250-700 AD

By Clive McLeod

One of the classic barbarian foot armies.  The Franks troubled the Roman Rhine frontier for 2 centuries before finally taking over Gaul and setting up the longest lasting kingdom of all the Germanic tribes which brought down the Western Roman Empire.  The area still bears their name (France to the uneducated). Their characteristic weapons were the Angon a barbed heavy throwing spear and, of course, the Francisca a one handed throwing axe. 

Franks were among the German tribes which breached the Rhine Frontier in 406 AD.  They occupied parts of Roman Gaul and set up their own kingdom under the Merovingian Dynasty.   A series of wars followed as the Franks gradually occupied all of the old Roman province.  They subjugated the Burgundians and remnant Romano-Gallic states  and drove the Visigoths out into Spain. 

Simple minded all out attack is the only real option for this army.  Make the most of the warband impetus.  Use the small number of skirmishers and cavalry to protect the flanks.

The real cutting edge of the army is the Comitatus, a body of well equipped professional warriors. These are tough and hard hitting. Use them wisely.  The army will struggle against cavalry armies unless it has plenty of terrain to play in.  Read about the battle of Casilinum if you want to know what happens to this army in the open.