Guards are members of a local militia or an organized military force assigned to defend locations of interest, protect certain individuals and control access to areas.
High Middle Ages
- ―A Saracen guard, upon detecting Altaïr.[src]
During the Middle Ages, infantry troops and archers patrolled unstable regions in dispute between factions. Local military commanders often stationed guards within major cities and on their outskirts to maintain civil security. Archers were mostly similar in rank, whilst soldiers held three ranks, all of whom were armed with swords and fought with various tactics.
Low-ranking Crusaders spoke English, Crusader Captains and Sergeants spoke either French or German, Saracen troops spoke either Turkish or Arabic, and Templar Knights were able to speak in all of the dialects.
Regular Crusader soldiers wore minimal protection and little headgear (with the exception of low-ranking Saracen guards), they were only equipped with leather armor or light lamellar armor. Unable to perform grabs on an enemy combatant or able break a grab maneuver, these soldiers could not enact combination attacks nor counter attack. They could only deflect attacks, and stood a small chance of dodging them successfully. Archers on rooftops were on par with regular guards in terms of combat capabilities, and those stationed in Acre wore hoods.
Soldiers that held the rank of Sergeant were equipped with helmets; the Crusaders wore chain mail tabards and the Saracens donned medium lamellar armor. Able to grab opponents during combat, Sergeant Guards had reasonable ability to break grabs, and stood a greater chance of countering and dodging light melee weapon attacks. Unlike their superiors, they took fewer opportunities to break the defenses of an enemy combatant.
Guards who held the rank of Captain possessed great skill in their combat capabilities, and were almost on par with their feared Templar Knight counterparts. Crusader Captains donned chain mail tabards with surcoats, chain mail mittens and varying knight helms, whilst their Saracen counterparts wore Baidah helmets and heavy lamellar armor. Able to grab enemy combatants and break grabs effectively, Guard Captains countered and dodged light attacks often. Captains possessed greater ability to break the defenses of an opponent and upon delivering a successful heavy blow; would deal a combination of lethal strikes.
- Main article: Templars
Similar in appearance to Crusader Guard Captains, Templar Knights were few in numbers and possessed even greater combat capabilities with unique armor, they were usually identified through their bloodstained helmets. Stationed across the Kingdom and within the major cities, the Knights were usually located near chests in isolated areas. Upon detecting the presence of an Assassin, they always provoked a fight with their hated adversaries; other guards would not intervene whilst Templar Knights engaged in duels with an Assassin.
The guards of Masyaf functioned in a similar manner to regular guards. They were equipped with robes similar those of the Assassin Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, and wielded long swords. Low-ranking Masyaf guards had their hoods down, the Sergeants had their hoods up and the Captains donned cloth masks along with having their hoods up, leaving only their eyes visible.