Thursday, February 25, 2010

20 meets 25

More filler. Here is one of the 20mm Phrygians beside one of the25's, both primed white.



They both look like they'll paint up well. I'm looking forward to painting both units, the trick will be a simple pattern that looks complicated but is simple to paint and which looks like they are not in uniform and yet look alike. The current plan is a single coloured tunic in one of about 3 shades with different coloured sleeve, again in about 3 shades and trousers with coloured rings in a 3rd, contrasting colour. I won't end up with 24 unique figures but it'll be close.  Both Kannik and Funcken show coloured armour but I have a fondness  for dark brown leather armour with perhaps a bit of bronze. 

The spearman is clearly heavy infantry but I still haven't decided if the javelin types are light infantry with some armour or heavy infantry with javelins and that decison will be made after I paint them.  I am only 10 days away from my departure for my 4,000 km round trip drive to Cold Wars and need to focus on getting my part of the 18thC Charge! ganes ready. Next post on this blog will probably be in late March after my return.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Second Take

I have reworked the campaign army lists using the Persian list for both. The major compromise was the decison that since the Lydians seem to have been so proud of their cavalry and eager to hire/ally with good infantry, was to down grade all of the native infantry to levy status. Based  primarily on th Herodtus list from Xerxes army and a gut feel, I've also classed most of them as light infantry. I'm undecided on armour classification. According to the list, none of the light infantry may have light armour and the javelin armed Phyrgian infantry I have definitely are wearing some form of corslet, probably leather. Checking the rulebook, light armour is defined as a metal breastplate or chainmail, leather armour is not mentioned one way or the other so I could decide that anything less than mail doesn't count or decide that leather is just as good as mail and amend the army list. I'll with until they are painted. 

Here are the 2 armies keeping in mind that the goal is to have the following TT Teaser units:
2 HC, 2 MC, 2 LC, 8 infantry, 2 light infantry.  (I have used 2 skirmish units for each 'light infantry'. Technical light infantry that I expect to fight in closed ranks are included in with the line troops) All infantry are 24 strong, all skirmishers and cavalry are 12 strong. I rather wanted to field the cavalry as 2 wings of 12 and could have done so if starting from scratch but it would mean working to replace perfectly good existing cavalry so I'll let it slide until the armies grow again. there will be enough existing cavalry sidelined as it is. The existing armies are about 4,000 pts each.

Lydians

1 mounted General

2 units of Lydian cavalry (using guard status with thrusting spear and armour), these don't actually exist yet, at least 1 unit will be made from existing figures even if I have to strip and repaint them. Ideally 'Phrygian' helmets and either bronze cuirass or scale coselet (Assyrian/Babylonian influence). Probably bare arms and legs but I'm considering trousers and long sleeves to make them look less Greek, the jury is still out)

1 unit of subject Ionian Greek cavalry with light armour armour and javelin, (these exist but need selecting and buff up)
1 unit of horse archers with light armour and bow. (based primarily on a mysterious vase painting of a horse archer in Greek armour just for something different)

1 units of  Bythnian or other cavalry with javelin (exists)
1 unit of 'barbarian' mercenary cavalry with javelin and shield (exist)

2 units of mercenary/subject Greek hoplites n heavy armour. (these exist)
1 unit of Merceanry Carian hoplites in light armour (no greaves) (I'll use existing 4thC hoplites but will eventually replace them)
2 units of Phrygian/Lydian spearmen in light infantry with spear and shield (coming)
3 units of Phrygian and Thracian light infantry with spear and javelin (2 Thracians exist, 1 late 4thC Thracians in helmets will be replaced by Phrygians with javelin. shield and axe, possibly in light armour)

2 units of skirmisher archers  (existing but I would like to replace one with Phrygian archers)
1 unit of javelin skirmishers (Thracians,  existing).
1 unit of slingers (Thracians, existing).


plus 2 bolt throwers, (existing) a stone thrower and a unit of pioneers


Persians
1 General in chariot (existing)

1 unit of cavalry with lt armour and javelin (existing)
1 unit of 4 light chariots (3 done, the rest in waiting)
1 unit of Mede cavalry with bow, javelin, shield (existing but I need to paint 1 laggard)
1 unit of camel mounted archers (1/2 done)
1 unit of Skythian horse archers (existing)
1 unit of Cappadocian light cavalry with javelins (existing)

1 unit of Immortals with shield, light armour, bow and spear (existing)
2 units of Medes and Persians with some figures with bow, spear and shield, some with just bow
(exsting)
2 units of Saka archers with bow (these exist but I want to replace a few figures)
2 units of Capadocian/Armenian light infantry with spear, javelins and shield.
(need to make these but will use some existing peltasts in the mean time)
1 unit of levies/mercenaries with bow; spear. (need to add 6 figures by refurbishing)

2 units of skirmishers (1 wing with sling, 1 with javelin) existing
1 unit of Ethiopean mercenaries with spear and bow (existing, 12 strong and used as skirmishers)
1 unit of skirmishing archers (exists but some have been temporarily co-opted by the Saka

plus 2 bolt throwers, 1 stone thrower, 1 unit of pioneers (pending)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Recruiting Drive

The 1st batch of reinforcements have arrived.
Garrison Phrygian Spearmen in Reserve
I now have enough Phrygians for 2 x 24 man units. I really like the 25mm spearmen pictured above. I ordered a couple of axemen to throw  in as officers as I'm not sold on the idea of a unit of armoured infantry with 2 handed axes as their primary armament. The wiley Rob threw in a sample Immortal in Persian robes in reserve, they are much better than is suggested by the pictures I have seen, and match exactly what I was looking for so now I will have to have at least 1 unit of them. The 20mm figure is classic early Garrison and I wanted at least 1 such unit in my army but I'll reserve  judgement until I paint them. The presence of armoured infantry throwing javeleins will have me revisiting my army lists though!   

Army lists are problematic beasts. In theory there is no reason that I can't sit down and just write a Lydian army list up, but I'm a bit lazy and I am wary of accidently designing a killer army if taking  it into battle against maruding bands of Assyrians and Egyptians which I hope to do. I had been planning on using the Greek list but had 2 issues and now have 3. The list requires a high percentage of hoplites, I was planning on getting around this by fielding the minimum and counting any armoured Phyrgians as lightly armoured hoplites. This probably over estimates their abilities and downplays the importance of Greek and Carian allies and mercenaries. Now, looking at the figures, there is no way I can called the shield "large" and 1/2 of them are throwing javelins. The other option was to call them peltast equivalent but the list will have to be modified to allow armour and I am back to having too many Greeks. The other issue is that while the Thessalian option allows me to field enough decent cavalry to make me happy, they are slow. I had convinced myself that the Lydian lancers would be heavily armoured with high impact and thus fearsome to the lighter, faster Persians but it's iffy. I also like standards and the Greeks don't get 'em!

So, its modify the Greek list or have another look at the Persian list. Here my hoplites all come as mercenaries and I get as many good heavy lancers as I want as well as armoured infantry with spears and small shields. Rubbish in battle of course, but if you have enough they can defend a hill or obstacle well enough. The interesting bit is the need for unreliable levies and allies. The Lydian empire  crumbled pretty quick when pushed and one wonders how dedicated some of the recently conquered subjects were.

A revised army roster is called for I think, then I can decide.






Monday, February 1, 2010

The Opposing Armies

To give myself a framework, I will use the Persian and Greek lists found at the back of the 2nd Edition of Warhammer Ancient Battles with minor adjustment where appropriate. Since I am doing this for my entertainment I am not going to bother with points for the campaign but am going to give each side an equal number of units. Not all units are equal but hopefully the whole will balance well enough. Each side will have one General and in each game, if the general is not present, I will borrow an idea from the border skirmish idea and promote the commander of the senior unit present to be force commander with his usual stats but able to use his influence for units within 6" instead of the usual 12". Since this is itself a form of border campaign, neither King will take the field initially.  I will need to select the Generals and develop names, backgrounds and personalities for them. Hopefully I will do the same for the various unit commanders but if needs be I will improvise upon the field of battle.

Since the Persians organized in hundreds, thousands and ten thousands and each of my units is one of the thousands. it seems reasonable to start with 10 regiments of infantry. To this I will add some cavalry, some specialists and possibly some local levies and mercenaries if needed. All regiments will be 24 strong but cavalry and skirmishers will be fielded as 12 figure wings. The Lydians will then be given a force to match.

This is a first draft of the proposed armies for this year's campaigns. The hope is to increase this by at least 50% for next year.  In time I plan to add at least 1 unit each of Egyptian and Babylonian allies to the Lydian army.

Lydians 

1 mounted General
2 wings of Lydian cavalry (using Thessalian stats with heavy armour and  thrusting spear, these don't actually exist yet, at least 1 unit will be made from existing figures even if I have to strip and repaint them. Ideally 'Phrygian' helmets and either bronze cuirass or scale coselet  (Assyrian/Babylonian influence). Probably bare arms and legs but I'm considering trousers and  long sleeves to make them look less Greek, the jury is still out)
1 wing of subject Greek cavalry with heavy armour and javelin, (these exist but need selecting and buff up)
1 wing of subject Greek cavalry with thrusting spear (these exist as above)
1 wing of mercenary Thracian light cavalry with javelin (Thracian will be taken to include Bythnian, exists as above)
1 wing of mercenary light cavalry with javelin and shield (as above but these may later be  replaced by Paphlagonians or similar.)
4 regiments of mercenary hoplites (Greek or Lydian)  in heavy armour. (these exist but I'd like to replace some of the more 4thC looking ones.)
2 regiments of Phrygian light infantry with spear and javelin (en route)
1 regiment of Thracian peltasts with spear and javelin (existing)
1 regiment of Thracian peltasts with javelin and rhomphai or equivalent (existing)
1 regiment of archers -2 skirmisher wings (existing but I would like to replace one with Phrygian archers) 
1 regiment of skirmishers (1 wing with sling, 1 wing with javelin) existing.

plus 2 bolt throwers, (existing) a stone thrower and a wing of pioneers

Persians

1 General in chariot (existing)
1 wings of Mede cavalry with bow, javelin, shield (existing but I need to paint 1 laggard)
1 wing of 4 light chariots (3 done, the rest in waiting)
2 wings of cavalry with lt armour and javelin (existing)
2 wings of Skythian horse archers (existing though one is rather motly)
1 wing of Cappadocian light cavalry with javelins (existing)
1 wing of camel mounted archers (1/2 done)

1 regiment of Immortals with shield, light armour, bow and spear (existing)
2 regiments of Medes and Persians with some figures with bow, spear and shield, some with just bow
 (these exist but I need to touch up some downgraded Immortals to make them blend in.)
2 regiments of Skythian archers with bow (these exist)
1 regiment of local levy spearmen with shield and spear (pending)

1 regiments of levies/mercenaries with bow; spear. (need to add 6 figures by refurbishing)
2 wings of mercenary skirmishers (1 wing with sling, 1 with javelin) existing
2 wings of mercenary light infantry (1 with spear & bow, 1 with javelin and shield) existing

plus 2 bolt throwers, 1 stone thrower, 1 wing of pioneers (pending)

Actually, that's not quite enough units as some scenarios will require almost every man on the field but since I need to paint several units and flush out some extras in order to fill that OB, it will do for now.  When the basic OB is filled, I will start adding more. I do have some more hoplites as well as thureophorai and various spearmen and barbarians of various sorts that can be called in as needed if this proves inadequate.