This army list covers “German” armies for the period 1106 to 1235. I used quotation marks because Germany was more of a geographical area than a country during the period, the army could be that of a city state, a bishopric, the Holy Roman Emperor (or King of Germany if he hadn’t fought his way down to Rome to be crowned), the feudal army of a local ruler, or the army of one of the free cantons. I’ll mostly be using this army to represent the Holy Roman Empire in the early 12th century. The figures are only really suitable for the first quarter of the century, so it could be either Heinrich IV or V’s army.
The core of the army is five elements of knights, including the general. This is a little stodgy but to make things interesting the four elements other than the command element can dismount as blades – Germans being quite fond of (and good at) dismounting for combat. The mounted figures are all from my papal Italian, Communal Italian, and East Frankish armies. The dismounted 4Bd elements are Old Glory Norman Foot Command, Norman Armoured Spearmen, and Swabians, together with a Museum Miniatures axeman and a couple of stands from my East Frankish army.
As compulsory infantry there are two elements of spearmen (4Sp), two elements of skirmishing archers (2Ps) and a solitary element of crossbowmen (4Cb). The origin of these troops varies according to the general – they could be mercenaries, city militia, general levies (the heerban) or feudal vassals.
To support the compulsary spearmen there is a choice of two x 4Sp, two x 4Pk, or two x 3Ax. The spearmen are presumably mercenaries, I’ve borrowed some Old Glory spearmen off my other armies for these.
The optional pikemen represent Low Countries militia pikemen. I doubt that pikemen were much in evidence in the period I’ve modelled my army for, but they may prove useful and they look nice too! They are Museum Miniatures (with the kite shields) and some Essex figures that look to be for the high middle ages but were supplied with their East Frankish army pack. The pikes have all been replaced with Xyston ones. Even with the tips filed they are still very sharp!
The two optional 3Ax elements represent troops from the Free Cantons – ‘peasant republics’ around the fringes of Germany with terrain that didn’t favour knights (otherwise they wouldn’t have been free for long!) – such as the marshy areas on the North German Plain. These are Feudal Castings Saxons, which is fairly appropriate.
This army will be quite fun to get to know. Although the mounted troops are a homogenous bunch of knights, their ability to dismount as well as the various infantry options should keep things interesting.