14 July, 2021

28mm Cretan and Balearic Mercenaries for Saga Age of Hannibal

When planning my Age of Hannibal armies for Saga (Iberians and Epirotes), I took a long look at the mercenaries section to see what mercenary units were available and which I thought would work best for the two armies I was planning (Iberians and Epirotes).  

There are 8 different mercenary units included in the Age of Hannibal book, with armies only allowed to use those they historically employed.  For the Iberians, the only mercenary unit they can use is the Baelaric slingers so those were an easy choice.  If I don't use them as mercenaries there is an option to arm 8 Iberian warriors as slingers so there is a second option to use them.

The Epirotes can choose from 6 mercenaries, and I chose to build the famous Cretan archers.  They were used by most of the Hellenistic successor armies and should also be in the future Saga book Age of Alexander.  So in addition to providing support to my Epirotes they should be usable in some other armies in the future.

When ordering my Epirotes I bought part of the army from from Aventine Miniatures in Northern Ireland, including 2 packs of skirmishers to use as Cretan Archers.  They come with separate small pelta-size shields that attached easily.  This is the first time I have used Aventine and they are great miniatures.  The forthcoming Saga Age of Invasions book will include Sassanid Persians; if I like the battle board I will definitely be using Aventine to make the army.

I painted the Cretan tunics black since I have seen depictions of them in black, plus it gives them a distinctive look.  When trying to decide whether to leave their shields as plain bronze or to paint a design, I looked at the terrific Ancient Battles website by Jeff Jonas.  There is an article on Cretan shield designs, which heavily inspired the designs I painted.  You can find it and many other good articles on wargaming the Hellenistic period at:

Ancient Battles

For the Baelaric slingers I used the same color scheme as my Iberians; tunics in various shades of off-white with red stripes on the borders.  The miniatures are from Crusader, one of my favorite 28mm manufacturers for Ancients.