Going post AD 450

28 July, 2010

Well, now that the first half of the CWC DBA competition is behind me it’s time to look at what I’ll field in the second half. I’m still going around in circles on what army to use, but I think I’m getting closer to a way forward. I like the idea of the Early Muslim North Africa and Sicily (III/33), and I’ve now learnt a lot more about them since I started looking at them. They remain a little light for a competition army and perhaps the Fanatic Berbers (III/74) would be better. They are similar geographically and temporally to the North Africans, and I can imagine creating an army that could morph into both of them and into the Andalusian army (III/34). However, I remain reluctant to buy more figures until I’ve painted some of the stack I’ve got.

Therefore, I reckon I’ll set to on the early feudal figures I’ve got from Essex. I’ve done a few and a relaxing way into this army might be to rebase these on MDF in the style I’m using now. I painted the Essex Normans that I’ve done in no time, so I may be able to do the same with the stuff remaining. Whether I use these figures as the Early Crusader (IV/7) army as I was thinking earlier or not, or as some other army that it can easily morph into, I can definitely use it as an opponent for whatever army I look to get next.

So that settles, hopefully, my next painting project. I’m coming back to going with the Komnenan Byzantines (IV/1a) as an army for the competition. I’ve got the figures already, from Outpost. However, my efforts to paint them hit a brick wall when my heart was really in painting some of the Corvus Belli figures I’d just got. On top of this I’d made a hash of replacing the spears of some of the cavalry. Anyway, I figure I could finish this army quite quickly and use it for practice and then look to sell it. As it is, it’s in limbo, some elements are done (six of the possible seventeen) and most of the rest are started. This would make it hard to sell as an unpainted army. It’d be better to paint it with a view to selling it than to leave it in this state.

The plan, then, is to finish the Komnenans after the feudals. Once I’ve done those two I can start seeing how the Komnenans fare as an army. I can consider buying one from Khurasan Miniatures and look to sell the Outpost one. The feudals would be useful as opponents for the Komnenans and should have the flexibility to model quite a few potential opponents from Books III and IV. This delays buying anything else until I’ve done some painting, which has to be a good thing, as I can see myself getting overwhelmed by unpainted lead and doing nothing!

Also, another reason for not buying yet is that I’ve yet to paint any of the Khurasan figures that I have, and before I buy more I plan to paint at least one element of their Normans. They’d be used initially for the Komnenans, but I can see myself getting an army of Khurasan feudals at some stage. Patience!

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I’ve made use of my visit to Britain to get some figures without paying for postage. So far I’ve been pretty modest, and only got some Goblins (though quite a few!). These are from Magister Militum and will allow me to use my Goblins as just about any DBA army.

Inspired by Craig’s comment that he liked my ‘Classical Goblins’, I decided to get them some real chariots. The ‘Platform Carts’ of  the Chariot range aren’t that good, but I’ve managed to get them to provide solid wheels from their Sumerian range, which will make them look cruder.

I’ve also got some rhinosauruses that should be able to be used as knights, and more goblins that can be based as 4Sp/4Pk. To make the ‘elephants’ (behemoths in HOTT) more regular, I got some more of their ogres (armoured ones for variety). I’ll mix these in and make one of them a command element with a goblin standard bearer and drummer. Then I’ll have three ‘elephants’ with a clear commander for them. I can also create pike armies with the spearmen (stand-in successor armies until I paint one!). In time, I should have some endlessly morphable Goblins for practice fights.

I’ve also bought a second-hand boardgame for nostalgia value. It’s WRG’s Decline and Fall. I had a lot of fun playing this years ago, not that it’s terribly well balanced, but it was going cheaply enough and again I could save on postage.

Otherwise, I’m considering making my post AD 450 Early Muslim North Africa and Sicily (III/33). It occurred to me that these were a loose form of Carthaginians: same geographical place and some similarities in the army; they don’t have elephants or warbands, but they have similar amounts of cavalry (one more 2LH than the Carthos), spear and psiloi. they have the option of ditching the spear and going for lots of auxilia, which would make them very mobile, and potentially a headache for elephant armies.

I’ll need to research the history of this army a little more. Are there any colourful personalities that led it? But it has the potential to satisfy my requirements for an army. It has an interesting mix of troops and they’d fight in a similar fashion to the Carthaginians (not that I’ve mastered them with the Carthaginians). It has potential to hold my interest, especially as I’m thinking of getting some of their enemies for a campaign: Andalusians (III/34b), Fanatic Berbers (III/74), Feudal Spanish (III35b) and Sicilians (IV/5a). The figures for these have a degree of internal morphability, so wouldn’t need to be done all at once. They’ve also got a lot of psiloi, which would make them cheaper and quicker to paint.