Sunday, 25 June 2006

Hyperborea turn 2

What? Another new post? Another miracle, I suppose ;)

Anyway, for those of you who are interested, we had a quiet turn in Hyperborea. Just assassination and barbarian raiding to report. Have a look at the latest edition of the Hyperborean Times for details.

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Wednesday, 21 June 2006

Building a Carolingian army

What, a new post?

As I've stated before, posts around here would be thin on the ground for a while, as we dealt with the effects of having a colicky baby around. I wasn't kidding :).

The last couple of days, I've been getting back into things as Ruben seems to be getting a bit better (though that could change in a heartbeat), having had time to paint again in the evenings (working on Carolingians and Celts), and having some time to think over future plans.

On of those plans was to do a Viking vs Carolingian game at Crisis this
year - a (sort of) recreation of the Battle of Leuven in 891 where Arnulf of
Carinthia, King of East Francia and later Emperor, came over to our parts to
beat up on a part of the Viking host that had earlier besieged Paris and was
now wintering in Leuven. Events have transpired against this game being
finished before Crisis (backup plans are in motion), but I am continuing to
work on it. The first part is building a Carolingian army, and that is what
the rest of this post is about.

The idea for the Crisis game is to do a skirmish level game, but I am
building the Carolingian army as a 'normal' WAB army to use in WAB games.
As long as I base the Carolingians individually, that will not be too much
of a problem. So, what should the army look like? Let's say I'll aim for
around 1000 points initially, just to have a goal to paint to.

First off is army list. The most suitable list would be the 'Late
Carolingian or Capetian' list in the Shieldwall book, though you could
probably build something from the 'Germanic barbarian' list in the Beyond
the Golden Gate book, or just assemble your own from various other profiles.
For simplicity's sake, I'm going to use the Shieldwall list, but I'm not
really going to bother too much with the percentage limits, especially not
at 1000 points. For this, I'm following Phil's lead, who thinks of army
lists as an inspiration only, if even that :)

Anyway, on to the army. Arnulf of Carinthia was King of East Francia
(Germany) at the time of the battle, with his heartlands to the extreme
southeastern side of it, in current day Carinthia. I assume that he mustered
part of his army there, or at least in southern Germany, and moved with it
to Leuven from there. That would probably mean that most of that part of his
army would consist of _miles_, the 'professional' warriors of the age. A
more general levy would probably not have accompanied him on such a long
trip. So the core of the army should consist of a (relatively) small number
of professional warrior types. The _miles_ profile, mounted or dismounted,
from the list should match this perfectly. For the general list, I'll take
these as mounted (can't have a Carolingian army without cavalry :) ), but
for the actual Leuven battle, where the main push was through a swampy area,
they would probably have dismounted. So that's one part of the army: a
number of mounted milites. The figures for them will be from [Artizan Designs](
[Carolingian range](

Next is Arnulf himself. He would obviously have to be the 'Rex' character,
but as this is only a 1000 points army, I'm taking him as Comes and assuming
that one is the Army General. He is of course mounted. As to figure to
represent him, I'll be waiting for Artizan to release their mounted
Charlemagne. No harm in going for royalty :) I'll also be including an army
standard, bearing a huge banner depicting some saint - Arnulf was at this
point aspiring to become Emperor, so anything that would have put him on the
Pope's good side would have helped. The banner will be of the 'impossibly
huge' variety that looks tremendous on the tabletop, but would be
exceedingly impractical in reality, bowling the standard bearer over at the
slightest gust of wind.

The second part of the army will be infantry, and would represent the troops
raised locally. Arnulf might have sent _missi_ (military messengers) over to
the noblemen of the Leuven / Flanders region telling them to raise an army.
These will form the infantry component of the army. They will consist of a
number of spearmen units and some archers. Although the army list does not allow _liberi_ (freemen) for the Late Carolingian army, I'm going to blithely go ahead and take them as such anyway - these would be the freemen of the Flanders region rallying to defend their country from the Vikings. The figures used will be a mix of
Artizan figures and [Chiltern Ancients](

As to painting them, I'm going to try an assembly line method again, even
though I've had bad experiences with them in the past. I'm going to follow
up on one of Phil's suggestions of doing 'matrix painting'. I've constructed
a little box holding figures on their paintin corks in a 4x4 pattern, and
will use that as a 'matrix' to distribute colors across. If, for example, I
am painting a green color, the green will go across the matrix, with one
figure having its cloak painted green, the next his trousers, and so on, and
that for every color. I'll see what happens.

Anyway, putting it all together, this is the army list I've come up with so

1000.0 Pt - (SW) Western Franks - Carolingian French Army list - Arnulf's Carolingians

1 Comes @ 116.0 Pt
Hand Weapon; Light Armor; Shield; Throwing Spear; Warhorse
1 Warhorse @ [0.0] Pt

6 Mounted Milities @ 183.0 Pt
Hand Weapon; Leader; Light Armor; Musician; Shield; Standard; Throwing Spear; Warhorse
1 Warhorse @ [0.0] Pt

6 Mounted Milities @ 183.0 Pt
Hand Weapon; Leader; Light Armor; Musician; Shield; Standard; Throwing Spear; Warhorse
1 Warhorse @ [0.0] Pt

24 Liberi @ 159.0 Pt
Hand Weapon; Leader; Musician; Shield; Standard; Thrusting Spear

24 Liberi @ 159.0 Pt
Hand Weapon; Leader; Musician; Shield; Standard; Thrusting Spear

17 Liberi @ 117.0 Pt
Hand Weapon; Leader; Musician; Shield; Standard; Thrusting Spear

8 Coloni @ 40.0 Pt
Composite Bow; Hand Weapon

8 Coloni @ 40.0 Pt
Composite Bow; Hand Weapon