Yes, this is gonna be another pretty long post. Don't worry, though; the topic today is way, waaaaaaaaay shorter than Araby was.
Speaking of which, by popular vote, the second Ultimate Unit List will be all about Estalia; the southwestern peninsula of the Old World, home of .
Before I start, a few things:Mandatory Intro
First, there's quite a bit of non-canon Estalian lore out there from things like the RPGs (not published by GW, plus the 2nd edition is based on retconned Storm of Chaos lore) or the 1st through 3rd editions of WHFB (retconned by 4th edition in the early 1990s). A lot of the Estalian lore on the Wikis and even the usually reliable Lexicanum comes from these non-canon sources.
If you want a list that includes most of that non-canon stuff, you can find it here (credit to PaulH for compiling this):http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?741210-Information-Thread-for-Potential-New-Estalian-Units
Granted, I can't verify where all the info on that list came from, like its reference for Estalian pikemen (the sentence is from the description for Pikemen in the White Dwarf Dogs of War army list, but the actual sentence in the magazine says "Tilean" and the description doesn't mention Estalians at all), but there you go.
I'll also point out areas where I'm speculating about info gaps. If a sentence doesn't have words like "probably" or "most likely", it's from the sources.
Second, this will be a multiple-post thread. It won't be as long as the Araby thread since there isn't nearly as much to say about Estalia, but I'll still try to keep units grouped by type.
Third, critique me. If my writing is garbage or you know I made a mistake or missed something, let me know. If you have a lore correction, please cite the source and (if you can) a page number or chapter for reference. I'm sorry if this feels strict, but I'm trying to stick to canon material, and with all the non-canon and even fan-made lore floating around the Internet, I can't take your words seriously if I can't verify the info myself.
Also, feel free to toss out any questions you have. I can't promise I'll have an answer, but I'll do my best, and there's a lot of other cool people on this forum who'll be happy to oblige you.A map of the Old World and northern coast of the Southlands to get us oriented. As you can see, Estalia is the not-Iberian Peninsula to the Old World's not-Europe, and it borders not-France and not-Italy. Also, this is about as detailed a canon map of Estalia as you'll find.
Finally, I have a few things to say on the amount of Estalian lore currently in canon sources:
Compared to Kislev, Araby, Tilea/Dogs of War, and even races like the Amazons and Albion, Estalia hasn't gotten as much attention on the forums, YouTube, and other places where people like to speculate about new races. I assumed this was because Estalia doesn't have much lore to talk about, but for this thread, I went digging through the sources and found, much to my surprise,...
That I was totally right.
There's really no way around it: Aside from the fact that it's clearly Warhammer Fantasy's version of Spain and MAYBE Portugal, we know very, very little about Estalia or its people. They've never had an armybook or list (heck, I couldn't even find a single statted Estalian unit in any GW material) and, aside from asking Bretonnia and the Empire to save them from Sultan Jaffar in the 1440s IC, they almost never get talked about in the lore. They're so freaking unknown that we know more about Cathayan armies than we do about Estalian ones.
"But what about Pirazzo's Lost Legion?" I hear you say.
"Surely you're forgetting about them!"
Pirazzo's Lost Legion is a Tilean unit, not an Estalian one.
Ignore their obviously Spanish aesthetics and obvious Conquistador themes for just a moment and listen to their description straight from the Dogs of War armybook (pgs. 38-39):
"Pirazzo's Lost Legion are all that remains of the expedition sent to Lustria by the merchants of Tobaro. The regiment was one of three recruited in Tobaro from among the poverty-stricken youths of the city."
So the Lost Legion was founded by Tilean merchants for a Tilean expedition, and its ranks are filled with poor Tilean youths from Tobaro.
(And yes, Tobaro is in fact a thoroughly Tilean city in thoroughly Tilean lands. Tilea comprises all of the lands that surround the Tilean Sea. Also, Tobaro lies east of the Abasko Mountains, which is explicitly called the geographical border between Tilean and Estalian lands. Why CA totally ignored this and gave Tobaro to both the Estalia province AND faction in Game 1 when geographically divided provinces are a thing in Game 2 is beyond me. It's like giving Ostermark to Kislev.)
But wait! There's more!
"Fernando Pirazzo was hired to command one of the regiments. Although young, he was already an experienced mercenary captain skilled in the art of war. Before the expedition embarked he trained his men in the use of both pike and crossbow, the two traditional weapons of Tilean
mercenaries [emphasis mine]..."
So, despite the Lost Legion's appearance and seeming use of somewhat-lifelike tercio
tactics...it's still a Tilean regiment made up of Tileans using Tilean tactics and weapons.
The above passage also implies that Fernando Pirazzo, even if he is actually Estalian like his name could arguably suggest (his origins aren't touched on), actually learned to be a soldier in Tilea, not Estalia. This isn't surprising, considering how many foreigners head to Tilea to seek their fortunes, but it definitely helps cement a simple fact:
Aside from looking like stereotypical Conquistadores and using tercio
-ish tactics (which are Tilea's shtick in the lore anyway), the Lost Legion has no explicit or implicit connection to Estalia.
But does everything I've said so far mean that we don't know ANYTHING about Estalia or its armies?
Canon lore about Estalia is very scarce, but it does exist, scattered through various sources. Here's a general description of what we know about Estalia from the canon thus far:
Estalia is essentially pre-unification Spain, only without any Moors mixed in and with a seemingly Renaissance level of development (more on that later). It's a parched, arid plateau that's separated from the more fertile lands of Tilea by the Abasko Mountains in the west.
Like Tilea, Estalia is politically divided, although unlike Tilea Estalia has small kingdoms alongside its city-states. Estalia has fewer cities than Tilea, and they're all well fortified. Few of these petty realms are known beyond Estalia, though the city-state of Magritta on the southern coast is apparently considered a great city of the Old World.
Concerning the inhabitants, Estalians are said to be a hardy, rugged, and apparently very proud people; in-universe, it's said in the Empire that Estalians "will slay a man for mistaking them for a Tilean or even greeting them in the Tilean dialect by mistake" (6th edition WHFB rulebook, pg. 166).
Like the Tileans, Estalians are known as traders and travelers, and it's "not unusual to find Estalian merchants in the north, and their mule caravans frequently tour the cities of the southern Empire" (7th edition WHFB rulebook, pg. 152). It's unknown if the Estalians send expeditions to the New World like other human races do (especially the Tileans), but the Lizardmen 7th edition armybook does say on pg. 15 that "Man came to Lustria from every corner of the Old World and beyond", so they presumably do. (The Wiki mentions a colony called Santa Magritta, but I couldn't find mention of it anywhere.)
In war, the Estalians can field Tercio
formatioEstalian crossbowmen are common among the ranks of the Dogs of War (White Dwarf #251, pg. 78). It's unknown if Estalia produces many mercenary generals, as they're the only Old World humans who aren't mentioned in the White Dwarf article on Dogs of War generals (White Dwarf #234, pg. 46). Whether or not the Estalians use gunpowder weapons is unknown.
That's basically it as far as a general canon description of Estalia goes. So, without further ado, let's dive right in.Infantry(Veteran)
Tercio Glaivemen"Were you expecting pikes? Ha! That's just the sort of thing a Tilean dog like you would say!" (By the way, could someone more knowledgeable about weapons say whether or not this is actually a glaive? There's so many polearms that I lose track of what looks like what.)
According to Wikipedia, a glaive is a European polearm that consists of a single-edged blade at the end of a pole. While there's lots of variance, the blade is generally about 45cm (18 in) long and the pole is 2 meters (7 feet) long.
As for what glaives have to do with Estalia: In the Monstrous Arcanum (8th edition, 2012), we get a description of an Estalian army from the in-universe account of the Tilean wizard Orsini Sardus on pg. 7. It's actually our most important source, since it's the ONLY CANON DESCRIPTION OF AN ESTALIAN ARMY. The Estalians in the story are from the kingdom of Larhgoz, which is attacking the Tilean city of Vedenza. (Don't bother looking for these places, as they're not significant enough to appear on the maps.) After describing the Estalian knights, Orsini mentions that they were accompanied by "Tercio
regiments of glaive- and crossbow-armed veterans..."
That the Estalians use Tercios
isn't surprising, given that in real-life the Tercio
was a famous method of infantry organization developed by Habsburg Spain in the 1500s. In fact, the name itself comes from the term tercio español
, or "Spanish third". (Go look it up; it's actually really interesting.) An accurate, non-romanticized depiction from Osprey publishing of Spanish soldiers around 1547. Uniforms as we know them didn't become a thing in Europe until the late 1600s, so real-life Spanish
Tercio troops would've looked pretty close to this in real life.
However, real-life Tercios
combined firearms or crossbows, swords (sometimes), and PIKES. Estalian Tercios
, by contrast, seem to use glaives as their main melee weapons. (Note that the description explicitly lists the Estalian Tercios
as using glaives and crossbows, but not pikes. If they had been using pikes as well, it'd be weird not to mention them if you're going to mention other weapons.)
While it feels weird to have Tercios
without pikes, I think I understand why GW gave the Estalians glaives: Tilea already has a monopoly on pikes and the classic Tercio
-style tactic of combining pikes and missiles (crossbows, in Tilea's case). That's been the case since at least 1998, fourteen years before we got our first noteworthy description of Estalian troops in the Monstrous Arcanum. Giving the Estalians pikes as their main melee infantry weapon on top of crossbows would've made their infantry exactly like Tilea's. With Glaivemen, Estalian infantry has something unique to offer, which would help if CA and GW ever wanted to flesh them out into a race.
That being said, there's nothing saying that Estalia DOESN'T field any pikemen, so Tercio Pikemen
could be another possible unit. After all, this is the only description of an Estalian army we have in the lore, and it's possible that this particular army just didn't have any pikemen with it. Personally, as long as Tilea still has the best pikemen, I'm okay with Estalia having good pikemen.More troops from the age of the Tercios. I'm not sure what battle this picture depicts (if any), but it gives a good idea of what Estalian infantry could look like.
Another idea, to keep more with the Tercio
theme, would be to make Estalian glaives about as long as pikes. Instead of getting a bonus against cavalry, the glaives could give more armor-piercing damage or something. Then they'd function more like classic Tercio
pikemen while keeping some distinct traits from their Tilean counterparts.
Additionally, since Estalia is confirmed to use Tercios
, perhaps they could also have other types of units associated with Tercios; Swordsmen
were often used to protect the pike blocks' flanks, and handgunners
were a staple of real-life Tercio
warfare. This would be a good way to flesh out their unit roster, even if it isn't super creative.
Aside from the glaives, note that Orsini describes both the Estalian Glaivemen and Crossbowmen as veterans. Considering the nasty stuff he has to say about the other parts of the Estalian army (more on that later) and his understandable bias against the Estalians for attacking his city, it's interesting that he ascribes the Tercio
infantry with moniker like veterans. It implies a degree of respect for their fighting prowess, regardless of whether the troops in question actually were veterans. They seem to have held their own in battle with the Tileans, so Estalian Tercio
soldiers are probably of decent quality.Crossbowmen and (Veteran)
Tercio Crossbowmen"My dream is to fire two bolts per minute. So far, I can manage nearly one. (I call it none.)" (No GW art. What a shocker.)
Using two units in one entry may seem a bit cheap, but there's barely any lore about either or these, so I'll just save us some space.
According to the generic Dogs of War army list in White Dwarf #251 (pg. 78), "the bulk of missile troops in a Dogs of War army are formed by crossbowmen from Tilea, Estalia, and the Border Princes." If Estalian Crossbowmen are standard fare in Dogs of War armies, then they're almost certainly even more common in Estalian armies.
As for the Tercio
variant, the same Monstrous Arcanum quote that mentions Glaivemen also mentions "crossbow-armed veterans" as part of the Estalian Tercio
regiments. While these could be normal crossbowmen, the fact that they're A) veterans and
part of the Tercio
regiments means that they could be a different unit altogether. BanditsBandits: Just Tilean propaganda, or a menace to make the Dark Gods themselves quake in fear?! (Not a GW pic.)
Bandits are an iffy inclusion to this list, since they come from an anti-Estalian account written by a Tilean who fought against them, but without any better sources to go off of and with such a lack of lore I decided to include them here.
When our friend Orsini describes the invading army of Larhgoz, he says that mixed with the Tercio
regiments in the Estalian lines were "all manner of bandit rabble, spurred on by the hunger in their bellies" (Monstrous Arcanum, pg. 7). That's all the info we have about them. (The "hunger in their bellies" line refers to the Skaven-created famine in Larhgoz that drove the Estalians to try and conquer the more fertile lands of their hated Tilean neighbor Vedenza.)
It's totally possible and perhaps even likely that Orsini's disparaging remarks are simply his way of referring to less professional elements of the Estalian army, such as a peasant levy, local militia, or even sellswords (who could've very well been bandits before being hired or pressed into service). But that's just speculation, and Orsini's few words are all we have to go off of regarding these troops.Another non-GW bandit pic, this time fitting the generic low-tier soldier a bit more.
Whatever these troops are, the inclusion of such undisciplined units in Estalian armies (if they actually were undisciplined THANK YOU UNRELIABLE NARRATOR) makes sense. Since Estalia mixes elements of medieval and Renaissance Spain, the existence of units like Bandits or peasant levies alongside their Tercios
wouldn't surprise me. It'd be like how the Empire is based of the Renaissance Holy Roman Empire, but it can still field units like Flagellants which are more based on the Middle Ages.
That's pretty much it for Estalia's canon infantry. Needless to say, it's pretty bare bones. So, just for fun, let's take a quick look at the once-canon-but-not-anymore WHFB 3rd edition, which had actual, statted Estalian units in its Old Worlders mercenary contingent in Warhammer Armies (1991) on pg. 161!The Once-canon sectionHombres VillanosBandolleros Gringos
Will you look at all those additional stats compared to later editions...
That's it for part 1!
I'll cover the rest of Estalia's units in the next post. It shouldn't take longer than a few days to write up.
Also, leave your vote for the next thread topic. The choices are:
2) Vampire Coast
3) Amazons (and...something else)