Cilician Armenian

Cilician Armenian

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Historical Overview Section

Cilician Armenia was a state formed in the Middle Ages by Armenian refugees fleeing the Seljuk Turk invasion of Armenia. It was located on the Gulf of Alexandretta of the Mediterranean Sea in what is today southern Turkey. The kingdom remained independent from around 1078 to 1375.

When the region of Cilicia was reconquered from the Arabs by the Nikephorian Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus II Phocas around 965 Christians from Syria and Armenia were encouraged to settle in the region. Armenian immigration increased with the formal annexation of Greater Armenia to the Nikephorian Byzantine Empire in 1045 and the Seljuk conquest 19 years thereafter, giving two new waves of migration. During the reign of Constantine I, the Early Crusaders, in retaliation for the Seljuk invasion of Jerusalem, descended upon Anatolia and the Middle East. With the Early Crusaders First Crusade, the Armenians in Cilicia gained powerful allies among the Frankish crusaders. The Armenians and crusaders remained partly allied, partly rivals for two centuries to come.

Cilician Armenia became a kingdom under King Leo I, who started his reign as Prince Leo II in 1187 but with support from the Imperial German Holy Roman Emperors (Frederick Barbarossa, and his son, Henry VI), he was able to elevate the princedom's status to a kingdom being crowned in 1198. The crown later passed to the rival Het'umid dynasty through Leon's daughter Zabel. During the rule of Zabel and Hetoum the Mongol Invasion was rapidly expanding from Asia, and had reached the Middle East prompting Hetoum to chose to preemptively subject Cilicia to Mongol authority, thus saving the Kingdom from the devastation suffered by Armenia proper.

Hetoum and his forces even fought under the Ilkhanid Mongol banner of Hulagu, in the conquest of Muslim Syria and the capture of Aleppo and Damascus in 1259-1260. In 1281, following the defeat of the Mongols and the Armenians under Möngke Temur against the Mamluk Egyptians at the Second Battle of Homs, a truce was forced on Armenia by the Mamluks, but low level warfare continued until the summer of 1299 when Hetoum I's grandson, King Hetoum II of Armenia, again facing threats of attack by the Mamluk Egyptians sent a message to the Mongol khan of Persia, Ghâzân to obtain his support. In response, Ghazan marched with his forces towards Syria and sent letters to the Franks of Cyprus (the King of Cyprus, and the heads of the Knights Templar, the Hospitallers and the Teutonic Knights), inviting them to come join him in his attack on the Mamluk Egyptians in Syria. The Cilicians supported the Mongols in their campaign to take Aleppo together with allied Later Crusader Templars and Hospitallers from the kingdom of Armenia. The combined force then defeated the Mamluks in the Battle of Wadi al-Khazandar, on December 23 or 24, 1299, after which the bulk of the Mongol army fell back, allowing the Egyptian Mamluks to regrouped and retake the area in May 1300.

In 1341 Guy Lusignan of Cyprus was elected king. There had always been close relations between the Medieval Cypriot state and the Armenians. However, when the pro-Latin Lusignans took power, they tried to impose Catholicism and the European way of life. The Armenian leadership largely accepted this, but the peasantry opposed the changes. Eventually, this led way to civil strife which hsimmered until in the late 14th century when Cilicia was invaded by the Mameluks. The fall of Sis in April, 1375 put an end to the kingdom; its last King, Leo V, was granted safe passage and died in exile in Paris in 1393 after calling in vain for another Crusade.

Using the army in FoG

The Army is similar to a Norman army, in that it has a combination of fairly weak spearmen and decent - but not brilliant - heavy cavalry lancers. The most succesful deployment seems to be to mass the lancers together and charge at a viable target!

UK Tourney Results

26 / 62 Cilician Armenian Britcon 2008 15mm (open)

User-contributed links about this army:


  • Crusader, Early : Dates: 1096 to 1150 Swords and Scimitars page 5 : Armoured Knights don't really cut it, and at least 2 x 4 foot spears and crossbows make this somewhat underpowered
  • Crusader, Later : Dates: 1150 to 1264 Swords and Scimitars page 9 : Proper knights from 1150 onwards armoured spearmen and some MF Crossbows - not to be sniffed at. With only one unit of offensive troops the Crusader general can be committed to battle relatively safely while the rest lurk at the back
  • Turk, Seljuk - Sultanate of Rum : Dates: 1128 to 1246 Swords and Scimitars page 18 : Bw/Sw Superior Armoured Cavalry, and Bw/Sw LH or Protected Cavalry to support - fairly standard Arab ally
  • Mongol, Ilkhanid : Dates: From 1260 Swords and Scimitars page 52 : 6 Textbook Armoured Bw/Sw cavalry if you want, but loads of potentially superior LH or Cv Bw/Sw are the tasty bits

15mm Manufacturers supplying figures for this army

I would suggest using Norman figures plus any frankish/byzantine types for this army
You can see some of the figures in the Ancients Photo Gallery also on this site

Image Image Image Image
  • Legio heroica V highly regarded Crusades ranges including Armenian Lancers
  • Essex Miniatures large Eastern Feudal line
  • Donnington Russian/Slav ranges, as well as East Europeans may work for local troops. Normans & Feudals too
  • Gladiator Miniatures by Fighting 15's (Gladiator Games) Have extensive East European and Crusading-era ranges
  • Old Glory Slavs, Russians, Normans & Crusaders
  • Magister Militum (includes former Chariot ranges) Armenian Range
  • Museum Have Cilician Armenians as well as Frankish Knights and fairly generic Byzantines who will work well.
  • Minifigs UK Russians, Khazars, Franks
  • Irregular Minis Khazars, Pechenegs, early Russians & Frankish types
  • Vexilia UK (Mirliton & Venexia ranges) Very nice east European Feudals may work, some shared with Black Hat
  • Alan Touller Some of their Byzantine ranges may work here too.
  • Tin Soldier Normans, Byzantines and others
  • 2 Dragons Vikings & Rus, Slavs, Carolingians & Normans of this era
  • Isarus (more former TTG figures) Normans & Byzantines
  • Outpost Franks, Avars, Slavs, Crusaders, Byzantines
  • Khurasan Avars & Byzantines
  • Viking Forge Byzantines & Feudals
  • Battle Line (NZ) former TTG Ranges - see above
  • 50 Paces Byzantines & Slavs
  • Camelot Games Vikings & Rus, Crusader Knights

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

  • 1 Armenian Bowmen LF Unprotected Average Undrilled Bow - - - 6
  • 2 Armenian Spearmen HF Armoured Average Undrilled - defensive spearmen - - 8
  • 3 Armenian Spearmen HF Protected Average Undrilled - defensive spearmen - - 6
  • 4 Crusader spears HF Protected Average Undrilled - defensive spearmen - - 4
  • 5 Armenian Nobles CV Armoured Superior Undrilled - Lancers Swordmen - 4
  • 6 Crusader crossbows MF Unprotected Average Undrilled Crossbow - - - 4
  • 7 Armenian Bowmen LF Unprotected Average Undrilled Bow - - - 6
  • 8 Bedouin Cavalry LH Unprotected Average Undrilled - Lancers Swordmen - 6
  • 9 Armenian Nobles Cv Armoured Superior Undrilled - Lancers Swordmen - 4
  • 10 Crusader Knights Kn Armoured Superior Undrilled - Lancers Swordmen - 4
  • 11 Armenian Nobles Cv Armoured Superior Undrilled - Lancers Swordmen - 4
  • 12 Arrrmenian Nobles (Pirates) CV Armoured Superior Undrilled - Lancers Swordmen - 4
  • 13 Armenian Nobles Cv Armoured Superior Undrilled - Lancers Swordmen - 4
  • . Crusader General TC - - - - - - Ally general 1
  • . Armenian CinC TC - - - - - - CinC 1
  • . Armenian Sub TC - - - - - - - 1
  • . Armenian slightly better Sub FC - - - - - - - 1

  • Using asterisks in the 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

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Created by admin. Last Modification: Tuesday 12 of November, 2019 18:58:45 GMT by admin. (Version 15)
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