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Moldavian or Wallachian

Moldavian or Wallachian

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Historical Overview Section

Wallachia

Wallachia was under the control of the First Bulgarian Empire from its establishment in 681, until approximately the Magyar conquest of Transylvania at the end of the 10th century. With the decline and subsequent fall of the Bulgarian state to Byzantium (in the second half of the 10th century up to 1018), Wallachia came under the control of the Pechenegs (a Turkic people) who extended their rule west through the 10th and 11th century, until defeated around 1091, when the Cumans of southern Russia took control of the lands of Moldavia and Wallachia. Beginning with the 10th century, Byzantine, Bulgarian, Hungarian, and later Western sources mention the existence of small polities, possibly peopled by, among others, Vlachs/Romanians led by knyazes and voivodes - at first in Transylvania, then in the 12th-13th centuries in the territories east and south of the Carpathians.

In 1241, during the Mongol invasion of Europe, Cuman domination was ended - a direct Mongol rule over Wallachia was not attested, but it remains probable. Part of Wallachia was probably briefly disputed by the Hungarian Kingdom and Later Bulgarians in the following period, but it appears that the severe weakening of Hungarian authority during the Tatar Mongol attacks contributed to the establishment of the new and stronger polities attested in Wallachia for the following decades.

Wallachia's formal creation is historically connected with Basarab I (1310-1352), who rebelled against Charles I of Hungary. Basarab was succeeded by Nicolae Alexandru, followed by Vladislav I. Vladislav attacked Transylvania after Louis I occupied lands south of the Danube, conceded to recognize him as overlord in 1368, but rebelled again in the same year; his rule also witnessed the first confrontation between Wallachia and the Early Ottoman Turkish forces (a battle in which Vladislav was allied with Ivan Shishman of Bulgaria). Under Radu I and his successor Dan I, the realms in Transylvania and Severin continued to be disputed with Hungary. As the entire Balkan Peninsula become an integral part of the emerging Early Ottoman Turkish Empire (a process which concluded with the fall of Constantinople to Sultan Mehmed II in 1453), Wallachia became engaged in frequent confrontations and, in the final years of Mircea the Elder's reign, became an Ottoman tributary state. Mircea (reigned 1386-1418), initially defeated the Ottomans in several battles (including that of Rovine in 1394), driving them away from Dobruja and briefly extending his rule to the Danube Delta, Dobruja and Silistra (ca.1400-1404). He oscillated between alliances with Sigismund of Hungary and Jagiellon Poland (taking part in the Battle of Nicopolis), and accepted a peace treaty with the Ottomans in 1415. The following years saw Ottoman and Hungarian intriguing and conflict, with both parties installing and deposing puppet rulers, including one Vlad Tepes - Dracula.

In 1456 when the Later Hungarians invaded Later Serbian? territory to drive out the Later Ottoman Turkish forces there, Vlad simultaneously invaded Wallachia with his own contingent. Both campaigns were successful, leaving Vlad as prince of his native land. The early part of Vlad’s reign was dominated by the idea of eliminating all possible threats to his power, mainly the rival nobility groups, i.e. the boyars. This was done mainly by physical elimination (ie death). For the less important functions, Vlad also ignored the old boyars, preferring to knight and appoint men from the free peasantry. A key element of the power of the Wallachian nobility was their connections in the Saxon-populated autonomous towns of Transylvania, so Vlad acted against these cities by eliminating their trade privileges in relation with Wallachia and by organizing raids against them. In 1459, he had several of the German settlers and officials of the Transylvanian city of Kronstadt who were transgressing his authority impaled.

Following family traditions and due to his old hatred towards the Ottomans, Vlad decided to side with the Later Hungarians. To the end of the 1450s there was once again talk about a war against the Turks, in which the king of Hungary Matthias Corvinus would play the main role. Knowing this, Vlad stopped paying tribute to the Ottomans in 1459 and around 1460 made a new alliance with Corvinus. This angered the Turks, who attempted to remove him. They failed, however; later in the winter of 1461 to 1462 Vlad crossed south of the Danube and devastated the area between Serbia and the Black Sea. In Vlad's own words: "I have killed men and women, old and young... 23,884 Turks and Bulgarians without counting those whom we burned alive in their homes or whose heads were not chopped off by our soldiers...". In response to this, Sultan Mehmed II, the recent conqueror of Constantinople, raised an army of around 60,000 troops and 30,000 irregulars and in the spring of 1462 headed towards Wallachia. Other estimates for the army include 150,000 by Michael Doukas, 250,000 by Laonicus Chalcond. Mehmed was greeted by the sight of a veritable forest of stakes on which Vlad the Impaler had impaled 20,000 Turkish prisoners. With his army of 20,000–40,000 men Vlad was unable to stop the Turks from entering Wallachia and occupying the capital Târgovişte (4 June 1462), so he resorted to guerrilla warfare, which is hard to simulate in FoG. Despite Vlad achieving military victories, he had alienated himself from the nobility, which sided with his half brother Radu. By August 1462 Radu had struck a deal with the Hungarian Crown. Consequently, Vlad was imprisoned by Matthias Corvinus. He was released in 1474, and was eventually killed in battle against the Turks near the town of Bucharest in December of 1476. His body was decapitated by the Turks and his head sent to Istanbul where the Sultan had it displayed on a stake as proof that the Impaler was finally dead.

Moldavia

The Foundation of Moldavia occurred sometimes in 14th century, following a colonisation by Vlachs from MaramureÅŸ. After 1345, the Hungarian influence over Moldavia rose and as such, the Hungarian king sent DragoÅŸ, the voivode of MaramureÅŸ, to northwestern Moldavia, to enforce the Later Hungarians rule. The year on which DragoÅŸ arrived in Moldavia (1353) is said to be the year of the birth of Moldavia. The Later Hungarian king stil wanted to claim Moldavia as Hungarian. In 1353, DragoÅŸ was sent to establish a line of defense against the Tatar Golden Horde forces, but Bogodan took the chance to cross the Carpathians in 1359 and take control of Moldavia. This freed Moldavia from Hungarian control although the southern part of Moldavia was still occupied by the Tatars.

At the end of the Hungarian-Polish union Moldovia moved closer to the Jagiellon realm, becoming a vassal of Władysław II on September 26, 1387, and supplied the Later Polish with funds for their war against the Later Teutonic Knights. Prince Petru also expanded his rule southwards to the Danube Delta, and established a frontier with Wallachia. His brother Roman I conquered the Hungarian-ruled Cetatea Albă in 1392, giving Moldavia an outlet to the Black Sea, before being toppled from the throne. Under the next king, Stephen I, growing Polish influence was challenged by Sigismund of Hungary, whose had an abortive invasion defeated at Ghindăoani in 1385.

Alexandru cel Bun was brought to the throne in 1400 by the Later Hungarians but shifted his allegiance towards Poland (including joining in on the Polish side in the Battle of Grunwald and the Siege of Marienburg). He also placed his own choice of rulers in Wallachia in a reign which was one of the most successful in Moldavia's history, but also saw the very first confrontation with the Later Ottoman Turkish forces at Cetatea Albă in 1420. Crisis followed Alexandru's long reign and his successors battled each other in a succession of wars that divided the country until the ascension of Petru Aron in 1451. Nevertheless, Moldavia was subject to further Hungarian interventions after then, as Matthias Corvinus intervened in the succession. This era also saw Moldavia's Later Ottoman Turkish Empire allegiance and tributes paid to Sultan Mehmed II. Under Stephen the Great the state reached its most glorious period. Stephen blocked Hungarian interventions in the Battle of Baia, invaded Wallachia in 1471, and dealt with Ottoman reprisals in a major victory (the 1475 Battle of Vaslui; after feeling threatened by Later Polish ambitions, he also attacked Galicia and resisted Polish reprisals in the Battle of the Cosmin Forest (1497). However, he had to surrender Chilia (Kiliya) and Cetatea Albă (Bilhorod-Dnistrovs'kyi), the two main fortresses in the Bujak, to the Ottomans in 1484, and in 1498 he accepted Ottoman suzereignty. Following the taking of Khotyn and Pokuttya, Stephen's rule also brought a brief extension of Moldavian rule into Transylvania. Under Bogdan III cel Orb, Ottoman overlordship was confirmed in the shape that would rapidly evolve into control over Moldavia's affairs. Petru Rareş, who reigned in the 1530s and 1540s, clashed with the Habsburg Monarchy over his ambitions in Transylvania (losing possessions in the region to George Martinuzzi), was defeated in Pokuttya by Poland, and failed in his attempt to extricate Moldavia from Ottoman rule – the country lost Bender to the Ottomans, to great amusement of school children all across the Empire .

Using the army in FoG


A tough army to use, which alsmot certainly needs to be built around 2 BGs of knights or it ends up lacking punch. The Bw* cavalry can also prove to be a liability, as they need to be in 2 ranks to generate decent firepower, however they also need to be able to evade from heavier more dangerous enemies - a conundrum thats hard to solve. The unusual opportunity to have LH as superior looks tempting, but may be a waste of points given their likley tactical role, although the benefit in improved shooting is in itself substantial. Like many armies in this bow-infested period they may also need an IC to giv them resilience against shooting, in which case the army starts to look very small indeed.

UK Tournament Results with this army

Not recorded as being used to date 20/12/08

User-contributed links about this army:

Allies


Put information on allied contingents here - including recommendations on which to use, and why

15mm Manufacturers supplying figures for this army

Many manufacturers have generic Medieval and East European ranges - those noted have specific (or particularly good) relevant figres
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

Name of Army / Date
800AP list with & 2 x TC

  • Handgunners LF Unprotected Average Undrilled Firearm 4
  • Archers LF Unprotected Poor Undrilled Bow - 6
  • Archers LF Unprotected Poor Undrilled Bow - 6
  • Light Cavalry LH Unprotected Superior Undrilled Bow Light spear Swordmen 4
  • Light Cavalry LH Unprotected Superior Undrilled Bow Light spear Swordmen 4
  • Light Cavalry LH Unprotected Superior Undrilled Bow Light spear Swordmen 4
  • Light Cavalry LH Unprotected Superior Undrilled Bow Light spear Swordmen 4
  • Light Cavalry LH Unprotected Superior Undrilled Bow Light spear Swordmen 4
  • knights Kn Armoured Superior Undrilled Lancers Swordmen 4
  • knights Kn Armoured Superior Undrilled Lancers Swordmen 4
  • knights Kn Armoured Superior Undrilled Lancers Swordmen 4
  • Polish Knights Kn Heavily armoured Superior Undrilled Lancers Swordmen 6



Remember to leave a line before you copy the above section as a template for your own list

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