Category Archives: Ancients

Salute 2019 – Ancients & Medieval

Kicking off my Salute 2019 photo reports are the Ancients & Medieval eras. Despite a lot of space staying empty on the showroom floor this year and the crowds seeming decidedly smaller, there were a number of nice participation games for this period. Thanks to undeadhighelf for providing additional pictures of these.

The South London Warlords put on an epic battle in an alternative history setting to determine who would triumph in a clash between ‘The Pilum and the Pike’. I love a good testudo nearly as much as I love a good phalanx.

Imperial Roman army fighting against Macedonians
The Pilum and the Pike by South London Warlords at Salute 2019
Imperial Roman army fighting against Macedonians
The Pilum and the Pike by South London Warlords at Salute 2019
Imperial Roman army fighting against Macedonians
The Pilum and the Pike by South London Warlords at Salute 2019
Imperial Roman army fighting against Macedonians
The Pilum and the Pike by South London Warlords at Salute 2019

Boudicca’s revolt was the background for the battle of Mancetter 61 CE. Two mighty armies of Iceni and Romans faced each other in this climactic encounter with victory promised To the Strongest!

Boudicca's Iceni facing the Roman army
Mancetter 61 CE for To the Strongest! at Salute 2019
Boudicca's Iceni facing the Roman army
Mancetter 61 CE for To the Strongest! at Salute 2019
Boudicca's Iceni facing the Roman army
Mancetter 61 CE for To the Strongest! at Salute 2019
Boudicca's Iceni facing the Roman army
Mancetter 61 CE for To the Strongest! at Salute 2019

The Society of Ancients recreated the ‘Battle at the Harzhorn’, pitting Romans against Germanic tribes in the 3rd century. The site of this ancient battle was discovered in 2008 and is still being excavated, revealing a treasure trove of new information about the era.

Romans versus Germanic tribes
Battle at the Harzhorn by Society of Ancients at Salute 2019
Romans versus Germanic tribes
Battle at the Harzhorn by Society of Ancients at Salute 2019
Romans versus Germanic tribes
Battle at the Harzhorn by Society of Ancients at Salute 2019

‘Alexander: Conquest Fulfilled’ was the title of another hypothetical battle which saw the great Macedonian general lead his army on an invasion into China.

Alexander the Great invades China
Alexander: Conquest Fulfilled for Warhammer Ancient Battles at Salute 2019
Alexander the Great invades China
Alexander: Conquest Fulfilled for Warhammer Ancient Battles at Salute 2019

The University of Edinburgh and Supreme Littleness Designs staged ‘Raiders of the Crusader Keep’. Based on medieval sources and archeological discoveries, it allowed to take part in fighting through a 13th century crusader castle at Byblos.

Fighting in a crusader castle
Raiders of the Crusader Keep by Edinburgh University at Salute 2019
Fighting in a crusader castle
Raiders of the Crusader Keep by Edinburgh University at Salute 2019

Well before the beginning of recorded history, the Wargames Association of Reading led on a ‘Mammoth Hunt’ while simultaneously having to fight off rival tribes and hungry sabre tooth tigers.

Hunting mammoths
Mammoth Hunt by Wargames Association of Reading at Salute 2019

Jumping ahead to 1421, the Lance and Longbow Society fought the ‘Battle of Bauge’, which was a confrontation between an English versus a French and Scottish army.

15th century warfare in Normandy
Battle of Bauge by Lance and Longbow Society at Salute 2019
15th century warfare in Normandy
Battle of Bauge by Lance and Longbow Society at Salute 2019
15th century warfare in Normandy
Battle of Bauge by Lance and Longbow Society at Salute 2019
15th century warfare in Normandy
Battle of Bauge by Lance and Longbow Society at Salute 2019

Achaemenid Persian Archery

I managed to stick with my Achaemenid Persians and achieve the target of finishing a unit of infantry archers and a unit of horse archers. They are all wearing Median dress and would be troops drawn from the provinces. I am generally distinguishing more elite, royal troops by using yellow head dresses and more purple in their uniforms.

For the basing to use with Field of Glory, I cut 80mm strips of thing cardboard, painted them brown and stuck the figures down with Blue Tac, which makes them easy to move around without movement trays.

Regiment of archers in three ranks with colourful uniforms and a banner
Massed archery

For the infantry, about half of the figures had all their basic colours on already, while the rest were only painted up to a single uniform colour. Now with a bit of highlighting throughout and patterns on their clothing, they can finally pass muster. These are not sparabara, which I have another regiment of that still needs to get the detailing treatment.

Front rank of archer unit
Leader with banner bearer and horn blower
Archers in formation with four files and six ranks
Formed up for the advance

The horse archers are the first of three units of 12 cavalry each I need for the army. Since the others don’t have much paint on them yet, I might continue doing base colours on them first.

Two ranks of horse archers galloping forwards
Closing with the enemy
Unit of horse archers in front of infantry regiment with a watch tower in the background
The cavalry sets off

Scouting for Carthage

Salute always gives me a little nudge to continue work on various slow burning historical army projects. One of those I have long neglected are my 20mm Carthaginians to be used with Warmaster Ancients.

I have collected and based enough troops for 1,000 points, which seems a decent size to field. Their Republican Roman rivals are still on the sprues. I had made a sporadic start with painting the low hanging fruit, i.e. some skirmishers manufactured by HaT. They weren’t really finished, as I had left the shields unadorned, and I wasn’t satisfied with their look, which had them sort of floating above their rugged looking bases.

In my latest painting drive, I decided to decorate their shields and give them a coat of Army Painter Quickshade Soft Tone, to make them look like they had marched through the desert or just crossed the Alps. I’m hoping the varnish also solves the problem of paint chipping off the bendy plastic. As a finishing touch, I added some grass tufts to break up the block bases.

Three blocks of light infantry and a stand with two command figures
Carthaginian skirmishers and commander

The figures are really best looked at from a gaming distance. I do think they will be a decent looking army once all the troops are gathered. The models by HaT are basic in terms of details and are suffering from mold lines that are nearly impossible to get rid of due to the material. In fact, all of this gives me licence not to spend much time on their paint jobs.

Three rectangular bases with four figures each of javelinmen carrying shields in white tunics
Numidian javelinmen
Three rectangular bases with four figures each of javelinmen carrying shields in red tunics
Libyan javelinmen
Three rectangular bases with four figures each of slingers in white tunics
Balearic slingers

Salute 2018 – Ancients & Dark Ages

Since I am working on Achaemenid Persians at the moment, I was pleased to see several battles from the era reenacted on the tabletop at Salute 2018.

Newbury & Reading Wargames Society staged the Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC during the wars of Alexander’s succession.

Two battle lines facing off with pikes, cavalry, chariots and elephants
Battle of Ipsus by Newbury & Reading Wargames Society
Pike formation with skirmishing screen
Battle of Ipsus by Newbury & Reading Wargames Society
War elephants with archer support
Battle of Ipsus by Newbury & Reading Wargames Society

The Battle of Paraitakene in 317 BC between the forces of Antigonus and Eumenes was fought out by the Society of Ancients.

Army of infantry, cavalry and war elephants marching towards the enemy line
Battle of Paraitakene by Society of Ancients
View from behind pike formations towards the opposing army
Battle of Paraitakene by Society of Ancients
War elephant spearheading a cavalry charge
Battle of Paraitakene by Society of Ancients

Donnington Miniatures were fielding Macedonian era troops as well in their demo game for Mortem et Gloriam.

Macedonian cavalry and infantry advancing towards massed enemy lines
Mortem et Gloriam at Salute 2018

The starter set for Gangs of Rome was available on the day and there were some demo games held to introduce new players.

Roman city scape with small arena in the corner
Gangs of Rome at Salute 2018

Wargames Illustrated put on ‘Druid’, seeing Celtic warriors do battle in a semi-mystical setting.

Ancient landscape with a river and bridge, woods and a village protected by wooden palisades
Druid by Wargames Illustrated
Large wicker man in front of a wooden village
Druid by Wargames Illustrated
Celtic warriors advancing towards a wooden watchtower
Druid by Wargames Illustrated
View through trees onto a group of riders passing by a wooden palisade
Druid by Wargames Illustrated

Several demo tables for Saga were obligatory, here a dark age fight in full swing captured by undeadhighelf.

Groups of dark age warriors fighting through a hamlet
Saga at Salute 2018

Persian Skirmishers

About 20 years ago, my Achaemenid Persians unleashed their invasion forces onto Greece, regularly facing off and being soundly repulsed by two Spartan and Athenian generals. In other words, history repeated itself.

Back then we played using the first edition of Warhammer Ancient Battles. Years later, while rarely playing or collecting historical armies, I bought Osprey’s Field of Glory, mainly to browse through the artwork and photography. Seeing as I recently felt inspired to continue work on the Achaemenids, I decided to organise them according to Field of Glory army lists and conventions. This mainly means grouping them into 80mm wide ‘bases’ (60mm is the default but I will mostly likely only ever field them against other armies of mine using the same standard) of 4 infantry or 3 cavalry.

The main reason I am revisiting the Achaemenid Persians is for painting though. The army has some paint on all the units I used to field, some being essentially finished yet quite basic, others only based with one or two main colours on.

The draw for any army of ancient Persia is surely the riot of colours and patterns in their dress, so I picked some of the initially completed figures, added some highlights and painted more patterns onto their tunics and trousers.

Four Persian archers in colourfully patterned tunics and trousers
Archers are the mainstay of the Persian army

For the horse archers, I gave the mounts a spattering of white markings. Otherwise, I think their dark reddish brown is a nice backdrop for the bright riders. So that’s 10 down and about 100 left to go to really complete the army. I think Greece can rest easy for the moment, while the King of Kings marshals his forces.

Six archers on horseback in front of an infantry battle line
Horse archers are deadly foes over open ground
Side view of three Persian horse archers in colourful tunics and trousers
Light horse forms a skirmish screen
Three colourfully dressed horse archers
Off to harass the enemy