Hi all, maybe someone of you remember me for the Warwagon mod....Now i'm working on a new project called CSUR - Complete Sicilian Unit Roster. The first goal of this project is to recreate the entire roster of the Kingdom of Sicily between 1150 and 1400 allowing users to know something that had been very important during the medieval age in italy...something that most of us don't know.
One of the most difficult things of this project is the historical research because i want to realise something that must be historically correct and good to see in the same time. And it's for this reason that i want to thank my friend Zames that help me with the research and with units descriprtions.
We have done our best and we hope that you guys will enjoy this preview until the release.
BASE ROSTER (1150-1400)
When a lord calls for war, many peasants, obliged or in search of fortune, join armies, even if totally unfit for battle. In fact, even if they use a lot of agricultural weapons such as hammers, axes and scythes, from which derived many famous medieval weapons, they are totally unable to fight and without defences. They can be used in diversion actions to favorite manuevers by better soldiers, but they should be fast in doing them because peasants cannot stand in line too much, before flee.
The bow is one of the most ancient weapons men have invented, and one of the most used during Middle Ages, either by professional soldiers or by hunters. These archers are hunters and peasants, obliged to serve during a military campaign or in search of fortune. They can be very useful to disrupt enemy ranks faster and more frequently than crossbowmen, cause of the less time charging the weapon, but surely not with the same strenght. They don't have defences, other than some occasional light gambeson, and they have only a knife for the hand-to-hand combat, which is a chance to avoid if possibile, because they couldn't resist more than a few minutes.
Members of new nobility, either Norman or German or French or Aragonese, imposed their dominion when they conquered Southern Italy, and so they can command from lower classes of citizens and from the country soldiers which receive a minaml training needed to fight and stand in line during a battle. Surely thay aren't the best soldiers available, but they are numerous and they can engage the front enemy for some time, while the powerful heavy cavalry charges rears or flanks. The onyl protections they have are a light gambeson (occasionally) and a medium size shield.
The crossbow is one of the most typical medieval weapons, and one of the deadliest (in fact in 1139 Pope Innocenzo III tried in vain to prohibit its use between christian armies) and one of the easiest in learning to use. So, commanders worthy of the name should always have crossbowmen in their armies. Southern-Italy crossbowmen maybe aren't renowned as Northern Italy ones, but surely they aren't less effective: as well as long distance combat, they can also fight in a hand-to-hand combat, cause of the protection of the gambeson (and occasionally of chainmails) and of the helmet, and cause of swords and falchions they are equipped with. Obviously, if possible they shouldn't fight directly in melee.
SICULO-NORMAN ROSTER (1150-1194)
It may seem strange, but who unified Southern Italy was a group of men from the far north: the Normans. Although it was a violent conquest, the result was one of the most cultured States during the Middle-Ages, the Kingdom of Sicily. These Norman Knights, who form the Southern Italy nobility, are direct descendants of the men who came from the North, and have preserved the indomitable warrior spirit and the ferocity in battle of them. Great warriors, either on horseback or on foot, they are equipped with a good chainmail, the best helmets and great shields.
Nobles are not alone when they take part to a military in campaign: their attendants and squires are with them, with the task of going into battle equipped with what they can afford. In the Siculo-Norman knights case, these warriors are called "familia", and they form groups of light cavalry (even if they can fight also on foot). They don't have a complex equipment, in fact not many can afford a chainmail, so the majority has only the protection of padded coats, nasal helmets and kite shields, while their main weapons are a light lance, if on horseback, and a good sword.
The javelin is one of the most common throwing weapon of Ancient and Middle Ages, although for many peoples is more typical as a war weapon. In Kingdom of Sicily, the use of javelin is a heritage from previous Arabic and Byzantine conquests. Javelinmen don't come from rich classes, but they can afford a good equipment (a gambeson and a little, round shield), and they are useful to disrupt enemy ranks before a charge by heavier soldiers, such as cavalry.
In close combat they can use a falchion, but they aren't really reliable in this sense.
HOHENSTAUFEN ROSTER (1194-1265)
Surely the most faithfull troops of the Swabian monarchs in Southern Italy, these Saracens don't come from Lucera: in fact they are descendant of those muslims that Frederick II wanted to move from the Sicilian city of Girgenti to resettle the Pugliese country, in 1220. Even if unpopular to local people cause of their origins, Lucera Saracens were not only tireless farmers but also excellent and faithfull warriors, expecially skilled in using the bow; historically they proved their worth and their loyalty many times, for example during the battles of Parma, Cortenuova and Benevento.
Elite archers and warriors, their typical weapon is obviously the bow, and they have also an eastern curved sword. They mainly fight on foot, but they can fight also on horseback forming a medium-light cavalry.
Frederick II, taking possession and staying almost only in Southern Italy, has taken with him many members of the German nobility to govern many cities of the Kingdom of Sicily, even if he allowed some loyal old Norman families to remain at their place. When war calls, german barons are ready to go into battle with their king as knights, forming the heavy cavalry, unstoppable riding their warhorses but deadly also on foot.
Their equipment is formed by chainmail, helmet and shield, and occasionally also by an advanced and innovative leather protection from Germany.
HEAVY GHIBELLINE SPEARMEN
The reign period of Frederick II and Manfred in Southern Italy was also the time of greatest power of ghibellinism in all Italy. In many Italian Communes pro-imperial factions prevail on guelph ones (such as in Tuscany in that period), receiving support from the Emperor and helping him in exchange, expecially militarily, giving the most typical Italian medieval troops.
These disciplined soldiers are equipped with great shields ("palvesi" and "tavolacci") and spears, and they're able also to sustain a cavalry charge.
Medieval Italy is know as land of Lordships, but also as a land of mercenaries. In fact militias are often insufficient to compose a complete army, so professional soldiers called "stipendiarii" (from latin "stipendiarius", that is "hired") are recruited, and most of them are Germans.
Equipped with various weapons (swords, maces, axes), they form a good heavy-medium infantry, more suitable to break enemy lines than stand in line as italian communal militias.
I want to point out that heraldry on Hohenstaufen and next nobles shields were made only after a deep research about real families in those periods and places, to take more realism and historical accuracy to our work. We cannot make the same work for norman shields because we unfortunately have lack of informations about this feature.
The second preview will be ready for the first months of the next year (i don't know exactly when). It will show the angevin roster of the Kingdom of Sicily(1265-1302), the angevin roster of the Kingdom of Naples (1302-1400 circa) and the aragon roster of the Kingdom of Trinacria (1302-1400 circa)
Mr.Crow: idea, 3d models, textures [click here if you want to rep him]
Zames: research, descriptions, ui cards, screens for preview [click here if you want to rep him]
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