Monday, October 21, 2019

On the Painting Desk- Greeks and Macedonians

If you are a consistent reader of mine, you will recall my goal to finish building a Spartan, Corinthian, and Macedonian army for Men for Bronze in 2019

One advantage of Menof Bronze in my mind is that it uses relatively “small” model numbers to represent mass battles.  Therefore, you can re-fight some famous historical battles but only use 3-8 units.  That is about 30 to 80 models at 28mm scale.  I am a slow painter, but even I think I manage and army or two at that size.  Your average army typically has about 50 models or so of 28mm.  Of course, the game is model and scale agnostic, so you can make it bigger or smaller if you want.  Part of me wants to make a 6mm army where each unit is on 40 x 40 mm bases and each unit is 10 bases.  That would give the “proper” mass battle feel to the rules! 

However, for now I will settle for 28 MM models from Victrix to bulk out my forces.  I have been working on the Macedonians, while my colleague Mr. Nick Heckel; has been working on the Spartan army.  Mr. Heckel painted all the models in the book while I feebly tried to photograph them.  If you have the book, you can see is a much better painter than I am.    

Anyway, if you look at the sample Spartan Army in the book, you will find that it is composed of 2 Elite Hoplite units, a Drilled hoplite unit, and 2 Psiloi to represent helots and javelin men.  That is an army of 50 models.  Mr. Heckel all ready painted 1 Elite Hoplite unit in the past.  He has been working on the Psiloi to go with them. 

Psiloi are lightly armed and armored, but they do have the ability to throw javelins.  They are cheap and are a great way to spend a couple points and bulk out the flanks of your units.  They are great at harassing attacks, moving quickly through terrain, and launching flank or rear attacks on engaged targets.  They can also bulk out a battle line and provide a few additional Arete Points for critical moments.

For my part, I have been working on the Macedonian forces.  The sample army list in the book has two units of Pikeman, a unit of light hoplites, and a Heavy Cavalry unit.  That is about 50 models as well.  I like to make my Macedonian Pike blocks 15 models to give them some extra weight and represent their staying power a bit better.  Mr. Heckel also painted a pike block for the book.

So, that means I had 1 more Pike unit, a light hoplite unit, and Heavy Cavalry unit to build and paint.  I used Victrix miniatures for all my Macedonians.  I decided to start with the Hypasists.  The first thing I did was build my Light Hoplites and Pikeman sans shields. 

From there, I did a test paint for the Corinthian army of the hoplite units using cheap craft paints from my local big box retailer.  I had used these paints successfully on several Blood Bowl teams.  I was hoping to get a successful finish on these Corinthians cheaply and easily…..

…. But I was not pleased with how they turned out.  I invested in a nice, big set of Army Painter paints since the cheap craft paints were not up to the task. 

Now, properly armed with actual miniature paints, I attacked the Hypaspists next….

As you can see, they progressed and eventually turned out just fine.  I still need to figure out the basing, but overall I am happy with them.  This was my first time using shield transfers from Little Big Man Studios.  I am happy with how they turned out and only really had 1 that was a complete mess up that I had to redo.  Therefore, I would say they are easy to use and provide some nice results. 

I also have started painting the 30 Phalangites for the pike blocks.  I have not gotten that far yet, but you can see WIP.  These two blocks of soldiers were a daunting task, but they have gone together and painted up fairly easily.  These Victrix models are painter friendly with clear break points and detail that are forgiving for a unskilled painter like myself.

The Heavy Cavalry are still waiting patiently in the bag.  However, I will hopefully have them all painted up and done before the New Year.  To be honest, painting 10 horses scares me!  I never did do much horse painting before!  

So, onward and upward!  


  1. hey,

    question about your rule book: can two units simultaneously charge the front of an enemy (naturally having 2 arete points) and battle as one together or : one unit charges and battles, then then scecond unit charges...
    Thanks for your info.


    1. Good question. The way the turn sequence is structured, a Unit activates and uses Arete to charge. This allows a move and fight. The dice are rolled and results calculated such as wavering, pushback, etc. This initial charge is the main attack, and subsequent charges are support attacks, but support attacks still get a charge bonus. In addition, the defender can only activate and Fight once. Therefore, the second charge will essentially rolling additional attack dice in "support" of the main attack, even if it comes "after" the initial charge of the first unit was resolved fully.

      It can get a bit complicated, but keep in mind each unit can only do 1 action AND that any subsequent attacks count as support attacks.

      Does that make sense the way I explained it?