This army list really should be called the much cooler and more well known "Early Holy Roman Empire", but hey, who are we mere mortals to argue with the list authors?
Anyways it all started with the Carolingian Frankish Charlemagne who was crowned "Emperor of the Romans" in 800. As usual, because Charley hadn't planned it well, after he croaked it the imperial crown was hotly contested among various Carolingian Frankish and Early Medieval French rulers of Western Francia (France) and Eastern Francia (Germany, or this list to be precise). The HRE ended up being first the Early Medieval French king Charles the Bald and then the eastern German King Charles the Fat. After the death of Charles the Fat in 888 the empire broke asunder, never to be restored and amusingly according to Regino of PrÃ¼m, each part of the realm elected a "kinglet" from its own "bowels".
This chuntered on until a load of German dukes elected Conrad I of the Franks (ie not an actual Carolingian) as their leader in 911. His successor Henry I the Fowler managed to persuade the Early Medieval French that his empire was not going to be subject to theirs anytime soon and then started calling himself Rex Francorum Orientalum (King of the East Franks), thus founding the Ottonian dynasty - again much cooler than "Early Medieval German" don'tcha think?
Henry had this succession thing down pat, and designated his son Otto as the next king - Otto was crowned in Aachen in 936. Otto married the widowed queen of Italy to gain control over them too. He then had to put down loads of rebellions, had a few wars with the Early Medieval French, put down some Magyar Hungarian invasions, fought the Early Medieval French again. After this was all sorted, Otto then beat the Magyars in 955 at the Battle of Lechfeld and followed it up by handing a spanking to some Great Moravian-type rebels at The Battle of Recknitz, where some of his comedically named vassals Wichmann the Younger and his brother Egbert the One-Eyed ended up dead after siding with the Magyars. This all earned him enough cool points get himself re-crowned as Emperor Otto I by the Pope in 962, thus making sure that the Eastern-Frankish realm â€“ and not the West-Frankish kingdom - would have the blessing of the Pope.
About 10 minutes after Otto had left, the Pope decided this might be a bad idea and tried to conjure up a Thematic Byzantine and Magyar alliance against him, the end result being Otto decided he should best elected a new pope almost immediately. Because Italy was a long way away, Otto let some of his friends and family conduct a war against the Lombards and Thematic Byzantines which was inconclusive, but after a bit of tricky manoeuvring even the Thematic Byzantines (who technically still were the bona-fie Roman Empire) agreed that it was OK for some German bloke to be called "Holy Roman Emperor", and by 972 the deed was done.
His son, Otto II, again had to put down some rebellions, subjugated the Early Polish without a real fight and (of course) invaded the Early Medieval French Kingdom a couple of times. In 981 he even took on the Emir of Sicily - at the time a Fatimid Egyptian fiefdom - in Southern Italy and fought the Lombards again.
He was succeeded by Otto III, who had a fairly similar outlook on life. Henry II came next (fighting the Early Polish, Lombards, internal rebellions and getting a bit of Nikephorian Byzantine action too), then Conrad II (Got the Rus to help him beat the Early Polish, fought the Magyars, had some trouble in Italy even before the start of the Communal Italian and Papal Italian lists), then Henry II - Black Henry.
Henry closes this list, and got spanked in a civil war rebellion in Bavaria, had more trouble with the by-now Early Hungarian Magyar, decided not to marry a Rus mail order bride, and of course fought the Early Medieval French. By the time he was done, it was 1050 and time for the Imperial German list to take over
- Very much a charging cavalry lancer, which of course will be likely to be outgunned once proper knights appear in later lists. Given the lack of subtlety inherent in the list, using cavalry in BGs of 6 may be a good idea to give them greater resilience, however this seriously cuts down on army size.
- For support troops the role is probably one of bulking out the army size, and defending the lancers flanks. This may lead you towards a limited number of spearmen plus 2 units of LF, but then again the MF bowmen are not to be dismissed as they have more ability to chase away light horse.
- Equally a unit of two of LS/Sw cavalry gives you troops who can skirmish - although somewhat incompetently. They might still die, but buying time for the lancers is the name of the game here.
- 2-3 TCs and an FC is a good mix, ad flank marching allows you to unbalance an enemy and possibly deliver the lancers in a concentrated form even more rapidly.
- Don't forget the dismount options for the cavalry. 4's of superior armoured spearmen can stiffen a wall of average protected ones - although being offensive rather than defensive is going to cause a major headache.
User-contributed links about this army:
- List of Wars just what every gamer needs
- History of the HRE on Heraldica
- Flags of the Empire on Flagspot.net
- put the link text readers will see in here write some more detail about the link here
- Burgundian - Early Medieval French From 933 Wolves from the Sea 61 Lots of lancers and a unit of supporting optional Def Sp foot. Hoorah, no change there then
- Lombard Any Wolves from the Sea 39 Not your average Lombards, - oh, lancers + optional foot Bow and Def Sp units too
- Magyar 892-894 Wolves from the Sea 47 Bw/Sw cavalry and scads of LH with Bw/Sw too. Quite innovative in this period, adds an ability to refuse a flank
- Polish, Early From 1045 Wolves from the Sea 70 JLS Cavalry and 6-16 Def Spears and 6-18 bowmen on any basing you like. Same as the rest of the army really
- Slav - Great Moravian Any Wolves from the Sea 49 HF Def Spears, 6 rubbish cavalry and some bow
- Paint schemes, insignia, shield designs? Put it here.
These chaps seem to have looked a lot like Normans, with kite shields by the end of the period. Also look at the Carolingian Frankish listing. You can see some of the figures in the Ancients Photo Gallery also on this site
- Essex Miniatures Slightly small compared to some other manufacturers for their Normans
- Donnington - 13 Normans, some Ottonians as well as Carolingian & Merovingian Franks
- Gladiator Miniatures by Fighting 15's (Gladiator Games) - extensive Norman & similar era ranges, Crusades Franks too
- Old Glory 7 Norman figure codes, and an Ottonian figure range as well
- Museum Small number of figures in a Norman range
- Minifigs UK Dark Ages & Norman Range, includes Ottonian Franks
- Irregular Minis Norman mounted are one piece castings
- Lancashire Games 8 Normans
- QRF models (Feudal Castings & Friekorps ranges) Anglo Normans from feudal castings - separate arms for multipose lancers
- Outpost Some of their Early Crusaders might sneak into the later part of the period
- Alan Touller Some in their Byzantine range
- Tin Soldier 9 Normans
- 2 Dragons Tremendous variety of Carolingians & Normans
- Isarus (more former TTG figures) 6 cavalry, 8 foot
- Khurasan New Norman & Frankish range, looks pretty good
- Viking Forge Ottonian Frank range
- Battle Line (NZ) former TTG Ranges - as above
- Baueda New Norman range to complement their existing Viking range
- QR Miniatures Polish manufacturer - Early Germans, Early Polish, Slav, Wends, Vikings
Exactly 800 AP
- 1 Archers LF Unprotected Average Undrilled bow - - 6
- 2 Archers LF Unprotected Average Undrilled bow - - 6
- 3 Spearmen HF Protected Average Undrilled - defensive spearmen - 6
- 4 Spearmen HF Protected Average Undrilled - defensive spearmen - 6
- 5 Spearmen HF Protected Average Undrilled - defensive spearmen - 6
- 6 Spearmen HF Protected Average Undrilled - defensive spearmen - 6
- 7 Cavalry Cv Armoured superior Undrilled - lancers Swordsmen 4
- 8 Cavalry Cv Armoured superior Undrilled - lancers Swordsmen 4
- 9 Cavalry Cv Armoured superior Undrilled - lancers Swordsmen 4
- 10 Cavalry Cv Armoured superior Undrilled - lancers Swordsmen 4
- 11 Cavalry Cv Armoured superior Undrilled - lancers Swordsmen 4
- 12 Saxon Cavalry Cv Protected Average Undrilled - Light spear Swordsmen 4
- 13 Saxon Cavalry Cv Protected Average Undrilled - Light spear Swordsmen 4
- 14 Cavalry Cv Armoured superior Undrilled - lancers Swordsmen 4
- Cheeky Sub General TC - - - - - - 1
- Sub-commanders TC - - - - - - 3
The 2 Saxon cavalry give you some ability to skirmish across the width of the table, and one of the lancers is deployed last as an extra surprise.
Remember to leave a line before you copy the above section as a template for your own list