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Romanoi Bodyguards
Romanoi Bodyguards
Rate: 4 ratings
Legendary unit
Views: 584
Class and category heavy cavalry
Soldier bodyguards_ere, 10, 0, 1.1
Mount mount half kat, elephant -4, camel -2
Engine and Ship
Attributes sea_faring, hide_forest, very_hardy, can_withdraw, general_unit
Formation 2.5, 4, 3, 6, 2, square
Hit points 1, 0
Primary weapon 10, 14, no, 0, 0, melee, melee_blade, piercing, spear, 25, 1, no
Secondary weapon 4, 8, no, 0, 0, melee, melee_blade, blunt, mace, 25, 1, ap
Primary armour 10, 18, 4, metal
Secondary armour 0, 0, flesh
Heat and ground effect 4, -4, -4, -4, -2
Mental 14, disciplined, highly_trained
Cost 1, 814, 407, 184, 107, 814
Unit Description
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Romanoi Bodyguards Early E.Roman Bodyguards were the elites. Their names would vary but not their function. They had been called “Athanatoi” or “Excurbitores” before that. Not much more is needed for those horsemen. They were chosen among the best of Kataphraktoi or maybe even foreign mercs to wear besides the “esolorikon” ¾ inch thick padded gambeson, an extra “lorikion” chain mail or scale armor hauberk up to their face, sometimes a “klibanion” lamellar armor cuirass over it and on top of that an “epilorikion” (quilted cloth armor gambeson designed to absorb blunt trauma, like that of a mace). They wear reinforced iron helmets with iron scale aventails and have small iron circular shoulder protectors. They identified themselves by tufts of hair on their armour and tufenk in their helmets.They also wore outmoded pieces of equipment, as the ancient “pteryges” leather strips which protected the genitals. A proud sign of Hellenic and Ancient Roman heritage, and another sign of distinction. A gorget protects the neck made of mail or less likely scale. They carry a reinforced kite shield with the “kontarion” lance on the other hand. They also carry a “spathion” longsword, 36in long (excluding the hilt) and hung at the left hip. Their forearms are protected by “cheiropsella” interlocking lamellar pieces. Lower feet would be protected by “podopsella” interlocking lamellar pieces as well. Their horses are barded in the finest iron lamellar the ironsmiths of the E. Roman empire can muster. Their battle role if needed would be that of lancers, either creating or exploiting a break in the enemy line. This unit’s ultimate role, however, is the protection of the royalty entrusted to its keep, and since Komnenoi are known for their reckless assaults on the enemy that task is very hard. It is absolutely essential that this martial tradition remains however as historically emperor Manuel was selected by his father over his older brother Isaakios, for his prowess in battle. He couldn’t have been half as brave without selected heavy horsemen guarding him. Historically, the heavy horsemen bodyguards were one of the most ancient elite cavalry troops of the Roman Empire. They are heavily armed, not different than the Kataphraktoi or Klibinarioi of earlier line troops, but in some minor details. First Hellenic state to have fielded them more than 1400 years before was the Kingdom of Baktria, followed suit by Seleukeides when Antiochos III nearly lost his life fighting them in Arrius river. Then he used Kataphraktoi horsemen to form his very own bodyguard. Romani fielded heavy numbers of Kataphraktoi to counter Parthian then Sassanid Grivnavpar. Kataphraktoi and their fights with their Sassanid counterparts were the stuff of legend in their time. No emperor would dare fight without his kataphraktoi bodyguards. Despite the power of their devastating charge, and their zeal in protecting their Emperor, the blitzkrieg of Arab light cavalry, and the dire straits of the empire at the time, pushed them into extinction as a fighting unit, with lighter cavalry taking over their role. Ioannis Tzimiskes must have re-established them in the 9th and 10th century amidst the great Roman counterattack on all fronts which pushed the boundaries of Roman domain into present day Armenia and Iraq and reclaiming the Balkans, Cyprus and Crete for the empire. Post Manzikert their numbers were devastated, and nearly brought to end when the “Athanatoi” heavy cavalry (another name for the Early bodyguard ) were killed to a man trying to stop the Normans in the time of the first Komnenos emperor. Still Manuel, was made an Emperor because of his prowess in battle, and some Kataphraktoi horsemen like those of the Early bodyguard who kept him alive. As such, their role remains unchanged in the battlefield.

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