The Kingdom of Makuria
Few medieval kingdoms are more enigmatic than those of eastern Africa. Lack of sources, combined with lack of extensive scholarship and current difficulty to conduct fieldwork has made this region uniquely obscured by history. The Kingdom of Makuria was one of the last bastions of African Christianity at a time when it seemed Islam had long since secured its hold on the continent. The armies of Makuria successfully resisted conquest for centuries, based on a motley blend of tribal warriors, foreign mercenaries, and dedicated warrior aristocrats. The Makurian army will play as a wide-roving force of skirmishers, each unit acting as both a light guerilla and frontline fighters out of necessity. The Makurian player will find themselves continually outclassed, with fewer heavy infantry, heavy horse, and lighter units than almost any opponent. Yet, with resourcefulness they, like the Nubian kings themselves, might still secure victory against superior odds.
A Note on Ranged vs. Melee Units
Most Makurian units are both ranged and melee, starting as skirmishers and being able to fight in melee if need be. Hence in this roster dividing units into ranged and melee is a slight misnomer, as most units can fill both roles easily, albeit a little less than units more strongly specialized for one role or the other in other factions.
* Some units avaliable to multiple tiers. This applies to all Beja units.
The kings of Makuria are ably aided by this cohort of knights, dressed in a eye-catching blend of african and byzantine costume.
The lay infantry of Makuria are lightly equipped and even more lightly armed.
Nubian Quilted Infantry
Quilted armor is common in the Sudan. It provides good protection against all manner of blows,
giving these warriors time for their short stabbing spears called Kibi to cut their enemies to size.
The edges of Makuria are along great tracts of wilderness, bordered by hostile powers and peoples.
It seems only fitting they should be protected by equally wild men.
Nilotic tribespeoples were common mercenaries in the Sudan, fighting in striking style with large hide shields and short spears.
The relationship between the Arab world and the Nubian one was often contentious.
Even so, some Arabs took up arms to serve its Christian kings from time to time.
Nubia was famed above all else for its archers. It was a poison arrow, fired from a Nubian bow
that was the gravest fear of both Arabs and invaders of years past.
The Beja and Afar peoples of the sun-baked wastes of the eastern Sudan remain to this day a proud warrior people. They fight quickly and lightly, blurring the lines between skirmisher and soldier.
Slingers remained useful in Africa long after they had waned in the west.
From Morocco to Somalia, it was a valued aspect of warfare well into the Medieval Period, albeit seen as a weapon of the poor.
Like other Sudanese peoples, archery was a prized skill among these desert tribesmen.
Alodian Heavy Horsemen
Alodia is a fertile region to the south. Its milder climate allowed more body protection than could be easily tolerated in the fiery heat of the north.
As such, Nubias heaviest horsemen come from this land, coated in great heaps of quilted armor.
Nubian Light Cavalry
Most Nubians fought lightly. This extended to the prized cavalry core, most of whom rode as lightly as their compatriots on foot, with kilt, cap, and shield being the only sources of protection.
The only peoples to value horses more than Nubians were their Arab rivals, who could field great quantities of them. These men are a vital middle ground between the lumbering heavy horse and the swarms of semi-nude warriors that otherwise encompass Makurian armies.
The slow seep of Islam into Nubia accompanied the creation of ever-heavier mounted horsemen. They wear chainmail, a incredible luxury for most in this region, showing their status as men of means. Cavalry similar to these would be recorded in the Sudan well into the Modern period.
Perhaps the greatest sign of Nubias christian faith was its pride in the gallant warrior saint, a mounted knight who smote the enemies of his peoples.
These warriors personify this ideal, fighting lightly, but full of vigor, with lance and shield. They wear a motley style of armor reminiscent of the Roman ideal but deeply steeped in African norms of dress.
Beja Camel Riders
The Beja were most famous for their skill as camel herders. In this capacity, they were a important part of the Nubian army, one that made a gruesome impression on the Arabs they commonly faced in battle.
Nubian Slingers (High)
Sudanese Heavy Cavalry (High)
Arab Horsemen (High)
Arab Horsemen (Late)
LinusLinuthorax & Alejandro Sanchez for their incomparable store of knowledge on medieval Africa and endless willingness to provide resources.
the MK1212 dev team for their resources and feedback
the Ancient Empires team for their excellent model resources, especially their hide shields.
Toto, for providing the soundtrack to this factions development.
CA for making the game that makes this possible