Saturday, July 14, 2012

Fridericus Redivivus: 2nd Mercenaries

Times are busy at the moment, so I'm just clearing off a bit from my backlog. There are still a few units left to complete Konradin's army, so here's the next one of poor bloody infantry.

Basically, I was left with the very same selection of miniatures as used for the first infantry base. Most of them don't look very active, hence a glorious charge wasn't an option. However, that reflects a Medieval foot soldier's role on the battlefield pretty well. Essentially, infantry formations were merely used as a backup or rallying point for the cavalry, which took all the fun.

The more famous are those few early incidents where knights got caught (and consequently cut down) by foot soldiers, like Stirling Bridge in 1297, Courtrai in 1302 or Morgarten in 1315. It's nearly impossible to reconstruct such battles strategically, since our sources give suspiciously similar reasons for the defeat of cavalry by infantry: Usually, wily peaseants (or noble countrymen) lure snotty (or just badly led) knights into terrain disadvantageous to the latter. More likely other factors like training, strategy, even the weather or just sheer luck were decisive - but they didn't make for an entertaining or convincing story, at least for contemporaries.

The ever increasing numbers of foot soldiers from the late 13th century onwards were mainly caused by the rise of political entities, that militarily had to rely on infantry due to limited social ressources. That is to say, highly urbanised (or just densely populated) regions had considerable funds and manpower at hand while lacking a broad basis of knightly landlords. Thence, they made infantry their military mainstay - and, in turn, their enemies had to adapt to this. After all, it has actually nothing to do with a "natural" decline of over-specialised knights in the face of superior infantry tactics.

A side-effect of assembling and training large infantry contingents would be that in times of peace many of them would become redundant. Consequently, most tried to make a living as mercenaries. The unit pictured here represents such a compagnia (literally, men sharing bread or earning it together). Probably, they are of German or even Sicilian origin, indicated by their non-Italian shields, which also bear elaborate, individual designs rather than city arms. Their captain shows the eagle emblem of king Manfred, Konradin's unfortunate uncle who got killed in battle against Charles of Anjou in 1266. It's well known that such "loyalists" were expelled from the southern kingdom, only to fill the ranks of young Konradin.

Some final notes on what to possibly expect for the near future: The intermediary start of a new Roman adventure has soaked up pretty much my hobby time. It's now a full-blown project, and I couldn't resist to create a placeholder banner for this blog's Project page (though it's leading nowhere yet).
Even worse, with TFL's Dux Britanniarum finally on the horizon, I'm already planning ahead and began to dig up some Late Romans. They should feature, however, in a more "Continental" theatre than the setting of those rules allows for. Accordingly, research on sub-Roman Germany and Gaul has been triggered, which should (hopefully) result in a campaign map similar to that contained in Dux Britanniarum. We'll see how this turns out.
And since today it's FĂȘte nationale for my French friends, I painted up some samples of 6mm Baccus Miniatures quite quickly.

15 & 28 mm for comparison. They aren't as baby blue, honest…

Inspired by Steve Jones' blog, I ordered these models a while ago. Up to now, they are rather one-offs as I simply cannot afford starting another army in another scale. That said, Baccus Miniatures are way ahead in quality to competitive ranges I've seen before, and I feel seriously tempted. Oh deary me…

Miniatures by Legio Heroica (and Baccus and A&A Miniatures).


Brummie said...

nicely done and wow I thought they where 28mm figures!

Dalauppror said...

Hi Tilman

Very nice looking unit ! Realy like the clustered position of the unit!

best regards Michael

by the way, I´m a big fan of your blog, BUT I not a fan of the new? "read more" version of your blog posts, I just want to be able to just brows in and scroll down to see it all:)

Sire Godefroy said...

Thanks, guys! :-)

Michael, thanks for bringing this up. Design feedback is always welcome as well! My impression was that the blog looks a bit tidier with just teasers. It provides a quick overview over recent topics, and you can "read more" of whatever arouses your interest.
However, I'll make it the readers decision. There's a poll up, and if there's a clear vote against this feature, I'll correct that. Let's say, I need at least 15 votes in total to make that representative.


Dalauppror said...


It look absolutely more tidier.

Nice with a vote;)

Best regards Michael

Phyllion said...

Lovely. What sized base are they on?

Sire Godefroy said...

Phyllion, close order infantry comes on 8 by 4cm (or 3cm if they can be deployed as large, i.e. doubled or even tripled units). All other troop types have the same base width, only varying in depth. Check out the Impetus website, there's a more comprehensive basing guide available (as well as the introductory rules, of course).


Phyllion said...

Thanks! I wondered if you were using 10mm basing as they look quite cozy on the base.

I'm doing some 15mm roman test bases at the moment and your work is an inspiration!

Sire Godefroy said...

Thanks, Phyllion, will check your blog for updates on the Roman front.
Funnily enough, this base in particular has received some comments pointing at the "lack of miniatures" on it. That's mainly from the DBx and FoG crowd me thinks, since their bases tend to be rather crammed. :-D



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