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Early German

Early German

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Historical Overview Section

The Early Germanic tribes were pretty close to the Gallic teams in Rome's list of potentially tricky away European Championship fixtures, and their subjugation took well over a century. The Germans inflicted a couple of stunning victories in this time, including:

The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in A.D. 9 (probably lasting from September 9 to September 11) when an alliance of Germanic tribes led by Arminius, the son of Segimer of the Cherusci, ambushed and destroyed three Principate Roman legions led by Publius Quinctilius Varus an administrative official who was assigned to establish the new province of Germania in 7 AD. Varus' opponent, Arminius (also known as Hermann), had lived in Rome as a hostage in his youth, where he had received a military education and had even been given the rank of Equestrian. After his return, he was a trusted advisor to Varus but in secret, he forged an alliance of Germanic tribes that had traditionally been enemies (the Cherusci, Marsi, Chatti, Bructeri, Chauci and Sicambri), but which he was able to unite due to outrage over Varus' measures. While Varus was on his way from his summer camp somewhere west of the Weser he heard reports of a local rebellion, fabricated by Arminius. Varus decided to quell this uprising immediately and take a detour through territory unfamiliar to the Romans. Arminius, who accompanied Varus, probably directed him along a route that would facilitate an ambush.... and surprise surpise, there was one there!

Three legions (Legio XVII, Legio XVIII, and Legio XIX), six cohorts of auxiliary troops (non-Roman allies) and three squadrons of cavalry (alae) were ambushed by Germanic warriors led by Arminius who knew Roman tactics and set up his troops to counter them. The Romans managed to set up a fortified night camp, and the next morning broke out into the open country but the repeated German attacks over several days caused heavy losses, with the Romns finally being wiped out when they marched straight into another trap that Arminius had set near Osnabrück where a narrow defile between the woods and swampland was blocked by a trench and an earthen wall built by the Germans. The Romans made a desperate attempt to storm the wall, but failed, and the Germanic warriors then stormed the field and slaughtered the disintegrating Roman force.

Upon hearing of the defeat, the Emperor Augustus, according to the Roman historian Suetonius in his Lives of the Twelve Caesars, showed signs of near-insanity, banging his head against the walls of his palace and repeatedly shouting Quintili Vare, legiones redde! ('Quintilius Varus, give me back my legions!'). The three legion numbers were never used again by the Romans after this defeat, unlike other legions that were restructured — a case unique in Roman history.

The Batavian Revolt took place in the Roman province of Germania Inferior (Southern Netherlands) between 69 and 70 AD as an uprising against Roman rule by the Batavi. The revolt took place at a time when Roman central authority was in dissarray, as civil war convulsed the empire and various army commanders sought to rest control of the Imperial Crown. The Batavian provinces supplied much manpower for some of the factions in this struggle, but when the conscription rate among the Batavian population got too high the Batavi revolted, again under the leadership of a soldier educated in Rome, Gaius Julius Civilis. During the revolt he managed to destroy two legions and inflict humiliating defeats on the Roman army.

Using the army in FoG

  • V2.0 change The following armies (but not ally contingents derived from them) can have up to 1/3 of their battle groups of the specified type upgraded to Superior, representing separately deployed picked warriors. Such battle groups cannot exceed 8 bases. Early German (Warriors)

  • The Batavian cheap units of 4 Auxilia in the Batavian Roman deserters option allows you to boost army size as well as adding flexibility (ie they dont charge, they can add rear support to bigger foot units of warriors, and can move and turn) and also armoured troops to the list.
  • The allied contingent is best used to add 1-2 units of heavy foot, who's general can accompany one of them in combat. Make sure to take the 2 allowed small units of LF with the ally - they should be able to avoid getting into serious trouble before the rest of the army has either won - or more likely lost.
  • An IC may not be necessary - with so many ordinary protected troops, you are going to suffer badly from shooting anyway and also will need to plug generals into combat fairly regularly.

Allied Contingents

  • Gauls : Date restrictions Before 101 BC Book: Rise of Rome Page: 16 - Maybe to add some MF (and 4 chariots) to your HF army?


UK Tournament Results with this army

User-contributed links about this army:


15mm Manufacturers supplying figures for this army

This is a listing of 15mm Gallic/Gaul/E german manufacturers for all ranges. You can see some of the figures in the Ancients Photo Gallery also on this site

Image Image Image Image Image

Core Troops


Which troops are absolutely needed for this army, and what are your thoughts on how to organise, paint and buy them.

Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army
800 AP early German with Batavian Deserters

  • 1 light foot allied lf unprotected Average Undrilled bow - - - 4
  • 2 light foot allied lf unprotected Average Undrilled javelins Light spear - - 4
  • 3 light foot lf unprotected Average Undrilled bow - - - 6
  • 4 Other tribe warriors HF Protected Average Undrilled - Impact foot Swordmen - 10
  • 5 Other tribe warriors HF Protected Average Undrilled - Impact foot Swordmen - 10
  • 6 Batavians MF Protected Average Undrilled - Impact foot Swordmen - 8
  • 7 Batavians MF Protected Average Undrilled - Impact foot Swordmen - 8
  • 8 Batavians MF Protected Average Undrilled - Impact foot Swordmen - 8
  • 9 Nobles Cv Protected Superior Undrilled - Light spear Swordmen - 4
  • 10 Nobles Cv Protected Superior Undrilled - Light spear Swordmen - 4
  • 11 Romans MF armoured Average drilled - Light spear Swordmen - 4
  • 12 Romans MF armoured Average drilled - Light spear Swordmen - 4
  • 13 Romans MF armoured Average drilled - Light spear Swordmen - 4
  • 14 Romans MF armoured Average drilled - Light spear Swordmen - 4
  • 15 Roman Cavalry Cv armoured Average drilled - Light spear Swordmen - 4
  • TC TC - - - - - - - 3
  • Other Tribes Ally TC - - - - - - Ally general 1

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