Being an avid painter, I like to paint new figures in a wide range of periods from history. However like a lot of gamers I know, the full knowledge of a period is often skipped in favour of the juicy bits. I admit that I have also been guilty of this in the past. I have good knowledge of my favourite periods, but only a basic level of understanding for some others.
Ancient warfare is a classic area of my limited knowledge, with only the most basic level of perspicacity to get me by. So its an area that I am know working on to improve my comprehension of. This has been bought about by the games of Hail Caesar we have been playing, and the desire to expand beyond the conflicts between Rome and the Ancient Britons some thing that I have a good enough knowledge of.
I have always wanted to play a little more classical warfare and my earliest memories of this came in the form of an Egyptian DBA force I once owned. This time though I want to delve a little deeper into the period and rather than concentrating research on the Egyptian army, which in reality changed very little between the Old and New kingdoms and I know enough about these to field a good representative force so I will be looking at the various enemies in the beginning.
While much of any research into this period can be taken as conjectural, one can make some reasonable assumptions using common logic and working from known evidence. Of course my starting point for the armies I want to research will be the lists in the games supplement publications, and once I have chosen an army I will then start reading books and watching documentaries that are available to ascertain some tactics and get an overall feel for the force. Equipped with this information I can then build what I feel is a logical and authentic representation of the formations and troop types to represent them. They may not be totally accurate but you show me a 2000+ year old man who can give me exact details and then I may defer from what I conclude.
I am going to be building these with 1/72nd plastic and 20mm metals, as these ranges tend to offer a very diverse and wide choice of figures, they have the added benefit of coming at a reasonable cost per figure, which helps greatly as many of these forces will require vast numbers to make a good sized army for the table. Although I will have to make some compromises and substitute figures from the nearest matching army where they are not available. At my age I am happy enough to get gaming rather than worry about some of the minute details of dress code.
I have chosen to begin with the early Nubians as we now call them, or the kingdom of Kush as it was then, the logic is that they will be an enemy of the Old Kingdom Egyptians and as mercenaries for the New Kingdom, so I will be able to use the force either wholly or in part for either period. This in itself is a bonus as it will mean that they get more use than a stand alone army, and when it comes to building a New Kingdom force I will have a good quantity of troops to fit alongside them. Building the Egyptians will be a compromise of figures as nearly all manufacturers only produce New Kingdom Figures so they will have to suffice and go minus chariots to serve a Old Kingdom, after all the only real difference in most cases is a groin guard and head cover.
So with all this forethought and planning I am hoping to set some good goals to achieve for 2014 on a personal level and really get into the gaming a bit more, of course I am not alone in all this madness as Kevin has plans to complete some rather nice Dark Age forces and dabble into the Crusades, both of us have plans for other enemies of Rome too, with Sarmatians and Dacians both due to make an appearance in the near future. All this and I haven't touched on Greece or Persia yet so you can see where all this madness could lead too.
So stay tuned as I dedicate 2014 as year of the ancients!!