What, a new post?
As I’ve stated before, posts around here would be thin on the ground for a while, as we dealt with the effects of having a colicky baby around. I wasn’t kidding :).
The last couple of days, I’ve been getting back into things as Ruben seems to be getting a bit better (though that could change in a heartbeat), having had time to paint again in the evenings (working on Carolingians and Celts), and having some time to think over future plans.
On of those plans was to do a Viking vs Carolingian game at Crisis this year - a (sort of) recreation of the Battle of Leuven in 891 where Arnulf of Carinthia, King of East Francia and later Emperor, came over to our parts to beat up on a part of the Viking host that had earlier besieged Paris and was now wintering in Leuven. Events have transpired against this game being finished before Crisis (backup plans are in motion), but I am continuing to work on it. The first part is building a Carolingian army, and that is what the rest of this post is about.
The idea for the Crisis game is to do a skirmish level game, but I am building the Carolingian army as a ‘normal’ WAB army to use in WAB games. As long as I base the Carolingians individually, that will not be too much of a problem. So, what should the army look like? Let’s say I’ll aim for around 1000 points initially, just to have a goal to paint to.
First off is army list. The most suitable list would be the ‘Late Carolingian or Capetian’ list in the Shieldwall book, though you could probably build something from the ‘Germanic barbarian’ list in the Beyond the Golden Gate book, or just assemble your own from various other profiles. For simplicity’s sake, I’m going to use the Shieldwall list, but I’m not really going to bother too much with the percentage limits, especially not at 1000 points. For this, I’m following Phil’s lead, who thinks of army lists as an inspiration only, if even that :)
Anyway, on to the army. Arnulf of Carinthia was King of East Francia (Germany) at the time of the battle, with his heartlands to the extreme southeastern side of it, in current day Carinthia. I assume that he mustered part of his army there, or at least in southern Germany, and moved with it to Leuven from there. That would probably mean that most of that part of his army would consist of miles, the ‘professional’ warriors of the age. A more general levy would probably not have accompanied him on such a long trip. So the core of the army should consist of a (relatively) small number of professional warrior types. The miles profile, mounted or dismounted, from the list should match this perfectly. For the general list, I’ll take these as mounted (can’t have a Carolingian army without cavalry :) ), but for the actual Leuven battle, where the main push was through a swampy area, they would probably have dismounted. So that’s one part of the army: a number of mounted milites. The figures for them will be from Artizan Designs Carolingian range.
Next is Arnulf himself. He would obviously have to be the ‘Rex’ character, but as this is only a 1000 points army, I’m taking him as Comes and assuming that one is the Army General. He is of course mounted. As to figure to represent him, I’ll be waiting for Artizan to release their mounted Charlemagne. No harm in going for royalty :) I’ll also be including an army standard, bearing a huge banner depicting some saint - Arnulf was at this point aspiring to become Emperor, so anything that would have put him on the Pope’s good side would have helped. The banner will be of the ‘impossibly huge’ variety that looks tremendous on the tabletop, but would be exceedingly impractical in reality, bowling the standard bearer over at the slightest gust of wind.
The second part of the army will be infantry, and would represent the troops raised locally. Arnulf might have sent missi (military messengers) over to the noblemen of the Leuven / Flanders region telling them to raise an army. These will form the infantry component of the army. They will consist of a number of spearmen units and some archers. Although the army list does not allow liberi (freemen) for the Late Carolingian army, I’m going to blithely go ahead and take them as such anyway - these would be the freemen of the Flanders region rallying to defend their country from the Vikings. The figures used will be a mix of Artizan figures and Chiltern Ancients.
As to painting them, I’m going to try an assembly line method again, even though I’ve had bad experiences with them in the past. I’m going to follow up on one of Phil’s suggestions of doing ‘matrix painting’. I’ve constructed a little box holding figures on their paintin corks in a 4x4 pattern, and will use that as a ‘matrix’ to distribute colors across. If, for example, I am painting a green color, the green will go across the matrix, with one figure having its cloak painted green, the next his trousers, and so on, and that for every color. I’ll see what happens.
Anyway, putting it all together, this is the army list I’ve come up with so far:
1000.0 Pt - (SW) Western Franks - Carolingian French Army list - Arnulf's Carolingians 1 Comes @ 116.0 Pt Hand Weapon; Light Armor; Shield; Throwing Spear; Warhorse 1 Warhorse @ [0.0] Pt 6 Mounted Milities @ 183.0 Pt Hand Weapon; Leader; Light Armor; Musician; Shield; Standard; Throwing Spear; Warhorse 1 Warhorse @ [0.0] Pt 6 Mounted Milities @ 183.0 Pt Hand Weapon; Leader; Light Armor; Musician; Shield; Standard; Throwing Spear; Warhorse 1 Warhorse @ [0.0] Pt 24 Liberi @ 159.0 Pt Hand Weapon; Leader; Musician; Shield; Standard; Thrusting Spear 24 Liberi @ 159.0 Pt Hand Weapon; Leader; Musician; Shield; Standard; Thrusting Spear 17 Liberi @ 117.0 Pt Hand Weapon; Leader; Musician; Shield; Standard; Thrusting Spear 8 Coloni @ 40.0 Pt Composite Bow; Hand Weapon 8 Coloni @ 40.0 Pt Composite Bow; Hand Weapon