A decade and 3 rule set changes since their last real outing, my Persians come out of the box and take the field in 2006. Note the white shielded hoplites, in the background, these are RAFM multipart figures painted up as Carians then later washed with burnt umber over their flesh and drafted into my Armati Carthaginian army. What goes around....
OK so I have this ramshackle gathering of figures and need to organize it. Rather than the old blundering forward, its time to scout out the road ahead, analyse the "enemy" and form a plan. So, what do I really want to achieve?
1. Use as many existing figures as possible. The rest must be sold off or added to the melting pot (for homecasting). Now I don't 'repaint' other than occasionally touching up damaged figures but the RAFM multi-part figures are so useful that I may strip some of these and reconfigure them.
2. I want to end up with 2 and ONLY 2 matching armies suitable for playing out a protracted campaign. This may seem harsh but, for nearly 40 years now, I have been painting up armies primarily to face other people's armies, then they move or I move or interests change and I am left with another orphan. Even worse, time after time I get an army almost "complete" only to start another and rather than playing with the finished one, it sits on a shelf while I rush to paint figures and field "stand-in" units. For the next 20 years I want the figures on the shelf to have a reasonable chance of taking the field if only once every 3 to 5 years. In addition, they have to fit on one 11 foot shelf. That's it! The rest are taken and all painted troops must be on display. (ok exemptions are being considered for troops smaller than 25mm...)
3. Despite the above, I want to be able to field a small but credible opponant for any friend with an army from Europe or the Middle East between say 700 BCE and 700 CE. That sounds like a tall order but consider for example, a Saka army, if you replace the Noble cavalry with Cataphracts, you suddenly have a Parthian army, the variations in dress and tactics of the horse archers that make up the bulk of both forces are minimal.
4. The matching armies must be ones that fought more than a short, one sided campaign settled by a few big battles. Something like the Punic Wars where the 2 sides engaged in prolonged low intensity warfare inbetween the major campains is ideal. More than this, a little documented campaign would be best, a sort of plausible fictional campiagn between historical opponants.
The newest troops eagerly await a decision:
Garrison Persians, my Immortals in campaign dress.
Rose Prestige Ethiopeans
Something old, something new. The chariot on the far right is a Garrsion one painted out of the box in 1976. The other 2 are RAFM Successor scythed chariots painted this week. The drivers are RAFM figures, the crew are Garrison apart from the fella in purple, holding on for dear life, he is a Rose Prestige figure. Yes I know it should be 4 horses and scythes or 2 horses and archers, not both, but there is that marvelous picture in Funkens "Le costume et les Armes des soldats de tous les temps" which has been inspiring me since 1967 and besides, can anyone really proove that Cyrus was the 1st guy to ever put scythes on a chariot? I can see that photographing gloss coated figures is going to a challenge!
Well OK, we know that one army is going to be Medes and Persian. Next Post: Figuring out who the Medes and Persians should go to war with.