Alexios I Komnenos (Greek: Ἀλέξιος Κομνηνός, 1057 – 15 August 1118; Latinized Alexius I Comnenus) was Byzantine emperor from 1081 to 1118. Although he was not the first emperor of the Komnenian dynasty, it was during his reign that the Komnenos family came to full power and initiated a hereditary succession to the throne. Inheriting a collapsing empire and faced with constant warfare during his reign against both the Seljuq Turks in Asia Minor and the Normans in the western Balkans, Alexios was able to curb the Byzantine decline and begin the military, financial, and territorial recovery known as the Komnenian restoration. His appeals to Western Europe for help against the Turks was the catalyst that sparked the First Crusade. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexios_I_Komnenos
The Komnenian Dynasty gave the empire a new lease on life following the disaster at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071.
When Alexius ascended the throne in 1081 he was immediately faced with fighting the Italo-Normans, losing twice before driving them back only to have many resurface as mercenaries in his own army or during the 1st Crusade on their way to Jerusalem.
For the next hundred years or so the Komnenos family would hold the empire together fighting off enemies on all sides until the Venetians would sack Constantinople in 1204 during the 4th Crusade.
The army that was reconstructed after Manizekert has always interested me. It's one of those armies that was not what it once was, bit often good enough when well led by the Komnenus clan.
The figures below are my representation of the post Manzikert period. The bulk of the units are from the Ral Partha 1200 line that is still available via Iron Wind but at outrageous prices. Most of mine were eBay finds and so cost a little less, but not much.
Minifigs contributed three units to the mix and Hinchcliffe two.
They are organized for Lion Rampant 2 and total over 50 points.
|These archers are Minifigs from their Byzantine line. They are equipped with mail and function like massed archers in LR2.|
|These are also Minifigs. The Byzantines at times seem to have used old terminology for their troop types. These would be called Peltastoi reminding the reader of the Peltasts of earlier times.|
|These are Hinchliffe light archers, skirmishers in LR2 and an eBay find. Hinchliffe figures have a style of their own. They would classify as "large 25mm" compared to the Minifigs and Ral Partha figures.|
|As noted the Ral Partha 1200 line is available through Iron Wind in the US. They are very costly, way above average. It is however a classic vintage line.|
|Ral Partha Normans from the 1200 line. The Normans (sometimes called Franks by the Byzantines) were important enemies of the Byzantines as well as helpful mercenaries as the numbers of native Greek cavalry declined.|
|Anna Kommenus, Alexis's daughter said the Normans could charge through the walls of Constantinople!|
|Ral Partha Byzantine light horse from the 1200 line. Although the Byzantines employed large numbers of steppe horse archers they still fielded skilled javelin cavalry.|
|My leader unit of Thematic cavalry.|
|A close up of Thematic Heavy Cavalry.|