Arkuth - Armies & Commanders
Command, Units & Formations
Medieval Ranks & Unit Titles:
For the purpose of Arkuth's AD&D campaign world, we will be using the following military structure for the majority of kingdoms across the land. This will not only help maintain organization of the realm, it will make life allot easier in times of war between nations and when employing Arkuth's mass combat rules.
Order of Command:
King/Emperor; Supreme ruler of the nation in question.
High Constable (commander-in-chief of the king's army); The High Constable has authority over all local constables and commanders of the garrisons of major castles. The High Constable derives his authority over the army from his role of head of the Cavalry. This commander was typically accompanied by a Field Marshall and a Constable along with advisors and a bodyguard unit sometimes drawn from his own household or direct relations - hence huscarl or household cavalry.
Field Marshal; Marshals act as chiefs of logistics and were also employed by royal and noble courts. They are in charge of setting up the army's camp. Field Marshals are always of nobility and generally commanders of a single Battle whether that being a van, middle or rear is the responsibility of the High Constable.
Lord/Vassals; Were often given some measure of command over the knights and men-at-arms they supplied the king during wartime, but there was no defined chain of command, and all major decisions rested with the king (or appointed field marshal) and his advisers. Each lord/vassal raises troops from fiefs that they control and of course this formed their own retinue. Retinues of men are also considered companies of soldiers.
Knight Banneret; The highest tier of knightly class. The head knight. Can have command of several Lances under him.
Knight; Knights of all ranks lower than banneret. Is responsible for raising a Lance under his command to support the king's army during times of war.
Man at Arms; A noble responsible for bearing arms for his liege. Usually a heavily armed and mounted warrior. They were often knights, but not always.
Constables; Generally a constable in the king's army is a man put in charge of the raising and upkeep of the army, but also filled a key command spot too. Sometimes several constables are required for large armies. Constables can be commoners and thus fall beneath a knights station, however they are often nobility and may supercede a knight's rank on the field of combat.
Captain; The commander in charge of 100 men. A sub rank to an army commander and is one rank higher than a Vintanar.
Vintanar; A commander of 50 men.
Military Units & Formations:
Battle; A "battle" was a medieval military formation, analogous and ancestral to the modern term battalion. In late medieval warfare, field armies were often drawn up into three main battles, also called guards: the vanguard, the middle guard, and the rear guard, often abbreviated to simply the van, middle, and rear. These terms imply, correctly, that the van preceded the middle, which in turn preceded the rear, into battle if the battles were arranged sequentially as a column. If arranged abreast, the van was on the right and the rear the left. A battle consists of 3,000 to 10,000 men depending on the armies overall size and availible commanders.
Retinues; A "retinue" or companies of men are formed by the lords and vassals of the kingdom in times of war. These large bodies of soldiers consist of all types including light and heavy foot soliders, archers, pikemen, siegers, light and heavy calvalry etc. Retinues/Company's can consist of anywhere from 500-1000 soldiers.
Lance; A "lance" is a tactical unit headed by a mounted knight and usually the associated support troops to make it a fighting unit and keep the lance operational in the field. A typical Lance consists of 4-8 heavy armored cavalry and anywhere from 6-12 support troops of various skills and talents.
Example Army Setup:
Total Troops; 9,000
Vanguard; 3,000 (3 retinues total)
Middle Guard; 3,000 (6 retinues total)
Rear Guard; 3,000 (6 retinues total)
Troop Command Info; 1 High Constable, 3 Field Marshals, 15 Lords/Vassals in command of their own retinues, 1 Knight Banneret, acommpanied by 30 other knights who command 30 Lances spread between each Battle evenly. 90 Captain's and 180 Vintanars round off the army's total command.