Sunday, January 06, 2008

Tullus's African army gathers strength

Hot off the painting table this week are the rest of the skirmishers for Tullus's North African army. They are mostly Garamante tribesmen from the Sahara, but their number has been supplemented by Sudanese warriors (the guys without the litham face covers).
I'm looking forward to seeing these guys on the battlefield because they look so different from everything else and have a real African feel to them. Having no command figures for this lot I decided to turn one of them into a chieftain by painting in a crown and decorating his belongings in rich colours. Being just untrained tribesmen, the warriors points cost is very cheap compared to that of the trained Roman line troops, It will be interesting to see in the game if the overwhelming numbers carry the day. Twenty four javelins coming at you is always going to be better than just twelve (from the Roman skirmish units). We will have to wait and see. Still to come is another unit the same size of Numidians. Below are some Moorish Cavalry that will swell the mounted ranks of the African army. They join a unit of ten lightly armed Numidian Horse and will turn this desert army into a very maneuverable one indeed!
The figures are from Newline Design's 'Spanish' range, a company that in this day and age, I find really good value for money. Yes, the actual sculpting may not live up to the likes of Wargames Foundry etc, but with a little extra care panting, they can scrub up great.
To add a little more African character to the unit, I sculpted some raw hide cloaks and big cat pelts onto some of the riders. This is total fantasy on my part, but I thought a few Leopard skins would quite striking in the unit and give them more of an Identity. The shields also, are a selection from my 'bit box' of spares, rather than the ones provided in the packet. Another thing about these Newline Design Spanish I like, is the fact they are bereft of the characteristic Spanish chest armour and so can be painted up as any Light cavalry from anywhere with in the Empire. In my case, fast Moorish cavalry from Africa.
Adding cloaks is a great way of taking the eye away from the reuse of multiple figures, which go to make up units.


Still Anonymous said...

Great and inspiring work, as always! Which manufacturer (and range) did the Sudanese come from?

I have always been tempted to find a way to backdate 19th century Beja Sudanese to ancient times, and there is almost enough in the way of hints in Enemies of Rome: The Desert Frontier to justify doing so ...


simon said...

All the tribal infantry are from Gripping Beast's 'Desert frontier' range. They also do camel riders and moorish horse archers. They're very nice and the only company I know of, to do an African range.

Shaun McTague said...


very inspiring blog, great back ground as well as nicely painted figures.

am just starting out in blog land myself, so give me something to aim at.

can you enlighten us on your basing style and unit formats, also what rules you are using, i figures out the GW 50x25 and 50x50 but heavy infantry, loose infantry and skirmishers dont sit with the normal 20mm frontage for WAB.

makes me want to rebase my Legions and add some Warband units, i really like the African influences too!!




simon said...

Thanks Shaun, as you have guessed I use GW bases for all of my figures, it's just easier that way and saves me time (but not money!). My infantry are mounted three to a base on 'cavalry' bases and skirmishers two to a 'cavalry' base. For a rabble of Celts or natives, I like to put six on a 'monster' base, which gives me enough room to jiggle them around, which adds to their chaotic look when the bases are together. For units of 'loose' skirmishers, I base two or three figures on a 'monster' base, which gives the impression they're in open order.

For my Cohorts, I use a unit of 24 figures and my warbands are about 48 figs. I use three 24 cohorts to make a Legion (any more in a 2000pt army and you leave no room for anything else). Cavlry units are 10 - 12 figures. The rules we use are Warhammer Ancient battles. We have all grown up with Warhammer and they are nice and simple...and fun. I hope this has answered your questions. I'm glad you like the blog. Simon