The Huns were a nomadic people made up of a confederation of different tribes who migrated west from Central Asia in the mid to late 4th century. Their exact origins remain a mystery with opinions varying from Chinese/Mongol to Turkic/Caucaisian. What is certain was the devastation they caused in their move into Western Europe and Roman Empire. They defeated many peoples, absorbing them into their armies to form vast raiding forces that plagued Europe for decades.
We have chosen to represent them in a varied form, taking advantage of the scarcity of information and to hopefully provide you with a colourful army that represents a mix of tribal types rather than the predictable (and unproven) pseudo-Mongol style of army. You will find a mix of Central Asian, Turkic, Scythian, Gothic and even the odd bit of Roman gear and style in this range. Something for everyone!
Vikings! Fierce warriors originating from Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Sailing in their superiorly crafted and ingeniously engineered longships, they would explore, raid, and plunder from Russia to the Mediterranean and North Africa, to as far away as North America. Warriors whose lust for fighting and treasure would make them feared from the late 8th century and the raid on the monastery at Lindisfarne in 793 until the middle 11th century with the defeat of Harold Hardrada at Stamford Bridge in 1066.
The north men, as the Vikings were often referred to at the time, were driven by their lust for war and wandering, exploring and trading as well as raiding and conquering. They would be the bane of the English and Irish Iles, settle Iceland and Greenland, besiege the city of Paris on multiple occasions, raid as far south as Spain, North Africa and Italy, explore North America possibly coming into conflict with the native Americans, and even serve in the Varangian Guard under the Emperors of the Byzantine Empire.
The final act of the Viking age would be fought by one of its greatest kings, Harold Hardrada. Before Stamford Bridge, Harold spent many years fighting and making his fortune as a mercenary from the courts of Russian princes, to serving as the head of the Varangian Guard fighting the Saracens in the Mediterranean and even seeing action against the Normans in Italy. Upon his return, he would become King of Norway but it was his death at Stamford Bridge, with an arrow through the eye, that would effectively bring an end to the age of the Vikings.
The turmoil of the last two centuries of Roman dominance produced conflict throughout Europe and the near East. Emperors and Warlords rose and fell. Enemies old and new fought her legions from Britain to the gate of Byzantium. This range is intended to enable the collector and gamer to recreate those armies. Our view of the Roman army at this time is pretty fixed but there were differences in armor and clothing in various theaters of conflict. The Romano British infantry packs is there to mix in with the regular Roman infantry to give a different feel to the legions. We will do the same for other Roman armies over time to give you the chance to create a more specific look to you collection should you choose.
This range covers a large period of time, luckily for most gamer's. From what little we know, the Irish changed little in appearance from the late 4th Century through to the Viking Age and beyond. The Fianna armed with axes are the only real troops peculiar to the later period, due to the influence from Danish incursions into Ireland. Ireland was a very poor land during this period and as such armor and quality weapons were often the preserve of the noble warrior class. The vast majority of men fought with no more than javelins and a knife or short sword if they were lucky. As well as fighting on to defend their lands against the Vikings in the later period, they had been infamous as seaborne raiders for centuries before that and often plundered settlements on the western shores of England and Wales.
As the Roman Empire started to crumble in Western Europe, there were also mass migrations by peoples as a result of war and famine. In an attempt to keep his grip on Roman Britain, the Romano-British Warlord Vortigen employed Saxon mercenaries in 428 AD to help quell the British tribes. Unfortunately, rather than going home after he was done with them, they decided to stay in Britain and invite over their friends and families. Over the next decades the Saxons, along with other German tribes (Angles and Jutes), established themselves in Eastern Britain and then pushed west conquering land and pushing the British tribes into the West Country and Wales. Britain would never be the same again.
This range covers the later part of the Dark Ages in Britain, and covers from the time of the first raids by the Vikings in the late 8th Century till the final defeat of Anglo-Danish Britain by the Normans in 1066 AD. During this time as well as external threats from the Irish, Vikings and Normans, Britain also saw many periods of internal conflict too. Great Kings arose in Alfred, Cnut and finally Harold. From an Anglo-Saxons society, it began to change into an Anglo-Danish society based on Dane Law as the Vikings settled in the north and east and then expanded their influence and territory. In 1066 William the Bastard of Normandy invaded and at the fateful Battle of Hastings King Harold was defeated and Britain came under the rules of Norman overlords.
“In the arts of war they are quite spectacular, fighting on horseback not only with spears but with javelins… they trust more in the swift running of their horses… ‘where the Getan goes, he goes with his horse’.” - The History of the Kings of the Goths, Isidore of Seville
The Goths were a confederation of tribes amongst the many that harassed the Eastern fringes of the Roman Empire in the region of the Black Sea, becoming a growing concern for the Romans in the 3rd century AD as they pillaged either side of the Danube. Growing interest in their economic and political potential, as well as their prowess in battle over the years, saw the Visigoths admitted as foederati under Constantine in 332 AD. But this was by no means a firm alliance: the Visigoths soundly defeated the Eastern Emperor Valens at the Battle of Adrianople in 378 AD, and would later sack Rome itself in 410 AD.
By the advent of the Hunnic invasions, the discernible split in the Gothic people saw the (now Christian) Visigoths move further into Roman territory while the Ostrogoths sided with Attila’s forces. They would clash at the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains in Gaul in 451 AD, their superiority as cavalry over their foes honed over the last 50 years in performance and reputation.
Over time the two Gothic tribes further developed an identity and independence while they traversed Western Europe, each carving out their respective kingdoms in the wake of a severely crippled Roman Empire. The Ostrogoths would later settle in Italy and the surrounds until the successful campaign of Justinian I in the 6th century, which brought to an end not only the Ostrogothic kingdom but also to the Vandals in North Africa.
The Visigoths first settled briefly in Toulouse and ventured into the Iberian peninsula at the service of the Romans, vying against other tribes who had settled there in previous migratory waves, such as the Sueves, Alans and Vandals, and the provincial brigands of the bacaudae. Defeat by the Franks at the Battle of Vouille in 507 AD triggered the final stage of the Visigothic era, the establishment of the Visigothic Kingdom of Spain. From 568 AD, Leovigild formalised the court at Toledo and took control of Galicia from the Sueves and Spania from the Byzantines. The Visigothic Kingdom reached its prominence in the 6th and 7th centuries before falling to the Umayyad incursion between 711-14 AD.