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Early Teutonic Knights

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Historical Overview Section

Formed at the end of the 12th century in Acre, in the Levant, the Medieval Order played an important role in Outremer, controlling the port tolls of Acre. After Christian forces were defeated in the Middle East, the Order moved to Transylvania in 1211 to help defend Hungary against the Cumans.

Following the Golden Bull of Rimini, Grand Master Hermann von Salza and Duke Konrad I of Masovia made a joint invasion of Prussia in 1230 to Christianise the Baltic Old Prussians in the Northern Crusades. The conquest of Prussia was accomplished with much bloodshed over more than 50 years, during which native Prussians who remained unbaptised were subjugated, killed, or exiled. Fighting between the Knights and the Prussians was ferocious; chronicles of the Order state the Prussians would "roast captured brethren alive in their armour, like chestnuts, before the shrine of a local god".

The knights were then accused of cheating Polish rule and creating an independent monastic state. The Order lost its main purpose in Europe, when the neighbouring country of Lithuania accepted Christianity. Once established in Prussia, the Order became involved in campaigns against its Christian neighbours, the Later Polish Kingdom of Poland, the Later Lithuanians of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and the later Russian Novgorod Republic (after assimilating the Livonian Order).

In 1236 the Knights of St Thomas, an English order, adopted the rules of the Teutonic Order. The Livonian Brothers of the Sword were absorbed by the Teutonic Knights in 1237; the Livonian branch subsequently became known as the Livonian Order. The Teutonic Order's nominal territorial rule extended over Prussia, Livonia, Semigalia, and Estonia. Its next aim was to convert Orthodox Russia to Roman Catholicism, but after the knights suffered a disastrous defeat in the Battle on Lake Peipus (1242) at the hands of Later Russian Prince Alexander Nevsky of Novgorod, this plan had to be abandoned. A detachment of Teutonic Knights allegedly participated in the 1241 Battle of Legnica against the Tatar Mongols.

Using the Army in FoG

  • The grunt in this army comes from the multiple units of Brother Knights, supported by drilled or undrilled followers. This leads to a fairly simple battleplan - get your knights committed to battle, and make sure the supporting troops avoid combat.
  • Fortunately with support in the form of skirmshing light horse, light foot and units of cheap poor spearmen capable of hiding in terrain it is possible to set up the army such that all 3 units of Brother knights and an additional 2 (or maybe even 3) units of followers can be lost without the army falling to a total defeat.
  • But frankly if you manage to lose 3 units of heaviliy armoured, drilled superior lancer swordsmen you may need more help than this guide can provide you anyway.
  • Don't go for the average knights. Drilled may sound good, but its a mistake, trust us.

User-contributed links about this army:

15mm Manufacturers supplying figures for this army

Teutonic Knights Teutonic Knights Teutonic Knights Teutonic Knights

Nearly all manufacturers supply generic knights and East European infantry and support troops, so have a loot at some of the other East European army pages to find them. Those offering Teutonic knights are specifically noted in the list below. You can see some of the figures in the Ancients Photo Gallery also on this site.

Core Troops

  • The Knights wore white surcoats with a black cross. A cross pattée was sometimes used as their coat of arms; this image was later used for military decoration and insignia by the Kingdom of Prussia and Germany as the Iron Cross.
  • Brother Knights, in their distinctive cloaks and helmed helmets are the core troops for the army. When painting them it is possible to include one unit with red crosses as well as the more familiar black trim and crosses. This would represent the Sword Brethren, incorprated into the main Teutonic Order part way through this period. .
  • To paint these almost totally white troops sometimes can be a bit daunting, as they can appear too "flat" if just painted white. Techniques that have been used include a layering method starting with a very light gray, and adding 2 progressively lighter shades, with actual white only as the last highlight coat. Otherwise a wash with a very light grey can also achieve a layered effect.
The Grand Master
The Grand Master

Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army

800 Pt Army used at Campaign 2010 / c 1240AD

  • 4 Brother Knights - superior, drilled
  • 4 Brother Knights - superior, drilled
  • 6 Crusading Knights - superior, undrilled
  • 6 Serving Brothers - MF crossbow
  • 6 Serving Brothers - MF crossbow
  • 6 Serving Brothers - HF armoured def spear
  • 6 militia - MF crossbow (undrilled)
  • 6 levies - LF bow
  • 4 Turcopoles - protected Cv
  • 4 Turcopoles - protected Cv
  • 4 Turcopoles - LH
  • Inspired Commander, 2 Troop Commanders


Plenty of firepower in the expectation of meeting Mongols and other shooty mounted armies. The IC and 12 Cv/LH usually gained the initiative, with the plan of laying a river on one flank to create a 'Byzantine bowling alley'. Following history, the knights went in the centre, with a solid 6 undrilled knights forming the core of the battering ram. The strategy had moments of success. The Turcopole Cv were vulnerable to shooting and outmatched by armoured superior bow/sword , but in single rank were able to bully shooty LH, sometimes.

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