SAGA Byzantine Warband… finally finished

20 Jan

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.



Toxotai (firing)

Toxotai (firing)

Toxotai (at the ready)

Toxotai (at the ready)

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.

Kavallaroi I

Kavallaroi I

Kavallaroi II

Kavallaroi II

Kavallaroi Archers I

Kavallaroi Archers I

Kavallaroi Archers II

Kavallaroi Archers II

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:

Seven point Byzantine SAGA Warband

Seven point Byzantine SAGA Warband

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.


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20 responses to “SAGA Byzantine Warband… finally finished

  1. Thomas

    January 21, 2013 at 19:37

    Wow, great result in a very short amount of time! Especially the choice of colours and decals is fine. I just like the army painter dip method and I also like the results. I’m really no fan of medieval dark age, but Byzantines seem to be a possible choice even for me! Thanks for showing!

    • Burkhard

      January 22, 2013 at 10:13

      Thank you Thomas.

      At first I wanted to buy the christian icon decals from LBMS, but my better half thought those would be over th top. In the end I am happy I followed her advise. The Army Painter always makes me feel uneasy. I feel like I spend ages painting them never knowing if they will turn out like I want once the AP is applied. Byzantines really are quiet different IMHO… both in looks and (at least from how I read them) the rules as well.

  2. El Frances

    January 21, 2013 at 19:44

    Great job ! I’m keen on yours bases ! Congratulations !

    • Burkhard

      January 22, 2013 at 10:17

      Thank you! Regarding the bases… I used the technique I described here:

      Instead of the brown paint I used a light tan one (the same I used to paint the edges of the bases). I did not use any tuffs and only the “Burnt Grass” static grass. Hope this gives you an idea!

  3. Monty

    January 21, 2013 at 20:01

    Wonderful work and a short short production schedule! This is the first Byzantine warband I’ve seen so thanks too for the background info.

    • Burkhard

      January 22, 2013 at 10:19

      Thank you Monty! Now they just need to be bloodied! 😉

  4. Maxamillian Walker

    January 21, 2013 at 21:39

    Excellent looking warband!

  5. Dean

    January 21, 2013 at 23:54

    Stunning warband, Burkhard. Great choice too. Best, Dean

    • Burkhard

      January 22, 2013 at 10:20

      Thank you, Dean! Hope my choice turns out fine on the table as well!

  6. Phil Hendry

    January 22, 2013 at 00:30

    They look great Burkhard. I particularly like the basing – simple and subtle and sets the figures off very well.

    I’ve got a Byzantine SAGA warband to paint too – I just have to get around to starting it.

    • Burkhard

      January 22, 2013 at 10:22

      Thank you, Phil.

      The basing you did on your minis served as inspiration for the simplicity of these. Really looking forward to seeing your Byzantines, too.

  7. vonpeterhimself

    January 22, 2013 at 10:26

    A wonderful wee army Burkhard. I’m glad I voted the Byzantine way in your poll. You have repaid my/our faith! 8O)

    I would be ecstatic if I could produce this lot in 1.5 weeks. It just makes me even more envious!! 8O))

    von Peter himself

    • Burkhard

      January 22, 2013 at 10:35

      Thank you, vP! Glad to have repaid your faith! Maybe I should found a church… one where we all bring our sacrifices to the gods of wargaming! 😛

  8. Dalauppror

    January 22, 2013 at 14:10

    Stunning Warband ! Very impressive paint job !!!

    Please tell me a little about you ovale bases, size? manufacture? magnetsbottom?

    Best regards Michael

  9. Burkhard

    January 22, 2013 at 14:25

    Thank you, Dalauppor!

    The bases are the small oval bases from warbases in Scotland:

    I use them unmagnetized, since my SAGA minis are being stored and transported in foam (KR Multicase since I am already doing promo here), so I am not sure if some form of magentization is available.

    • Dalauppror

      January 22, 2013 at 17:55

      Thanks Burkhard for the info!

      Are they stabile or do they tip over easy?

      Can´t decid for oval or pill bases.

      Best regards Michael.

      • Burkhard

        January 23, 2013 at 10:24

        You are welcome Micheal!

        I have not gamed with them yet, but I shuffled them around a lot between the painting phases and they seemed no less stable then any other mini. To be honest… I will base my WWII cavalry the same way once I get around to doing them.

  10. Jason

    January 29, 2013 at 19:54

    Sorry I missed this earlier, but very fine work on your Byzantines Burkhard! Great project turn around too.

    • Burkhard

      February 2, 2013 at 15:31

      Thank you Jason! And no problem taking so long to post… I rarely find the time to do anything these days either! 😦


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