When I first looked at doing a large army I wanted a Late Roman army, it just looked fantastic, the figures available were lovely and they would scratch that 'Roman Army' itch all wargamers worth their salt have. However, instead I enlarged my Romano-British army, mostly the same figures to be honest and then added their enemies the Saxons for the second army, before building Legio XII to get rid of the itch, but I still hankered for that Late Roman stuff.
|The original inspiration for wanting Late Romans from Glasgow Mini Blog.|
I have come up against three different Western Patrician Roman (420-480AD) armies over the last year at gaming days or weekends and each looked very nice and have beaten me twice, not that they are a super army but they do have a nice range of troop types to choose from and can be used in different fighting styles. I also just like that name.
So I decided to do some research into the army and again was disappointed by the t'internet, you can find plenty of colour plates etc. and read about campaigns but you don't get that nitty gritty info which keeps us wargamers happy, you only get generalisations of organisation etc. Sure you get fancy latin unit names thrown at you but nothing really concrete. I do have one scholarly book on the Late Roman Army, it can tell you the pay grades but not much on the actual make up of the army. I will therefore take the easy way out and simply base my army on the current list used in War and Conquest and rely on author Andy Hawes' knowledge of the period which is extensive.
I have also been inspired by the level of artistry employed on the armies I see at the gaming events, these armies are a joy to look at and play against. I think I am a slightly above average painter but my worst trait is impatience, I want to get the unit done as quickly as possible and get it based and ready for the off, I do use washes but don't tend to highlight much apart from characters etc. I did start off well with my Romano-British but kind of depended more on washes with the Saxons, the Romans had lots of armour so not a great deal to do there. This time I am going to make time and slow down, I have a year before they will turn up at a competition, as I have to miss the May event, so I have persuaded the missus to get me a painting guide for my birthday, I probably know a lot of it and ignore a lot as well but I am going to look anew at the tips and techniques and see if I can do my boys justice.