Wes thu hailaz, Frawjon!
Hwat! We, erloz (earls) and karloz (freemen) of the Swêboz have raised you upon the shield to be both the Druhtinaz (King) of the tribes and the Harjanaz (General) of the troops in this time of greatest need. Your noble birth traces a path of lineage to the old gods, and the elders of our people expect leadership equal to your ancestors. The brave warbands shall follow you eagerly in search of glory and plunder, so long as your luck holds fast in the surge of battle, and your sword arm remains lively.
Our great tribal confederation stands tall on the brink of wealth and glory, but also danger stands against us from all sides to check our advance. Across the great river Rîn in the West, lie the rich and fertile lands of the Walhoz. These people are strong warriors and well-armed, but they have grown soft with easy living and are torn by their own rivalries. And over the mountains to the south, trade brings rumors that the city-dwelling people of Rumo - are growing ever stronger. At some point we should consider reforming our military, expanding warbands from marauding to occupation by gathering those warriors composing others' army, levied and plentiful, so that we might make our neighbors' fertile lands our own.
But we must also keep our mind on other concerns more close at hand. Our tribes, the Samanonz, the Markamannoz, the Wenjoniloz and the Ermundeurjoz, to name only a few of our mighty confederation, are mighty amongst the peoples of the North, but our ancient rivals look upon our success with jealous eyes. The Heruskoz are a proud tribe and would be happy to usurp our status, if we were to give them such an opportunity. Though short of our numbers, they have proven themselves fierce warriors in the past, and there is no reason to believe they would not relish the opportunity to demonstrate it once more. Their threat to us would be particularly heightened should they make common cause with the Habukoz or the Hattoz. Perhaps it would be wise for us to make the first move and bring all three of these tribes into our federation, either by reason or the sword.
And there are other threats further afield. The peoples of Skándzá are stirring and with the Rugiz and Gutanz among them could threaten us from north and east if not prepared. And there are more rumors, men who say that a great wandering army from amongst the Kembroz will march through our lands and bring war and fire to the far off lands beyond mountain and river. Subduing these dangerous warriors would secure us against attacks from the North and bring us farther along the coastlands where ample booty lay waiting for plunder.
With our flanks secured, there are warm rich lands to the west and south for our warbands to conquer. We lack not for courage, strength, nor wisdom in war, by the will of Tiwaz; and what we lack in arms and armor we will remedy with the plunder and conquest. With the blessings of the gods, good judgment and cunning strategy, our borders might stretch to encompass the whole of our raiding territories, and become the richest lands any have ever seen. Our warriors rend themselves impervious to harm or defeat through faith and courage. Who among our enemies would stand against us when we fear not even death?
Circumstance and the beckoning call for glory has played our fate into your able hands, shape it as you will.
A change in the climate of northern Europe at the beginning of the Iron Age had led to a series of migrations by Germanic-speaking peoples in Scandinavia into what is now northern and central Germany. The nature of farming and settlement in this new region meant that these movements were gradual, with families, bands and clans expanding into uninhabited or lightly inhabited regions around them and establishing scattered, independent settlements.
Occasionally conflict or agricultural conditions sparked larger-scale migrations or invasions and annexations of neighboring territories. A combination of these two types of expansion meant that, by 272 BC, federations of clans with common ancestral ties began to form into loosely structured tribes and these newer, larger groupings began to expand further toward the Rhine and Danube and raid further afield. Trade, raiding and other contacts made them more aware of their Celtic neighbors and of the Roman world beyond.
In 272 BC the Sêmnonoz, the Márkámánnoz, the Lángobárdoz and the Hêrmunduroz formed the core of a grouping of tribes and bands called the Swêboz - peoples that believed they shared a common heritage from their ancient, legendary ancestor Irminaz. To their west and south-west were other tribal groupings, the Hêruskoz, the Hábukoz and the Háttoz that were growing stronger on the back of richer farmlands and raiding over the Rhine. To the north lay the old homeland of Skándzá, which still saw periodic movements over the Baltic Sea into the forested lands to the east and south-east of the Sweboz . It was a time of opportunity for aggressive warriors and danger for those less able to fend off rivals.
Expansion also led to cultural changes. Population levels rose as the various tribes moved into warmer, richer lands south, west and east. Closer contact with Celtic peoples led to development in metals technology - aided by large iron deposits in upper Poland - which led to better weaponry. Raiding and the aggressive annexation of rivals’ territory also led to the rise of a warrior elite, with warfare becoming a major preoccupation of the tribal leaders and the warrior retinues they began to attract.
The old, looser tribal affiliations gave way to closer ties between clans and bands and changes in the relationships between rulers and the common people. While less socially stratified than Celtic societies, the new warrior elites became an increasingly powerful force within the tribes. The older style of ruler – a semi-sacred/religious leader chosen on the basis of his ancestry – now increasingly shared power with successful war-leaders. Thus the semi-religious Kuningáz and the Eriloz, or clan-leaders and nobles who supported him, would turn to a Hárjánáz elected to lead the tribal warbands in times of war. Sometimes the Hárjánáz was subordinate to the Kuningáz. Sometimes the one man held both offices. Often rival Hárjánoz battled for supremacy in internal feuds and wars.
All free men still held high status in the tribe and no Kuningáz or war-leader could enforce a decision without the support and acclaimation of the tribal assembly of free men. So while Germanic society was changing, it remained suspicious of absolute authority and the Germanic people prided themselves on their independence, freedom and self-sufficiency.
Gift-giving, feasting and the ancient rules of hospitality forged links between families and clans and helped order the relationships between tribes. Feuds and blood vengeance were common, but blood-prices (paid in cattle) were used to settle these outbreaks of violence. A common religious tradition and a shared cultural heritage was one thing all these tribes had in common, and songs of their ancestors in ancient Skándzá and the old gods of distant times were shared by all the tribes. Different tribes held different gods in high regard and had their own local deities and spirits, but all offered cattle and weapons to the gods in sacred places – usually forest groves or swamps. Human sacrifice was common in times of famine or as a thanks offering for victory in war.
In 272 BC these tribes, with their traditions, gods, songs and a dynamic and expanding culture was becoming a threat to the peoples to their south and west. The Gauls already knew of the danger of these people beyond the Rhine but it was not long before the Romans too became aware of the movements – often sudden, violent and massive – of these restless people. This was to lead, in the First Centuries BC and AD, to a long series of wars between the Romans and the Germanic tribes and, many centuries later, to Germanics establishing kingdoms in the ruins of the former Roman Empire.
With the Roman conquest of Illyria, Gaul and, finally, Dacia the Germanic peoples came into constant, direct contact with the Empire along its Rhine and Danube frontiers. This led to several centuries of interaction, cultural exchange, warfare and trade; with a lasting effect on both cultures.
The martial aspects of these confrontations and interactions led to an acceleration of the changes in Germanic society, with war-leaders and their retinues steadily increasing in power and influence within Germania at the expense of older forms of political power. Military confrontation changed the ways Germanic warbands fought, with greater discipline, the use of formations and following standards on the battlefield appearing as early as the opening of the First Century AD. Germanic warriors served in the Roman army as auxilia and mercenaries throughout this period, bring their training, knowledge and, often, equipment back to their native lands on discharge.
Trade also revolutionised the previously impoverished Germanic lands. With amber prized by Roman ladies, the long trade route from the lower Danube up to the Baltic became a source of wealth for the tribes that lay along its path. Raiding into the Empire brought plunder and the Roman practice of playing some chiefs off against each other also led to large payments of tribute and rich gifts, all of which led to coinage circulating in Germanic lands and chiefs and war leaders accumulating wealth which, in turn, attracted warriors, followers and power.
All of these changes gave rise to a slow evolution within the tribes, whereby larger groups absorbed smaller ones, while others formed alliances and federations to protect themselves in an increasingly warlike environment. By the Fourth Century the older, smaller tribes and bands of 600 years before had vanished, replaced by larger tribes or federations of tribes that shared a cultural identity. It was these newer, larger, more militaristic and more powerful tribes that confronted Rome as the western half of the Empire began to decline economically and disintergrate politically in the Fifth Century AD.
At the same time, the Germanic peoples – halted by Rome to the west and south – continued to expand eastwards. By the Third Century Germanic bands were moving out onto the steppes of the Ukraine and mingling with as well as fighting against the Indo-Iranian Sarmatians and Alans they found there. These people also had a profound impact on the eastern Germanic tribes. Some of them, such as the Quadi, Goths, Gepids and Taifali, adopted the heavy lancer cavalry of the Sarmatian peoples, becoming feared heavy cavalry in the process. The Sarmatians also influenced Germanic art, introducing the interlace styles and abstract animal motifs that were to dominate Germanic art for the next 1000 years.
The aggression, restlessness and warlike nature of these tribes that the Romans noted in their first interactions with them remained their hallmarks for the rest of their history, until, by the beginning of the Fifth Century, circumstances and aggressive warfare led to Germanic kings who traced their ancestry to semi-mythic ancestors in the old Germanic homeland of Scandinavia sat on thrones in Italy, Gaul, Spain and Africa.
The Sweboz' warriors & fighting tactics resemble that of its Celtic neighbours. Infantry is the mainstay and they charge towards the enemy in a big 'warband'. However, unlike the Celts who might break, the Sweboz will instead disengage should this charge be halted, and invent a new plan for fighting. The Sweboz also have good cavalry and can give the enemy a nasty surprise should they underestimate them.
The current list shows factional units as well as regional units from the surrounding provinces of the Sweboz kingdom. These are not the only troops available to the Sweboz and other troop types will be available should the Sweboz expand out of Germania. For possible regionals check the Eleutheroi unit pages.
EB1: The Sweboz starts out surrounded by rebel settlements and safe from the reach of other factions with only the Celtic Factions to be mindful of. They have a fairly large army at the start but will soon be crippled by debts due to having only one settlement.
As such, one must conquer all of the surrounding settlements using all of the available forces. Having an available army of Dugundiz (Germanic Spearmen) with two experience points and having generals with high command stars at the start, you will be able to conquer at least 3 or 4 settlements until you will be forced to disband your remaining units and wait for your economy to recover.
Then you will be able to build up your settlements with useful buildings, priority be given to any available gold mines, temples that provide population growth or experience for new units, MIC buildings for recruiting new units, the field of games building for increasing the experience of new units and then the markets in order to prepare for the Germanic reforms.
After that, expand into the Baltic rebel settlements where you will be to recruit useful Baltic units like the Medininkas (Baltic Archers) or dare to conquer the two rebel settlements protected by super strong rebel armies where you only have one turn to conquer the settlement after defeating them or else they will re-spawn and you face the horrible option of fighting two armies at the same time.