Later Hungarian Armylist Book 4 list 43

Author: Matt Haywood

This list alters some of the basic elements of the original Later Hungarian list which in my opinion do not reflect the historical sources. The major items are the regrading of mercenary Knights to Kn(O), removal of Bd(O) foot and Hd(S) and inclusion of a fleet.


Cold, Ag 2, WW, Rv, H(G), RGo, Rd, BUA
C-in-C- Irr Kn(O) @20AP
Sub Generals- Irr Kn(O) @20AP
Nobles and Mercenaries- Irr Kn(O) @10AP or Reg Kn(O) @12AP
Hungarian, Cuman, Jazyges or Ruthenians- Irr LH(F) @4AP
Semi-Nomadic Cavalry- Szekelers Irr LH(S) @7AP or Tatar Reg Lh(S) @7AP
Hungarian Spearmen- Irr Sp(I) @3AP
Foot Archers- Irr Bw(I) @3AP with upto 1/3 Irr Ps(O) @2AP
Wagon Laager for camp- TF @1AP
Wallachian Allies or Moldavian Allies- List Wallachian or Moldavian (BK 4)
Only before 1308AD
Regrade Sub General as Allied General- Irr Kn(O) @20AP
German City Allies- List Medieval German (Bk4)
In 1285 AD only: Mongol allies- List Golden Horde and Successors(BK4)
Replace Sub General with Cuman allied General
Only from 1322AD to 1453AD
<indented> Bosnian Allied General- Irr Kn(O) @20AP
Regrade Foot Archers as Bosnian Archers- as Foot Archers or with Shields as Irr Bw(O) @4AP
From 1340AD: Bosnian Nobles- Irr Kn(O) @10AP
Only between 1349 to 1382 and between 1440 to 1444
Polish Allies- list Later Polish (bk4)
Only from 1382  

Replace Hungarian, Cuman, Jazyges or Ruthenians with

Hungarian, Cuman, Jazyges or Ruthenians- Irr LH(F) @4AP

Only in 1396: Crusade of Nicopolis- options as per DBM Later Hungarian List
Only from 1440 AD
Upgrade Generals to Reg Kn(O) @32AP
Upgrade CinC to Reg Kn(S) @35AP
Upgrade CinC with Polish Bodyguards to Irr Kn(S) @22AP

Replace Nobles and Mercenaries with

Nobles and Mercenaries- Irr Kn(O) @10AP or Reg Kn(O) @12AP

Upgrade Nobles to Royal Banderium, @15AP
Serbian Husars- as per DBM Later Hungarian List
Armati and Clipeati- Reg Sp(O) @5AP
Upgrade Foot Archer Bw(I) or Ps(O) to Reg Ps(O) @2AP [can support Reg Sp(O)]
Crossbowmen- as per DBM Later Hungarian List [can support Reg Sp(O)]
Mercenary Handgunners- as per DBM Later Hungarian List [can support Reg Sp(O)]
War Wagons -Reg WWg(O) @10AP
Light Guns- Reg Art(I) @4AP
Zarobotana Heavy Guns- Reg Art(O) @8AP or Reg Art(S) @10AP
Replace Warwagons with entrenched Warwagons as part of the camp defences- TF @1AP

any, 2 TF per WWg

Danube Fleet- Bt(O) [Dismounted Kn as Bd(S), any infantry] @2AP
General Levy and crusading foot- Hd(F) @1AP
****0-2 per Irr Sp(I) or Bw(I)
Only from 1442AD to 1446AD
Serbian Allies- List: Serbian Empire(Bk4)
Only from 1490AD
German or Italian Pikemen- as per DBM Later Hungarian List


Army Notes

A Bosnian General can only command Bosnians and must command all those present. Armies representing Jan Jiskra's mercenary forces 1440-61 cannot use Lh(S), Kn(S) or have any allies. Regular Ps(O) and Ps(S) can support Regular Spearmen. Armati and Clipeati are best represented by 2 halberdier and 2 paviser figures per element.* minima applies if any Lh(S) are used. Irreg Lh(S) must outnumber Reg lh(S) by at least 2:1. ** This applies if any troops so marked are used. *** CinC must be Kn(S) for Royal Banderium to be used.**** The maximum H(F) that can be used is 20 even if the total of Sp(I) and Bw(I) exceeds 10 elements.



1 I have removed the Szekely Lh General option as there is no evidence for the Counts of Szekely having a distinct battlefield role nor fighting in anyway other than as a Knight. The Counts of Szekely were appointed by the King and there is no record of a Szekeler ever holding the post. The available evidence only shows the title being given to Hungarian Nobles. As such a Hungarian Noble would have had his own personal Banderia with which he would have taken the field. Additionally from the time of Janos Hunyadi the title and responsibilities of the Count of Szekely were almost always (with only one exception) granted to the Voiviode of Transylvania. The Counts held complete control over Szekeler lands and people, this included the militia. The only recorded time that the Szekelers operated as an semi-independent force was in putting down the 1437-38 peasant revolt in Transylvania. Even here it was an alliance of local Nobility, Saxons and Szekely. (Engel)

2 There are two basic issues here. I have allowed Regular Knights to be used from the start date of the list. I have removed the seperate entries for Armigeri and Nobles and combined them. I have also reclassified the Armigeri mercenary DBE Kn(I) as Kn(O).

Regular Knights from the start of the list and grouped mercenary/Nobles

Hungarian Kings, at least from the time of Charles Angevin appear to have employed significant numbers of mercenary Knights. As often as not these were Hungarians and were raised under a Disposito (commision) from the Crown and paid for out of the Royal Treasury. During Charles' campaign to reassert Royal control over Hungary he fought the battle of Rozgony, June 15 1312, here impetous attacks from his opponents broke his own Noble supporters. However foreign troops, labelled crusaders in the sources held and won the battle. 'Crusader' appears to have been a popular phrase for describing mercenary troops, it is certainly at odds here as Charles was a supporter of the pagan Cumans and supported by them. Charles going as far as to defy the Catholic Church on their behalf making true crusaders a little unlikely area of support for him.

Mercenary troops became common place under Charles' son Louis. Louis' campaigns in Italy appear to have been carried out by mercenary troops. The Count of Pressburg, Simon Meggyes led one such army to the aid of Pope Innocent VI. After his return to Hungary much of his army remained and formed mercenary companies on the Italian model. One such notable company was the Magna Societas Ungarorum. Levied troops and Noble Banderia are unlikely to have had such latitude nor desire to form such mercenary companies. Similarily the army sent to Naples in 1380 was commanded by 2 Barons and assisted by 15 Royal Captains, the title confered on those given commands of Disposito units. There exists a letter in which the 2 Barons are admonished from accepting any money from the Italians as they had already been supplied with sufficent to pay the troops. Again Levied and Noble troops are unlikely to be paid or if they were not on a regular basis. Louis appears to have been able to predict the amount of money required for the campaign, implying to me mercenary wages at a fixed rate. Also though Louis called on the Generalis Exercitus (mass levy) on several occasions during his reign it only ever saw service domestically or in 'small' wars in Croatia and Bosnia.

There is also the general issue of money. The Hungarian Kings appear to have had a cash flow substantially greater than that of their contempories. Hungary had at this time large gold and salt mines, fully controlled by the Crown, making it one of the wealthiest in Europe. It was one of the few monarchies that could afford mercenaries in substantial numbers. It would only be with Matthius' massive 'black army' that cashflow would become a problem.

(Engel and Muresanu)

Armigeri mercenary DBE Kn(I) as Kn(O)

The appears to be a default assumption that all 'Germanic' Knights are to be classed as dbe Kn(I). I do not believe the evidence warrants this. Bonfinius on the battle of Varna makes the specific statement that the Knights deployed in deep formations, this includes 3 banderia of Hungarian Magnates. Despite describing earlier battles of Hunyadi, most involving large numbers of mercenary knights this is the first mention of such a deployment. The implication, especially as the battlefield frontage was very narrow (1,000 paces) makes this unusual rather than usual. Additionally although the mercenaries are inevitably describes as Bohemian or German they included, Hungarians, Polish, Silesians, Moravians, Italians, Serbs and even some Swiss. None renowned for fighting in the manner attributed to the domestic German Knights. What sources there are available make no mention of any difference in the styles of fighting between Hungarian and mercenary elements of the army. Part of the reasons for deep formations of Knights was to allow the placement of the best armoured men to the front, essentially protecting the less well equiped. The question is just how likely is it that the equipment amongst the mercenaries would have varied so drastically as to require such deployment? Given the substantial numerical distadvantage of the Hungarians when facing Ottoman forces, the varied nature of mercenary nationalities and the exception made for Varna by Bonfinius I see no reason why dbe Kn(I) should be better representative than Kn(O).

3 I have increased the minima for Lh(F) prior to 1382. We don't have any direct evidence for the composition of pre 1382 armies and as such minimums are hard to judge. However as the impression of the available sources, like the Chronica de Gestis Hungarorum is that Cuman cavalry were very important to both Charles and Louis and at this stage the Magyar population could still be providing effective troops. So a bit touchy, feely I'm afraid.

Reducing the minima to 6 after 1382 has better evidence though is still debatable. Firstly in every recorded battle post 1382 there is never a mention of Magyar or Cuman skirmishers. There is also amble evidence for the Hungarians relying on 'foreign' or specialist cavalry to act as skirmishers. These were often Wallachians (Varna and Kosovo Polje), Serbians (the long campaign and many of Matthius' battles) or Szekelers and Tatars from within Hungary itself. At Nicopolis it was planned for Transylvanians to counter the Ottoman Akinji on one wing while the Wallachians did so on the other. This is despite Sigismund ordering his Nobles to bring at least 2 mounted archers each. We also have the repeated edicts on the Militia Portalis.

The Militia Portalis was born out of attempts to reorganise and reform the general levy. It first appeared in documents of 1397 during the reign of Sigismund. It outlined that for every twenty serf-lots (portae) a Noble was expected to raise and led 1 archer (probably mounted). What is often assumed is that this soldier was a peasant from such holdings this though is never actually specified by the documents of this time or later. This specific levy was not to be limited by service within Hungary nor the 15 day period of service. It appears that this initial attempt failed under opposition from the Nobility. Failure of the Generalis Exercitus during the Hussite wars saw further attempts at reform between 1432-35. These appear to have been more successful and there is documentary evidence of the use of the Militia Portalis from then on.
For more detailed information and examination of the evidence on the Hungarian organisation see the following articles:

Military reform in early fifteenth Century Hungary by Joseph Held, Eastern European quarterly, Vol. XL no 2

Militia Portalis in Hungary before 1526 by Andras Borosy, From Hunyadi to Rakoczi

The repeated edicts and changes to its requirements for domestic light horse seem to indicate a failure to produce the required results. This combined with the ever increasing use of 'foreign' light horse and lack of any evidence for domestic skirmishers has led me to reduce the numbers allowed, though not remove it entirely.

4 Here I have removed the minima for Lh(S). Again there is no evidence to support automatic inclusion in a Hungarian army. The Szekely and Tatars were obligated to provide military service to the Crown. In the case of the Szekely 2400 men for a campaign in a given year. Armies of Elizabeth's rebel supporters (1440 to 1444) and those of the Hussite mercenary Jan Jiskra would have had no access to these troops being based mostly in the North and West of Hungary.

5 Altered in keeping with prefered guidelines on bow armed troops, see point 12. I have also increased the maximum allowed. This is in part to reflect likely recruitment via the Generalis Exercitus and Militia Portalis, see Andras Borosy's article. It is also to reflect Janos Hunyadi's calling of the mass levy in 1442 and 1456.

6 Removed the option for allied contingents to be used together. The only evidence to suggest this is the list of Matthius' forces by Sebastiano Baduario (figures can be found in the WRG armies of the middle ages bk2). Here the Voivodes of Wallachia and Moldavia are listed along with troop numbers. There is no evidence to suggest that either Nation actually provided troops for Matthius, at least to qualify as a DBM external ally. It is also unlikely that both would honour any assumed vassal obligation at the same time.

7 Altered the handling of allied Generals prior to 1308. Automatic reduction of all Sub-Generals to allied status seemed a little too harsh. Depending on what is being depicted I think there is still justification for 1 reliable subordinate, be it by family or other trusted counterpart.

8 The original entry in the list presumably represents the support given to Charles during his wars to control Hungary. In the early years Cuman support was the deciding factor in Charle's campaigns, they also provided by far the largest contingents for his army. Making them an option for a fourth command seems out of step, they were the predominate troops so replacing a third command seems more logical to me.

9Bosnia became a vassal of Hungary in 1322, prior to that it was part of Croatia. Given the complete lack of evidence for how Bosnian Generals fought in battle, a classification of ax(O) is pretty unjustifiable. Dismounting as Bd(S) achieves pretty much the same result. 1340 saw the ruler of Bosnia given substantial estates in Hungary, presumably part of the justification for additional Knights.

10 Representing mercenary Generals and those Hungarian Generals that saw significant service under Janos Hunyadi. The successes of Janos and his armies, even some of his defeats potray a highly disciplined force almost certainly deserving of Regular status.

11 The option to regrade the CinC to represent Ulászló I suicidal charge at Varna at the urging of his Polish bodyguards.

12 I have amalgamated the Clipeati Sp(O) and Armati bd(O) into one group, all classed as Sp(O). My justification is based on the descriptions of how the Hungarian infantry fought:

In 1480 Matthius wrote a description of his infantry, this is the first definitive source for how they were employed.

'some are light foot soldiers, others are heavily armoured, and some are clipeati, who demand double pay because of their servants. In addition there are gun experts, but they are not efficient in firing as the rest of the infantry; they do best from behind the pavises at the start of the battle or in sieges. We make it a rule that a fifth of the infantry are arquebusiers.
……We regard the heavy infantry as an immovable wall that, if necessary, would fight and die to the last man where they stood. When opportunity presents itself the light infantry make forays, but, if their attack loses its impetus or if they are hard pressed, they fall back behind the heavy infantry……All the infantry and arquebusiers are surrounded by Armati and clipeati like a fortress. The pavises all round them give the impression of a fortress, behind which the light infantry shelter and fight as from castle walls, attacking when the time is right.'

This translation is taken from Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 2 by Ian Heath, published by Wargames research Group

KomJathy in A thousand years of the Hungarian art of war says of the light infantry,

'The main assignment of both lines [refering to the Clipeati and Armati] was to protect the third line of musketeers and the fourth line of light infantry with bows, lances, and axes.' And

'During attack they approached the enemy lines, protected by the musketeers' fire: once the enemy line was broken, hand-to-hand combat was carried out by the light infantry.'

He unfortunately does not list the original sources for these statements though most of it is clearly based on Matthius' description. Musketeers is likely a bad translation from KomJathy's original Hungarian and not a 'mistake' by the author.

Matthius' description appears to show that the Armati and Clipeati worked together, all receiving protection from the Pavises and inturn protecting the handgunners and archers. Separate Bd/Sp groups gives too much flexibility to the list and probably does not reflect historical use, hence the combined Sp(O) classification.

13 Given the likely origin of Clipeati and Armati as mercenaries it seems appropriate to regrade their supporting archers as Regular and limit their numbers and preventing them being used to support Hungarian irreg spear.

14 The Zarobotana (a corruption of the Italian Cerbottana) meaning a cannon capable of firing at longer ranges than normal are recorded as being used at Kossovo and advancing with the infantry in the attack on the Ottoman infantry centre. To me a Art(O) classification is better than an Art(S) in these circumstances. I have included Art(S) as it is the DBM rule book definition for larger gunpowder artillery.

15 The battle of Kossovo saw the warwagons used as part of the usual wagon laager defences and it was sufficently large to contain all the infantry, artillery and a cavalry reserve.

16 The Hungarians had fleets on the Danube and Sava rivers. Though the only recorded use in battle was during the seige of Belgrade in 1456. Janos Hunyadi describes it as a battle rather than a siege as the city wall had mostly been collapsed and it turned into a running street fight. Bonfinius says Hunyadi used the boats as reserves, manned by his mercenaries and sent to areas of the city where they were most needed.

17 This replaces the Hd(S) classification of the original list. Hd(S) implies a fantatical enthusasism which I do not think is warranted here. There are three battles where volunteers and peasant militia were present, Alba Iulia, Hermanstad and Vasaq in1442 and Belgrade in 1456. The only evidence for impetous behaviour is at the second day of the relief of Belgrade. Here 'crusaders' attacked without orders, forcing Hunyadi to commit his regular troops to the fight. The crusaders though did not only comprise enthusastic badly armed peasants but included the general levy of Transylvania. This may explain why a third of the crusaders are described as being competent with arms, some of these including handguns.

In addition hd(F) better reflects the use of these troops. At Belgrade the 'crusaders' excelled at the fighting in the narrow streets of the city, doing less well in the open. At Vasaq the terrain was a narrow valley floor with mountainous sides.

As all the battles where such irregular militias were present included the general levy of Transylvania I have linked the use of the Hd(F) to the basic Irreg Sp and Irreg Bw of the list.



Ioan Thuroczi, Chronica Hungarorum 1488

Anonymous, Chronicon Budense 1473

Marco Antonio Bonfinius (Bonfini), Historia Pannonica sive Hungaricarum rerum decades IV et dimidia- 1495
Bonfinius takes much of his information from the above two sources, adds new information and unfortunately heavily embroiders his work with fanciful tales.

Two important Byzantine writers that cover the period are;

Doukas, Decline and fall of Byzantium to the Ottoman Turks.

Laonic Chalkondyles, Historical Chronicles

For a comprehensive list of primary sources for the period, see the opening chapter of the Biography of Janos Hunyadi by Camil Muresanu.

Secondary Sources

-Realm of St Stephen by Pal Engel. By far the best English translation book on Hungarian medieval history. This book has the most balanced account of the Hunyadi period that I have come across. It also contains the most military information outside of the dedicated Journals listed below. If you want one book on Hungarian history, this is it.

-Biography of Janos Hunyadi by Camil Muresanu. A close second. The author is Rumanian and this occasionally shows through as a slight bias in his writing. That said it is still a very balanced and very well researched and detailed history of Janos Hunyadi and his times. The first chapter is an extremely detailed look at the sources for Hungary at the time of Hunyadi. Well worth buying and again good from a military point of view. My only slight issue with this book is occasionally the standard of the English translation lapses into some very peculiar syntax and word usage.

-Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 2 by Ian Heath

- Pechenegs, Cumans, Iasians (Steppe peoples in medieval Hungary) by Andras Paloczi Horvath

-Military reform in early fifteenth Century Hungary by Joseph Held, Eastern European quarterly, Vol. XL no 2

Articles of interest in From Hunyadi to Rakoczi ,
-Militia Portalis in Hungary before 1526 by Andras Borosy
-Society and War from mounted Knights to the standing armies of absolute kings Hungary and the West. Bela K Kiraly
-The Hungarian-Croatian border defence system, Ferenc Szakaly

-Nicopolis 1396, David Nicolle, Osprey Campaign series.

-Hungary and the Fall of Eastern Europe 1000-1568, Osprey Men at Arms Series by David Nicolle. On the whole a good introduction to the area and period. One minor niggle p38 Vlad Tepes (the Impaler) is listed as 1418-56. Vlad Tepes was born in c1431 and died in 1476.

-The Hungarian Hussar, Corvina publications Hungary (English) Only the first chapter is relevant.

-A Magyar Viseletek Tortenete by Nemes Nagy Tompos, Corvina publications. In Hungarian but plenty of drawings and illustrations on Hungarian personal military equipment/costumes.

-Transylvania a short history by Istvan Lazar Corvina publications Hungary (English)

-The Magyars, their life and civilisation by Gyulo Laszlo (English) pre 1300 only.