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Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Justinian Byzantines for Hot Lead 2010

Hi Folks
Here is my 1500pt Justinian Byzantine army that I took to Hot Lead at Gripping Beast HQ lasy month. The army is built from the Beyond The Golden gate supplement, which was quite a challenge, as I wanted to take an army that was 'opponent friendly' and which suited the event. Most WAB players seem to feel that BtGG armies are rather OTT so I wanted to disprove that. Accordingly, I decided to take no Bucellarii, as they are HUGELY cheesy, being strength 4 with options for kontos or thrusting spear, making them strength 5 on the charge!!! I also decided that I would take no kontos armed troops, using thrusting spears instead, as I actually feel that, as well as being more 'friendly', the thrusting spear rule more than adequately portrays the use of the various kontos-type weapons in use at the time - I hate the 'always strike first' rule that Kontos gives, unless I'm playing against other kontos armed troops at my wargames club, of course!!!!

So, here's the army: Clockwise from top left back row:
9 Psiloi with javelins
24 skutatoi (thrusting spear, large shield)
ASB and Magister (Magister armed with heavy armour, shield and throwing spear, both drilled)
24 skutatoi (as the first unit)
10 psiloi with bow and buckler
9 Regular Byzantine cavalry (light armour, bow, buckler: superior byzantine cavalry)
12 Comitatus (heavy armour, thrusting spear, bow, buckler: superior byzantine cavalry, drilled)
10 German allied cavalry (light armour, thrusting spear, shield, superior German cavalry)

Here are the Comitatus: My late Roman cataphracts remounted on unarmoured horses (they can also be used as Romano-British commanipulares now!)

Here are the HGerman allied cavalry. Some of these are from my Arthurian armies, but others are repainted late Roman cavalry (I repainted tunics and shields to match my current colour scheme and to take away the 'uniformed' look, as I had done months ago with the cataphracts.) They also have a new leader and standard bearer, both old Late Romans also with repainted tunics and shields.

Regular cavalry: More repainted late Romans (tunics and bucklers) with a Romano Brit as the unit leader.

The Romano-British milites masquerading as Eastern Romans. I chose the most 'Roman' models for this unit. Next to them, repainted Roman archers (tunics and bucklers)

A unit of Late Roman infantry with repainted tunics and shields. Again, originally painted 10 years ago in 'parade ground' colours, now redone to match my other models.

The Magister - West Wind's Arthur model, who also commands Romano Brits for me!

ASB: West Wind Arthuian banner bearer on holiday from Romano-British service ;-)

So, there you have it!!
On the day, they trashed a 1000pt Sassanid army in the 'Saving the Plunder' scenario. Basically, the Persians had to get a wagon load of booty off the table before I caught it! After enduring a turn of massed archery, I decided that a full-on charge was the order of the day. As the Sassanid player had also not taken kontos, the fights were evenly matched, but my troops came out on top, his allied Parthians and Lakhmids fled and the rest of the game was me chasing down fleeing troops - oh, and capturing the wagon! Victory by 1500pts to 0!!
Second game was against Shieldwall Welsh. I only had 1000pts in the 'Scared Shrine' scenario that I've talked about on here before. I was hideously outnumbered and due to an unlucky panic test failure early on was on the back foot all the way through. Luckily, I had read the scenario victory conditions carefully and played very well by sticking to those and only lost by 200 ish points, so a close-run defeat/draw.
Game 3 was agaisnt Romano-British with Welsh allies. The Romano Brit player played the scenario very aggressively (it was 'herediatary enemies - 2 random units each with 'hatred') and destroyed my infantry before I could destroy his flankers and get in his rear. In the end it was a draw - I lost by 85 points in another really good game.
Game 4: Multi-player game. Me and some AoArt Picts vs 2 Rus armies, 1 pagan Rus and 1 Era of Princes. This was a fabulous game where I managed to outmanoeuvre the Rus opposite me while his ally utterly (to the very last figure) trashed the Pict allied force. As a result, of the 4 players, the Era of princes Rus player got about 2000 VPs; I got 1150, the Rus opposite me got about 300 and the Pict about 100.
All in all, I came about 15th out of 30 ish...way better than usual. If I'd played a few more games and practised co-ordinating my cavalry better, I'd have done even better as that was what let me down in game 3 and 4 particularly - I just took too long getting into position for the killer charges... Still, none of my opponents found my army 'Cheesy' or 'OTT', so I reckon that was a result! I'll use it again for sure and am about to paint a unit of Huns to go with it (once I've done a load of El Cid stuff for a demo game and gaming event in October!!)
I hope yuou enjoyed this post! It's been a while since I showed you any stuff!!


Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Saw this on WAB and the result is the jaw continuing to just drop and drop!Marvelous Andy!!!!
Nice to hear you winning for change btw.


Chicago Terrain Factory said...

Awesome looking army. Any chance of getting bigger photos? All the better to drool over.

I have a feeling that BTGG will not be so over the top in WAB2. I've been playing Caliphates and the change to the flank charge + no 90 degree turns have made it rather difficult to execute a flank charge.

GuitarheroAndy said...

@ Chicago Terrain Factory: Thank you! Sorry...I thought the pics were clickable.. Try this link:

Most of the pics are on there a bit bigger...


Paul Leach said...


I like your take on army-building 6th C. Byzantines - ie. 'less is more' in regards to OTT mechanisms and special rules. I think BTGG had a bit of 'power creep' that a lot supplements tend to have until the core game gets a reset with a new edition. Oh, and did I mention the figures look absolutely fantastic?

Tony said...

Beautifully painted standard bearer, very well done.

I was not at Partizan 5th Sept. But will be at Colours 2010, Newbury.

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