Sunday, 28 October 2007

Armoured Archers finished!

Well, I got the armoured archers done: 15 figures in two weeks to join the one I had done a year or so ago. I probably won't need another unit of these: the next archers I get will be skirmishers. 16 armoured archers are 144 points for WAB using the EIR list.

I have based five more cavalry and the mounted general who is, I suspect, supposed to be an Emperor. I will need to give him lots of purple and gold and spend a bit more time on him than I did with the archers which I rushed a bit. Never mind, they look good en masse.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Roman Cavalry

One of the things that attracted me to the A&A range was their fine horses. This is my first cavalryman. I'm going to get some more based tomorrow evening and work on them over the next few weeks. Gradually over this period there were more cavalry being used as the infantry dropped in quality until you end up with the typical Late Roman Army.


This is the general from the senior officers' pack. He is bearded so that really puts him at the beginning of the 3rd Century rather than in the last quarter where I need him to fight Zenobia. There is a mounted figure as well so once he is done this chap will get demoted.

First Roman Infantry Unit

This is the first Roman infantry unit I painted. Historically, there are all sorts of things wrong with it. The first two ranks have lorica segmenta whilst the back two ranks have chainmail. The front two ranks also have square shields rather than oval ones.

This mirrors a picture in the Osprey where Angus Mcbride shows his front rank with lorica, rectangular shields, armored sleves and a chainmail hood. A&A actually make these figures (the scale armoured ones too) so I will have to order some and then move my existing front rankers into another unit. Although there is reasonable archaelogical evidence for all these items mixing them in with scale armoured troops with oval shields is dubious. However, it looks really cool and franlky who knows what was worn nearly 2000 years ago. No one at Guildford is going to object, I suspect.
The figures in lorica, with rectangular shields and late Gallic helmets are probably really from an earlier era, say the late second century. It's likely that Marcus Aurelius' troops who fought in Germania (as depicted at the beginning of Gladiator) looked more like this.

One thing that there is evidence for is the colour of the tunics as a painting of Roman troops was actually discovered at Dura Europas in Syria in the 1920's. They clearly demonstrate a white (or more likely, off white) tunic. Amazingly given this visual evidence there are still people who won't credit it. As far as I am concerned this is more visual evidence than we usually have about uniforms of ancient times. The characteristic mustard coloured cloaks are much in evidence too. Note too the pink bands on the standard bearer's tunic.
Points wise this is difficult to judge as they are really too late for the EIR list (although it does say in the main rule book that the list is good until 250AD) and too early for the Fall of the West list which goes from the 4th Century. The general consensus on TMP seems to treat them as EIR but with more cavalry. Certainly the WAB EIR list gives statistics for Lanciarii, which were from our period.
Looking at 16 points per legionary plus 5 points for the leader you are looking at 325 points for this unit.

Another blog!

On the basis that having blogs is definitely making me paint more and in a more organised way it is time to start another one!

This one will reflect the building of (initially) a 3rd Century Roman army for Warhammer Ancient Battles and their Palmyran (and eventually Sassanid Persian) opponents. I have always like Romans from the days I got my first set of Airfix plastics and fielded hundreds (all unpainted of course) against a Carthaginian army built from Ancient Britains, red indians and a Britains baby elephant with plasticard howdah. Surprisingly, it has taken me some time to start building 28mm Roman armies. I started with EIR using the larger Steve Saleh Foundry figures. There are hardly any different poses as he left Foundry before really starting on the range but it sort of doesn't matter so much with Romans. I needed the big figures because I had bought the Renegade Celts which were huge. Next, I bought a load of the Copplestone Caesarian Romans but other than a few officers I haven't painted any yet. This is odd as they look great painted (I have done a few officers). Then I started a Punic force which progressed well driven by the Cynoscephalae battle we did for the Society of Ancients battle day this year.

Somewhere in between I bought some of the A&A 3rd Century Romans.

This purchase was entirely down to the pictures of the figures I saw in one of the wargames magazines. In many ways they are just the sort of figures I don't like: stocky with big heads and exagerated weapons but there was just something appealing about them.

The reasons I like them are partly because they are unusual but also because A&A offer a good range of poses: rather than just one command pack you can choose from no less than four infantry command packs. Then again you have troops in mail, scale and lorica armour. No doubt you should use them all in the proper periods but there doesn't seem to be much agreement as to what sort of armour disappeared when so I am going to mix them all up.

The range was obviously inspired by the Osprey covering the subject by Ross Cowan and some of the figures have been modelled directly on Angus macBride's wonderful paintings.

A couple of weeks ago A&A announced the start of their Palmyran range and I have already sent off for some cataphracts and Queen Zenobia on a camel, dressed as she is in the cover to David Nicolles's Osprey on Rome's Enemies on the desert frontier.

The big advantage of a Palymyran army is that it consisted of a lot of cataphracts so that should mean not so many figures!

I am now well on the way to finishing my second eight archers to go with the ones above. Then I think I will start on some of the cavalry I have already got.