Thursday, November 01, 2007

Warhammer Ancient Battles - Germanic Barbarians

This was a long project from the outset. I wanted an army that I would be able to use against in-period ancient opponents (as my medieval army didn't really look right lined up against Romans!). I also wanted an army that could realistically go up against several armies of the ancient period and that could be "morphable" into a few varieties. Lets face it barbarians are barbarians, and with a few subtle tweaks, could be made to cover tribes from all over ancient europe.

I chose figures from the Foundry collections, and picked up many through their horde deals, and some from E-bay. In the end I went with the germans (as opposed to celts) as I liked the greater "hairyness" of the figures which matched the image I had of barbarians in my minds eye.

The one downside to this range is that for some reason, Foundry didn't offer a musician model for the germans. I considered using their "wailing women" models as an interesting substitute, but in the end couldn't face a unit with civilian type women in the front rank. It just wouldn't look right now would it. So out came the greenstuff and I sculpted a load of simple animal horns tied around the necks of suitable figures with a length of cord. I think they worked quite well.

Well back to the daunting task of painting them. Pointswise, barbarians are cheap, so that means big units and painting loads of the little buggers ;-). When I started this army, I was actually half way through painting the first regiments of my ECW army, and had got a little bored painting all the same uniforms. I was relishing starting the germans. However I have to say it was quite a hard slog, the reason being trying not to do two models alike. This meant constantly checking I hadn't selected two paint schemes the same, and individualising all their shield designs. This took a lot more time and thought than I imagined.

Balanced against this was the "easy part" of ploughing through acres of flesh... Flesh is the one colour I always do as three shades (as opposed to the two I normally
do for most other clothing colours). So this was therefore more work for me.

However, I have to say after roughly a years painting time, I am pleased with the result. The army got its first proper outing at the Wellington Warlords Call to Arms tournament in August of 2007, and gave me some fun games.

The army can still be added to later as I choose to tweak it. We'll see what happens. Current project is to go back to my ECW army and try and finish that.

The whole army arrayed for battle as they emerge from the forest. Skirmishing and light troops armed with javelins to the front. Centrally the main warbands with shield and throwing spears. To the flanks, noble and light cavalry units.

A main warband led by barbarian chieftan. Big warband units mean you can keep rank bonus for longer during attritional fighting and also gives you the chance of warband auto-break if you charge the enemy and win in the first round of combat. Loading the front rank with "beefy" characters can help this.

Noble cavalry to drive off weaker enemy cavalry and hopefully co-ordinate a flank attack with the warbands to smash into the enemies main infantry units.

Fanatic warbands, subject to frenzy, truely wild barbarians that build themselves up into a frothing frenzy. Very colourful for the barbarian army, but quite pricey pointswise and can be led round by the nose by a wiley opponent due to their requirement to charge any enemy in range.

And finally the Generals main warband, accompanied by army standard bearer (another hard case character) and the Shaman - a terrifying figure causing fear in his opponents and hatred for the enemy in units he accompanies. A real killer unit and if you can get it in the right place at the right time, a pleasure to behold! :-)


  1. Hooray! I'm planning ang already started a similar looking and working force hopefully for a warhammer warriors of chaos horde which i started with a box of the plastic chaos marauders and wanted to base the force around these but i've started with the historical ancients from foundry now which beat citadel hands down for a horde of northern tribesmen i have mixed up a few foundry historical races and added mutations and citadel characters like wolfrik, but its looking mint : )

  2. Your ancient German army looks great!
    Cheers, Karl

    1. Many thanks, its nice when older blog posts still get attention and appreciation :-)


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