Getting all Byzantine

12 May, 2010

By some sort of coincidence I’ve started to get interested in the Komnenan Byzantines for SBH and for DBA at the same time. For SBH it’s really a matter of finding some figures from an unfinished DBA army that I can pillage for SBH to try out how mounted figures work. I’d started a DBA army of Komnenan Byzantines last year, and I’ve even bought the figures, but I’ve gone off Outpost figures, and if I get this army it will be with  other figures. Anyway, I constructed a couple of SBH warbands out of the Outpost figures I’d painted:

  • Alexius’ Squadron (SBH Warband)

1) Alexius (Tourkopoulos) – Personality Q3/C3 [100 Points]
Leader, Long Move, Mounted, Shooter (Medium)

2) Michael (Tourkopoulos) Q4/C3 [53 Points]
Long Move, Mounted, Shooter (Medium)

3) Attila (Pecheneg) Q4/C1(3) [45 Points]
Coward, Greedy, Long Move, Mounted, Sharpshooter, Shooter (Medium)

4) Arpad (Pecheneg) Q4/C1(3) [45 Points]
Coward, Greedy, Long Move, Mounted, Sharpshooter, Shooter (Medium)

5) Basil (Psilos) Q4/C3 [29 Points]
Shooter (Medium)

6) Andreas (Psilos) Q4/C3 [29 Points]
Shooter (Medium)

I don’t think that ‘sharpshooter’ is good value, but I wanted the two light horsemen to be good archers but weak in HTH. Their greed and cowardice is to reduce the cost, but fits with what Anna Comnena says of them on occasions, so seems well justified!

  • Isaac’s Squadron (SBH Warband)

1) Isaac (Kavallaros) Q3/C3 [98 Points]
Dashing, Leader, Long Move, Mounted

2) George (Kavallaros) Q4/C3 [51 Points]
Dashing, Long Move, Mounted

3) John (Kavallaros) Q4/C3 [51 Points]
Dashing, Long Move, Mounted

4) Basil (Psilos) Q4/C3 [38 Points]
Forester, Shooter (Long)

5) Andreas (Psilos) Q4/C3 [38 Points]
Forester, Shooter (Long)

6) Argus (War dog) Q4/C1 [24 Points]
Animal, Dashing, Forester, Greedy, Long Move

This squadron seems stronger to me with better foot, who are good in woods and have more range (and a dog!) and with mounted that have good combat factors on contact. I’ll be interested to see how the two warbands play tomorrow when I try them out against John. The two archers are mounted on 15mm washers, smaller than the 18mm washers I used for the Dwarves; they seem almost too small, particularly against the cavalry, who are on 25mm disks.

Byzantines for SBH: (from left to right) Atilla and Arpad (Pechenegs, John, George and Isaac (Kavallarioi) and Alexius and Michael (Turcopouloi).

Basil and Andreas (not shown is their dog Argus—it's Gifr from last week).

So much for SBH, by coincidence I started to think about an army for the IWC competition in Welllington next year. It is a two day competition with an Ancients day (armies up to AD 450) and a Medieval day. I’m pretty settled with fielding the Carthaginians on the first day (assuming I can start winning with them!), but I’m unsure who to take on the second day. It needs to be an army I like, but it also has to be reaonably competitive (most of my Dark Age armies like the Welsh wouldn’t do!). In particular it has to be able to face elephants and knights. I’m thinking of the Komnenans, who probably have the mobility to handle knights (if I learn how to use 3Cv and 2LH!) as well as some 4Bw, and the 2Ps and 3Ax could probably handle elephants (and the greater mobility could outmanoeuvre them—in theory).

The Komnenans (IV/1a) tick the most important box: for some reason I like them; I’m not sure why I should be attracted to the mottley army of an empire in decline; but it occurs to me they share with the Carthaginians a large number of Mercenaries, so there’s a theme there!

Another choice is the Samanids (III/43c). I think these figures look lovely. It’s also actually quite similar to the Carthaginians: 3x3Cv (1=cmd), 1x2LH, 1xEl, 3x4Sp, 1x4Ax and 3x4Bw or 2Ps. If I can master the Carthaginians, I should be able to use this army too.

The obvious manufacturer for the Samanids is Khurasan Miniatures; and I reckon I could get the Komnenans there too (I’ve spoken to them, and they’d be happy to supply the Nicephoreans with kite shields; I’m only waiting for them to cast their Pechenegs). However, there is also Alain Touler, and I’ll actually be in France next month, making getting them cheaper, as well as Legio Heroica. Decisions, decisions!

4 Responses to “Getting all Byzantine”

  1. TWR Says:

    So many options to select Mark. How would the two Medieval options you have outlined above stand up against dismounted Men at Arms?

    • Mark Davies Says:

      I figure dismounted Men at Arms would be like Romans against cavalry; the odds are fairly even, but the advantage of manoeuvre lies with the cavalry, not that I’ve really mastered exploiting that manoeuvrability!

  2. Stephen Says:

    And it’s fun to paint such a cosmopolitan army. You’d have up to 2 Knights to deal with Blades, with enough light troops to run interference too.

    • Mark Davies Says:

      True, like with the Carthaginians, when you get some of the mercenaries, you feel you have the start of another army!

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