Sunday, August 9, 2009

Pydna 168 BC - Warhammer Ancients

On the afternoon of the 22 June 168BC the armies of the Republic of Rome and the last Macedonian King (Perseus) meet on the battlefield of Pydna. On one side the Romans were lead by a battle harden veteran the Consul Paullus (played by Peter Hall and myself)) and on the other side was an over ambiguous King Perseus, the son of Phillip V, of Macedon (played by Terry Moran). I think just about very one with an interest in ancient history knows what happened on that day, but as in most wargames we play history is often reversed, only because the battlefield can be viewed and is not restricted by the vegetation, clouds of dust and the lie of the land. We tend to make our battlefields more favourable to the game and to the figures we have spent hours and sometimes days painting and basing. So this was how our game was played. On flat ground, very little vegetation to hinder the movement of troops and wide open spaces. But I did place in some difficult ground, in between the battle lines, just in case the Macedonian phalanx decided to follow history and advance.
Even the veteran Paullus felt knot tighten in is stomach when the Macedonian phalanx lowered their sarissas and locked shield in one swift movement.

The advance of the phalanx however did not happen so myself and Peter decided to take the battle to them. Probably a bad move on our behalf as we were going to have to cross that broken ground. Well at first the battle would go our way. Our light infantry and velites charged, speared and shot away most of Terry's skirmishers, thus leaving our troops to advance unhindered by these pesky peltasts.. Then our elephants on the far right flank drove back the some units of enemy light cavalry. It was looking to be a great day and a repeat of history - would Paullus win again?
Only a few weeks before this highly disciplined Roman Army was a rabble. It was only after the arrival Paullus was it knocked back into shape.

No it did not look to good when on the very next turn Perseus and his companion cavalry rode over our strongest unit of cavalry, plus kill the pro-consul riding with them, and in just foul swoop our flank was exposed. Could we stop this flank attack or was the battle now lost? That I can not tell you as like the last game we have yet to finish it - sorry. I guess one of the best things about having a large house and an understanding wife is that as long as things do not get in the way, you can leave the game set up for a few days or even weeks - yippee. So the rest of our game will hopefully be played next weekend or just after.

Crusader Repulican Roman cavalry painted by Leroy Simpson and also the unit which ran from Perseus.

A large number of Thracians fought and died for Perseus on this day.

Elite Macedonian Light Cavalry - prodromoi. Painted by me.

The Agema and Perseus riding into battle.

Numidian light cavalry fighting for the Romans -painted by Scott Robertson.

My best unit about to be destroyed.


Descubre Irlanda/Vive lEmpereur! said...

Vive l'Empereur!

¡Bienvenido/a lector/a! Esta aventura por recorrer el Mundo de la mano del Emperador Napoleón Bonaparte (1769-1821) nació el 30 de Abril 2009, día en el que además, Napoleón vendió Luisiana a los Estados Unidos por 80 millones de francos.

Robert said...

Amazing. Simply amazing! What a feast for the eyes.

Looking forward to the write-up

ZeroTwentythree said...

Impressive looking battle and beautiful figures.

I agree with Robert, above -- a feast for the eyes!

Donogh said...

Great photos, looks like a cracker of a battle. (Kudos to whoever for having the Romans dressed in white, you don't see that too often)

Chad Sikes said...

WOW!!! This is superb!! This is how all ancients games should look on the table!!

Vinnie said...

Cheers for all the great comments. I love to play the great battles of the past and when you have the figures to use, it would be a shame not to use them. The Romans have all been painted by Leroy and I would have to agree the white does look good on Romans. I plan to do the same with the Army I have tucked away for a rainy day.


Consul said...

Great looking battle

I wondered where you got both the Red and Yellow crested units in the following picture.

Thanks a lot!


Vinnie said...

Hello Consul,

Thank you for your comments. I have painted the figures you mentioned to represent two figures from the colour plates of the Montvert Publications - The Seleudid Army 168-145BC. The figures with the red crest are from plate 7 and represent Idumaean auxiliary and the the figures with the yellow crest are from plate 4 and represent Mercenary Infantry. The miniatures are Crusader Miniatures from their Thureophoroi range.

Thanks again


Consul said...

Thanks very much!

I've just started a new blog at

which was influenced by this post. It'd be great if you could follow it as it may be of interest to you.

Aaron Lickwar said...

I'm 14 and i love painting.... though i'm not very good at it. I love your blog (especially Mr.Simpsons figures, There just incredible). I look at alot of your work every day. I would like to paint a 15mm macedonian or greek army this year. i bought the figures from xyston and i don't know where to start. can you make a step by step video or just send some messages on painting some 15mm macedonians? thank you

Vinnie said...

Thanks for the comment. I would love to send through a video or images on how to paint 15mm, but will need to have your address first. However I could get Leroy to do a step by step post for you if you like.

Aaron Lickwar said...

great that would be awesome!! my address is

Larry Ringer said...

Great photos. Who is the manufacturer of the prodromoi? I'd like to get some. Thanks.

Larry Ringer said...

Great photos. Who is the manufacturer of the prodromoi? I'd like to get some. Thanks.

Vinnie said...

Larry the prodromoi are from A&A Miniatures and they are a nice figures.

Thanks for the comments