Persian Force Organization (or: making sense of mayhem)

No, I haven’t forgotten about the Persians. After a couple of busy days at work, the four-day weekend is finally here! Throughout the week, I ran into a few snags as I started prepping models. First of all, I became confused when trying to determine which models were which, and assigning different types of models to different types of units became a bit of a chore.

Inspired Chaos

I essentially have four kinds of cavalry models in my possession. The Scythians will obviously be used as Scythians. The lightly armed and often bare-headed spear wielding cavalry will be used as my light cavalry unit with Impetus bonus (i.e. they can charge into combat, but have no ranged attacks). The final two codes were listed as Persian cavalry and Colonist cavalry. Some readers may have noticed that the models painted as Colonist cavalry in the previous post are actually coded as Persian cavalry, owing to the distinctive head gear.

After much pondering, I’ve come up with the following means to address my cavalry dilemma:

Elite Cavalry (1 unit)
This unit is VBU:5 medium cavalry, and more importantly, is one of only two units in the list that can contain a general. I’ve decided that I will base a king in chariot on a cavalry base. He will be flanked by Persian cavalry models, all painted uniformly in a “royal” colour.

Line Cavalry (1-2 units)
These units represent the standard Persian cavalry of the period. I’ll use the Persian models and put 10 to a base. They will also be painted uniformly.

Colonist Cavalry (4-8 units)
These are fairly weak (VBU:3) medium cavalry representing the forces contributed by various vassal states of the Persian Empire. Typically, sculptors represent them with beards and conical helms. I’ve decided that I will use these models, and a mix of Persian models, eight to a base to represent their average stat line. I’m hoping that the mix of models, as well as the mixed colour scheme, will make the unit stand out from the regular forces of the army.

The other dilemma I’ve been facing… how to build my units of Takabara. These troops were used as a mix of loose peltasts and medium line infantry. What makes it tricky as a modeller is that how they were used and formed-up changed from battle to battle, depending on the opponent and the terrain. I’ve finally decided to base mine densely, but as individual models instead of strips of four. This method will allow me to make a unit with around 15 models instead of 24 models, and the bases will still look well-populated. More importantly, it makes for less to paint, and means that I can aim for a larger number of units as I progress.

Now that I know “what’s what,” I plan to start prepping the models, gluing them to painting bases, and priming them. Then, I’ll be back on track, and hopefully, be able to start producing at a reasonable pace.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a photo of a persian archer I painted. This was a test model I tried out, and now that I have a handle on the model, I’ll be painting these skirmishers a variety of colours. As usual, I’ll keep you updated on my progress.

Thanks for reading,
JET

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