until winter.

A state can only run efficiently with an efficient civil service. A player must choose councillors, promoting or dismissing them as the situation requires. Religious leaders, First Citizens, Leading Nobles, and Chief Advisors are real enough, however, and have their own allies and enemies. Attempt to throw out a popular one or keep an unpopular one, and you risk a revolt which could see you killed by the mob. While there IS bookeeping in the game, it is kept managable.

Preview, Princes of the East II
Here's a sneak preview of the map for the heavily revised second edition of the game. In fact it will be so different we actually thought of changing the name entirely! You'll notice the size of the map area has changed- now you'll be able to do the Crusader states in their entirety, as well as including the Fatamids and the Damascenes. There will small two player scenarios as well as giant scenarios using the whole board!

We will also expand the time period. You'll be able to play the later Crusades, the Mamluks, all the way up to the Mongol Invasion! With the now expanded Ironbow II rules you'll be able to play all the battles in miniatures...