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Thread: General Military Unit Names

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    Military Professional BadKharma's Avatar
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    General Military Unit Names

    I thought I would ask this question here because there are so many knowledgeable people that pass though and post.

    What would be acceptable "generic" type names for Ancient and Medieval foot and horse units. This is for a game, Civilization 3 so it does not have to be 100% accurate however I would like to follow history as close as possible.
    I would need names for European nations, Arabian nations, African nations, Asian Nations, and Meso American nations.

    Also if anyone has unit names for the Hebrew armies it would be appreciated. I have decided to change the name of the Hittite civilization and make it Israel.

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    Knights Templar (Britain), Companion Cavalry (Greek).

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    Quote Originally Posted by BadKharma View Post
    What would be acceptable "generic" type names for Ancient and Medieval foot and horse units. This is for a game, Civilization 3 so it does not have to be 100% accurate however I would like to follow history as close as possible. I would need names for European nations, Arabian nations, African nations, Asian Nations, and Meso American nations.
    How "generic" is "generic" enough? For medieval history, I would strongly recommend a Turko-Mongol naming convention as it had as wide influence then as French naming convention has today. It is also very simple in its decimal form: 10 (Arban), 100 (Yaghun), 1,000 (Minghan), 10,000 (Tumen) etc. It had a wide and enduring influence all over the Eurasian stretch.

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    Distant Deeps or Skies Senior Contributor HistoricalDavid's Avatar
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    AAAAAAAAH CIV 3... You have eaten away at my soul, wrenching me from life for just one more turn... no no just until I get that advance...... no, just until I conquer that city
    HD Ready?

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    Military Professional BadKharma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaobam Armour View Post
    Knights Templar (Britain), Companion Cavalry (Greek).
    Weren't the Knights Templar a Christian order of Temple Knights started by the French knight Hugues de Payens? Companion I was allready leaning towards for the early horsemen.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cactus View Post
    How "generic" is "generic" enough? For medieval history, I would strongly recommend a Turko-Mongol naming convention as it had as wide influence then as French naming convention has today. It is also very simple in its decimal form: 10 (Arban), 100 (Yaghun), 1,000 (Minghan), 10,000 (Tumen) etc. It had a wide and enduring influence all over the Eurasian stretch.
    Well if the units were organized as far as numbers that would be a good idea.

    Maybe I should give a bit more background.
    Ancient era
    Warrior - upgrades to Swordsman I need names for different culture groups for each because I have extra units added so arabian warriors, asian warriors, meso american warriors do not look the same they each have unique graphics.

    Next line would be Archer upgrades to Longbowmen. For is I have a few specialty individual ones like Atatl's and javelins. I also have some crossbowmen available.

    Defensive units are the Spearman that upgrades to Pikeman.
    I have some halbediers that can be added in also.

    Mounted we have horsemen that upgrade later to knights, however I also have quite a few mounted bowmen and I know that Arabian or middle eastern Civilizations used troops like those but what would be a good name for them?

    Some possible generic type names for individual Knights I was thinking would be along the line of Heavy Horseman. I plan to add Small Wonders for the European classed Civilizations to build that auto produce different Knight orders like the Templars, Teutonic, etc. Basically I am modding the epic game so it is no longer like the boxed version.

    Some terms I was thinking of using include Men At Arms, Long Swordsman, Broad swordsman, etc.

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    Military Professional BadKharma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HistoricalDavid View Post
    AAAAAAAAH CIV 3... You have eaten away at my soul, wrenching me from life for just one more turn... no no just until I get that advance...... no, just until I conquer that city
    Yes it is very addictive especially when you have custom graphics for everything

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    Quote Originally Posted by BadKharma View Post
    Weren't the Knights Templar a Christian order of Temple Knights started by the French knight Hugues de Payens? Companion I was allready leaning towards for the early horsemen.

    Well if the units were organized as far as numbers that would be a good idea.

    Maybe I should give a bit more background.
    Ancient era
    Warrior - upgrades to Swordsman I need names for different culture groups for each because I have extra units added so arabian warriors, asian warriors, meso american warriors do not look the same they each have unique graphics.

    Next line would be Archer upgrades to Longbowmen. For is I have a few specialty individual ones like Atatl's and javelins. I also have some crossbowmen available.

    Defensive units are the Spearman that upgrades to Pikeman.
    I have some halbediers that can be added in also.

    Mounted we have horsemen that upgrade later to knights, however I also have quite a few mounted bowmen and I know that Arabian or middle eastern Civilizations used troops like those but what would be a good name for them?

    Some possible generic type names for individual Knights I was thinking would be along the line of Heavy Horseman. I plan to add Small Wonders for the European classed Civilizations to build that auto produce different Knight orders like the Templars, Teutonic, etc. Basically I am modding the epic game so it is no longer like the boxed version.

    Some terms I was thinking of using include Men At Arms, Long Swordsman, Broad swordsman, etc.
    They were spread across Eurpoe, so you are correct.

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    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    I remember this special "national" unit from Age of Empires for the Germanic kingdoms: Teutonic knights.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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    Senior Contributor Knaur Amarsh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadKharma View Post

    Maybe I should give a bit more background.
    Ancient era
    ..........Broad swordsman, etc.
    BK,
    These are not ancient era ranks, these are medival time ranks.

    Asian Nations
    As far as Asian nations' ranks go, you can opt for Samurai (infantry) and Yabusame (mounted) for Japanese and Zat (infantry) and Sowar (cavalary) for Moghul.

    For Moghul rank numerisation, you can divide ranks into Mansabs according to size.

    You may use Sepoy (infantry) and Ghurrsavar (Cavalry) and Dhanurdhar (Archers) for Indian armies.

    Arabian nations
    As Cactus has said, you can try using Persian army decimal system for convenience, it ll work for Mongol ranks also as they were sort of similar to Persian ranks. Persian Heavy Cavalry soldiers may be Clibanarii.

    Ottoman civilisation unit can be Jannisaries organised in Ortas (regiments). This can be coupled with Saracen Mamelukes for Middle-Eastern army.

    For older Moslem armies, you can use Mubarizun as infantry units.
    Meso American
    For Meso-American civs, you can opt for Aztec units, Quauhtin, Cuachicqueh, Otomi etc.

    European nations
    For Europeon units, you can add Militamen and Skirmishers for foot units and Lancers and Uhlans for mounted.

    Some possible generic type names for individual Knights I was thinking would be along the line of Heavy Horseman
    For heavy cavalary, you can add Paladins and Hussars.

    Knight orders like the Templars, Teutonic
    Use Hospitaller along with Templars for the area/period of crusades, Teutonic are Germanic in origin, they can be used as elite infantry also and you can go in for older orders such as Knights of St. Thomas, Order of Dobrin, Militia of Christ Livonian Order etc.

    For ancient units, you can look at legionnaries and centurions organised into phalanxes, legions etc.
    Last edited by Knaur Amarsh; 21 Jan 09, at 07:41.
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    Military Professional BadKharma's Avatar
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    Yes the Broad Swordsmen is medieval it slipped into the wrong area.
    I thought Janissaries were gunpowder units, did they start earlier with edged weapons?

    Being from India you should be able to really help out with that Civilization, the game limits you to 5 culture groups and they put India in with the Asian culture group. Is that correct? What are some of the ancient and medieval special military units of India?
    Also for more modern times is Gurkha appropriate for India, there is no Nepalese Civilization. I am curious because the information I found on them lists them as Tibeto-Mongolians. Right now the units made for India are slim but hopefully they will be expanded.


    That is the ancient horseman and some gunpowder units were made also.
    Indian Flintlock
    Indian Sikh Rifleman
    Indian Sepoy
    Indian Marine
    Indian Frontier Infantry
    Last edited by BadKharma; 21 Jan 09, at 07:40.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    I remember this special "national" unit from Age of Empires for the Germanic kingdoms: Teutonic knights.
    Yes I remember those and Hitler had a fetish with them also.

    BTW these were made to use in Civ3

    Last edited by BadKharma; 21 Jan 09, at 07:36.

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    Senior Contributor Knaur Amarsh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadKharma View Post
    Yes the Broad Swordsmen is medieval it slipped into the wrong area.
    I thought Janissaries were gunpowder units, did they start earlier with edged weapons?

    Being from India you should be able to really help out with that Civilization, the game limits you to 5 culture groups and they put India in with the Asian culture group. Is that correct? What are some of the ancient and medieval special military units of India?
    Also for more modern times is Gurkha appropriate for India, there is no Nepalese Civilization. I am curious because the information I found on them lists them as Tibeto-Mongolians. Right now the units made for India are slim but hopefully they will be expanded.


    That is the ancient horseman and some gunpowder units were made also.
    Indian Flintlock
    Indian Sikh Rifleman
    Indian Sepoy
    Indian Marine
    Indian Frontier Infantry
    BK, the units that you have listed are of the British era, Gurkhas in Indian armies will be appropriate for that period of time only. Nepalese Civilisation .. well it was a bunch of kingdoms at that time as was most of India, so if you are looking for a mighty empire, you won't find it. Gurkha empire can be said to start from around mid 1700s. As for culture groups, during the early medieval period the Moghul army would be based more on Persian army and later on it would acquire a distinct character of its own,but IMO it'd be still be closer to Mid-Eastern than Asian armies.

    Pre-Moghul empires would be in the ancient period right from the end of Alexander's campaign to Babur's invasion, thats something you should look at if you are interested in ancient units I suppose. The sepoy thing I listed would come under that , it'd be followed by Moghul empire of Zat and Sowars (Gunpowder would also be introduced by Moghuls in the sub-continent) , the units you listed are actually British units coming in towards the beginning of 19th century.
    Last edited by Knaur Amarsh; 21 Jan 09, at 08:01.
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    Senior Contributor Knaur Amarsh's Avatar
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    Regarding Jannisaries, since they were there almost since the beginning of Ottoman empire as the Sultan's guard, they'd surely be using something other than firearms before gunpowder became popular in mid 15th cent.
    When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep? - George Canning

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    You might look at the unit names they use in the Total War games... 'Shogun: Total War', 'Medieval: Total War', 'Rome: Total War', and 'Medieval II: Total War.' They may have done a lot of home work for you. There is also a mod for 'Rome: Total War' called 'Rome: Total Realism', where they did more research for historical accuracy (and have different naming conventions than the original), I haven't played any of those games for awhile, so I don't remember much about the unit names/types and the Total Realism modders may also have done a 'Medieval: Total Realism' mod (not sure about that) that would help with your medieval naming conventions.

    Hope that helps...
    Last edited by pate; 21 Jan 09, at 09:17. Reason: clarity

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    Military Professional BadKharma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knaur Amarsh View Post
    BK, the units that you have listed are of the British era, Gurkhas in Indian armies will be appropriate for that period of time only. Nepalese Civilisation .. well it was a bunch of kingdoms at that time as was most of India, so if you are looking for a mighty empire, you won't find it. Gurkha empire can be said to start from around mid 1700s. As for culture groups, during the early medieval period the Moghul army would be based more on Persian army and later on it would acquire a distinct character of its own,but IMO it'd be still be closer to Mid-Eastern than Asian armies.

    Pre-Moghul empires would be in the ancient period right from the end of Alexander's campaign to Babur's invasion, thats something you should look at if you are interested in ancient units I suppose. The sepoy thing I listed would come under that , it'd be followed by Moghul empire of Zat and Sowars (Gunpowder would also be introduced by Moghuls in the sub-continent) , the units you listed are actually British units coming in towards the beginning of 19th century.
    Yes the gunpowder units are later I was just listing the units currently available made by Civ fans available to add in. One of the major unit creators I'm sure will eventually get to expanding the line up for India. For Nepal I do not plan to add them into the modification as their own separate civilization. Basically the Game runs from Ancient times to modern times. I need to get the unit lines filled in for the ancient and "middle" medieval times before I go on to the industrial and modern periods. I have another thread I started for naval units and received allot of good advice I allready implemented now I'm working on the land units. I just want to avoid having to use a naming convention of Horseman, Asian horseman, Indian Horseman, etc because the country the unit belongs to shows up when you view an opponent in the game so it would read India Indian Horseman.
    Quote Originally Posted by Knaur Amarsh View Post
    Regarding Jannisaries, since they were there almost since the beginning of Ottoman empire as the Sultan's guard, they'd surely be using something other than firearms before gunpowder became popular in mid 15th cent.
    I did not realize they had been around that long.
    Quote Originally Posted by pate View Post
    You might look at the unit names they use in the Total War games... 'Shogun: Total War', 'Medieval: Total War', 'Rome: Total War', and 'Medieval II: Total War.' They may have done a lot of home work for you. There is also a mod for 'Rome: Total War' called 'Rome: Total Realism', where they did more research for historical accuracy (and have different naming conventions than the original), I haven't played any of those games for awhile, so I don't remember much about the unit names/types and the Total Realism modders may also have done a 'Medieval: Total Realism' mod (not sure about that) that would help with your medieval naming conventions.

    Hope that helps...
    I will take a look for information on those games I have never bought any in that series but have heard they are excellent.

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