Tuesday, March 30, 2010

More Shadows in the Desert

I'm glad I bought Dr Kaveh Farrokh's book on Anciewnt Persia at War, but I'm even more glad that I got it cheap at a flea market. I had been hoping for something with in-depth treatment of the latest research in organization, tactics, arms etc but the book contains very little on any of these topics. It does however contain interesting speculation on the impact of Iranian culture and language on the world (I had no idea there was a Persian colony in Italy in the 5th C) as well as recounting every Persian king in a 1,000 years (and usually which member of their familiy killed them) and  a brief mention of virtually every campaign with some information on battles where available.

Unfortunately for my purposes, while the author takes a stab at weapons in a vague way though he seems to lack real understanding of arms and armour and seems to have little sense of the importance of discipline, command structure, generalship, formations, tactics and so forth. For example the Greek vs Persian clash is seen purely in terms of armour and defeats of Sassanian cavalry at the hands of  the Hephthalites appears to be attributed in large part to the latter's method of suspending their sword sheathes by two straps instead of one, and so forth.

Useful background reading but no real use on the tabletop.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Return to Phrygia

Cold Wars is over and done, time for other matters., like closing up the kennel businees and moving, sighhh but there should still be a little hobby time over the next few months and lots of time come fall. So I sat down last night and did a few sample Phrygians. Basing and that nice glossy varnish that  add the finishing touch and bring them to life is missing but here they are amidst friends:

L to R  Mede (slight conversion of Garrison Persian), Garrison 25mm Phyrgian Spearman, Garrison 20mm Phrygian Javelinman, Prince August Homecast 25mm Sassinid Levy.

The Mede is there, well, because he happened to be there when I was taking the picture. I'm pretty happy with the spearman but may relent and do some coloured leather on the breastplate, not sure yet. The 20mm Phrygian, as I expected, looks much better than he has a right to now that he is painted. I'm 90% sure that I'll field this unit as double armed light infantry with 2 handed axe and javelin and discount the armour (ie if the metal breast plate is light, then the leather only is less than light and therefore ignored, its a cruel world). The PA homecast fellow goes well along side the 20mm Garrison and will be used to fill out a unit of some form of Mede levy, because, well because I have the mold, 2 now thanks to the generosity of a fellow gamer and home-caster. Hopefully the squashed head was the result of an imperfect pour and can be bettered with some work. He was hastily done almost 2 years ago.

Right, on to the next 46 figs!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Shadows in the Desert

I made a couple of good finds in the flea market at Cold Wars, one of which relates to my Persians: a like-new if not new copy of :

Shadows in the desert: ancient Persia at war By Kaveh Farrokh

Only the first chapter deals with my newly acquired particular area of interest in the late Mede "empire" but thats more than I had. 

As a bonus, it has a lot of information on the Sassinids about whom I have little other than Armies & Enemies and various pictures of Peter Guilder's Sassinid army, oh and a couple of elephant kits and some spearmen and clibinari molds, oh and the tempting pictures of the Garrison Sassinids......... :)  Oh well, they're all Persians right?