Martial African Tribal 200 AD to 1500 AD

Martial African Tribal 200 AD to 1500 AD

This army is based on Dictator driven societies among the Bantu nations such as the Hehe, Ngoni and Bacwezi, The Bantu had, like the Masai, moved South from the dawn of time and were only stopped when they collided with the Europeans armed with rapid firearms. They could be used in any period, but evidence does record their arrival on the coasts of East Africa in Late Roman times and progress from there.

Claudius Ptolemy writing in the Second century AD records that a Dark Skinned people speaking key words of Bantu were showing in the Eastern Coastal areas probably as a part of a continued migration between the Zambesi and Congo rivers. This was a much steadier and permanent conquest than those of migratory Europeans, Masaudi the Arab geographer records their expansion South to Kenya and Somaliland by the 10th Century. The key to this permanent progress might lie with the keen Arab demand for slaves. It is interesting that the non Bantu coastal domains around ports seem to survive where others do not. That these were a source of good edged weapons and trade goods as well as a market for slaves is one possible reason.

When populations became dense a society centred on a dictator would evolve and set about conquest. The end result of this was invariably widespread death from war and famine and the fragmentation of the resulting kingdoms. Some like the Bacwezi of the Middle Ages are credited with a society martial enough to create effective fortification around population centers Modern archaeological work has uncovered fortified Bantu towns with lined ditches and stone walls. Whether to repel invaders or as a base for expansion is not clear.

There are even instances of warrior societies led by a female ruler.

There is a popular belief that the Zulus introduced age grading as regiments and bachelor 'regiments' but this concept has a much greater ancestry and Shaka certainly encountered at least three such tribes in exile before ascending to power. Shaka is credited with the introduction of the fighting assegai and the removal of throwing spears in a desire to encourage his men to close with javelin armed enemies. The throwing spears were however reintroduced by Zulus as a supplement to the Assegai. Clubs have been used throughout history either for combat or throwing. In all other respects Zulu warfare methods were a reflection of miltary systems used elsewhere and in other times and include a refusal by the Eastern Bantu to use the bow in warfare. This may seem strange to us but the Bantu retained dominance over other tribes using the bow.

Even before contact with European technological armies this last Bantu Empire was beginning to disintegrate with sections such as the Matabele and Kaffirs creating new states. There is no reason to suppose this was not the case with a succession of tribal empires from the earliest times.

Era: Triumph of Cavalry   Martial African Tribal CR: H: 4 L: 4   BP: 2 Init: 5
Number Type   Description Key FV PROT Weapon Cost
3 WB Head (Experienced Warriors) Key 5[1]3 1 Various 8
3 WB Loins Key 4[1]2 1 Various 4
3 LHI Horns Key 4[1]2 1 Various 7
2 WB Head Key 5[1]3 1 Various 8
8 WB Loins Key 4[1]2 1 Various 4
5 LHI Horns Key 4[1]2 1 Javelins 7
6 SI Scouts   3[1]2 2 Javelins 2


Core: SH

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


Core: 78 Bonus: 89

Notes: The Buffalo attack.

The LHI 'horns' being units of younger troops with higher average stamina and speed were thrown out to encircle the enemy. These can never be deployed in the central deployment area at the commencement of a battle.

The Head consitutes the experienced and older warriors and Moves 6 inches with BP4. The Head may deploy deep.

The Loins are the younger or less committed warriors and make up the bulk of the main body. They move 9 inches and have a BP 3.

The use of Fast WB to make up the Loins enables a respectable army Break point of 8 giving a player a chance to close and do something against other armies.

This army may fight in the Triumph of Cavalry and the Age of Chivalry eras.

Ordo Link: Martial African Tribal

Last Edited: 25 November 2005

List Author: Luxor