Notes for Battle System - GERMANIC/BALTIC UNITS

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Notes for Battle System - GERMANIC/BALTIC UNITS

Post  gamegeek2 on Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:07 am

Right, these are important notes for the various Germanic/Baltic units

The Framea - Most Germanic infantry carry javelins, and their javelin of choice is the framea. Light skirmisher troops such as the Jugundiz would likely still carry a mix of lighter fire-hardened and iron-tipped javelins

"They carry a spear (framea is their name for it), with a narrow and short head, but so sharp and easy to wield that the same weapon serves, according to circumstances, for close or distant conflict. As for the horse-soldier, he is satisfied with a shield and spear; the foot-soldiers also scatter showers of missiles each man having several and hurling them to an immense distance, and being naked or lightly clad with a little cloak. There is no display about their equipment; their shields alone are marked with very choice colours." -Tacitus

Given the versatility of the framea, I'd estimate its length at approximately six feet, making it an extremely heavy javelin, and a medium to short length spear (typical spears went up to 8 feet in length). This would make it quite good in melee compared with other spears, while still capable in a shield-wall formation, which the Germanic peoples seemed to favor. It wouldn't be as good against cavalry though.

In game mechanics, each Germanic and West Baltic infantryman should probably carry three javelins, with the horsemen carrying six (I'd go with the larger number, historically they used footsoldiers to provide their cavalrymen with extra spears to throw). The framea is a very heavy javelin, but the Germanics are able to throw their spears immense distances, as described by Tacitus.

Tautaginai/Dugundiz

Both of these are essentially spear-armed retainer infantry. By retainer infantry I refer to what were essentially private bodyguards, kept by influential warlords; what would be called the Hird in Norse and Anglo-Saxon culture.

In Germanic culture (I'm not sure about Baltic culture, but at the time the two probably had many overlaps) it was considered shameful . The loyalty of retainers was exalted in poems in later times (for example, the Battle of Maldon) and it was considered an honor to die in battle fighting alongside one's lord, and shameful to have survived him.

"When they go into battle, it is a disgrace for the chief to be surpassed in valour, a disgrace for his followers not to equal the valour of the chief. And it is an infamy and a reproach for life to have survived the chief, and returned from the field. To defend, to protect him, to ascribe one's own brave deeds to his renown, is the height of loyalty. The chief fights for victory; his vassals fight for their chief." -Tacitus

The Tautaginai in particular have an edge: the lands of the Lugiones were a major iron-production center during this time period. As a result, the Tautaginai (and the Lugiones in general) are able to obtain better quality iron more readily than the Germanic tribes living to the north and west.

In terms of game mechanics, this translates to a relatively high cost for troops of their equipment (they are, after all, something of a private army) but at the same time they have extremely high morale, good discipline, and are very fierce warriors.

Kirsninkai (Arii "Blackened" Warriors)

The following passage is from the section in which Tacitus discusses the various tribes of the Lugii:

Now the Arii, besides their forces, in which they surpass the several nations just recounted, are in their persons stern and truculent; and even humour and improve their natural grimness and ferocity by art and time. They wear black shields, their bodies are painted black, they choose dark nights for engaging in battle; and by the very awe and ghastly hue of their army, strike the enemy with dread, as none can bear this their aspect so surprising and as it were quite infernal. For, in all battles the eyes are vanquished first.

Obviously they should have a fear effect, and it's notable that the Arii are also said to have superior forces compared with the rest of the tribes. If this is in terms of quality or numbers, I can't say, because I don't understand Latin and don't have the original. However Tacitus notes that they are very grim and fierce, so making the Harii a superior quality unit seems a good idea - at least as high-quality as the Dugundiz, and perhaps better.
avatar
gamegeek2
Admin

Posts : 1669
Join date : 2010-06-18
Age : 23

http://eblate.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Notes for Battle System - GERMANIC/BALTIC UNITS

Post  gamegeek2 on Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:29 am

Common Levies - Plegodai and Karai

While these are tribal levies, they are bound by ancient custom to come and fight on the field in times of danger. They aren't of amazing quality

The great armies fielded by tribal confederacies would be largely composed of these men as well. According to Tacitus, one hundred men would come from each canton, but Caesar's Suebi live in 100 cantons and 1000 military men come from each canton. Most likely the number of cantons shifted during the century-plus between De Bello Gallico and Germania but regardless, Caesar's numbers imply that the Suebi could raise an army of 100,000 levies if they needed to.

Meanwhile, as discussed previously, the Lugiones had an advantage in metalworking quality, to the extent that the upper Vistula region might be accurately termed during this period the "Armanetarium Europae Barbarorum." Hence the Karai would have better quality iron, and in greater abundance. By this time the West Germanics, too, tipped their frameae with iron almost all of the time; but the West Balts would still likely have an advantage in quality.

Game-mechanics wise, these men would have very high morale for a levy, comparable to standard professionals. The good physical condition of these men and the fierce culture and people produced by it, steeled to constant war, would mean that these men would be good fighters (again, for a levy). Not able to match up to Romans, but far, far from a pushover. They have heavy frameae, which they throw at a good range, and fight in a tight shieldwall or in a wedge formation.

The difference between the two: as discussed, the West Germanic tribes, or at least the Suebi, were able to muster very large armies if necessary. Hence, the Plegodai should be cheaper than the Karai. In exchange, the Karai have better quality iron, and thus better quality weapons, translating into a higher attack stat.

Reidanez (Germanic Cavalry)

The description I wrote for this unit sums up a lot:

"They carry a spear (framea is their name for it), with a narrow and short head, but so sharp and easy to wield that the same weapon serves, according to circumstances, for close or distant conflict. As for the horse-soldier, he is satisfied with a shield and spear; the foot-soldiers also scatter showers of missiles each man having several and hurling them to an immense distance, and being naked or lightly clad with a little cloak...their horses are remarkable neither for beauty nor for fleetness. Nor are they taught various evolutions after our fashion, but are driven straight forward, or so as to make one wheel to the right in such a compact body that none is left behind another." -Tacitus, Germania

Germanic cavalry, as described by Tacitus, suffice with the equipment of the analagous infantry - shields and framjōz (frameae, versatile spears capable of being used as heavy javelins). While these may not seem the weapons of an amazing cavalry force, the Germanic horsemen use them with impressive skill, hurling their spears and charging with them in an overhand grip, stabbing over their shield down onto the enemy.

Germanic cavalry first proved its worth in recorded history at the Battle of Vosges in 58 BC when a force of 800 Germanic horsemen attacked 5000 of Caesar's cavalry, throwing them into disorder. When Caesar's cavalry made a stand, the Germanic horsemen dismounted and fought as spearmen, stabbing the Roman horses in the belly, and driving them off again.

Germanic horsemen would later prove themselves on Caesar's side, repeatedly defeating Vercingetorix's Gallic horse. In one particular episode, Vercingetorix, convinced that with the Roman Gallic auxiliary cavalry on his side he could defeat Caesar's cavalry, launched an attack against Caesar's horsemen. Since the Romans had until that point relied on Gauls for their auxiliary horsemen, Vercingetorix had good reason to think his cavalry would easily defeat Caesar's. However, Caesar's force of Germanic horsemen (which had earlier defeated cavalry under Vercingetorix as well) fought their way to the top of a hill on the right flank, broke the Gallic horsemen, and pursued them to the river where Vercingetorix and his infantry were camped. The success of the Germanic horsemen convinced the rest of the Gallic horse to flee, and many were cut down in the pursuit.


They are of a similar class as Dugundiz - retainer horsemen. This is evidenced by Tacitus as well: "Indeed, men look to the liberality of their chief for their war-horse and their bloodstained and victorious lance." This unit is outfitted by the warlord himself.

By lance Tacitus simply refers to the framea, as the Latin version uses the word "framea" which is the Latinization of the Germanic word for the versatile spear-javelin the horsemen and most of the infantry would carry several of.

In game mechanics, these men are extremely efficient light cavalry, able to smash other light cavalry. They have very good morale, and are capable of doing a circle formation while throwing javelins (Cantabrian Circle). I do not know if this was the preferred cavalry troop among the Balts; but it was definitely the most common type among the West Germanic tribes (and perhaps some of the Celts dwelling along the Rhine as well). Their javelins cause significant damage and are heavy, but can be thrown at a good range as well, and their short spear (six feet or so) means that they don't have an amazing charge, but are better in melee than cavalry with longer lances or longer overhand spears.
avatar
gamegeek2
Admin

Posts : 1669
Join date : 2010-06-18
Age : 23

http://eblate.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Notes for Battle System - GERMANIC/BALTIC UNITS

Post  gamegeek2 on Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:36 am

Xeruneutoz (Swordsmen) - These are also retainer-troops like the Dugundiz/Tautaginai. Historically the Germanics mostly used the single-edged sword, but the West Balts employed a mix of Celtic and single-edged swords. However, we can't represent variance like that on the RTW engine, so combining the two into one unit was thus more efficient.

Tacitus describes that few Germanic warriors used swords, and this is true. Even among the master West Baltic ironworkers, swords were expensive and hard to come by. Swords were a mark of elite status, and thus the warriors with them would be very good troops with successful, wealthy warlords at their head.

They would still throw frameae before combat, with all the skill of their comrades, and they'd have just as high a morale stat, if not a higher one. They're a class above Dugunthiz/Tautaginai (if those are Tier 2 professionals, these are Tier 3 Nobles/Specialists, but they aren't really nobles or specialists!), and are also much, much more expensive.

The single-edged sword of the Germanics likely wouldn't be as good as the Celtic sword, but the fierceness (and probably good-quality working, at least by the West Balts) would make it worth it.
avatar
gamegeek2
Admin

Posts : 1669
Join date : 2010-06-18
Age : 23

http://eblate.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Notes for Battle System - GERMANIC/BALTIC UNITS

Post  gamegeek2 on Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:42 pm

Germanic Heavy Cavalry

From the EB sweboz preview:

With the population decline in the 1st century BC, there also was the sudden appearance of differentiated male and female internments; and the associated spur, spear, sword, and shield among funerary items within the remaining burials. The demographic changes and appearance of weapon burials suggest the rapid emergence of a militaristic community where the use of the lance and competent horsemanship had become a defining cultural attribute (Christie 1995).

These are also most likely retainer units, analagous to later Thegns, except mounted. In terms of wealth, one could say they are aristocrats, as the price of a mail vest, helmet, and sword back then would easily cost more than a big house in today's money.

Elite noble cavalry, high morale, very effective, very expensive.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thegn
avatar
gamegeek2
Admin

Posts : 1669
Join date : 2010-06-18
Age : 23

http://eblate.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Notes for Battle System - GERMANIC/BALTIC UNITS

Post  gamegeek2 on Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:44 pm

Kamnetninkai (Baltic Medium Cavalry)

The unit I've concepted is analagous to that presented in the EB Lugiones preview. I've decided to limit the religious connotations here, but they very well are applicable, and may yet go in their description. However, the current name, simply meaning "horsemen" is fine, I think.

This unit is comprised of the sons of the Lugiones' nobility, that either had not yet assumed authority, or due to birth-order had been deigned birth-rights. Indeed they used far-flung words and claimed divine descent from horse-tamers, who raced the stars from sunset to sunrise. Yet, in truth they were just mortal men of rank and little more than common means. In the distant past such horsemen had been a decisive arm in war. Nonetheless neglect, time, and circumstance beyond control, had relegated to them the secondary role, of reconnaissance and support. However, under the right conditions they could still scatter lightly armed troops and with the gods' speed quickly turn a hardwound fight into a route. For generations among cattle, they maintained their small horse herds, on the rich grassy plain of northern Europe, while new blood was procured from the eastern steppe, through the trade in slaves and amber. In like manner the finest weapons made, found a way into their hands, and by extension were paid as gifts, that further served the wage of endless war.

Often set astride the blanket or saddle, they reined their mounts with iron bits and rings held taut by leather rigs all wrought in foreign shops. Thus armed, with a well placed foot and skillful pride they dashed to or fro, then turned to quickly halt a steed drilled to bite, kick, and trample under-hove an adversary that ventured forth alone. Dressed as any other, for protection against nature's whims or careless man-made barbs, each rider wore a simple leather tunic and faded woolen cloak. To parry prods with greater punch every man carried a large oval shield fasioned from wooden planks. Moreover, for close-quarters a single sharp-edged thrusting spear was used to belie, transfix, and pull a rival to the ground. After the spear had done its bloody work, to better make a mark, from the sheath they unleashed the cruel double-edged iron sword. Although an open battlefield offered greater fame, their speed and capacity to detach with little loss, meant they were to find, interdict, and delay an enemy’s approach. Whereby the warrior levy could garner and prepare, and at the proper time and place, conjure up a woe-filled welcome for the uninvited foe.
-Lugiones Preview

The leather tunics in this case have been made into leather cuirasses, as the Araviscii cavalry that will use the same model will have such a cuirass.

The above description is obviously a bit anachronistic for our time. 200 years have passed, and cavalry have one again become important; the archaeological record finds more and more horseman-burials, indicating the rise of cavalry to prominence. In the Lugiones preview we did, I have a more appropriate description, though not as poetically worded:

Since times long forgotten, the West Balts have kept small herds of horses on the plains of the Vistula, Narew, and Bug, as aids in herding, but also as steeds for battle. For ages, horsemen have played but a secondary role in the warfare of the region - serving as scouts and clearing out enemy pickets, but not playing a decisive role in battle.

Since the Scythian incursion of the 5th century BC, however, the quality of the regions' steeds has steadily improved, as well-bred mounts from the steppes have been acquired over time as part of the amber trade and contact with nomadic groups to the east. Archaeology also indicates an increase in the importance of cavalry during the Przeworsk period, as equestrian equipment, including long swords, shows up increasingly in burials.

These men, however, do not wield long Celtic-influenced swords, but rather the single-edged swords more common in the region. Such weapons are cheaper to make, and nearly as effective in combat, very capable of carving a nasty gash in any opponent. And though their sword and horse are their marks of pride, it is their fearsome spears that make these men highly effective horsemen. The broad head showing clear Celtic influence, a successful hit from such a weapon is nearly a guaranteed kill. For protection, these men wear leather helmets and cuirasses and carry large bossed shields - more clear signs of La Tene culture.

While far from heavy cavalry, they pack a far more fearsome charge and follow-up than the light horse characteristic of their West Germanic neighbors. These lesser nobles and their retainers are not the heavy horsemen that the wealthier nobles and their companions are, and should not be used as such. Their task is not to break the enemy line, but to sweep aside light troops, put those to flight, and turn on the weakest points of an enemy's line - the flanks and rear.


A noble unit, with very high morale; but not elite, though of a higher class than the Reidanez. Decent armour, a good big shield, and a lance and sword mean these men are excellent medium horsemen, if perhaps a bit pricey; but they ride good, swift horses of steppe blood.

Remember, the units with armor are the highest elite troops only, higher than "nobles" like these or the Xeruneutoz swordsmen. That's why there are only three Germanic units with armor - the two heavy cavalry units, and the Isernabando.

avatar
gamegeek2
Admin

Posts : 1669
Join date : 2010-06-18
Age : 23

http://eblate.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Notes for Battle System - GERMANIC/BALTIC UNITS

Post  gamegeek2 on Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:12 pm

Bruninkai (Lugian Heavy Cavalry)

There are a few things that set the Lugian heavy horsemen apart from all the other "barbarian" horsemen of Europe that make them probably the best, along with the Arevaci cavalry and the elite Getic horsemen. Here are some things that really set them apart from their West Germanic neighbors:

- Better horses. West Germanic horsemen suffered from a lack of mount quality, and their mounts were small in stature. This was excellent for horsemen that relied on the use of the javelin, but was really a liability in fielding a good heavy cavalry. Heavy horsemen did exist, but weren't up to snuff when compared with the noble horsemen of the Gauls, Belgae, or especially the Lugiones.

- Better ironworking. I doubt I need to repeat this again, but cmacq's moniker for the Przeworsk culture during the late pRIA and RIA - the "Armamentarium Europae Barbarorum" - is perfect. These guys made very, very good iron weapons. Many helmets and armour would still be imported, from Celtic and, later, Roman sources; such would be a habit of a somewhat cultured nobility. Doubtless, however, some of the finer smiths in Germania turned their hands towards armor production during the latter part of the period covered by EB:NOM. Of particular note may be the long swords I have presented earlier; examples of very fine quality work, and fearsome weapons which would give the cavalryman a longer reach with his weapon, excellent for a ride-by attack into a disorganized enemy force, or to strike down at enemies. One may even infer from the length of the weapon that the horses of the Lugiones were quite large, thus requiring longer weapons for the cavalryman to be able to fight effectively against infantry.

Now this part is somewhat speculative, but I suspect that steppe influence crept into the armaments of the cavalry as well. Certainly it did during later times during the Migration period; but long lances may have been transmitted earlier with the ongoing trade. There were certainly steppe migrations as well, and with the settling of tribes such as the Iazyges and Roxolani in Central-Eastern Europe, it wouldn't be surprising if such technology were transmitted via trade.

Regardless, in the end these should be one of the best four recruitable cavalry forces (pre-Trajan cataphracts) in Europe, along with the Ktistai (who aren't as high tier), the Ala Arevacorum, and the Beltistai guards.
avatar
gamegeek2
Admin

Posts : 1669
Join date : 2010-06-18
Age : 23

http://eblate.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Notes for Battle System - GERMANIC/BALTIC UNITS

Post  Cute Wolf on Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:55 am

I'm blank about germanics before medieval age Surprised
BTW, frighten_foot is imbalanced in some ways, as it renders low class cavalry immune to them, better setting both frighten_foot and frighten_mounted simultaneously
avatar
Cute Wolf

Posts : 690
Join date : 2010-06-20
Age : 28
Location : Bandung - Indonesia

Back to top Go down

Re: Notes for Battle System - GERMANIC/BALTIC UNITS

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum