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Army composition for killer armies in Armati such as Nikephoran Byzantine, Trajanic Roman, and Mongol is extremely varied for the reason that one of the attributes of killer armies is a variety of available effective troop types. The following are variant army organizations that I have some experience with. It should be noted, however, that there are other variants which may be just as effective, if not more effective, than these. Familiarity tends to blind one to possibilities.


5 Heavy divisions; Four light Divisions; Initiative a very health 8

Core Units

2 HC (D1) Tagmatics 5(1)(0) +2 Lance/bow

1 LC Prokursatores 3(1)(0) +1 Lance

1 FT Kontaratoi 6(1)(1) +2 Spears

1 SI (Psiloi) 2(1)(1) +2 Bows

Bonus Units-Variant 1

1 CAT Kataphraktoi 6(2)(0) +3 Lance 16 pts.

1 HC (D1) Tagmatics 5(1)(0) +2 Lance/bow 15 pts

1 LC Prokursatores 3(1)(0) +1 Lance 8 pts.

1 LC Hyperkerastia 2(1)()) +1 Jav./bow 8 pts.

3 FT Kontaratoi 5(1)(1) +2 Spears 21 pts.

3 SI Psiloi 2(1)(1) +2 Bows 6 pts.

1 Veteran (Usually Cat.)

This gives you a steady infantry maneuver base with good archery protection for use in soaking up arrows. If you organize the Kontaratoi with a frontage of two units and a depth of two units, the foot is capable of holding off impetuous cavalry very nicely. You end up with 4 very maneuverable single unit HC divisions, three nice LC divisions, and one SI division. You have good shock capability, no obligatory charge units, and 8 archer units. Substituting a Hyperkerastia for the Prokursatores gives another archer unit at the cost of an interesting flanking unit. Breakpoint is a nice healthy 5. This organization is derived directly from the Taktika of Leo with thanks to George Dennis.


1 CAT Kataphraktoi 6(2)(0) +3 Lance 16 pts.

2 HC (D1) Tagmatics 5(1)(0) +2 Lance/bow 30 pts

1 LC Prokursatores 3(1)(0) +1 Lance 8 pts.

1 LC Hyperkerastia 2(1)()) +1 Jav./bow 8 pts.

4 SI (Psiloi) 2(1)(1) +2 Bows 8 pts.

2 SI (Psiloi) 3(1)(2) +2 Slings 4 pts.

1 Veteran (Usually Cat.)

In this variant, one commonly leaves the Kontaratoi deep in the rear and uncommanded. The remainder of the army keeps between it and the foe. The theory is that if the foe gets to it through the rest of the army, the game is already lost. If the foe gets to it using a wide-ranging flank unit, then they have lost the use of a good maneuver unit that costs more than the Kontaratoi and would have better utility in the main battle. All good. I owe this concept to Rob Robertson and his Ummayid Arabs. You end up with five very maneuverable single unit HC divisions, 9-10 missile units, good archery protection for the cavalry, and plenty of Psiloi to soak up archery. I tend to deploy this as two flanks with no center. Its weaknesses are no moving walls of infantry soaking up archery and a reduced breakpoint of 4.


1 CAT Kataphraktoi 6(2)(0) +3 Lance 16 pts.

1 LC Hyperkerastia 2(1)()) +1 Jav./bow 8 pts.

3 FT Kontaratoi 5(1)(1) +2 Spears 21 pts.

2 WB Varangians 5(1)(3) +1 Spears 16 pts.

2 SI Psiloi 3(1)(2) +2 Slings 4 pts.

4 SI Psiloi 2(1)(1) +2 Bows 8 pts.

1 Vet. (Usually Varangian)

1 gentle rise

I am not very skilled at infantry battles but this army seems to be able to clear woods or rough ground effectively. You get 10 archers to shoot them out and 6 SI who can go in and tire out troops in woods or rough if they don't beat them. Your breakpoint is 5 do you can stand losses,

Your Varangian WB are great in woods or rough. You have enough cavalry to deal with them in the open if they surprise you by coming out after you. If they do come out, be careful to keep your Varangians sheltered from obligatory charges.


Occasionally, one faces an army such as the Parthians, Sassanids, or Palmyrans who have the potential to roll over infantry with good die rolls by virtue of large numbers of cataphracts. This army was designed to face such a foe.

1 CAT Kataphraktoi 6(2)(0) +3 Lance 16 pts.

2 HC (D1) Tagmatics 4(1)(0) +1 Lance/bow 24 pts.

1 LC Prokursatores 3(1)(0) +1 Lance 8 pts.

3 FT Kontaratoi 5(1)(1) +2 Spears 21 pts.

1 SI Psiloi 2(1)(1) +2 Bows 2 pts.

1 Veteran for cataphract 1 pt.

1 rough ground 2 pts.

If you organize the Kontaratoi with a frontage of two units and a depth of two units, the foot is capable of holding off cataphract very nicely. The idea is to use the terrain to restrict the field limiting the cataphracts to a predictable approach while protecting one flank. One then shove's the infantry down the cataphracts throats provoking obligatory charges while maneuvering on a flank with your faster cavalry protected by a SI screen.


2 HC (D1) Tagmatics 4(1)(0) +1 Lance/bow 24 pts.

2 LC Hytperkerastai 2(1)(0) +1 Bows 16 pts.

2 LC Magyars/Petch. 2(1)(0) +1 Bows 16 pts.

2 FT Kontaratoi 5(1)(1) +2 Spears 14 pts.

1 SI (Psiloi) 2(1)(1) +2 Bows 2 pts.

1 Rough ground 3

This is my Mongol killer. I use the terrain to limit the field making running the light cavalry down easier. I load it up with the Kontaratoi drawing the archery fire onto a nearly invulnerable +3 Prot. counting cover. One flank is secure. The cavalry swings wide driving the hostile light cavalry onto the table edge at some point. I have enough archers in 9 bows to threaten the light cavalry with archery losses and enough + 2 protection factor units to soak up their archery. Moreover, my breakpoint is a very impressive 6 for Byzantines. Very hard for them to achieve with archery alone.


Five heavy divisions; Four light divisions; Initiative of 7


3 Cohorts 7(2)2 +2 Pila

1 SI 3(1)2 +2 Javelins

1 HC (Romans) 4(0)0 +1 Various



2 Marines 6(2)1 +2 Pila 18 pts.

1 LHI (auxilia) 4(1)2 +1 Javelins 7 pts.

1 LI (auxilia) 3(1)1 +1 Bows 6 pts.

1 Cat. (Armenian) 6(2)0 +3 Lance 15 pts.

2 LC (Armenian) 1(0)0 +1 Bows 12 pts.

1 Camel 3(0)0 +1 Various 7 pts.

1 HC (Roman) 4(0)0 +1 Various 10 pts

This gives you a break point of 4, 3 superb infantry units, and excellent cavalry support with the potential for one turn kills when the camels impact on heavy cavalry at the same time as the cataphracts. (In Armati, a camel deprives heavy cavalry of impetus and if outscored by another HC unit, it breaks immediately). Roman cohorts are unusual in that they can wheel and move. Moreover, they have a very high frontal factor. Marines do not wheel and move and have a lower frontal factor but just as good an archery protection. I fix the opponents attention with the cohorts keeping the marines in a second line as reserve. I place One Heavy cavalry unit on one flank as a flank guard using the LI and LHI in reserve to the center rear to reinforce that flank if necessary. The cataphract is in one division with the Camels on the other flank looking to kill enemy cavalry. The other heavy cavalry unit sweeps further out with its flanks protected by the Armenian light cavalry. In this army, the killing is done by the cavalry while I try to fend off superior numbers of heavy infantry with more mobile cohorts, delaying attacks by the LHI, and marine reserves if I am not fast enough working the flanks. As an alternative when facing an infantry heavy or warband opponent, do not buy the camels and purchase another LHI unit. Use it in succession to the first LHI to delay the onslaught of the hostile infantry line or look for inside hooks to the hostile warband flanks.



2 HC (Roman) 4(0)0 +1 Various 20 pts

2 LHI (auxilia) 4(1)2 +1 Javelins 7 pts.

1 LI (auxilia) 3(1)1 +1 Bows 6 pts.

1 Cat. (Armenian) 6(2)0 +3 Lance 15 pts.

2 LC (Armenian) 1(0)0 +1 Bows 12 pts.

1 Camel 3(0)0 +1 Various 7 pts.

1 LC (Moors) 2(0)0 +1 Javelins 7 pts

1 Veteran (Usually camels) 1 pt.

Breakpoint is 4 and everything is very fast compared to most other mixed infantry/cavalry armies. With this variant, I set up as far back as possible in my deployment area with a balanced deployment in the center of the table. It is my intention to maneuver as much as possible utilizing the superior mobility of my cohorts to attempt to engage one of my opponent's flanks with the cohorts while delaying the onset of his center, if necessary by sacrificing the LHI. Of course, my preference is to use them as a threat in being by keeping them to the rear and to one side of the maneuvering cohorts. The idea is that they will remain far enough to the rear and side of te cohorts that if my opponent attempts to catch the cohorts as they move toward his flank, the LHI will take him in rear or flank. If my opponent is likely to greatly overmatch me in heavy infantry or also has cohorts. I trade the point for the veteran and the LI to buy another LHI. My cavalry maneuvers to fight on the outside of my cohorts if that is where his cavalry is, maneuvers on the other flank if the situation is favorable, or hangs back to exploit opportunities created by my fast-moving cohorts. Very few players are used to an infantry battle of maneuver. The surprise is often enough to ensure victory.

Note that neither Roman army has much in the way of missile troops or SI. Speed and the high protective factor of the cohorts are its only response to massed archery.

I am not as comfortable with Trajan in Armati la Deuce as I was in Advanced Armati. The points changes have made it relatively somewhat less potent than it was. Time will tell. I will let someone who regularly uses Mongols report on that army. I hope to report on Hsiung-Nu, Nubians, and Timurid armies after a little observation.

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