The List of distinctive troop types of the Ordensheer shows the many different units and troop types associated with the Ordensheer, both from the Ordensritter, the 26 Chapters of the Order, the Komtureimilizen, the mercenary contingents as well as the Seemänner (which are actually part of the Ordensmarine).
Ordensritter and their muster
LanzenherrThe Lanzenherr is the pinnacle of the fighting force of the Order, a knight in the eyes of the Gods, a Champion of their Will and their Code of Honour, pious, honourable, strong, dedicated to a courtly lover, fighting for said courtly lover, honour and justice, of noble descent and disciplined.
At least in theory.
In practice, that is an ideal, which is aspired by a small number of members of this estate, most of them are swashbucklers and warhorses, rough and with little piety and discipline. Their courtly love is usually not so courtly. They are, usually, of noble descent, sometimes bastard.
Heavily armoured in plate and with equally heavily armoured horses, armed with lances, swords, shields, maces and war hammers, sometimes even axes, the Lanzenherren are a force to be recogned with.
KnappeA Knappe, or Squire, is the Lanzenherr's understudy, learning the art of combat, war and life from him. He learns . For the first few years, he is basically the errand boy, but starting from age 14, he begins to learn how to use weapons and armour and becomes a fully-capable member of the fighting forces as a medium horseman.
They were also, quite often, used as guards for prisoners, aids in putting the Lanzenherr's armour on, flagbearers (the name of the rank Fahnenknappe in militia formations comes from this fact), taking care of horses and, of course, accompanied the Lanzenherr.
Older Knappen sometimes, not often, but sometimes, are put in charge of a village by their Lanzenherren, either to test their skills in leadership or because the village is bothersome and the Lanzenherr wants it out of his mind. Knappen will, one day, become Ordensritter or one of the members of the Chapters or local landed gentry - if they survive for that long, that is...
DaggermanThe Daggerman is a medium cavalryman in medium armour, usually armed with a spear and a short sword, which earned him his name.
Usually not of noble descent, or, if they are, of destitute nobility, the Daggerman are only one step above footsoldiers. More commonly then on the battlefield, Daggermen can be found as bandits and raiders, from where they are recruited by knights, who care little about their muster's backstories.
However, several of the Chapters took to training their own Daggermen and keeping them paid and in service, using them as a sort-of police force in times of peace.
Medium InfantryMedium Infantry is the collective term for a number of different types of soldiers, which were a part of the Lanze, the administrative formation, which was the muster of an Ordensritter. Usually riding towards battle, but dismounting before entering it, the Medium Infantry was usually the Feldmarschalls last reserve.
The unifying feature of the Medium Infantry, however, is less their armament and more their armour, which is either chainmail or scale armour, medium in nature. They could be armed with pikes, spears, swords, warhammers, axes and shileds.
Most commonly, however, they were armed with a one-handed weapon and a shield, seeing polearms as a weapon of poor people. As the knight had to pay for their upkeep and equipment, and their survival became a matter of prestige, the Medium Infantry was usually well-trained and equipped, although not so numerous.
MarksmenMarksmen, usually armed with bows or crossbows, are the lowest tier of warrior one could be in a Lanze: Neither of noble birth nor a mounted fighter, not even engaging in the art of close-combat, but staying away from battle with bows or crossbows and shooting at good men. And then, not even guaranteed to hit!
They ride to the battlefield, give away their horses to the Servant and then fight. As they are neither of noble descent nor rich (quite on the contrary, should the servant not be a slave, the Marksmen are usually the worst-paid of the Lanze), the Marksmen are not worth any ransom, thus usually killed on the spot if taken prisoner of war.
Some Captains, however, try to change the formula, letting the Marksmen and Markswomen keep their horses, riding over the battlefield and dismounting when it was time to fight, remounting again and riding off (calling them Mobile Archers).
From the 26 Chapters
In addition to the above, the Ordensritter and their musters, the Chapters of the Order brought forth a number of distinctive troop types.
Funays WaldläuferFunays Waldläufer, or Funay's Rangers, are an elite corps of rangers, skirmishers and guerillas, which are recruited from the followers of Funay, a River-Goddess, for the Caritnar-Chapter. Characteristic for them are their skills with bow, arrow and herbal medicine, especially in their homely forests and fields, as well as their pointy ears, a sign of their dedication to Funay.
They are unsuited for open battle and best used as raiders, guerillas and skirmishers, as well as scouting infantry. Their armour, if they have any, is light at best, but usually, these fierce warriors do not wear any armour, instead preferring their tunics and pants, as well as heavy boots, plus coats for colder environments.
Although quite a few of them carry swords, not many of them posess any sort of mastery with the blade. While they are excellent at hunting and foraging, the Waldläufer only rarely mount horses when called upon to fight.
DonnermädchenThe Donnermädchen, or Thunder Girls, are a part of the muster of the Chapter of Tungrer. They use the highly modern and dangerous weapon known as the arquebuse, a muzzle-loading rifle firing a ball with at the enemy with the aid of a substance known as gunpowder.
The rifle is dangerous for both the enemy and the user, while the shots often go wide, the main effect is less the one of hitting the enemy, but more psychological. Due to that, the Donnermädchen are also armoured, medium, with short swords. Their blue coats with the white fur border are quite distinctive.
This troop is female-only.
Arochis PioniereThe Arochis Pioniere, Pioniere von Arochi or Arochi's Engineers are soldiers belonging to the Chapter of Arochi.
While their use in battle is rather limited, despite their heavy armour, they shine in the arts of the siege. As engineers, they excel in besieging and being besieged, the important ones when it comes to building field fortifications and siege engines, including cannons, although many of the Engineers speak up for a centralized production of pieces to ensure a certain quality standard.
Many a bridge was also built by Arochi's Engineers or its foundation go back onto their work, which many are acutely aware of.
StadtschützenThe Stadtschützen, or City Archers, are a corps of militiamen recruited from the towns and cities of the Komtureien, who are capable at using the bow and arrow to their advantage.
Light infantry, nearly unarmoured, and mostly of limited use outside of field battles or sieges, they are the cheaper variation of the Waldläufer, but equally well-trained. Disciplined into firing their arrows in salvoes, which blot out the sun, their arrows are aimed in something, which could be called spray and pray. As individual soldiers, City Archers are of limited to no use, and even less so in a melee, as they only carry a dagger or a knife, maybe even a small axe, in addition to their bow and arrows. Armour, except that needed due to them being archers, is not worn.
WaldläuferThe Waldläufer, or Rangers, are a light infantry corps, marksmen with bow and arrow and very good at it as well. Deadly for light infantry, especially in their preferred habitat of woods and forests, the Rangers are experts of hiding in there. However, the heavier armoured the enemy is, the less the arrow's chances of penetrating the armour becomes and thus, the less effective the Rangers are.
As a levy raised in times of war from the huntsmen, they become huntsmen after the war again - every now and again, however, they are called from their homes to fight for the Order and its territories, preferring to stay in the woods, which they know. Usually paid by the Komtureien, they are counted as militia and they are, technically. Usually, they are also unarmoured.
They are distantly related to Funay's Rangers.
Freed Axeman MilitiaThe Freed Axeman Militia is from the Grauwald and its Komturei, where there are axes and people capable of weilding them in droves. They usually act as heavy infantry and shock troops, armed with their large axes, their bulk and a dagger or something like that, armoured in padded armour.
Unlike many of the other militias, they are co-ed.
Up until two centuries ago, the Axeman Militia consisted of war-slaves, who were promised freedom if they survived five battles, then ten. In 816 nA, when the Grauwald was under attack by the Seevölker, they refused to fight unless they were freed beforehand - teeth-gnashingly, their masters agreed and freed all of them. The following battle, they won under the loss of almost all former Axe-Slaves, a sacrefice, which moved their masters to make them the characteristic militia of their country.
Northern SpearmenThe Northern Spearmen are the heavy militia infantry and spearmen from the cities in the northern parts of the Order-Territories. In their distinctive scale armour, they carry a sword, a large shield and a short spear, usually full helmets as well. It is not unusual to see them as the centre of a battle formation, mainly due to them holding out (nearly) every charge. Due to their spears, they are also good anti-cavalry-troops.
It is said, that every boy living in city in the north learns how to be a Northern Spearman, but while that holds some truth, the truth is, that this only applies to young men from the middle class, who can equip themselves in a sufficient manner.
The scale armour allows for a certain flexibility on the field of battle, while also offering protection. Due to their large shields, the Northern Spearmen can form a shield wall, which is nearly inpenetrable for infantry.
Town-SpearwomenThe Town-Spearwomen are an odd troop, mostly recruited in the rich southern merchant towns. Fallen women, usually, who want to flee their previous life, they are lightly armoured and armed with their spears and daggers, their elaborate spearheads being the most distinctive feature.
One rarely will find a more disciplined and loyal troop, mostly because they are well aware of them being fallen women and thus having a second chance at life with the Spearwomen. For, as fallen women, they are not exactly high on the social ladder, but a bit higher as soldiers, especially for their towns.
The Southern Merchant Towns also like to use their Town-Spearwomen in ceremonial services, for example during receptions, which does not diminish their effectiveness on the battlefield, where they are a terror to behold. Off the battlefield, they usually stay inside of their barracks and amongst themselves.
Heavy SwordsHeavy Swords are the heavy core infantry of the Komtureimilizen and the Ordensheer itself, heavily armoured and armed with a shield and a sword. These troops, raised by every city as professional soldiers, serve in peace time as town guards and normal guards, but in wartime as the heavy infantry.
Companies are raised of both female and male swordsmen, usually of the middle class. They are the foundation of the power of the towns they serve, not only because of them being soldiers, but due to them being soldiers of their towns, which can, when a war is to be fought, can decline sending their Swords to war for the order, thus having quite a lot of power in deciding who is fought when and where.
As they are usually of the middle class, many Swords are killed when captured, but there are enough cases known of Swords, which were sold into ransom or slavery or which joined their former enemy.
Verlorener HaufenThe Verlorener Haufen, or Lost Lot, are the answer of the mercenary bands for ever-increasing amounts of pikemen - a bunch of soldiers so reckless or forlorn, that they charge into enemy pike formations in heavy armour and with gigantic, two-handed swords.
Although rather new, their recklessness and skill, as well as their higher pay when compared to other soldiers, already gave them huge numbers and an even larger reputation.
As a bed for those, who believe themselves already lost, and as mercenaries, the Verlorener Haufen is seen and treated by their commanders as a valuable, if expendable asset, sent in to weaken the enemy's formation before the main attack arrives - usually either the heavy infantry advancing behind them or the cavalry, but using them as distraction for flanking manoeuvres is not unheard of either.
Eastern Light InfantryThe Eastern Light Infantry is, unlike the Eastern Cavalry, not shock troops, but, like them, a type of mercenaries recruited from the Far Eastern Marches. They are less soldiers of fortune and more people, who are at the end of their ropes, trying to earn a living by fighting for others.
Lightly armoured, with a sword and a kite shield, the Eastern Light Infantry is cheap to equip and paying them isn't expensive either. They have a reputation for being ill-disciplined and pillaging.
Usually, the Eastern Light Infantry is used to flank the enemy in battle, for harassment and other such purposes. However, like most light infantry, the Eastern Light Infantry does not stand a chance against a cavalry charge on open plains.
Eastern CavalryEastern Cavalry is a corps of shock troops hired from the Far Eastern Marches, usually bands of soldiers of fortune, which had fallen out of the graces of their lords and vanished with the horse and its armour to hire themselves out for the highest bidder.
As they are expensive, but expandable, they are used as shock-troops for effect - usually before the Daggermen, Knappen and Lanzenherren are sent in. Their lamellar amour offers protection and moveability, but not as much as the solid plate, which the Ordensritter and their entourage prefer.
SeemännerThe Seemänner are the naval infantry of the Ordensmarine, their specialists in ship-to-ship combat, landing operations and in defending their installations ashore.
Established during the War with the Seevölker, as a quick reaction force, the Seemänner proved to be a valuable asset as a light infantry as well as a collecting tank for those, who fell on bad luck. Their skill with shield and sabre, however, as well as in manning the weapons of their vessels, made them far from expendable, but quite a valuable asset to the Ordensheer and the Ordensmarine.
From time to time, the latter lends the Seemänner to the former, although no one involved likes the rowdy and ill-disciplined soldiers near the regular soldiers.