Armies of the Southern Great Kingdom Part One

Having gone through the Iron League for my upcoming Triumph! campaign game, we now turn to the Great Kingdom and its vassals. In particular, we deal with South Province and the See of Medegia, as well as any Imperial troops the Overking may dispatch to his underlings.

Just as with the post on the Iron League, I’d like to start with the sources. First, the Gold Box:

Great Kingdom of Aerdy: “The Overking’s Companion Guard consists of 10 select companies of various arms (heavy, medium, and light cavalry, crossbowmen, archers, and five companies of pole armed foot). Noble contingents allow the Overking to field an army numbering over 15,000 troops in a relatively short time, and if necessary a force of four or five times that can be called up.”

See of Medegia: “The clerics and nobles of the See have grown exceedingly rich, and their mercenary forces harry the Olvenfolk in the Grandwood and loot cross the Flanmi in the Glorioles and Hestmark Highlands where the Censor has extended his holdings to these very foothills, contesting with dwarves and gnomes without quarter.”

Not much help there.

South Province: “While native troops, except for those of the petty nobles and gentry serving the Herzog, are unreliable at best, the heavy cavalry is considered to be highly effective, and mercenary men-at-arms, exceptionally well armed and equipped, make the Army of the South formidable.”

Next up, Dragon Magazines #57 and #63 give us a lot of details, as part of the then-regular “Greyhawk’s World” series of articles:

Great Kingdom of Aerdy: “lvid has decided to intrude upon the nest of rebels with an Imperial force led by General Banwald. This imperial intrusion into Grandwood Forest might indeed flush out the dissident inhabitants, but a new factor comes into play: Will the forces sent there jeopardize Ivid’s main efforts against the Iron League and Nyrond? General Banwald (8th level fighter) commands the following force:

guard light cavalry 240
guard crossbowmen 120
Imperial orcish foot guards 240
mercenary cavalry 150
mercenary infantry 750
humanoid reg. infantry 3,500
humanoid light irregulars 6,000
Imperial woodsmen 600″

See of Medegia: “…by midyear [CY 578] the following troops were said to be
marching towards these heights [Hestmark Highlands/Glorioles]:

heavy cavalry 1,000
light cavalry 1,500
regular infantry 1,200
levied infantry 2,400
mercenary cavalry 300
mercenary infantry 2,100
humanoids (orcs, etc.) 4,000 +”

“…In actuality, it is believed that the cream of Medegia’s troops are remaining with the Holy Censor. There are no fewer than 6,000 ‘guards’ of various sorts at the capital city … and about 1,000 more at Pontylver. These troops can follow up a victorious foray into Sunndi, cover a retreat, or see to the arch-cleric’s personal safety.”

“The Rel Astran contingent is said to number some 2,000 men and 1,000 humanoids — although orcs and like troops are not currently eager to enter The Grandwood.”

South Province: “In 577, Chelor sent troops from the Thelwood (at the head of the Thelly River) along the east bank of the Thelly. At the junction of the Grayflood, these soldiers crossed the Thelly and swept along the south bank, securing all of the land between the river and the Glorioles and Hestmark Highlands to the point where the Flanmi is joined by the Thelly. Despite leaving garrisons throughout the area, the force under General Reynard’s command grew from 2,000 horse and 5,000 foot to 3,000 and 7,000 respectively. Vacillating petty nobles hastily bowed to the Herzog, abandoning the Censor and sending contingentswith the Provincial army. Furthermore, recruiting, mercenaries, and irregulars (brigands and bandits) allowed the Herzog to place over 3,000 troops in garrisons and still field a growing and more effective force.

“In CY 578, Chelor himself took the field, leading a host of 1,000 heavy cavalry, double that number of lighter horse, and some 4,000 mercenary infantry. This force massed around Zelradton, while the army under General Reynard moved westward once again, passed the Glorioles, and scourged the area between the Grayflood and Rieuwood.”

“Chelor instead opted to winter at Zelradton and draw in yet more forces. As of the spring of 579, the following roster of troops is expected:

Heavy cavalry: 3,000
Medium cavalry: 3,000
Light cavalry: 5,000
Regular infantry: 3,000
Mercenary infantry: 6,000
Levies & noble contingents: 15,000
Humanoids (various): 5,000 +”

The Greyhawk Wars game gives us a little bit of information that could be useful:

Great Kingdom of Aerdy: 5 Medium Infantry, 1 Light Infantry, 1 Light Cavalry, 2 Medium Cavalry, 1 Heavy Cavalry

See of Medegia: 2 Light Infantry, 1 Medium Infantry, 1 Medium Cavalry

South Province: 3 Light Infantry, 1 Medium Infantry, 1 Heavy Cavalry

Finally, there is also some nifty information contained in the original Minifigs Greyhawk miniatures line, which had four different blisters of the Overking’s Heavy Guard (the weapon types can help give us clues as to what sort of troop type to use when we convert to Triumph! armies):

WOG50 Overking’s Heavy Guard Cavalry (2) lances
WOG51 Overking’s Heavy Guard Cavalry (2) axe, sword
WOG52 Overking’s Heavy Guard Foot (6) spears, axe, blow-pipe
WOG53 Overking’s Heavy Guard Foot (6) pole-arms, swords

Huh. Blow-pipes are going to be fun to try to fit into a troop type.

Written by 

Wargamer and RPG'er since the 1970's, author of Adventures Dark and Deep, Castle of the Mad Archmage, and other things, and proprietor of the Greyhawk Grognard blog.