Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Inimitable Forces of Ancient Kái

Pijéna and the City of Kái

Pijéna is a small nation located to the South-west of Yán Kór. Its western border is with Mu’ugalavyá and Tsolyánu is directly south. To the North-west are is the mountainous home of the N’lüss, and Ghatón is just along the North-western coast. In other words it is a piss-poor little country wedged in between a lot of powerful or fierce neighbours.

Before the war with Yán Kór began, Baron Áld occupied the country and installed "advisors" to oversee things. The southern border shown on the map snippet (which comes from the Swords & Glory map) shows the situation after the war has begun and the Yán Koryáni forces have moved south and seized the Átkolel Heights from the Tsolyáni.

The Tékumel Project is slowly building up the forces of Tsolyánu and Baron Áld. Little Pijéna contributes two legions to the Baron's forces. That said, there are so many legions that need doing that the likelihood we will ever be able to offer specific figures for these legions is slim to none. There is just too much else that needs doing.

This leaves making do with Proxy Figures, something all Petal Heads are familiar with! :-)

Here then is my attempt to build one of the Pijéni legions: The Inimitable Forces of Ancient Kái
The following is taken from the Yán Koryáni army book:

The Inimitable Forces of Ancient Kái

Ochür: Rdésh Pré, High Priest of the Goddess in Kái

Based: Kái, a city in Pijéna

Arms: Heavy Infantry have small round shields, full armour, long pikes, short swords; Medium Infantry have half armour, tall conical helmets, large oval shields, barbed spears, swords, maces, or morningstars; Crossbowmen have light armour, heavy winch crossbows, short swords; Light infantry are mainly junior priests and priestesses armed with spears, axes, or clubs.

Strength: 2,500 Heavy Infantry, 2000 Medium Infantry, 2000 Crossbowmen, 6000 Light Infantry.

Stats follow...(omitted here).

Remarks: Another priestly legion, good considering its various elements.

The Heavy Infantry: For these I have decided to utilize some of the figures from the old Ral Partha Chaos Imperium range. The shields are those that come with our Ahoggyá. Following the usual method, I am using a figure ratio of 1:100, so the 2500 HI would yield 25 figures.

I am intending to base the figures in groups of six on 60mm x 40mm MDF bases, as shown below. At six to a base that means four bases gives me 24 figures, or 2400 men. But all that means the others are either ill or off somewhere else. :-)

Medium Infantry and Crossbows: I am still working out which figures to use for these. They will probably be more figures from the Chaos Imperium range. 

Light Infantry: There are 6000 of these, so 60 figures. They are divided half-and-half between those with long spears and those with melee weapons - axes and clubs being mentioned. They have neither armour nor shields for protection, and we know that they are "mostly junior priests and priestesses". Those with spears make me think of the DBM category Auxilia(X). In both cases I think they would be irregular troops, not really properly suited to fighting. That is to say, I doubt they have any maneuver skill but they might still be fierce in combat, being driven by religious fervour! 

The list says there are 3000 of each type. So that is 30 with spears and 30 with hand weapons. I would base skirmishers on single bases but these light infantry are not skirmishers so I will be using the 60 x 40 bases again. For the spears I will be mounting five figures to each of six bases to give the proper amount; I like to use even numbers for regulars and odd numbers for irregulars. For those with the hand weapons I will be mounting three figures on a base for a total of ten. 

For figures I decided to go with Wargames Foundry Spartans and Amazons, in both cases using the unarmoured nudes. To add women to the melee weapons group I am using some of Foundry's Elf Nymphs, many of whom are armed with a fierce looking war club. 

Edit: I just remembered that I didn't just use Spartans for the nude males. I also selected packs of Ancient Germans, Vikings and Greeks. 

Figures shown front and back...

As you can see I've mounted them on popsickle sticks with white glue. Hopefully I will be able to get them off without too much trouble when it comes time to mount them to their bases proper! The next phase is to clean them up a bit and prime them black. I also have to make some minor adjustments to the figures. I need to trim the elf ears on the Foundry Nymphs, for one. And some of the capes are more ragged than I would like. I also feel that I need to make the axe blades more exotic looking, like they belong on Tékumel! 

The back of the army book has a very sketchy chart that serves as a painting guide of sorts. It provides one line of information for each legion, listing helmet, body armour, shields, straps, cloaks and banner colours.

The line item for this legion shows:
Helmet: base colour - turquoise, plume - light blue, trim - green;
Body Armour: base colour - turquoise, kilt - light blue, trim - green;
Shield: base colour - turquoise, plume - light blue, trim - gold;
Straps: none given;
Cloaks: none given;
Banner: base colour - turquoise, plume - light blue, trim - gold.

This system may have worked after a fashion for the Tsolyáni army list where each legion was composed of a single troop type. It works less well for the forces of Yán Kór which are composed of many diverse elements within each unit. But it at least provides a starting point. :-)

One thing I am wondering is whether I should add plumes to the helmets of the heavy infantry, and perhaps even the lights. It might serve to make them even more suitable for Tékumel. 

I haven't painted in a big way for quite a long time so this will give me practice. And I have a new recipe for suitable flesh tone to try out, which I have from a fellow Petal Head: Mike Lung. :-)

Here are some of his figures in action:

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