Monday, 23 March 2009

The Army of Ekra

The Ekran army marches to war.

The Ekran army relies on the strength and ferocity of its nobles in the charge. Ekra is a rich nation and has a long tradition of crushing the peasants under foot for the greater glory of the nobility. Ekran knights are renowned all over Talomir for their ferocity and total disregard for the welfare of their foot soldiers. It is certainly not unknown for Ekran knights to ride down their own crossbowmen because those soldiers failed to get out of the way in time, when the knights decided that the time was ripe to charge the enemy.

Ekran knights are also renowned for their curteisie and chevallerie, terms that are meant to indicate that said knights have a softer side. The concept of courtly love was invented in Ekra and exported to many other countries by means of long chansons de gestes about their legendary forebears. These tales emphasise the chivalry and valour of the nobles described in them and often feature weepy, red-headed women pining away and dying of unrequited love. They also emphasise the superiority of the breeding of the knights, thus reinforcing the social order within Ekra. Surprisingly, these tales are popular with the Ekran peasantry too. Perhaps this is because the tales depict knights of a type that do not seem to exist in reality.

The Duc de Zummzet, current general of the Ekran army. The role of commander-in-chief of the Ekran army is hereditary and has lain with the de Zummzets for many years.

Here we see a skirmish line of Ekran crossbowmen and peasant archers in a rather perilous position:

The function of Ekran foot-soldiers is to enable the knights to get into a position where an overwhelming cavalry charge will win the day, and then to capture enemy knights for ransom after the battle. Needless to say, these foot-soldiers know their place in life and are more than happy to get revenge for this by knifing the enemy nobility when their own nobles are not looking. The only difference between the retinue infantry and the peasant infantry in the Ekran army is the quality of their armour and clothes. Both are equally unenthusiastic about helping their noble masters to win the day.

Ekran retinue infantry

Ekran peasant infantry

While Ekran nobility despises modern handgonnes and cannon, they still find the occasional need for them. Some more forward-thinking nobles have gone as far as recruiting mercenary handgunners into their own forces.

The Ekran army is based on the French armies of the Hundred Years War, but the figures I have used are from the Baccus Wars of the Roses range. These figures are painted as Lancastrians of the Wars of the Roses, because I plan to use them for an ongoing Wars of the Roses project too.

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