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The forests of Germania are dark and deep, and home to many brooding gods and malign forces. Some of this darkness, this menace, can be found in the people of the forests, men not easily tamed or turned to gentle pursuits. They are born to war, savage in battle, unforgiving of insults, implacable when feuding, and cruel in victory. Their gods are terrible and demand hideous sacrifices of men, women and children. This much, at least, the scribes of civilized lands believe to be true.
The Germans are much like their Celtic neighbours, but with their own distinctive styles of dress, their own language and their own ways. They are a confederation of people who speak the same tongue and honour the same warlike and harsh gods rather than a nation. Their constant feuding amongst themselves make them distrusting of strangers and difficult allies. Warlords rise and fall among them almost continuously, and the difficult conditions in their homeland make sure that they have few large towns. Peace is almost unknown to them, except when it won with an axe or sword.
All of this has produced a race of warriors second to none. The Germans may not be sophisticated fighters, but they are cunning, clever, and do not know the meaning of fear. Ambush and treachery they understand in full, along with vengeance and the importance of leaving no enemy alive. They are a vigorous people, a people who could be great across the whole of the world. All they need is leadership, and the chance to fight!
Germania is a European Barbarian faction that is featured in the game, Rome: Total War. They can be played by successfully completing either a long or short campaign with the Romans, by destroying them in the Imperial Campaign. These people were the bane of civilized nations for ages. Living in their dark forests, they were poor but hardy, awaiting their chance to grow and develop. Ironworking was little known, so the Germanic tribes used those weapons natural to the forests- spears, axes, and bows. They had little to begin with, but contact with outside cultures enabled them to learn other ways and learn them fast. The Germans were always a clever people, and soon became masters of metalworking themselves. They also soldiered for Rome, and the veterans returning to the tribes taught those ways to their kinsmen. They eventually conquered all of western Europe - including Rome - using the skills they learned.
While certainly not an advanced civilization, the Germans have much to offer. They have a well-balanced roster of recruitable units, and among them such feared units as the Berserkers and Gothic Cavalry. They lack artillery, but what need do the Men of the Wild have for those dishonorable engines? They have great cavalry, excellent archers, and the toughest infantry in the world.
Germania occupies the north-central part of the map, stretching from Gaul in the West to the Scythian steppes to the East. Though large and spread, Germania suffers from a poor economy and the unlucky combination of large units and low population. It can be a powerhouse under the right hands, as its starting units are among the best in the game. Its later units are a mix of the hilarious to the practical, yet all are deadly.
The basic German infantry are the Spear warband and the Axemen. There are a few interesting units though: Berserkers have a high attack and morale as well as two hit points, although they are unarmored. Chosen Archers have a ranged attack on par with the Egyptian Pharaoh's Bowmen. They are respectable in melee as well, though lack the heavier armor of the Egyptians. German cavalry is some of the best horsemen in the game, easy to produce in any third-tier minor city with the appropriate stable. Gothic Cavalry, from the Sacred Circle of Woden are extremely strong cavalry and arguably the best in the West.
The German tribes start in the area south of Scandinavia with several villages and towns under their control. They are bordered by Gaul to the south. Their cities are:
- Damme: German Capital City; Region - Tribus Chattii
- Mogontiacum: German Large Town; Region - Agri Decumates
- Trier: German Town; Region - Germania Superior
- Batavordum: German Town; Region - Germania Inferior
- Vicus Marcomanni: German Town; Region - Regnum Marcomannii
Peasants are reluctant warriors, but barbarian peasants are better fighters than most: hard lives produce hard men. Numbers are useful in all armies, and forcing peasants to fight is one way of getting lots of men in the field quickly and cheaply. They have little tactical sense, and even less willingness to fight - they would rather be defending their own homes than be dragged to a battle they neither care about nor understand. They are, however, experts at reading the land and hiding when there is cover.
Skirmishers are lightly armed troops who should break up and harass enemy formations before the main battle lines meet, and act as a screen for heavier troops. Their skills also make them useful in springing tactical ambushes.
Each man is armed with a clutch of throwing spears, a short sword and a small shield, but they do not wear armour preferring speed over protection.
Skirmisher Warbands are often the tribe's younger warriors. These men have yet to prove themselves as warriors, so are not necessarily tough enough to stand against a seasoned enemy in hand-to-hand fighting.
Chosen archers are highly prized for their superior skills in war. They are the best archers available to barbarian warlords. They are all, as might be expected, excellent bowmen, fleet of foot and expert hunters. They are given the best bows available to their people, and are also equipped with good swords and chainmail armour too. This equipment means that they can do more than just defend themselves in hand-to-hand combat. They can, when required, act as light infantry. Their presence on a battlefield is always useful, as they have the flexibility to be both archers and infantry and do a good job in both tasks.
he men of a spear warband are effective against cavalry and most infantry, but lack the discipline of more 'civilized' troops. Their spears, however, make them valuable defensive warriors for any warlord.
The warband is the basic unit of any barbarian army - a group of tough warriors bound together in the service of a tribal strongman or village headman. Each warrior is protected by a large shield. In common with other Germanic warriors, these men are very clever when concealing themselves in forests.
Axemen are steadfast and aggressive warriors, the 'infantry of the line' for barbarian warlords. They are not very disciplined at times, as their sense of honour and bravery can make them eager to get into any fray, but they are uniformly superb fighters. They are equipped with good axes and small shields.
Every warlord worth the name makes sure he has a couple of warbands of these hard men under his command.
Double-handed axes are intimidating weapons, especially in the hands of chosen axemen. These men can hack a hole in almost any enemy battle line. Chosen axemen are an elite among tribal warriors, selected for their physical size, strength, bravery and - some would say - pig-headedness. They are the assault troops of any barbarian army, the men whose only job is to smash any organised resistance and keep on killing until no foes remain. Fear is completely alien to them, as is any concept of mercy to a foe or a weakling among their own kind. They are fantastically strong men - and need to be to wield their enormous two-handed axes with any degree of skill and control.
The axes are easily capable of cleaving a man down to his breastbone even through armour. Chosen axemen themselves disdain armour as a sign of cowardice.
There are warriors among the barbarian ranks whose love of battle is such that they live for little else. Clad only in flimsy loincloths, the fanatics whip themselves into a frenzy by chanting, beating themselves and drinking heavily. In this state they make an unnerving sight on the battlefield! They are best sent into battle en masse, shocking the enemy by a ferocious charge, but they should be kept away from enemy cavalry.
They carry just swords and shields and have practically no discipline, but they can cause heavy casualties among most enemies. They fight mostly (if not completely) naked to emphasise their own fierceness and utter lack of fear. Scars and tattoos adorn their skin, and they let their hair grow wild. Only after a kill is their hair cut, often with a sword blade while standing over a freshly dead foe.
While their reckless courage is not in doubt, they can lack the cohesion and discipline to adapt to setbacks, breaking and running in confusion when subjected to severe pressure.
For most armies, night is a time for withdrawing to camp and roasting a boar or two. For German night raiders, it’s the time to paint themselves and set out in search of enemies to slaughter.
Lightly armed infantry, the night raiders' value lies in their ability to spread terror. These warriors from the remote depths of the tangled German forests carry just a small shield and an axe, but weapons of iron and steel are only part of their armoury. Before battle, they daub their bodies with black dye, giving them an otherworldly appearance. When the moment is right, they charge - wild-eyed and screaming - at their foes. Any who survive assaults by these maniacal barbarians are convinced they are spirits sent from Hades!
Berserkers are extremely ferocious, aggressive, indomitable warriors with no thought for personal safety once the rage of battle comes upon them. They will use chants, strong drink, potions, rituals and even self mutilation to whip themselves into a fighting frenzy. Once the madness is upon them, little can stop them - their blood-crazed dash into the thick of combat is deeply disheartening (at best) to any who stand against them. They may try to cut their enemies to pieces in this state, but will think nothing of trying to gouge, bite, head butt and kick opponents to death as well.
They disdain armour as a sign of weakness, along with mercy, common sense and knowing when to stop fighting. They are supremely dangerous foes in close combat.
German screeching women think nothing of participating in a battle, wailing encouragement to their own men as they fight, and screaming defiance at the enemy to unnerve them. It’s not uncommon for women to accompany armies on campaign, but few actually take to the battlefield. Germanic warriors are inordinately proud, so the prospect of facing the scorn of their women is more than many care to think about. While they wield their hatchets with gusto, their true value is in the unnerving effects they have on enemies - the foul ululations of these women can strike fear into the strongest of hearts! They are best positioned safely behind friendly infantry where, like dark and demented cheerleaders, they can avoid combat while creating their particular brand of intimidation.
Warhounds are bred for a savage nature and great size, but then hunting men is only a little more dangerous than hunting wild boar! The beasts are muscular and powerful. Originally bred for hunting large prey, they are now trained to hunt and attack men. Warhounds are usually unleashed on an enemy to break a line and unnerve opponents. Few men are able to stand steadily in the face of a snarling and partially-starved beast. The dogs are trained to bite and hold on, dragging down their human targets, and hamstringing horses.
Their handlers are brave, foolhardy and not easily intimidated: many have fingers, hands or even chunks of limbs missing!
Barbarian cavalry are lightly armoured and carry spears and shields. They are best used as scouts and in pursuit of fleeing enemies, and ride sturdy, sure-footed ponies with a good turn of speed. Like many barbarian warriors, however, they can lack battle-discipline and be over-keen to enter battle against worthy opponents. Honour and standing come from fighting, and sometimes the urge for glory overwhelms good sense! These men are all good fighters, but find organised, formal warfare goes against the grain. They are unlikely to be very effective against steady infantry unless attacking from an unexpected direction.
Noble cavalry are an elite in society as well as war, and fight bravely to justify their status. This can lead them to be headstrong, and difficult to restrain before a fight, as personal glory gained in battle is the only true measure of nobility. Their war gear of spears, shields and good chainmail is the very finest that can be provided.
They are best used to break weakened enemy formations, fight against other cavalry and pursue fleeing enemies. While they are brave men and superb horsemen, they lack the cohesion of more 'civilized' cavalry, and may not be as effective in a hand-to-hand fight. Shock and initial impact are their main weapons.
Gothic cavalry are an aristocratic - if such a word can be applied to barbarians - heavy cavalry elite of the German tribes. Having the wealth to risk a horse in battle requires status, and among barbarians this status is retained by acts of personal bravery. As a result, these men think little or nothing of danger, and are keen to be the first to come to grips with an enemy.
They are well armed and well armoured, having spears, heavy mail coats and shields. They are, however, prone to attacking whether or not it makes sense to their warlord - glory and honour are always worth pursuing, after all!
They are best employed at what they do best - hitting an enemy hard and repeatedly. Victory over the foe is always glorious, so they will not think less of an order to attack the flank or rear of an enemy unit.
A barbarian warlord surrounds himself with fierce warriors as a personal guard. These spear-armed cavalry are an elite reserve for use in a moment of crisis.
Every warlord commands by right of personal courage as much as tactical skill, and must prove himself in battle. He and his guards are equipped as cavalry with spears, leather armour and shields so that they can dash to any point on the battlefield. The warlord can inspire his men to greater efforts just by his presence, and also has enough men to be a significant force should the need arise.