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Author Topic: (more) Byzantines  (Read 947 times)


  • Psiloi
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(more) Byzantines
« on: August 19, 2021, 03:30:24 PM »
Nikephorian Byzantines (and possibly some troops for a Komnenian/ Nikaian army in future) - the Byzantines that have cataphracts *and* varangians have always seemed like the 'proper' Byzantines to me (even if historically this cross over of the two troop types didn't last all that long) - pretty much entirely Forged in Battle Nikephorians. citadel/vallejo paints.

Documenting ahead of their first big outing at Cross & Crescent comp before a literal or metaphorical stomping has an impact on their finish

Generals - FiB miniatures - from the thematic range for fib, with almond shields added rather than the bucklers the figures have to be a bit closer to probable nikephorian era armour, fabric banners are LBMS, icons/shields hand painted from osprey sources/as best as I could decide would look fitting for nikephorian byzantine. C in C has a couple of lurking varangians to pick him out - a Basil II or a John Tzimiskes maybe. you can't quite see it from this angle but i've stolen aetheling's idea of used magnetised 'discarded shield' markers to indicate generals quality (good for list tweaks and wounded/stunned generals).

Byzantine camp - I think probably this would be more likely red velvet (skylitzes manuscript indicates this anyway) due to the prohibitive expense even for emperors of that amount of purple fabric - but it looked right to me at the time. snorri of the varangian guard can be seen informing his colleague sveyn that there's enough gold in the chest at his foot to get all the girls in his home town to lift their skirts to him (twice, if he goes to olfjord) and while the big wigs are off to fight, why don't they commandeer some mules and make good their exit...

Skutatoi - quite like being able to shoot and to an extent block charging cavalry with the mixed archer/spearman format - however their fragility in this format means they'll work well as blockers/pinning troops if closely co ordinated with the rest of the army or get fairly quickly cut to pieces. Painted with the help of Mr Spence's excellent speed/efficient painting tips - base colours and then nuln oil - a maximus army (even a high value small one like this) is more than a bit daunting for a beginner/pacto scale player.

FiB Menulatoi - 'cataphract killers' with spears made from cut down saplings - historically used to run out from the infantry blocks last minute and form a front line against heavy cavalry - they can be taken as a separate unit in support of light infantry or the assumption is that they're integrated with your skutatoi, giving them shieldwall, useful against charging cavalry / dev chargers - tbh outside of special scenarios i can't see using these as their list description as if they're a separate unit the skoutatoi lose the shieldwall characteristic - i'll use them as Armenian mercenaries to visually distinguish them a bit.

Prokoursatoures - i quite like them as flexible shooty mounted troops - I just need to get better at using them (rather than have them caught and cut to pieces or squashed on the edge of the table... )

« Last Edit: August 19, 2021, 04:37:47 PM by jamie »


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Re: (more) Byzantines
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2021, 03:43:02 PM »
Look great  8)
"The Roman Empire was not murdered and nor did it die a natural death; it accidentally committed suicide."


  • Legionary
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Re: (more) Byzantines
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2021, 03:26:18 PM »
Congratulations Jamie!
they are great!
I love the paintwork you done , especially the green colours!
the basing is really nice too;-)

Best regards.



  • Psiloi
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Re: (more) Byzantines
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2021, 02:40:57 PM »
thanks Nik, Gilles,

green/teal colours mainly based on the osprey men at arms re nikephorian infantry. unsure frankly re the realism of teal etc in dye technology of the area but it looked good and not so much the muddy browns of a typical dark ages army...

more to follow now i've tidied them up after literal/metaphorical stompings at C&C..


so far used these in combination with the prokoursatoures for shooty cavalry. tactics need work.


standard added via a glob of green stuff for a bit of visual differentiation/emphasis - medieval warfare vol II, issue 6 had a cover image of a standard bearer for the Athanatoi unit that was a bit of an inspiration.

Tagmata cavalry

kite shields for tagmata/round shields for themata cavalry was my system for visual differentiation that i cpied off others on the forum - bit unclear what type shields were used, though round shields seem to be the older type being phased out through the era covered by the nikephorian byz. plus trying to make the tagmata look a bit glitzier


the more i read about the normans the more I think they were a bunch of racketeering bastards. useful charging/fighty cav though. my attitude to them is probably appropriately byzantine. worth paying the points for melee expert.

Themata cavalry

I tried to make the themata equipment look more monochrome and also less uniform (as well as being more dusty) than the elite tagmata. though how much thematic forces were out and out farm boys is a bit unclear and probably changed. not a huge fan of charging lancers - too much command control/holding charges for cav that aren't hugely resilient in extended combat or being shot at


Had some fun with the shield designs thanks to acrylic fine liner pens. Useful (/essential) reinforcement to the infantry line to stop the other infantry getting chopped up. expensive though. a bit like the normans, cataphracts and tagmata they need to be the better quality option from the list as well as melee expert or they're not really worth it. didnt take these to C&C but then its an expensive army and you makes your choice...etcetc. probably are in my next nik byz iteration.

« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 08:16:50 PM by jamie »