DBx and FOG are wrong. The gardingi were personal military retainers of the Visigothic king. They were wealthy and led their own retainers into battle. Given they were wealthy, and a military elite, they probably fought mounted. And in an army where even some slaves wore armour, it is beyond belief that these palatine officials were unarmoured.
It bugs me when rules writers introduce arbitrary distinctions between troop types and armies. From what I’ve read there was little difference between the Germanic tribes operating in western europe during the migration period leading to the Fall of Rome. I’m interested in the Early Visigothic, Early Vandal and Suevi because they operated in Spain and Portugal, either passing through or settling permanently. The DBA army lists for these armies, II/65, II/66 and II/72c respectively, highlight the issue for me as they differ in ways that are inexplicable to me. DBA is not alone as other rule systems also distinguish these armies in various ways. It is all too much for me. Too made up by the list writers. So here is my blended army list for a generic Western Germanic horde, whether Visigothic, Vandal or Suevi.
The Suevi are covered by DBA army list II/72c Suevi 250AD-584AD, an option within II/72 Early Frankish, Alamannic, Quadi, Suevi, Rugian or Turcilingi. They were part of the general chaos during the Fall of the Western Roman Empire and ended up in Iberia. This post is part of my series on Troop Identities in DBA Army Lists.
The Vandals were a Germanic tribe that crossed the Rhine into Roman Gaul, helped with the Fall of the Western Roman Empire, settled in Iberia (Spain and Portugal) before crossing to Africa. They hung out with the Alans. DBA army list II/66 Early Vandal 200AD-442AD is the army before forming the African Kingdom. This post is part of my series on Troop Identities in DBA Army Lists.
The Visigoths had a bit of a love-hate relationship with the Roman Empire. At times fighting against them, notably the Battle of Adrianople where they thrashed the Eastern Roman army, and sometimes operating in conjunction with the Romans as Feoderati. They ended up in Spain. In DBA they are list II/65 Early Visigothic 200 AD-419AD. This post is part of my series on Troop Identities in DBA Army Lists.
I was thinking about a revised DBA army list covering Early Visigothic, Early Vandal and Suevi so thought I’d better do a bit of research. So on a rainy sunday I browsed through Simon MacDowall’s book on the Germanic Warrior at the end of the Western Roman Empire. As usual I couldn’t help taking a few notes.
What DBA Troop Type are New Kingdom Egyptian Close Fighters and Hittite Empire Spearmen? Not what DBA v2.2 says. This seems another example, like Viking versus Saxon, where two armies had the same types of troops and DBA classifies them differently.
A few notes about Ancient Spanish Cavalry.
I’m interested in refighting the Battle of Zama. This is quite a popular focus for historical scenarios so I thought I’d have a look at what other people have done before collating my own thoughts. By chance, Zama was the theme of the Society of Ancients Battle Day in 2010. Not surprisingly the Battle Day, and Zama, got a lot of coverage in the Slingshot, the society journal, over the next few months. I’ve used those accounts to explore some key questions about how to refight the battle.
The Sea Peoples Confederation burst upon the eastern Mediterranean in the late 13th century BC. For 50 years they had a major impact, contributing to the collapse of both the Hittite Empire and the Mycenaean culture. They also had a good go at Egypt – several goes actually. The confederation’s armies are represented by the DBA army list I/28 Sea Peoples 1208BC-1176BC. This post is part of my series on Troop Identities in DBA Army Lists.