Thursday, 3 May 2018

Barbarians with bows and arrows

Despite being away in France for a trip last week around the battlefields of the Western Front and various towns in the region, I did manage to complete some more Copplestone 15mm barbarians for my Hyborian Age horde once I got back.

First, there are three stands of archers, on 4 cm x 2 cm bases who will be added to the three stands I painted last year to give me three units of medium foot archers. These will be paired up to give a unit with an 8 cm frontage, but only one base deep. I think that this will look fine on the table.

The other bow-equipped troops are four stands of Copplestone Pict archers, on 4 cm square bases, who will form two units of skirmishers. In my imaginary Hyborian Age, these "Picts" represent cave-dwelling tribes who are allies of the semi-nomadic barbarian tribes. Of course, in Robert E. Howard's  pseudo-historical vision of the Hyborian Age, the Picts were described as being "small in height, squat and muscular, adept at silent movement, and most of all brutish and uncivilized" who had retained only rudimentary technology and language skills. I see these archers, together with the ones I painted last year as Neanderthals who have survived to co-exist with the Cro-Magnons who comprise most of the population of the world of Hyboria. Anyway, here they are;

All I have left to paint now are a unit of Medium Foot and three units of Horse. One of these will be based up as Cavalry (in S&SF terms) on 4 x 3 cm bases and the other two as Light Horse, on 4 cm square bases.

After I've finished all the units, I need to decide exactly how I want to use them on the table. I've recently decided that my trolls will be used as armoured Heavy Foot and being larger than humans they will have the impact and powerful attack characteristics.

I am also thinking that my human Heavy Foot (of which I have 12 4 x 1.5 cm stands) might be put together as two Large units, i.e. being three bases deep and two bases wide, as well as having them as three normal sized units, as described in my previous post.

I am wondering if I might need more units for variation, too. I like the idea of steppe mounted archers as fast skirmishers, but most of the available figures seem to look too "modern" to my eye, and I'd like a stand of mammoths or other big monsters to be used as Large Beasts. Alternative Armies have a rather nice monsters called Rhinosaurs which would look pretty good on the table, with perhaps a few barbarians in the howdah. They also do a version without the howdah.


  1. Nice barbarians Carole. For the steppe horse archers, have you looked at the Donnington Mongols and Sarmatians?

    1. Thanks Tamsin. Not looked at either, but I will now.