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

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

Salute 2017 – Ancients & Medieval

Simon Miller and the Wargames Holiday Centre brought this staggering array of phalanxes, cavalry and elephants to Salute to refight the Battle of Raphia in 217 BC. Thanks to undeadhighelf for the close up shots. Photos of the battle lines clashing can be found here on Simon’s blog.

Battle of Raphia by Simon Miller

Battle of Raphia by Simon Miller

Battle of Raphia by Simon Miller

Battle of Raphia by Simon Miller

The Society of Ancients had the Battle of Kadesh as the theme for their game, reminding me to finish off my Hittite army at some point.

Archers and chariots clashing on a desert table

Battle of Kadesh by Society of Ancients

Egyptian chariots and archers in front of tomb complex

Battle of Kadesh by Society of Ancients

Hittite chariot squadrons in the distance

Battle of Kadesh by Society of Ancients

Taking their cue from a musical, the always original Tin Soldiers of Antwerp had the three houses of Rome clash across a hippodrome, bath house and amphitheatre.

A Not So Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum by Tin Soldiers of Antwerp

A Not So Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum by Tin Soldiers of Antwerp

The Battle of Hastings was played out in 15mm using the Mortem Et Gloriam rules.

Wargames table with ranks of small scale miniatures

Battle of Hastings by Donnington Miniatures

Close up of cavalry riding uphill against a line of spearman

Battle of Hastings by Donnington Miniatures

The School of History from the University of Edinburgh used Lion Rampant to fight the Battle of Lodi Vecchio in 1239.

Medieval troops skirmishing amongst ruined town houses

Battle of Lodi Vecchio by the School of History from the University of Edinburgh

Salute 2016 – Ancients & Medieval

For the Ancient and Medieval eras less caught my eye at Salute 2016 than in previous years, but amongst those was my favourite of the show – The Battle of Foteviken 1134 by Dalauppror. A lot more photos on their own site, so I suggest you head over.

Wargaming table showing a beach with Viking longships close to a village

The Battle of Foteviken 1134 by Dalauppror

Close-up view of two Viking longships manned by warriors with shields and spears

The Battle of Foteviken 1134 by Dalauppror

Several lines of infantry advancing past a camp of tents

The Battle of Foteviken 1134 by Dalauppror

Galloping cavalry emerging from between trees

The Battle of Foteviken 1134 by Dalauppror

Cavalry passing through a small settlement on the coastline with a longship under construction

The Battle of Foteviken 1134 by Dalauppror

View over huts across the bay onto longships in the distance

The Battle of Foteviken 1134 by Dalauppror

Standee explaining historical background and rules used for the game

The Battle of Foteviken 1134 by Dalauppror

The Battle of Magnesia 190 BC by the Society of Ancients was played out using the Lost Battle rules. Wonderful armies for my favourite period in history, unfortunately I didn’t manage to return to the table later to take more detail shots.

Wargaming table with battle lines of cavalry and infantry advancing towards each other over a wide open fields with scattered trees

Battle of Magnesia 190 BC by Society of Ancients

View of the Seleucid army with chariots, skirmishers, infantry and cavalry

Battle of Magnesia 190 BC by Society of Ancients

Overlooking the table from behind the Seleucid army including phalanxes and a war elephant

Battle of Magnesia 190 BC by Society of Ancients

Salute 2015 – Ancients & Medieval

I haven’t done any historical wargaming for years now since there are just too many projects to keep juggling at the same time. I have been eyeing up Saga however since I am more likely to finish a skirmishing force, or in some cases already have enough to field one. The original Dark Ages setting wasn’t an era I had much interest in, but with The Crescent and the Cross we are getting closer, at least geographically. I might be able to adjust some of the rules for my Sassanids for example. More likely, I’ll hang in long enough for a new expansion that covers a period I already have forces for.

In the meantime, I used the opportunity to ogle the many Saga tables at Salute 2015.

Games table for Saga: The Crescent and the Cross at Salute 2015

Games table for Saga at Salute 2015

Games table for Saga at Salute 2015

Dark Age warriors for Saga at Salute 2015

Dark Age skirmish in a town at Salute 2015

Games table for Saga: The Crescent and the Cross at Salute 2015

4Ground had a large sales stand and impressive new ranges on show. The table below tempted me to get some of their products, but the whole setup will set you back a couple hundred quid. Also, I have nowhere to store them.

Medieval harbour town terrain by 4Ground at Salute 2015

Medieval inn and market square by 4Ground at Salute 2015

Antiquity was represented by a large participation game created by Simon Miller, depicting a Roman civil war battle at Cremona in 69 AD and using the “To the Strongest!” set of rules.

Roman legionnaires in formation at Cremona

The battlefield at Cremona in 69 AD

Gladiators disembarking from river barges

The theme of this year’s Salute was Agincourt as it is the 600th anniversary of the battle. While there were several games with different takes on the recreation of the event, unfortunately there was no large display. The nicest presentation in my opinion was the below board by Ancient & Modern/Donnington Miniatures.

Battle of Agincourt being played using Field of Glory rules

Another medieval setting in “De Montfort Must Die”, a participation game by Wargames Illustrated. Here the players had to hunt down a rebel leader near Evesham in 1265.

Bands of knights are roaming across the landscape

A micro-board using larger scale knights set in the siege works at Harfleur provided the battleground in the below game for Anno Domini.

Knights trying to take a castle breach

Stockholm 1392 was the setting for Dalauppror’s “God’s Friends and the Whole World’s Enemies” in which the Swedish populace tried to fend off plundering German mercenaries and pirates.

Stockholm harbour and outer wall