This is a bit of an odd army. I never intended to do Britons. I was building up an Early Imperial Roman force, while Sand did her Gauls. However, I got around to collecting every Roman model that Warlord did (in some depth, after all, who needs 150-odd Legionnaires if you are doing Warhammer Ancients?), and figured some allies from Briton could be fun. Things spiralled out of control from there…
This is the model that started to cause the upset. As may be very apparent, this is Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni, on a chariot while her right hand man waves a Roman standard they have just pinched. Not much good as an ally then, but pretty cool if you are starting a full army of Britons. Which is pretty much what happened.
Of course, she could not go into battle alone, so I picked up some more chariots to help her out. Three of these are the only non-Warlord Games models in the army, being plastic ones from Wargames Factory. I included these because I wanted variety among my Britons (ordered ranks where every soldier looks the same is more of a Roman thing).
This is the first warband of warriors. My take on these was that each warband would be led by a lord or chieftain (much like Derfel in Bernard Cornwell’s Warlord Trilogy), but the number of men they had would vary greatly, depending on the reputation of the leader, how many battles they had fought, how rich they were, and so on. Thus, every unit would have to be of a different size. This was a small one, depicting either a very young leader or one who had seen many battles and lost most of his men.
Dogs were a common sight in the armies of Briton and, in the main, I used big mastiffs. However, Warhammer Ancients only allows you to have one handler (thought this might be changed in second edition, but it wasn’t), so I only ever painted up one. The problem is, dogs are really easy to paint, so if one was on my table I added it to the army, so now my handler is somewhat over burdened with pooches.
This is the most recent addition to the army, a unit of light cavalry, described as a hunting party by Warlord Games. As Sand was doing Gauls, I tried to make my Britons as different as possible, following the changes suggested for Britons in Warhammer Ancients and imposing my own restrictions. So, light cavalry only, no noble cavalry but loads of chariots!
The character on the centre here was the Warlord leading the army, until I finished the Boudicca model. Now he has been demoted to being a Chieftain and will take his stand in one of the Warbands. On the left is the army’s Druid, and on the right the Battle Standard for the whole force – again, an addition made after I found out how useful such things were for my Romans!
I think these guys will gain a lot of attention from an opponent in a battle – 40 fist-throwing naked Fanatics can ruin anyone’s day! 40 is quite an excessive number, but Sand had 30 for her Gauls, and I had to make sure the Britons had more! Sand usually combos her Fanatics up with a Druid, making them all kinds of nasty, but I may experiment with putting the Chieftain and Battle Standard with these guys, and saving the Druid for a large Warband of more sane warriors.
Note the Roman shield, obviously pinched from the invaders!
I learned the value of skirmishers with my Roman force, where just a handful of them was sufficient to slow down some of Sand’s gauls and allow my Legionnaires to take them on piecemeal. So, obviously, the Britons had to have some too! Being Britons, I went with Slingers rather than Archers.
Finally, my largest warband, comprising 40 men and a Chieftain (you can just see his yellow cloak at the front). I was thinking about doing a unit of 60 next, but sanity must prevail sometime. This is another army that I will add to only rarely, as Romans and Vikings are just too cool to pass up for what are, essentially, a bunch of barbarians who lost out to the Saxons.
This is not a full 2,000 point force (need quite a few more men for that, probably more chariots too!), but it looks fairly convincing on the table, if it does not completely cover it end to end. Nor will it ever match my Romans who, weighing in at 6-7,000 points, would need several tables’ worth of Britons to make it an even battle…