Monday, August 31, 2020

Painting Desk: Heirs of Empire- 6mm Diadochi Army

Heirs of Empire is a Diadochi ruleset based on the Men of Bronze system.  For those unfamiliar with the period, the Wars of the Diadochi were the 40 or so years of constant warfare between the various successors and claimants to Alexander the Greats throne after his death.  This period is full of colorful characters, scheming, backstabbing, and armies clashing.  I really enjoy it, but it can be a difficult era to access as the sources are scattered and there are few popular histories of the period.

Heirs to Empire is built on the successful Men of Bronze rules chassis, but with some major differences.  The largest difference is the scale of the conflict.  Successor warfare was at a much grander scale than Classical Greek Hoplite battles.  In Greece, rival city-states were at odds.  During the Wars of the Diadochi the opponents were empires!  In addition, Diadochi warfare was much more focused on combined arms forces with the Pike Phalanx at the core and wings of cavalry and other troop types.  The Diadochi were all trying to emulate their hero, Alexander.  Therefore, their armies had similar components to the Macedonian war machine.

The game itself has no set scale or unit size.  Like Men of Bronze it uses generic troops types to represent the forces on the battlefield.  Units are abstracted an can be individual based models, multi-based units, or single based units.  There is no set standard as the game uses generic Measurement Units to align with any scale or basing strategy.  It is designed to allow people to bring the armies they have or want to have to the table.  Heirs to Empire is a game of units and armies and not individual soldiers.
28mm Phalanx vs 6mm Phalanx

For my Heirs to Empire forces I wanted to capture the feel of an army.  Therefore, I chose to use 6mm figures from Baccus Miniatures.  I was very pleased with their service and what I received.  For the price of an army in some other systems I was able to get all the Diadochi models and units I would need.  I decided to base my forces on 60mm x 60mm bases.  This was a game of units so I wanted to have big forces that together looked like an army!

Here is my full Diadochi force fielded together as one entire army.....

This army has all the classic elements.  It has a strong phalanx core, skirmishers, archers, light cavalry, heavy cavalry, and War Elephants.  Cavalry, skirmisher, and archer stands have about 32 models each.  Phalanx stands have 96 models.  Light Infantry have 54 or so models.  Together this looks like an army!

The picture above is actually enough to play two armies for Heirs to EmpireA standard size game typically has between 6 and 10 units.  Armies are split into three "wings" and chosen accordingly.  The Center wing is the core elements of the army.  The Left and Right wings are typically lighter or more mobile elements.  This is designed to mirror the deployments often seen in historical battles.

Here is the elite army of Eumenes of Cardia.  Eumenes was a skilled and wily general.  However, his army tended to be elite soldiers who had proven themselves on many battlefields.

A core of skilled Macedonian Phalanx, with a unit of Alexander's veterans.  Two units of lighter infantry, and heavy Cavalry and Companion Cavalry for the wings.  A small, compact, and formidable force.  However, not a typical army of the Diadochi wars.

For that we need to look at an army more like that of one of the Lesser Satraps or Successors such as Neoptolemus.  He was one of Alexander's inner circle and the Satrap of Armenia.

His army would face Eumnes in battle, and be defeated.  Here we see a less skilled center Phalanx, a unit of light Infantry, two units of Skirmishers for the center.  The wings are composed of Heavy Cavalry, and then light cavalry respectively.

Heirs to Empire emphasizes units working together as no single unit can carry the day alone.  The Phalanx is hard and tough, but immobile.  Skirmishers are quicker and have range attacked to disrupt an approaching foe.  Cavalry is the fastest, but can not hit as hard as a Phalanx.  However, their speed allows them to flank the foe.  Each unit has a role in the army, and understanding that role is the key to success.

Diadochi armies are famous for certain units.  Here are a few of them....

Skirmishers with Phalanx to the rear

  Skirmishers with archers supporting them to the rear.

In the wings, light cavalry lancers backed up by light cavalry skirmishers and war elephants.

In the wings, Companion Cavalry and heavy cavalry are ready to charge forth.

War elephants are backed up by members of the Phalanx. 

Light cavalry skirmishes ahead of the main advance.

One of the Diadochi leads their Companion Cavalry forward on the attack!

With my 6mm Diadochi forces complete, I expect to get a few games of Heirs to the Empire on the table soon.  There are so many great battles such as the big battles of Ipsus, Gabiene, and Gaza; to the lesser known nameless battles that are ready for you to explore.  The entire period is full of flavor, excitement, betrayal, and intersting match-ups.    You can also find the Heirs to Empire rules available on the Wargame Vault so you can recreate your own battles in this exciting period!

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