FOG 2.0 Notes on Nikephorian Byzantine

An unofficial forum for people to discuss potential new lists and amendments. Note this is not about picking armies from existing lists, it is about creating lists for armies that do not exist or suggesting changes to those that do.

Moderators: Slitherine Core, Field of Glory Moderators, Field of Glory Design

Post Reply
PaulByzan
Senior Corporal - Destroyer
Senior Corporal - Destroyer
Posts: 117
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:40 am

FOG 2.0 Notes on Nikephorian Byzantine

Post by PaulByzan » Mon May 23, 2011 4:45 am

In many ways the 10th, early 11th cent Byzantine army had more and varied troop types with their tactics and fighting style. In Jean Clause Cheynet’s article Basil II and Asia Minor in Paul Magdolino’s Byzantium in the Year 1000 . In his section on The army in Asia Minor, makes it clear that the army of the late 10th century-early 11th century was more varied than usually thought of. While the core certainly remained the regular foot of the themes and the cavalry of the tagmatic and elite thematic regiments, as Cheynet states:

1: “Basil was accompanied by Bulgarian troops even before the country had been completely conquered by him for in 995 Bulgarian elements of his army captured a number of Bedouins”
2: “At Basil’s death the army of the east was composed almost exclusively of professional soldiers, many who came from the ethnikoi not subject to the empire: Russian Varangians, Armenians and Bulgarians.”

Another interesting point is the distinction made by the source historians such as Psellus, Scylitzes and Leo the Deacon between Armenian infantry and regular Byzantine infantry. In the descriptions the regular Byzantine infantry certainly is certainly to be defensive spearmen and support the cavalry. The source descriptions regarding the Armenian foot show them more in an attacking capacity, so perhaps there should should be an Armenian troop type of HF, offensive spear, probably undrilled until Basil II’s time.

As regards, the Varangians, under Basil II the reasoned and cogent arguments as to why they should be armored, superior, offensive spearmen from at least 988 AD have been made time and agains. They were Basil II’s shock foot troops as well as personal guards in the field for all his campaigns from the time he received them from Duke Vladimir. To say that Varangians suddenly became armored and superior only after the magical date of 1042 is difficult to understand. Basil used them more than other later field commanders and led them himself. There is also evidence from their use by Nikephoras Phokas in the assault landing on Crete in 961AD where Arab archers had no effect and they swiftly helped clear the beachhead despite “their seasickness” that a single superior armored unit of Varangians should be allowed pre-Basil.

Also, there is no allowance for steppe mercenaries such as the Magyars, Pechenegs, etc. Leo the Deacon clearly indicates that steppe mercenaries were included in the army that re-conquered Crete in 960-961AD. Early Hungarian allies assisted Basil’s armies in conquering northwest Bulgaria in 1018 AD.

Finally, the date for no longer allowing Bedouin allies at 976 AD is not supported by the evidence. The Hamdanid state of Aleppo and later the Marwanids (whose emir was granted an imperial title by Basil) remained as vassals of the Byzantine state throughout Basil’s reign. In fact it was not until Romanus III Argyrus’ ill-fated 1034AD expedition that Byzantine control of arab states completely fell away.

Franks in the Post 1042 AD Option

The Post-1042AD list, seems to underestimate the importance of Norman/Frankish troops in the 11th century era army. A max 6 bases is probably too few to properly represent this Would have expected more on the order of 8 or even 12 max. According to Jonathan Shepard’s article The Uses of the Franks in 11th Century Byzantium in John Haldon’s Byzantine Warfare, Roussel of Bailleul, Robert Crispin and Herve’s bands were not the only Frankish troops serving in the Byzantine armies from the Sicilian expedition in 1038 AD until Mantzikert in 1071 AD. Those bands were named in the chronicles as they were commanded by Franks who revolted against the central authority. Other Frankish commanders who did not revolt may simply not have received notice in the chronicles according to Shepard. In addition, there was the regiment of the so-called Maniakatoi who were Normans who followed George Maniaces when he withdrew from Sicily. By mid-11th century, Shepard indicates that Franks/Normans were numerous enough “at any rate, the Franks’ numbers would have been quite substantial, if they made up the left wing of the ‘Roman’ battle-line (in a battle in 1049 AD against the Petchenegs). The likelihood of this is enhanced by the fact that there were, in 1057, two Frankish tagmata stationed at Coloneia, the east of the Armeniakon theme. At that same time, there were also Franks stationed in Constantinople, and assuming that a tagma contained at least five hundred men, one may suppose a minimum of 1500 Frankish in the Bzyantine forces.” I believe this is a reasonable argument for more Frankish cavalry.

Paul Georgian

madaxeman
Major-General - Jagdtiger
Major-General - Jagdtiger
Posts: 2939
Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2006 5:15 am
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: FOG 2.0 Notes on Nikephorian Byzantine

Post by madaxeman » Mon May 23, 2011 7:28 am

PaulByzan wrote: Franks in the Post 1042 AD Option
Does this mean they can have flank march that arrives guaranteed before 11am, but only if they pay extra to post them via UPS ?
http://www.madaxeman.com
Become a fan of Madaxeman on Facebook at Madaxeman.com's Facebook Page.

PaulByzan
Senior Corporal - Destroyer
Senior Corporal - Destroyer
Posts: 117
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:40 am

Re: FOG 2.0 Notes on Nikephorian Byzantine

Post by PaulByzan » Wed May 25, 2011 11:42 am

Tsk, tsk. Now you know only Fed-Ex can guarantee an arrival before 11am. And you definitely have to pay extra. Using UPS is like flank marching without an FC. :lol:

Paul
madaxeman wrote:
PaulByzan wrote: Franks in the Post 1042 AD Option
Does this mean they can have flank march that arrives guaranteed before 11am, but only if they pay extra to post them via UPS ?

philqw78
Chief of Staff - Elite Maus
Chief of Staff - Elite Maus
Posts: 8637
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:31 am
Location: Manchester

Re: FOG 2.0 Notes on Nikephorian Byzantine

Post by philqw78 » Wed May 25, 2011 11:49 am

PaulByzan wrote:Franks in the Post 1042 AD Option

The Post-1042AD list, seems to underestimate the importance of Norman/Frankish troops in the 11th century era army. A max 6 bases is probably too few to properly represent this Would have expected more on the order of 8 or even 12 max.
I would say more since the Norman mercenaries in Italy got pee'd off and beat up the rest of the army during this time IIRC
phil
putting the arg into argumentative

bahdahbum
Brigadier-General - 15 cm Nblwf 41
Brigadier-General - 15 cm Nblwf 41
Posts: 1950
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 7:40 pm

Post by bahdahbum » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:18 pm

I do agree with all that is writen about the nikephorian army. I intervened sometimes but it seems that no one in the autor's team is willing to listen even with historical text as support . A shame . I really do hope they will listen . This is our only opportunity and it will need very few adjustments . A line or 2 in the errata .

Post Reply

Return to “Player Designed Lists”