Noting the strengths and weaknesses of enemies for a particular army is a useful exercise when competing in tournaments, however, the information gathered here is meant to enhance scenarios between two historical opponents. This set takes a look at the tactical strengths and weaknesses of opponents of the Carolingian in the collection. The list long with a few armies having sub-lists.
Reviewing the Carolingian list, you will note a few alternative troop types reflecting regional differences, such as the province of Aquitaine or the division of the realm following the death of Charlemagne.
III/28 Carolingian 639 – 888 AD, Terrain Type: Arable, Aggression 3
1 x General
(3Kn), 2 x caballari (3Kn), 2 x Swabian or Bavarian caballari (3Kn//4Bd) or [1
x Gascon javelinmen (Ps) + 1 x Gascon light horse (LH)], 1 x caballari (3Kn) or
1 x Thuringian cavalry (Cv), 4 x select levies (all Bd or Sp until 814, thereafter
all Sp), 1 x archers (3Bw or Ps), 1 x archers (Ps) or lesser levies (7Hd).
The Enemies of the Carolingian
warband caught are easy prey for Frankish knights if caught in the open,
therefore a defending Saxon will select a hamlet, boggy ground, scrub, and
possibly an enclosure to increase the longevity of warbands when confronted by Frankish
knights. Troops moving through rough ground would do so in column, increasing
their vulnerability. A river would add another level of complexity to the mix
II/83b Later Visigothic Army 622 – 720 AD, Terrain type: Arable, Aggression 1
mix of knights and spear supported by skirmishers and auxilia. Difficult to
dislodge from a defensive position, best to lure toward an open plain. Attacking,
avoid matching troop types as battle can degenerate into a long slogging match.
III/1b Western Slav Army 741 – 1003 AD, Terrain type: Arable, Aggression 1
of foot are spear-armed and with few cavalry and archers in support, expect a
defensive position with a number of choke points. Carolingian blade is best
used against a Slav shieldwall and supported by skirmishers, these can attack
exposed enemy flanks or rear. Enemy archers may prove a nuisance, use
skirmishers to neutralise their threat.
III/1c Southern Slav Armies 476 – 896 AD, Terrain type: Forest, Aggression 1
Similar in composition
as their western neighbors, spearmen are a lighter type supported by open order
archers. Suggest driving enemy into or beyond woods will isolate them from their
commander. Slav infantry can out distance own infantry, therefore, reserves
should be placed to deter enemy flanking threats.
III/13a Avar Army 632 – 826 AD, Terrain type: Steppe, Aggression 1
have similarities with the Breton; but lack useful terrain. Pinning the Avar
against gullies or rivers should be high on your list otherwise follow the tactics
suggested against the Bretons.
III/18 Breton Army 580 – 1072 AD, Terrain type: Arable, Aggression 1
armies are highly mobile and can face off against Frankish knights and
infantry. Denying the Breton maneuvering room, form Frankish spear in line
forcing the enemy to engage or give ground. Frankish cavalry can protect the
flanks of the infantry and conversely if fighting on open ground reverse the
order with cavalry and flanks protected by heavy infantry. Keep the date 814 in
III/21a Italian Lombard 584 – 774 AD, Terrain type: Arable, Aggression 1
majority of the early Italian Lombard are heavy cavalry supported by archers;
the latter will create problems for your cavalry. An effective tactic of the
Lombard is to close quickly against your cavalry while archers and skirmisher attempt
to envelope your line. Much will depend who deploys first, but neutralising the
archers should become a priority.
III/21b Italian Lombard 775 – 1076 AD, Terrain type: Arable, Aggression 1
under the umbrella of Frankish control, half of the heavy cavalry are replaced
by spearmen creating a composition troop type mirroring the Carolingian. History
records a frequent use of the allies listed which may tip the balance in a
III/26b Croatian Army 627 – 1089 AD, Terrain type: Littoral, Aggression 1
wielding javelin and axe account for bulk of the army following by a good
number of mounted troops. The threat of a littoral landing is also present,
however, using the auxilia may not be the best choice. Expect difficult hills defended
by auxilia, but this should be welcomed as you can focus your attack on their
cavalry and camp.
III/28 Carolingian 639 – 888 AD Terrain type: Arable, Aggression 3
the death of Charlemagne, the kingdom did lapse into a period of civil strife
among its successors. From a historical perspective, armies should reflect some
regional differences avoiding a mirror image of the other. For example, Aquitaine
would have Gascons in its ranks, while Swabians and Bavarians would be present
among the eastern Frankish kingdom. Allies would also play a role during the
III/29 Thematic Byzantine 650 – 963 AD Terrain type: Hilly, Aggression 1
This is the
only army not present in the collection.
III/33 Early Muslim North Africa & Sicily 696 – 1160 AD Terrain type: Aggression
shock troops, they do make up with a highly mobile army on land as well as by
sea (littoral landing). Make use of the sea to pin the Muslims against or have
them take flight in that direction. Your knights may become vulnerable when
pursuing, so care should be taken to have adequate support nearby.
III/34a Andalusian 710 – 765 AD Terrain Type: Arable, Aggression 3
sub-list is similar to the Early Muslim, but its home terrain will offer a fine
selection of terrain suitable for light troops, expect much use of rough
ground. Use your cavalry to engage their cavalry, the advantage of number
should bring enemy infantry out from their defensive positions.
III/34b Andalusian 766 – 1172 AD: Terrain Type: Arable, Aggression 1
to the previous sub-list with a few minor additions. There are a number of
useful allies that can cause problems, such as the Feudal Spanish.
III/35a Feudal Spanish Army 718 – 950 AD, Terrain type: Hilly, Aggression: 1
account for 1/3rd of the army with skirmishers forming a majority supported
by spearmen. May pose a difficult fight if the maximum number of hills are placed
as these will channel your approach. Spanish skirmishers reign supreme in such terrain;
therefore, care should be taken to protect flanks and rear areas.
III/40a Viking Army 790 – 849 AD Terrain type: Littoral, Aggression 4
cavalry, fast blade will be disadvantage by an attack from your knights,
therefore a defending Viking will make good use of difficult hills, marsh and a
river to break up an enemy assault. Deploying an extended line seems less
likely, but do expect a reserve forming a second line placed behind or split
positioned at either flank.
III/40b Viking Army 850 – 1250 AD Terrain type: Littoral, Aggression 4
of the ‘b’ sub-list presented different opportunities as these are less mobile
and will avoid selecting difficult ground; a river and BUA would be better terrain
choices. Solid Vikings foot will repel cavalry on even scores, but destroy
knights. Using Frankish spear to pin, cavalry and skirmishers can attack
exposed Viking flank or rear.