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Thread: [Faction Research] County of Flanders

  1. #101
    lolIsuck's Avatar WE HAVE NO CAKE?!
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    Default Re: [Faction Research] County of Flanders

    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterbruder44 View Post
    Antwerpse kempen (In de middeleeuwen deel van Brabant),
    och Turnhout, stedeke schône...

    I actually meant I was sad Brabant wasn't included
    Yes, it's a shame actually but we have to make choices and I wasn't there when they were made.
    I always mix up Turnhout with Sint Truiden in location. I'm from Heerlen, Limburg.

  2. #102
    ╬Ritterbruder╬'s Avatar Princeps Prior
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    Default Re: [Faction Research] County of Flanders

    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomo Colonna View Post
    ah just great, sorry to haven't read the post before
    I think I have such shafted crescent in stock...
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    holy flippin' jezus! that's exactly the picture I'm talking about, where did you find it?
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  3. #103
    ╬Ritterbruder╬'s Avatar Princeps Prior
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    Default Re: [Faction Research] County of Flanders

    Quote Originally Posted by lolIsuck View Post
    Yes, it's a shame actually but we have to make choices and I wasn't there when they were made.
    I always mix up Turnhout with Sint Truiden in location. I'm from Heerlen, Limburg.
    Ah, that's rather close by from where I live
    'Gaming, it brings people together'
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  4. #104
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    Default Re: [Faction Research] County of Flanders

    I've been reading through one of the Welsh chronicles, and it appears the Flemish, or Flemings as they were called, had a pretty surprising role in their history. Sometime in the 1100's there was a large migration of Flemings to England, something about their land flooding I think, and the King of England decided to settle them in Wales. Naturally the Welsh weren't too pleased about it, so they took to burning down Flemish colonies rather often. This created a bit of a rivalry, and so Flemish mercenaries were actually quite common in English armies not just in the 12th century, but even to the 13th. The Welsh chroniclers though didn't seem to respect them much, one Welsh leader is reported as encouraging his army by saying "Fear not, for they are the troops of the Flemings!" and at one point the chronicler himself said:
    And after joining battle, with cruel fighting on every side, the Flemings and the French (Normans) took to flight, according to their usual custom.
    Apparently the stereotypes about the French a tad older than most Americans thing, though to be fair the Welsh were a tad biased against invaders to say the least. Still though, I wonder if this could be reflected in the game somehow to give the English Flemish soldiers more easily. It seems the English army of the 11-1200's was quite the international force, with Flemings, Welsh, Gascons, Normans, Saxons, Irish, Bretons, and others.
    Last edited by Hresvelgr; March 25, 2012 at 06:24 PM.
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  5. #105
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    Default Re: [Faction Research] County of Flanders

    Quote Originally Posted by Hresvelgr View Post
    I've been reading through one of the Welsh chronicles, and it appears the Flemish, or Flemings as they were called, had a pretty surprising role in their history. Sometime in the 1100's there was a large migration of Flemings to England, something about their land flooding I think, and the King of England decided to settle them in Wales. Naturally the Welsh weren't too pleased about it, so they took to burning down Flemish colonies rather often. This created a bit of a rivalry, and so Flemish mercenaries were actually quite common in English armies not just in the 12th century, but even to the 13th. The Welsh chroniclers though didn't seem to respect them much, one Welsh leader is reported as encouraging his army by saying "Fear not, for they are the troops of the Flemings!" and at one point the chronicler himself said:
    Apparently the stereotypes about the French a tad older than most Americans thing, though to be fair the Welsh were a tad biased against invaders to say the least. Still though, I wonder if this could be reflected in the game somehow to give the English Flemish soldiers more easily. It seems the English army of the 11-1200's was quite the international force, with Flemings, Welsh, Gascons, Normans, Saxons, Irish, Bretons, and others.
    there are small groups of Flemish scattered all over Europe due to various reasons, I think there's a small minority in Romania even.
    Every medieval army was a mix of loads of nationalities, since every professional soldier was welcomed by every king in need and they would fight for the highest bidder, whoever that might be
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  6. #106
    Plumo's Avatar Taihō no heishi
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    Default Re: [Faction Research] County of Flanders

    I read about an English king ( Stephen I) whose lieutenant was a Flemish nobleman, probably with a retinue of Flemish mercenaries. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_of_Ypres

    Also : I read that the area of Pembrokeshire was being colonised by Flemings, supported by the king of England of course. It can't be a surprise that the Welsh were pissed off

    I think Flemings also spread out eastwards, pushing Germany's borders further east by felling the forests.
    Last edited by Plumo; March 26, 2012 at 07:24 AM.

  7. #107
    Plumo's Avatar Taihō no heishi
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    Default Re: [Faction Research] County of Flanders

    I sent the ideas ( by lollsuck, Jean-A-Luc and others ) for the unit roster of Flanders to Kor Bosch. Some of you may know him as the creator of the Age of Chivalry mod for Age of Empires 2. He knows a lot about the history of Flanders (Flanders is actually a playable civ in Age of Chivalry).

    I ll put his proposed unit roster here and I ll add his comments on the old roster later.

    - Boerenmilitie (peasant militia)
    They can even be armed with a goedendag (maybe as upgrade?)

    - Poorters/Ambachtsmilitie (with goedendag) (trained town militia)

    - Patriciërs (with swords) (Patricians)

    - Piekeniers ( with pikes or lances)

    - Witte Kaproenen (special unit from the city of Ghent)

    - Voetboogschutten ( "pavise" crossbowmen)

    - Handboogschutten ( longbowmen)

    - Poorterlijke Ruiterij ( patrician cavalry)

    - Edelknapen ( squires)

    - Ridders ( knights)
    Last edited by Plumo; May 08, 2012 at 04:41 AM.

  8. #108
    lolIsuck's Avatar WE HAVE NO CAKE?!
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    Default Re: [Faction Research] County of Flanders

    Sounds cool, would love to hear what he says.

  9. #109
    Plumo's Avatar Taihō no heishi
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    Default Re: [Faction Research] County of Flanders

    Kor's thoughts and comments:

    On "Soldeniers":

    Actually means mercenary ( someone receiving a "soldij", which is Dutch for a pay/wage). Militia ( as mentioned armed with a goedendag) aren't likely to be soldeniers, as the militia were no mercenaries.

    On "Serianten":

    Historical meaning of the word serianten is very vague, according to Kor. It can mean anything from squire to warrior. He referred to this website containing Middle Dutch ( medieval Dutch) language words :
    http://gtb.inl.nl/iWDB/search?actie=...&lemma=seriant

    On "Poorters":

    Poorters are not equal to wealthy patricians! People living in a city can be divided into two groups, those with city rights, and those without. Poorters had those city rights, which gave them access to a guild ( which was THE most important social structure in any city, every profession was organised in a guild) and thus social status. The amount of Poorters in a city was sometimes quite big, although not everyone in a city had those rights. As a unit, poorters formed the town militia. Also, like any other guild, the guilds of crossbowmen and longbowmen consisted only of 'poorters'.

    On "Nobelen":

    Nobele refers to the higher nobility, which in Flanders at that time didn't particiapte in battle that much / was not so plenty in numbers. Kor suggests to use the word: "Ridders" which means knights.

    Kor suggests an overhaul of the infantry roster:

    The majority of the infantry ought to be town militia: he suggested the name 'Ambachtsmilitie' ( ambacht refers to being member of a guild more or less). Most probably they were armed with goedendags.

    In smaller numbers there is also heavy infantry, armed with swords. They represent the 'Patriciers'. The wealthier town members, having the money to pay for good armour and weaponry.

    According to Kor, 'Piekeniers' ( armed with a pike or lance?) only became popular in the 14/15th century in Flanders.

    'Witte Kaproenen' ( a local elite unit from Gent), although not much is known about their weaponry or armour. Most probably they used goedendags and swords as well. Witte means White, and Kaproen means hood. They wore white hoods, that's something we know atleast.

    °°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°

    My additional comments (DJPLUMO):

    - Faulchions were also used in Flanders at that time, cause they were cheaper to make than swords. But I don't know if it historically correct that a whole unit only used this weapon...
    Last edited by Plumo; May 08, 2012 at 12:54 PM.

  10. #110
    Polycarpe's Avatar Back into action!
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    Default Re: [Faction Research] County of Flanders

    Quote Originally Posted by Plumo View Post
    I sent the ideas ( by lollsuck, Jean-A-Luc and others ) for the unit roster of Flanders to Kor Bosch. Some of you may know him as the creator of the Age of Chivalry mod for Age of Empires 2. He knows a lot about the history of Flanders (Flanders is actually a playable civ in Age of Chivalry).

    I ll put his proposed unit roster here and I ll add his comments on the old roster later.
    - Boerenmilitie (peasant militia)
    They can even be armed with a goedendag (maybe as upgrade?)
    Goedendag, from what I've read with the references given in this thread, it was a popular and common Flemish weapons which would make sense.

    - Poorters/Ambachtsmilitie (with goedendag) (trained town militia)
    Urban Militia I believe. trained and equipped by their towns/guilds?

    - Patriciërs (with swords) (Patricians)
    I guess they will be Regulars?

    - Piekeniers ( with pikes or lances)
    Same as above

    - Witte Kaproenen (special unit from the city of Ghent)
    From which guild(s) they were particularly active?

    - Voetboogschutten ( "pavise" crossbowmen)
    I'm hesitant to make those crossbowmen as vanilla which they were carrying their pavise in their back, Flemish crossbowmen were usually using their pavise as wall, setting them in ground by a pavise carrier?

    - Handboogschutten ( longbowmen)
    I know England and Flanders were usually trade partners but do you have any more info about the presence of the longbow and his importance?

    - Poorterlijke Ruiterij (patrician cavalry)
    I believe they would be Regulars?

    - Edelknapen ( squires)
    Infantry or cavalry?

    - Ridders ( knights)
    Probably as the standards of Western Europe but less available.

    Quote Originally Posted by Plumo View Post
    Kor's thoughts and comments:
    On "Soldeniers":

    Actually means mercenary ( someone receiving a "soldij", which is Dutch for a pay/wage). Militia ( as mentioned armed with a goedendag) aren't likely to be soldeniers, as the militia were no mercenaries.
    Regulars are also acting as mercenaries, therefore perhaps the Patricians may be part of mercenary crews?

    On "Serianten":

    Historical meaning of the word serianten is very vague, according to Kor. It can mean anything from squire to warrior. He referred to this website containing Middle Dutch ( medieval Dutch) language words :
    http://gtb.inl.nl/iWDB/search?actie=...&lemma=seriant
    So it has being ignored.

    On "Poorters":

    Poorters are not equal to wealthy patricians! People living in a city can be divided into two groups, those with city rights, and those without. Poorters had those city rights, which gave them access to a guild ( which was THE most important social structure in any city, every profession was organised in a guild) and thus social status. The amount of Poorters in a city was sometimes quite big, although not everyone in a city had those rights. As a unit, poorters formed the town militia. Also, like any other guild, the guilds of crossbowmen and longbowmen consisted only of 'poorters'.
    Interesting to know, so in a sense, it was among the first to have some sort of national professional armies composed of modest men?

    On "Nobelen":

    Nobele refers to the higher nobility, which in Flanders at that time didn't particiapte in battle that much / was not so plenty in numbers. Kor suggests to use the word: "Ridders" which means knights.
    Noted. Decreased capability of nobles for Flanders.

    Kor suggests an overhaul of the infantry roster:

    The majority of the infantry ought to be town militia: he suggested the name 'Ambachtsmilitie' ( ambacht refers to being member of a guild more or less). Most probably they were armed with goedendags.
    Noted.

    In smaller numbers there is also heavy infantry, armed with swords. They represent the 'Patriciers'. The wealthier town members, having the money to pay for good armour and weaponry.
    Were Patriciers were loyal only to Flanders or they were also mercenaries?

    According to Kor, 'Piekeniers' ( armed with a pike or lance?) only became popular in the 14/15th century in Flanders.
    So, in the HYW, Flanders were often using a pike. Does the pike was present in the 13th century?

    'Witte Kaproenen' ( a local elite unit from Gent), although not much is known about their weaponry or armour. Most probably they used goedendags and swords as well. Witte means White, and Kaproen means hood. They wore white hoods, that's something we know atleast.
    Probably a heavy swordsmen infantry, the elite of the Urban militia, part of guilds.

    °°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°

    My additional comments (DJPLUMO):

    - Faulchions were also used in Flanders at that time, cause they were cheaper to make than swords. But I don't know if it historically correct that a whole unit only used this weapon...
    As we decided to do with the units, one-handed weapons will be all mixed in a unit; axes, swords, falchions, maces, etc. will be all mixed in the unit.

  11. #111
    Plumo's Avatar Taihō no heishi
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    Default Re: [Faction Research] County of Flanders

    I ll see if I can find an answer to your questions, Polycarpe. In the meantime I also sent your comments to Kor. I hope he responds, as he is a busy guy

    My thoughts on witte kaproenen:

    The references mention them as a kind of 'police force' of the city of Gent, protecting city officials and city commerce.
    Numbers: Around 300 of them during important raids when Gent felt (economically) threatened ( like in 1379) but often their numbers were smaller.

    Sadly, there are no reliable pictures of them. A white hood is for sure though. But we know nothing about their weaponry or armor.

    I would make them a special militia/regular unit:

    - High morale
    - Fast, Agile unit ( they sometimes raided towns or villages near Gent during conflicts)
    - Better armed than 'ambachtsmilitie' (swords?) but not armoured like patricians...
    - Limited in numbers ( 2-3 units?) and can only be recruited in Gent
    - Lower public unrest?
    Last edited by Plumo; May 10, 2012 at 09:36 AM.

  12. #112
    Ikko-Ikki
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    Default Re: [Faction Research] County of Flanders

    Hi, Bastiaan sent me the link to the forum and as I remembered having a TWC account, I may as well reply directly. I shall reply to the questions raised unit by unit, rather than quoting all your concerns/questions, so the post will be less cluttered.

    - Boerenmilitie (peasant militia)
    They can even be armed with a goedendag (maybe as upgrade?)

    - Poorters/Ambachtsmilitie (with goedendag) (trained town militia)
    The equipment of urban troops was usually guild-based, but all people who were capable of doing so had to provide their own armour. There was usually a guild armoury, however, which would be used to equip the poorer guild members.

    - Patriciërs (with swords) (Patricians)
    I'm not sure what you mean by regulars - I would probably consider the ambachtsmilitie to be actual regulars (the most common troops and of decent quality, as battles like Kortrijk in 1302 proved) and patriciërs an elite unit - although basically the lowest level of elite possible.

    - Piekeniers ( with pikes or lances)
    The pike only really became used in the 14th century. There is a mention of them at the battle of Bouvines (1214) but in that case it was being used by Brabançon mercenaries. There are, to my knowledge, no instances known where the Flemish used pikes in the 13th century.

    - Witte Kaproenen (special unit from the city of Ghent)
    The Witte Kaproenen were, like the various schutten, a specific military organisation that was not linked to any specific guild. It was stand-alone and recruited from volunteers who met the requirements. Although members had to be a poorter, they could come from any guild. Their numbers fluctuated wildly depending on the circumstances.

    - Voetboogschutten ( "pavise" crossbowmen)
    The term just means crossbowman (with a crossbow that is reloaded by putting one's foot in a handle at the front and then pulling back the string using a pulley or using a hook attached to the belt). The pavise is optional.

    - Handboogschutten ( longbowmen)
    Most towns in the medieval Low Countries had to separate archery guilds: one with crossbowmen, one with archers. The term 'longbow' was not in use yet in Dutch at the time and there's really no pictures of the guilds available, but the archery guilds started training while youths (they had both a youth and adult wing, much like modern sporting societies). The only image I've managed to find of Flemish archers (as opposed to crossbowmen) is a part of the Leugemeetefries which has been posted earlier in the topic - the now lost 14th century fresco showing the Ghent army in procession, only copies of which exist. These also show archers, unfortunately on an image I have not been able to find elsewhere - I found it in Peter Arnade's Realms of Ritual. Burgundian Ceremony and Civic Life in Late Medieval Ghent p69, but Google Books has kindly hidden the file for copyright reasons. I am no archery specialist, but the bow they use seems larger than the one used by M2TW's archers. The bows are not, however, as tall as the archers themselves, which I suppose is the definition of the longbow. So I'd say it's somewhere in between. However, it is important to note that in the cases I know of the crossbow guilds predated the archery guilds - the normal or longbow only became popularised in the course of the 14th century. In some cases the archery guilds were even founded at the same time the presence of English longbow mercenaries can be recorded (such as Maastricht around 1400, which is not in Flanders but which was culturally similar). I believe the presence of English archers throughout the Low Countries certainly helped popularise the weapon, whereas earlier the crossbow had dominated.

    - Poorterlijke Ruiterij ( patrician cavalry)
    Same as with Patriciërs. They would be equivalent to the game's Merchant Cavalry. I'm not sure about including them as mercenaries - they usually had too much vested interest to bother with warfare as a profession. I would sooner expect this from edelknapen or ridders, who would hire themselves out in times of financial need.

    - Edelknapen ( squires)
    I suggested these as medium cavalry, but historically they also fought on foot when necessary. This happened, for example, at Kortrijk, where the chronicles explicitly tell us even the Flemish commanders and their retinues dismounted.

    Other points:
    Interesting to know, so in a sense, it was among the first to have some sort of national professional armies composed of modest men?
    These were certainly no national armies yet. The counts would often rely on their knights rather than the urban militias, it's just that the counts were very unsuccessful at consolidating urban support and so for long stretches of time the cities could rule supreme. But this was not on a national basis - the cities often had bitter rivalries, particularly Ghent and Bruges, and would fight each other as often as not. During the 1379-85 Ghent revolt the Ghenters had to spend half the time forcefully capturing other Flemish cities and then imposing puppet regimes to keep them under control.

    Regarding Plumo's description of the Witte Kaproenen, this is correct, I also agree with his suggested stats. They are often described as a police force, but I think Peter Arnade is more apt by calling them a 'paramilitary force'. They were very adaptable and formed the core of the Ghent army in the 1379-85 and also the 1453 revolts. They fought pitched battles, stormed cities, defended cities, etcetera. Their actions are often singled out by Froissart, who says there were initially 500 of them, but later their number had apparently been raised to at least 1200. Unfortunately he does not describe their equipment.

    Hope this helps!

  13. #113
    Plumo's Avatar Taihō no heishi
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    Default Re: [Faction Research] County of Flanders

    Welcome back on the forums Kor.

    On the wikipedia page of the witte kaproenen someone also wrote that both Ieper and Bruges had a unit like that, but with hoods in a different colour. There is no reference whatsoever, though.

    Do you know anything about them? I have found no information about those supposed units, maybe it's a fake?

  14. #114
    Ikko-Ikki
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    Default Re: [Faction Research] County of Flanders

    They were also historical, but not really used as widely - both those cities were less active militarily than Ghent, and they never built up a comparable reputation. There's even a quote in Froissart where the leader of the White Hoods mocks those other groups as ineffective, when the count of Flanders tries to have the Witte Kaproenen disbanded out of fear:
    When they heard that the count was asking that the White Hoods be disbanded, they were silent, but Jan Yoens spoke as follows, "Good people of Ghent gathered here. You know and have seen, and you see now that the White Hoods protect and restore your interests better than the Reds and Blacks and hoods of any other colours. There are many who are afraid of them, but be assured all of you, and say that I told you so, that as soon as the White Hoods are suppressed, according to my lord's command to disband them, I will not give three pennies for your privileges."
    Froissart, Chroniques, book II, 15v.

  15. #115
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    Default Re: [Faction Research] County of Flanders

    Thanks!

    I also don't know yet how the mod will simulate the many feuds and rivalries between the cities ( like Gent and Bruges f.e.). The player is supposed to be playing the count of Flanders ingame, not one of the cities (also playing as Gent could be very interesting).

    Kor, do you also have information about mercenaries used in Flanders? I mean: from Brabant, France, England, etc... to flavour up the unit roster?

  16. #116
    Wareg's Avatar Aquilifer
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    Default Re: [Faction Research] County of Flanders

    - Piekeniers ( with pikes or lances)
    The pike only really became used in the 14th century. There is a mention of them at the battle of Bouvines (1214) but in that case it was being used by Brabançon mercenaries. There are, to my knowledge, no instances known where the Flemish used pikes in the 13th century.
    In descriptions of battle of Courtrai(1302) geldon and goedendag are mentioned as most typical weapons so I think that It is unlikely that geldon appaeared in Flemish army so rapidly, It is rather logical that It was used also in XIII century. What more Flanders were neighbours to Brabancon so such early appearance in both states seems to be probable. I've found somewhere that Flanders used pike also in XII(!) century but I've forgotten source I'll try to find It.

  17. #117
    Ikko-Ikki
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    Default Re: [Faction Research] County of Flanders

    Wareg:
    You are correct, the pike was invented earlier.
    My reason for giving the 14th/15th century for the rise of Flemish pikemen is the following. Historians typically accept the early 14th century as the period of the 'rise of the infantry'. In Flanders this led to a combined goedendag/pike formation (with crossbow support), but the pike here was much less dominant than in the two other pivotal areas for the rise of the infantry: Scotland and the Swiss cantons. Unfortunately, although it is very likely that the Flemish militias deployed pikes already in the 13th century, I'm not aware of any sources that mention them in action. This is not terribly surprising, because 13th century historians were very brief about anyone who was not a knight and just tended to tag them together as a single group, usually calling them something fairly meaningless like 'pedites', which just says they were on foot. At the same time, they were not as active as they became in the 14th century, and urban revolts were less ambitious.

    So in the 14th century, pikemen became more prominent in urban militia armies, at least in the sources. The 15th century is another turning point, because that's when they began to be employed in considerable numbers by feudal lords (especially in the second half of that century). The 1479 battle of Guinegate, for example, was a victory for Maximilian of Habsburg thanks to his Flemish pikemen, while his noble cavalry was actually routed. It was in that period that Flemish pikemen also became famous as mercenaries. So we can see a very slow evolution of the pike throughout these three centuries - in the 13th century, it is highly probably that the pike became more popular, but it was only used successfully and in large numbers until the 14th; and it was not finally recognised as a powerful tool by the nobles until the 15th century.


    Plumo:
    This is quite difficult. In the 12th and 13th centuries, Brabançons were very popular as mercenaries, to such an extent that the term became a generic word for mercenaries, many of which probably did not come from the Low Countries. But as those at Bouvines were commanded in the battle by a vassal of the count of Flanders (the count of Boulogne) it is only logical to assume that this particular band originated from the Low Countries, and I would certainly make them available to the Flemish as a mercenary unit - essentially, infantry with a long pike and high morale. They made the last stand in that battle.

    Otherwise, I'm not quite sure. The history of Flanders is a little complicated because the counts were so often impotent, either locked up by the French or exiled by the Flemish, and in the 15th century, with the Burgundians taking over, they were just one of many provinces in a larger realm. Clearly, there was a lot of interaction between the surrounding territories, and I'm sure mercenaries from these regions would have fought for pay if the opportunity arose (as we already saw with the Brabançons). There is one interesting incident I remember: in the 1379 revolt, the Liègeois actually came to the assistance of the Ghenters. They supported the Ghent revolt (they were also regularly rebelling against their own lord, the prince-bishop of Liège, so there was some solidarity here). I think they mostly sent supplies, however. I'll see if I can find any other recorded uses of mercenaries.

  18. #118
    Wareg's Avatar Aquilifer
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    Default Re: [Faction Research] County of Flanders

    Kornelis, interesting post , only one note: pike wasn't very popular (at least must less popular than halberd) in Swiss Cantons before 1422(from battle of Arbedo proportion of pikes started to rise).

    This sentence is essential:
    This is not terribly surprising, because 13th century historians were very brief about anyone who was not a knight and just tended to tag them together as a single group, usually calling them something fairly meaningless like 'pedites', which just says they were on foot.
    Unfortunatelly we can only guess that militia weapons mentioned as specific for state/region in XIV century (mentioned cause of massacres of arrogant knights) were also using earlier. Halberds in Swiss Cantons or goedendags and pikes in County of Flanders in XIII century seems likely.

  19. #119
    Plumo's Avatar Taihō no heishi
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    Default Re: [Faction Research] County of Flanders

    So we could add a few mercenary units to the region like "Brabancon Mercenaries", possibly also from Hainault or Liege?

    Also, are you aware of English mercenaries ( like longbowmen etc.) in Flanders?

    Thanks in advance.

  20. #120
    lolIsuck's Avatar WE HAVE NO CAKE?!
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    Default Re: [Faction Research] County of Flanders

    Can you think of any region-specific units in the Low Countries as mercenaries? I thought Brabant had a good reputation on knights and since we can't include all those counties and duchies it would be nice to have some regional units and mercs.

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