Faction Descriptions readme

for the Medieval Mod IV for Total War: Viking Expansion



Statistical notes:

Statistical notes always refer to the base values of the referenced unit, thus:

+ 1 means that the unit has one more than the reference unit.

+ 1 valour means that the unit has +1 att., +1 def., and +2 morale (or honour) than the reference unit.

 (off)ensive means the unit has one more attack, but one less defense than the reference unit. (def)ensive means the opposite. Arab units are often offensive compared to Catholic units, due to their hotter climates. Thus they wear less armour, but this gives them more agility to attack, as well as endurance in the desert.

(un)arm. means that the unit has two more, or two less, defense and armour than the reference unit.

Morale, or Honour, chart: poor (2), fair (4), good (6), excellent (8)

(ch)arge chart: poor = 2; no lance = 4, or fair, charge; light (lt.) lance = 6, or good, charge; heavy (hvy.) lance = 8, or irresistible, charge.

(BG) means that the unit is the bodyguard, or royal, unit for that era. An initial following the unit’s notes, such as (W) or (S), means the unit is restricted to that faction only (Welsh or Scots).

E&H stands for the Early and High eras. Most minor factions cannot train the higher quality units which are available to the Major faction whose units they share.

Units which have better than normal speed for their unit class are noted in their description. Units with small shields have better than average speed for their unit class, unless noted otherwise.

Offensive spearmen are 100-man units that carry a short, jabbing spear similar to that developed by the Zulus centuries later. It affords basically the same charge bonus as common spear units, and is much better offensively, but gives a poorer defense, and doesn’t allow supporting ranks. They only carry small shields, but this allows them to move with greater speed. Their charge bonus versus cavalry is usually the same for both offense and defense. Currently there are two offensive spear units in the game, with the same stats: Bonnachts and Steppe Warriors. Compared to Feudal Sgts., they have +3 att., -2 def., small shields, no rank bonus, and bonuses vs cav. of 2 and 2.


Base units:

These are the reference units used in the descriptions below.

Primary stats are charge, attack, defense, armour and morale.

L, S and (n)one refer to shield size. L/n means not used in melee.

Poor, fair, average, good and excellent refer to speed.


Feudal Sgts.:    4,-1,1,2,2,L,fair

Chivalric Sgts.: 5, 0,1,2,4,L,fair

Pikemen:          5, 0,4,5,4,n,fair

Swiss Pikemen: 6,1,4,5,4,n,average

Archers:         1,-1,-2,1,-1,S,average

FMAA:            3, 3,2,2,2,L,average

CMAA:           4, 4,3,3,4,L,average

Hosp. Ft. Kn.  5, 5,4,4,6,L,average

Gallowglaich:    6,*3,2,2,4,n,average

Halberdiers:     4,*3,3,4,2,n,poor

Chiv Ft. Kn.:    4,*3,4,5,8,n,poor

Swiss Halb.:    4,*4,3,3,4,n,average

Huscarles:        4,*3,3,3,4,L/n,average

Gothic Ft. Kn. 5,*3,4,4,8,L/n,average

Horse Archers: 2,-1,0,2,-1,S,average

Mtd. Sgts.:       6,  2,2,4,2,S,good

Mamluk Cav.:  6,*1,1,2,2,S,fast

Teutonic Sgts.:  6, 3,4,6,4,S,good

Gendarmes:      4, 3,5,7,4,S,fair

Feudal Kns.:     8, 3,4,6,8,S,fair

Chiv. Kns.:       8, 4,5,7,8,S,fair

Kns. Hosp.:     8, 5,6,8,8,S,fair

Gothic Kns.:    4,*3,6,8,8,S,fair

Kns. Templar:  8, 4,4,6,8,S,fair

Teutonic Kns.:  8, 5,5,7,8,S,good


* Armour Piercing.


Muslim factions:

Muslim units are now 20-25% larger in size than Christian or Pagan units, and their units have generally been strengthened compared to the original game. In particular, some hybrid units, which refers to those units meant to be used for both ranged and melee combat, have lost their ranged ability due to the AI’s ineffective use of them. The Muslim factions now have at least one dedicated melee infantry unit for each era.


Almohads, all eras

Almoravid, Early only, same units as Almohads

The Almohads face somewhat of a dilemma in that they are faced with not only different types of enemies in the Spanish and Egyptians, but they face them on very different terrains. As the Christians are their primary enemy, they have adapted their forces primarily to confront the heavier forces of the Spanish and Aragonese on the plains of Spain, rather than the Egyptians on the deserts of North Africa. This is exemplified by their use of crossbows in the latter half of the era.



Berber Cavalry- Mtd. Sgts. w/ +1 att., +2 morale; fast; bonus in Morocco (BG)

Saharan Cavalry- off. Mtd. Sgts. w/ no lance; fast; North Africa only; bonus in Cyrenicia

Berber Camel Archers- Morocco to Cyrenicia only

Arab Infantry- off. FMAA w/ sm. shield; fast; bonus in Tunisia

African Spearmen- Feudal Sgts., w/ small shield; fast; North Africa and Iberia only

Desert Archers- compound bows; fast; North Africa and Middle East only



Saracen Hvy. Cavalry- off. Feudal Kns.; bonus in Algeria  (BG)

Mtd. Crossbows; Iberia only; bonus in Cordoba

Pavise Crossbows; Iberia only

Moorish Swordsmen- CMAA; Iberia only; bonus in Granada

Abyssinian Guard- unarm. Huscarles; North Africa only; bonus in Egypt

Murabitin Infantry- Chiv. Sgts. w/ +1 def.



Egyptians (Fatimids, Ayyubids and Mamluks)

The Egyptians face the dual challenges of defeating Christian Crusaders while defending their empire against their Muslim brethren. Also, if they look to expand their empire north, they will run into the Byzantine Empire as well as the Turks, and be leaving their native desert for the hills and plains of Asia Minor. Their forces, adapted to the searing sun of the Sahara, wear little armour, with the exception of the Saracens. Their unique Handgunners are available late in the age to help in dealing with the increasingly heavy armour of their adversaries.



Mamluk Cavalry; bonus in Tripoli  (BG)

Bedouin Camel Warriors- Arabia and Syria only; bonus in Arabia

Saharan Cavalry- off. Mtd. Sgts. w/ no lance; fast; North Africa only; bonus in Cyrenicia

Mamluk Horse Archers- Horse Archers w/ +2 valour, compound bows

Arab Infantry- off. FMAA w/ sm. shield; fast; bonus in Tunisia

African Spearmen- Chiv. Sgts., w/ small shield; good sp.; North Africa and Iberia only

Desert Archers- compound bows; fast; North Africa and Middle East only



Saracen Hvy. Cavalry- off. Feudal Kns.; bonus in Algeria  (BG)

Saracen Infantry- off. CMAA w/ sm. shield; fast; bonus in Jerusalem

Abyssinian Guard- unarm. Huscarles, no shield; North Africa only; bonus in Egypt

Murabitin Infantry- Chiv. Sgts. w/ +1 def.



Mamluk Handgunners


Turks (Seljuks and Ottomans)

The Turks have pushed into Persia and Asia Minor due to their growing populations and the rise of the Mongols to the east. They face the task of carving out an empire from either the lands of the successors of the Romans, the Byzantines, or the successors of the Ancient Egyptians, the Mamluks. Though they fought many battles against the Egyptians (the Turks were on their way to battle the Egyptians when they had to change course to face the Byzantine army at Manzikert), they eventually found the Byzantines to be the weaker enemy, and their forces gradually adapted to the hills and plains of Asia Minor and the Balkans rather than the sands of the Middle East.



Ghulam Cav.- Mamluk Cav. w/ +1 def., no lance; bonus in Edessa  (BG)

Turcoman Horse- unarm. Mtd. Sgts. w/ shortbows instead of lances

Ghazi Infantry- unarm. FMAA; fast; bonus in Syria

Seljuk Footmen- Chiv. Sgts., w/ sm. shield, good speed

Ghulam Archers- Archers w/ +2 valour, compound bows, +1 att.; fast



Armenian Heavy Cavalry- Feudal Kns. w/ -2 arm.; bonus in Armenia  (BG)

Ottoman Infantry- off. FMAA; fast; bonus in Anatolia

Azap Infantry- Feudal Sgts. w/ +1 valour

Pavise Arbalests



Sipahi of the Porte- Chiv. Kns. w/ no lance, disciplined, bonuses vs. cav of 1 and 1; bonus in Antioch  (BG)

Janissary Swordsmen- Hosp. Ft. Kn. w/ -1 def. & arm.; bonus in Georgia

Janissary Infantry- now Swiss Pikemen

Janissary Hvy Inf- now Swiss Halbardiers; bonus in Rum



Christian factions:



The descendents of the Vikings remain strong in infantry, but weak in other areas, especially cavalry. They will have to rely on their armour-piercing axes to carve out an empire, using their cavalry primarily to fend off the heavily-armoured knights of their neighbors.

Note: Historically, the Danes and Swedes adopted the same types of forces as those of their neighbors, which were built around the mounted knight. However, for gameplay purposes I wanted there to be a Catholic faction whose forces were built around blade infantry, much as the English are built around archer units and the Italians are built around spear and halberd units.

Note: These Viking descendents still count their former colonies in Mercia and Northumbria as part of their Homeland.



Hirden- Mtd. Sgts. w/ axes instead of lances, good morale, bonuses vs. cav of 1 and 2  (BG)

Svea Axemen- FMAA w/ axes, -1 att. & def.; bonus in Sweden

Nordic Karls-  FMAA w/ -1 valour; 100-man unit; bonus in Norway

Nordic Archers



Scandinavian Knights- Feudal Kns.  (BG)

Mtd. Crossbows

Nordic Huscarles- Viking Huscarles; bonus in Gotland

Nordic Spearmen- Chiv. Sgts. w/ +1 def & att.




Armoured Hirden-  arm. Hirden w/ ex. morale (BG)

Armoured Huscarles; bonus in Denmark

Nordic Longbowmen- FMAA w/ Mongol bows, axes, -1 valour, sm. shield, fair morale



The English forces gradually evolve in response to the superior heavy cavalry forces of their primary rival, the French. To this end, they develop potent archer units as the period progresses. In addition, they get an early, unarmoured form of Halbardiers in the Billman unit, and maintain adequate knights from Wessex and their French possessions. Their native spear units are quite poor, however, since historically the English relied upon field fortifications and the strength of their sword units to stave off any charging knights which managed to make it through the hail of missile fire from their longbowmen. Since field fortifications are not available in the game, English foot knights have been granted the same bonuses versus cavalry as spear units, though without any rank bonuses.

In addition, many English units are restricted to only a few provinces, so care must be taken when deciding which buildings to construct.

English knights can only be built in Wessex and their continental Homeland provinces.

Claymores and Gallowglaich can only be found in the rough terrain of Northumbria and Scotland.

Billmen are not available in Ireland or the rough terrain of Northumbria and Scotland.

English missile units cannot be recruited in Ireland or Scotland, as these superior units are the product of English culture, which shares many traits with French culture through the policies of their Norman conquerors.

The English may hire Scottish Pike mercenaries beginning in the High era, and recruit Flemish Pikemen in the Late era. Though the Scottish Pike are of poorer quality than the units that developed later, they, like Billmen, can be an advantage in the High era, and may be the only option available to the English in the Late era. The Flemish Pike, on the other hand, are superb units, should an English king find himself in control of that region during the Late era.




Norman Knights-  Feudal Kns. w/ +1 att.; Wessex and Cont. Europe; bonus in Normandy (BG)

Muntators-  Mtd. Sgts. w/ javelins

Claymores- unarm. Gallowglaich; available in Northumbria and Scotland; Early only

Fyrdmen- Feudal Sgts. w/ +1 def.

English Archers- FMAA w/ compound bows, -2 def., sm. shield, fair morale



Kns. of Gascon- Kns. Templar w/ good speed; Wessex and Cont. Europe; bonus in Aquitaine (BG)

Hobilars-  Muntators w/ +1 valour

Billmen-  unarm. Halbardiers; not available in Ireland, Northumbria or Scotland; bonus in Mercia

Gallowglaich-  available in Northumbria and Scotland; bonus in Northumbria.

Welsh Longbows- FMAA w/ Mongol bows, -1 att., sm. shield, good morale; bonus in Wales


Scottish Pikemen- Pikes w/ -1 valour; Scotland only



Kns. of St. George- Gendarmes w/ +2 valour ; Wessex and Cont. Europe; bonus in Wessex (BG)

Ft. Kns. of St. George- Hosp. Ft. Kns.

English Longbows- FMAA w/ Longbows, sm. shield, ex. morale


Flemish Pikemen- Swiss Arm. Pikes; Burgundian and English only; Flanders only




Burgundians, Late era only; French units

The French are somewhat the “default” faction, in that they seem to the model that CA used to construct the Catholic factions' unit lineup. The French have perhaps the best heavy cavalry in all of Christendom, and France was where the very concept of Chivalry developed. To reflect this, their knight units are 25% larger than normal, at no extra cost. In addition, a region of France specializes in each mounted unit that the French field.

Also, if the French should conquer Scotland, they can hire mercenary Scottish Pike and Highlanders.



Destriders- Feudal Kns.; bonus in Anjou (BG)

Mtd. Sgts.; bonus in Brittany

Feudal MAA; bonus in Auverge

Feudal Sgts. w/ +1 def.




Chevaliers- Chiv. Kns.; bonus in Champagne (BG)

Militia Sgts.- Huscarles w/ -1 def., no shield; bonus in Poitou


Scottish Pikemen- Pikes w/ -1 valour



Compagnies d'Ordonnance- Kns. Hospitaller; bonus in Burgundy (BG)

Gendarmes- bonus in Paris

Ordonnance MAA- Hosp. Ft. Kns; bonus in Dauphine

Voulgiers- Halbardiers; bonus in Languedoc

Partisans- Pikemen


Flemish Pikemen- Swiss Arm. Pikes; Burgundian and English only; Flanders only



German HRE

HRE generally has a very difficult position to hold onto, much less expand from, as there seems to be a hard-coded predisposition towards hostility built into all the other factions in the game. The HRE forces do get a boost in the Late era from their unique ability to hire Landsknecht buildable mercenaries. There are two Landsknecht units: Pikemen and Halberdiers. These units have better than average morale, and impressive stats, so an integrated force, when combined with the excellent German mounted units, can be a very potent army.



Knechte-  Feudal Kns.; bonus in Franconia (BG)

Dienstleute -  Mounted Sgts.

Heerban-   unarm. FMAA w/ axes; bonus in Tyrolia

Swabian Swordsmen- Gallowglaich w/ L/n shield; Swabia only

Germanic Spearmen- Chiv. Sgts.




Imperial Kns.- Chiv Kns.; bonus in Bavaria (reflects seat of power) (BG)

Imperial Sgts.- Mtd. Sgts. w/ +1 valour, bonus vs. cav of 1 and 1

Saxon MAA-  Huscarles; bonus in Saxony

Gothic Sgts.-   Feudal Sgts. w/ +2 valour

Pavise Crossbows



Gothic Kns.- bonus in Austria (reflects seat of power) (BG)

Bohemian Gentry- arm. Mtd. Sgts. w/ crossbows instead of lances; bonus in Bohemia

Gothic Ft. Kns.- bonus in Lorraine

Landsknecht Pikemen- arm. Pikemen

Landsknecht Halberdiers- Swiss Halbardiers

Pavise Arbalests



Bulgarian, H&L; E&H Hungarian units; Germanic Merc. BGs

The Huns have a hybrid force of both Eastern and Western unit types, which reflects their struggles against both Muslim and Christian forces. With the rich commercial cities of Venice and Constantinople both within reach, along with the highly developed provinces of the HRE to the northwest, an Hungarian ruler must make his plans of conquest carefully, lest these powerful nations turn their might upon him before he can fully marshall his forces.

Note: The Hungarians have lost the ability to launch Crusades that was added for v1 of the mod. They also share many Homeland provinces with the Poles, including their capitals, the only major factions who do so.



Hungarian Nobles- Mtd. Sgts. w/ +1 def., good morale; bonus vs. cav of 1 att; bonus in Transdanubia (BG)

Szekely-  off. Mtd. Sgts. w/ compound bows, fair morale; fast; Transylvania only

Jobbagy- unarm. Huscarles w/ poor morale, no shield

Varjobbagy- off. Feudal Sgts.

Bulgarian Brigands- unarm. FMAA w/ Compound bows, axes, -1 att., sm. shield; bonus in Bulgaria



Germanic Mercenaries- Feudal Kns. w/ good speed; bonus in Croatia (BG)

Coursaroi- unarm. Teutonic Sgts. w/ +1 att.; Croatia and Serbia only; bonus in Serbia

Wallachian Infantry- FMAA w/ axes, -1 att., sm. shield; bonus in Wallachia

Magyar Spearmen- Chiv. Sgts. w/ +1 def.;




Knights of the Banderium- Chivalric Kns.; bonus in Pannonia (BG)

Banderium Infantry-  Halberdiers; bonus in Carniola

Clipeati- Arm. Pikemen



Venetians/Genoese/ Papists

The Italians are now split between two factions; the Venetians and the Genoese Confederacy. Italian units are built to defend against attacks by their larger Christian neighbors, such as France and the HRE. This has lead to the development of superior spear units. Well-trained, versatile crossbow units are also a hallmark of Italian armies. In addition, the constant skirmishes and outright wars amongst the various city-states and confederacies has resulted in Contadina and Popolo militias that are stronger than normal.

On the negative side, the urban nature of the Italian power structure, built more around trade than feudalism, means that Italian nobles have not attained nor kept pace with the martial prowess and technological development of their Catholic peers. Italian success depends upon developing lucrative trade networks along the Mediterranean, and keeping control of the Alpine passes which control movement between Italy and the surrounding lands.

Italian bodyguard units are composed of the infantry forces that form the core of their armies, including the most expensive and powerful unit in the entire Middle Ages, Italian Heavy Infantry.

Note: Neither the Venetians nor Genoese can recruit Outremer units.

Note: The Papists cannot build navel vessels nor Italian Heavy Infantry.



Contadina Cav.-  Mtd. Sgts.

Contadina Inf.- unarm. Huscarles w/ poor morale, no shield; bonus in Tuscany

Ital. Lt. Inf.-  Feudal Sgts. w/ +2 valour; 60-man unit; bonus in Lombardy (BG)

Pavisiers-   Chiv. Sgts.; bonus in Savoy

Italian Sailors- FMAA w/ Crossbows; bonus in Liguria



Italian Nobles-  Feudal Kns.

Popolo Cav.-  Mtd. Sgts. w/ Crossbows instead of lances, fair morale

Carracio Guard- Chivalric MAA; bonus in Verona (BG)

Popolo Inf.-  unarm. Halbardiers; bonus in Apulia



Italian Hvy Inf- 60-man hybrid of Gothic Sgts. and Halbardiers, w/ stats of 6,3,5,5,8, AP, lg. shield, 1 supp. rank, bonuses vs. cav of 2 and 3; bonus in Venice (BG)

Condoterri-  Swiss Halberdiers; bonus in Rome (Papist BG)

Italian Armoured Pikemen- Arm. Pikemen; bonus in Papal States

Organ Guns



Lithuanians, all eras; Polish E&H units; Lith. Cav. and Czeladz Lancer BGs

The Poles are a somewhat hybrid force as well, as they are caught between the heavy cavalry and crossbows of the HRE and Teutonic Order on the north and west, and the swift horse archers of the mighty Horde on the east. In response to these threats, the Poles develop a fairly unique blend of cavalry and supporting infantry. The Czeladz Knighthood develops superior mounts that can match either the heavy knights of the HRE, or the speed of the lighter steppe forces. Later on, the Dobrzyn crusader order develops to combat the cavalry threat from both the Order and the pagan Horde, as well as to help in the forced Christianization of the Baltic Coast provinces. If the Poles can make good use of their native infantry, plus regional units such as the Lithuanians, they should be in fine shape to rebound from the devastating Horde invasion, and perhaps set upon the road to building their own empire.

Note: The Knights of Dobrzyn require a Crusader Chapel instead of a Chapterhouse, given the fact that they do all of their crusading close to home.

Note: The Poles have lost the ability to launch Crusades, which was a feature in v1.85. They also share many Homeland provinces with the Hungarians, including their capitals, the only factions who do so.

Note: Lithuanian Cav. are only available in Lithuania, Livonia, Prussia and Volhynia



Polish Retainers- Mtd. Sgts. w/ +1 valour, hvy. lance; bonus in Ruthenia (BG)

Lithuanian Cavalry- Mtd. Sgts. w/ +1 def.; bonus vs. cav of 2 attack; bonus in Lithuania

Slavic Infantry- unarm. FMAA w/ -1 att.; fast; 100-man unit

Varjobbagy- off. Feudal Sgts.




Czeladz -  Chivalric Kns.; bonus in Silesia (BG)

Czeladz Lancers- Teutonic Sgts.; bonus in Mazovia

Czeladz Bowmen- Mtd. Sgts. w/ crossbows instead of lances, and fair morale

Polish Militia- unarm. Halbardiers

Polish Axemen- Gallowglaich w/ axes instead of swords

Mazovian Spearmen-  Chiv. Sgts. w/ +1 def.



Rycerz-  Kns. Hospitaller; bonus in Poland (BG)

Knights of Dobrzyn- Gendarmes w/ bonuses vs. cav of 2 and 2; bonus in Pomerania

Rycerz Swordsmen- Hospitaller Ft. Kn.

Galician Pikemen- Pikemen




The Sicilians have perhaps the most unique army in all of Christendom, in that it employs significant numbers of Muslim troops in its repertoire, as well as Italian units and their own Sicilian, or French, Knights. Sicily was conquered by the same powerful French family that had conquered England only a few decades earlier, and as their Mediterranean holdings changed and grew over the years, they became known as the Angevin Dynasty, just as their cousins became known as England’s Plantagenet Dynasty. In 1282, they lost Sicily due to a peasant revolt, which became known as the Night of the Sicilian Vespers. The native Sicilians then appealed to the Aragonese for help, who eventually won the long struggle that followed, and so marked the decline of the Angevin fortunes.

Note: The Sicilians can no longer launch Crusades.

Note: Muslim troops are only available in Sicily, in addition to their Muslim Homelands, while Sicilian knights can only be obtained in Sicily, Apulia and Campania.



Sicilian Feudal Kns.- +1 att; bonus in Sicily (BG)

Saharan Cavalry- off. Mtd. Sgts. w/ no lance; fast

Contadina Inf.- unarm. Huscarles w/ poor morale, no shield; bonus in Tuscany

African Spearmen- Chiv. Sgts., w/ sm. shield; good sp.

Italian Sailors- FMAA w/ crossbows, no shield; bonus in Liguria



Sicilian Chivalric Kns.- +1 att; bonus in Campania (BG)

Popolo Cav.-  Mtd. Sgts. w/ crossbows, no lance, +2 morale

Popolo Inf.-  unarm. Halbardiers; bonus in Apulia

Murabitin Inf.- Feudal Sgts. w/ +1 valour



Sicilian Pikemen- Swiss Pikemen




Portuguese, all eras; Spanish units; Bellatores and Kns. Calatrava BGs

When the Medieval period begins, the Christian factions have been pushed into the northern highlands of the Iberian Peninsula by the Muslim invaders. The Early era covers the time when the Christians turned the tide of the war; the High era when the Almohad Empire collapsed due to losses and civil strife, and the Late era when the Christians set about consolidating their gains, including the initiation of the Inquisition, and began to expand outside of the Iberian Peninsula.

The Sp/Ar enjoy a price discount on their units, as this war was as much about ethnic and cultural survival as about plunder or political aspirations. The Spanish were a collection of small, fully militarized, provincial kingdoms during this time, and this is reflected in their troop types, several of whose names come from military orders or provinces not shown on the game map.

Note: Almughavars do not have a price discount, coming as they do after Spanish survival has been assured.



Bellatores-  Feudal Kns.; bonus in Leon (BG)

Spanish Jinetes- Mtd. Sgts. w/ javs; fast; bonus in Al-Gharb

Saragossian Militia- def. FMAA

Asturian Foot-  Feudal Sgts.

Navarrese Bowmen- unarm. FMAA w/ compound bows



Kns. Calatrava-  Kns. Templar; bonus in Aragon (BG)

Catalonian Sgts.-  Teutonic Sgts.; bonus in Valencia

Mtd. Crossbows; Iberia only; bonus in Cordoba

Galician Militia Sgts.- Huscarles w/ -1 def., no shield; bonus in Portugal

Basque Inf.-  Chiv. Sgts. w/ +1 def.

Pavise Crossbows; Iberia only



Lancers- Teutonic Kns. w/ +1 def.; bonus in Old Castile (BG)

Andalusian Swordsmen- Hosp. Ft. Kns.; bonus in New Castile

Almughavars- Pikemen w/ +1 att.; bonus in Murcia



The Byzantines are unique in the game for several reasons: the professional nature of their armed forces, the extent to which they used foreign mercenaries, their geographical location, and their history, such as how they begin the High era having lost their capital province to a deceitful combination of hypocritical Crusaders and scheming trading rivals. Even though they were eventually able to recapture Constantinople, Byzantine power had been dealt a deadly blow, and the following years were simply the death throes of the empire.

Even though very capable units could have been raised or hired by the Byzantines, they were too crippled to make wide use of them. Though a start in the Early era gives you the opportunity to strike at your enemies before they can gain strength, later games will be a task of holding off the numerous aggressors around you until you have built up your infrastructure, and then using your advanced units to grow your empire.

The Byzantines have access to perhaps more impressive units than any faction in the game, and most of their units are disciplined and elite, as befits their professional training. However, they are hampered from raising large numbers of these troops by the geographic restrictions of many native units, and the mercenary status of the heaviest units, whose armour and training are foreign to the ways of the East.

To represent the large amounts of mercenaries in the Byzantine armies, they are given the ability to build Inns in three of their Homeland's provinces: Thrace, Macedonia and Achaea. Macedonia and Achaea were chosen to represent the fact that most mercenaries hired were fellow Christians from Europe.

Note: Thrace is considered a European province for purposes of unit availability.



Kataphraktoi- Feudal Kns. w/ axe instead of lance; bonus in Thrace (BG)

Stratiotai (Byz. Lancers)- Mtd. Sgts. w/ better speed & discipline; bonus in Epirus

Vardariots (Byz. Cav.)- Mtd. Sgts. w/ shortbows, no lance, +1 att., +2 morale; bonus in Lesser Armenia

Vestiaritae (Byz. Inf.)- def. FMAA; bonus in Achaea

Varangian Guard- Huscarles w/ good morale; 2 turns to build; Thrace only

Hoplitai - Chiv. Sgts.; bonus in Macedonia

Psiloi (Trebizond archers)- FMAA w/ compound bows, -2 def., sm. shield; bonus in Trebizond

Naptha Throwers


High -

Pronoiai Allagion- Kns. Templar w/ good speed; Asia Minor only; bonus in Nicaea

Paramonai-   Huscarles w/ +1 def., ex. morale; 2 turns to build; Europe only

Kontaratoi-   off. Feudal Sgts. w/ +2 valour

Mourtatoi-    FMAA w/ compound bows, only available in Asia Minor

Pavise Arbalests


Late -

Imperial Kavallarioi- Gothic Kns.; buildable mercs

Imperial Menavlatoi-  Swiss Halberdiers; buildable mercs

Imperial Skutatoi-    Swiss Pikemen; buildable mercs



Russians, Late only

Novgorods and Kievans, each E&H;  Russian units and BGs

Russian armies are characterized by noble cavalry, good spearmen and cheap but plentiful infantry. Their western Homeland provinces, Muscovy, Novgorod, Livonia, Lithuania, Kiev and Moldavia, have the ability to produce western-style heavy infantry if it is needed to combat invading Catholic forces, while the Russian Dvors and Cossacks are designed to battle the Horde and attempt to re-take those lands which were lost to them in their devastating invasion. Historically, the Russians used Arquebusiers to finally drive off the weakened and fragmented Horde towards the end of the feudal age, and this is now reflected in the game.



Boyars- Feudal Kns. w/ axes instead of lances, -1 att., fair morale; good speed; bonus in Kiev (BG)

Steppe Cav.- off. Mtd. Sgts.; bonus in Volga-Bulgaria

Russian Karls- unarm. FMAA w/ +1 att.; fast; western provinces

Steppe Warriors- Off. Spearmen (see statistical notes for stats); bonus in Levidia

Kop'ya Infantry- Feudal Sgts.




Russian Retainers- Feudal Kns. w/ lt. lance, crossbow instead of shield; good speed; bonus in Novgorod (BG)

Russian Huscarles- western provinces

Steppe Swordsmen.-  unarm. Gallowglaich; 100-man unit; bonus in Ryazan

Rogatina Infantry- Chiv. Sgts. w/ +1 def & att.

Pavise Crossbows



Russian Dvors- Gothic Kns. w/ good speed but -1 def and arm; bonus in Muscovy (BG)

Cossacks- Teutonic Sgts. w/ no lance, bonus vs. cav of +3 attack; bonus in Smolensk

Berdyshi-  Swiss Halberdiers w/ cav bonus of only +1 def.; western provinces

Ratniki solva- Arm. Pikemen; western provinces




Celts, E&H; Scots, Late only

The Celts were pushed out of England by the Angles and Saxons, until only Wales and Scotland remained under their rule. However, in the centuries immediately preceding the Early era, Irish settlers migrated to Scotland, leading to a partial blending of the two cultures.

The Celtic faction represents a serious obstacle to English expansion, particularly in the Early era, and the land bridge between Scotland and Ireland means that they will stay connected even if the English gain control of the Irish Sea. The Celts are known as the Scots for the Late campaign, since Scotland is the only province where they remain in control.

The Celts have a unique and potentially potent array of units at their disposal, if put in the hands of a capable commander. Indeed, their lineup utilizes almost every weapon type available anywhere, and while they do not have heavy cavalry, they have several units which specialize in defeating such adversaries.

Note: English provincial unit restrictions still apply, meaning for example that Ireland and Scotland cannot produce English missile units.



Muntators-  Mtd. Sgts. w/ javelins (BG)

Claymores- unarm. Gallowglaich; available in Northumbria and Scotland; bonus in Scotland; Early only

Bonnachts- Off. Spearmen; Scotland, Ireland and Wales only; bonus in Ireland  (see statistical notes for stats)

Fyrdmen- Feudal Sgts. w/+1 def.

Irish Dartmen


Highland Clansmen- off., unarm., fast FMAA; mercenaries; Scotland only, E&H eras only



Hobilars-  Muntators w/ +1 valour (BG)

Billmen-  unarm. Halbardiers; not available in Ireland, Northumbria or Scotland; bonus in Mercia

Gallowglaich-  available in Northumbria and Scotland; bonus in Northumbria

Scottish Pikemen- Pikes w/ -1 valour; mercenaries; Scotland only

Welsh Longbows- FMAA w/ Mongol bows, -1 att., sm. shield, good morale; bonus in Wales




The Cuman are a nomadic steppe people who gradually spread over southeastern Europe after the collapse of the Jewish Khazar Kingdom, which was destroyed by the Prince of Kiev in a trade war over control of the great rivers between the Black and Baltic Seas. There is still a small amount of trade traveling through Khazar, which, along with the fertile basins of its rivers, carries great potential for a ruler strong enough to consolidate the small, independent tribes of the region. Historically, they were driven out of the Steppes and into the eastern Balkans by the Horde, but retained their nomadic culture for many years before settling down into an agrarian lifestyle.



Khazar Royal Cav- arm. Steppe Cav. w/ good  morale; bonus in Khazar (BG)

Steppe Cav.- off. Mtd. Sgts.; bonus in Volga-Bulgaria

Steppe Warriors- Off. Spearmen (see statistical notes for stats); bonus in Levidia

Kop'ya Infantry- Feudal Sgts.




Avar Nobles- Khazar R.C. w/ +1 valour; bonus in Chernigov (BG)

Steppe Hvy. Cav.- arm. Mtd. Sgts. w/ crossbow instead of lance; bonus in The Crimea

Steppe Swordsmen.-  unarm. Gallowglaich; 100-man unit; bonus in Ryazan

Rogatina Infantry- Feudal Sgts. w/ +1 valour & att.

Pavise Crossbows



Cossacks- Gendarmes w/ bonus vs. cav of +3 attack; fast; bonus in Smolensk (BG)

Cuman Horse Archers- arm. Szekely w/ axes; bonus in Moldavia



Outremer, H&L, and Latin, High only, Crusader States

These factions contain the territories held by Crusaders at the start of the High era. These territories are Thrace, Macedonia, and Epirus for the Latinos, while the Outremer States consist of Cyprus, Antioch and Tripoli. By the Late era, the Latin lands had been re-conquered by the Byzantines, while the Muslims had re-taken the Holy Lands, leaving the Outremer faction with only Cyprus and Lesser Armenia remaining in its possession.

Notes: None of the unit region bonuses for these factions show up on the Strategic Map, as those regions also allot bonuses to units of other factions.

In addition, Crusader cavalry units have two less armour than normal for European cavalry of their melee strength, though their defense is the same. This strengthens their endurance in the hot, arid climate of the Middle East. Also, the three knightly units require Monasteries in addition to the normal structures, to represent their unique origins and lifestyles. Finally, the Latinos may recruit the Imperial line of troops for less than the Byzantines, since the mercenaries are fellow Catholics.

And remember, Crusading factions may also recruit Outremer units, should they capture provinces within the States’ Homeland.



Outremer Sgts.-  Feudal Kns. w/ lt. lance, good speed; bonus in Edessa

Turcopoles-    60-man unit, dismounts to Turcoman Archers; bonus in Lesser Armenia

Outremer MAA- def. FMAA; bonus in Cyprus

Outremer Spearmen- Feudal Sgts. w/ +1 attack

Pavise Crossbows



Outremer Kns Templar- Chiv. Kns.; bonus in Tripoli (BG)

Paramonai- Huscarles w/ +1 def., ex. morale; 2 turns to build; Europe only (L)

Outremer Infantry- Italian Lt. Inf.; bonus in Syria (O)



Outremer Kns. Hosp.- Teutonic Kns.; bonus in Antioch (O) (BG)

Outremer Ft. Kns.- Hosp. Ft. Kns.; bonus in Jerusalem (O)

Imperial Kavallarioi- Gothic Kns.; buildable mercs (L) (BG)

Imperial Menavlatoi-  Swiss Halberdiers; buildable mercs (L)

Imperial Skutatoi-    Swiss Pikemen; buildable mercs (L)



Teutonic Order, H&L

The Middle East was not the only area where the Catholic Church sanctioned warfare against non-believers. After the failures and disappointments of the Second and Third Crusades, German nobles, as well as many from other countries in northern Europe, searched for areas closer to home in which to serve the Church and receive forgiveness for past sins. The first military order organized was the Brotherhood of the Sword, whose knights were known as the Sword Brethren. They were dedicated to conquering and converting the pagan provinces along the southern and eastern shores of the Baltic. They had success in conquering the areas around Livonia, but after failing to obtain additional conquests, were largely taken over by Germanic knights and re-organized as the Teutonic Order. Interestingly, the Order developed an extensive trade network, and protected the Hanseatic League by controlling the southern and eastern portions of the Baltic Sea. Buoyed by their trade revenue, they were the most potent force in Eastern Europe by the 13th century, and subsequently set their sights upon expansion. This brought them into contact with the Lithuanians, Russians and Poles, and helped create the circumstances which led to the merger of the Lithuanian and Polish crowns.

Note: the Order has access to some Nordic Early-era units with which to defend themselves, until they can get their provinces built up to produce their own units.



Hirden- Mtd. Sgts. w/ axes instead of lances, good morale, bonuses vs. cav of 1 and 2

Nordic Karls-  FMAA w/ -1 att. & def.; 100-man unit

Svea Axemen- FMAA w/ axes, -1 att. & def.




Sword Brethren- Kns. Templar w/ good speed; bonus in Livonia  (BG)

Mtd. Crossbows


Order Sgts.- Feudal Sgts. w/ +2 valour




Teutonic Kns.; bonus in Prussia  (BG)

Teutonic Ft. Kns.- Gothic Ft. Kns.

Teutonic Footmen- Pikemen



Golden Horde

The Mongol Horde which exploded out of the Asian Steppe in the 13th century was a seemingly unstoppable force which amassed the largest land empire in history, and only the death of their Great Khan stopped them from riding to the English Channel, destroying everything in their path. They were the ultimate challenge for any adversary, and to try and replicate that state, the Mongols are given several distinct bonuses in the game.

First of all, only two-third’s of the cost of assembling their units need be raised from their westernmost provinces, as they can draw on wealth, as well as men, from their vast Asian empire. Their unique units can also be assembled with less infrastructure than normal. Furthermore, the Horde has such an abundant supply of warriors that their units are 25% over-strength, just like the Muslim forces on their southern borders. Finally, their reputation for terror and brutality gives their units the same ability to cower and suppress the populations of their subjugated peoples as that normally seen in certain religious figures.



Mongol Heavy Cav.- Mtd. Sgts. w/ +2 valour (BG)

Mongol Horse Ar.- Mtd. Sgts. w/ Mongol bows, +1 att., fair morale

Steppe Cav.- off. Mtd. Sgts.; bonus in Volga-Bulgaria

Mongol Warriors- CMAA w/ Mongol bows, no shield

Chinese Infantry- Saracen Inf.

Chinese Mortars- shells explode upon impact



Berdyshi- Halberdiers (from subjugated Steppe border provinces)