The people that live in the mountains and foothills of Ost (East) Averland are free of the foppishness which is common in the rest of Averland, living in the foothills of the mountains leads to a more rugged existence. This does lead to a tendency towards roughness which is looked down upon by the rest of Averland; Although the men of the more rustic states find the Eastern Averlanders much closer to their ilk. The people are like much of the Empire, farming, logging and trading for their wealth. The far flung nature of the land results in a few less of the comforts that the central Empire has. The nobility of Ost Averland tends to have a desire to emulate their more wealthy lowland neighbours and will often be as garishly dressed as possible, although not always in the latest styles.
The terrain of the mountain foothills however means that their is a distinct lack of horses, as a result the forces from East of Averland tend to be lacking in cavalry. For the Garrisons of the mountains. this usually presents little problem as the mountains are unsuitable for horses. When required to take to a traditional battlefield lack of Heavy Cavalry has to be made up by units from other provinces, if they are available.
The Ost Averland Black Mountains Garrison is responsible for the defense of the Black Mountains smaller passes and mountains, not as famous as the men who defend the main route into the Empire the Black Fire pass defenders but fulfilling a vital defensive role. The defence of the smaller passes is a never ending job and the troops end up accruing a lot of combat experience in the mountains.
The garrison forces comprise of two major forces the main garrison forces who man the passes and Forts and the Alpenkorps who patrol the mountains themselves. The troops weapon of choice is the pike whose lack of maneuverability is not an issue in the narrow mountain passes and whose reach is vital when dealing with Trolls or other large beasts.
The men of the Garrison is well supplied with funds and armour from the Averland government; who understand the importance of maintaining the bulwark of the mountains. The Garrison maintains as much heavy and plate armour as possible in the fortresses, even though it has fallen out of favour amongst the Empire at large because armour is useless when fighting against blackpowder weapons the enemies that the garrison fights are rarely equipped with such.
The Garrison favours crossbows over handguns, this is due to the logistics problem of supplying gunpowder to the high mountain passes, fletchers have a permanent place in these forts manufacturing bolts from the mountain pines and the various birds of the region. The gunpowder that the forts keep on hand is reserved primarily for the cannons and mortars which are kept in large numbers in the fortifications, vital for defending the choke points in which the Forts are constructed.
Despite the lack of horses the Garrison does keep a small of cavalry on duty as scouting forces mounted on small agile horses. Either drawn from the minor nobility of Ost Averland and formed from men of Pistolier corps or common men of the garrison troops equipped in the same way.
Although not a glamorous military presence in the Empire, the Garrison does present a good level of training and fighting ability, in field battles they will perform un-remarkably but reliably. When fighting in the mountains and narrow passes the experience and tactics of the men does much to improve their effectiveness.
The colours of the Garrison are the Yellow of Averland and White, often locally used to represent Ost Averland. This is then combined with a halved flat red to represent all of the troops fighting for the Black Mountains Garrison.
A soldier of the mountaineering forces known as the Alpenkorps, these troops spend their time mountaineering the high peaks, keeping watch, reporting and small scale skirmishes with the various monsters that inhabit the cliffs and peaks. Whilst in the mountains the troops use axes, shortened polearms or swords with shields, however when deployed in a conventional battle line they most often form a pike block. Their armour is much lighter then the men to facilitate their mountaineering role compared to the Garrison troops that defend the passes. The Alpenkrops most often wear furs made from bear or mountain lion skin. In battle however the furs are discarded and only the headpiece is retained. Note this soldier retains some of his mountaineering equipment in his pack.
A Pikeman of the Garrison forces, responsible for defence of the forts and passes. Equipped with a pike and heavy armour, this is less of a burden on a force deployed primarily defensively, as they aren't often required to march on long campaigns with it. The heavy armour proves invaluable fighting the various Orc, Goblin, Troll and other enemies that are encountered in the passes. The bandannas and cloths are decorated with the colours of the Black Mountains garrison.
Garrison Pikeman with Pavise
A Pikeman with a Pavise shield. Pavise shields are often employed by the Garrison for their pike blocks in static positions and their Crossbowmen. The shields provided an extra level of protection from thrown or fired missiles and are often gaudily decorated.
I was on my round the world trip when a visit to Warhammer world let me see the Dogs of War pikemen up close in the cabinets, it was there I decided that those were the models for me. I will be playing these chaps as an Empire army when their done unless GW gives us a new DOW army book.
Men and Artillery will be the order of the day, Dogs of War pikemen combined with various historical miniatures as well, I will be utilizing some Perry miniatures, Kingmaker and Crusader miniatures.
This project has been ongoing for a little while now, but I have only recently started blogging, so I will be posting updates for these regularly too (too many projects!)