16 June 2013

A New Wargaming Period

About 6 months ago Iannick got me in a weak moment and convinced me to build an army for a new period: Ancients. He had even ordered the War and Conquest rulebook for me! I try to be a man of my word, so after a bit of research and one false start, I settled on the New Kingdom Egyptians. I knew that Iannick was building a Canaanite army, and was focussed on the period of 1800-1500 BC (the start of the NKE era)

I had really little knowledge of this era, despite my late father being a keen amateur Egyptologist. I grew up in a house filled with reproductions of Pharaonic statuary and funerial wall murals (the one above was on the wall of our dining room, I suspect it must of been almost 6 feet in length). So maybe I could say I had some knowledge of the look of the era but not really the history. I bought a couple of Osprey Books, the NKE (Elite 40)and Ancient Armies of The Middle East (Men-at-Arms 109), and a quick read through gave me a basic understanding of the period.

The New Kingdom of Egypt is the period in Ancient Egyptian between the 16th century BC and the 11th century BC, covering the EighteenthNineteenth, and Twentieth Dynasties of Egypt. It was Egypt’s most prosperous time and marked the peak of its power.(from Wikipedia)

I then had a good look through the rulebook and the extensive army lists that accompany it and planned out my army. I have always been fascinated by the ancient kingdoms of Nubia and the Kush, so when Warlord Games had a sale on their Kushite figures, I plunged in and ordered some. The NKE army was characterized by not only using their own people but also vassals and mercenaries from the south as well as along the Mediterranean basin. I wanted something simple to paint, and there is nothing much simpler then skin, minimal coverings and a rudimentary weapon.

I will get more into my specific army plans in subsequent posts, but my force will be comprised of about 70% NKE and about 30% Allied forces including the Nubians, Kush and the Sea Peoples. The NKE were later in adopting chariots then the Canaanites, so I plan to restrict them to less then 15% of my army.

So on to some units, these 3 infantry units and the commander are what I have so far received. The Kushites are from Warlord Games and the commander is the Pharaoh figure from Black Tree Designs. The chariots are coming from Cutting Edge and I have the NKE and Sea Peoples coming from Foundry, I hope the Foundry are not too small. I have just discovered Black Tree Designs and they have quite a nice NKE list, so they will be my fall back supplier. I do not have a lot of suitable terrain, I believe I will leave this to Iannick, so I have took these photos using a light box with a black backdrop, a bit of a challenge really especially with the Kushites.

Pharaoh from Black Tree Designs. This is really quite a nice figure, it does look a little brighter then the photograph and I am happy how it came out.
Primed white, and then painted with a combination of inks and washes. I used a lighter flesh on the command figure and a slightly darker on the driver. 

My only complaint about the figure is that it came with an 8 spoked wheel, although the picture on the website showed the correct 6 spoked wheel. I did cut out the 2 additional spokes, and although the wheel is now unbalanced it does give it an interesting look.

Here we have a unit of Kushite Clubmen in open order. These are very nice figures , although quite a bit of flash. I like their proportion, thin and tall, correct I believe for them. These were sprayed with AP Leather Brown primer and then given a heavy wash with Vallejo Black Ink. You really can not get a good idea of how they came out from the photo, but I am pleased. The definition in the skin is quite good. If I have it right the Kush are from an area just south of ancient Nubia. These are the ancestors of the present day Ethiopians, and thus were more caucasian in appearance. The Kush eventually conquered the Egyptians and became rulers (25th Dynasty) of Egypt for 100 years after the NKE era. The ruleset rates them equal to the Nubians but they were more feared. 
These are some Kushites figures which I have based and painted as Nubian archers, they are in skirmish formation. Again they were sprayed with AP Brown Leather primer, but this time washed with Black ink followed by Brown ink. The Nubians were an african race and organized in various tribes, the Medjway being the most well known. I attempted a zebra skin pattern with only limited success.  
A second unit of Nubian archers, this time with a leopard skin pattern. I probably should of cut the bows down a little as the Nubians used a relatively short bow, I may yet do this. I have taken the basing from Iannick and although not as well done as his, it does look similar.


  1. Excellent start John! And already a painted chariot, I didn't even have time to share my tips with you!

    You base are very similar to mine, too, well done.

    Hopefully it will be a fun period to game!

  2. A fine choice in rules and army, WaC's chariot rules are very good.

  3. Awesome stuff John! Love your chariots. I have a small force of NKE (Foundry) so perhaps I'll bring them down to Montreal some time so we can combine forces for a game.

  4. Nicely done - ancients are a lot of fun

    I've got a copy of WaC but have never played it, so I'll look forward to see how your opinion evolves.

  5. How could I have missed this post? Fabulous work, the chariots are amazing and you did a great painjob on the skins...

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. While searching for some Kushites I found this post. Weary nice looking miniatures.