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The Gepids are first mentioned around 260 AD, when they participated with the Goths in an invasion in Dacia. Their first named king Fastida enlarged Gepid territories greatly when he overwhelmed the Burgundians, almost annihilating them in the 4th century, then fruitlessly demanded of the Goths a portion of their territory, a demand which the Goths successfully repulsed in battle. Like the Goths, the Gepids were converted to Arian Christianity. In 375 they had to submit to the Huns along with their Ostrogoth overlords, becoming the favored Western Hunnic vassals. Under their king, Ardaric, Gepid warriors joined Attila the Hun's forces in the Battle of Chalons (the "Catalaunian fields") in Gaul (451). On the eve of the main encounter between allied hordes, the Gepids and Franks met each other, the latter fighting for the Romans and the former for the Huns, and seem to have fought one another to a standstill, with 15,000 dead reported by Jordanes, the main source for the events.
Such loyalties were personal bonds among kings, and after Attila's death of a drunken nosebleed (oops!) in 453, the Gepids and other people allied to defeat Attila's horde of would-be successors when led by Ardaric, they broke the Hunnic power in the Battle at the River Nedao in 454:
"...a most remarkable spectacle, where one might see the Goths fighting with pikes, the Gepidae raging with the sword, the Rugii breaking off the spears in their own wounds, the Suevi fighting on foot, the Huns with bows, the Alani drawing up a battle-line of heavy-armed and the Heruli of light-armed warriors. (Jordanes, l.259)"
After the victory they finally won a place to settle in the Carpathian Mountains. Not long after the battle at the Nedao the old rivalry between the Gepids and the Ostrogoths spurred up again and they were driven out of their homeland in 504 by Theodoric the Great. They reached the zenith of their power after 537, settling in the rich area around Belgrade. For a short time, the city of Sirmium was the center of the Gepid State and the king Cunimund minted golden coins in it. In 546 the Byzantine Empire allied themselves with the Lombards to expel the Gepids from this region. In 552 the Gepids suffered a disastrous defeat from Alboin in the Battle of Asfeld and were finally conquered by the Lombards in 567. Many Gepids followed Alboin to Italy but many remained. In 630, Theophylact Simocatta reported that the Byzantine Army entered the territory of the Avars and attacked a Gepid feast, capturing 30,000 Gepids (they met no Avars).
Recent excavation by the Tisza River at Szolnok brought up a Gepid nobleman from an Avar period grave who was also wearing Turkic-Avar pieces next to the traditional Germanic clothes in which he was buried. So you can use those Turk figures for sure!
The strength of the army lies in it's lancers, and when it comes to lancers, Armoured Superior is best. But itâ€™s expensive, and when it comes to lancers, quantity has a quality all of itâ€™s own. A mix of armoured and protected can give you more bang-for-buck, especially if you expect to be facing Cataphracts in period, where the extra armour is irrelevant.
Against enemy skirmishers protected lancers (supported by an IC) in one rank are also more than capable of doing the business. Undrilled, protected, Lancer, Swordsmen don't cost too much - but you can't ignore them either or they can run down weak troops, attack good ones in the flank etc. They are reasonably wide and just sending a single BG of "real" troops to deal with them will probably fail.
Armoured is still however a good value upgrade as it gives you a +1 against most things in melee. Do watch for enemy trying to exploit your flanks and position themselves for flank intercept charges using the â€œmove full speed then turn 90 degreesâ€ with columns of drilled lancers or cavalry.
The big issue for the army is protecting the flanks of your line of charging lancers. You can simply do this with yet more lancers, accepting attrition along the way â€“ and this should not be discounted even though a handful of other support troops are available. 8 MF with Bw are OK if placed on a flank where they may face only enemy mounted, or ideally LH. And units of 8 LF can form a good screen in front of lancers to protect them from shooting.
The ideal combination for lancers to operate effectively is a mix of 4â€™s and 6â€™s, using the 6â€™s as the sledgehammer to take casualties and not suffer the -1 for losing 25%, and also to last longer before autobreaking. Lancer Cavalry also ideally need generals to help them in combat, and so having a general with a 6 is better value.
The foot option adds little, as the foot cannot keep pace with the lancers, so will struggle to protect their flanks, and also protected impact foot might as well hoist a flag with "Target" on it in big red letters on most battlefields in or out of period.
The fortified camp maybe worth investing in for this army, as you have little to protect it from enemy LH
- Avar : Date restrictions Lombards Only Book: Decline and Fall Page: 28 - A Bw/Sw Cv & LH (of varying qualities) ally - always useful. 558-631 also gives some rough terrain MF
- Vandal - Early Visogothic or Early Vandal : Date restrictions Gepid Only , Book: Legions Triumphant Page: 52 - Lots of HF impact foot swordsmen, erm, not my cup of tea thanks.
- Frankish - Early Frankish, Alamanni, Burgundi, Limigantes, Rugian, Suebi or Turcilingi : Date restrictions Lombards Only Book: Legions Triumphant Page: 59 - 8 minimum HF Impact foot swordsmen make these rather uninspiring as an ally
- Rugii - Early Frankish, Alamanni, Burgundi, Limigantes, Rugian, Suebi or Turcilingi : Date restrictions Gepids Only Book: Legions Triumphant Page: 59 - 8 minimum HF Impact foot swordsmen make these rather uninspiring as an ally
- Suebi - Early Frankish, Alamanni, Burgundi, Limigantes, Rugian, Suebi or Turcilingi : Date restrictions Lombards Only Book: Legions Triumphant Page: 59 - 8 minimum HF Impact foot swordsmen make these rather uninspiring as an ally
- Thuringians - Early Anglo-Saxons, Bavarian, Frisian, Old Saxon or Thuringian : Date restrictions Gepids Only Book: Legions Triumphant Page: 62 - 8 minimum HF Impact foot swordsmen make these rather uninspiring as an ally
- Herul - Early Ostrogothic, Herul, Sciri or Taifali : Date restrictions Gepids Only 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
- Ostrogothic - Early Ostrogothic, Herul, Sciri or Taifali : Date restrictions Gepids Only 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
User-contributed links about this army:
- Gepids DBA Figure Gallery for this army - from Fanaticus
- Register and you can put you own link in here and then write some brief detail about the link here
- put the link text readers will see in here write some more detail about the link here
Put information on allied contingents here - including recommendations on which to use, and why
You can see some of the figures in the Ancients Photo Gallery also on this site
- Baueda new (as of 2011) 11-pack Lombard range
- Essex Miniatures Slavs and Goths
- Donnington Slavs & Goths
- Museum Miniatures Mounted asiatics
- Gladiator Miniatures by Fighting 15's (Previously Black Hat) Dark age range
- Old Glory 15's, Slavic range
- Magister Militum - Goths, dark Ages
- Minifigs - Dark age goths
- Irregular Miniatures Dark Ages ranges
- Lancashire Games - Goths, Sarmatians
- Tin Soldier - Slavic Range
- Vexilia Maybe some of their Eastern European medievals..?
- Isarus - sold by 15mm.co.uk Gothic range
- Outpost Wargame Services - Avars & Slavs
- AlainTouller Figurines - Slavs
- Two Dragons - Saxons (at a pinch)
- Khurasan Miniatures - Avars
- Viking Forge Sarmatians, Saxons
- Splintered Light. Possibly their v. nice Saxons may be OK for some foot
- Battle Line Miniatures - Sarmatians, Goths
- 50 Paces.com - Sarmatians, Slavs
- Legio Heroica have a Rome's Enemies range with various Germanic and Gothic horse and foot
Which troops are absolutely needed for this army, and what are your thoughts on how to organise, paint and buy them.
Sample army lists for this army
Name of Army / Date
- 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