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Historical Overview Section

C9th until 1122
The Pechenegs emerge from the mists of history only in the 8th and 9th centuries, inhabiting the region between the lower Volga, the Don, and the Ural Mountains. By the 9th and 10th centuries AD they controlled much of the steppes of southwestern Eurasia and the Crimean Peninsula. Although an important factor in the region at the time, like most nomadic tribes their concept of statecraft failed to go beyond random attacks on neighbours and spells as mercenaries for other powers. Their history is defined by their relationship with 2 such powers - Byzantium and the Rus of Kiev.

In the 9th century the Byzantines used the Pechenegs mainly to fend off other, more dangerous tribes such as the Rus and the Magyars, although this policy was complicated by the actions of the Uzes, another Turkic steppe people, who expelled the Pechenegs from their homeland, to be followed by the Khazars and Cumans who pushed the Pecheneg nation into conflict with the Magyars living west of the Dnieper River around 892. Further intrigues and power politics involving the Magyars, Middle Bulgarians and Byzantines over the following few years saw the Pechenegs used by all sides, with teh end result the Magyars were driven further westward up the lower Danube, Transdanubia and towards the Pannonian plain, where they later founded a Hungarian state.

The Pechenegs also enjoyed (or endured) an uneasy relationship with the Kievan Rus, raiding on a regular basis, and sometimes entering into full-scale wars as well as military alliances (as in the 943 Byzantine campaign). The high point for the Pechenegs (and low point for the Rus) came in 968 when the Pechenegs attacked and then besieged the city of Kiev. An allience some 30 years later saw the Pechenegs supporting the Prince of Kiev Sviatoslav I in his Byzantine campaign of 970–971, though eventually the Pechenegs ambushed and killed the Kievan prince in 972 with the demonstrably untrustworthy Pecheneg Khan Kurya making a chalice from his skull—a traditional steppe nomad custom. The fortunes of the Rus-versus-Pecheneg confrontation swung during the reign of Vladimir I of Kiev (990–995), who founded the town of Pereyaslav upon the site of his victory over the Pechenegs, but were followed by the defeat of the Pechenegs during the reign of Yaroslav I the Wise (1037). Shortly afterwards, the decimated Pechenegs were replaced in the Pontic steppe by another nomadic Turkic people—the Cumans or Polovtsy.

After centuries of fighting involving all their neighbours—the Byzantine Empire, Bulgaria, Kievan Rus, Khazars and the Magyars—the Pechenegs were annihilated as an independent force at the Battle of Levounion by a combined Komnenan Byzantine and Cuman army under Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos in 1091. Attacked again in 1094 by the Cumans, many Pechenegs were slain or absorbed. They were again defeated by the Komnenan Byzantines at the Battle of Beroia in 1122, on the territory of modern day Bulgaria.

Using the army in FoG

  • With just 2 main troop types, there is little else to do with this army other than use it as a classic light-horse heavy nomad force, refusing combat across most of the field and concentrating a strike force of Bw/Sw armoured cavalry against a weak point in the enemy line.
  • Like other shooty cavalry armies, your battle plan is usually to stake out as much ground as possible to block enemy Second Moves, at least in some sectors, and leave ample manoeuvre room behind your lines. Getting first move is very helpful so losing the PBI roll is preferred by some players, although your tough Cv may be willing to face the enemy in close combat, so its therefore less critical to keep lots of manoeuvre room to the rear.
  • Sometimes you are lucky and the enemy deploys with a hanging flank you can readily outwing and envelop, or a good flank march opportunity presents itself, but often the terrain and enemy dispositions limit you to a frontal approach of disrupting, loosening and disjointing the enemy line of battle with shooting, threats, and uncontrolled enemy charges in order to expose gaps, flanks and other weak spots you then exploit with concentrated shooting or timely charges
  • Destroy or flee enemy Skirmishers, draw their mounted and aggressive foot away from their other troops by skirmishing - he will have to charge shooters to reduce their effect - pick off isolated detachments, and provoke charges where possible. Work around his flank and hunt his BG count filler such as Mobs and LF.
  • Ultimately your cavalry will need to be the ones to win the battle for you by running down your opponents - remember this and don;t expect your LH to do all the work in eroding enemy morale and competence to breaking point.
  • One common mistake with all Shooty cavalry is to take advantage of the possibility evade too often - superior armoured cavalry swordsmen are still very potent combat troops against most enemies, and it is often better to advance in 2 ranks (inflicting more shooting as a result) and take on any enemies in hand to hand combat.
  • The time to commit is once an enemy has gone disrupted, or if they have lost bases - waiting and skirmishing in the hope they go fragmented may well be gilding the lilly.

UK Tournament Results with this army

12 / 27 Pecheneg Britcon 2007 15mm (open)

User-contributed links about this army:


The Pechenegs appear as allies for others, not as leaders of a main force

15mm Manufacturers supplying figures for this army

Realistically you may well be looking at using Gothic/Avar and/or Magyar and even Turkish mounted figures for this army, possibly supplemented by Skythian type horse archers. There are plenty of manufacturers with such ranges.
You can see some of the figures in the Pecheneg Photo Gallery also on this site

Image Image Image Image

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

  • 4 LH, Bw/Sw, Average
  • 4 LH, Bw/Sw, Average
  • 4 LH, Bw/Sw, Average
  • 4 LH, Bw/Sw, Average
  • 4 LH, Bw/Sw, Average
  • 4 LH, Bw/Sw, Average
  • 4 LH, Bw/Sw, Average
  • 4 LH, Bw/Sw, Average
  • 4 LH, Bw/Sw, Average
  • 4 Cv, Armoured, Bw/Sw, Superior
  • 4 Cv, Armoured, Bw/Sw, Superior
  • 4 Cv, Armoured, Bw/Sw, Superior
  • 4 Cv, Armoured, Bw/Sw, Superior
  • 1 Fortified Camp
  • IC
  • FC
  • TC x2

(to allow for a FC-led flank march if terrain and enemy deployment makes skirmishing difficult)

  • 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 19:00:29 GMT by admin. (Version 13)
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