Well, this topic was seen coming.
As I mentioned previously, historically the Byzantines were a civ that on many occasions had to depend on mercenaries, hiring almost any country they had on their side or through contacts. Of course, they used Civ mercenaries that are not yet in the game, such as "Armenians, Georgians, Genoese, Burgundians, Bulgars, Catalans, Wallachians, etc.
Thus, if in the future they include Aragon, Genova, Bulgaria and Serbia, perhaps then they can have another rooster of more historical mercenaries.
We can evaluate those that already exist for the normal rooster:
English Lonbowman.- As I understand, they did hire English mercenaries during the Crusades.
German Landsknecht.- Also, during the crusades, although not specifically landsknecht.
Rus Streltsy.- Rus mercenaries there were, but not Streltsy. The streltsy appeared in 1550, that is, 98 years after the destruction of Constantinople. In theory in normal games you can fight Byzantines vs Rus with streltsy, so in theory, if the Byzantines had stayed alive, maybe the Rus would have given them mercenaries.
Ghulam.- After 1200, the Byzantines made deals with many Turkic peoples to obtain mercenaries, and even before (700-1200), there were mercenaries from arabs sultanates. I think that the ghulam are among them, so is fine.
Mongol.- The empire did make an alliance with the Mongols on several occasions, and I also see it as normal that they use their heavy cavalry.
Tower Elephant.- The Mongols with whom the Byzantine emperors made pacts were from the Il-khanate, which dominated Persia at that time, and they had elephants. It’s the only explanation I give you.
Javelin Thrower.- Not necessarily Mali, but from the African kingdoms, if we consider mali travelers on the Silk Road to make pilgrinage to the Mecca, but again, I’m only hypothesizing.
Camel Raider.- Not necessarily Abbasid, but also berbers mercenaries (North Africa), where Roma has domains and allies even before the Islam foundation, so is fine as mercenary.
Grenadier.- I am sure that the Romans did not have Chinese mercenaries, but they did have chinese commerce (like chinese Silk) along the Silk route. Perhaps the grenadier could be considered as a ####### (sl1-v3) working for the Mongol Ilkhanate, which are also working for the bizantines, but I’m hypothesizing enough.
About the Silk Road mercenaries.- I would say that they are the excuse for using civs that are too far from Anatolia, since at the moment there are no other extra historical civs with which the Empire obtained mercenaries.
In the future.- If they release more historical base civ, perhaps we can see more historical mercenaries for Byzantines, such as the Armenians for their cavalry, the Genoese with their crossbowmen or the Catalans/Aragonese with their Almogavar. At least if they carry out a campaign with Byzantines, they will have to consider at least these 3, since they participated in important events in their history (the taking of Constantinople by Almogavares, The defense of Constantinople by Genoese, the indispensable Armenian allies)
Here are some sheets from Osprey (Byzantine Armies AD 1118–1461,1995) recounting many of the mercenaries that the Byzantines hired (For educational purposes):
- Just to summarize before reading the text are the following:
Alans, Albanians, Armenians, Bulgars, Burgundians, Catalans, Cretans, Cumans, English, Georgians, Hungarians, Latins (Germans/HRE, French, Castile, Aragon, Italians, Genoese, Venetians), Mongols, Patzinak, Russians, Scandinavians, Serbs , Turks, Uzes, Wallachians.
And here from the army of 800-1100: