Lords of the west, historical accuracy

Age of Empires isn’t a game about historical accuracy, and I think not balancing the game around historical accuracy is a good idea, with that said I want to talk about two historical inaccuracies that could be solved simply and with little effort.

Flemish Militia

Simply put, Burgundy has little to do with the Flemish apart from the fact Flanders came under the rule of Burgundian dukes from 1396-1477 before being absolved into the Habsburg empire, the tech itself (Flemish revolution) refers to the start of the 80 years’ war which happened under Spanish rule a full 90 years after that.

The issue isn’t only that this tech is historically inaccurate, it also overlooks a nation with a history of Pike militia that was actually considered part of Burgundy during the middle ages, this nation of course is Switzerland.

The first Kingdom of the Burgundians was a short-lived kingdom in the so called ‘dark ages’ that gave Burgundy its name, for the next 500 years the kingdom existed wholly as in independent state or within the Frankish or Holy Roman empires, but in the high middle ages the kingdom was split up between the Italian Duchy of Savoy, the French Duchy of Burgundy and the German Cities states that later became the Swiss Cantons.

Swiss Pikemen were also a militia force so I prepose a change in the name of the tech to Rütlischwur (the semi-mythological oath that created the swiss confederacy) or the Sempacher Brief (a document believed to have stated each cantons’ required contribution to the swiss army), Flemish Militia should also be renamed to Swiss Militia.

Sicilians and Italians

The introduction of Sicilians when Italians already exist has been criticized by some people already. The truth is that it is a step forward in representing Italy during the middle ages. southern Norman-Sicilian Italy was vastly different to the northern Holy Roman Italy.

In the 6th century the Langobardic people invaded northern and central Italy and created the Kingdom of the Lombards, with the south still held by the Byzantine Empire. over the 200 years of Lombard reign, they turned their part of Italy into a Post-Roman Kingdom before being conquered by the Franks. While in the south the Byzantines holdings were taken over by the Saracens.

Throughout the high middle ages, Sicily and southern Italy was a strong centralized state while Northern Italy was a collection of fiefdoms under the holy Roman empire. Both sides of Italy were dissimilar to each other culturally and in the armies they fielded.

Having said that Italians still refers to the people of both south and north Italy. I think it makes sense to rename the Italians faction to the Lombards since it is a more accurate description of them, the Iron crown of Lombardy was used to coronate holy roman emperors and the Lombard league was a famous northern Italian alliance.


Burgundians in game cover burgundy flemish/falanders and dutch so the unit is fine.Swiss fought the burgundians so it would be ridiculous to have them replace flemish militia.The guy is even armed with a goedendag not a pike.

Swiss pikes would fit a swiss civi or paple state civi as the uu.


And Venice/Aquileia, that remained under bizzantines (pushing off longobards, franks and the HRE) until they get their indipendence from them.

Also the papal state was technically indipendent, though always depending by the armies of a foreign emperor.

The rest of the north where made by city states, that struggled to expand their influence over other, and sometimes allied to fight an invasion.

Except that, great summary of italian history.

Initially the italians were lombards ingame but later changed to represent everybody including venice.

Would you consider venice to be the last romans or were they greek like byzantine?

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Initially they were Roman citizens but then they become more closer to the Greek byzantines. In fact you can even today hear some Greek influences on the venetian language (now more of a slang, but still…).

As for in game, they are a bit of both, a bit of the Italians and a bit of the byzantine.

I mean, it’s a big stretch to include venetians too into lombard, florentine and genoase world, I can understand though why they did it…

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Given the last independent duke of burgundy (Charles the Bold) was killed by swiss troops at the battle of Nancy I think you might want to review your research


No no no no no, super wrong info here. The Flemish revolution tech definitely refers to the Franco-Flemish War and the Battle of the Golden Spurs (1302) in particular. It is at least in the region a big turning point in the way people think about infantry warfare. Before this time the rule of thumb was that a mounted knight should be able to handle about 10 foot soldiers, after the battle (named after the golden spurs looted off the dead and captured French knights) the Flemish boasted that one of them with a Goedendag could take out two knights (not entirely accurate, but that’s what it’s a boast for). The role of the Goedendag was quickly (re)absorbed by pikes and other polearms, the design of the weapon wasn’t super impressive in the grand scheme of things, but the way it was successfully used became a big talking point in military circles.

You could argue that there are storylines that connect the Battle of the Golden Spurs to the 80 Years War and the broader concepts of the military revolution and pike and shot warfare, but there are over two and a half century between the two. In the story of Western European warfare, the battle itself is quite possibly more important than something like Agincourt. They are similar in that a force of knights was defeated by an opponent armed with more of a common man’s weapon, but in the long run the story of pole arms became a bigger game changer than that of bows.

So, no. No no no no no. The Flemish Militia is not a reference to the 80 Years War.


EDIT: How this all fits into the story of the duchy of Burgundia and such is a bigger mess. At some point the Frankish empire falls apart, and its segments keep changing names. How much the larger segments have to say and how much the lands are ruled by smaller local duchies and such also keeps changing. It is true that the Flemish were not part of the proper Burgundian lands in 1302 when the battle happened. I don’t even really know how that stuff all works myself.

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It would have been better if this mechanism was a common tech to few new civilizations not just one ut.this could have easily represented the militia armies of that era like hussites and swiss.

How were they any different from regular Pikes?

I was referring to swiss pikeman not the actual weapon.