Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thundering Hooves....errr Clean up in Aisle Two!

Leaving aside the Greek and Thracian cavalry and the Middle Achaemenid  medium cavalry, this is what I'm left with. Didn't seem as much as it did when it was scattered here or there and over 1/2 the figures need touch up, rearming, etc., but they'll do.  There are about 3 dozen or so more bare castings in the box, a variety of makes and models,  a PA mould for a Sassinid Clibinari and 4 or 5 dozen spare horses. 

On the left are 15 Middle Achaemenid cavalry with javelins and no armour. I was hoping to use these for the Arachosians that appear in the lists. A bit of digging tells me that Arachosians were of Iranian stock, inhabited part of what is now Afghanistan and  at the time that the Persepolis monument was carved, wore tunic, trousers tucked into boots and a sweat band sort of thing. These chaps all have some sort of cloth hat and only a couple wear boots but I'm going to set 6 aside to serve as 2 light cavalry stands for any of my Persian or Bactrian armies and put the rest back into the Achaemenid medium cavalry pool. 

Next to them are 32 armoured lancers, 2 stands of Cataphracts (8 figures) now, with 2 or possibly 4 more  to come once assembled or remounted. The bulk of this lot were Minifig Seleucid extra heavy cavalry that I acquired 2nd hand a longish time ago to convert to Persians. (due to penury not a perverse desire to avoid buying the proper article.) There are, however, enough of the old Valdurian Horse Guards present to reconstitute these and remount 2 stands of them from their old S Range 1/2 armoured horses onto bigger ones. (anyone after 10 S range 1/2 armoured horses please let me know).

In the middle are the bow-armed, armoured cavalry. Some with kontos on 1/2 armoured horses looking very Clibinari-ish, and some Scythians in Greek helmets with shorter spears. More of both in the box, enough for 3 stands of Clibinari to be joined one day by a handful of "real" Sassinid clibs in funny hats, and 4 stands of the other on either 1/2 armoured or unarmoured horses.. Oh and 1 stand of Garrison Sword & Sorcery figures.  

Next comes the horse archers, 33 with 12 more in the box. I'm a little dismayed at how few of these are proper Scythians but some of my favorites are amongst those others. 

What doe this mean so far?  Well, looking at these and then doing some OB's and looking at shelf space, has beminded me that I don't want to paint a whole bunch more 25mm ancients, that my table is kinda small for hordes (sic) of light cavalry, and that I want to use the armies I work on. If I build 10 armies, I won't be able to play with all of them regularly. 

For now, the Scythians/Saka will remain as mercenaries and I won't build a separate Scythian army. I am going to try to sort the figures into tribes based on dress, hat style etc and will parcel the tribes out as mercenaries or levies as appropriate. I am also pondering the usefulness of a reference to a Bactrian-Greek/Saka alliance opposed to the Parthians. 

The second Bactrian army will also be put aside for now. Once the other 2 are up and running and I'm tired of playing with them, then I'll see about another army. In compensation, I'll play very fast and loose with the Persian force to suit not only my ideas of what an Eastern Iranian force from a semi-independent Satrapy might have looked like as the Parthians struggled to wrest a kingdom from the Seleucids, but more importantly what I want the army to look and feel like and what my troop requirements are for the kind of games I want to play. Hyrkania may not have been a good choice as a Satrapy name as it was central to Arsacid power  but I invoke artistic licence.  I'm beginning to think as many Cataphracts and semi-catapracts and as few clibinari as possible. The Persian forces will have the largest heavy cavalry forces.

A review of infantry will probably have to wait until after Christmas but right now its looking like Greek pikemen and Thureophoria backed by Saka on one hand and various unarmoured Persian levy spearmen and archers backed by mountaineer light infantry on the other. 

Right, time to go check on the sun. Its the Solstice today and one can never be quite sure that the darned thing really is coming back! 


  1. That's a lot of cavalry! One far-off day after I've done a lot more painting I'll hold a similar parade.

  2. I'm going to have to take some photos of my Sassinid Persian army....I'm now inspired!