After showing the heavy foot for my Saxon/Dark Age armies it seems like a good idea to now show the skirmishers. These are not that common in Vikings/Saxons armies but do appear more in other forces of the time. However, they are the troops who who will keep the flanks safe especially in difficult going and maybe cause some delays for enemy moves. So it’s good to have some in my forces to use fort armies.
First, I have 12 bases of bow armed skirmishers. These would be often be troops of lesser status. A man of honor at this time in north western europe would go to battle in the ranks of the heavy infantry by choice. But the bow was widely used for hunting and although not yet the draw strength of the welsh/english longbow I’m sure that they had their uses in combat as well. After all, Harold was hit/slain by an arrow at Hastings – although that may have been a crossbow bolt…
All these are again from old glory 15mm miniatures. I must admit although many of these miniatures have shields and I’m not sure how many of them really would have those. However, I had the models and so heck they are not bad models for that.
The next lot to show are 9 bases of javelin armed guys. Again, these definitely would be the low class troops. Likely below the bow armed guys. I have even heard mention that some of these could be ‘slaves/indentured servants’ or boys – men or the young too weak/young/small to really be effective in the shield wall of the main force.
That lack of status is somewhat reflecting in their lack of good clothing. I expect troops like this would be running around a lot, but many of these guys have just trousers. There are a few with shields etc but still this is not the greatest way to get into combat to my mind. Maybe there are some prototype berserkers here… but either way it’s not the best protection you can have in battle.
As you can see I have kept the same style of basing as the heavy foot. With the extra space on bases I have tried to go for more of a ‘wild moors’ look on the bases. That means they have patches of different styles of greenery. This I admit does mean that I can continue to add to these for other forces as they should mix with many troops. It also means that even if have to change the flock and grass I use if I add extra troops of this style they won’t be too out of sorts with other troops.
So there we are. These provide the skirmish troops in Dark Age forces I have done so far. I have not got any slingers, but I’m not sure how much the sling was really used in the armies of this period. More importunely though, is that I did not have models for slingers to use…