Army Lists

Over the past four months the army lists team has been reviewing the army lists. The last two years have seen many MeG games played. Over the previous seven months suggestions had been made by MeG players on the forum. The team had also been reviewing the rules changes and considering how these changes might affect the army lists.

An army list has several purposes. For friendly games it provides guidance on how to classify troops. For competition games it constrains the player, forcing decisions to be taken on what troops to take. For those with an interest in history they can be a starting point for researching a culture or civilisation.

When constructing an army list there are many factors that we try to take into consideration. The most important is whether it is possible to construct an army that conforms to what we know from historical sources. If we don’t care about the history then we might as well play fantasy games! It is important to recognise that for most of our period the sources are limited, and we have no clear understanding of how ancient soldiers fought. We try to ensure the army has a unique “character”, something that makes it different from the next army. This is not always possible. We also try to ensure that every army has a chance of winning, again this can be challenging within the constraints of a table top wargame.

In classifying troops, the weapons should not be taken too literally. A cavalryman that is described as having a lance could be classified as “Charging Lancer”, “Long Spear” or “Short Spear” depending on how we believe they fought. Soldiers were rarely equipped uniformly, even in so-called “regular” armies.

Several consistent changes have been applied this year, many reflecting changes to the rules. ArmHrs has been introduced as a new category of protection. This has been applied to cataphracts, some Eastern elite cavalry units and to late 15th century knights. Most Medieval knights do not get this category (but remained Fully Armoured) allowing them to move faster. We hope this will introduce a better dynamic, particularly against mounted shooting armies. We have also taken advantage of the new “Charge-Only” classification, particularly as it relates to Byzantine armies. Along with this we have given an option of “Shoot & Charge” to many javelin armed troops. Fleet of Foot is a new characteristic that we hope will make aggressive but unprotected foot more playable. Mounted Powerbow has been generally replaced by Skilled Bow, except for a small number of Japanese samurai. We believe this provides a better play balance to represent these armies historically. We have also restricted the number of bow-armed light horse that can have the Cantabrian characteristic.

With each list we have added a brief note that identifies changes that have been applied. This is only for guidance and it is possible that not every change is referenced.

The number of armies has increased, many due to suggestions from players. The total now stands at 612. An Army List Index will be published shortly to help navigate through them.

We are adding one new set, provisionally entitled “Italian Wars”, to cover the late Medieval European armies influenced by the Swiss. This is mostly made up of armies from other Medieval sets including Kings in the North, Valois, Reconquista and Holy Roman Empire.

We continue to welcome queries and suggestions on the forum. If you disagree with our classification, then the more evidence, particularly from primary sources that you can supply the better. Although we may correct errors, we do not plan to release further revisions until 2020.

In future I hope we can expand the army lists with campaign guides to provide an even better wargaming experience. In meantime, I hope the army lists add to your fun and may you roll skulls!

Richard Jeffrey-Cook