ETRUSCANS?

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Keydet83
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ETRUSCANS?

Post by Keydet83 » Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:59 pm

OK...a while back I started an Etruscan Army due to a desire to get into some DBA games...not that I ever understood the convoluted English used to write the rules, but I digress...

What is your advice on which list to use to best represent these troops in Field of Glory...I', thinking the Classical Greek, at least to start with, but am interested in some opinions here...

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Re: ETRUSCANS?

Post by peterrjohnston » Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:24 am

Keydet83 wrote:OK...a while back I started an Etruscan Army due to a desire to get into some DBA games...not that I ever understood the convoluted English used to write the rules, but I digress...

What is your advice on which list to use to best represent these troops in Field of Glory...I', thinking the Classical Greek, at least to start with, but am interested in some opinions here...
I was trying to write a list for Etruscans a while back, need to look at it again. The main source I have is Fossati's "Eserciti Etruschi IX-IV Sec. a.C.", although Livy has a few mentions. In summary:

The (very) limited written evidence of the period comes from Livy and Polybius.

The early Roman Kingdom armies seem to have been based on the Etruscan structure. Perhaps not surprising given the Kings Tarquinius Priscus, Servius Tullius and Tarquinius Superbus were Etruscan or of Etruscan descent. Tullius of course being the great "reformer" of early Roman society and the army. This reform was based on five classes, and I assume slowly developed into the middle Republican army hastati, principes and triarii types. (Nik?). So I would say the Etruscan structure was almost certainly the same; combined with with what we know about Etruscan society.

1st class As hoplites (before 400BC?, drilled armoured offensive spearmen, otherwise protected)
2nd class As lightly-armed hoplites (undrilled protected offensive spearmen)

I would suspect these fought together, the better troops in the front. So whether you make the whole lot protected offensive spearmen is open to debate.

3rd/4th classes Medium foot, undrilled, light spear javelin devolving into light foot skirmishers. Possibly they also fought as the rear ranks of hoplites above.


As to classification, I think the DBM list does them a great disservice. No state survives with Romans to the south and Gauls to the north without being at least reasonable at fighting. I suspect lack of a "unified identity" handicapped them more as a force. However, the first class were the elite of Etruscan society and it seems of limited numbers. So arguably you might have a small core of superior, say 8 to 12 or 16. But one would want to match quality with reference to the Early Republican army.

I'd be interested in anyone else's opinion...

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Post by Brainsnaffler » Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:59 am

I know I'm not about to qoute any references, but in a book I am reading about Carthage, it states there was an allience with Carthage and the Etruscans early on (400BC's to early 390BC's I think). If this is the case, there is a slim possiblity they may have had some influence from the Carthaginian forces. However, given that the forces of Carthage were almost totally mercenary and their African Spears were hellenistic based, there is more chance they were organised as Peter has suggested.

I will have a look at the book and see if there is any mention of troop organisations etc. but I think it mainly focuses on the political alliences and treaties they formed.

Forgive me for being vague, but although the book is informative, it is dry and is sometimes like trying to read the yellow pages cover to cover!

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Post by Kineas1 » Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:47 pm

I'm no expert on Etruscans. (Is anyone?) but a quick look at Peter Conelly's "G+R at War" suggests that the main power of the Etruscan armies at their height was their phalanx of hoplites, backed by their 3-4th class troops (see the post above) who sound remarkably like peltasts... and a swarm of 5th class slingers and javelinemen
The use of the Aspis as the shield almost guarantees a phalanx,as that's what that shield is for.
I have this vague memory that Polybius says their cavalry was great, but then, if Rome of the 4th C BC was the standard of comparison, I guess everyone's cav was great...
I seem to remember that they had 12 cities in a confederation, led by the big three whose names I could look up. Ain't I helpful? Anyway, they seldom actually allied except to defeat the celts, is my memory.
Altogether, if Conelly is accurate, it looks to me like you could make a completely correct Etruscan army by playing the Hoplite list. The only things that really stand out as different are:

1) at their height (530-450BC) they still had some chariots...(?)
2) Possibly some good superior cav (otherwise like Greeks)
3) Lots of armour. They seem to have had more arm armour and leg armour and thigh armour than anyone else,. that may just be preservation, but it would be easy to reflect in a list.

And they pretty much created the Romans... so a late Etruscan list would look a lot like an early Repub list.

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Post by Brainsnaffler » Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:10 am

I looked in the book (Carthage by Gilbert Charles Picard and Colette Picard) and it is all about the political agreements. It says the height of the Etrusco-Punic allience was in 535BC, with the battle of Alalia. With the Tarquinian dynasty being thrown out of Rome, the allience ended in around 509BC when the Romans and Carthaginians formed a treaty.

Not a great help in deciding the armies, but found out a bit of info anyway.

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Post by peterrjohnston » Thu May 01, 2008 7:16 pm

OK, as promised, first crack at an Etruscan list. Any comments would be appreciated...

I just noticed the pila upgrade doesn't have a date, should be after 400 BC.

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Post by WhiteKnight » Thu May 01, 2008 7:42 pm

I like your list and think, from the little we can piece together about the Etruscans, it fits the bill. Maybe the 2nd and 3rd class need to be in 6-8 base BGs to match with other lists in the period. Maybe the troops sworn to fight to the death as a bodyguard should be a 4-base BG, like a Greek Sacred Band or a Mercenary bodyguard? Is there evidence for lighter /skirmishing horsemen as opposed to the ordinary "heavy" cavalry acting in a skirmishing role?

Martin

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Post by peterrjohnston » Thu May 01, 2008 8:05 pm

WhiteKnight wrote:I like your list and think, from the little we can piece together about the Etruscans, it fits the bill. Maybe the 2nd and 3rd class need to be in 6-8 base BGs to match with other lists in the period.
Thanks. I wasn't sure on the BG size. 6-8 would match Greek hoplites type organisation,
possibly 6-12 would be better. Perhaps one of the list writers can advise... Nik?
Maybe the troops sworn to fight to the death as a bodyguard should be a 4-base BG, like a
Greek Sacred Band or a Mercenary bodyguard?
I don't have the Classical Greek army book yet, so size for a devoted BG, and also date of the
change to lighter armour is changeable - assuming the Etuscans followed Greek changes...
Is there evidence for lighter /skirmishing horsemen as opposed to the ordinary "heavy"
cavalry acting in a skirmishing role?
Fossati mentions them, but more as raiders. Hence why I made them optional. (I forgot to add
to the notes the heavy cavalry should have an option to dismount, possibly as citizens 1st class).

Really needs a matching early Republican Roman list. I mentioned possibly using a ratio system
that the Middle Republicans use. Fossati seems to think the 1st class were kept as a reserve in battle,
like Triarii, but this may be speculation on his part. Just how did the Roman organisation system
(hastati etc) arise? Certainly one can make a decent case that Tullius took the Etruscan system
and applied it in early Rome.

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Post by peterrjohnston » Thu May 01, 2008 8:09 pm

peterrjohnston wrote:Really needs a matching early Republican Roman list. I mentioned possibly using a ratio system
that the Middle Republicans use. Fossati seems to think the 1st class were kept as a reserve in battle,
like Triarii, but this may be speculation on his part. Just how did the Roman organisation system
(hastati etc) arise? Certainly one can make a decent case that Tullius took the Etruscan system
and applied it in early Rome.
As a addition comment, using the ratio system would also perhaps match the Etruscan League's city state
contributions.

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Post by Probert » Fri May 02, 2008 3:04 pm

The only thing in the list that I am uncertain about is upgrading infantry to impact foot with use of the pila or pilum. I know that we have limited information on the Etruscans, but I am not sure they were using the light javelin in the manner of the Romans that early in history.

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Post by Keydet83 » Sat May 03, 2008 2:17 pm

I like the list and will start putting my army together using it as a guide...I'm thinking that the 2nd and 3rd class BGs may be a bit on the large size, but we'll see.

I also agree that the use of chariots is at best questionable, but if so, most likely in the earlier periods. Nonetheless, I'll probably still use them to represent my leaders...

I'm also going to follow the advice here and try to put my army together using reasonable ratios of troop types...I much prefer an historical army to a tournament-winning army...
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Post by marioslaz » Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:59 pm

peterrjohnston wrote:OK, as promised, first crack at an Etruscan list. Any comments would be appreciated...

I just noticed the pila upgrade doesn't have a date, should be after 400 BC.
This is just my opinion:
  • Citizens 2nd & 3rd class should be drilled (or at least you should have the choice) because they are roughly the counterpart of Romani Hastati
  • You should permit pila only from a date (near 400BC as you state appear fine to me) and in a first period (50-100 years) pila armed troops should be light spear, swordsmen rather than impact foot, swordsmen; this to reflect time needed to develop pilum to its final stage.
  • Axe is an archaic weapon and you should limit to the first period of the list (perhaps an alternative to devoted foot?)
Mario Vitale

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Post by SirGarnet » Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:49 am

Nice work!

Some comments additional to those above. .

ALLIES: In the early stages, the secret of Rome's rise in Italy seems to me to be a culture and political system that effectively unified and focused the efforts of its people for war. This would have been an advantage that helps explain success against stronger opponents if those opponents were more prone to internal divisions. If this is your thought, then how fractious were the Etruscans? Enough to enjoy only 2 non-allied commanders? Or is 3 about right?

By the way, I suggest the notes describe the use of internal allied commanders to represent the lack of unity (e.g., among Etruscan towns). Osprey can't afford to publish useful background notes, but I love (Platonically of course) detailed list background information and having it with the list t certainly helps promote list development.

I agree a ratio system seems likely and desirable, but need it be a fixed base ratio as arithmetically rigid and awkward as the MRR? The ratio could be variable, or could be numbers of BGs rather than bases.

Is there any information or surmise on what the ratios between the classes would have been.

What do the internal ally contingents represent? Do they also have a ratio system? Presumably they do count against the totals in the main list.

HEAVY AND LIGHT HORSE: Is the Heavy Cavalry mandatory because it represents an equestrian class that always fought mounted? As for LH, if you are going to allow Chariots, might as well allow LH, right?

ARMOURED HOPLITES: The Classical Greek list has 490-461 as the years when they can be either armoured or protected.

HF/MF OPTION: This is where that opposing Roman list comes in - my understanding from the Roman tactical plagiarism theory is that both armies would have fought in basically the same fashion, so mutual consistency is important. If they were like hoplites early on, wouldn't the fighting foot have to be HF Lt Spear or Spearmen until they evolved to HF Impact Foot?

In other exisiting lists, the Etruscan mercenary hoplites available to the Syracusans (Immortal Fire p 40) are HF Prot Avg Drilled Off Sp in 6-8 and are available from 412 on.

The Classical Greek list introduces MF Off Spearmen at 380, the Syracusan list as mercenaries at 275. Samnites and similar are MF with Light Spear instead.

BG SIZE: Agree that 6-8 bases is standard for for Drilled Off Sp, though Undrilled in some lists can be 8-10. 12 should have a particular reason, such as historically fighting in unusually large or deep, or clumsy, formations (e.g., warbands).

DEVOTED FOOT: Unless these numbered 1500 men or more, agree that they sound like 4 bases, used for units that need to be represented but without enough troop numbers for 6 or more bases and without the crack quality usually required for 2s.

5th CLASS? There is mention above of the 5th class being the skirmishers?

PEASANTS: They are fine as they are if they represent a relatively small body of troops, but if they represent a larger number they might better be treated as Light Spear Mob with a typical 8-12 bases.

CHARIOTS: If doubtful and there is no evidence of extensive use, perhaps limit to 6 bases and thus 1 BG? Move the date up to 450 BC if Kineas is right?

AXEMEN: Who are these guys? What is known about the Axemen in terms of dates and tactical behavior?

Cheers,

Mike

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Post by caliban66 » Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:46 am

In my opinion, superior cavalry Light Spear/Swordman denotes a highly skilled cavalry class, while the main strengh of the armies was the infantry, specially hoplite type. I would reconsider "Swordman" POA for them. If early theban cavalry is armoured/light spear, this classification may be valid also for etruscans. Cavalry in VIth centry BC did not have a shock efect on infantry, but just harrasing routing infantry and facing lighter troops of skirmishers. If you don't include swordman POA, I'm sure you'll have the real feeling of depending on your infantry.

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Etruscan axemen

Post by simone » Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:42 pm

Should this lot be classified as Heavy Weapons?

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Re: ETRUSCANS?

Post by DaiSho » Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:08 pm

peterrjohnston wrote:As to classification, I think the DBM list does them a great disservice. No state survives with Romans to the south and Gauls to the north without being at least reasonable at fighting. I suspect lack of a "unified identity" handicapped them more as a force. However, the first class were the elite of Etruscan society and it seems of limited numbers. So arguably you might have a small core of superior, say 8 to 12 or 16. But one would want to match quality with reference to the Early Republican army.

I'd be interested in anyone else's opinion...
I think you're right about DBM doing the Etruscans a dis-service. I personally think that <the>.

I don't think it's a case of 'surviving with Romans to the south and Gauls to the north, it's a case of beating the crud out of them for several hundred years and expanding into their territory!!! At the VERY least they should be Average with a potential of some Superior.

How <censored> can claim Livy as a reason to downgrade the troops in one list and then discribe him again as "Patent nonsense" is anyone's guess. Considering Richard et al have created the Syracusan list (also harshly treated (but less so) IMHO in DBM) so that you can have all 'Average', I'd suggest the same would be true of the Etruscans.

Ian

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Post by DaiSho » Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:46 pm

peterrjohnston wrote:OK, as promised, first crack at an Etruscan list. Any comments would be appreciated...

I just noticed the pila upgrade doesn't have a date, should be after 400 BC.
I like the list. The only thing I'd say is that I believe anyone who lived in close enough proximity to the Gauls would undoubtedly at times have fought with them as an Ally. Perhaps we could add an option for Roman and Gallic allies of the appropriate time.

I know there would be no historical evidence of that happening, but come on - what's the chances of it NOT happening? Beyond reasonable doubt?

Ian

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Post by nikgaukroger » Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:14 pm

DaiSho wrote: I like the list. The only thing I'd say is that I believe anyone who lived in close enough proximity to the Gauls would undoubtedly at times have fought with them as an Ally. Perhaps we could add an option for Roman and Gallic allies of the appropriate time.

I know there would be no historical evidence of that happening, but come on - what's the chances of it NOT happening? Beyond reasonable doubt?

Ian
You know a little historical research in one of the online copies of Livy would show you historical evidence for Gauls as allies and, IIRC, briefly some Romans.
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Post by DaiSho » Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:20 pm

nikgaukroger wrote:
DaiSho wrote: I like the list. The only thing I'd say is that I believe anyone who lived in close enough proximity to the Gauls would undoubtedly at times have fought with them as an Ally. Perhaps we could add an option for Roman and Gallic allies of the appropriate time.

I know there would be no historical evidence of that happening, but come on - what's the chances of it NOT happening? Beyond reasonable doubt?

Ian
You know a little historical research in one of the online copies of Livy would show you historical evidence for Gauls as allies and, IIRC, briefly some Romans.
Then there IS historical evidence, however I wouldn't be using Livy as I believe he's totally unreliable. I can hardly ignore him as a reason for downgrading Etruscans and then use him to give them allies can I?

Ian

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Post by nikgaukroger » Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:28 pm

Well to dismiss Livy as totally unreliable is rather foolish. Whilst his earlier stuff (basically before the Gallic sack of Rome) is, by his own admission, a bit dodgy in places, the later stuff is often sound.
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