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.
For the Fall of Rome and the Barbarian Kingdoms I’ve a Barbarian Horde that can act as Suevi, Vandal, Visigothic and Late Imperial Romans. I picked the Romans up from Ross Pirie before I left New Zealand. Ross painted the Romans, Huns, and some of the Barbarian Horde. I have reflocked them all using my standard flocking method.
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.