Later Hungarian

Later Hungarian

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Historical Overview Section

The Ottoman-Hungarian War involved a series of battles between the Later Ottoman Turkish Empire and the Medieval Kingdom of Hungary. Following the Byzantine civil war, the Ottoman capture of Gallipoli and the decisive Battle of Kosovo, the Ottoman Empire seemed poised to conquer the whole of the Balkans. However, the Ottoman invasion of Serbia drove Hungary to war against the Ottomans, with the former having interests in the Balkans and competing for the vassalship of the Balkan states of Serbia, Bulgaria and Croatia.

During the period covered by this list Hungary's nobles chose an infant king, Ladislaus V the Posthumous, and a regent, John Hunyadi, to rule the country until the former came of age. The son of a lesser nobleman of the Vlach ethnic group, Hunyadi rose to become a general, Transylvania's military governor, one of Hungary's largest landowners, and a war hero. He used his personal wealth and the support of the lesser nobles to win the regency and overcome the opposition of the magnates. Hunyadi then established a mercenary army funded by the first tax ever imposed on Hungary's nobles.

He defeated the Ottoman forces in Transylvania in 1442 and broke their hold on Serbia in 1443, only to be routed at the Battle of Varna (where Ladislaus V himself perished) a year later. The Battle of Varna took place on November 10, 1444 near Varna in eastern Bulgaria. A mixed Christian army consisting mainly of Hungarian and Later Polish forces, with smaller detachments of Czechs, papal knights, Later Medieval Germans, Bosnians, Croatians, Bulgarians, Wallachians, Later Lithuanians, Later Serbians and Ruthenians (Ukrainians), met with a numerically superior force of (Later Ottoman Turkish troops. The Hungarians were ill-equipped, and promised support from Albania and Constantinople did not arrive. The Hungarian army was small and very imbalanced. It contained almost no infantry, except three hundred Czech mercenary handgunners. There were one hundred war wagons with crews (Wagenburg). The rest of the army was heavy cavalry, mostly royal and foreign mercenaries, with some episcopal and nobles' banners as well.

Late on November 9, a large Ottoman army of around 60,000 man approached Varna (still held by the Byzantines) from the west. In the morning of November 10, Hunyadi deployed the army of some 20,000 crusaders as an arc between Lake Varna and the Frangen plateau; the line was about 3.5 km long. Two banners with a total of 3,500 men from the king's Later Polish and Hungarian bodyguards, Hungarian royal mercenaries, and banners of Hungarian nobles held the center. The Wallachian cavalry was left in reserve behind the center. The right flank that lined up the hill towards the village of Kamenar numbered 6,500 men in 5 banners. Bishop Jan Dominek of Varadin with his personal banner led the force; Cesarini commanded a banner of German mercenaries and a Bosnian one. The bishop of Eger lead his own banner, and the military governor of Slavonia, ban Franco Talotsi, commanded one Croatian banner. The left flank, a total of 5,000 men in 5 banners, was led by Michael Szilágyi, Hunyadi's brother in law, and was made up of Hunyadi's Transylvanians, Bulgarians, German mercenaries and banners of Hungarian magnates. Behind the Hungarians, closer to the Black Sea and the lake, was the Wagenburg, defended by 300 or 600 Czech and Ruthenian mercenaries under hetman Ceyka. Every wagon was manned by 7 to 10 soldiers and the Wagenburg was equipped with bombards.

The Ottoman center included the Janissaries and levies from Rumelia deployed around two Thracian burial mounds. Murad observed and directed the battle from one of them. The Janissaries dug in behind ditches and two palisades. The right wing consisted of Kapikulus and Sipahis from Rumelia, and the left wing was made up by Akıncıs, Sipahis from Anatolia, Arab mercenaries, and other forces. Janissary archers and Akıncı light cavalry were deployed in the Frangen plateau. The light Ottoman and Arab cavalry assaulted the Croats of ban Talotsi. Christians from the left riposted with bombards and firearms and stopped the attack. Christian soldiers chased the Ottomans and Arabs in a disorderly pursuit. The Anatolian cavalry and Arabs on camels ambushed them from the flank. The Christian right wing attempted to flee to the small fortress of Galata on the other side of Varna Bay, but most of them were slain in the marshland around Varna Lake and the river Devnya, where Cesarini also perished. Only ban Talotsi's troops managed to withdraw behind the Wagenburg.

Władysław and Hunyadi deployed two cavalry companies from the center and the Wallachian cavalry against the Arabs and Anatolian Sipahis, who were routed and their commander, the Anatolian beylerbey Karaca Bey, killed. The Christians pursued them for more than 5-6 km and then returned to the battlefield. The Wallachian cavalry continued the chase and broke into the fortified Ottoman camp. After pillaging and looting, the Wallachians overcharged with gold and other booty left the battlefield. The other Ottoman flank assaulted the Hungarians and Bulgarians of Michael Szilagyi. Their push was stopped and turned back; then Sipahis attacked again. Hunyadi decided to help and advised the king to wait until he returned; then advanced with two cavalry companies against the Sipahis, defeated and pursued them toward the road to Shumen for 5-6 km. The Sipahis were so terrified that some of them reached and crossed the river Kamchiya some 30 km away.

The European army seemed close to victory; the sultan decided to leave the battlefield. According to Edward Gibbon (The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire), "When Amurath beheld the flight of his squadrons, he despaired of his fortune and that of the empire: a veteran Janissary seized his horse's bridle; and he had magnanimity to pardon and reward the soldier who dared to perceive the terror, and arrest the flight, of his sovereign." The young king, ignoring Hunyadi's advice, rushed 500 of his Polish knights against the Ottoman center. They overran the Janissary infantry and the king attempted to take Murad prisoner. Surrounded by Janissary bodyguards, he was slain, his head cut off and later taken to the Ottoman court. The disheartened Polish cavalry was smashed by the Ottomans. On his return, Hunyadi tried frantically to salvage the king's body but all he could accomplish was to organize the retreat of the remains of his army. It suffered 11-13,000 casualties. The Ottomans lost 8,-20,000 soldiers. They were so shattered by the smaller Christian army that they were unable to pursue them and continue to Central Europe

In 1448 Hunyadi tried to expel the Turks from Europe, but because of the treachery of Serbs and Vlachs he was outnumbered and routed in the 3 days battle of Kosovo Polje. In 1456, when the Turkish army besieged Belgrade, Hunyadi defeated it in his greatest and final victory. Hunyadi died of the plague soon after.

In 1526 the Ottomans crushed a poorly deployed Hungarian army at Mohacs with King Louis II of Hungary perishing along with 14,000 of his foot soldiers. Following this defeat, Hungary ceased as an independent power and served as an Ottoman tributary state, constantly at civil war with Royal Hungary. The war continued with the Habsburg Austrians now fighting Suleiman and his successors.

Using the army in FoG

  • Use undrilled Superior Knights in preference to drilled average - drilled doesn't make up for them being Average. Maybe even take 1 BG Knights Superior Drilled.
  • 2 BG of 8 Armoured Drilled Defensive Spears are tough as old boots and provide a good foil for the knights
  • LH Bow - take the minimal 2 x BGs (you need 6 bases, so an extra 2 bases gives you 2 BGs) - yu cant realy match others LH in period anyway
  • An 8 of XB is just about viable
  • A BG of Poor Bow is cheap filler
  • 6 handgunners are decent - taking them as protected makes them better in a fight
  • 1 BG of Serbian Light Horse Lancers will scare many LH opponents in part of the field
  • Taking an IC and 3 TCs means you can get get the right terrain. Moving first with an army with HF in it is less important, arguably - although you still have lots of LH and Cv to pin back an enemy
  • Against a LH/Cavalry army go Hilly to close down the table, maybe even with a river or coast to anchor the army against.
  • Against drilled Heavy/medium foot take small pieces and make space - maybe still take the coast as it uses two choices.
  • 1 BG of 4 armoured superior Szekelers will supporting the knights and light horse

UK Competition Performance by this army:

1 / 8 Later Hungarian Godendag 2008 Doubles (EE)
2 / 8 Later Hungarian Godendag 2008 Doubles (EE)
4 / 20 Later Hungarian Warfare 2008 15mm (S&S, SoA, EE)
5 / 16 Later Hungarian Scottish Open 2008 (open)
7 / 8 Later Hungarian Godendag 2008 Doubles (EE)
11 / 20 Later Hungarian Warfare 2008 15mm (S&S, SoA, EE)
16 / 20 Later Hungarian Warfare 2008 15mm (S&S, SoA, EE)
16 / 20 Later Hungarian Warfare 2008 15mm (S&S, SoA, EE)
17 / 27 Later Hungarian Britcon 2007 15mm (open)
24 / 27 Later Hungarian Britcon 2007 15mm (open)

User-contributed links about this army:

Cuman and Hungarian Soldiers in the Saint Ladislaus legend including:


  • Moldavian : Moldavian (or Wallachian) allies are chiefly useful because they definately allow you to tip the army into a totally mounted force, with loads of good quality skirmish or Cv multiple armed troops. Avoiding the nobles in the Moldavian ally means the allied general can concentrate on managing a wing of decent light horse and cavalry, ensuring they are bolstered in the inevitable shooting exchanges.
  • Polish : The Polish ally is all about adding in some of the rather bizzarre mixed Kn/Cv formations, whos actual value is questionable. But with 20+ knights allowed in the Hungarian army, why add more that aren;t really as good (or as wide)?
  • Serbian : Useful if you want to double the number of LH lancers in this army from 8 up to 16, and make your (allied) general soley responsible for one unit of your strike force, in this case the obligatory 4 Serbian knights
  • Wallachian : As Moldavian really...

15mm Manufacturers supplying East European & Generic Medieval figures for this army

You can see some of the figures in the Ancients Photo Gallery also on this site.

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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
900 AP list used at Oxford Doubles 2009

  • 8 LF, Av, Bw
  • 4 LH, Av, Bw
  • 4 LH, Av, Bw
  • 4 LH, Av, Bw
  • 4 Serbian Hussars, LH, L, Sw
  • 4 Superior L/Sp, Bw, Sw Szeckler LH
  • 4 Superior L/Sp, Bw, Sw Szeckler LH
  • 4 Superior L/Sp, Bw, Sw Szeckler LH
  • 4 Sup Undrilled Knights
  • 4 protected Superior Bw, Sw Cavalry
  • 4 Superior Undrilled Knights
  • 4 Superior Undrilled Knights
  • 4 Drilled Superior Knights
  • 4 x TCs

  • 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

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Created by admin. Last Modification: Tuesday 12 of November, 2019 19:00:13 GMT by admin. (Version 22)
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