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Thread: The Great Conflicts 872-1071 M2TW/Kingdoms mod.

  1. #1
    Megas Domestikos Member AnthoniusII's Avatar
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    Default The Great Conflicts 872-1071 M2TW/Kingdoms mod.

    Q : Why a new mod now that ETW is near to the public release?
    A : Because we feel that ETW modding attempts will take some time to
    be playble and that time will be big enough for mods that will focus
    in medieval eras because there is need for creation of:

    * New ships
    * New animations
    * New buildings

    Q : What is the main idea behind this mod(what is the story)?
    A : The main attempt will focus on the Roman/Bulgarian conflict for
    the balkans in late 9th and whole 10th century..

    Q : Will this conflict be the only one?
    A : No...The mod will present two other mostly unknown conflicts in
    the central Mediterranean sea and south Italy ...
    The primary players for both of those conflicts will be two muslim states.
    The Muslim Sultanate of Sicily and the muslim Principality of Chandax(Crete Island).

    Q : What is going to be the exact time frame of the mod?
    A : The timeframe will be 872 to 1071ad ...
    That way we can 'cover" many events that marked those factions in the area...

    Q : What will be the faction list?
    A : We want to make the mod as smaller as it gets so the faction list will
    be as small as posssible..

    Playable factions:
    1: Romans (Byzantines)
    2: Bulgarians
    3: South Italy Longobards
    4: Muslim Sultanate of Sicily
    5: Muslim Principality of Chandax
    6: Hungarians(at 2nd release)
    7: Dutchy of Croatia
    8: Petzenegs (non playable in the 1st release)
    9: Pope's domain (non playable)

    Emerging Factions:
    1: Kievan Vikings
    2: Turcomans
    3: Normans
    4: Magyars (at 1st release)

    Possible additions:

    Q : Why a mod that small?
    A : Because a small mod has much more chances to "survive" to the point
    of it's full release..The needed work is much less giving the dev team
    the chance to focus in some features in maximum details...
    Some of those features are:
    1: Realistic march distances becouse the army's march "covers" more land.
    With a 4 turns per year campaign an army will need a year to march from Dunab to Pelloponesos region..
    2: Shadow factions that could allow realistic civil wars...

    Q : Will be an era separation?
    A : This feature is useless in a mod that focus in specific era and region.

    Q : What about castles...Will they exist in the mod?
    A : No...Castles as we met them in M2TW did not exist that era and most important castle towns appeared in the balkans after 13th century.
    So..Only cities...

    Q : If there wont be castles,would that mean that there will be no stone forts either?
    A : Stone forts WILL exist...Romans,Arabs and other factions mainly in Balkans had a long tradition(roman heritage)of building stone forts in many strategic points known for Romans as "Kleisourae"...

    Q : What the map will look like?
    A : The map area in the block will be the mod's one...

    Q : Will be other expansions in the future?
    A : It would be too early to talk about expansions when the mod in it's 1st
    version is just another "crazy" idea...
    But never the less we are going to organise the mod that way that new additions would be easy to fit without harm any of the core mod ...
    The most important will be the map that will have 100-120 settlements and a future addition would easily add the rest that could reach the limit.

    Q : What the mod will need?
    A : Any kind of help is wellcomed,modelers or factions creator mods(like CBUR),researchers and any kind of help...

    Q : Will the reqruitment of units change?
    A : Yes it will change...The fact that we wont have any "castles' to separate the unit rosters
    will allow us to create a more accurate way of reqruitment...
    The units of each roster will be separated in two basic lines...
    The "King's men" and the rest of them (both proffesionals and not)...
    The "King's men" feature will allow us to give the players a number of heavy/ellite troops
    in his disposal from the begining of the game but in a very slow rate of reqruitment to avoid
    to make the mod inaccurate...
    "Kings men" will ussualy be available in the faction's capital (in the faction's pallace)...
    The rest of the units will be available in every city the faction will have but in order to have some of them
    the player will have to build a number of buildings that will be relative to them...
    (see the way Varangians,Scithikon,Pronoiarii etc... can be recruited in BtR submod)...
    A smaller number of merc units will be available after certain historical events
    (ex:The Varangians will be available as mercs after 911 trade agreement event and as fully reqruitable unit
    after 980 or so)...
    That way of reqruitment has already tested in BtR submod where the AI reqruits it's units with the traditional
    This is the main idea behind the reqruitment system for all factions in the mod.

    Q : What about the Pope? Will he exists as he is in M2TW?
    A : Yes Pope will exists in the game but in a kind of diferent role...
    The Popes may given the title of the "Roman" Emperor to a "German" some years ago but...
    they still ask help from the "Official" Emperor that is in Constantinople when they have any
    kind of troubles with others...The Roman Emperors still need the Pope to ask from him "favours"
    that can not ask from the Patriarch of Constantinople...We must not forget that as long the Roman
    forces ARE in south Italy they are the "protectors" of the Pope himself...

    Q : Will be any cristian separation like in M2TW?
    A : No...Despite the minor changes that happened that era from Pope's side there was NO separation
    in Catholics and Orthodox cristians! will be e great event during the game (1054)that could cause
    chain reactions to many factions and could "provoke" the Norman invasion to Italy a bit later...

    Q : Will any historical battles exist in the mod?
    A : Yes there will be...For example the battle of Cannes in 1018 between the rebelled Longobards of south Italy and
    the Romans...At that battle Longobards used many Norman knights as allies and mercs and the Romans sent to
    the "Katepano of Italy" reinforcements of Varangs(Harald Haadrata in them)and Alan horsearchers!!!
    Afcourse other famous battles will exist....

    The FAQ will reguraly updated in the near future...



    1: CBUR team:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Pompeius Magnus

    2:BGTW team:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    3: PubliusKhannus
    4: firekiller
    5: Matko
    6: Hrobatos
    7: FliegerAD

    1: Absinthia
    2: Sumskilz
    3: Stefaneke
    4: HaniballExMachina
    5: =NF=Basileios the 2nd
    6: Gogo-t (Bulgarian Unit Roster)
    7: Matko
    8: AnthoniusII
    9: Koultouras
    10: Socal_infidel
    11: Gogo_t


    Leif Erikson

    2D Art:

    1: Agistournas
    2: Olavi
    3: firekiller
    4: Tzar
    5: Petar
    6: Gogo-t
    7: Remlap
    8: Char

    Strat_map city models:

    1: General Grievous


    1: Absinthia
    2: Koultouras
    3: Socal_Infidel


    1: Agistournas
    2: Absinthia

    1: Arn
    "Members of Honor Hall of fame"

    In here we place the names of people that their work and
    donations gave TGC mod its essence of realism.

    Master Zuma


    1: Pacco
    2: Rusichi Total War team
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	plan.JPG 
Views:	7849 
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ID:	635  
    Last edited by AnthoniusII; 02-18-2011 at 15:20.

  2. #2
    Megas Domestikos Member AnthoniusII's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Thesalonike Greece

    Default Re: The Great Conflicts 872-1071 M2TW/Kingdoms mod.

    Last edited by AnthoniusII; 05-15-2010 at 19:25.

  3. #3
    Megas Domestikos Member AnthoniusII's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Thesalonike Greece

    Default Re: The Great Conflicts 872-1071 M2TW/Kingdoms mod.

    Bulgarian Empire.


    As any self-respecting, mysterious tribe, the origins of the Bulgars are largely disputed and still not certain. The meaning of the very name Bulgar has over 160 interpretations, ranging from the less likely "descendants of the Noah's great-grandson Bulgar", through "people of the Volga river", "water people", "wise people", "kind people", "fortress-guards", "brigands" and "rebels" and finally reaching to the more likely "mixed people" and "settled people". Likewise, their origins are supposedly Turkic, Iranic, Finno-Ugric and even Thracian or Slavic. The Bulgar homeland has been searched high and low all over Eurasia - from Bactria, through Altay and Siberia to the Transcaucasian steppes and the Balkans.

    Worship and Religion.

    Similarly, the Bulgar religion is also rather controversial. Based on the theory of Turkic origins and one damaged epigraphy, the most popular thesis is that the Bulgars were monotheistic people worshipping Tangra, the Bulgar equivalent of the Turkic Sky-God Bir-Tengri. An Arab chronicler gives two other names - Edfu and Fa. There are also references to Christian rulers, shamanism among the common people, worshipping of rocks, of the sun and the moon, even of some "demons" (according to the Christians). The Iranic theory also proposes influences of Zoroastrianism found in the schemes of several Pagan temples. The Bulgars themselves, however, used simply God, as attested several times in their epigraphies: "Whoever seeks the truth - God sees. And whoever lies - God sees... The Bulgars did many good deeds to the Christians (Romans) and the Christians forgot them, but God sees." Adding to all this the fact that when the Bulgars conquered Moesia from the Romans, they also integrated the local population with its own beliefs, we get a quite diverse religious picture of the situation in Bulgaria.
    Due to this, the Bulgar rulers eventually realized something has to change. The Bulgars themselves had one belief, the Slavs had their many deities, the Romans had their Christian god and every religious group had different moral codes and different laws. As a result, Khan Krum the Terrible was reportedly the first to create common state laws for all his subjects, no matter their religion. However, this didn't fully solve the problem, so half a century later, in 864, Khan Boris took the fateful decision to officially convert himself and his people to Christianity. Thus he hoped to solve several problems: from one side - to unify his people into one, both in religion and culture, and from another side - to gain a greater prestige and equality next to the other great rulers in Europe, both of which were Christians (the Roman emperor and the German king). With this he also had one great fear - the increasing influence of the Roman culture - but in time this was solved as well, after the students of St. Methodius came to Bulgaria in 886 and started spreading Christianity in the now common Slavic language, thus replacing the Roman influence over the people.

    Manoeuvring between Rome and Constantinople.
    Boris, now called Knyaz Boris I Mihail, also had one other fear connected to his baptism - the control over his newly-created church and the possible foreign interventions in his political affairs through it. This is why he demanded from the start an autocephalous (self-governing) church which would be under his control alone. He first turned towards Constaninople, but the response from Patriarch Photios was less than acceptable. Therefore he turned towards Rome and sent a list with 106 questions of various nature to Pope Nicholas I. The answers were detailed, but the pope glossed over the controversial question of the autocephalous status desired by Boris and sent a large group of missionaries to continue the conversion of Bulgaria in accordance with the western rite. In response, Patriarch Photios wrote an encyclical to the eastern clergy in 867, in which he condemned Rome's ecclesiastical intervention in Bulgaria. This occasioned the Photian Schism, which was a major step in the rift between the eastern and western churches. However, after several of Boris' candidates for an independent archbishop were denied by the Pope, he shifted again towards the Romans. In 870, the Fourth Council of Constantinople finally granted the status of an autocephalous archbishopric to the Bulgarian church and thus Bulgaria remained under the wing of the Eastern Orthodoxy.

    General history.
    As previously stated, the origins of the Bulgars are largely controversial. What is certain is that they came from the Eurasian steppes and were first testified by a European source in 354 by the Anonymous Latin chronographer who, while speaking about the descendants of Noah, placed "Ziezi ex quo vulgares" at the end - "Ziezi, of whom are the Bulgars". Two other reports about them, by Paulus Diaconus and Fredegarius, place them in 422 on the northern slopes of the Carpathians where they had a successful battle with the Langobards and killed their first king, Agelmund. But let us start from the beginning:
    Early history.
    No matter where they've originally come from, it is certain that one of their long-lasting homelands were the lands to the north of the Caucasus mountain. They are testified by several Armenian chroniclers to have lived there in tents and in cities, some of them migrating to the south during the Hunnic invasion and eventually getting assimilated among the Armenians. Another large group was supposedly carried away by or with the Huns to the west, to Eastern and Central Europe, as we saw in the forementioned case about the battle with the Langobards. This group was later called Huno-Bulgars or Kutrigurs, which some interpret as "the wanderers". The group that stayed in Transcaucasia was called Utigurs, which is along that line interpreted the same way as Bulgars - "the settled ones". After Attila's death in 453, the Kutrigur Bulgars split on two again - some joined the Gepids at the battle at Nedao and stayed living in Central Europe (these Bulgars later joined the Langobards in their migration to Italy), while many of the other Kutrigurs were "inherited" by Attila's favourite son, Ernakh, who settled in Scythia Minor and took control over the Utigur Bulgars. As allies to the Roman emperor Zeno, they were first hired to fight against the Goths, but soon the Bulgars started raiding the Roman realms in the Balkans as well. These raids lasted for nearly a century, sometimes combined with the raids of the Slavs who had just arrived to the north of the Danube. During the reign of Justinian I, he managed to create a conflict between the Kutrigurs (some of which were hired as foederati and settled in Moesia) and the Utigurs, which eventually stopped the raids as the two tribes started fighting between themselves. In such a weakened state they were met by the newly-arrived Avars, which conquered most of the Kutrigurs, and the Gok-Turkic khaganate, which dominated over the Utigurs.
    Old Great Bulgaria.
    Kubrat was a heir to the Bulgar throne from the royal house of Dulo. He was raised in Constantinople where he befriended the future emperor Heracleios and learned how to administer a country. After he returned to his people around 632, he managed to overthrow the Avar and Gok-Turkic dominion and eventually created a state, which was called "Old Great Bulgaria" by the later Roman chroniclers. As Kubrat grew old, it is reported that he gathered his five sons and gave them a lesson about unity - they had to break a bundle of arrows, but even the strongest of them could not. But when the old Kubrat took out and broke the arrows one by one, he showed them that if they separate, they will be easily crushed. But if they stay united, they will be undefeatable. His sons, however, did not listen to him and after he died, they split on five groups. The oldest son, Bat-Bayan, remained in his lands in Transcaucasia and was soon subjugated by the Khazars. The second son, Kotrag, took a large part of the Kutrigurs to the north, near the rivers Volga and Kama, where the so-called Volga Bulgaria was later created. The third son, Asparuh, went to the south-west and in 680-681 conquered Moesia from the Romans and formed the so-called Danubian Bulgaria (or simply Bulgaria today). The fourth and fifth sons, Kuber and Altsek, went directly to the west, in the Avar khaganate where they attempted to take the throne, but failed. Then they split - Kuber took his people to the south in present day Macedonia, while Altsek first fled to Bavaria and then to the Lombards. Of the five brothers, only two managed to create a sufficiently long-lasting legacy.
    Danubian Bulgaria.
    After he conquered Moesia in 680, Asparuh relocated some of the local Slavic tribes and placed them as border guards to the south and west, while the Bulgars guarded the north-eastern border, where Asparuh eventually died fighting the Khazars in 700 AD. He was succeeded by Tervel, managed to gain the high imperial title of kesar (Greek form of "caesar") after helping Justinian II take back his throne. In 717-718 he and his successor Kormesiy joined the Romans during the Second Arab siege of Constantinople and together they repulsed the last Arab siege against the Roman capital. In the middle of the century, however, began a struggle for the throne and Roman Emperor Constantine V Copronymus used the turmoil to launch nine campaigns against Bulgaria. The country managed to survive and stabilize itself during the reign of Kardam (777-803). The following ruler, Khan Krum, who was supposedly a descendant of Kuber, expanded the state to the north by destroying the Avar khaganate in 805 and to the south taking Serdica in 809. In 811 Emperor Nikephoros I Genikos passed the Balkan mountains and sacked the Bulgar capital of Pliska, but was then ambushed during his retreat and was killed in the ensuing battle, while his son was mortally wounded and died a couple of months later. Krum was succeeded by Omurtag, who signed a 30-years peace treaty with the Romans and started large construction and reconstruction projects, including the rebuilding of the burned-down Pliska. He also continued the administrative reforms of his father and organized the state into 10 komitats. Another such policy was to gather all the Slavs under the Bulgar wing and this idea was pursued also by Persian, Omurtag's grandson, who conquered more lands to the south. Persian was followed by his son - Boris. After unsuccessful wars with the Romans and the Germans, Boris decided to convert his people to Christianity and unite them under one God, one law and one monarch. The conversion wasn't welcomed by many of the nobles and the people and Boris was forced to quell a rebellion, which ended with the executions of 52 high nobles and their families.

    The language of the old Bulgars is unknown, since nearly all Bulgar epigraphies are on Greek, but the two main guesses are about some form of Turkic or Iranic. However, during the time of Knyaz Boris I, the Bulgars and the Slavs had mixed to such a degree that Slavic was the common language, which later became official at the National Council in 893, when the Slavic writings had been fully incorporated into the life of the church and the state administration.

    Social structure.
    The Bulgars had a well-developed clan system and were governed by hereditary rulers. The members of the military aristocracy bore the title boil (bolyar). There were also bagains - lesser military commanders. The nobility were further divided onto Small and Great Bolyars. The latter formed the Council of the Great Bolyars and gathered to take decisions on important state matters presided by the khan. Their numbers varied between six and twelve. These probably included the ichirgu boil and the kavkhan (vice khan), the two most powerful people after the khan. These titles were administrative and non-inheritable. The boyars could also be internal and external, probably distinguished by their place of residence — inside or outside the capital. The heir of the throne was called kanartikin. Other non-kingly titles used by the Bulgarian noble class include boila tarkan (possibly the second son of the khan), kana boila kolobur (chief priest), boritarkan (city mayor).

    The "Nominalia of the Bulgar rulers" starts with two characters which are considered as legendary rulers and are associated with Attila and his son Ernakh. It is not clear whether there is any real connection between the Dulo clan and Attila or if this was just a honourification of the clan's genealogy.

    * Avitohol lived 300 years. His clan was Dulo and his year (of ascending to the throne) dilom tvirem.
    * Irnik lived 150 years. His clan Dulo and his year dilom tverim.
    * Gostun, the regent, 2 years. His clan Ermi and his year dokhs tvirem.
    * Kurt ruled 60 years. His clan Dulo and his year shegor vechem.
    * Bezmer 3 years and his clan Dulo and his year shegor vem (vechem)...

    After that comes Asparuh and the Danubian Bulgarian rulers:

    Dulo clan
    *Asparuh (681-700)
    *Tervel (700-721)
    *Kormesiy (721-738)
    *Sevar (738-753)

    Ukil/Vokil clan
    *Kormisosh (753-756)
    *Vineh (756-762)

    Ugain clan
    *Telets (762-765)

    Ukil/Vokil clan
    *Sabin (765-766)
    *Umor (766)

    Ugain clan
    *Toktu (766-767)
    *Pagan (767-768)
    *Telerig (768-777)
    *Kardam (777-803)

    Krum's dynasty, possibly Dulo clan
    *Krum (803-814)
    *Omurtag (814-831)
    *Malamir (831-836)
    *Persian (836-852)
    *Boris I (852-889, 893; †907)

    Tactics of the Bulgarian Army
    The Bulgars paid great attention to scouting the enemy before battle. Their battle line was distinguishable - it consisted of front guarding units, scouting units, two battle lines and a reserve. The supplies were placed deep behind the battle lines - from 1,5 to 3 km distance. The infantry held the centre, while the cavalry - the flanks. In order to exhaust the enemy, the cavalry would harass him and then quickly retreat, while the main forces would deal the decisive strike at a carefully chosen place. The Bulgars were masters in the art of ambush. It was important for the terrain to be sloping against the enemy, the sun to shine in his eyes and the wind to blow against him. The Bulgars pursued the vanquished enemy until his total annihilation, without care for the loot, which was astonishing for their contemporaries.

    Organization of the Bulgar army

    There was a strict hierarchy in the Bulgar army. The highest commander was the khan, while his right-hand man was the kavkan. Assistants of the khan were also the ichirgu boil and the kana boila kolober. Other commanders were the tarkans and the zhupans, while the lower ranks were held by the bagains. In times of war, the army was recruited from the whole population and the rulers could field numerous forces. In times of peace, regular forces were the ruler's personal band, the fortress garrisons and the border guards. The army discipline was very tight. Incitement for mutiny, changing to the enemy's side, desertion during battle and other crimes were punishable by death. But along the harsh laws, prizes were also being awarded. The khan's chosen warriors were given the rank of bagatur, those distinguished in battles - an additional part of the spoils. Stone tombstones with epitaphs were made for the commanders who died in battle."
    Battle formation

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Unit roster [Unit descriptions and screenshots]

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    1. Selyani – Bearing the Slavic-Bulgarian name for “peasants” [BG: селяни], these men are commoners, whose main purpose is to work the fields, be it for themselves as the so-called “lyude”, meaning “(free) people” (as most of the Bulgarian population from that time was), or for any eventual noble that might have acquired their land - the small, but slowly growing group of bonded peasants called “paritsi” (coming from the Greek paroikoi). Compared to most other troops, they are ill-equipped (mostly with whatever tools they have in their homes), ill-trained and not well-suited for the battlefield, but their low cost and high numbers can make them a worthy canon-fodder in the arms of a skilled leader.

    2. Shtitonostzi – Literally meaning “shield-bearers” [BG: щитоносци], these men have taken their name from the specific shields they carry, as described by Mauricius in his Strategikon chapter about the Slavs: “Every man is armed with at least two throwing spears and some of them with big and long shields, like doors – very strong, but uncomfortable”. But now these shields have an improved and rounded version, making them easier to be worn and giving the men an even better ability to fight. And they have a reason to fight, as they are mostly free men, peasants who have been called to arms to fight for their land against its many enemies. They are well prepared to fight with their javelins, striking from a distance, while their large shields offer them a good protection from any enemy ranged retaliation. As they finish firing their javelins, they can take out their axes to mop up what is left of the enemy in close combat.


    3. Kopienostzi – Bearing the Slavic-Bulgarian name for “spearmen”, literally “spear-bearers” [BG: копиеносци], these warriors are the backbone of nearly every medieval army. Considering the spear is a relatively simple weapon and even used in civil life as a hunting tool, and since the kopienostzi consist mostly of commoners, called to arms in a time of need, they are relatively cheap and can be recruited in large numbers. And in large numbers is their strength, since a wall of spears is a force to be reckoned with and a good general would know how to use them to stop the enemy in his tracks, while sending his cavalry to outflank the now immobilized enemy.


    4. Streltzi – In the times of old, when the Slavs were still worshipping their heathen gods, Mauricius wrote in his Strategikon manual about their streltzi [BG: стрелци], or archers in English: “They use wooden bows and small arrows, tipped in a poison which acts quickly, unless the wounded soldier has smeared himself beforehand with the teriak liquid or some other antidote known to the medical science.” Now their traditions in archery have been combined with those of the Bulgars and although they are not as mobile as the latter’s horsemen, they are still a truly deadly threat, more than making up for the light equipment they carry.


    5. Leka konnitza – Leka konnitza [BG: лека конница] comes from Slavic-Bulgarian, meaning “light cavalry”. Since the Bulgars had adopted the steppe warfare at least since the times of the Huns, these men, along with the horse archers, form the bulk of their armies. Although they are of commoner origin, their long spears and cavalry axes are always ready for a fight. The strict laws and discipline also help, as mentioned by Pope Nicholas I in 866 in a letter to Knyaz Boris I: “You say that it is a custom of your country that, before you set out for battle, a most faithful and prudent man is sent by your lordship, who inspects all the arms, horses, and things which are necessary for battle; and if, at someone's home, they are found to have been readied in a useless fashion, that person receives capital punishment.” As a result, as one X century Arab historian, Al-Mas’udi, wrote: “One horseman of the Bulgarians can face 100 or 200 horsemen of the infidels.”


    6. Konni streltzi – Konni streltzi [BG: конни стрелци] is the Slavic-Bulgarian name for the horse archers, a continuation of the old Bulgar tradition of steppe warfare. In the VI century a Roman writer in Ostrogothic service, Cassiodorus Senator, called the Bulgars “feared throughout the whole world”. One of the main reasons for that are precisely the horse archers, free men who are trained to ride before they can walk, to shoot a bow before they can grow their first facial hair. As Mauricius writes in his Strategikon: “They pay great attention and practice a lot in shooting from their horses”. In addition to this, they carry their superior composite bows which allow them to shoot not only to a great distance, but also with a great speed and lesser fatigue. It is then no wonder why they are one of the most important parts in the Bulgarian army.


    7. Mechonostzi – In earlier ages, every Slavic knyaz had a personal band of loyal soldiers, the so-called druzhinniks. But since the times of Krum and Omurtag, the Slavic independence gradually disappeared and the knyazes became a part of the state administration. Because of this, the poorer part of the druzhinniks lost their high status and transformed into the mechonostzi [BG: мечоносци], simply meaning “sword-bearers” – a mixed unit of professional soldiers and simple peasants, trained in the art of sword-fighting. They still loyally serve their master (be that the tsar and his provincial administrators or some of the various nobles) and are ready to protect his life, possessions or estates even in the thickest of battles, despite their lost prestige and the resulting decrease in pay and armament, their only hope being that they would be noticed and hired as the tsar’s chigots or the noble’s personal guards.


    8. Otbrani kopienostzi – The chosen spearmen, which is the meaning of “otbrani kopienostzi” [BG: отбрани копиеносци], are professional soldiers, whose skills and courage have been noted by the nobles or the tsar’s servants. As a result, they have been hired in higher-ranked units, with a greater pay and considerably better equipment. They form a solid part of the regular forces of the country, serving as garrisons and guards throughout the land, ready to quell any unrest or repel any foreign invader.

    9. Otbrani mechonostzi-While the old druzhinas in Bulgaria were reorganized due to the waning power of the Slavic knyazes, the more skilled of them were formed in units of the so-called otbrani mechonostzi [BG: отбрани мечоносци], or chosen swordsmen – a regular unit of relatively high pay and a relatively high battle-strength, serving mostly as the garrison’s core in the bigger towns and some strategically located fortresses. The best among them can hope to be bestowed the honour of serving in the personal retinues of the bagains or even the boils.

    10. Otbrani streltzi – Marksmanship has always been a highly prized skill in nearly every human culture for the last several thousands of years. But joining a group of the best foot archers, the “otbrani streltzi” [BG: отбрани стрелци] or “chosen archers”, in a country composed of two peoples with legendary skills in archery, is by far not an easy task. Yet, these men are exactly such people, who have proven time and again that they know not only how to shoot with a bow, but also how to swing the sword, should it come to that. Of course, their main asset it still their skill in ranged warfare, making them ideal both for garrison duty and open field battles. Because, as the early Xth century Roman historian Ioannis Kaminiatis writes, “Nothing else was so natural to them as to take aim and nothing could withstand the power of their arrows”.

    11. Bagaturi – The bagaturi [BG: багатури], their name coming from an old Bulgar word for “heroes, brave men”, are veteran soldiers who have shown exceptional courage and skill in battle, returning with the heads of several enemies at once. The Roman author Ennodius, while writing in the early VI c. about the Bulgars, mentioned that “this is a nation where people acquired their titles and bought their nobility with the blood of their enemies, a nation where the battlefield glorifies one’s kin, because they consider the one, whose arms have been more blooded in battle, to be certainly nobler than the others.” These men are such people – soldiers who are rising the social ladder solely through their courage and strength of arms. In order to do this, they have dedicated their lives to war and have equipped themselves as best as they can, forming a unit of medium-heavy cavalry, equally skilled in both ranged and melee fights.


    12. Boili – The boili [BG: боили], or “bolyars” as they are called by the Slavs, form the group of the high Bulgarian nobles. They are some of the wealthiest men in the state, whose main occupation basically comes down to ruling, hunting and fighting. They are also divided in two groups – the so-called “malki boili” and “veliki boili” (respectively meaning “small boils” and “great boils”), the latter forming the Council of the Great Boils – close advisors to the tsar, which at times can even depose him and elect a new one. Naturally, their wealth provides for some of the heaviest equipment in the land not only for themselves, but also for their personal guards who form this unit (the descendants of the old high druzhinniks), making them some of the best lancers in the Bulgarian army.


    13. Bagaini – The bagaini [BG: багаини] form the lower parts of the Bulgarian aristocracy. They are not as wealthy as the boils and can not afford their heavy melee equipment, thus preferring first to ride from afar and weaken the enemy with their composite bows and only then to close up and draw their swords. Naturally, their lower noble status and desire to rise up in ranks also makes them a convenient tool in the hands of the tsar, limiting the possible transgressions of the more power-hungry nobles.

    14. Tarkani – The tarkani [BG: таркани] are representatives of the tsar, placed to govern regions of various size – from whole regions to single fortresses, depending on their rank. They can be nobles of various caliber or even simple commoners, who have earned the trust of the tsar and risen to heights, which would in return earn the eternal loyalty to their benefactor. As they are a part of the state administration, the government secures them and their closest guards with lances, swords, bows and armour, but they prefer to act mostly as the tsar’s most loyal lancers, ready to protect his interests in the thickest of battles.

    15. Chigoti – Since Pagan times, the Bulgars revered the sword as a sacred weapon. Pope Nicholas I attested to this in 866, writing to Knyaz Boris I that “whenever you decided to oblige someone for some matter by swearing an oath, you brought a sword into the centre of the gathering and swore an oath by it”. And although the country converted to Christianity in 864, the chigoti [BG: чиготи], an old Bulgar word for “swordsmen”, are still seen as something special, something almost sacred. They are skilled and brave, often said to be heroes, but unlike the bagaturs, they also have the prestige to be one of the tsar’s closest units – his palace guards, who also follow him to the field of battle. Another thing that distinguishes them from the other elite Bulgarian units is that they fight on foot, thus combining the traditions of both the Slavs and the old Bulgars. Given their high position, they are heavily armoured and a real threat to even the strongest enemies.

    16. Tzarska strazha – The Tzar’s Guard or “tzarska strazha” [Bg: царска стража] are the elite of the elite. They form the tsar’s closest and most loyal soldiers and are a source of pride for the whole nation. They are a heavily armed cavalry and are described (together with the chigots) by Theophanes Continuatus like “a great host, divided on many units, some armed with golden shields and golden spears, others with silver shields and silver spears, third with arms of all colours and all of them covered in iron.”


    BGTW Team:
    More additions:
    Leif Erikson
    A huge thanks to Rusichi TW team for their primary material.
    Last edited by AnthoniusII; 02-18-2011 at 15:04. Reason: Adding material.

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    Megas Domestikos Member AnthoniusII's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Great Conflicts 872-1071 M2TW/Kingdoms mod.

    The Normans

    The Normans regarded themselves as a distinct people, separate from the French and only distantly related to their Viking ancestors. In about 911 AD Charles the Simple recognized Rolf, known to the French as Rollo, as the legitimate ruler of Neustria and the former Viking raider accepted baptism by the archbishop of Rouen. The ancestor of Duke Robert the Magnificent and William the Bastard was now established in the lower Seine valley between Les Andelys and Vernon and by 933 the Norman territory had been pushed as far west as Mont St Michel. From this base the Normans were to extend their power to Sicily in the south and to England in the north with profound effects on the history of Europe.

    Normans in Italy.

    While it has received more attention recently, the Norman insertion into Italy and Sicily is often neglected even in basic texts concerning Western Civilization. Yet this "other" Norman invasion had profound effect on the political and cultural development of the Mediterranean.

    Normans in their attempt to settle in Normandy found themselves in a very uncertain political environment that followed the collapse of the Frankish Empire. That “environment” allowed Normans to strength their position and tries to expand more without fear of a counter measure.

    The Normans arrival in southern Italy was not an invasion as much as a slow accumulation of young mercenary knights looking for opportunities denied them at home. Initially hired by the Lombards to help in their revolt against the Byzantines in 1017, they soon sold their services to either side.
    More importantly, they began to seize towns and carve out fiefs for themselves. Often too small in number to directly assault well-defended towns, the Normans proceeded to raid and raze the outlining areas and farms, slow stripping the target of both food and commerce until it capitulated. They even went as far as to start fires and then demand payment before allowing them to be put out. The Normans systematically used intimidation and terror to rapidly gain land in Apulia and the area north of Naples. These tactics would allow them to set themselves up as barons in the region in less than seventy years.

    Yet while the Normans often acted as little more than robber-barons pursuing their own interests, they could show remarkable cohesion and foresight when required. Even when squabbling among themselves, they could rapidly drop their quarrels to confront a perceived threat. This ability to subsume internal differences for the greater good of the group was one of the primary reasons for their success. It also helped that their adversaries, be they the pope, Muslims or Byzantines, continually underestimated the capabilities and tenacity of the Normans. Never superior in numbers, the Normans used their heavy cavalry in a remarkably coherent manner to outmaneuver their opponents and seize fleeting opportunities. When Pope Leo IX came south with an army in 1053 to deal with the Norman predations of church property, he soon found himself their virtual prisoner following the crushing defeat at Civitate. Yet in a paradox typical of the Normans, they showed the Pope extreme respect and negotiated a settlement with him that confirmed their holdings. The Normans under Richard of Capua would continue to insert themselves into papal politics as when they invaded Rome and placed Nicolas II on the throne of St. Peter in 1059.

    The Normans were actually divided into two settling groups:
    1: The earliest known expedition was one by Rainulf Drengot along with his brothers and 250 other Norman cast-outs and adventurers, who established a protection business around Monte Sant'Angelo and its pilgrims in the late 1010s. The Byzantines (who thought they were in charge) showed their displeasure by thrashing the Normans in a battle close to Cannae (where Hannibal won his greatest victory against Rome), after which the bedraggled Norman survivors headed west into Lombard lands to lick their wounds. Battered but not defeated, Drengot and the surviving Normans regrouped and maneuvered themselves within ten years into a position where they had pretty much usurped the Lombards, and in the process taken over a lot of the properties of the Abbey of Montecassino. In 1030 Rainulf was acknowledged as the first Count of Aversa - the first formal Norman presence in Southern Italy. In 1038 he got his own form of payback by beating the Byzantines in battle, and deciding he was really a prince. And in 1042, in an act of poetic justice, his Norman mate from the other side (William Bras-de-Fer - see below) let him have Monte Sant'Angelo after he had removed the Byzantines from the east side of the country. Rainulf left no sons, and it was the nine Hauteville boys and their descendants (below) who were to stamp a lasting Norman impression on Southern Italy and Sicily.

    2: The most famous of the Hauteville family was Robert Guiscard, who arrived in Italy in 1047. Initially only in control of malaria-ridden lands in Calabria, Robert soon expanded his holdings and after helping install Nicolas II he was invested with Apulia, Calabria and Sicily as a reward. The fact that Sicily was held by the Muslims and portions of Apulia were still under Byzantine control seems to have mattered little to Robert or his younger brother Roger. While in the early years the Normans had been focused on territorial expansion and the accumulation of wealth, as their holdings increased they were inevitably forced to deal with the issues of governance.

    An interesting contrast emerged between how Roger developed the Sicilian government compared to the system that evolved in southern Italy under Robert. Because other Norman families had established significant fiefs in Apulia, Robert was continually confronted with revolts from his vassals who perceived the Hautevilles as having overstepped their authority. Yet despite continual turmoil in his lands, he persisted in trying to expand his holdings into to Illyria right up to his death in 1085.

    In contrast, Roger was extremely careful in assigning land in Sicily and held much of it for himself, thus preventing any family from developing a power base. He also showed remarkable foresight in his government organization by retaining many of the administrative techniques that had evolved there from the Byzantine and Muslim traditions. Holding court in Sicily and Calabria, Roger developed a centralized government that saw the rise of trade and culture to new heights in his territory. His death in 1101 marked the closing chapter in the heady days of conquest and expansion that had begun just over eighty years before.
    Typical of the Norman tactics, they launched a reconnaissance in force into Sicily. They returned in 1061 to capture Messina using diversions and sheer audacity. It would not be until 1086 though until Roger captured Syracuse and sealed the fate of Sicily.

    Changes in warfare tactics.

    Less than one hundred years of living in Normandy had profound influences on the Normans. They adopted French language and customs, and adopted the feudal system. The Normans also made immense changes to their warfare technique. Upon arrival on the shores of France, the Normans were almost entirely an infantry force that used typical Viking style shield-wall tactics. Only one hundred years later, the Normans become renowned horseman.

    The eleventh century saw the rising importance of cavalry in battle. The Normans were fast to adopt to this development. The advantage that a combined infantry-cavalry force proved over massive infantry-only formations soon became very clear. Some of the Norman's neighbors that did not follow these changes in warfare would soon pay a dear price. The Anglosaxons, for example, situated on the other end of the la Manche channel still used old style tactics well into eleventh century [picture].

    The Normans used their cavalry to disrupt enemy shield-wall formations with a series of attacks and feinted retreats. They did not yet possess lances long enough to allow them to charge straight into an enemy infantry formation and break it on impact. Instead, when the Normans drew close to their enemies they would throw their spears at the infantry [picture]/[picture2] or they would try to stab the enemy with spears while moving parallel to shield wall. The goal of these tactics was to weaken the enemy before the final assault, and to provoke them into breaking formation. When the enemy formation finally broke and the infantry became disorganized, the Norman infantrymen would join the attack and along with their mounted countrymen they would rout the enemy.

    After their arrival in Italy they found themselves in a heavily mountainous environment and in battles against armies that used a large number of archers and heavy cavalry that used longer spears/lances than their own. However, they were smart enough to fortify themselves in high mountains and to learn from their enemies the cavalry tactics and techniques that the Lombards had used for centuries. In their Italian campaigns, the Normans adopted longer lances and employed tight cavalry charging formations. These, along with adoption of spurs and specially engineered high saddles allowed so called "couched" charges which could smash enemy lines in half. Now the Normans became even less dependent upon infantry, who were pushed aside to a supporting role, in favor of the cavalry.

    Soon enough they also realized that archers were much more lethal in the Italian mountain environment than in the open plains of west Europe. Archers in Italy also had better training and equipment and were present in larger numbers. Normans found two solutions against this disadvantage of theirs - they recruited large numbers of Lombard, Italian and Muslim archers and they adopted the Islamic and Roman style scale and lamellar made cuirasses to better protect themselves [picture].

    Timeline of the Norman expansion in Italy.

    The Norman Conquest of southern Italy begins. The first adventurers from the coast of Normandy, France, hire themselves out to the rival rulers of Benevento, Salerno, Naples, and Capua. As a reward they are given the city of Aversa. But as their numbers increase, the Normans band together to fight on their own.
    By this time Robert Guiscard (i.e. "the Wise", or, "Wily") has established a Norman kingdom in southern Italy. He conquers Calabria (the toe of the Italian peninsula), Benevento (1054 A.D.), and allies himself with Pope Nicholas II (r. 1059-1061), whom he protects from being dominated by Germanic rulers, and receives papal sanction to rule Calabria, Puglia (the heel of the Italian peninsula), and the island of Sicily. Robert sends his younger brother Roger to conquer Sicily, and himself sets out to conquer Puglia from the Byzantines.
    The Normans have many classical texts translated from the Greek and Arabic into Latin. Together with the Greek texts that are collected in Byzantium and rediscovered in the libraries of the monasteries of Europe, these works will bring about a revolution both in Roman Catholic theology and in secular learning.
    Robert Guiscard captures Bari. With Puglia conquered, and with it Byzantium's rule in southern Italy ended, Robert next sets out to conquer Constantinople. But he is called back by Pope Gregory VII (r. 1073-1085) to defend the papacy against the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV.
    1084A.D. Robert Guiscard captures the city of Rome from Henry IV's army. But when the people of Rome revolt against Robert's army, Robert sacks and burns the city.
    Roger Guiscard's conquest of the island of Sicily from the Saracens. The Moslems of Sicily and southern Italy are Berbers from North Africa (the race of St. Augustine) and Spanish Moslems, a diverse people but they are all called Saracens
    With the death of his brother Robert Guiscard, Roger becomes the ruler of Norman Italy or the "Two Sicilies" as it is called -- i.e. of the island of Sicily and the southern half of the Italian peninsula.
    During the reign of Roger II, a nephew of Robert Guiscard, Naples and Capua are added to the Norman Kingdom. Abruzzo is captured from the Holy Roman Emperors, and North Africa from Tripoli to Tunis is taken from the Saracens.
    Roger II changes his title from Count to King. The capital city of his "Kingdom of the Two Sicilies" is Palermo.
    Roger II's heirs, who have already lost the Norman's North African possessions, end Norman rule in southern Italy by surrendering the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies to the Holy Roman (i.e. German) Emperor Henry VI under the pretext that Henry has married a woman from the Norman court. ("People from the East") by the Italians.

    Map of the Norman expansion in Italy.

    Hauteville dinasty line until 1071ad:



    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Cavalry flag (gonfanon)

    Bodyguards of Norman duke carry main faction flag, officer is visible to (red-yellow helmet)

    Infantry flag

    Archer officer and banner carrier hiding behind melee infantry.

    Nobles with "elite" flag


    King ......................... Heir ........................... General.................... Captain


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Familia Ducis (Ducal household).
    Ducal household or "Familia Ducis" were loyal band of professionals which served the duke as his personal bodyguards. They received full-time salary, as well as generous periodic gifts from their lord to strengthen their loyalty. In war, they expected their share of the spoils.
    Duke's household was remarkably heterogeneous in its composition and it included both landless, unenfeoffed knights and members of great aristocratic families with large estates that owed their rise to their close ties with the king or the great magnates. Equipment and ability seem to have been the defining factors for recruitment of these warriors. Each warrior was expected to provide his own equipment. However he could expect his master to compensate him for any damaged or lost items. Members of Ducal household were well payed and could afford best equipment available.
    Soldiers of the familia possessed equipment consisting of a long chain-mail hauberk, a helmet, a kite-shaped shield, a sword, a lance and a war horse (destirer). Additionally, warriors wore padded underclothing that increased the effectiveness of their defensive system. Lamellar or scale cuirasses were also sometimes used to provide soldiers with even more protection.
    On battlefield, heavy cavalry of familia ducis as trusted companions of the duke followed him everywhere protecting his life even at the expense of their own.


    Last edited by AnthoniusII; 03-22-2011 at 13:59.

  5. #5
    U14 Footballer Member G. Septimus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Great Conflicts 872-1071 M2TW/Kingdoms mod.

    whoa, nice one, did you do this yourself?
    I mean no mod team?

    Big Romani Fan
    Die Manschaaft
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Der Rekordmeister

  6. #6
    Megas Domestikos Member AnthoniusII's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Great Conflicts 872-1071 M2TW/Kingdoms mod.

    Afcourse there is a team.:)
    I am only one of its members.
    The team is short but very skilled.
    We also have received a lot of crusial help from non members .
    There will a full credit list soon.
    We still seak for coders and scripters ...

  7. #7

    Default Re: The Great Conflicts 872-1071 M2TW/Kingdoms mod.

    Looks amazing! Will you be able to play as the Normans in custom battles?

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    Megas Domestikos Member AnthoniusII's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Great Conflicts 872-1071 M2TW/Kingdoms mod.

    Quote Originally Posted by MilesNormanum View Post
    Looks amazing! Will you be able to play as the Normans in custom battles?
    Yes and if we will recieve more help an "late campaign" will be added in the mod with Normans just settled in Itally!

    Also a sneak pic of Lombards!

    Or Khazar nombles in the service of Kievan Vikings (Rus) as allies.

    Or East Frankia kingdom ...

  9. #9
    Megas Domestikos Member AnthoniusII's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Great Conflicts 872-1071 M2TW/Kingdoms mod.

    The Bulgarian Empire preview added in post 3.

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    Megas Domestikos Member AnthoniusII's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Great Conflicts 872-1071 M2TW/Kingdoms mod.

    Some Pechenegs :

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    Last edited by AnthoniusII; 05-28-2013 at 14:18.

  11. #11
    Megas Domestikos Member AnthoniusII's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Great Conflicts 872-1071 M2TW/Kingdoms mod.

    State of Romans

    Nikephorean Army Reforms Part II- Tagmatic Units.

    If we had to give a title in our presentation of the Imperial (Tagmatic) Forces of the Medieval Roman Empire we had no other choice than this one. Nothing is certain. Alexander the Great felt that he had no Homer like historian with him to write down with details his victories and his achievements. Exactly the same “problem” had the Roman Emperors of the middle ages. The problem was/is that those that wrote those“stories” describing events of their times did not add details because a) they wrote to their modern, to them, readers and more details were unnecessary or, b) they were nothing more than “story” writers and they had no expertise in describing details that could allow readers to fully understand how the soldiers of the time we describe, looked like. What we have in reality is a large number of scripts that lack details. But sources for “reconstructing” those warriors do exist and they are nothing else than the military manuals that were written by military people, in the time we describe here in this mod. Such manuals are 1:Leonis Imperatoris Tactica by Emperor Leon VI the wise, 2: Stategicon by anonymous writer (Sylloge Tacticorum – anonymous), 3: Praecepta Militaria by Emperor Nikephoros Phokas, 4: Taktika by Nikephoros Ouranos. Those military manuals are nothing more than guides for field officers of how to deploy, train, judge, equip and use their armies under their commands! Thanks to those scripts we have enough details of how the armies fought against every kind of enemy (different tactics), how they trained their soldiers and their horses, how they used orders and most of all how they equip their soldiers. But…there is always a but in this matter…We have not scripts with accurate details of the colors or insignias each specific unit used but only some –written few centuries later- scripts that assume those details. An example: In the following preview you will notice in our unit of Excubitores two things. First that the color that defines their unit is the dark green when we had to chose colors we had to make our choices by the references given from earlier eras. Pictures from 5th to 8th centuries “show” palace units wearing dark green tunics and carrying shields with painted with dark green background. Of course we know for sure that in other eras Excubitores may use shields with other “insignias” painted on their shields. But we needed a color to follow what all military manuals are strict for….Each unit used a color that defined it. So we may be wrong about our color decisions for each unit but since the lack of accurate references we had to make our choices to be in the “spirit” of the whole presentation. The second thing you will notice is that Excubitores use a banner with a “draco”..According to Pseudo Codinos in hisDe Officiis script that described those units banners the Excubitores banner men were often called Dragonarii.. In other scripts Varangian Guard also used such a Draco banner –maybe because Varangians were also part of Vasilike or Megale Hetearea. For our game play reasons we chosen another banner for that generic unit (Vasilike Hetearea) because in it we had to put soldiers like Siphonatores that were not a separated unit but users of special or secret weapons.
    In general you need to know:
    Tagmatic units follow the generic rule of the late classic Imperial era, professional units and legions. They were full time soldiers that prepared for war all the time having in their disposal some of the finest equipment and training worldwide. So in the middle ages Roman Empire combined the citizen soldiers of classic republican era (Thematic Armies)with those of late Imperial ones (Tagmatic Armies). The difference now was that the professional middle age “legions” were not deployed near the borders but around or close to the new capital or near major urban centers! Another issue we had to deal with was the “nature” of each unit in the game. We must not forget that in reality those units were more or less stand alone divisions following –at least- the main deployment principal of kursores and defensores. As kursores we describe all missile equipped troops (archers or javelin men) and as defensores all spear/lance equipped ones. Such a unit development would require clone troops for each unit without a real necessity. For example Excubitores should also be cataphract horsemen and palace guards, Scholarii and Hikkanati should have both horse archers and lancers etc…
    Instead we have chosen to give a task for each one to fit in the game but still allowing our players to learn about the existence of those units.

    The Tagmatic Forces:

    Despite the fact that Constantinople was the capital of the empire, and although the place was great strategic importance, the emperors were reluctant to allow the permanent stationing large numbers of soldiers in the city. The reasons were mainly political and economic. The presence of many military units in the city will overburden the supply of the emperors; also possibly feared that the existence of a major military power in Constantinople could prove a major threat during rebel movements. Thus, the military forces of Constantinople mostly limited to men of the Imperial Guard, and the security of the town was based mainly on the powerful land walls in existence to protect the fleet from the sea, and to involve citizens and neighboring military units in the defense case of siege.
    Military forces in Constantinople in the early medieval period.
    During the Early period Constantinople's imperial garrison consisted of the so-called scholae (scholae palatinae). The Guard was founded around 312 by Constantine I, who had just dispanded the famous Preatorian guard of Rome after its support to Maxentius,rival of the throne. The men of the scholae were originally horsemen and warriors recruited by the Germans, but gradually the fighting value decreased and the sixth century their presence was mostly a formality. The initial numerical strength of the garrison of the scholae is not known, but at the time of Justinian I (527-565) there were seven scholae, each of which had 500 men. As the number of 3,500 Scholarii was almost impossible to stay at the palace, it seems that the units that performed palace guard rotation were one or two each time, while the remaining were camped in cities of the provinces of Bithynia and Galatia.
    To cope with the reduced value of military schools, the Emperor Leo I (457-474) established a new elite bodyguard of 300 men, the Excubitores, whom he recruited from his native province of Isauria. Although their primary task was to be bodyguards of the emperor often asked to defend the Theodosian walls.
    Besides the men of the imperial guard, defending the walls in case of attack executed by the regular army units under the orders of two "majistri" (magistri militum praesentales), encamped in Thrace and Bithynia. For their task to defend the walls they were assisted by citizens, members of the guilds of the city and municipalities. Finally, under the command of the Eparchos of the city was a paramilitary unit with police duties, the pedatoura or kerketon.
    Military forces in Constantinople during the Middle period.
    From the early seventh century, the two magistri militum praesentales merged into a single central force under the form of opsikion (from latin obsequium = escort). Later opsikion, originally camped in bothThrace and Bithynia, moved entirely to the last, which defended the "Thema of Bithynia" . Furthermore, since the end of the century appear in to writen sources two new units in Constantinople, the Noumeroi and Teicheotae, in charge of guarding the gates and the walls of the Ieron Palation (Great Palace), which was fortified by the emperor Justinian II (685-695, 705-711).
    The most significant change in the status of military forces in Constantinople-which was to characterize the entire Middle period occurred around the mid-8th century on the initiative of Constantine V (741-775). Having just suppress the rebelion of Artavasdos, Come of Opsikion, the emperor proceeded in measures to prevent similar future occurrences. Initially weakened Opsikion forces and then proceeded to reorganize the Scholarii and Excubitores(as now called).
    Constantine V recruited new soldiers for the imperial guard, making sure that were faithful to his face and his iconoclastic policy. The new units- now named Tagmata- were the result of the reorganization of the old units and their duties were expanded: they were no longer exclusively imperial garrison or garrison of Constantinople but now would serve as a central military force that would take part in emperor's campaigns. The oldest Tagmata of Scholae and Excubitores remained and enforced and put under the command of a Domestikos each. Gradually the term Scholarii defined all soldiers of the Tagmatic units, while Domestikos ton Scholon was second in command after the Strategos tou Anatolikou and later (9th-10th centuries) a Domestikos ton Scholon could be in charge of an entire campaign on behalf of the Emperor. In many cases Tagmatic units like Excubitores continued to serve as Emperor's guards but now they shared that duty with soldiers of other Tagmata forming the Vasilike Hetaeria.
    Those Palace guards in time recieved many names like Anthropoi tou Vasileos ,Vasilikoi Anthropoi ,Maglavites etc.
    Irene of Athens (780-802) faced the opposition of Scholarii, when she tried to overthrow the iconoclastic policy of the previus Emperors. For that reason, she forced the soldiers of the Tagmata to retire and replaced them with new ones. At the same time,she created a third battalion, the Tagma tou Arithmou or Vigla, by men of the thematic army loyal to her.Later Tagma tou Arithmou and Noumeroi Tagma merged in a single unit. Shortly afterwards Nikephoros I (802-811) founded the Tagma of Hikanati. These four battalions remained the core of the garrison of Constantinople until the 11th century the same time that the remaining Excubitores were merged with the Vasilike Hetaeria and became part of it. John I Tzimisces (969-976) founded the Immortals (Athanatoi) as one of the last additions in native Tagmatic forces that seemed that remained until 1204AD.
    Basil II made the greatest evolution in the Imperial guard.
    He added the Varangian Drussina of the 6000 men in the Vasilike Hetaeria redusing the same time the number of native soldiers in it.
    Basil lived and survived many rebelions before he would become an Emperor and had a lot of personal reasons not to trust the "guards" that guarded him.

    In the later period and mainly after the fall of Constantinople in 1204AD the Tagmatic units declined leaving only Vasilike Hetaeria.
    New mercenaries came in that unit but in the last centuries most of the soldiers came from England.
    New native professional units apeared in the last centuries of the Empire's life like Paramonae (middle 13th cent but stop mentioned after 1315AD ,Mourtatoi (infantry archers that were children of mixed roman and turkic fammilies) and Tzakones (Pelloponisian soldiers that served as Imperial Guards ,Pollice force and marine troops when the same time they were the main force of all types in Pelloponisos (including cavalry).
    After 1204 any imperial ( professional) unit -mainly cavalry ones-called Allagion and not Tagma.
    In Battle the total amount of Tagmata that participated in the Emperor's campaign was called Vasilike Systaxis (gr:Bασιλική σύνταξις).
    There is a long dispute about the number of soldiers that served i each of these units.
    The number 512 appears very often and many historians insist in that number. John Haldon estimates the number of the soldiers in each unit to 1000-1500 while in the past Treadgold and others estimated the number of the soldier in in each unit to 4000. The number of 512 men appears again in 1203 in a conflict of an imperial unit called Loricati against 80 knights.
    The suporters of the number 512 place their estimation to the word Tagma.
    Tagma is synonymous to the words Vandon and in Thematic armies defined a unit of the size of a battalion 280-410 men. The number of 512 is closest to the standard number for battalions (400 men). Many believe that the number of 512 men had to do with cavalry's wedge formation that those units used.
    The suporters on larger numbers in those units base their estimations on rare descriptions that describe the Tagmata units to fight in complete army formations (two wings and a center) when they deployed in battle without the presence of other units. The description of Pseudo Codinos (middle 14th century) that each Tagma had two (2) flag bearers (vandophori) also makes things more complicated. Ussually bannermen were used to allow the leading officer of a army formation to know where his units where in the battlefield.
    Two bannermen may ment that each unit deployed two wings when in the center the leading officer used the empire's flag (labarum). The three parts of the formation simply do not make sence in the number of 512 men. Vandons used the dual fight system of Kursores and Defensores (same as thematic ones) separated the warriors in two main waves/style of fighting.
    The suporters of the greater number of troops also mention the huge size of Constantinople's total number of guarrison troops in certain times of need.
    We must not forget that Tagmata still were Emperor's most trusted troops (until Basil II) that would be used against Constantinople's entire armed forces in case of a rebelion from a throne rival. What seems odd is that the 7 units number 7 x 512 = 3584 is quite small for that task when in 1203 Constantinople had a gaurisson of more or less 50000 men in peace times.
    In the times of the 9th to 11th centuries that the empire was in constant wars against enemies that were in very close distance from the capital its is natural to believe that Constantinople's guarisson had similar size to man the large number of towers both on Theodosian walls and on sea walls also.
    An other point that needs to be invastigated is the descriptions that mention that in certain eras when food suplies and finansial incomes were smaller than expected Tagmata were forced to encampted in provinces that "force" to feed them and pay their sallaries.
    If Tagmatic units would be only 3584 men it would make no sense to sent them away to save food for the rest of 47000 men.
    Of course in 1203 there were almost no Tagmatic units but in the times of great and long wars, fighting in different war fronts the same time the number 3584 seems to small.
    It would be safer to assume that the number of troops would be determined by the needs of war in each era.
    Flags of units and Characters.

    Flags and Banners of the Vasilike Syntaxis

    Pseudo Codinos in his work (De Officiis) in 14th century described some military unit flags without more details of the units that used them.
    So the connection of some of them is clear hypothetical.
    Imperial Flag.

    Tagma ton Scholarion (Scholarii)

    Tagma ton Excubitoron (Excubitores)

    Tagma ton Hikkanaton (Hikkanati)

    Tagma Ton Teichon

    Tagma tou Arithmou

    Tagma ton Athanaton (Athanati)

    Labarum of Vasilike Hetearea (imaginary)



    The Tagmata Units:

    Scolae Palatinae/Scholae/Scholarii

    Of the four principal Tagmatic cavalry regiments, Scholae was the senior and probably the oldest. They were formed as an elite military guard unit, usually ascribed to the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great as a replacement for the equites singulares Augusti, the cavalry arm of the Praetorian Guard. Seven Scholae were attested in the Notitia Dignitatum in the 5th cent AD. The term "schola" was commonly used in the early 4th century to refer to organized corps of the imperial retinue, both civil and military, and derives from the fact that they occupied specific rooms or chambers in the palace.The scholae, along with the excubitores, continued to exist in the 7th and early 8th centuries, although diminished in size, as purely ceremonial units. However, in ca. 743, after putting down a major rebellion of thematic troops, Emperor Constantine V reformed the old guard units of Constantinople into the new tagmata regiments, which were meant to provide the emperor with a core of professional and loyal troops. Apart from being a campaigning force, like their Late Roman ancestors, they were an important stage in a military career for young aristocrats, which could lead to major field commands or state offices. The Scholae regiments included both heavy shock cavalry and missile cavalry fighting as heavy horse archers. Their overall weapons and armor varied and depended on their role, status and overall economical situation. Among them were also the clibanarii regiments who served as the peak of the Roman heavy cavalry in both arms and armor and tactics. Their and their horses extremely heavy armor made them an expensive to maintain force, thus restraining their numbers. The layers of armor were many times covered by a large gambeson called “Epliorikion” beautifully colored and decorated with Roman heraldry which indicated their regiment.The scholae were headed by the Domesticos tōn scholōn (δομέστικος τῶν σχολῶν), first attested in 767.He was considered as one of the senior-most generals, surpassed only by the Strategos of the Anatolicon Thema. By the 10th century, he had risen to be was the senior officer of the entire army, often called also as Megas Domesticos, effectively a commander-in-chief under the Emperor. In ca. 959, the post and the unit itself were divided into two separate commands, one for the East (domesticos [tōn scholōn tēs] anatolēs) and one for the West (domesticos [tōn scholōn tēs] dysēos).


    The youngest of the Tagmata cavalry regiments, was the Hikanati (Ικανάτοι, “The Able Ones”), established by emperor Nikephoros I in the early 9th cent. It appears to be a cadet force, and so much is confirmed by a passage in the Vita Ignatii by Niketas David Paphlagon where it is stated that the first commander (domestikos) of the force was Niketas, Emperor Nikephoros' nephew, who was later to become the Patriarch Ignatios. In the later eleventh century a similar force, known as the Archontopoula ("Sons of the Nobles") was created by Alexios I Komnenos. Hikanati were apparently modelled on the tagma of the Vigla, and headed by a domestikos (δομέστικος τῶν Ἱκανάτων, domestikos tōn Ikanatōn), usually with the court rank of prōtospatharios. These noble sons were forming a heavy cavalry regiment, impetuous and proud but lacking the experience of the other Tagmatic forces. Their elite character was also obviously shown in their appearance since they had access and could afford high quality and latest fashioned armor and equipment.

    Tagma ton Teichon/Teicheotae .


    Tagma ton Teichon(Walls) was one of the the two elite garrison troops of the Constantinople and propably founded by emperor Justinian II . They were similar in both the equipment and role with the Tagma tou Arithmou/Numeroi and regarded as one type of unit in many sources. As part of the elite garrison troops of the empire, they had access to the exquisite and fine imperial arms and armor hence they were composing a heavy infantry regiment. Initially they were responsible of guarding the Walls of the Great palace (Ieron Palation) under the orders of the Comes ton Teichon ("Count of Walls"). Later being part of Constantinople's defensive forces hard core, their duty expanded in guarding the Theodosian Walls. The Tagma ton Teichon was one of the units which deployed mainly infantry forces with both melee and range regiments.In TGC mod we chose to represent them as elite heavy archers.

    Vasilikoi Anthropoi:

    Vassilikoi Anthropoi or Imperial Men/Emperor’s men is a broad term that covers a number of Imperial guards and elite Imperial Tagmata which were comprising the closest to the emperor guard corps. A main part of this Tagma was the Guard officers of the Palace who provided the emperor’s personal escort and attendants in both the battlefield and at court. Among these elites were high ranked court and military officers of the Roman aristocracy: Spatharioi (sword bearers)divided between the ranks of Spatharokandidatoi and Protospatharioi , the Spatharokouvikoularioi which were divided in Eunuchs and Barbatus ones (Varvatoi/Βαρβάτοι in Greek “the bearded ones”), the handpicked elite Tagmatic Kandidatoi (candidates)of the Sacred Palace, the Mandatores(Imperial messengers ) and lastly the Stratores (Imperial squires)under the command of Protostrator who bore the Imperial flamoulon (flag) with the embroidered “Cross of Victory” .All these elites were under the command of another high ranked Imperial officer the Protospatharios of the Vassilikoi Anthropoi .As an elite Imperial bodyguard they had excellent training and morale but also a glorious appearance as they were dressed in luxurious fabrics and exquisite armour and they were riding Imperial Nisean steeds.

    The Immortals/Athanatoi:

    The Immortals (Greek: Ἀθάνατοι, Athanatoi) were one of the elite tagmata regiments, first raised during the late 10th century.They first appeared during the John Tzimiskes campaigns against Rhos/Rus and after a short demise have reappeared under Michael VII due to minister Nikephoritzes military reforms.The name implies a deliberate correlation to the ancient Persian unit, perhaps due to the revival of classicism during the era and an effort of maintaining a heroic almost supernatural status for these troops or simply a reference to their stable number and recruitment.They formed an extra heavy cavalry unit composed by young nobles covered by exquisite and ornamental armor of “gold and silver” as Leo the Deacon reports thus creating an impressive spectacle in the battlefield where they are recorded fighting as a vanguard, probably similar to "Clibanarii Scholarii". As an imperial tagma they were commanded by a Domestikos ton Athanaton (of the Immortals) and their numbers were also similar to other Tagmatic cavalry units.


    Excubitores: (Latin: excubitores or excubiti, literally "those out of bed", i.e. "sentinels", Greek: ἐξκουβίτορες or ἐξκούβιτοι) were a palace guard corps, organized by the Emperor Leo to counterbalance the influence of Germans in the imperial army. Their commanders soon acquired great influence and provided a series of emperors in the 6th century. The Excubitors fade from the record in the late 7th century, but in the mid-8th century, they were reformed into one of the elite tagmatic units, fighting as elite crack cavalry.Initially commanded by a Count of Excubitores (Comes Excubitorum), they were both a fighting and guarding unit throughout the 6th cent. Within the Tagmatic system their commander was the Domestikos ton Excubiton/Excubitoron and they became a standard campaigning unit and abolished their former guarding duties.They were one of the finest cavalry regiments the Empire could deploy in the battlefield and their ranks were filled with professional cavalrymen of the high society.Their discipline and training was superb and their arms and armor were reflecting the wealth of the empire, representing the emperor’s might on the battlefield. Among their ranks were the scribones presumably acting as medical orderlies for the thematic and tagmatic armies.
    Ιn the late 9th century to late 11th century Excubitores were part of the main Vasilike Hetaerea, the unit that was responsible of guarding the palace and the imperial family. Excubitores were at that point some of the highest in rank members of that force. The title of Excubitor, when given to an official, was signifying that the title bearer had the total trust of the emperor himself. All those fully trusted men within Vasilike Hetearea still had the tagmatic name Excubitores and often they were given tasks like field marshals, campaign leaders or local ruler’s inspectors. We kept the name Excubitores for these close to emperor men because Vasilike Hetearea included other smaller ceremonial native units as well as some mercenary units like the Varangian Guard that added later in it. The most famous Excubitor of that era was the General and Katepano Basill Voioannes that Emperor Basill II trusted for the Italian reqonquista campaign. As scholars -of that time- point out, Basill Voioannes was wearing the ring of Excubitores!

    Tagma tou Arithmou/Numeroi/Numera:


    Tagma tou Arithmou/Numera/Numeroi:
    Tagma tou Arithmou or tis Viglas was originally formed by Empress Irene of Athens as counter force to other Tagmatic troops that she felt dangerous for her and her throne. Despite the word “aritmos” (number) means exactly the same with the latin word “numeron” the two Tagmatic units with the similar name for then seamed to co-existed for some time. We assume (by the Vasilike Syntaxis of Pseudo Codinos) that the two units may merged in to a single one in late 9th century or early 10th because there are not any clear evidences that Numeri (Noumeroi) were still a unit in that era. Pseudo Codinos is quite clear about the 6 tagmatic units in the Vasilike Syntaxis. We assume that since the names of both units have the same meaning in 10th century describe ONE and only one Tagmatic unit. Also Tagma tou Arithmou were one of the two units that were mainly infantry forces guarding the Theodosian Walls. Infantry men have a clear limitation of the total weight of the armor they can carry. That is why they do not look like the cataphract style other Tagmatic units that their horses carry the weight for them! This does not mean they were under armored at all. They had in their disposal the best made lamellar or scale cuirasses , steel made chain hauberks with less weight and better protection, steel or bone arm and leg greaves , chain mail coifs etc… In the end those infantry men were way better equipped than the average thematic ones! Their constant training was another factor that gave them a clear superiority in the battle comparing to other infantry units. That is why we have chosen to we present them as heavy Scutatoi infantry leaving the “archers” task for Tagma ton Teichon.

    Vasilike Hetearea (or Megale Hetearea):

    Siphonatores were not an actual unit in any sense. Siphonatores means “those that hundle heirosiphon” and as heirosiphon we mean the hand version of Greek/liquid fire siphon device that was used by the Roman ships. Thanks to the secret “nature” of the weapon its self we have no actual information of those warriors other than some recently found weapons and ONLY one picture of Scylitzes Chronicle of 11th century showing a warrior armed with such a device coming out of a siege tower and assault on the enemy walls. What we can assume for these warriors with much certainty is that they were part of the palace troops that that weapon was kept in to palace armory. Also those troops may have the full trustfulness of the emperors and they may be loyal to their cause because the secret of that weapon is still today the only one that has never revealed! Also those troops had to be well armored in order to have more chances to survive a close battle to be sure that the weapon would never fall to enemy hands! What we can imagine is that those troops were not meant to stay and fight for long but to spread panic to enemy lines and break the enemy warriors’ morale. Imagine a siege tower that approaches the city’s walls. The defenders are ready to counter those that come out of that siege tower ramp...But what they see is single soldier with a bizarre weapon in front of his battle mates that spreads a huge flame on the defenders faces!!! People start to burn like torches and the defenders line are in total confuse..The assault troops inside the siege tower charge to the panicked defenders leaving that warrior with the strange weapon inside the safety of the siege tower. That weapon was not only dangerous for the enemies but could be lethal for the warrior that used it or his friendly troops that may be close by if air direction would change suddenly. For such reasons the training with that weapon should be constant. Their armor equipment would be one of the best with some additions. Woolen and silk robes may cover the metal armors to delay flame accidents in case of anything would go wrong during the use of the weapon its self….

    Varangian Guard:
    Viking Druzzina as they will emerge in the 988AD event.

    Varangian Guard as they will be available to the player right after the 988AD event.


    Var means “word of commitment” or oath for serve. Rus from Holmgard (Novgorod) and Kiev were known to Romans since late 9th century when they started to make small raiding expeditions in north Asia minor coasts and in to Cherson (modern Crimea) peninsula.Since that time Rus were known to Romans as "The unknown people". The Great Khan of Khazars had them as vassals (as Roman chronicles point out) and warned the Roman Empire for the new danger they present because he could not have them under full control. In 901 and 907AD major raids to Constantinople its self ,allowed “Swedish” Rus to make agreements with the Empire. Those agreements gave Rus warriors the right to participate as mercenaries in to Roman campaigns and the right to trade with the Empire. Rus used the decline of the great Khazar empire as a trigger for their expansion to the local Slavic populations plus the opportunity to expand further to south, east and west. Viking “raiders” (vikingar) were used in several campaigns in Italy and other fronts but they were noticed in the Nikephorus Phocas campaign against the Emirate of Crete/Chandax. Those warriors made a lot of impression to Romans when Emperor Ioannes Tzimiskes called Rus to invade Danube Bulgarian lands inorder to help him against Bulgarians. Instead Rus when they defeated Bulgarians started a full scale war with the Empire. With the Roman counter attack, roman infantry and cavalry found great difficulties to brake the Rus shield wall formations making battles won on a “sword’s edge”! The solution was an even more heavily version of cataphract style unit (Athanati) made By Emperor Ioannes Tzimiskes but all battles against Rus continued to be totally undetermined! That “fear” re-emerged when Vladimir I of Kiev captured Cherson city in 987AD blackmailing the Emperor Basil II to set the province free with a royal marriage in return! Basil II knew that a 4th warfront was too much for his troops to handle and gave his sister Anna as bride. Vladimir kept his word and returned Cherson region to the empire. Basil “saw” another benefit with that relationship with Vladimir. Basil II had already one civil war against a throne rival and saw since his youth emperors to be murdered in the palace despite the existence of “loyal” guards! Vladimir responded that Basil’s request by sending him a 6000 warriors druzzina that Basil immediately used as his new personal guard! Those warriors were not only axe bearers –as the history myth wants us to know- but they were also heavy spearmen and other kind of infantry men. Of course the long –two handed axes and the long two handed swords- those warriors used frequently game them an exotic appearance to Roman eyes. Those warriors kept many armor elements of theirs but when time and battles forced them to change armors the Imperial armory was in their full access! Finest steel chain hauberks, finest steel greaves and breast armors were combined with Viking helmets, shields etc… In this era the Varangians are still only Swedish Rus from Kiev. Anglo Saxon Huscarls, Danish Hird and other Scandinavians will serve the unit later, especially after the conquest of England in 1066AD when Saxon elite will be forced to exile! Those warriors proved the most loyal imperial guards the empire ever was about to have in its entire history as Anna Komnene will write much later for them :
    "They have great loyalty to the Emperors. Protection of them is kind of family tradition, a kind of a secret deal and heritage passing from father to son.
    This loyalty remains the same with no sign of treason"...
    "Anna Komnene-Description of the Varangian Guards"

    What allowed Romans be on the top of the edge in the military technology and warfare tactics , was their ability to adopt and modify everything they learned on the battlefield by their enemies. They inherited that habit from the Greeks that were “masters” of adopting “alien” to them military features. Romans developed that habit beyond measure from their early Republican Era to their last time in 15th century! In the timeframe we examine here –late 9th to late 11th centuries- Romans seams that had a turn to their own sense of classicism. By that term we mean the re-appearance of armor pieces that looked quite same with those of times of the past. We can see those “signs” in the officers helmets with classic era crests, the full metal muscular breast armors etc... The return to “classicism” is more obvious in the Leonis Imperatoris Tactica written by Emperor Leon VI the wise. The emperor not only describes early (republican) army formations and unit names but he expands even more to the Hellenistic age describing army formations, soldier equipment, unit names etc… Romans have the reputation of a conservative society that refused to change and that is why they –supposed- fallen in the end. That is not entirely true however. In the entire medieval life of the Roman Empire we see a constant change via adoption, in army’s equipment and tactics and the same time a never ending of development of new and original ones that kept the Roman armies on the top of the art in the warfare. Starting from the Gothic military features, expanding to Sassanid, Avaric, Arabic and finally Norman/western European military features, the Roman Army always found a way to be affective. In the era we focus on , except the classic Roman equipment , Roman soldiers adopted many eastern features concerning to their armors and tactics. Their main influences were from the Avars of the past and the Arabic and Khazar armies of the present. An obvious example is the existence of those conical helmets that almost replaced the simple made classic roman cassis ones.
    The armory provided the Tagmatic unit troops with the best quality weapons. The Empire made steel imports from Arabic Spain to make sure that its weapons will be nothing more than the best. In the same hired the best weapon makers around the world for the same reason. The infantry men equipment was not different from that of the Thematic troops one. Swords like the short version of spathion and a straight blade version (early version) of parapoirion sword were common. Many people insist that infantry troops used also maces or war hammers but in that point we must make a definition. Clubs/bats and cudgels, in the middle Ages, Hellenic language shares the names of ravdion and korene. The problem is that the same two words describe war clubs (wooden of metal) known as maces. The Clubs/bats and cudgels were common equipment of the “police” or law enforcing troops against public demonstrations but in no cases we have any kind of clue that infantry soldiers used maces of any kind. Mace and war hammer require an acceleration provided by the different level of height a cavalry man has against any infantry one. Infantry men though did used axes or war hammers like horsemen did too... Those were known as tzikourion (axe) and apelatikion or spheera (war hammer). Maces in the other hand were known with names such korene, matzoukion, kephalothraustes (the one that smashes the head) or in earlier times Vardoukion that in our age may describe the General’s marshal staff (also known as skeeptron) instead of a real weapon. Roman cavalrymen used maces, axes and war hammers extensively side by side with the long Spatha kind swords known as Spathion –the one, modern historians call the “Byzantine Long sword”. War hammers are a direct eastern influence by steppe warriors like the Avars or the Khazars or the Sassanids in the past. Too few are known how Romans adopted maces though. One is sure in this, Romans used maces long before any western knight appear in history. Those maces came in a large number of versions with different shape of heads (spiked, bladed), with wooden or metal shafts. Spathion was a direct ancestor of the Roman cavalry Spatha sword of earlier times. Tagmatic units used a variety of spears for their infantrymen just like the Thematic ones but kontarion makron is not mentioned in the scripts. The logic behind the lack of such long pike kind spear has to do that Tagmatic infantrymen did not need such weapon. The reasons may found in the wall fights those troops had to deal defending the Capital’s walls or in the rare cases of fighting in open field, their training and high morale made that spear unnecessary. So the 3m classic Kontarion would be enough for them.
    A very crucial part of the soldiers’ armor was the shield. Again, just like the thematic troops ones, shields came in a variety of shapes and sizes. Oval shields dominated to the elite troops until middle of the 10th century but even from the late 9th ones, the majority of shields were round shaped. The cycle shape considered as one of the perfect in geometry and so the large round shields were known as Scutaria Teleia (perfect shields). Kite/leaf shape shields seams that appeared right after the invasions of Avars but we can assume almost with certainty that Khazars re-introduced those shields to the Roman armory! That kind of shields appear more and more from the early 10th century to almost completely dominate until the end of the 11th one. In all cases the Roman kite/leaf shape shields were more or less smaller than those that Normans had when they invaded Italy after 1010ad! Palace guards should continue to use large round shields adding more prestige to their appearance. We can assume that by the majority of large round shields used by Varangians right after they replaced their original wooden shields of theirs. Horsemen of the Tagmatic units used all kind of shields. For many the most famous one is the small (actually almost tiny) round shield that “cataphracts” carry in most of the pictures made by modern artists the last decades. Such shields used by Roman cavalry men in past eras as well. Their use remains quite a mystery. The mystery exists because those shields were too small in size to protect from arrows or infantry spears. In fact, cataphracts had enough protection against arrows volleyed from long distances thanks to their three layers armor. So the question remained: What was that shield’s actual use? Let us see the facts.
    1st: The shield originally carried on the upper arm near the soldier’s shoulder and neck. In the mod’s timeframe the shield was placed on the lower arm of the soldier.
    2nd: The shield’s size allows the warrior to instantly direct the shield in the exact direction of the threat! In that point we need to see those “threats”…
    Enemies that would come close enough to the cataphracts would use the following weapons: swords, axes, hammers and maces. Sword blades could easily be confronted by the warriors’ wooden, bone or metal greaves known as cheiropsela or manicelia. The real problem was the maces and war hammers. Maces create a blunt hit that creates a wave of shock beneath the armor. In that case the greaves on the warriors arms would not break but the arm itself would be smashed under that hit!! So the warriors needed a surface big enough to absorb the energy from the blunt hit and save the arm bones! A similar problem was the existence of war hammers. In conclusion that small shield allowed its user to accurately point a defense against precise and accurate melee weapons of their opponents!
    The troops used a variety of helmets based on the simple made classic roman cassis or copies and modifications of eastern ones. The conical shaped helmets were a direct or indirect influence from the east. Romans used also masked helmets since the 1st century AD but in this era the masked helmets have much more simple –in details- masks. In fact those masks indicate another eastern influence in to the Roman armory! As we mentioned above, crested helmets re appear in Roman service due the “return” to the Roman classicism and in to the empire’s Hellenistic heritage. The Roman/Hellenistic influences are clearer in the muscular breast armors and also to Heracles’ knot. The last one is the silk sash around the chess or the waist that appears in many Church frescos when Military Saints are the frescos theme. That sash was an indication of military rank the allow officers to distinguish from the rest of the troops. Returning to helmets issue we must point out the first appearance of helmets with visor mainly after the middle of the 10th century that dominated eastern influenced ones in the late 11th century! When it comes to the body armor the definition word for those troops (cataphracti) says it all. The word describes warriors armed from head to feet. Of course the term is quite generic but in Tagmatic troops’ case is very accurate. Starting from the head the warriors used steel helmets of all kinds over a double or even triple layer chain coif over a padded one that was used to absorb the hits energy and keep head warm. Body armor depended of what kind of unit those warriors served in. Troops on foot could not carry as much weight as horsemen that horses did the job for them! Even in infantry case, scale cuirasses or lamellar ones based –in shape- on the muscular armors of the past- used over hard leather armors –with pteryges extensions or over chain mails known as loricia. Those breast armors were known as clivania and their scales could be made by metal or bone! In the Tagmatic units case those clivania may had scales of steel that was harder and lighter than iron..Bronze was a metal that was easy to work with but the armor makers that worked in the Imperial Armory should not have any kind of trouble to work with harder metals like steel. Horsemen clivania and loricia were longer than those made for infantry ones in order to protect their legs. In few cases chain gloves or leather ones were used. Despite the longer versions of clivania and loricia , horsemen very often used a third layer of armor that was made with wool (padded) and wore under (kavadion) or above the rest of the armor layers(epilorikion). The last ones used to have luxury decorations due the status of the unit the warriors served in or due the financial status of each warrior that used one.
    Just like Thematic troops, Tagmatic ones may used kedouklon as well. But that robe’s task should be only to protect metal parts of the armor from wet. The element of surprise was not in its tasks for kedouklon for those troops. In fact Romans used those units to terrify their enemies by demonstrating their shiny armors and weapons as sign of military might. We mentioned earlier arm greaves known as cheiropsela or manicelia. The troops completed their armor sets with leg greaves as well made also with metal or wood or bone and known as podopsela or chalkotuva.

    Leif Erikson (99% of the textures)
    Absinthia (model parts, weapons, textures)
    Koultouras (model parts, 3d banners, textures, 3d heads, varangian animation modification).
    Socal_Infidel (model parts).
    Slash-5 (conikal helmet)
    S-te-fan (model parts).
    Lord_Calidor (weapons)
    tone (his exelent scale texture)
    CounterPoint391 (sword models and textures)
    DisgruntledGoat (1066 model parts like arrow quivers , belts etc).
    LuBu (3d belts, shoulder and knee armor parts )
    Tzar (banner textures)
    Strelac (3d belts and primary varangian animation and advices).
    Rusichi TW/MARKA team (primary source of models, textures and horses).
    Dome (horse body textures)
    Alkimachos (helmet clasic roman crests).
    AnthoniusII (model parts extensive modifications), Gravity/Realism mod.
    Preview Scripts:
    Special Thanks to the primary CBUR researching team :
    Manuel Komnenos
    Agis Tournas
    Leonis Imperatoris Tactika
    Praecepta Militaria
    Stategicon by anonymous
    Papageorgiou Angeliki, "Organization of defensive system and army units in Constantinople" , Foundation of the Hellenic world.
    Protostator : Imperial Byzantine Flags.
    Visual refences:
    Special Thanks to:
    Mr D.Katsikes that so kindly allowed us to use the pictures of his creations (armors of 10th century) as basis for our textures.

    A couple of Videos:

    Last edited by AnthoniusII; 08-16-2017 at 14:52.

    Member thankful for this post:


  12. #12
    Member Member Philippos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Re: The Great Conflicts 872-1071 M2TW/Kingdoms mod.

    Hi AnthoniusII!
    I created here profile I heard it's great forum.
    So never mind.

    Your mod always impresses me,
    and it is awesome becuase you are working on mod
    with Croatia playable so awesome, finally,
    I can play as country where I belong.

  13. #13

    Default Re: The Great Conflicts 872-1071 M2TW/Kingdoms mod.

    Any plans for the release date? It looks great!

  14. #14
    Megas Domestikos Member AnthoniusII's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    Thesalonike Greece

    Default Re: The Great Conflicts 872-1071 M2TW/Kingdoms mod.

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    Megas Domestikos Member AnthoniusII's Avatar
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    Thesalonike Greece

    Default Re: The Great Conflicts 872-1071 M2TW/Kingdoms mod.

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    Thesalonike Greece

    Default Re: The Great Conflicts 872-1071 M2TW/Kingdoms mod.


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