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Old November 23rd, 2012, 10:27 PM   #1

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Mercenaries of Different Nationalities?


hey, all. i've been in a bit of an RTS design mood lately and a new idea occurred to me concerning a semi-historical game i've been making written designs for. basically, every playable civilization has a special mercenary unit that they themselves can't train, but which can be provided to allied players. for example, if one playing as teh Indians entered an alliance with the Germans, the Indians would receive a special Hessian unit (based on the involvement of German mercenaries in the ARW) while the Germans would get Sepoys

so i was just wondering if anyone had any ideas for other mercenaries that i could make reference to, noting different eras that they could/would appear in and when they would become irreparably obsolete (the Hessian, for instance, could conceivably continue to serve through to the contemporary era by simply getting a design makeover as time goes by, whereas a Ronin would become obsolete with the undeniable addition of rapid-firing guns to the lineup and therefore need to be replaced)

specifically, i'm looking for ones that can apply to each of these civilizations (the ones that supplied them, not the ones that used them):
  1. Americans (as in United States)
  2. British (including UK constituents and ethnic European Commonwealth)
  3. Byzantines (the Balkans as a whole)
  4. Chinese
  5. French
  6. Germans (including Austria and Switzerland)
  7. Indians (including Pakistan)
  8. Iroquois
  9. Italians
  10. Japanese
  11. Mesoamericans (Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean)
  12. Russians (including the entire former USSR)
  13. Saracens (Arabs & Berbers)
  14. Spanish (including Spanish-speaking Latin America)
  15. Bantu (most of Sub-Saharan Africa)
  16. Abyssinians (East Africa)
  17. Dutch (including Belgium and Luxembourg)
  18. Inca (indigenous South America)
  19. Koreans
  20. Mongols (includes Central Asia)
  21. Polish-Lithuanians
  22. Portuguese (including Brazil)
  23. Scandinavians (including Finland)
  24. Sioux
  25. Turks
  26. Israelis (including European Jews)
  27. Mande (West Africa)
  28. Navajo (and other Southwest Native Americans)
  29. Persians
  30. Vietnamese
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Old November 24th, 2012, 12:34 AM   #2

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The age is around 17th - 18th century?

Well, as for Italian history, before of the unification little local lords accepted to be payed to lead mercenary forces [even Dukes were commanders of these "Companies of Venture"].

These Companies of Venture were organized by the leaders of a Lordship and fought payed [by the Pope, the Emperor, other Lords ...].

Anyway they acted more in late Middle Age and Renaissance.

Link to the page explaining the figure of the "Condottiero"
Condottieri Condottieri

Later, during the construction of the state, Italian powers used Swiss mercenaries [you miss them in your list, millions of Swiss mercenaries fought everywhere during centuries ... The Swiss Guard, for example ...].
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Old November 24th, 2012, 04:35 AM   #3

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Hessian mercenaries

Swiss Pikeman (Damn you AlpinLuke for ninjaring me )

Landersnecht Pikeman.
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Old November 24th, 2012, 05:01 AM   #4

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For Poland-Lithuania it would be company of colonel Lisowski, they were known as "Elears" and fought in Russia, Balkans, Germany:

Lisowczycy Lisowczycy

The company was raised by Aleksander Lisowski and the soldiers were: "
Don_Cossack Don_Cossack
,
Ruthenians Ruthenians
,
Tatars Tatars
, Germans, Swedes, Poles, Lithuanians and who knows what others"


From:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksan...B3zef_Lisowski


Lisowski's soldiers used hats made of fox fur because in Polish "Lis" means "Fox" - from the surname of their colonel "Lisowski".

Last edited by Mosquito; November 24th, 2012 at 05:13 AM.
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Old November 24th, 2012, 05:32 AM   #5

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Some more can be add:


*Early Modern Age

-Stradioti: mostly Albanians, but also Greek and Slavic mercenary light cavalry. According to contemporaries, the best light cavalry of Europe. 1400-1750

-Croatians: called Schiavoni by Venetians, Dalmatians by most of contemporaries. Fearsome light infantry that specialized in skirmishing and snipering, 1400-1800

-Tagalog: not exactly mercenaries but vassals of the Spaniards, picturesque and brave light infantry from the Philippines. 1570-1900

-Nubians: eastern subsaharan warriors, usually archers and javelin throwers. From as early as 1300 BC to 1500 AC with traditional weaponry, and even employed today, considering that Sudan mercenaries fought in Lybia, but fighting with AK-47.

-Sudanics: they are your Mande. Coming from western Sudan, on the region of the Niger river. Spearmen whith shields and maces, but also archers and javelin throwers. They were usually employed by medieval Islamic states as bodyguards, 800-1500 AD.

-Iberians and Celtiberians: extensivelly employed in the ancient world by western Mediterranean powers. From 500 BC to 50 BC, as roman allies after that. Mostly heavy infantry, but also light infantry and heavy cavalry.

-Numidians: superb light cavalry from North Africa, 500 BC to 200 AD.

-Thracians: ferocious light infantry from the Balkans, employed mostly by Greek states, 600 BC to 100 AD.

-Scythians: light cavalry from the Pontic steppes, employed by Greeks, 600 BC to 200 BC.
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Old November 24th, 2012, 09:38 AM   #6
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The Scots, particularly during the Thirty Years War. Between 1620-1642 it's estimated that somewhere in the region 50,000 - 58,800 men were recruited as mercenaries.

19,560 - Sweden
13,700 - Denmark
10,320 - France
8,000 - Poland (This figure is disputed and it is not known if Scots mercenaries did go to Poland)
2,800 - United Provinces
2,000 - Rhe
1,500 - Bohemia
800 - Spain
200 - Russia

The reason for recruitment coming to an end in 1642 is that most commanders were recalled to fight in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms.

Muster rolls for this period also show a large number of Irish mercenaries fighting alongside the Scots. (Fallon JA, 34: 1972).
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Old November 24th, 2012, 10:38 AM   #7

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpinLuke View Post
The age is around 17th - 18th century?
yeah, i suppose i should have specified the timespan really any time from around 1000 AD to the present-day (contemporary mercs or equivalents of them would be used for post-present time periods)

thanks for all your input so far, everyone so far we have listed:
  • Abyssinians: Nubian
  • British: Scot
  • Byzantines: Stradioti, Schiavoni, Thracian
  • Germans: Hessian, Landsknecht
  • Indians: Sepoy
  • Italians: Condottiero, Swiss Guard
  • Japanese: Ronin (?)
  • Mande: Sudanese
  • Polish-Lithuanians: Elear, Lisowski's Soldier
  • Russians: Scythians
  • Saracens: Numidian
  • Spanish: Tagalog (?), Iberian/Celtiberian
any others?
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Old November 24th, 2012, 11:28 AM   #8

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The Potiguar indians fought as mercenaries in the Duth-portuguese war, in the second battle of guararapes they fought on the left flank and managed to repulse the Dutch infantry.
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Old November 24th, 2012, 01:23 PM   #9

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A couple of notes.

From Russia and Scandinavia the Byzantine power, around 900 - 1100 CE, recruited mercenaries in the Τάγμα των Βαραγγίων [Varyag Guard], overall made by Vikings.

From the German lands we can add to the list the Landsknecht, created in 1487, tremendous mercenary troops [notorious also in Italy where they fought several time leaving a terrible recall of their passage].
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Old November 25th, 2012, 02:07 AM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HBT View Post
The Scots, particularly during the Thirty Years War. Between 1620-1642 it's estimated that somewhere in the region 50,000 - 58,800 men were recruited as mercenaries.

19,560 - Sweden
13,700 - Denmark
10,320 - France
8,000 - Poland (This figure is disputed and it is not known if Scots mercenaries did go to Poland)
2,800 - United Provinces
2,000 - Rhe
1,500 - Bohemia
800 - Spain
200 - Russia

The reason for recruitment coming to an end in 1642 is that most commanders were recalled to fight in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms.

Muster rolls for this period also show a large number of Irish mercenaries fighting alongside the Scots. (Fallon JA, 34: 1972).

Very interesting, but, what region are you talking about?
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