Scythian DBA Army Progress Report
DBA Book I 43a Scythian Army
I am waiting for my Xyston figures for my Phokian and Cypriot and Phoenician armies. They should be here any day, but in the meantime I finally decided to paint up these Scythians. They are Chariot figures I’ve had since the mid 1990’s. I’m not immune to the problem of a pile of lead needs painted.
I choose armies mainly because I like the period, not because I think they’re going to just be awesome in a tournament. I’m still competitive and want to win but if you’re going to spend all the time it takes to get an army ready for tabletop play, it seems you had better really enjoy researching the history of that army!
You don’t see a lot of Skythian armies, outside of steppe themed tournaments because all of their light horse is pretty tough to win with. The history of the people though, is very cool and there are a LOT of grave goods which really helps get excited about the history. The Scythians were located on the Northern crossroads of the Bactrian Empire, influences from many different places yet a decided Hellenistic bent in their preferences. Herodotus wrote that the Scythians were, “immensely rich.” This does seem accurate if you consider the sizable number of gold items which have been recovered from the Scythian period. There are marvelous traveling collections of their treasures. A serious amount of wonderful artifacts have been found, luckily. And this despite the usual extensive grave-robbing. Here are a few nice pieces of Skythian artifacts:
The DBA I/43a Skythian army runs from 750BC-301BC. It allows for a few variants, but it’s almost all Light horse either way you slice it. I decided that it would be fun to have a LH General and almost required once you get in excess of 9 LH because otherwise the general will quickly get out of command range, even on a 24″ board.
I haven’t built this army for or care if this army fights on a 30″ board. Clearly a LH army would benefit from the extra room to room more than any other army, but part of my fascination with armies is the satisfaction of taking an army that is unique, and sometimes monotype and trying to do well with them. For sure one thing will happen if you play monotype armies. You will get very very familiar with that troop type in a lot of different situations if you play them a lot. Since I’m still new-ish to the upgraded 2.2 rules, this has an appeal.
Plus, I have this idea that when I field this army and we are telling each other what unit is what, I will have the fun of saying, “Yep, they’re all the same. All light horse. Every last one of them!” Maybe that satisfaction will wear really thin when I start getting hammered regularly but for now, it’s the fun of monotype armies. I enjoy the combined arms ability of my Early Seleucid army but there is something cute and irresistable about a Skythian army made up of 12 Light Horse, which is what I’m painting.
The later Scythian army can have a Knight General which would be a lot of fun to paint, and at some point I will order some figs to be able to do that. That way I can field the b list as well which goes from 300BC-50AD. The army has a serious reach historically! All I need to do is paint one 3KN stand and swap that General unit out for my a list LH general. What could be easier.
I just started painting these guys this week. I hope to be done with them in another week and then move on to my Phokians which will no doubt be here by then! Here are some pics of my progress. 😉 (15MM of course)