Friday, 29 May 2015

Είναι όλα σχετικά με τους Βυζαντινούς

With apologies to Puff Daddy and to Weird Al Yankovic. It is, in point of fact, about neither the Benjamins nor the Pentiums but it is all about the Byzantines.

So we had a one day Impetus competition (run by fellow blogger Prinny) at the club which I have been furiously painting for. I always try to play it painted and this was going to be no exception. This post was meant to go up two weeks ago when I finished the army. I assumed it would be done a fortnight ago. Turns out that at 0630 the morning of the comp I was flocking the baggage.

This is the list:

Fair General
Tagmatic Kavallarioi
Thematic Kavallarioi

Fair General
1 Large Unit of Kataphraktoi
2 Large Units of Skutatoi with supporting archers
2 Varangian Mercenaries

Average Command, 3 Destiny re-rolls, 6 exploration points

I had no idea if this list is any good. I had some test games that went both very well and very badly.

There are some extra figures in the pics below. If I want to play 400 points I can add another base of Thematic Kavallarioi and another base of Akontistai.


Harald (left) and Nikephoras Phokas (right)
I got two Warlords for my Saga warband - the Emperor (in this case Nikephoras Phokas) and Harald Hardraada, commander of the Varangian Guard. As it turns out, two generals is a good number for this list. Convenient.


Starting with the lighter horse, these are the Flankers. Light, bow armed cavalry to act as outriders for the medium cavalry in the army.
Tagmatic Kavallarioi
The less serious horse (but  still really serious) is the Tagmatic and Thematic Kavallarioi. The Tagmata was the professional core of the Byzantine army in this period and these are no exception. The Tagmata are VBU6 and I2, Comp Bow C but their real power is in their Discipline A rating.
Thematic Kavallarioi
The Thematic troops were part time soldiers living and working on state land in peacetime from across the empire and as a result aren't as good as the Tagmata. Only VBU5 but slightly better shots with Comp Bow B.
Now. Serious horse. SRS Horse is SRS. This is a double base of CP Kataphraktoi. VBU6 and I3, large unit, Comp Bow C. This is my ace in the hole I think. It'll be a come-from-downtown kind of a thing that hits like a freight train and I suspect I'll have no issues hurling it into spears or pikes and it still getting work done.


Byzantine foot is....fine. It's not where the list is at - put it that way. But they'll still be a  good bulwark against enemy horse with their Long Spear and the gem is the VBU4 Short Bow A archers who can shoot over them with no penalty.

And the fun stuff. These Varangians used to be Saga Hearthguard and now are two bases of VBU 6 and I3 heavy foot. Also, they're rocking out most of the time so rejoice with Discipline C. I suspect their role in this army is counterpunch as I will be completely unable to get them to go forward with any kind of regularity! If I move the list forward from Nikephorian to Konstantinian, these go from being mercenaries to the famed Varangian Guard and increase their Discipline to B. I should probably make this change but I  gotta be honest, I just like saying Nikephoras Phokas more than Konstantine.


Akontistai (back) and Psiloi (front)

I didn't bother with Levy for my Saga army so these are all new. The Gripping Beast javelinmen in particular I am quite fond of and I think they've come up very nicely indeed. Two Akontistai with javelins and some psiloi with bows


Prinny put me onto the tent plan that went on this baggage, oddly enough from our friends at Battlefront as a supporting piece for a WI article they did. It's a wee gem and I think more than a suitable abode for the Bishop as he's preparing for his sermon to the baggage handlers.

How did I do? Well, I won the competition. Turns out it's not a bad list after all. My dice were on fire to boot which certainly did me more than a few favours. So there's some super secret Impetus tech for you. If you want to win, have better dice than the other guy.

The next project is finishing off the last of my mid-war Flames of War Italian infantry for a game at the club in a couple of weeks where I'll also be setting my Mexicans loose on Tank Engine's Cowboys in a game of Dead Man's Hand in Clearmont. We'll definitely blog that one since it will look super sweet on Tank Engine's amazing terrain.


  1. What a beautiful job! Harald and Nikephoras Phokas are my favorites, with the Skutatoi...Well done, a great looking army!

    1. Thanks Phil! I'm also chuffed with the Skutatoi - they came out even better than I'd hoped.

  2. Great read there McZ. I have been looking forward to this post for a while ;). Have to say the army is looking mighty fine. BTW Clearmont got a new Blacksmiths this weekend - I'll post that sometime this week.

    1. I've been looking forward to posting it too mate! Gotta start on the Teutonic Order next.