Sorry for the very late reply I had some full weeks, with work and searches and seems that finding a good apartment is way harder than I thought
By comparison, Oastea cea mare was called just in moments of serious danger, playing an immanently defensive role, and being called for relatively short periods of time, in order to advert serious economic damage.
On the other hand, there were a few corps were permanently (mercenaries) or semi-permanently (Plaiesi/Potecasi[border guards] and part of the later Slujitori [Calarasi de margine]) under arms.
Unfortunately, information are too lapidary to draw a clear conclusion, although material remains and the few literary informations suggest a somewhat widespread use of chain mail and a simpler type of brigandine.What evidence do we have of (some) curteni wearing mail? I’m happy to support it if it’s there. Do we have actual evidence of different types of curteni: some heavier with mail, lance shield; others lighter as unarmoured horse archers? Or is this supposition?
According to Laonic Chalcocondil the shield used by Romanians were “large, long, similar to those used by tatars”. The heavy armours of XVIth century were rarely used, the Romanian boyars and curteni often used chain mails (often enforced with lamellar appliqués) and sometimes cuirasses. Heavy armors were mostly used by important military leaders or foreign mercenaries. In 1377, Radu I of Wallachia commanded from Venice 10,000 heavy armors for its soldiers. The poorer soldiers often used cuirasses made of rigid leather and filled with pieces of cloth and other textile materials. The Saxon geographer Georg Reciherstorffer, as well as the Italian Anton Verancsics relates that the “heavy cuirasses are very rare, only the richer (probably exaggerated) have steel helmet and chain mail, as cuirass the use cloths filled with cotton or flax, 3-4 digits thick.” In 1569, the Moldavian ruler Alexandru Lapusenanu ordered chain mails, while 1574, the boyar Albu Golescu is represented on its tombstone wearing chain mail and steel helmet (calotte type).
Source: Istoria Militara a poprului Roman
I’m going to throw a potential spanner into all of this now. In Vlad the Impaler supplement for Warhammer Historical, Dan Minculescu has an interesting take on the breakdown of a Wallachian/Moldavian army, esp the cavalry. Aside from the Royal Guard which is only available if the prince is present, the top-down order is: Viteji, Curteni, Boieri, Calarasi. This is how they are described:
The name of Viteji (literary: The braves) was used for two different, and probably unrelated categories. The first category of Viteji appears in late XIV-early XVth century in Moldova, being included among the prominent members of Prince's Council (Sfat), but separated from the senior boyars. Curiously, sometime in early XV century these Viteji vanish from records, probably being assimilated in the mass of senior boyars.Viteji (0-1 unit): Viteji were wealthy landowners directly responsible to the Voievod, from whom they held their hereditarily transmitted domains. They fought on horseback and were the most loyal and dependable of the Voievod’s troops. Equipment: hand weapon, light armour, thrusting spear, heavy mace, shield and horse. May wear heavy or partial plate armour. Viteji are eastern shock cavalry. Me: their profile is superior to other troops.
Me again: interestingly, in the link you provided to the History of the Romanian Protection Services, the Braves (Viteji) appear: “Romanian Guard was led by a chief magistrate who had the privilege of wearing the sword prince. Prince bodyguard consisted of small or middle nobility and free peasants "caftan" (ennobled) by rule. In Moldova, Prince companions are sometimes called "brave", reflecting the recruitment of fighters among the elite.”
Could it be feasible that the viteji make a quantum leap from peasantry to companions of the Prince, rather than up to lesser boyar status alongside curteni? The above quote seems to say this, and is the way Minculescu has it in his army list for Warhammer. Or is it more likely there were 2 tiers of viteji: those promoted from peasantry for bravery to lesser boyar status; and those promoted from the nobility for bravery to companion (of the Prince) status? Sort of a ‘greater’ and ‘lesser’ viteji! It is interesting that the greater nobility (greater boyars) are not included as part of the Prince’s bodyguard in the above quote – were they deemed too untrustworthy? Certainly makes sense, given their reputation. Later on, the document goes on to mention the mercenaries who were also used as an alternative Guard, which supports what we’ve been saying so far.
Decades later, during the second half of Stefan Cel Mare's reign, Viteji reappear as a social-military category, but this time as peasants raised to the status of boyars for bravery.
You may read more about this here:
The latter statement is more than controversial, with few Prince's possessing the necessary wealth to pay large mercenary armies, among them Despot Voda, Petru Cercel or Mihai Viteazul. Furthermore, a significant part of mercenaries were in fact locals (oaste in dobanda), with foreigners forming mostly specialist corps (guards, artillery, arquebusiers).
Evidence for the last part? Here is how Minculescu has the Lefegii for Warhammer:
Lefegii: Literally ‘mercenaries’ or ‘paid men’, lefegii nonetheless formed the bulk of the Small Host, acting both in the field and in garrisons, and were mostly foreigners – Transylvanians, Hungarians, Poles, Germans and others. Equipment: hand weapon and light armour. May have thrusting spear or halberd. May have shield. May have composite bow and 0-2 units of lefegii may have crossbow or handgun. May wear heavy armour. May be mounted infantry.
The term voinci is generally used with the meaning of soldiers (including both mercenaries as well as Princely or Boyar servants), and mostly as infantrymen. Only later the term is replaced with dorobanti and other categories of infantry.Me again: the heavy infantry crop up repeatedly in army lists as voinici or similar, well armoured with various polearms; I’m surprised that you see them as a sprinkling of sorts, and secondary to the numbers of handgunners for instance. Or have I misunderstood?
Here is how I have the list currently, subject to further change:
IV/65. Wallachian or Moldavian. 1330AD-1504AD.
1 x Voievod General with Guard (3Kn or Cv), 1 x Boieri (Cv), 3 x Curteni and Viteji (Cv or LH), 1 x Calarasi (LH), 1 x Lefegii Heavy Foot (Bd or Sp) or Lefegii Handgunners or Crossbowmen (Ps or Cb), 4 x Tarani (Bw or Ps), 1 x Tarani (Bw or Ps or Ax).
Now I noticed that your list refers to the period until 1504, Well, in this case Prince Guard (Garda Domneasca) should be depicted as mostly including minor boyars, ennobled for bravery.
At the same time you could represent a part of Curteni as CV, and another part as LH.
I totally agree with your statement While most of the Oastea cea Mica served as cavalry, it was mostly light and medium (horse lance/archers)That being said, I like this list. It's not bad at all but 25% of armoured strike cavalry is too much. You can have plenty of cavalry but most of it light. Overall id say you should have probably have less than 10% of the army as heavy armoured. Depends what you mean by armoured strike cavalry. If its just leather or padded armour that's fine.
In regard to cavalry to infantry ratio, I would suggest a similar or slightly greater ratio to the one in Polish armies, or more exactly around 35% to maximum of 40%