I was wondering why some Germanic cavalry during the Fall of Rome and Barbarian Kingdoms are counted as lancers in Field of Glory and some as light spear. It isn’t clear to me why the Early Frankish, Alamanni, Burgundi, Rugii, Suebi or Turcilingi and the Gardingi of the Later Visigoths count as light spear rather than lancer like the rest. Or vice versa.
- Lancers: “Mounted troops specialising in charging with lance”
- Light Spear: ?? TODO ??
The heavy cavalry of the various Germanic groups can be categorised as:
|Germanic Nation||Close Combat:||Light Spear||Lancer|
|Early Frankish, Alamanni, Burgundi, Rugii, Suebi or Turcilingi||Yes|
|Early Visigothic or Early Vandal||Yes|
|Early Ostrogothic, Herul, Sciri or Taifali||Yes||Yes|
|Gepid or Early Lombard||Yes||Yes|
The change in armour over time can be explained by the tribes acquiring armour through native manufacture, loot, and/or from Roman factories.
The Quadi have a lancer option presumably because they “were the easternmost [of the Suebi] and may have been more Sarmatized than the others, having taking (sic) in Sarmation exiles following the revolt of the Limigantes” (Legions Triumphant, p. 60).
On Field of Glory Official Forum (Slitherine Software): Lance equiped Equites Alani etc in the Roman Dominate Army?. in the discussion on teh Equites Alani/Sciri/Taifali/Theodosiaci, Ben said:
i understand that the lancer poa is given due to how they supposedly fought..ie they were shock cavalry,
rather than multi role troops?
And Richard Bodley Scott replied:
Also there is a respectable body of thought that Ostrogoths etc. were in fact lance (kontos)
armed having copied their mounted tactics from the Sarmatians, and that the old idea that they
were javelin armed is based on over/misinterpretation of the written sources. But as Ben says, it
doesn’t really matter which interpretation is correct as FOG is function based rather than
equipment based. Moreover, if you prefer to interpret them as light spear, swordsmen, just use
them as ordinary Equites.
Alans, of course, were Sarmatians anyway, and are recorded as being charging lancers in Arrian’s
Order of Battle Against the Alans.
Bodley Scott, R. (2008). Field of Glory Companion: Legions Triumphant: Imperial Rome at War. Osprey.
Bodley Scott, R. (2008). Field of Glory Companion: Decline and Fall: Byzantium at War. Osprey.