Western Hunnic

Western Hunnic

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Historical Overview Section

The Huns first appeared in Europe in the 4th century, pitching up just to the north of the Black Sea around 370. They soon got to work causing trouble, and crossed the Volga to attacked Early Alans, who were soon subjugated. The combined Hunnic/Alan armies then started harassing the poor Ostrogothic settlements of the area, leading the Ostrogothic king to commit suicide and leave the problem to his great-nephew, Vithimiris. This was a bad deal, as he was killed during a battle against the Alans and Huns in 376, and the outcome was the subjugation of most of the Ostrogoths. With the remaining Ostrogoths on the run, the Huns next had a punt at the territory of the Visigoths under Athanaric who tried to head them off at the pass so to speak, sending an expeditionary force beyond the Dniester which the Huns avoided and attacked Athanaric directly. The Goths then retreated into the Carpathians where they had grandstand seats as in 395 the Huns began their first large scale assault on the East Roman Empire.

Huns attacked in Thrace, overran Armenia, and pillaged Cappadocia. They entered parts of Syria, threatened Antioch, and swarmed through the province of Euphratesia. Emperor Theodosius left his armies in the West so the Huns stood unopposed until the end of 398 when a force composed of Dominate Romans and Early Visigothic or Vandal Goths succeeded in restoring peace.

During their momentary diversion from the Eastern half of the Roman Empire, the Huns moved further west, and Radagaisus had a holiday in Italy at the end of 405. There the Huns were up for any sort of rumble, and many were employed as mercenaries by both East and Western Dominate Romans and by the Goths. Uldin, the first Hun known by name headed a group of Huns and Early Alans fighting against Radagaisus in defense of Italy! But even so, the Hunnic Empire now stretched from the steppes of Central Asia into modern Germany, and from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea, and given this was their job, the Eastern Dominate Romans began to feel the heat, which was turned up in 408 by Uldin's Huns when they crossed the Danube and captured a fortress in Moesia. Uldin then proceeded to ravage Thrace, and refused to be bought off cheaply although his subordinates were more easily bribed and many deserted.

Attila (406 – 453), also known as Attila the Hun, was leader (Khagan) of the Huns from 434 until his death in 453. He and his brother were co-rulers, and they together were two busy chaps, and invaded the Balkans twice, marched through Gaul as far as Orleans before being defeated at the Battle of Chalons. On a quiet afternoon they also invaded the Persian Empire, but a defeat in Armenia by the Sassanid Persians caused the brothers to give up on this attempt, and go back to Europe, where instead they broke a peace treaty signed with Rome by accidentally crossing the Danube at the head of a vast army, laying waste to many Illyrian cities and forts. Meanwhile the Early Visigothic or Vandal Vandals under Geiseric captured the Roman province of Africa in 440 and the Sassanid Persian Shah Yazdegerd II invaded Armenia in 441. As the Romans struggled to deal with this war on two fronts, they stripping the Balkan defenses, and so Attila, seeing a clear path through Illyria into the Balkans, gave them a third front in 441. The Hunnish army took Belgrade and Sirmium before halting for a rest in 442, buying time for the Foederate Romans to tee up an opposing army. The Huns got going again in 443, in a whirlwind campaign of battles and sieges taking Sofia, Plovdiv and Arcadiopolis, destroying a Foederate Roman army outside Constantinople but being stopped by the double walls of the Eastern capital. A Roman second army was defeated near Callipolis (modern Gallipoli) and Emperor Theodosius was forced to buy off Atilla with a huge wedge of cash.

After Atilla's brother met with an unexpected and very, very unfortuate accident Atilla ended up in sole control of the Khaganate. In 447 he rode south into the Eastern Roman empire through Moesia, and the Foederate Roman army under the Gothic magister militum Arnegisclus met him in the Battle of the Utus and was defeated, though not without inflicting heavy losses. The Huns were left unopposed and rampaged through the Balkans as far as Thermopylae. In 450 Attila conidered attackking the powerful Later Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse, making an alliance with (Western) Emperor Valentinian III in order to do so, but a horrible mix-up with a ring and a pretty lady saw him accidentally come to be promised half the Western Roman Empire, which of course the Western Emperor wasn't too keen on. Attila therefore gathered his vassals—Gepids, Ostrogoths, Rugians, Scirians, Heruls, Thuringians, Alans, Burgundians, among others - and began his march west ready for a rumble like no other.

The de-factor Western Emperor Aëtius moved to oppose Attila, gathering troops from among the Early Frankish Franks and Burgundians, and the Celts, and even the Later Visigothic Kings decided that Atilla was such a threat that they were best off allied with the Romans. The combined armies met near Catalaunum (modern Châlons-en-Champagne). The two armies clashed in the Battle of Chalons, whose outcome is commonly considered to be a Pyrrhic victory for the Visigothic-Roman alliance. Theodoric was killed in the fighting and Aëtius failed to press his advantage, according to Edward Gibbon and Edward Creasy because he feared the consequences of an overwhelming Visogothic triumph as much as he did a defeat. From Aëtius' point of view, the best outcome was what occurred: Theodoric died, Attila was in retreat and disarray, and the Romans had the benefit of appearing victorious.

Undaunted, Attila returned to Italy in 452 to claim his half of the Empire, and his army sacked numerous cities. The Romans lacked both the balls and the strength to offer battle, but instead managed to harass and slow Attila's advance with a light force, so that when Attila finally halted at the River Po his army were suffering from a spot of tummy trouble probably caused by too much rich Italian food. After an appeal from the church, Attila decided some time at home was needed, and left Italy ... but only because he really planned to strike at Constantinople again! The Eastern Romans had been naughty and has stopped paying the huge wedges of cash from the last settlement - partly because multiple invasions by the Huns and others had left the Balkans with little to plunder, so the consequences of a punitive mission were bound to be limited.

Before he could sort the proto-Byzantines out however, Attila died in the early months of 453, as at at feast celebrating his latest marriage he suffered a severe nosebleed and choked to death in a stupor. Ooops!

Using the army in FoG

This looks like an easy army to get wrong, as there aren't too many armoured Superior cavalry, and anything "protected" has the potential to go badly wrong. I would also totally discount the option under Atilla to take lots of protected impact foot, as they are generally poor anyway, and can't so-ordinate with the rest of the army.

This leaves you with a core of 8 Superior armoured shooty cavalry, supported by a predominatly LH force with a few BGs of 4 protected shooty cavalry to help drive off enemy LH. Look carefully at the allies to see if you can justify a strike force of lancers. Even 3 BGs of shooty bow cavalry may be enough for the Huns, as Superior LH are rather nasty when it comes to shooting anyway due to their ability to re-roll 1's.

Almost always take the LH in BGs of 4 because it's easier to concentrate fire, it increases army break points and you're also more likely to get a group free onto the enemy's flank - however 6's can stand up t sustained combat better against another LH-heavt army. Also remember to pursue as the bane of a Hunnic army is that whilst you should be able to break his units with lots of shooting it's sometimes hard to stop them rallying. A small block of LH does the job nicely.

A "spare" FC is usefull too BTW - Flank Marches, even of LH, can be devastating. Steppes terrain is good, LH & Cavalry can still beat LF in most terrain types so don't worry too much if the terrain goes against you.

Allied Contingents

  • Ostrogothic - Early Ostrogothic, Herul, Sciri or Taifali : Date restrictions 433 to 453 (Atilla) Book: Legions Triumphant Page: 64 - Up to 18 lancer cavalry - and good quality - gives a lot more mountd clout, but more than 2-3 units is hard for a single general to control
  • Sciri - Early Ostrogothic, Herul, Sciri or Taifali : Date restrictions 408 (Udin) Book: Legions Triumphant Page: 64 - Up to 18 lancer cavalry - and good quality - gives a lot more mountd clout, but more than 2-3 units is hard for a single general to control
  • Gepid - Gepid or Early Lombard : Date restrictions 433 to 453 (Atilla) Book: Legions Triumphant Page: 67 - Up to 18 lancer cavalry - and good quality - gives a lot more mountd clout, but mixing in the HF as well is just asking for trouble

UK Tournament Results with this army

9 / 14 Western Hunnic Northern League 2008 R4 (open)
6 / 18 Western Hunnic Roll Call 2008 15mm (LT)
11 / 20 Western Hunnic Warfare 2008 15mm (RoR, IF, LT)
20 / 62 Western Hunnic Britcon 2008 15mm (open)

User-contributed links about this army:


  • Early Ostrogothic and Herul - A nice pokey force of lancer cavalry, and some very cheap small BGs of 4 LF - pretty useful
  • Gepid or Early Lombard - As long as you take the infantry-free option, 2-3 BGs of lancer cavalry and acheap general may be a good value addition to this army

15mm Manufacturers supplying figures for this army

Nearly everyone has Huns in their ranges, some of which hare subsumed into generic Eastern/Eurasian steppe armies ranges. See other specific lists for allied contingents and subjects.
You can see some of the figures in the Ancients Photo Gallery also on this site

Image 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

800 AP list used at Warfare 2010 (4th place)(actually 5th)

  • 4 Superior LH, Bw/Sw
  • 4 Superior LH, Bw/Sw
  • 4 Superior LH, Bw/Sw
  • 4 Superior LH, Bw/Sw
  • 4 Superior LH, Bw/Sw
  • 4 Superior LH, Bw/Sw
  • 4 Superior LH, Bw/Sw
  • 4 Superior LH, Bw/Sw
  • 4 Superior LH, Bw/Sw
  • 4 Superior Cv, Bw/Sw, Unprotected
  • 4 Superior Cv, Bw/Sw, Unprotected
  • 4 Superior Cv, Bw/Sw, Unprotected
  • 4 Superior Cv, Lancer/Sw, Allied
  • 4 LF, Average, Bw
  • IC + 2 TC (one allied). Actually IC, FC, Allied TC

Tactics. I was in no rush for the ally to arrive before the competition. But realised later how useful he actually was in the 2 games he did. Flank marched every game. The other 2 games he was a bit lazy. Army was designed to fight Bosphoran types, but didn't get the chance as there weren't enough of them at the competition. bMy opinion not Tims./b Basically S LH can charge steady foot and normally not be routed as a result of the combat. They can lose 2 bases and not autobreak. They are good at cohesion. So I could be agressive. Use them to charge stuff threatening the flanks when I wanted to charge with something else. I think it needed a few more teeth. Perhaps 2 allied Lancer or a non allied lancer BG.

800 AP

  • 3 x 4 LH
  • 3 x 4 LH
  • 2 x 4 Nobles
  • 1 x 6 LH
  • 1 x 4 Unprot Cav,
  • 1 x 4 Superior Sciri Cv

  • CinC & Sub FC
  • Subs TC x2
  • 4 Nobles Cav, Arm, Sup, Bw/Sw
  • 6 Huns, LH, UnPr, Sup, Bw/Sw
  • 6 Huns, LH, UnPr, Sup, Bw/Sw
  • 6 Huns, LH, UnPr, Sup, Bw/Sw
  • 6 Huns, LH, UnPr, Sup, Bw/Sw
  • 6 Huns, LH, UnPr, Sup, Bw/Sw
  • 6 Huns, LH, UnPr, Sup, Bw/Sw
  • 4 Huns, LH, UnPr, Sup, Bw/Sw
  • 6 Sciri, Cav, Prot, Sup, Lnc/Sw

2-variant 900 AP list as used at the Madaxeman Invitational 2009
Western Hunnic
1 x FC@ 50 50
2 x TC@35 70 120
2 BG 4 x Nobles@18 144 264
7 BG 4 x Horse Archers@12 366 600
Unfortified Camp
Additional Options - List One
1 x IC@80 80 680
1 BG 6 x Heruls@12 72 754
3 BG 4 x Horse Archers@12 144 896
Additional Options - List Two
1 x IC@80 80 680
1 BG 6 x Horse Archers@12 72 754
3 BG 4 x Horse Archers@12 144 896

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 25)
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