Army Of Odovacer 476 to 493 AD

Odovacer was probably the son of the Scirii chieftain Edeko and in 470 was appointed leader of the foederati in Italy. In 475 Orestes (Magister militum and Patricius) promised the foederati a third of the Italic Peninsula if they led a revolt against Emperor Nepos. After the revolt, Oreste organised his own army and rescinded his pledge to the foederati and as a result Odovacer lead the foederati in another revolt and defeated Orestes.

After the revolt the Germanic foederati (mainly the Scirii and the Herules) as well as a segment of the Italic Roman army proclaimed Odovacer Rex Italiae; King of Italy. Odovacer declared himself Patrician of the Western half of the Roman Empire (which, by this time, was no more than the Italian Peninsula) and was confirmed as Rex Italiae by Zeno later in 476.

Era: Triumph of Cavalry   Army Of Odovacer 476 to 493 AD CR: H: 4 L: 4   BP: 2 Init: 5
Number Type   Description Key FV PROT Weapon Cost
1 HC Heruls (d!) K 5[1]0 +1 Lance 11
1 HC Sciri Warriors (d!) K 4[0]0 +1 Spear 10
2 FT Scirii/Thuringii K 5[1]1 +1 Spears/Bows* 8
4 FT Herul Infantry# K 6[1]1 +1 Spear 8
1 LC Illyricani K 2[0]0 +1 Javelin 7
O   Scirii/Herul/Thuringii Foederati          
2 HC Herul (d!) K 5[1]0 +1 Lance 11
2 HC Retainers (d!) K 4[0]0 +1 Spear 10
4 FT Scirii/Thuringii K 5[1]1 +1 Spear/Bow* 8
4 FT Herul Infantry# K 6[1]1 +1 Spear 8
2 SI Herul Youths   3[1]2 +2 Javelin 2
O   Elements of the Army of Italy          
2 FT Limitanae K 4[1]1 +1 Spear/Javelin 4
1 LC   K 2[0]0 +1 Javelin 7
O   Alani Foederati**          
1 HC Riders K 5[1]0 +2 Lances 12
1 HC Riders K 5[1]0 +1 Lances 11
2 HC Retainers K 4[0]0 +1 Spears/Javelin 10
2 LC##   K 2[0]0 +1 Various/Bows 8
2 LC##   K 2[0]0 +1 Javelin 7
O   Burgundian Allies*# (490 AD)          
1 HC Burgundian Nobles (d!) K 5[0]0 +1 Lance 11
2 FT   K 5[1]1 +1 Spear 6
1 SI Youth   2[1]1 +2 Bow 2
O   Rugi#*          
1 HC (d!) K 4[0]0 +1 Various 10
2 WB   K 5[1]2 +1 Various 8
1 SI     2[1]1 +2 Bow 2


Core: 1GR

Bonus: (Max: 3 ) 2GR; 2SH; 1RG; 1W


Core: 114 Bonus: 251

All FV5 HC are Obligatory Chargers

* May also be fielded as FT Spears @ 6 pts and SI Bow @ 2 pts.

No more than 4 SI Bow in total may be fielded in an army

# Each Herul infantry "unit" may be depicted either as:

FT K 6(1)1 +1 Spears 8 pts


LHI Herul K 4[1]2 +1 Jav 7pts


WB Herul K 5[1]3 +1 Various 6pts AND SI Herul 3[1]2 +2 Jav 2pts

Herul WB are BP3 Mv9".

If the Bonus WB option is taken, the number of Herul SI Jav must be equal to the number of WB in the option (the 2 Herul Youth SI Jav are excluded from this caveat)

Several options may be used simultaneously.

This note applies to both the core and the bonus.

** At least 2 Units of Alani HC must be bought if any are bought; if fighting the Rugi Campaign of 487AD all must be bought

## 1) Only 1 Line may be chosen. There is some debate as to whether this cavalry had bows, therefore a choice is provided

2) Non of these Units may be bought unless an equal number of Alani HC are bought.

If any Alani HC are bought and any of these LC are not, they do not count against the conditions for an extra light division as evidence for these supporting Alani LC is thin

*# For players that wish to fight with the force mix that Odovacar fielded historically the Burgundian forces should not be used until 490. If any Burgundians are bought all must be bought

#* If any Rugi are bought all must be bought. No Rugi are available if fighting the Rugi Campaign of 487AD

Odovacer grew quickly in power and status; he removed the Vandals from Sicily, conquered Dalmatia, signed pacts with the Visigoths and Franks to secure his western flank and became, in the eyes of the Eastern Emperor Zeno, a real threat. Zeno therefore persuaded the Rugi to attempt the destruction of Odovacer but they themselves were the ones that perished, their tribal lands in Noricum being emptied by Odovacer’s campaigns against them. Undeterred Zeno then turned to Theoderic the Ostrogoth and promised him the Italian Peninsular if he could rid it of Odovacar. In 488 Theoderic crossed the Julian alps and entered Italy. He defeated Odovacer in 488 at Aquiliea, in 489 at Verona and in 490 at the Adda River. Odovacer then retreated to Ravenna where a bitter 3 year seige took place. This ended on February 2nd 403 when Theoderic and Odovacer signed a treaty that assured both parties would rule over Italy. A banquet was organised in order to celebrate this treaty. It was at this banquet that Theoderic, after making a toast, allegedly killed Odovacer with his own hands.

Sources: Procopius, ‘History of the Wars’, MacGeorge, ‘Later Roman Warlords”, Bury ‘Later Roman Empire’, Jordanes, ‘History of the Goths’, ‘The Anonymus Valesianus: Latter Part'.

Author: O’Cahan

List Author: OCahan