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Ancients wargaming - focus, please...

Thureophoroi - mix of Aventine and Gripping Beast miniatures

I've made a variety of noises about rebooting my Ancients wargaming. I have to admit, to my deep shame as editor of Ancient Warfare, I've not been very successful. I've painted some Caesarian Romans, dabbled with some late-Roman cataphracts, and started some 5th century Spartans. Of course I've also 'invested' in some of the very nice new Victrix ancient plastics. Clearly, it's just all too interesting and I lack focus. Terribly so...

Solution - a project!

Fortunately, I am in the lucky circumstance of having a colleague who's not just very much into wargaming, but whom I regularly get to tease about his own lack of focus (he's just too polite to do it to me). Guy, for it is he of course, already has half-a-dozen ancient armies, like you do. But his are mostly based for Warhammer Ancient Battles, languishing unused and in need of some TLC. Moreover, he also has one or two half-heartedly started armies, and we both feel bad about how Project 217 petered out. Therefore, we've set ourselves a challenge and project:

The project is to build a new third century BC army between August 2018 and July 2019. Standard basing 40*40mm for infantry, 50*50mm for cavalry so we're fairly flexible rules-wise, and it'll be in 28mm, as we both prefer that size. We'll need to finish a new unit every month, of which no more than three may be rebased/dust-blown-off repurposed old units, and no more than three refurbished and expanded units. Any time Guy visits Karwansaray HQ, we'll try to organise a battle for what we have at the time and of course, as soon as the project is over, we'll have to have proper battle.

First units?

I haven't yet decided which army I'm going to build. Everyone is always attracted to the major players of the era, but I'm partial to the city states, or perhaps one of minor (if such a thing exists in that group!) Successors such as Lysimachus. However, that can wait. I can probably start with some units that'd be useful anywhere, such as Thureophoroi, Tarentine cavalry, or Cretan archers. It begins!

6 thoughts on “Ancients wargaming - focus, please...”

  • Steve Gross

    I am a avid ancients gamer. I have used DBA for 20 years . I have painted armies from many periods. The Successor armies are one of my favorite periods. Given DBA armies are small I have most armies that the DBA lists have for the period. Alas I paint 15mm only. I did this mainly do to storage and cost. Since you are undecided as to which army you are going to take I, you might take on the Graco-Bactrians/Graco-Indians.It is an army that has most of your type Successor Greek troop types as well as a good mix of Indian and Central Asian types. Just a suggestion. Good luck with your project.

    Steve Gross

    • Jasper Oorthuys
      Jasper Oorthuys August 1, 2018 at 10:32 pm

      Hi Steve!
      Cool suggestion - the Ancient Warfare nerd would want to know a lot more about Graeco-Bactrian armies first, and that information is not easy to come by...


    Hey Jasper- we all feel your pain. Where to start?

    I agree- start with universal troops. Cretans and Thracian troops are ubiquitous Hellenistic entries.
    Sound like I need to write an article about this :) @ GuyBowers :)
    Sorry I'm so lame and not following the threads.
    Hey the AW on Pyrrhus was super cool!
    Jeff Jonas

    • Jasper Oorthuys
      Jasper Oorthuys August 16, 2019 at 7:51 pm

      I do like the mercenaries, yes. Must paint more! Glad to hear you liked the non-Pyrrhus Pyrrhic issue. ;-)

  • Wim Van den Berghe
    Wim Van den Berghe December 7, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    Hi Jasper. What happened to your Ancient Wargaming Focus? Did you manage to get a few units ready?

    I started my ancient armies always as a DBA army. Then making it a Big Battle DBA army. Then up to units for a decent WAB battle. I now have enough painted figures to make Spartans, Athenians, Seleucids and Gallic/Galatians. Thinking of making a nice Theban army also, and a Ptolemaic. It never stops...

    Unfortunately, I also am a "wargames butterfly". Currently painting a Norse-Irish Saga warband, and a 6mm Napoleonic army. But ancients stay my first and biggest love...

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