Greetings everyone, we have another treat today from Q_Sertorius and CEMN – a Galatian preview. These units and roster revisions will be featured in our upcoming 1.3 mod update and can also be tried ahead of time in our current Barbarian submod beta pack. Check out our discord for details!
The Galatians were a Celtic people from Central Europe who invaded the Balkans during the 270’s BC, before eventually crossing to Asia Minor and settling in the Anatolian high lands. Having carved out a territory for themselves, the Galatians remained a player in Anatolian politics for nearly three centuries. They were originally composed of three tribes: the Tectosages, the Trocmii, and the Tolistobogii (a fourth tribe, the Aigosages, later joined them). They were closely related to the Scordisci and Boii, but their tribal connections extended even to southern Gaul, where a branch of the Tectosages lived (Roman authors reported finding loot from the Celtic invasion of Greece in temples belonging to the Volcae Tectosages). Due to their central location in the heart of the Hellenistic world and their constant interactions with the rival Hellenistic powers, the Galatians absorbed a great deal of Hellenic cultural influence, despite remaining culturally Celtic for much of their history.
In terms of their roster, the Galatians are strongest in melee infantry. They are brawlers par excellence, being the only playable Celtic faction which can recruit large units of Third Class swords. The Galatians are also one of two Celtic factions to get access to chariots (these are based upon Lucian, an ancient source of suspect reliability, but a source none-the-less). If nothing else, this gives them a way for their warriors to die in style. But, bold players will note that chariots can be utterly devastating against lightly-armed levies, which form substantial parts of early eastern armies. The Galatians are respectable in several other key areas, but players may quickly notice a relative weakness in long-ranged missiles and heavy cavalry, particularly in comparison with their eastern neighbors. These weaknesses are, however, easily addressed by careful augmentation with mercenary and Area of Recruitment troops (AOR) from nearby areas. A player who chooses not to rely heavily on AOR units is likely to experience quite a challenge.
The Galatians benefit a great deal from other cultural reforms as well – gaining access to experienced soldiers who have served in other Hellenistic armies at the Thureos and Thorax reforms. Thus, the Galatian roster presents the interesting historical reality of Celtic soldiers fighting for Hellenistic rulers, learning new skills and gaining new equipment, then returning to fight for their own faction. Due to their historically-attested Roman influences, the Galatians also gain access to very capable legionary units.
Galatia draws many aesthetic influences from the Hellenic world, which is reflected in unit equipment obtained through raid, trade, or even service in Hellenic armies as they often were historically. But, there are also hints of other influences having migrated through the Balkans, Thrace and settling in diverse Asia Minor. Finally, due to the warm climate of Asia Minor, many Galatians choose to go shortsleeved or even without wearing pants – perhaps inspired by their new neighbors…