Essentially, in my setting the Empire of Ardea is a mix of 10th century Roman (Byzantine) Empire and 15th century Kingdom of Hungary. Social system is Byzantine - there are nobles, but primary military strength is composed of small to medium landowners, who receive land grants (including tennants) from the central government in exchange for military service. These grants can be revoked at any time, and are given directly by the Emperor. That being said, there are large landowners, and these can raise and maintain private militias and thus challenge the Crown, but their holdings and military power are limited. Military technology however is 15th century, which means plate armour, but no firearms. This is a preliminary descripion, and does not include intelligence gathering (I am yet to write that) or some other details. -------------------------- INTRODUCTION Ardean military is primarily state-based one. It consists of the central army (palatini) and the provincial army (comitatenses). Central army is a standing army of fully professional soldiers, and is always ready for combat. Provincial army consists of a small core of paid standing troops in each province, with most of the army consisting of part-time soldiers supported by farmers, who only receive campaign pay and live off the land rest of the time. Not counted are the militia (insurrectio) which may be raised in directly-threatened areas when necessary. In extreme danger, militia is raised by carrying a bloody sword across the country. It is led by officers called levatori gentium or ductori; not answering the call is punishable by death. ARMY UNIT TYPES Border troops (Limitanei, Akritai) Limitanei is a general term for border troops, be it standing army or militia, consisting predominantly of light infantry and cavalry. They act as raiders, scouts and border guards, and are usually deployed in units no larger than cohorts. Generally they are recruited among local populace (like most of the army), particularly trackers and hunters familiar with local terrain. Among other tasks, limitanei perform regular deep incursions into enemy territory. They themselves profit from such raids, often taking cattle with them. They also destroy smaller enemy outposts, burn crops and villages, while avoiding direct conflict with enemy soldiers. At coasts, such troops often take small boats into raids against enemy trade ships. City watch (Vigili) Vigili are special units tasked with maintaining law and order within cities. In emergency, they may also be used to reinforce city garrison. Central army (Palatini, Tagmata) Central army consists of standing full-time soldiers, garrisoned in and around the capital city. It is structured to deal with revolt by any one of provincial armies, and possibly even two of them. Provincial army (Comitatenses, Themata) Provincial army consists of full-time paid soldiers and part-time soldiers supported by farmers. Provincial army operates under command of regional governors, which oversee the regular training and maintenance of soldiers under their command. They are given plots of land in exchange for military service, and during peacetime sustain themselves solely from land income. When campaigning, they are given campaign pay. Ideally, those troops would not be peasants themselves, so as not to be distracted from military service; though many in light infantry may be. TROOP TYPES AND EQUIPMENT Heavy infantry Heavy infantry is typically equipped with full plate armour open-faced sallet helmet combined with falling buffe. This allows easy head movement and good vision, while still providing good protection from missiles when necessary. Disadvantage of sallet helmet is that it sits freely on the head, which means that even strikes that do not penetrate the helmet may still disable the person. Light infantry Light infantry is typically equipped with open-faced helmet, gambeson, oval shield, sword and a spear. They may also be equipped with javelins, lead darts and/or throwing axes. Better-equipped light infantry (called "medium infantry") will also have a chain shirt. Crossbowmen Infantry utilizes wrench-and-pulley crossbow, which allows for significant power, but at the expense of slow firing rate. Equipment is otherwise identical to light infantry. Archers Archers are rarer than crossbowmen, owing to training. Infantry bow is capable of sending arrows over 330 meters, with killing range of 200 meters against unarmoured person. It can penetrate mail armour at 60 meters and Ardean lamellar armour at 20 meters. Plate armour cannot be penetrated. Heavy lance cavalry Heavy cavalry utilizes full plate armour, similar to that of infantry. Heavy cavalry armour weights some 35 – 40 kg, but since weight is distributed over entire body, it is possible for cavalryman to fight on foot. Due to need for assistance when putting on armour, each heavy cavalryman has two helpers – oftentimes light cavalry riders who are also tasked with missile support in battle. Heavy missile cavalry Heavy missile cavalry abandons heavy lance in favour of bow or crossbow. Otherwise equipment is the same as that of heavy lance cavalry. Cavalry bow is capable of shooting arrows over distance of 275 meters, with killing range of 170 meters. Light lance cavalry Light lance cavalry is equipped with sallet helmet with visor, a small shield, a sword and a lance. They may also carry either a mail shirt or a lamellar corselet over a padded surcoat, or else just a surcoat. Light missile cavalry Light missile cavalry uses bows and/or throwing axes. Bow is lighter than that of heavy cavalry, with maximum range of 135 m and killing range of 80 meters. Each cavalryman carries a quiver of 40 arrows. Armour is same as that of lance cavalry. Limitanei cavalry Limitanei cavalry is even lighter than normal light cavalry. They specialize in surprise attacks and raids, burning enemy villages and stealing cattle. Many such cavalry are irregular, living from what they can capture from the enemy. They often carry silk cravats, which are used as first aid for wounds. They have no armour, while weapons consist of a longsword or a sabre, as well as a polearm (axe, warhammer or mace) and a crossbow. Limitanei horses are small and hardy. Medicai Medicai are medics, people trained in medical arts. Deputatii Deptutatii are rescuers, whose duty is to take wounded from the battle and bring them to medics in the rear. They carry flasks of water, and have two ladders attacked to the saddles of their horses on the left side for help in raising soldiers onto the saddle.