Historical Overview Section
This rather complex list covers loads of different Byzantine micro-empires from the recovery of Constantinople from the Crusaders in 1261 until 1461 when the last rump state fell to the later Ottoman Turkish army. Constantinople itself was lost in 1453. There is loads of really complex history involved, but here's some of it:
- Despotate or Principality of Epirus : founded in 1205 by Michael Komnenos Doukas, Epirus soon became the new home of many Greek refugees from Constantinople, Thessaly, and the Peloponnese, and Michael was described as a second Noah, rescuing men from the Latin flood. Epirus was conquered by the Serbian King Stefan Uroš IV Dušan in 1348, but in 1367 the Epirotan Despotate was resurrected under local Serbian nobleman Thomas II Preljubović. 1416 the Tocco family of Cephalonia, succeeded in reuniting Epirus, or at least in asserting their control over its towns. But internal dissention eased the Ottoman conquest, which proceeded with the capture of Ioannina in 1430, Arta in 1449, Angelokastron in 1460, and finally Vonitsa in 1479. With the exception of several coastal Venetian possessions, this was the end of Frankish rule in mainland Greece.
- Despotate of the Morea : In the mid-14th century, the later Byzantine Emperor John VI Cantacuzenus reorganized Morea into the Despotate of Morea, usually ruled from Mistra by the current heirs of the emperor. The Byzantines eventually recovered the remainder of the Frankish part of Morea, but in 1460 the peninsula was overrun and conquered by the Ottoman Empire.
- Empire of Trebizond : The Empire of Trebizond was founded in April 1204. The small Empire of Trebizond was the most successful in asserting itself at its very start, under the leadership of Alexios I (1204–1222). Alexios' second son Manuel I (1238–1263) acquired the reputation of a great commander, but the Empire was already losing outlying provinces to the Turkmen, and found itself forced to pay tribute to the Seljuks of Rum and then to the Mongols of Persia, a sign of things to come. The troubled reign of John II (1280–1297) included a reconciliation with the Byzantine Empire and the end of Trapezuntine claims to Constantinople. Trebizond reached its greatest wealth and influence during the long reign of Alexios II (1297–1330). Trebizond suffered a period of repeated imperial depositions and assassinations from the end of Alexios' reign until the first years of Alexios III, ending in 1355. The empire never fully recovered its internal cohesion, commercial supremacy or territory.
The Byzantine Armies in order
- Early Byzantine : 493 - 550 The Eastern Roman Empire & Belisarius on the offensive - Mixed & Bw/Sw Cv units and "legionaries" - D&F
- Maurikian Byzantine : 550 - 650 Loss of Africa, The Strategikon, War with Persia & The Arabs - Good quality Ln & Bw/Sw Cv, Mixed Skoutatoi but no LH - D&F
- Thematic Byzantine : 650 - 963 Heraclius, The Thematic System, Tagmatic units fighting the Caliphates - Mixed units & Bw/Sw Cv, Average & Poor units, Cataphracts - D&F
- Nikephorian Byzantine : 963 - 1071 Basil bashes the Bulgars, Normans conquer Italy, Manzikert loss to the Turks - Bw* or Ln Cavalry, Varangians, lots of mixed spearmen & some Normans - D&F
- Komnenan Byzantine : 1071 - 1204 Manzikert to Fall of Constantinople to the Crusaders - Lancer Cv, some KN, Varangians - S&S
- Post Latin Conquest Byzantine : 1204 - 1261 Nikaia, Epiros, Trebizond vs the Latin Kingdoms - Frankish Kn, lots of archers, - S&S
- Late Byzantine : 1261 - 1461 Byzantium, Epirus, Morea & Trebizond until their fall to the Turks - Cv Lancers, 4 Kn, lots of archers - EE
Using the army in FoG
- Think carefully before taking HF or MF - don't fall into the trap of not taking enough to look after itself as all this will achieve is to take away points from the fighting troops.
- The LF will do almost as good a job, and can escape easier and are cheaper.
- The Cavalry lancers job in this list is to help your Knights catch lighter troops, which means they need to be able to manoeuvre - making 4's the choice (as usual)
- The Vardariot guard are nice, but may struggle to find decent targets as most bow-armed cavalry in period are armoured so the Varadiots will end up being outclassed in melee and if you put them one deep to skirmish they will be outshot.
- Epirot options give you Albanian LH, which is almost as good as Serbian allied LH in melee, and they can shoot.
UK Tournament Results with this army
User-contributed links about this army:
- Late Byzantine (Central Only) Ottoman Turk, Early . Date restrictions: From 1348 Book: Eternal Empire Page: 6 - Bw/Sw Cavalry & LH in any combination of armour and quality you might wish for
- Late Byzantine (Central Only) Serbian, Later . Date restrictions: 1327 to 1352 Book: Eternal Empire Page: 27 - Serbian Knights! (after 1345) and enough LH and LF to make them worthwhile adding a general to.
- Late Byzantine (Central Only) Bulgarian, Later . Date restrictions: 1327 to 1352 Book: Eternal Empire Page: 29 - No allie dlist published, however its going to be the usual Lancer & Bw/Sw cavalry outfit, so why bother?
- Late Byzantine (Central Only) Turcoman, Anatolian . Date restrictions: Before 1348 Book: Eternal Empire Page: 14 - Bw/Sw Cavalry and supporting LH seems to add little new to the parent army
- Late Byzantine (Epiros Only) Byzantine, Late (Central) . Date restrictions: 1309 to 1310 Book: Eternal Empire Page: 19 - A mix of compulsary Lancer and Bw/Sw Cv/LH units makes this an ally worth being aggressive with. The cheap LF units add bulk too.
- Late Byzantine (Epiros Only) Sicilian, Later (Angevin) . Date restrictions: 1276 to 1291 Book: Oath of Fealty Page: -
- Late Byzantine (Morea Only) Ottoman Turk, Later . Date restrictions: From 1382 Book: Eternal Empire Page: 8 - Bw/Sw Cavalry & LH in any combination of armour and quality you might wish for, plus some Balkan Lh Lancers and a nice6-strong Janissary Bw unit
- Late Byzantine (Trebizond Only) Turcoman, Anatolian . Date restrictions: From 1360 Book: Eternal Empire Page: 14 - Bw/Sw Cavalry and supporting LH seems to add little new to the parent army
- Late Byzantine (Central Only) Tartar . Date restrictions: From 1282 to 1283 Book: Eternal Empire Page: 15 - Bw/Sw Cavalry and supporting LH seems to add little new to the parent army
15mm Manufacturers supplying figures for this army
You can see some of the figures in the Ancients Photo Gallery also on this site
Many manufacturers produce just one "Byzantine" range, not specifying which era they are for (but most are Maurkikian era I suspect). All generic "Byzantine" ranges have been listed here, together with any specifically noted for particular eras. For Latin or other allied troops, use Crusader or other knights of a similar timeframe. 700AD - in the Thematic list - is as good a date as any for round shields to start to change over to kite shields.
- Essex Miniatures - Several Byzantine ranges. 8 Maurikians, 7 Thematics, 10 Nikephorians & 5 Generic Psiloi for all era in their Ancients ranges.
- Donnington 22 Byzantines, including a Belisarius general figure (a clue to them being fairly early maybe..) plus a 23-strong C12-13 range
- Museum Miniatures - 17 Byzantines, reasonably early period.
- Black Hat Miniatures (previously Gladiator Games) - 10 Komnenans in their Crusades range
- Old Glory 15's - 12 Belisarians, and 22 codes in a "7th-13th Century Byzantine" range
- Minifigs - 21 Byzantines, from C7-C11 in their Dark Ages range, 5 more C11-13 ones in their Crusades range
- Irregular Miniatures - 21 Byzantines, with Nikephorian, Tagmatic, Thematic, Maurikian and Belisarian cavalry listed as well as CC7-10 oval-shield foot and C11-13 kite-shielded foot
- Tin Soldier 21 10th & 11th Century Byzantines
- Battle Line Miniatures (NZ) Same range as Isarus
- Alain Touller - almost 20 Byzantines with both kite and round shields
- Isarus - sold by 15mm.co.uk 18 Byzantines, kite-shielded lancers and round-shielded bowmen
- Outpost Wargame Services 10 Crusade-era Byzantines
- Khurasan Miniatures - 20-odd Nikephorian Byzantines (kite shield infantry)
- Viking Forge - Generic range of 20 or so Byzantines, Tagmatic and Thematic cavalry are listed
- 50 Paces/Miniature Wars - 10 -strong Belisarian (early) range
Which troops are absolutely needed for this army, and what are your thoughts on how to organise, paint and buy them.
Sample army lists for this army
Name of Army / Date
- Using asterisks inthe edit mode creates a bulleted list in the actual site
- This is a lot easier to do than easier than setting up tables
- For FoG I suggest listing your army in order or march
- with troop desctiptions on each line, for example
- 4 HF Armoured Average Drilled Impact Foot Swordsmen
- 8 LG Undrilled Unarmoured Poor Bowen
- Dont forget to include your Generals !!!
Include any notes you want here, including comments on how to use - or play against - the army.
Remember to leave a line before you copy the above section as a template for your own list