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Author Topic: Best Range of miniatures for the Byzantine army of the Komnenian era?  (Read 1189 times)

Offline Condottiere

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Re: Best Range of miniatures for the Byzantine army of the Komnenian era?
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2019, 03:32:27 AM »
Not impugning the quality of the castings, but the Crusader and Eureka ranges appear to be based on Ian Heath's Byzantine Armies 886–1118 , with all the errors of a publication from 1979, due to an uncritical reliance on period art:

1) Lamellar doesn't open from the front, but from the sides.

2) Chest harnesses aka Varangian Bras (Ian Heath) are little thick and though it might've been adopted from the Persians, along with kaftans and turbans, the latter of Indian origin according to David Nicolle, it's possible that these are derived from those worn by centurions. There's the theory that the harness was intended as an aid for better fitting armor, but it doesn't hold water: higher ranking officers would have bespoke gear and soldiers of the tagmata and themata would purchase their own equipment, as I don't recall any surviving factories in the Notitia.

3) Pteruges may have existed, but wouldn't look so stiff on the carvings - more than likely, these are metal or organic splint armor.

Surprisingly, the Fire Forge Byzantine resins look like they're based on Dawson's Ospreys, while the styrene plastics and the infantry command are based on Ian Heath. The Perry Armenians, especially the armored ones, with slight tweaking could pass off as Byzantines described in the 10th Century manuals. Khurasan offers 10th/11th Century Byzantines, but they're blasphemous 15mm size!

Levantia: the Enduring Roman Empire(Byzantium) and its neighbours

Fit  for  the  task’:  equipment  sizes  and  the  transmission  of military  lore,  sixth  to  tenth  centuries

Some have a romantic view of the themata considering them like national guard/territorial army, compared to the mercenary tagmata, and their decline being the reason for the loss of large chunks of Anatolia. The truth is they had more in common with the feudal levies and personal retinues of the feudal West, albeit somewhat disciplined at times, than the limitanei and comitatenses in the time of Justinian and Heraclius. This explains why the spate of manuals in the 10th Century emphasized the need to train prior to embarking on campaigns - the classical drill instructors, campidoctores and armaturae, had disappeared by the time of Leo VI. John Haldon's A Critical Commentary on The Taktika of Leo VI (Dumbarton Oaks Studies), a supplement to  George T. Dennis' translation of The Taktika of Leo VI, contains a chapter covering the armed forces at the beginning of the 10th Century, right before the reconquest period.     

Offline Atheling

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Re: Best Range of miniatures for the Byzantine army of the Komnenian era?
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2019, 06:42:31 AM »
With all that in mind, and no doubt this is very informative but I was talking about the post Tagmata/Themata period of transition and The Battle of Dyrrachium. ;)