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The Heirs of Clovis: Merovingians

Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 8 months ago



This list is intended to cover the period from the civil war followng Childebert II's accession (593) to the usurpation of the crown by Pepin III (Mayor of the Palace) in 751.


It includes the Battle of Poitiers (Tours) against the Arabs in 732


Map- Europe c600 AD http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/maps/600eur.jpg

Army List


    • 2-4 Neustrian or Austrasian Divisions

0-1 Frankish Cavalry

2-3 Frankish Infantry


If the Frankish cavalry is not deployed, it is presumed that these warriors are fighting dismounted amongst the infantry


Optional Units

0-2 Skirmishers



Frankish Cavalry

Medium Cavalry- Initiative 6 (Audacious)

3 bases (42 pts)

4 bases (52 pts)


Frankish Infantry

Audacious Medium Shieldsmen- Initiative 5 or 6 (Deep-line)

6 bases (24 pts +8 pts if I6)

8 bases (30 pts +10 pts if I6)


Infantry can only be graded as initiative 6 if no cavalry is included in the division. The upgrade assumes that the cavalry is fighting dismounted amongst the foot and 'stiffening' their resolve.



Light Irregulars or Light Archers- Initiative 5

4 bases (15 pts or 21 pts)



Bachrach, B.S. (1962). Merovingian Military organisation. Minessota University Press, ISBN 0-8166-0621-8.



1. Attack on Wintrio's camp: Pre-dawn assault of Neustrian cavalry behind a screen of foot (carrying camouflage/branches)

2. Battle near Laffaux, Chlotar's followers defeats Theudebert and Theuderic with a charge.

3. Some troops have classical roots- milites and laeti, may have been descendants of Roman (imperial) milites. Such general levies may also be custodes.

4. Armed retainers from court are custodes

5. Comites could also be used to describe royal companions

6. Army had Latin root, associated with location e.g. exercitus Austrasiorum

7. Scara (e.g. scarii Burgundiae) were picked or special troops.

8. Pauperes and inferiores served in levies, and clearly not well regarded.

9. Pueri are also associated with leaders, as are antrustiones.

Comments (1)

Anonymous said

at 11:36 am on May 2, 2006

The Strategikon makes the following comments on the Franks (also Lombards and other 'light haired' peoples):

"...They are disobedient to their leaders. ... They are easily ambushed along the flanks and to the rear of their battle line, for they do not concern themselves at all with scouts and the other security measures. Above all, therefore, in waging war against them one must avoid engaging in pitched battles, especially in the early stages. Instead, make use of well planned ambushes, sneak attacks and stratagems. ..."

'...either on horseback or on foot, they are impetuous and undisciplined in charging, as if they were the only people in the world who are not cowards'.

'...If they are hard pressed in cavalry actions, they dismount at a pre-arranged sign and line up on foot.'

'...{Roman cavalry should} lean forward, cover their heads with their shields, hold their lances high as their shoulders in the manner of the fair-haired races, and protected by their shields they ride in good order, not too fast but at a trot, to avoid having the impetus of their charge breaking up their ranks before coming to blows with the enemy, which is a real risk.'

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