Military miniatures, ancient history, Macedonians and Successors, Alexander the Great battles campaigns scenarios for Warhammer Ancient Battles

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updated 06/082020

Ancient Miniatures and Historical Gaming

Early Successors Armies

Over the many years I have been asked, both online, and in person to explain how to start a Successor miniature game's army. Or more precisely- where to start. Indeed there are lots of options and little to build from except game lists and stacks and stacks of books. Even then one might be left in a position of having much more information, but not a way to plan forward. It is tough to start a big project. It is often more difficult to stay laser focused on that same project. To this end I wrote up a bit of an introduction in Wargames Soldiers and Strategy Magazine which the editor was kind enough to run in issue #108, titled 'A long winding road to the early Successors - Crossover ancients'. The PDF version can be acquired at a very reasonable price at:

So a "Crossover Army" by this definition is one that has many units that other armies can use. Thus allowing the most bang for the buck when you start making your decisions of where to start. For example in the image above all the units could be in one army, or many separate ones. Cretan Archers can be used with Greeks, Macedonians, Macedonian Successors, Roman Republic, Marian (or Caesar's) Rome, Carthage, to name some but not all possibilities. Cretan archers are probably the most useful of all for the period of the Macedonian and the Punic Wars.

 Cretan Archers 28mm by Relic Miniatures LTD, and Wargames Foundry.

Painting your Cretan shields, resources and ideas:

You can start at the very top with some of the excellent commander figures available. This one (below) is by Aventine in 28mm.
Then you can build the elite cavalry, squadron by squadron. Start with six at a time and you can vary the squadron colors to suit your tastes. There are many figures for Early Successors cavalry available in metal and now plastic. These shown below are older figures, which I often use as Thessalian cavalry.

Newer plastic models, released in the last few years by Victrix are very dramatic. The horses are a bit large for the period, but they are action packed figures.

The phalanx is the core unit in the Early Successor army. Above various ancient figures (including some very old 25mm figures)
battle Paul Rigby's nicely done, and much better fed,  28mm Polemarch miniatures. This was a Warhammer Ancient Battles Successors clash. (WIP)

In a classic game, my Epirote (Pyrrhus of Epirus) WAB army takes on Don Manser's rock hard Seleucid army.
My elephant was too late to turn the flank and I was crushed by the weight of his elite Seleucid silver shields. My Old Glory models and Don's Foundry elites duke it out.

A close up of my Old Glory elite phalanx getting hammered by Paul Rigby's Polemarch Miniatures phalanx
with fancy LBMS shield transfers in 28mm.

The phalanx needs flank protection and these Tarantine cavalry are favorites. Originally from the heel of Italy these cavalrymen with javelins and large shields changed
cavalry tactics. Before they came east as hirelings of Antigonos Monopthalmos, cavalry rarely used shields.
After their successes, many Greek and Macedonian cavalry began to shift to shorter spears, and/or javelins and large shields.
Most of these models are by Relic Miniatures, on mixed horses, a few Old Glory and Magister Militum oldies fill out the troop.

Tarantine cavalry were only aligned with the Antigonids at first. Later on most empires created or hired Tarentines styled cavalry.
Their tactical style defined their units, even when none of them were from Tarentum. Another element of the Successor style of warfare was settlement.
Various types of mercenaries would be given land to seed future levies of troops.

The Successors fielded useful troops from their currently controlled provinces. Here former Persian empire light cavalry
called hippakontastai are skirmishing at close quarters with the Tarentines. These Persians types are generic enough to work with Persian,
Imperial Macedonian, Bactrian, Eumenid, and any other far eastern Satrapal cavalry levy.

Here some heavy Thessalian cavalry on the right are striking at some lesser armored mounted scouts on the left.
These are mostly old Vendel figures, except for the officer on the right.

War elephants are a major component of almost all Early Successor armies. Some of the largest forces
of war elephants dueled in the dust for supremacy over Alexander the Great's fractured empire. Protective towers
 appear toward the end of the Early Successor period. Elephants needed to be screened to protect them from
nimble skirmishers. Up to fifty or more skirmishers were assigned to each
elephant to ward off the enemy threat to feet, trunk, and the mahout.

Aventine's resin elephant kit can be used for Indian or Early Successor's bare back riders.
This fellow is an officer, possibly the elephantarch- captain of elephants.

Thracians were colorful mercenaries and levies. These are armed with the rhomphaia which were one or two handed chopping weapons
like scythes. The rhomphaia became more common after the Early Successor period.

Hoplites were hired and fought for all sides in Early Successor's battles. Many of the Greek states rebelled after Alexander died.
The Athenian led revolt known as "The Lamian War" at first was successful but the Macedonians were able to pour in massive reinforcements and crush the rebels.

More to come... watch this space. Thanks to Marcia for the very fine photos.

Miniatures on this page:

Relic Miniatures         Aventine Miniatures        Old Glory

Wargames Foundry        Newline Designs

A&A Miniatures

Vendel Miniatures  (currently available as Thistle and Rose Miniatures on Facebook)

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