Mercenaries of antiquity

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Kiero
Domains At War Backer
Joined: 2013-04-26 07:13
Mercenaries of antiquity

As people are probably aware by now, I'm planning to use ACKS for a historical game. The mercenaries table is therefore much simpler, but also needs amendment to fit what sorts of things were around. The big thing is that there was a lot less armour in evidence, and what there was, was lighter.

This replaces the Mercenary Troop Types on p52:

                                                                                                                                  

Light Infantry (javelins, dagger, small shield) - 30

Slingers (sling, dagger, small shield) - 30

Archers (shortbow, dagger) - 30 - Availability as Bowmen

Medium Infantry (javelins, spear/shortsword, leather, medium shield) -  45 - Availability as Bowmen

Heavy Infantry (pike/spear, shortsword, lamellar, small/large shield) - 60

Elite Archers (composite bow, shortsword, leather, small shield) - 75 - Availability as Longbowmen

Light Cavalry (lance/javelins, sword, medium shield, light warhorse) - 150

Horse Archers (composite bow, shortsword, hide, light warhorse) - 225

Medium Cavalry (lance/javelins, sword, leather, small shield, medium warhorse) - 225

Heavy Cavalry (lance, sword, lamellar, medium shield, heavy warhorse) - 300

Cataphract Cavalry (lance, sword, composite bow, lamellar, scale barded heavy warhorse) - 375

 

Costs are in drachmae per month. A drachma is a silver coin, everything is on the silver standard here. Furthermore, all prices are halved, which brings them pretty close to historical ones, so multiply gp values by 5 to get their drachma equivalent.

 

Obviously you'd vary equipment for regional styles. So Anatolian Light Infantry would have axes, where Celtic Light Infantry would have spears and medium shields. Celtic Medium Cavalry would have mail where Persian Medium Cavalry would have scale and a composite bow instead of javelins.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

 

Melee Troops

Mercenary Type

Historical Examples

AC

Enc

Move

Form

Unarmored Infantry (5 javelins)

Helot

0

5/6

120

LF

Unarmored Infantry (club, shield)

Aestii Tribesman

1

1 1/6

120

LF

Unarmored infantry (2 javelins, sword, shield)

Thracian peltast with machaira, pelta, and javelins

1

1 3/6

120

LF

Unarmored Infantry (2 javelins, sword, shield, light helmet)

Mercenary peltast

1

1 3/6

120

LF

Unarmored Infantry (3 javelins, short sword, shield, light helmet)

Roman velite with javelins, gladius, round wicker shield

Spanish caetrati

1

1 4/6

120

LF

Unarmored Infantry (5 javelins, shield)

Thracian peltast with pelta and javelins

1

1 5/6

120

LF

Unarmored Infantry (spear, sword, shield)

Indian  infantry with bamboo spear, broadsword and hide shield

Celtic infantryman, Chauci Noble, Visigothic Warrior

1

2 1/6

120

LF

Unarmored Infantry (spear, sword, hand axe, shield)

Frankish warrior

1

2 2/6

120

LF

Unarmored Infantry (spear, 3 javelins, shield, light helmet)

Phrygian spearman with spear, javelins, wicker shield and helm

Later Greek Peltast with short spear, wicker shield, javelins, and Thracian helmet

Chatti Warrior with framea, javelins, shield (no helmet)

1

2 3/6

120

LF

Light infantry (sword, shield, disc plate and greaves equivalent to leather, light helmet)

Etruscan warrior

3

3 1/6

120

LF

Light Infantry (spear, short sword, shield, leather armor, light helmet)

Early Greek hoplite with doru, xiphos or kopis, hoplon, linothorax, and bell helmet

Late Greek hoplite after Iphicrates’ Reforms

3

4 1/6

120

FF

Light Infantry (spear, 3 javelins, short sword, shield, leather armor, light helmet)

Later Macedonian Peltast with short spear, large shield, javelins, linothorax, and Thracian helmet

3

4 4/6

120

LF

Medium Infantry (2 javelins, shield, triple disc breastplate and greaves equivalent to scale)

Samnite with 2 javelins, scutum, triple-disc breastplate, greaves, and light helmet

4

4 2/6

120

LF

Medium Infantry (spear, short sword, shield, scale armor)

Persian hoplite with short thrusting spear, hoplon, xiphos, and scale corselet

4

5 1/6

90

FF

Medium Infantry (spear, javelin, short sword, shield partial breastplate with greaves equivalent to scale, light helmet)

Roman hastati with heavy pila, light pila, gladius, scutum, partial breastplate and greaves, and Montefortino helmet

Spanish scutarii with spear, saunion, gladius, scutum, partial breastplate and greaves and helmet

4

5 2/6

90

FF

Medium Infantry (2 javelins, sword, shield, chain mail armor, light helmet)

Imperial Roman auxiliary with 2 lancea, spatha, pugio, scutum, and chainmail armor

5

5 3/6

90

LF

Medium Infantry (3 javelins, short sword, shield, chain mail armor, light helmet)

Imperial Roman auxiliary with 3 pila, gladius, pugio, scutum, and chainmail armor

5

5 4/6

90

LF

Medium Infantry (spear, javelin, short sword, dagger, shield, chain mail armor, light helmet)

Marian Roman legionary with heavy pila, light pila, gladius, pugio, scutum, lorica hamata, and Montefortino helmet

5

6 2/6

90

FF

Heavy Infantry (2 javelins, short sword, shield, banded plate armor, light helmet)

Imperial Roman legionary with 2 pila, gladius, scutum, Lorica Segmentata, and Imperial-Gallic helmet

6

6 3/6

90

FF

Heavy Infantry (spear, short sword, shield chain mail armor with metal greaves equivalent to banded, light helmet)

Roman triarii with hasta,  lorica hamata with two greaves, and Etrusco-Corinthian helmet

Carthaginian infantry with captured Roman equipment

6

7 1/6

60

FF

Heavy Infantry (spear, sword, shield, banded plate armor)

Late Imperial Roman Palatine legionary with lancea, spatha, shield, “glittering and shining armor”, light helmet

6

7 1/6

60

FF

Heavy Infantry (pole arm, dagger, shield, lamellar armor, and light armor)

Macedonian phalangite with sarissa, linothorax reinforced with metal scales and greaves, and Thracian helmet

6*

7 1/6

60

FF

Heavy Infantry (spear, sword, shield, lamellar armor, and light helmet)

Macedonian hypaspist with doru, xiphos or kopis, hoplon, linothorax reinforced with metal scales and greaves, and Thracian helmet

Etruscan soldier with spear, gladius, round shield, linothorax reinforced with metal scales and greaves, and Negau helmet

6

7 1/6

60

FF

Heavy Infantry (spear, sword, shield, lamellar armor, and heavy helmet)

Greek hoplite with doru, xiphos or kopis, hoplon, linothorax reinforced with metal scales and greaves, and Corinthian helmet

6

7 1/6

60

FF

Heavy Infantry (spear, sword, shield, partial plate armor equivalent to banded, and light helmet

Etruscan soldier with spear, kopis, hoplon, muscle cuirass with greaves, and Attic helmet

6

7 1/6

60

 

FF

*Assumes that shield can be used with pole-arm. Otherwise 5.

60’ move = 1 /2;         90’ move = 2 / 3 if LF,  1 / 3 if FF;                                          120’ move = 2 / 4
Missile Troops

Mercenary Type

Historical Examples

AC

Enc

Move

Form

Unarmored Composite Bowman (composite bow, back-up bow)

Scythian bowman

0

3/6

120

LF

Unarmored Longbowman (longbow, sword)

Indian longbowman with bamboo longbow and broadsword

0

1 2/6

120

LF

Unarmored Bowman (short bow, spear, club)

Ethiopian with palm-wood bow, stone-tipped arrows, club, and horn-tipped spear

0

1 3/6

120

LF

Unarmored Bowman (short bow, battle axe, shield)

Gallic archer with short bow, axe, and buckler

1

1 3/6

120

LF

Unarmored Composite Bowman (composite bow, dagger, shield)

Scythian bowman

1

1 3/6

120

LF

Unarmored Slinger (sling, short sword, shield, light helmet)

Rhodian slinger with sling, small shield, light helmet

2

2 3/6

120

LF

Bowman (short bow, short sword, leather armor)

 

2

2 3/6

120

LF

Slinger (sling, short sword, shield, leather armor, light helmet)

 

3

3 3/6

120

LF

Medium Composite Bowman (composite bow, short sword, dagger, partial lamellar armor equivalent to chain, light helmet)

Trajanic archer with composite bow, gladius, pugio, metal scale corselet, and Eastern helmet

4

4 4/6

120

LF

Longbowman (long bow, sword, chainmail)

 

4

5 2/6

90

LF

Crossbowman (arbalest, short sword, chainmail)

 

4

5 2/6

90

LF

Medium Composite Bowman (composite bow, spear, short sword, shield, partial lamellar armor equivalent to chain)

Persian Immortal with composite bow, spear, short sword, gerron, and metal scale corselet

5

5 4/6

90

LF

 

 

 

 

 

 

An ancient/medieval arrow weighed between 500 and 1,500 grain. Assume 1,000 grain. 20 arrows is therefore 20,000 grain or 3 pounds. A quiver is thus much less than a stone, an adequately characterized as “one item”.


 

Cavalry Troops

Mercenary Type

Historical Examples

AC

Enc

Move

Form

Unarmored Cavalry (7 javelins, light warhorse)

Thessalian cavalryman with javelins

0/2

1

16 1/6

240’

LM

Unarmored Cavalry (lance, shield, light warhorse)

Numidian light cavalryman

1/2

2

17

240’

LM

Unarmored Cavalry (lance, sword, shield, light helmet,  medium warhorse)

Ostrogothic cavalryman with spear, sword, chainmail hauberk and helmet

 

 

 

 

Light Cavalry (lance, sword, shield, leather armor, light warhorse)

 

3/2

3

19 1/6

240’

LM

Light Cavalry (3 javelins, battle axe, leather armor, light warhorse)

Persian light cavalry with javelins, quilted cuirass, and one-handed battle axe

2/2

2

17 4/6

240’

LM

Light Cavalry (3 javelins, sword, shield, leather armor, light helmet, light warhorse)

Imperial Roman scutarii with javelins, spatha, scutarii shield, and helmet on light warhorse

3/2

3

17 5/6

240’

LM

Horse Archer (composite bow, spear, shield, leather armor, light warhorse)

Hun cavalryman

3/2

3

19 2/6

240’

LM

Horse Archer (composite bow, 2 short swords, light warhorse)

Parthian horse archer

0/2

1

15 4/6

240’

LM

Horse Archers (composite bow, scimitar, leather armor, light warhorse)

 

2/2

2

17 3/6

240’

LM

Horse Archers (composite bow, 3 javelins, partial lamellar armor equivalent to chain, light helmet, light warhorse)

Mede cavalryman with metal scale corselet only, bronze helmet, composite bow, and javelins

4/2

3

19 5/6

240’

LM

Medium Cavalry (lance, sword, shield, chain mail armor, light helmet, medium warhorse)

Gallic cavalryman with Celtic spear, long Celtic sword, scutum, chainmail hauberk, and Agen helmet

Ostrogothic elite cavalryman with spear, sword, chainmail hauberk and helmet

5/2

4

21 1/6

180’

FM

Medium Cavalry (20 darts, spear, sword, shield, chain mail armor, light helmet, medium warhorse)

Roman auxiliary cavalry with light javelins, lancea, spatha, round shield, chain mail hauberk, light helmet, medium warhorse

5/2

4

21 5/6

180’

FM

Medium Cavalry (lance, sword, shield, lamellar armor, light helmet, medium warhorse)

Roman Imperial cavalry with kontos, sword, round shield, lamellar armor, and light helmet on medium warhorse

6/2

4

22 1/6

180’

FM

Medium Cavalry (lance, sword, partial plate armor equivalent to lamellar, light helmet, medium warhorse)

Macedonian companion cavalry with xyston, sword, bronze cuirass, pteruges, and horse. (no shields)

5/2

4

21 1/6

180’

FM

Heavy Cavalry (5  javelins, short sword, lamellar armor, light helmet, lamellar barded medium warhorse)

Persian proto-cataphract with metal scale corselet, pteruges, and leg protectors, with large Medean horse with bronze scale barding

5/7

6

26

180’

FM

Heavy Cavalry (lance, sword, shield, plate armor, heavy helmet, lamellar barded medium warhorse)

Roman clibanarii with kontos, sword, shield, lamellar armor over chain, and full helmet with mask  on medium warhorse with lamellar barding

7/7

7

28 1/6

180’

FM

Cataphract Cavalry (composite bow, lance, sword, lamellar armor, light helmet, medium warhorse)

Sarmatian medium cavalry with composite bow, kontos, sword, lamellar armor, and light helmet on medium warhorse (no shields)

5/2

4

21 3/6

180’

FM

Cataphract Cavalry (composite bow, lance, sword or battle axe, chainmail armor, chainmail barded medium warhorse)

Parthian cataphract with composite bow, kontos, sword or axe, mail armor, on horse with mail barding (no shields)

4/6

5

24 3/6

180’

FM

Cataphract Cavalry (composite bow, lance, shield, sword or mace, chain, lamellar barded medium warhorse)

Sassanid cataphract with composite bow, kontos, sword or mace, shield, chain mail armor, on horse with metal scale barding (no shields)

5/7

6

26 2/6

180’

FM

Cataphract Cavalry (composite bow, lance, sword or battle axe, lamellar armor, lamellar barded medium warhorse)

Parthian cataphract with composite bow, kontos, sword or axe, metal scale armor, on horse with metal scale barding (no shields)

5/7

6

26 3/6

180’

FM

Cataphract Cavalry (composite bow, lance, sword, shield, plate armor, heavy helmet, lamellar barded medium warhorse)

 

7/7

7

29 1/6

180’

FM

 

Antiquities
Joined: 2013-07-05 19:55

Using Soldiers of the Dragon as a source, here are some troop types for late Han dynasty, Warring States period, and early post-Warring States China. (Apologies for the lack of formatting - I am horrible at HTML coding, and would prefer this at least be semi-legible rather than try to code it)

Mercenary Type Historical Examples AC Enc Move
Light infantry (spear, shield) Han spearman 1 2 120
Light infantry (sword, shield) Han swordsman 1 1 1/6 120
Light infantry (pole arm) Han halberdier 0 1 120
Light infantry (composite bow) Han archer 0 1 120
Light infantry (arbalest) Han crossbowman 0 1 120
Medium infantry (leather, spear, shield) Han spearman 3 4 120
Medium infantry (leather, sword, shield) Han swordsman 3 3 1/6 120
Medium infantry (leather, pole arm) Han halberdier 2 3 120
Medium infantry (leather, composite bow) Han archer 2 3 120
Medium infantry (leather, arbalest) Han crossbowman 2 3 120
Heavy infantry (scale, spear, shield) Han spearman 4 5 120
Heavy infantry (scale, sword, shield) Han swordsman 4 4 1/6 120
Heavy infantry (scale, pole arm) Han halberdier 3 4 120
Heavy infantry (scale, composite bow) Han archer 3 4 120
Heavy infantry (scale, arbalest) Han crossbowman 3 4 120

Light cavalry (crossbow, sword, light horse) Han Chinese cavalry 0/2 16 1/6 240
Light cavalry (polearm, sword, light horse) Han Chinese halberd cavalry 0/2 16 1/6 240
Light cavalry (composite bow, light horse) Han Hsien-nu barbarian auxiliaries 0/2 16 240
Medium cavalry (scale, crossbow, sword, light horse) Han Chinese cavalry 3/2 19 1/6 240
Medium cavalry (scale, polearm, light horse) Han Chinese halberd cavalry 3/2 19 240
Heavy cavalry (lamellar, lance, sword, medium horse with lamellar barding) Post-Warring States lancer 5/6 27 1/6 180

Note that heavy cavalry doesn't appear until the 4th century CE, slightly before the rise of the Northern Wei dynasty. Most infantry would be light; mass conscription was the rule during both the Han and the Warring States period, and conscripts were cheaper than armor. Even Han "heavy infantry" is only equivalent to medium infantry from the antiquity list, but the difference lies in scale - the entire garrison of Egypt in 269 AD had a paper strength of 50,000 soldiers, but Han writers noted that armies of 30,000 were far too small for "modern" times, and a proper field army needed to be around 100,000. This is also why the soldiers don't have secondary weapons; there are apparently accounts of crossbow-equipped soldiers being engaged in melee and having nothing other than the crossbows to defend themselves with, not even daggers (cavalry were a little more valuable, hence the swords as secondary weapons).

Massed arbalesters were popular, as was a lighter crossbow used on horseback (hence why the cavalry is noted as having crossbows, not arbalests). Northern barbarian tribes were often used as auxiliaries, primarily as horse archers. Actual Chinese cavalry was relatively rare, as most of China was not suited for raising horses (and the areas that were often were being disputed with the horse archer people). Most of the infantry should probably be treated as loose foot. Cavalry should all be loose until the sixth century CE, when massed lancers began to be used. Some light cavalry may add leather armor, which will not affect encumbrance of the horse. The "halberd" used by the cavalry was a dagger-axe type, with a spear point and a dagger-like blade at a right angle to the shaft. That blade would often be used to hook opposing cavalry and unhorse them.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

While researching D@W, I had to compile a lot of notes on historical unit types. I thought they  might be helpful for you and others interested in historical scenarios.

Kiero
Domains At War Backer
Joined: 2013-04-26 07:13

Damn, that's awesome and saves me any work on creating troop types for mass combat! Thanks, Alex.

CatDoom
Patreon SupporterSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2013-06-22 19:24

Sorry to dig up a thread that's a few months old (and double-sorry if this question is already answered somewhere on the forums), but I was wondering how one would figure out appropriate monthly wages for differently equipped mercenaries like these.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

You can estimate wage as (cost of equipment) + (cost of training) / UNIT DIVISOR.

Unit Divisor is 15 for Light Infantry and Slingers, 12.5 for Cataphracts, 11 for Heavy Infantry and Heavy Cavalry, 10 for Bowman, Light Cavalry, and Medium Cavalry, 9 for Crossbowman and Horse Archers, and 8 for Longbowman. 

Remember that infantry are assumed to have 45gp in standard kit and cavalry have 80gp in standard kit above the listed weapons. (Exact equipment list is in D@W.)

EXAMPLE: 

Horse Archer has Composite Bow (40gp), Short sword (7gp), Shield (10gp), Leather Armor (20gp), Light Warhorse (150gp), Cavalry Kit (80gp), Ammo (1gp), and 85gp in training (again, see D@W), for a total of 393gp. 393 / 9 = 43.6 ~ 45.

If you then decided to equip the Horse Archers with Lamellar Armor (50gp instead of 20gp) and Leather Barding (40gp), cost would go up to 463gp, which would raise the wages to 51.4, ~ somewhere between 50 and 55gp.

Or, another way to think about it, for most units, every 10gp in equipment changes monthly wage by about 1gp. Heavy infantry in chain instead of banded? 11gp/month. Plate instead of banded? 13gp/month. Note that in most cases it's not really worth worrying about.

This isn't actually how I *calculated* the wages for these units (that's a spreadsheet with a lot of factors, and even then it has been manually adjusted in places based on actual play experiences) but it's worthwhile as a rule-of-thumb.

 

 

 

CatDoom
Patreon SupporterSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2013-06-22 19:24

Thanks a ton! That's amazingly useful :)

LyricAsylum
Joined: 2013-05-19 01:26

I am continually impressed by the high level of designer support these forums receive.