The Konstantinian Byzantine army list covers the period from the ascension of Konstantinos IX until the capture of Emperor Romanos IV at the Battle of Manzikert. The period was characterised by the usual Byzantine internal strife, but seems to have been peaceful enough to encourage military cost cutting to be carried out. Romanos IV attempted to reverse this decline, but was obviously unsuccessful! The army is a ‘cut down’ and slightly degraded Nikephorian army bolstered by mercenaries.
The Konstantinian Byzantine army arrayed – shown with all its options
There are three 3Cv elements in the army, including the general. The command element is from my Nikephorean army, as is the kavallarioi element on the left in the picture below. The newly painted Outpost Wargames Services element in the centre is made up of lancer figures only, representing provincial kavallarioi who lacked archery training.
Italo-Norman (‘Frankish’ to the Byzantines, who seem to have thought themselves as being Romans, back in the glory days of the empire) mercenaries make their first appearance in this army list, in the form of a 3Kn element. They will be much easier to use than the double based klibanophoroi in the Nikephorian list.
Italo-Norman mercenary knights
There are two 2LH elements in the army, one compulsary and one optional. These are a mixture of regular Byzantines and mercenaries of Pecheneg, Cuman, Turk, or Alan extraction. I’ve used the prokoursatores from my Nikephorean army, and Outpost Wargames Services Pechenegs. Looking at the DBM list they could be all mercenaries (and should be a mixture of nationalities), but probably not all Byzantines. The mercenaries may have been taken on to make up for the decline in horse archery in the kavallarioi.
Prokoursatores and Pechenegs
The bulk of the infantry is three elements of skutatoi (shieldmen) from the Nikephorean list, although by the period covered by this list they had the slightly more agressive name of kontaratoi (spearmen). Regardless of their name they are still rated as 8Bw, reflecting the massed archers that the kontaratoi formed up with.
There is one compulsary Sp element in the army. These could either be Varangian Guards (who apparently fought as spearmen in the period) or contingents of marines. I’ve chosen the latter as I already have some nice Essex Varangian Guard axemen, who will serve in my Komnenan army. These figures, from Outpost Wargames Services) will also serve in that army, but as regular infantry spearmen. They may be useful for protecting the kontaratoi from enemy infantry.
To support the heavy infantry there are two elements of psiloi. These are archers from my Nikephorian army, and Khurasan miniatures ‘akontistai’ (javelinmen who provided close support to the kontaratoi).
Skirmishing archers and akontistai
The optional troops in this army are quite a mixed bag: 1x4Bw, 1xArt, or 1x2LH. I can’t see myself choosing the Bw too often as the army already has three of them. The artillery might be useful to work with the Bows to cover a good portion of the battlefield, but I think I’m going to be choosing the Light Horse (described above) the most.
The optional ballista
Lastly there is an optional 4Bw element. Looking at the DBM army list there are no separate bows, so this is either some mistake or perhaps a remnant from the 7th Edition. These are Outpost Wargames Services figures, and they will find a place in my Komnenan Byzantine army.