Jump to content

Faction: Byzantines


Recommended Posts

  • 3 weeks later...

It looks like Nikephorian Byzantine Army, but what about Justinian or Heraclean Byzantine Army?

Fallen Bastions: Heraclean Byzantines


This covers the wars of Heracleus, first against the Sasanid Persians and then the armies of the Arab conquest. The Sasanids came close to complete victory against the Byzantines, until daring campaigning by Heracleus, reinforced by a Sasanid civil war, restored the status quo. The Arabs proved to be a more intractable opponent, and Byzantine defeat at Yarmuk led to the loss of two-thirds of their territory.

The main source of information for this period, come from the manual of Maurikios (the Strategikon). It should be noted, that the war against the Sasanids may have contributed to the poor showing of the Byzantines against the Arabs, as a consequence of the loss of experienced troop cadres.

Army List

I. Expeditionary Army
Expeditionary armies are those created for offensive and decisive action against an opponent. As such, they tended to be dominated by mounted troops and contained some of the best units in the army

0-1 Imperial Division
1 Boukellarioi
1 Optimates
0-1 Scouts

1-3 Senior Cavalry Divisions
1-2 Senior Cavalry
1 Cursores

1-2 Stratiotai
2 Stratiotai

0-2 Infantry Divisions
1-2 Skoutatoi
0-1 Psiloi or Javelinmen

2-3 Khazar Ally Divisions (only in AD 627)(1)
2-3 Khazars

Optional Units
0-4 Linkers or Flank-Guards (2)
0-2 Skoutatoi (3)

(1) A large force of Khazars joined Heracleus in the 627 campaign towards Nineveh. If any Khazar divisions are used, at least 2 must be employed.
(2) Linkers and Flank guards can only be attached to 'all mounted' divisions.
(3) Can only be attached to Senior Cavalry or Infantry Divisions.

II. Provincial Army
Provincial armies are those raised to deal with a local threat, and tended to avoid battle. They featured troops that may have lacked training, equipment and sometimes, motivation.

0-1 Senior Cavalry Divisions
1-2 Senior Cavalry
1 Cursores

1-2 Stratiatoi Divisions
2 Sratiotai

1-2 Allied Ghassanid Divisions

2-4 Infantry Divisions
1-2 Skoutatoi
0-1 Psiloi or Javelinmen

Optional Units
0-1 Militia
0-2 Linkers of Flank Guards (1)

(1) Linkers and Flank guards can only be attached to 'all mounted' divisions.

Heavy Cavalry, Initiative 7 (Elite, Deep-line)
2 bases (50 pts)

May be equipped with Bow.

Boukellarioi were positioned with the CinC, usually in the centre of the army. They fought as mounted lancers, at least 5 ranks deep (possibly more) and could have mounted archers in support. Consequently these can be additionally armed with bows

Heavy Cavalry, Initiative 7 (Audacious, Deep-line)
2 bases (45 pts)
3 bases (60 pts)

These were recruited from Goths and Germans, and used lances or spears

Senior Cavalry
Heavy Cavalry, Initiative 7 (Deep-line)
3 bases (60 pts)
4 bases (75 pts)

Vexillationes and Illyricani must be equipped with Bow. Phoideratoi may be equipped with Bow

The senior cavalry comprised the Phoideratoi, Vexillationes and Illyricani regiments. The Phoideratoi were typically assigned to the 2-in-C. They were recruited from Goths and citizens. The Vexillationes were placed to the right, the Illyricani to the left. The Vexillationes and Illyricani must include integral archers (fight with __bows__), the Phoideratoi may have rear-rank archers so are only optionally equipped with bows.

Light Cavalry- Initiative 7 (Bow)
2 bases (40 pts)
3 bases (53 pts)

Cursores (lit. gallopers) are additionally equipped with bow

Linkers, Flank Guards and Scouts
Light Cavalry- Initiative 6
2 bases (32 pts)
3 bases (42 pts)

May be equipped with Bow.

These are rated as 6 to discourage offensive use

Heavy Cavalry, Initiative 6 (Deep-line)
3 bases (48 pts)
4 bases (60 pts)
May be equiped with Bow.


Medium Cavalry, Initiative 6 (Deep-line)
3 bases (42 pts)
4 bases (52 pts)
May be equipped with Bow.

It is assumed that these regiments were not able to sustain having a front rank of lancers on frontally armoured horses

Heavy Shieldsmen with Light Archer Detachment- Initiative 5 (Deep-line)
6 bases (32 pts)
8 bases (39 pts)


Medium Shieldsmen with Light Archer Detachment- Initiative 5 (Deep-line)
6 bases (29 pts)
8 bases (36 pts)


Medium Shieldsmen- Initiative 5 (Deep-line)
6 bases (24 pts)
8 bases (30 pts)

The normal depth for the Skoutatoi was 8 ranks deep, with the last 2 ranks being archers. Skoutatoi is literally, a "shieldsmen", and were armed with short spears. They were not as well trained as the cavalry. Mail armour was not available to all troops, often only the front ranks.

Light or Medium Archers, Initiative 5
4 bases (21 pts)
6 bases (29 pts)

Light Shieldsmen, Initiative 5
4 bases (18 pts)

Light Irregulars- Initiative 5
4 bases (15 pts)

These are local troops, often 'hillmen' of a sort

Medium or Light Horse Archers - Initiative 6 (Ally, Wave)
2 Bases (32 Pts)
4 Bases (52 Pts)

A unit personally commanded by the Division commander may be graded as medium, all other units of the Division must be Light.

For more information, please visit:


Edited by Mega Mania
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were aiming to cover the Majority of the period, with Thematic Byzantine (Nikephorian more or less). These unit types are applicable from about 638 AD almost all the way to 1071 AD.

Although the Justinian and Heraclian Armies were important, they are too early for complete coverage of the Roman Era, although through unit experience upgrades earlier style units can be represented (I will post that picture I drew in a few minutes here, it's scanning).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

By the way, i was thinking about separating Thematic Byzantine from earlier Justinian and Heraclean Byzantine thus making them three separate factions like 0 AD did on the Romans (Republic, Imperial, Late Imperial and Eastern Roman Empire). It will be easier for the team to focus on a specific Byzantine faction instead of one faction that requires many, many kinds of reform.

Or better still, merging Heraclean with later thematic army to show transition and change between Heraclean and Thematic armies thus saving one slot for other factions.

Edited by Mega Mania
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Making them evolve over time into the subfactions is still my longterm goal.

This can either happen via tech research (e.g. reforms) or via time tag, depending on what comes first. This way we teach history and still have the flexibility to advance quicker via tech research and cultural exchange (via trade + proximity e.g. units passing closeby or exchanging education + even spies).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
  • 1 year later...

I have some ideas on how this faction could become unique. We could make it a cross between the Carthaginians and the Romans. The Byzantines were famous for their use of mercenaries. In the 3 ages, the first unit would be the aconistae, and then the kontaratoi. As said in one of the first posts the cavalry unit would be the hippo akritai. In the 2nd age include the scoutatoi and the toxotae from the barracks. Swords men would be called Spathatoi. Third age they need regular akritai (akri in Greek means border) and in come the champion archers, infantry and cavalry. Cavalry would be klivanophoroi, infantry: Varangian Guard, archers would be mourtatoi. Another unit would probably be horse archers as mercenaries called Skythikoi.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I don't know if I can do this, but I am opening a thread on ideas for Byzantine Empire. This is so that the devs can try to start the Byzantines.

The first one is that the Byzantines should have three champions. They are the klivanophoroi/Kataphractoi, the Varangian Guard, and Mourtatoi. 

Another part is that, like AOE 2, it needs to have good defensive capabilities. 

My two cents, let the thread begin!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, It will be very helpful if you can suggest or create a nice design document for the 8th-9th century Byzantines

Here's a sample of the Anglo-Saxon design document

Once you've made one, you can post your suggestion on the main Byzantine faction topic. :)

But IMO, the Byzantines won't be a priority since most of the current factions aren't even finished (and the Umayyads too)

Edited by wackyserious
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Byzantine cataphract actually look like this:


(The yellow guy)

Almost entirely of his armors are hidden under the padded kavadion.

The good news is that this can potentially save a lot of trouble for the 3D modelers, since barely-armored grunts wear exactly the same kavadion as the most elite cavalrymen.

Edited by wolflance
Link to comment
Share on other sites

-El ejercito de Justiniano siglo VI: 1 Jinete tracio de los clibanarios Leones; 2 Infante de la Guardia; 3 guerrero irregular. Autor Angus McBride

-Catafractas bizantinos tracios siglo V-VI, llevan el escudo redondo con el león, se puede observar las herraduras

-Caballería bizantina siglos VI-VII. Se ve la división establecida por Belisario entre arqueros y lanceros

-Belisario en Italia. Va seguido de un jinete lacero y arquero. Autor Johnny Shumate


-Ejército bizantino siglo IX: 1 Jinete de la tagmata imperial; 2 Akritoi o jinete de frontera de un thema de Anatolia, 4 infantería ligera arquero a pie. Autor Angus Mcbride

-Clibanario o clibanophoros bizantino de la tagmata imperial siglo IX. Autor Johnny Shumate

-Tagmata bizantina siglo VIII: izquierda optimate (optimatoi), centro escubidor (exkoubitor) y derecha compañeros (heitairos) . Autor Christos Giannopoulos










  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...
  • Stan` pinned this topic

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...