Ospery has been doing a bunch of ‘Battle Tactics’ books recently. I think it would have been neat if they’d made them their own line, instead of just part of the Elite series. I decided to start off with the recent European Medieval Tactics (1) by David Nicolle. It’s a quick guide to early Middle Ages tactics; as such, there are pieces I knew already, and pieces that echo other books I’ve read. However, it’s all put together here very well. David Nicolle is one of my favorite Osprey authors, and he does not disappoint here.

Technically part of the Elite line, it follows the general format of the series. However, instead of the usual eight full-color plates of various soldiers of the period, they are all bird’s eye views of various battles in progress, that illustrate things very well indeed (part of one of these is on the front cover), accompanied with a decent 1/3rd page description of the action. Also, there are another seven battles given a traditional black-and-white schematic illustrative treatment. In part thanks to the period, while I’m already familiar with some of the battles, many I don’t know, or don’t even know as much as the little given in the book tells me.

In all, it really brings together its subject well (especially the earlier parts) and brings things into better focus. I will have to get more of the books in the Battle Tactics line that Osprey has been publishing lately.