As you might remember, I asked you a few weeks ago, what I should do over the festive season and your choice was Byzantines for SAGA. I was happy to oblige and while I had initially planned to post them by units, this did not work out. Due to the cold weather here in Germany I did not want to spray varnish them, which is the step before doing the basing for me. As a result… no posts by units. But after the whole Warband was finished I lost patience and varnished them in-doors. So as a result they all get presented in one go.
The lowest units are two units of Toxotai or foot archers and one unit of Kontaratoi or foot spearmen (Warriors under the SAGA rules). These are the rank and file soldiers raised and maintained by the Byzantine state. As such I wanted to give them a uniform look, so they all got tan trousers and dark red shirts. This is also meant to show their origins as a successor to the Roman Empire. As such they received the colours historians (tan) and Hollywood (red) associate with the Romans. This is also in line with my Early Imperial Romans.
I guess I will eventually have to get myself another unit of spearmen to give me the flexibility I want for my Byzantines, but for now it shall do. Actually they will have to do for a long time, since I do not have any more spearmen and there is still my resolution not to buy any minis this year (which I have not breached so far). That is unless there is anyone here who has a unit of Byzantine spearmen he does not need and wants to trade them for archers (for some reason I bought one unit more than I needed).
The next highest units are the Kavallaroi or mounted Heathguards. I chose two four men units each of archers and regulars cavalry. While historically these are equipped by the state as well, the were also the most prestigious units in the army. So I wanted them to look like lesser nobles and gave each of them a different tunic with intricate patterns.
Now those of you who know SAGA will realise that these and a Warlord add-up to seven points and are too much to field a regular warband. The plan is that I will use all cavalry and only one unit of foot archers if I want an offensive set-up. By contrast I will remove one unit of mounted archers if I want a defensive set-up. Once the second foot spear is finished, I could also remove a unit of mounted close combat as well, but first I want to see how this one plays out.
All of the above troops were done using the Army Painter Dip and touched up and detailed once it was dry. The shields are transfers from LBMS and applied after the army painted as well.
Last but not least to lead the Warband is the Warlord or Basileus in this case (although I will not use the special rules fo him, since I feel this option actually weakens a Byzantine warband in SAGA). I gave him fine clothing with a purple cape, agin to show the Roman origins of the Byzantines. He was painted the classic way with normal highlights and all to set him apart from the rest of the Warband.
All in all these are one mounted Warlord, 16 cavalry and 24 foot troops. Actual painting time was about 1 1/2 weeks, plus decals, touch-up and basing. All in all this took longer than I had planned, but I hope it will be a mighty fine Warband on the tabletop! And here they are all together:
What else is there to say. They were all based in a dryer scheme to represent their south-eastern European and North Arabian setting. The Warlord and foot troops were based on the standard SAGA bases, but I could not stand the square ones for the cavalry, so those are oval bases from Warbases in Scotland (a company I can not recommend too much). The minis themselves are all from Gripping Beast.