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Side project: Bronze Age Fantasy warband
Author MessageSide project: Bronze Age Fantasy warband
Antenor
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Side project: Bronze Age Fantasy warbandAntenor 12-30-2019

Good day, everyone!

All that talk about bronze age stuff has made me the hobby equivalent of hungry, so I went ahead and ordered a bunch of Mycenaean/Trojan miniatures from Wargames Foundry and Redoubt Enterprises. I’ve recently started working on them as a holiday project. This is definitely not just me trying to hide from the fact that I still don’t know where my bull centaurs are going. Big Grin

As this is intended as a side project (may Hashut forgive my digression), these guys will not become an army anytime soon, but rather a warband for skirmishes against my Chaos Dwarves, specifically Vanguard. I also recently discovered Rick Priestley’s Warlords of Erehwon, which has a Greek-inspired fantasy faction called “Olympians”. I would like to give that a try, should my warband grow to a fitting size. For now, I’m going to build it around Vanguard’s “Kingdoms of Men” list. I’ve also started scribbling together something like a lore for them, but it’s all still in in rough outlines. Hopefully, I’ll be able to post some acceptable fluff together with each finished set of miniatures, like I try to do with my CDs.
Here’s how I imagine the roster so far:

Junior Hero (“Foot Guard”)
The typical heroic warrior with sword, shield, and short spear/javelin (depending on the model).

Senior Hero (“Veteran Soldier”)
The same as the Junior one, but better.

Ship Defender (“Foot Soldier”)
The Foot Soldier in Vanguard comes with a spear, enabling him to partake in melee from a certain distance. I thought that this might best be represented by warriors wielding long pikes such as were used in naval warfare.

Blessed Archer (“Arquebusier”)
The Arquebusier comes with the special rules “Reload”, which makes shooting a long action, and “Piercing”, which gives a better chance at damaging the target. If you pray to your favourite god(ess) before each shot and he/she is kind enough to lend your arrow some extra punch, I imagine that’s pretty much the same effect.

Ambusher/Night Raider (“Berserker”)
For certain jobs, no armour is needed.

“Leader of Men”
... which is exactly what chieftains are called in the Iliad, so no need for a fancy new name! Big Grin

Priestess (“Wizard”)
Doesn’t seem too far-fetched, I think.

Armoured Centaur (“Knight”)
This is my opportunity to add a conversion project to the mix. What I see before my insane inner eye is a centaur in Dendra armour (like Redoubts’ Ajax is wearing, see below). We’ll see how it’ll work out Happy

Laestrygon/Cyclops/Minotaur (“Ogre Warrior”)
If we define an Ogre as an over-sized humanoid with an inclination towards eating people, Greek mythology has no shortage of suitable equivalents. Of course, I could always go for that lovely Nephilim from Lucid Eye as a Laestrygon. But that’s a slippery slope right there, because I know that if I buy that one, I’ll want that Amazon War Queen too, at least. The temptation to bite off more than I can chew could prove too great. So I’ll just let that decision wait for a while, there’s enough stuff to do for now anyway.

As promised, here are some pics of the minis.

Here’s the “Classical Heroes” pack from Wargames Foundry. They’re supposed to represent (left to right) Diomedes, Hector, Aeneas, Achilles, Ajax, Odysseus, and Paris.





This is the “Kings and Heroes” pack. The first three are meant to be Agamemnon, Menelaus, and Nestor.




These are the shields that came with the two respective packs. Always one more than strictly needed, which is very nice:




They also threw in a Napoleonic dude (French?):



There was only one thing that annoyed me: the minis didn’t come with proper spears as they appear on the shop page. Instead, there was this pack of not very pretty maybe-javelins. I’ll try out how they look when painted. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll just recycle some bits and make the spears myself.



From Redoubt, I ordered two single miniatures. This guy in Dendra armour should represent Ajax:



This one is meant to be Helen (she’s going to be my priestess). The bit of flash in the face is not ideal, but I think I can manage that. I really admire the sculpting work on her hair.




I also got another spearman for free, which I thought very friendly, especially considering that I had bought only two minis in the first place:



I really like all of the miniatures I got here. One thing that made me slightly uncomfortable at first is that they’re all made from an alloy containing lead, but Admiral was already so nice as to give me some hints about how to deal with that. Takes Hat off
Hopefully I’ll have some finished stuff to show you soon. Thanks for reading, I’ll keep you up to date!


My Chaos Dwarf army: Azrubal's Host
12-30-2019 10:05 AM
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Admiral
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RE: Side project: Bronze Age Fantasy warbandAdmiral 12-30-2019

Very nice start! Lovely miniatures, not least the priestess sculpt. Great aesthetic of course, too. Looking forward to see how this progress. Happy


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12-30-2019 01:58 PM
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Antenor
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RE: Side project: Bronze Age Fantasy warbandAntenor 01-22-2020

Finally getting some decent sunlight again here, so I was able to take some photos of my first Bronze-Age chaps. Also, I’ve concocted a bit of lore for them to provide a little context.

I’ve decided to place their faction in Pannithor, because I really like how that universe is developing right now, and it just feels like there’s intended to be a lot of room for player-created content. This also means, sadly, that they won’t be encountering Azrubal and his merry band – but they will most certainly come across a bunch of Abyssal Dwarfs that look very similar! Happy I’ve tried to come up with a good name for their faction, and in the end applied the good old method of grabbing a name from history and spelling it a bit differently. So – meet the Akhayans!



When the Infant Sea was born and much of the world drowned beneath the waves, the greatest part of the Akhayan civilisation drowned with it. Sprawling cities, temples painted in a hundred colours, impregnable cyclopean fortresses; a culture that had waged great wars, whose heroes had travelled to the edges of the known world and returned to be honoured as gods, whose kings had been on brotherly terms with the mightiest rulers of Men, Elves and Dwarves – all swept away in an instant.

At the time of the Great Inundation, the Akhayans had already been an old people. In fact, some scholars regard them as a practically unchanged remnant of Basilea’s ancient progenitors – and although there are striking differences between their cultures, the Akhayan language does seem to be an ancient form of the dialect spoken by the Basileans.

Nowadays, the Akhayans are few in number, living mostly on remnant islands in the Infant Sea, most of which are too small to appear on a map of Pannithor. Some tribes are scattered along the western coast of Abercarr, paying tribute to the High King and being, in turn, allowed to inhabit stretches of land that are of little value to the dwarves. Others have been granted dwelling places by the Lords of Ophidia, in memory of ancient friendships and marital ties between many noble families of both peoples, in some cases reaching back to the days of the ancient Ahmunite kings. Such bonds are regarded as sacred by the Akhayans, and to this day, their warriors will often come to the aid of an Ophidian Lord on the eve of battle. Acts like these still bespeak their ancient greatness, but it is but a pale shadow of the glory that was. Where once the Akhayans were ruled by mighty kings who owned dozens of cities and led tens of thousands of men into battle, they are now mostly organised in small communities or tribes, often inhabiting the remnants of their ancestors’ palaces and strongholds. It is rare for a chieftain’s rule to stretch further than his own native island. Sometimes, however, an exceptionally talented and charismatic leader will emerge and unite a number of tribes, thus forming a kind of loosely organised kingdom; but these fragile political constructs rarely outlive their founder.

For all that they have lost, the Akhayans are still fell warriors, honoured by their allies and feared by their foes. Their martial skills are ceaselessly being honed in a near-constant state of petty warfare, mostly among themselves, with cattle raids, piracy, and abductions being part of their everyday life. Most of these conflicts take place on a very small scale. Large pitched battles or grand sieges are rather the exception than the rule – in fact, the Akhayans admire a well-executed ambush just as much as they admire valour in the face of the enemy. Consequently, their military operations are usually carried out by small professional warbands.

As is the case in many cultures of Man, the warrior class of Akhayan society is constituted by their noblemen – or “Heroes”, as they are called among their own people. This term covers a surprisingly large ground within their society, from the mightiest kings down to the smallest landholders. This is largely due to the Akhayan’s peculiar understanding of nobility: Societal status is for them not purely inherited, but to a significant degree granted by the community to each man according to his merit. While wealth and lineage do play important roles, the Heroes are primarily expected to excel as warriors. An Akhayan prince may inherit large portions of land and masses of treasure, but should he show signs of personal weakness or cowardice, he will lose all of it very swiftly – probably along with his life. Being products of this culture, the Heroes are not only skilled, but also fearless warriors, knowing full well that their status is tied to their prowess in battle, and preferring death to shame.


Ship Companions
In war and peacetime alike, a Hero is usually accompanied by a retinue of so-called Companions, the number of which depends largely from his own wealth and fame, ranging from a single close friend to small armies. Typically, these men come from respectable, though not particularly wealthy families, and attach themselves to a nobleman to make a living as professional warriors. Some of them are even themselves exiled nobles who had to leave their tribes – sometimes because they have committed a crime, sometimes simply over family squabbles – and seek a new life in a foreign Hero’s service. They are rewarded for their loyalty with land, cattle, treasure, and status within the community. As piracy and coastal raids are an essential part of Akhayan heroic culture, one of the Companions’ most archetypal functions is to act as a ship crew for their leader. As such, many of them have mastered the use of the ship-pike, an unwieldy weapon whose main purpose is to hold off enemy boarding attempts at sea, but which often sees use on land as well, especially when the enemy is expected to field cavalry.












These would be the spear-armed "Foot Soldiers" in Vanguard. In contrast to other historical minis I've seen, they hold up really well against Fantasy figures scale-wise, even next to a (notoriously bulky) Mantic dwarf:



Next entry is already in progress. Hope you enjoyed, thanks for reading!


My Chaos Dwarf army: Azrubal's Host
01-22-2020 08:00 AM
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tjub
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RE: Side project: Bronze Age Fantasy warbandtjub 01-23-2020

Well done, great looking models and lore! Love that you chose to go with Pannithor, and I have to agree with you there! Happy


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01-23-2020 01:01 AM
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