It has been in my dreams for years. To put together a Nikephorian/Macedonian Dynasty Byzantine Army. The why etc will become apparent as the story of expeditious hand and brush movements become more apparent. Suffice to say, for now, that it goes back to the early 2000's and the games of Warhammer Ancient Battles we used to play with faithful devotion every week. It was Andrew Eason's Thematic Byzantine army, stunningly and lovingly painted, which drew my eye then and ever since, I have craved such an army. Gripping Beast's Black Friday sale made it an irresistible opportunity!
Here we have what will be the first of four units of Thematic Byzantine, Heavy Tagmata Kavallarioi! Two with barding and two without so I can move with reasonable historical accuracy through 800-1050 CE.
As many of you may know, the Tagmata regiments were full time well trained professional regiments of soldiers formed by Emperor Constantine V as early as 741-743 CE. The idea being to have troops who were extremely loyal to the Emperor at hand to face any of the many revolts that took place with alarming regularity.
I have painted these guys in in speculative colours; both the clothing and some parts of the armours. Their mounts are barded with lamellar, made of horn or iron. I chose to go with a red and cream these and vary the patterns in which the paint was applied to the bards on all the horses. Half way through rendering the horses in the prescribed colour scheme I had that uncomfortable feeling that I was a little over the top but seeing them cavalrymen on their mounts eventually waylaid any concerns I was having.
Whilst the army was bought largely for historical and aesthetic reasons I do plan to take part in a friendly WAB tournament sometime early this year.