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Starting ancients

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Starting ancients

Post by bpmasher on Wed Aug 03, 2016 4:32 pm

After a burnout period with different minis projects, I opened my Impetus rule book yesterday along with the extra #5 I bought, and I liked what I saw.

The era that most struck my fancy was the Japanese invasion of Korea in the later samurai period. I looked into it, and found that people find painting samurai especially difficult. Add to that the cost of Perry miniatures, and I feel myself discouraged a bit.

I'm questioning whether one should start specializing in an era immediately or should I test the waters with classical subjects like the Romans and Gauls, or Alexander the Great?

How have you folks gotten into ancients gaming in the beginning?

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Re: Starting ancients

Post by Zippee on Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:00 pm

Pick an army / period / campaign that fascinates you and produce an army for it.

Then produce an army that can oppose it.

repeat ad nauseum Smile

Roman v Gaul is classic but a bit limiting IMO, Roman v Carthage has more options and allows expansion into Gaul, Iberia and the Hellenistic east.

Better still is to start with the Hellenistic east where you can generate a heap of troops that can fight in a wide range of combinations depending on which list you use. And can then easily expand west into Rome or East into the steppe and India.

That said if you like Samurai, do Samurai - they don't float my boat but I'm not the captain of your wargaming vessel.


Last edited by Zippee on Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:17 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Starting ancients

Post by Tarty on Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:08 pm

My first army was medieval actually. Also not a bad place to start the armies are small (generally) and the figures can be 'folded' into many following projects easily....quiet versatile. Greeks of some sort aren't bad for that either.
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Re: Starting ancients

Post by Jim Webster on Sun Aug 07, 2016 6:17 am

If you're starting ancients have a look at Book 4. You'll notice that some troop types, Thureophoroi, Cretan archers, Tarentine cavalry etc appear in many different lists.
If you look at the Western Med and Rome v Carthage, Numidians and Spanish, can appear in multiple armies.
Slightly earlier, you can use a lot of stuff in Sicily from all over the Ancient world Very Happy

It allows your armies to seamlessly morph into each other and helps keep the cost down
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Re: Starting ancients

Post by dadiepiombo on Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:30 am

Samurai have an advantage: you can split the army and have an opponent
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Re: Starting ancients

Post by jeztodd on Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:13 pm

On this you make a point about cost (re Perry Twins Samurai figures so guess you are looking at 25mm). Remember you just need your bases to look consistent and unlike other systems you can create mini dioramas so don't need as many figures.

I am now doing a 25mm Samurai army and am using the sabot bases with 3 mounted CP Cavalry for a base, and for foot FP Samurai just 4 figures on a base.

If cost is a key factor then you could look at Hun type cavalry armies so you have fewer figures. There are lots of CL units with probably just 2 figures on a base.

I remember there was a discussion before about the smallerst number of figures to make a reasonable and historical ancient 25mm army and sure it was something like Parthian or Skythian?

Cheers Jez
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Re: Starting ancients

Post by Greymouse on Sun Aug 28, 2016 11:18 am

Two friends of mine and I have Samurai armies of that period and a Korean Army as well. If you like the period it's a good starting point because you can vary the Samurais easily to have different playing styles for the internal wars. Koreans play well against Samurai too. They require a different approach and make for entertaining games. And of course Ming Chinese make for a fitting opponent too and can be used for interesting "what if" scenarios.

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Re: Starting ancients

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:18 pm

I had a bit of a ponder on this on my blog

http://twtrb.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/building-impetus-army-just-in-case.html

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Re: Starting ancients

Post by Axebreaker on Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:04 pm

Always pick an army that interests you to keep you at the painting desk.

It is true Samurai are indeed difficult to paint and will require a longer time before they hit the table, but it also rewards you in the end as Samurai armies look just great not to mention they have interesting options that will offer fun games.

Christopher
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Re: Starting ancients

Post by Gaius Cassius on Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:57 pm

The Samurai might be tough to paint and Perry figures are not cheap (but not all that bad in price either.) The advantage is that they are small army and so it might work out to be a wash with a cheaper, larger army.

I am looking at an early Samurai army to fight my Late Sung. I did a quick list up and including mounted generals I need 162 figures (with mounted counting as 2). Compare that to my Middle Swiss list at 230 figures or Middle Assyrian list of 250+ figures or a warband army at 300+ figures.  

On of the least intensive figure armies is also one of the best, The Mongols. Worth considering.

I would never cheap out with only putting a few figures on the base. One of the beauties of Impetus is the visual look. Big bases with lots of figures.
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Re: Starting ancients

Post by Azure Gryphon on Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:11 pm

Some people seem to want to go for the "best" or "most powerful" army, but I prefer the idea of connecting with your army. If you don't like them, why are you playing them?

My suggestion is start with a period or army that you like, either the the look or the style of fighting.
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Re: Starting ancients

Post by starkadder on Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:54 am

Thank you, Azure Gryphon. That's exactly my philosophy.
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Re: Starting ancients

Post by Zippee on Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:16 am

The prophet once said in the Purple Primer that you should build an army you can love even in defeat because as a new player you will lose games - and that's how you learn to be a better player.

I understand that some people like to play with the competition meta, and that's fine but a new player won't be able to make value judgements on the meta until they know how to play successfully. So we're back to the Purple Primer. . .

Your second army - that's a different option.
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Re: Starting ancients

Post by Tarty on Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:51 am

Yes what Zippee said. Except I don't think I ever learnt about the 'second army' argument hehe... " oh look they have pretty feathers in their hats I want an army of them"
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Re: Starting ancients

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