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I want to make an army based on the army of King Pyrrhus

Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:19 pm
by flameberge
I'm wanting to make an army based on the army of King Pyrrhus that fought the Romans and am hoping the macedonian figures made by xyston would be appropriate. I ordered the Rise of Rome supplement but its not supposed to be shipped to me until late april and so am uncertain exactly what I need to buy and would really like to get started painting the army. Are the pikeman's helmets drastically different? Are the pikeman mostly armored with linen or without armor? What would I use for the cavalry, Thessalians, Greeks? What about the skirmishers and peltasts? Any help I can get would be much appreciated.

Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:47 pm
by kustenjaeger
Greetings

Where are you getting your book from for it to be delayed until late April? You haven't ordered it with a yet to be released book have you?

I am not sure Rise of Rome is going to help you with the precise looks of Pyrrhus' army - it provides a list of troop types, range of bases per BG and a general introduction to the army with (I haven't got it with me) maybe a colour picture.

IIRC you would be lookig at a mix of Epirot phalangites who should look pretty Successor Macedonian, Tarantine phalangites (not sure about these without a book to hand), Agema etc with xyston unshielded (the shield/javelin combination seems to have been adopted after the return from Italy). Some allied - Oscan? - foot.

If no-one's dug anything up for you by later tonight I'll look up Duncan Head's Armies and Enemies book (Macedonian and Punic Wars).

Regards

Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:40 am
by Ironhand
I've been looking at Xyston for a couple of possible Successor armies and their stuff is very nice indeed. They are unfortunately missing one or two key elements for a Pyrrhic army: the Tarentine Cavalry, although it's on their list of upcoming releases, and the later type of Macedonian cavalry with light spear and shield.

Another thing I'm not sure about is the Tarantine Phalangites. What you could probably do is use Macedonian phalangites in the linen armor for the Epirot phalangites, and then use the unarmored ones for the Tarantines.

They are planning to release a "Hellenistic Phalangite" pack as well, but I think the Macedonian ones they already have would be suitable. The Companion cavalry should do fine for the Macedonian lancer cavalry. Xyston has some nice figures for Pyrrhus's allies as well - Oscans and Campanians, although I believe the Campanian hoplite hasn't been released yet.

Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:37 pm
by Quintus
Ironhand wrote:Another thing I'm not sure about is the Tarantine Phalangites. What you could probably do is use Macedonian phalangites in the linen armor for the Epirot phalangites, and then use the unarmored ones for the Tarantines.
Just make sure your Tarentine pikemen have white shields. Tarentum was no backwater so you could expect them to be well equipped and have linen armour but it's really down to personal preference.

When I rebuild an Epirot army (I sold my last one alas!) I will use Macedonian pikemen in linen cuirasses for all of them. Helmets will be bronze throughout. (In my last army I painted alternate units of pikemen so that their helmets were bronze or blue with bronze edging. This was partly aesthetic and partly to indicate elite or select pikemen when using them for other armies.)

I'm a bit disappointed with the Pyrrhic list in Rise of Rome but it's near enough to reflect the character of the army. It could have done with an upgrade for the Macedonian pikemen that were given to Pyrrhus to aid him in his Italian campaign, and upgrades for the Thessalian and Aetolian cavalry. I don't have the list with me but I seem to recall that xyston-armed cavalry are eventually superceded by shield and spear, but the indications are that Pyrrhus retained his xyston. (The list only arrived last night so I haven't had time to memorise it.) One thing I was pleased about is that the number of pikemen available is very significant and should provide an impressive phalanx.

A limitation of the game system is also that there can be only one BG of elephants (IIRC) whereas the indications are that Pyrrhus may have used them on each wing and I would like to simulate this on the tabletop.

Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:10 pm
by WhiteKnight
I take your point about the Elephants?

I wonder how forum-mates would model on the tabletop the arrangement of Antigonus' elephants at Magnesia 190BC.
So Livy says, A deployed a phalanx of 16 000 in ten blocks ...a lot of phalangite BGs there, then. However he had only 22 elephants, so one BG? but these were put in pairs in the intervals between the 10 phalanx blocks...

Martin

Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:42 pm
by kustenjaeger
Greetings
Quintus wrote: A limitation of the game system is also that there can be only one BG of elephants (IIRC) whereas the indications are that Pyrrhus may have used them on each wing and I would like to simulate this on the tabletop.
Surely a limitation of the list rather than of the system? For scenarios you don't need to use the list at all, after all. My suspicion is that there's only one BG available because otherwise elephants would have an influence in the army out of propation to their historical effect. But I'm just guessing here.

Regards

Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 2:03 pm
by NealSmith
kustenjaeger wrote:Surely a limitation of the list rather than of the system? For scenarios you don't need to use the list at all, after all. My suspicion is that there's only one BG available because otherwise elephants would have an influence in the army out of propation to their historical effect. But I'm just guessing here.
Right. We have to keep in mind that these lists are still just representations of a typical army. They have troop types proportional to the real armies, but they aren't necessarily the same size (number of units/BGs or men/figure ratio).

In a scenario game, I say just about anything goes as long as you keep the relative proportions the same, then you can make a BG anywhere from a cohort to a full legion and elephants could be 1 model = 1 or 1 model = 22 elephants.

Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 2:07 pm
by ars_belli
NealSmith wrote:In a scenario game, I say just about anything goes as long as you keep the relative proportions the same, then you can make a BG anywhere from a cohort to a full legion and elephants could be 1 model = 1 or 1 model = 22 elephants.
Exactly! As you build your tabletop armies, think of the FoG lists and troop types as guidelines to help you 'translate' the historical sources for gaming purposes. :D

Cheers,
Scott

Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 2:26 pm
by Quintus
kustenjaeger wrote:For scenarios you don't need to use the list at all, after all.
I agree. It's useful as a guide and for competitions.
kustenjaeger wrote:My suspicion is that there's only one BG available because otherwise elephants would have an influence in the army out of propation to their historical effect.
Again I agree. That may be so, hence my comment about the system. :)