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Thread: Tsardoms Total War - FACTION PREVIEW: Principality of Moldova

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    Default Tsardoms Total War - FACTION PREVIEW: Principality of Moldova




    Team Proudly Presents




    Principality of Moldova


    Tara Moldovei




    Faction Overview

    On Eastern slopes of the Carpathian Mountains a new state emerges out of the ashes left by the Mongol invasion. The Principality of Moldova is the second Vlach state asserting itself from under the control of the Kingdom of Hungary. Located at the meeting point of several trade routes between the Western world and the Oriental world, the Principality is taking adavantage of the renewed trade to develop its economy, which is also supported by the many salt mines in the region. Due to being at the crossroads between East and West the Principality is also spiritual battleground between the Catholic and the Orthodox rites. The strength of the Moldavian army is its mobility being a force based on archery and cavalry and using harrassment and hit and run tactics. The Moldavians have learned from the many steppe invaders the art of horse archery. It's armies' strenghts are the good variety of light and medium cavalry as well as several types of archer units. On the other side, the Moldavians lack heavy infantry and could suffer when facing armoured armies in open fields. A good Voivode will harness the power of the Principality's growing economy and flexible armies to expand the state and become a trule independent regional power.

    Historical Background

    The Principality of Moldova was known by several names throughout its history. In 1386 the Byzantines called the country Maurovlakhia (Μαυροβλαχία) which means 'Black Wallachia', in 1391 they called it Rusovlakhia (Ρωσοβλαχία), which means ‘Wallachia near Russia’ and finally in 1401 Moldovlakhia (Μολδοβλαχία), which means 'Moldavian Wallachia'. The Ottomans refered to the country as Kara-Boğdania, which means 'Black Bogdania' (after the name of Bogdan I the Founder), or as Kara-Iflakia, which means 'Black Wallachia'. Genoese maps of the period name the state as 'Velacia Bogdania'. The Moldavians themselves refered to the state in official documents as 'Moldovlahia' or as 'Tara Moldovei'.

    Before the founding of the Principality of Moldavia the geographical area East of the Carpathians was invaded at various times by the Avars, the Magyars, the Bulgars, the Pechenegs, the Cumans and finally the Tatars. States such as the Kingdom of Hungary, the Bulgarian Empire, the Kievan Rus or the Kingdom of Halych-Volhynia have had control of parts of the region. Small statal entities, centered around settlements such as Barlad, Hansca, Soroca or Strasinet, began forming in the region from the XIth century onwards with vlach and slav populations, being led by local warlords known as Knez. These small quasi-states would often bow to the most powerful state in the region, accepting its overlordship in exchange for protection.


    The earliest historical record of the vlachs in the region of the Principality dates back to the 11th century. A memorial rune stone from
    Sjonhem on the Gotland island in Sweden mentions that the Varangian Rodfos was murdered by the Blakumen while on a voyage to Constantinopole. Another Norse source, the Eymundar ţáttr hrings, tells the story of Sviatopolk I the Grand Duke of Kiev (1015 - 1019) who took refuge with the Pecehnegs in 1019 and planned to launch an attack on the Kievan Rus with an army made up of Tyrkir and Blökumenn, which has been interpreted as Pechenegs and Vlachs.

    The invasion of the Pechenegs was followed by the migration of the Cumans. According to the
    Oghuzname, the oldest Turkish chronicle, on their way to the Danube the Cumans fought against the Rus, the Bashkirs, the Hungarians and the Ulaks.

    In 1164 the pretender to the Byzantine throne Andronicus Comnenus tried to take refuge in the Principality of Halych. The Greek historian Niketas Choniates states that on his way to Halych he was captured by the Vlachs but he eventually managed to escape captivity and reached Galicia safely. John Kinnamos mentions that during the campagins of Leo Vatatzes against Hungary his army contained a large number of Vlachs.


    The Mongol invasion of the 1230s led to the destruction of the Cuman Khanate. After the Battle of Kalfka River in 1223 the Cumans fled to Hungary and asked the protection of the Hungarian King agreeing to be baptised as Catholics. Thus, the Hungarians created the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cumania which stretched into Moldova along the territory East of the river Siret. According to a letter of Pope Gregory IX in 1234 the
    Walati living in the bishopric's territory ignored its authority and did not convert to Catholicism. On their way to Hungary the Mongol armies passed through a certain Quara Ulagh, interpreted as land of the black Vlachs. As the Mongols advanced towards Hungary, Tholomeus of Lucca (1236 - 1327) mentions that the Olacci and Siculi (interpreted as Vlachs and Szkeley) guarded the Eastern passes of the Carpathians.

    The first mention of incipient states East of the Carpathians appears in 1247 when John of Oplano Carpini met a duke by the name of Olaha who was on his way to see Batu Khan. Further, in 1253 the Franciscan of Rubruck reported that he met
    Blaci or Blati who were carrying their gifts to Batu Khan. The chronicle of Thomas Tuscus mentios that in 1276 the Blaci were at war with the Ruthenians of the Kingdom of Halych preventing them from sending assistance to their ally King Ottokar II of Bohemia. Finally, the Polish chronicler Jan Dlugosz mentions that contingets of Walachi were part of the army of the Polish King Wladyslav I during his 1326 war against Brandenburg.

    The foundation of the Moldavian state, known as the first dismounting (descalecat), occured in 1352. According to legend Dragos, the Vlach voivode of Hungarian-held Maramures, went hunting with his retinue and with his beloved hunting dogs. While he was chasing an auroch he passed the Carpathian mountains into Moldova and all but one of his dogs died due to fatigue. The last dog left was a female dog called Molda. As they reached a river the bison swam over on the other bank but Molda drowned. Angered, Dragos threw his mace towards the auroch and killed him on the spot. The voivode named the river Moldova in memory of his beloved dog and kept the head of the auroch as a trophy. As he liked the place where he found himself Dragons decided to make it his homeland. The new state would be called Moldova and would have the auroch as its heraldic symbol.


    The historic reality is probably different. In 1345 the Hungarian and Polish kingdoms were undertaking joint campaigns against the Tatars. After scoring several successes and pushing the Tatars towards the Black Sea King Louis I of Hungary needed to ensure these gains were permanent. This is when he sent Dragos, the voivode of Maramures, to establish a buffer state in Moldova and to provide protection for Hungary's Eastern border. Dragos and his vlachs participated in the campaigns against the Tatars and eventually settled in Norther Moldova, close to the river with the same name. Here he built his capital and other towns and forged his princely seal.


    As history would have it, Dragos only reigned for two years and died in 1353. He was followed by his two sons Sas and Balc on the throne of Moldova. In 1359 or 1363 Bogdan, another Vlach voivode from Maramures who had started a rebellion against the King of Hungary since the 1340s, crossed the Carpathians into Moldova. Here he was welcomed by the local population and proceeded to expel the sons of Dragos and ascended the throne of Moldova. Bogdan rejected the Hungarian vassalage and defeated Hungarian attempts to displace him, the chronicle of John of Kukullo mentions that Louis I made war against the Moldavians almost every year but could not force his allegiance. Thus, Bogdan became the first ruler of an independent Moldova and was hence known as Bodgan I the Founder.


    Current Situation

    Currently, the Principality of Moldova is still a vassal state of the poweful Kingdom of Hungary, located to the West on the other side of the Carpathian mountains. The chain of mountains act as a gateway into Transilvania via a few narrow straights. The best avenue for expansion of the Principality is Eastwards, the power of the Golden Horde is broken and the Tatars are in constant retreat. The Tatar commanders left in the area are disorganised and fighting each for supremacy. A wise Voivode will push the Tatars back into the steppe and expand the Principality all the way to the Black Sea. By capturing the Black Sea ports and the mouths of the Danube the Principality can open up new trade routes and bring in foreign wealth.

    To the North are the fragmented and war torn lands of the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia, the power of the Ruthenians has long faded and their lands offer another good avenue for expansion. The far away Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania have been friends of the Moldavians in the past, if a Voivode will agree to give their fealty to them benefits such as trade links and military aid could be obtained.


    To the South lies the Principality of Wallachia. Like the Moldavians, the Wallachians used to be servants of the Hungarian King. However, the Wallachians have rebelled and rejected the Hungarian vassalage. They are now the enemies of the Kingdom of Hungary and the King would not look with good eyes at any friendly relations with them. However, the Wallachians are of the same religion as the Moldavians and speak the same language. They could prove to be a valuable ally should the Moldavians decide to rise up against their Catholic overlords. Further away to the South lie the great Orthodox powers of Bulgaria and the Roman Empire. The Moldavians should maintain good relations with these powers as a counter-balance against the Catholic West.


    The final aim of any Moldavian Voivode should be to establish the Principality as independent state. Expansion at the expense of the fragmented Tatars and Ruthenians should strengthen the state and allow it to train a powerful fighting force. Once the Principality is strong enough the Hungarians can be challenged and their fetters broken.


    Government and Society

    After the foundation of the Moldova the state evolved towards a feudal monarchy with specific traits. Inspired from the Byzantines, the feudalism was not fully developed and did not have a structured hierarchy like in Western Europe. Relations of vassalage existed only between the Voivode and the boyars, but not amongst the boyars and their subjects. There were no ceremonies bounding the vassalage between the boyars and the Voivode. Instead their relations was based on obedience from the boyars who expected 'the Voivode's mercy' as represented by functions in the administration and estates. Unlike in Western Europe, the estates of the boyars were generally not worked by serfs but by free peasants. In fact, a specific trait of the local feudalism was that until the XVIth century most peasants were free and many owned their own land. This social class of the free peasantry known as 'Razesi' constituted a solid social base upon which the state was built and which also provided the military strength of the state. Beneath the free peasantry were the serfs. However, unlike other feudal societies the serfs were not bound to the land and were allowed to move from one landowner to another. The lowest class of the society was represented by the slaves known as 'robi' who were of gypsy or tatar origin. Like the Wallachians, the Moldavians captured their slaves during their battles against the Golden Horde. Slavery was widespread with the slaves being divided in three clases: the slaves onwned by the Voivode, the slaves owned by the Church and the slaves owned by the boyars.

    The Voivodship was the central institution of the state. Since there was no right of primogeniture (the right of the first born) the Voivode was elected by the boyars for life from the ranks of the House of Bogdan/Musat.


    The Voivoide received the sign of his power, the crown, after he was annointed with oil by the Metropolitan. In the documents of the state the Voivode appears with the tiltle of 'Mare Voievod si Domn' which means 'Great Voivode and Dominus', having the supreme political power as well as military power (he was the head of the army). The institutional organisation as well as the court ceremonial were inspired from the Byzantine court. The power of the Voivode was absolute and had a personal character. The Voivode was the owner of the entire land of the country, supreme commander of the army, head of the administration. He had the right to mint coins, decide the level of taxes, represented the highest judicial power, decided on the internal and external policy together with the Princely Council, had the right of seizing boyar estates and applying the capital punishment in case of treason, declared war, signed peace and other international treaties. In virtue of his position as supreme commander of the army, in times of danger the Voivode summoned the large host, which was a generally levy of every able man. The Voivode had unlimited authority and had the right of life and death over his subjects no matter their social ranking.


    Through annointment the Voivodes became the political rulers 'by the mercy of God', which bestowed upon them the power over their subjects. This position is further strenghtened by the formula 'de sine statotor' which means 'stand-alone ruler' and is equivalent to the Greek 'autocrator'. The introduction into the titulature of the Voivodies of 'Io', short for 'Ioannes', the one chose by God, confirms the divine source of their power. The Byzantine tradition of the annointment was the supreme symbolism of the co-operation between the central power and the Church, the fundamental coordinate of Moldavian political life.


    The affirmation of the superior right of the Voivode over the entire territory of the state facilitate the centralisation of the state and the control of the society. A state aparatus was created, with the Voivode being helped in the exercise of his authority by a Princely Council (Sfatul Domnesc) which had the role of counseling the Voivode and was initially formed out of the biggest landowning boyars. Later, as the institutions of the state crystalised the Voivodes would name the members of the Princely Council from the boyars which occupied a post in the administration (known as 'dregatorii'). The number of boyars in the Princely Council was usually around twelve, the main figure being the Metropolitan followed by the Portar of Suceava (Gatekeeper of Suceava). Other titles in the Princely Council included the 'Logofat' (Chancellor), the 'Vornic' (Chief Administrator), the 'Vistiernic' (Chief of finance) and the 'Spatar' (Voivode's sword bearer and commander of the army). The Princely Council had administrative, legal and political functions and it was consulted by the Voivode before signing alliances or declaring war. The strengthening of the Princely Council was a way of limiting the power of the Voivode by the boyars.


    Although theoretically the power of the Voivode was absolute, in practice it did have several limiations. The Voivode could not break the 'Law of the Land' (Obiceiul Pamantului) and the 'Written Laws' (Pravilele). The Voivode also had to respect and take into consideration the will of the Church which represented the spiritual authority.



    Church and Religion

    The majority of the Moldavian inhabitants of the Principality were of the Orthodox Christian rite. However, the Papacy and the Kingdom of Hungary had been trying to impose Catholicism in the region since the XIIIth century by creating the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cumania which was restored in 1347 by Pope Clement VI. The attempts at Catholic conversion were thwarted by the Mongol invasion. After the establishment of the Moldavia state the first Voivodes such as Bogdan and his son Latcu re-established relations with the Papacy with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Siret being set up under the direct subordination of the Papacy. The close relation with Catholicims did not last long as Latcu's succesor Petru I Musat firmly confirmed Orthodoxy as the state religion. Initially the Moldavian Orthodox church was under the autority of the Metropolitan of Halych who named two bishops in Moldova. The Patriarchy of Constantinopole rejected one of the bishops which lead to a conflict between the two churches with Petru I Musat even being excommunicated. The Metropoly of Moldova was established in 1381 but was only recognised by Constantinopole in 1401 when the conflict between the two churches was settled after a long canonical debate.

    From a dogmatic point of view the Moldavian Church was subject to the Patriarchy in Constantinopole and developed under its auspices but with considerable South Slavic influences. The Metropoly of Moldova however rejected any involvement of the Patriarchy in administrative matters. The Moldavian Voivode named the metropolitans and the bishops. The metropolitans supported the Voivodal policy of protecting Orthodoxy and and launched a powerful offensive against Catholicism towards the end of the XIVth century. The Church had an important role in the development of the social, judicial and cultural life of the Principality.


    The monasteries were supported financially by the Voivode and the great boyars. The building of monasteries was undertaken by many Voivodes, Stefan the Great being famous for building a monastery after every battle. The monasteires were not only centres for religious activity, but also cultural and artistic centres. The first schools in the Principality were built in the monasteries were monks, priests as well as writers for the Voivodal chancellery were educated. Many monasteries also served a double role of fortifications, being surrounded by thick walls and providing shelter in case of foreign invasion.


    The Metropolitan was chosen by the bishops and the great boyars, being confirmed by the Voivode who gave them the walking stick, symbol of their status. The Patriarch of Constantinopole confirmed the the new Metropolitans and blessed them. The Metropolitan, as head of the Church named blessed the bishops named by the Voivode, was responsible with discipline in the chruches and monasteries and controled the finances of the monasteries. He was the foremost adviser to the Voivode, was responsible with crowning the new Voivodes and was considered the second most important dignitary of the state, even acting as interim head of state if the throne was temporary vacant. The Voiovdship and the Church supported each other, being the two most important factors of power in the Middle Ages.





    Units

    Moldavian Serf Levy

    The serfs, known as 'vecini' in Moldova, are the one of the lowest classes in society having only the slaves or 'robi' beneath them. The serfs are landless peasants that live in poverty and occupy a plot of land alloted to them by a boier. They are required to work for the boier who owned that land, and in return were entitled to protection, justice and the right to exploit certain fields within the boier's property to maintain their own subsistence. Serfs were often required not only to work on the boier's fields, but also his mines, forests and roads. The serfs are legally and economically dependent on the boieri. Unlike other societies where the serfs are bound to the estate of the boier in the Principalities they may move freely from one estate to another. In exchange for the right to exploit their alloted land the serfs were required to to provide the so called 'feudal rent', this included labour obligations, monetary payments and produce payments. The serfs are also required to join the army of the Principality if the Great Host is summoned by the Voivode. Due to their poverty their only weapons are scythes, pitchforks and other farming or household objects. These men are untrained and should only be used in the most desperate of times. They are not likely to hold their ranks for long if faced by greater numbers or better armed opponents.




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    Moldavian Strajeri


    The word 'straja' has slavic origins and stands for 'guard'. The strajeri are peasants from certain villages which were given the task of guarding the land against raiders. The villages of strajeri were located in the valleys where important rivers came through the mountains, along the important commercial roads. During the times of peace the strajeri acted as the town watch and kept vigil from strategic outposts. During the times of war the task of the strajeri is to ensure that the roads are safe for the passing of the Great Host and scout the enemy positions. The strajeri come from both the ranks of the land owning peasants but also from amongst the serfdom. The commanders of the strajeri are called 'vatafi'. The strajeri use little armour but their traditional wool clothing and a wooden shield to defend themselves and are armed with spears. Since they are lightly armed and armoured they should not be relied upon too much on the field of battle except to form a sponge against charges by using their shields and spears.



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    Moldavian Plaiesi Archers

    The Plaiesi are the inhabitants of the villages in the mountainous regions close to the borders of Moldova. Their name comes from the word 'plai' meaning mountain plains. The task of the Plaiesi is to guard the mountain passes and man the border fortresses. The obligation of the villagers from these settlements to guard the borders dates from before the foundation of the feudal state when the villages had the knezes as their overlords. This obligation has not changed but instead of the knez the villagers now owe their fealty to the Voivode. The Plaiesi are usually free peasants, however on occasion serf villages from the border regions also have the obligation to join their ranks. For the role in protecting the borders the Plaiesi received fiscal benefits and certain tax cuts, especially being exempt from paying the customs duties. The Plaiesi are not allowed to abandon their guard posts and are severely punished if caught. Since they live close to the border regions and the mountain passes the Plaiesi know the terrain very well and are very mobile being able to use secret passes and less known ways. The main weapon of the Plaiesi is the recurve bow and they are protected by nothing more than their traditional and woolen clothing. They should be placed behind the main lines to support the better armoured units or sent out as scouts, skirmishers or to flank the enemy armies.



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    Moldavian Macemen

    The two-handed mace, known as 'maciuca', is one of the most common weapons amongst the Moldavian peasants. The forests of Moldova offer ample material for the peasants to craft the maces out of the sturdy wood. Metal spikes are then added to the wood to create a deadly weapon. The ease with which the mace can be created means that even the poorest of peasants and even serfs can be armed with it but higher social classes such as the razesi also use this weapon in large numgers. This means that the macemen are available in large numbers. The large size of the mace means that it has to be handled with two hands by strong sturdy men. A hit of the mace can go fell even the most armoured knights and crush shields and armour alike. The macemen can be used as shock troops to outweigh the Moldavians lack of heavy infantry. Due to the fact that the mace is two handed the macemen sacrifice the protection of a shield. They are also slow and can be vulnerable if they miss their target.

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    Razesi Archers

    Like the Wallachian Mosneni the Razesi represent the class of free land owning peasants. They own strips of land in common with their extended family and organise the field work by splitting the land between each member of the family. In the XIVth and early XVth century the bulk of the population of the Principalities was represented by free peasants and large segment of these were land owning razesi. However, as the tribute to the Ottoman Empire grew the economic situation of this social class worsened with many of the razesi being forced to sell their land or even fall into serfom by the XVIth and XVIIth centuries. The razesi do not have tax obligations, however they do have military obligations to the voivode in times of war. They are required to constantly keep their weaponry at the ready and train periodically. The razesi and the free peasantry make up the core of the Moldavian medieval army. Since they own some land the razesi were able to buy or make medium leather armour, chain mail and metal helmets. Armed with both spears and bows, these men use their bows pepper the enemy with from a distance and then drop their bows and meet the enemy head on with their spears. They are a multirole unit which can be used both in defensive and offensive situations. Since they fight for their possessions and their lands they are very reliable and can be trusted to hold the main line of the Moldavian army.



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    Curteni Archers

    The Curteni are the servants of the Voivode's or an important boier's court. They usually fight mounted as their status and their lands allow them to grow good mounts, however on occasions they dismount and fight as archers. Historically, the Polish chronicles mention that in 1410 at the Battle of Grunwald the Moldavian Voivode Alexander the Kind sent a contingent of cavalry to help his Polish overlord. During the battle the Moldavian curteni were charged by the heavy Teutonic knights. The curteni retreated from the incoming knights into a nearby wood, dismounted their horses and then used their bows to shoot the horses of the Teutons. Being servants of the state and having spent more time training with the bow the curteni archers are more accurate and deadly than their razesi and peasant counter parts. However, due to their origin as light cavalry they wear little armour and should be kept away from the front lines.




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    Hunters of Neamt


    The Hunters of Neamt are an elite unit of Plaiesi border guards originating from the mountainous region of Neamt. The Plaiesi are the inhabitants of the villages in the mountainous regions close to the borders of Moldova. Their name comes from the word 'plai' meaning mountain plains. The task of the Plaiesi is to guard the mountain passes and man the border fortresses. The obligation of the villagers from these settlements to guard the borders dates from before the foundation of the feudal state when the villages had the knezes as their overlords. This obligation has not changed but instead of the knez the villagers now owe their fealty to the Voivode. For the role in protecting the borders the Plaiesi received fiscal benefits and certain tax cuts, especially being exempt from paying the customs duties. The Plaiesi are not allowed to abandon their guard posts and are severely punished if caught. Since they are an elite unit the Hunters of Neamt have better protection than the regular Plaiesi including chainmail and metal helmets. The heavier equipment means that the Hunters lose some of their mobility in exchange for the ability to hold out and withstand enemy attacks for longer.



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    Voinic Spearmen


    The term 'voinic' refers to the general notion of a soldier. Just like the Calarasi the Voinici are part of the slujitori, the servants of the Voivode or the great boyars. The role of the Voinici is to cover the gap between the Razesi and the Portar Guardsmen. The Voinici are free men, some own their own land while others make their living from the wages received from their role as servants. The Voinici fight in the first lines alongside the Razesi. Due to their stately duties they are better trained and more battle ready. Their equipment consists of leather armour and wooden shields and they use spears as weapons. They fulfill the role of medium infantry and are able to form shield walls to protect against cavalry attacks.



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    Portar Guardsmen

    The Portar of Suceva is the most important function in the Moldavian administration after the Voivode himself and the Metropolitan. The Portar was part of the Princely council and later the office of the Hetman also held the office of Portar of Suceava. The Portar ensured the security of the palace gates and had under his command the garrison of the Moldavian capital. The Portar Guardsmen were the elite corps that formed part of the garrison and looked after the personal safety of the Voivode and the court. These men are the heaviest infantry available to Moldova, armed with halberds that can pierce armour and cut a man in half and armoured with metal helmets and breastplates. The Guardsmen are loyal to the last man and ready to die defending the Portar and the Voivode. They are available in very limited numbers and should only be used at key points in battles. They can hold the line against most enemy infantry and even some cavalry but may break when charged by heavy cavalry.



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    Lefegii Handgunners

    The first recorded use of handguns in the Principalities is in the XVth century. The Wallachian Voivode Vlad the Impaler and the Moldavian Voivode Stefan the Great successfully used handheld arquebuses in several battles including the Battle of Valea Alba in 1476 and at the Battle of Vaslui in 1475 when Stefan ordered his artilery, followed by the archers and handgunners to fire on the Ottoman army from three sides. However, the Wallachians and Moldavians themselves refused to use gunpowder until later on because it was associated with brimstone and the devil. As such, in the XVth century the handgunner corps of both Moldova and Wallachia were made up mainly of mercenaries, generally Hungarians, Szekely, Germans, Serbians, Bulgarians and other South Danube nations. The word 'lefegii' literally means wage earners as the hangunners served in exchange for wages. By the start of the XVIth century the locals started using the arquebus and joined the ranks of the Lefegii. In Moldova the arquebusiers were known as 'sânețari' from the word 'sâneață' meaning gun and in Wallachia they were known as 'pușcași' with the same meaning. These men are armed with experimental weapons which have more an psychological impact on the enemy. The handguns can not be used in rainy weather and are prone to misfire but if used at the right moment they can break the morale of the enemy and cause them to rout.




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    Mounted Plaiesi

    The Plaiesi are the border guards from the villages close to the mountainous passes. The Mounted Plaiesi are also known as 'calareti de margine' literally meaning border riders. These men ride along the borders of the state making sure that foreigners do not cross without notice and also stopping potential fugitives or thieves trying to leave. The main asset of these cavalrymen is their speed and endurance. Their steeds are able to travel long distances without rest and food and the riders are hardened men. The Mounted Plaiesi sacrifice most armour and protection in exchange for mobility. They wear very light leather or woolen brigantines and are only protected by small wooden shields. Since their main role is to alert their commanders of any threats in times of war they should only be used for scouting operations and to harrass the enemy lines. They are not suitable for open field battles or for charges.




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    Hansari

    The destruction of the South Danubian states meant by the Ottomans in the XVth century led to numbers of soldiers making their way North of the river to continue the struggle against their foes. Foremost amongst these soldiers are the Serbian Hussars that joined the Moldavian armies and took part in numerous battles such as the Battle of Razboieni in 1476. The Moldavians soon learned from these horsemen and formed their own corps of cavalryman known as Hansari. This army corp had a special status in the Moldavian army as, unlike other corps such as the Curteni or Lefegii which went to war in exchange for tax exemptions or for wages, they went to war in exchange for receiving loot from the battle fields (this known as 'dobanda'). The Hansari were usually free men or small landholding peasants and their number never exceeded several thousands. This army corps appeared in the second half of the XVth century and continued to be part of the Moldavian army all the way to the XVIIIth century. Like the Curteni the Hansari were organised in units called 'vatafii' and were commanded by an officer called 'vataf'. Like the equivalent Hussar corps in other armies the Hansari are very lightly armoured being protected only by a wing shield and are armed with a long cavalry spear. The Hansari exchange armour for speed and the ability to strike in the battlefield wherever the enemy is weaker.




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    Calarasi Horsearchers

    The 'slujitori' or the servants of the lord are a class of free peasants which served the Voivode in exchange for tax exemptions and the right to use the land which belonged to the Voivode. The Calarasi, literally meaning horsemen, are the mounted corps of the slujitori and represent the largest segment of this social class. They are part of the standing army known as the small host or the 'oastea mica' and their main duty is to go to war for the Voivode at their own expense. The Calarasi are also tasked with the transmission of the news and letters sent from Constantinople. The main weapon of the Calarasi is the bow. The Moldavians learned the art of horse archery from the migratory people that passed through their lands, most recent the Tatars. The Calarasi should be used to counter other horse archer units or to harass the enemy lines. They are very lightly armoured and not suitable at all for close combat so they should be kept away from approaching enemy forces.




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    Curteni Light Cavalry

    The word 'curte' literally means court, the place where the courtiers gathered, the administrative and military centre on which the courtiers depended. The Curteni also known as Rosii are either the men that served at the Voivode's court or that came from the villages which were dependent on the princely court. In the Lexicon of Mardarie Cozianul from 1649 the verb 'a se curteni' was translated into 'giving orders'. Thus, the courts are the administrative centres from which the various commands of the Voivode or boieri came from and which the Curteni were charged with executing. There are two types of Curteni, the more important ones which serve the court of the Voivode directly and the lesser ones which serve the courts of the great boieri. In their role of servants of the state the Curteni put down revolts, collected taxes, gave fines and coerced the peasantry into doing their feudal duties to their overlords. The Curteni are freemen that own land and have their own estates. They have crazing fields for their war horses and get paid a wage from their overlord and are also exempt from paying taxes. The XVth century was the period of glory for the Curteni as they reached their peak number with the Voivodes introduced more freemen into their ranks to strengthen their authority. Like other social classes the Curteni started falling from grace in XVIth century mainly due to the heavy economic burden of the Ottoman tribute. The Curteni are part of the 'large host' which means that they only join the Voivode's army when called upon. They usually fight mounted with spears and use large shields for protection. They fulfill the role of light cavalry lancers with the ability of lightning strikes on enemy armies. Due to their light armour they can outrun heavier cavalry and outflank enemy positions. However, they are lightly armoured and can not engage in sustained melees or face heavily armed opponents.



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    Nemesi Medium Cavalry

    The moldavian nemesi are the equivalent of the wallachian viteji. These men are common soldiers and peasants who were raised to a higher rank due to their deeds and valour proven in battle. Referring to the raising of the peasants to the ranks of nemesi the Polish chronicler Jan Dlugosz said that ‘plurimi agrestes ex peditum numero in equitum et peditum numerum militum translati’. Historically, in the second half of the XVth century the central authority of Moldova underwent a process of strengthening due to the raising of simple peasants to noble ranks as a direct result of their deeds in battle. These new nobles received various administrative duties during peace time. The process of raising a person from peasant to noble status was called ‘nemesire’. When the voivode ordered that a peasant became a ‘nemes’ it meant that he would receive a property as a gift and in exchange the person would become a servant of the voivode who had the duty to serve his lord both in times of peace and in times of war. From a social standing point of view the ‘nemesi’ occupied a similar place as the ‘curteni’, with the difference being that the curteni were born into their rank while the nemesi earned their rank. The reason for the raising of the ‘nemesi’ was that the Moldavian Voivodes did not want to be dependent on the military might of the boyars and needed faithful servants who were loyal to them and would support their long wars against their neighbours, especially the Ottomans. Historically, the ‘nemesi’ declined and began to disappear in the XVIth century due to the Turkish domination. The ‘nemesi’ fulfil the role of medium cavalry, protected by chainmail or lamellar armour and armed with a light lance they can fight side by side with both the ‘curteni’ and the ‘boyars’. They are reliable in battle, their past deeds standing as proof of this, and can be used against both infantry and cavalry.

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    Boieri Heavy Cavalry

    The boieri class emerged from the chiefs (knezes or judes) of rural communities in the early middle ages, initially elected, who later made their judicial and administrative attributions hereditary and gradually expanded them upon other communities. After the appearance of more advanced political structures in the area, their privileged status had to be confirmed by the central power, which used this prerogative to include in the boieri class individuals that distinguished themselves in the military or civilian functions they performed (by allocating them lands from the princely domains). Being a boyar implied three things: being a land-owner, having serfs, and having a military and/or administrative function. A boyar could have a state function and/or a court function. These functions were called "dregătorie" or "boierie". Only the prince had the power to assign a boierie. In time the boieri split into two different classes the boieri mari (great boyars) who owned large swathes of land had important functions in the administration and the boieri mici (lesser boyars) who owned less land and less important administrative positions. Starting with the first half of the XVth century the boieri became the most important political class in the Principalities. Since the boieri of the Princely Council had amongst their attributes the election of the voivode this led to increased instability as successive voivodes were elected and then overthrown at the whims of the powerful boieri. During the times of war the boieri have the obligation to raise all the fighting from their domains and join the army of the voivode. Since they are the wealthiest class in the land the boieri use heavy armours and shields for their protection and are armed with cavalry lances. They fulfill the role of heavy cavalry on the field and if their loyalties can be harnessed they can prove to be formidable foes.


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    Garda Domneasca

    Every Moldavian Voivode kept at his side a core of his most trusted guards. These men are trusted with the safety of the Voivode, they keep vigil in the throne room or in the bedroom when he is sleeping and follow him in his travels. During battles the guards ride by the Voivode's side and must give their lives to protect him. The guard is made up of the most loyal boieri and servants of the Voivode as well as foreign mercenaries on occasions. Historically, at the Battle of Valea Alba in 1476 the Moldavian Voivode ordered the bulk of his force to retreat keeping with him only the most trusted boieri as his guard. As the Moldavian army was defeated by the far numerous Ottomans the men of the Garda Domneasca formed a gauntlet around the Voivode and dragged him out of the battle thus saving his life. The guard is equipped with the finest plate armour and is armed with heavy lances. Garda Domneasca is the heaviest cavalry available to a Moldavian Voivode and is capable of facing any armoured enemy on the field of battle. This should be used to charge at enemy positions to break their ranks and turn the tide of battle.

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    phoenix[illusion] - Skinning and modelling
    Matthaeus - Skinning and modelling
    il_duce - Skinning and modelling
    Wallachian - Research and texts

    Special Thanks
    Romano-Dacis - Former member and roster concept
    mircea - Research advice
    Rusichi Total War


    The team of Tsardoms Total War is looking for dedicated mappers, coders and scripters. We are getting close to the point when we need to code all our units into our mod folder and do all the stats and balancing. Our stated aim is to have a working beta version of the mod by early next year. In order to achieve this aim we need your help!

    Please contact phoenix[illusion] or SpyrosM91 if you are willing to help! This will make the a great difference and will bring about an early release of the mod!
    Last edited by phoenix[illusion]; December 16, 2012 at 05:38 AM.
    long time no see, but still twc drug kickin'
    check out Tsardoms: Total War!
    Under patronage of respectable Annaeus
    Patron of honorable Giacomo Colonna


  2. #2
    Darios's Avatar Slava Darios!
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    Default Re: FACTION PREVIEW: Principality of Moldova

    I had an orgasm when I saw the Hunters of Neamt.

    Time to start dishing out the rep!
    Under the Patronage of PikeStance


  3. #3

    Default Re: Tsardoms Total War - FACTION PREVIEW: Principality of Moldova

    Great preview !!!


  4. #4
    Legio's Avatar EMPRESS OF ALL THINGS
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    Default Re: Tsardoms Total War - FACTION PREVIEW: Principality of Moldova

    BEAUTIFUL units. A fascinating period in history and fascinating region.

  5. #5
    Darios's Avatar Slava Darios!
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    Default Re: Tsardoms Total War - FACTION PREVIEW: Principality of Moldova

    Is there any information regarding Moldova's starting position/cities?
    Under the Patronage of PikeStance


  6. #6
    Hrobatos's Avatar Tribunus
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    Default Re: Tsardoms Total War - FACTION PREVIEW: Principality of Moldova

    amazing work!

  7. #7
    2Shy's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: Tsardoms Total War - FACTION PREVIEW: Principality of Moldova

    Great job!!!


  8. #8
    Wallachian's Avatar Praefectus
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    Default Re: Tsardoms Total War - FACTION PREVIEW: Principality of Moldova

    Its finally here! Great!

  9. #9
    Visarion's Avatar Alexandros
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    Default Re: Tsardoms Total War - FACTION PREVIEW: Principality of Moldova

    this is EPIC!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Tsardoms Total War - FACTION PREVIEW: Principality of Moldova

    God Work guys!
    Can't wait to get it done.

    Romanian player here

  11. #11
    Diodredai's Avatar Tiro
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    Default Re: Tsardoms Total War - FACTION PREVIEW: Principality of Moldova

    It is absolutely wonderful to see that this mod set an extremely interesting period of history is still alive and kicking!

    I raise my mug in honor of the authors of the mod and this very article!

    Extraordinary work gentlemen!
    I salute you!

    Now if you'll allow me, I'll read through the article itself as I have but glanced upon the wonderful images of the unique units that ye have designed!

    Cheers!
    ~ Diodredai

    Creator of the Unoffical DotS FAQ thread
    "Sagittis hungarorum libera nos Domine" (translation: "Lord save us from the arrows of the Hungarians")
    Creator of the Share your musical heritage! thread in the DotS forums

  12. #12
    Wallachian's Avatar Praefectus
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    Default Re: Tsardoms Total War - FACTION PREVIEW: Principality of Moldova

    Quote Originally Posted by Diodredai View Post

    Now if you'll allow me, I'll read through the article itself as I have but glanced upon the wonderful images of the unique units that ye have designed!
    Please do read it! It is very connected to Hungarian history so would be very interested to hear your oppinions

  13. #13
    stoogeofstooges's Avatar Decanus
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    Default Re: Tsardoms Total War - FACTION PREVIEW: Principality of Moldova

    Absolutely stunning. This might just give me enough motivation to buy the new version of Crossover Games so I can get M2TW up and running on my Mac again as well as this mod.

  14. #14
    loet66's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: Tsardoms Total War - FACTION PREVIEW: Principality of Moldova

    Hi,

    Very nice preview !

  15. #15
    \Vazul's Ghost/'s Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: Tsardoms Total War - FACTION PREVIEW: Principality of Moldova

    You guys have outdone yourself again! Honestly.

    There is so much beautiful stuff here that I could only skim through it before I got a headache, no joke. I'm going to go to work, come back, have a nap, make a coffee and spend a solid hour just taking all this in because there is too much fantastic info and beautiful art to just be skimmed in one sitting.

    You guys are doing a great, and very very very important job here and I have much respect for you all! Thanks guys.
    γνῶθι σεαυτόν ~ μηδὲν ἄγαν

  16. #16
    Mausolos of Caria's Avatar Royal Satrap
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    Default Re: Tsardoms Total War - FACTION PREVIEW: Principality of Moldova

    Great preview! I'll admit I dunno much about this faction and Moldova's history in general, but your preview is amazing as usual and makes me interested in it. And the graphic details of the units are just stunning!
    "Pompeius, after having finished the war against Mithridates, when he went to call at the house of Poseidonios, the famous teacher of philosophy, forbade the lictor to knock at the door, as was the usual custom, and he, to whom both the eastern and the western world had yielded submission, ordered the fasces to be lowered before the door of science."

    Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 7, 112

  17. #17

    Default Re: Tsardoms Total War - FACTION PREVIEW: Principality of Moldova

    Bosnia seems very shallow compared to this faction .

  18. #18

    Default Re: Tsardoms Total War - FACTION PREVIEW: Principality of Moldova

    Unbelievable!!
    When you see those Moldavian levy charge against those generic Medieval 2 peasants, you can really tell the quality of this mod! Amazing preview and top-notch quality units!
    "He that makes war without many mistakes has not made war very long."


    - Napoleon Bonaparte

  19. #19
    Stath's's Avatar Protector Domesticus
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    Default Re: Tsardoms Total War - FACTION PREVIEW: Principality of Moldova

    My eyes popped out and i blame YOU. Oh man, you guys show CA how it is done.


  20. #20
    Nelduin's Avatar a.k.a ALG & echuu
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    Default Re: Tsardoms Total War - FACTION PREVIEW: Principality of Moldova

    Amazing, as always, TsardomsTW is really one of the most ambitious mods I ever seen.

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