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Author Topic: Koyote's SAGA Age of Hannibal  (Read 2241 times)

Offline Koyote

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Koyote's SAGA Age of Hannibal
« on: July 27, 2021, 09:40:34 PM »
I've jumped into SAGA AOH with both feet.  I've assembled an Epirote Graculi warband and most of a Lucanian (counts-as Republic of Rome) warband. 

Since I'm such a slow painter, I don't like to commit to painting a mini unless I'm fairly confident that it will end up in my final list. As such, I tend to play games with an unpainted warband until such time that I am confident that it's 'a keeper'. With that said, I strongly suspect that Adepticon 2022 will include an AoH tournament, so I need settle on a list and get painting soon.

Below are my Epirote mounted HG, mounted WL, Samnite mercenaries, and elephant.  The cavalry and Samnite warriors are Victrix minis. The elephant is made by Aventine Miniatures








Aventine Miniatures sells some very nice Epirote minis, so I bought a couple dozen to use as Warriors armed with sarissas.

I didn't know of this until recently, but apparently there's a controversy about whether the sarissa's shaft was made from a single length of wood or two pieces connected by an iron coupling or sleeve.  The argument for the 2-piece sarissa is based, in part, upon what is thought to be a the metal remains of a sarissa recovered from a Macedonian royal burial cluster in the 1970s, in northern Greece.  The diagram below shows how the coupling sleeve would have made it easier to transport the sarissa.



Victrix Miniatures elected to to model its plastic phalangite models with sarissas that incorporate a coupling sleeve.  I like the look of this, so I reproduced it using short lengths of rubber copper wire casing fitted onto long 'wire' spears.



Below was my first go at a 6 point Epirote list. I'm still unconvinced the the benefits of the sarissa outweighs the weapon's drawbacks, so for the time being, I'm limiting myself to 2 units of 8 Warriors.




« Last Edit: July 28, 2021, 02:43:20 AM by Koyote »

Offline Koyote

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Age of Hannibal
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2021, 12:57:12 AM »
The first draft of my list included 2 units of Samnites.  After giving it some thought, I realized that I might be better served by one unit of Samnites and one unit of Levy javelin. The Samnites are faster and hit harder, but Levy can make better use of the Greek battle board. Plus when you combine Thureos and Aspis, the humble Levy becomes a resilient blocking unit.

I bought 2 sprues of Victrix Greek Peltats on eBay.  When they arrived I realized that the peltasts are older Vicrix kit so the javelins are really thick and the detail isn't quite a sharp as their newer kits.  Also, the shield arms are sculpted close to the body, so that the poses look a bit stiff and unnatural.



After ruminating on it for a while, I decided to kitbash my own peltasts.  I used the javelinmen bodies and arms from Vixtrix Warriors of Carthage kit, heads from the Greek Peltast kits, and small round shields from the Iberian infantry kit.  Overall, I'm pleased with the results.



Offline Koyote

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Age of Hannibal
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2021, 01:09:21 AM »
Last weekend I played my first in-person game since January 2020. We played a 6 point, Battle of Heroes scenario, using Age of Hannibal warbands. The noble Epirote Greeks battled the brutish Gauls. Both generals were rusty and bumbled about quite a bit, but we had a great game nonetheless.

Due to the scenarioís rules, the game ended on turn 4 when the Gallic warlord eliminated the Greek warlord in single combat. After tallying the survival points and bonus VPs, the game ended in a Greek victory, 28 to 12.

The Greek unit that saw the most action was my javelin Levy. Thanks to Aspis and Thureos, the normally fragile Levy was able to withstand attack after attack, and survive the battle. 

The Samnite mercenaries kicked ass. Thereís no doubt, they are a keeper.

Both my elephant and unit of 4 mounted HG proved to be relatively fragile, but since I used them to attack isolated or weakened units, both performed well.



Four turns of play didnít give me the chance to try out all of the Greek battleboard abilities or truly test my unit selection, but overall I was happy with how the Epirote Greeks played.

We have a rematch tomorrow.

Offline sgzleada71

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Age of Hannibal
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2021, 03:52:14 AM »
Cool post. I look forward to seeing how the Epirote army shapes up as you paint them.   

Offline Psychlic Bob

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Age of Hannibal
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2021, 08:23:01 AM »
The tubular coupling is pretty discredited these days (one military historian referring to it as "a load of bo***cks" on a recent presentation for the SoA!) as it would be a weak point

Offline Tonhel

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Age of Hannibal
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2021, 04:53:04 PM »
Oh, This is going to be beautiful!

Offline AdamPHayes

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Age of Hannibal
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2021, 05:07:14 PM »
The tubular coupling is pretty discredited these days (one military historian referring to it as "a load of bo***cks" on a recent presentation for the SoA!) as it would be a weak point

I did enjoy that!  lol lol lol

Offline Koyote

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Age of Hannibal
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2021, 07:06:29 PM »
I want to test out Cretan Archers, so I built 8 archers using Victrix Greek Archers kit. Like the Victrix Peltast kit, the Archers kit is a bit dated, so I did some converting and kit bashing. I used heads from a couple different kits. Using a hobby knife, I remove the poorly cast daggers from the bodies, and added sheathed daggers that come from the Italian Allied Legions kit.

I wish the Victrix Archer sprue included bucklers, so one can make proper Cretan archers, but sadly they donít.

None of the kits that I own include small enough shields to serve as
bucklers. I almost ordered a pack of Byzantine bucklers from Gripping Beast, but then inspiration struck. Using a hole punch and plastic sheeting I removed from the box my old iPhone was packed in, I made my own bucklers.

The hole punch makes fairly clean cuts, so cleaning up the sides, by shaving with a hobby knife, took very little time. 

Once all the shields are glued in place, Iíll add greenstuff straps.





« Last Edit: August 01, 2021, 10:16:44 PM by Koyote »

Offline Ogrob

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Age of Hannibal
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2021, 07:52:04 PM »
Works well! I played one game with my own unfinished Epirotes last year and was a bit unimpressed, so love to hear your tips and tricks on what works well with them.

Offline sgzleada71

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Age of Hannibal
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2021, 06:09:10 AM »
Those archers look cool. 

Offline Tonhel

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Age of Hannibal
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2021, 05:09:31 PM »
Great tips for making Cretan archers!:-*

Offline sir_shvantselot

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Age of Hannibal
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2021, 03:52:30 PM »
Really helpful to see how these different manufacturers all scale up. Thanks.

Offline syrinx0

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Age of Hannibal
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2021, 12:44:18 AM »
Another impressive Saga force build begins...
2020: +128; 2019:-471 2018: -47; 2017: -100; 2016:+1;

Offline Koyote

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Age of Hannibal
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2021, 10:09:45 PM »
Works well! I played one game with my own unfinished Epirotes last year and was a bit unimpressed, so love to hear your tips and tricks on what works well with them.
Iíve played 5 games with my Epirotes, and here are my thoughts so farÖ

The sarissas are are bit of a drag on the warband, but there are some specific circumstances in which they can come in quite handy -even if itís just their psychological effect against an opponent with cavalry or elephants. In the games I played, my opponent took care to keep his mounted elements away from my sarissa Warriors and elephant, which interfered some with his battle plans.

To limit the sarissa unitsí drag on my warband, I take only 2 units of 8 warriors armed with Sarissas.  Rather than serving as the backbone of my warband, I think of them of one of tools available to me.

Iíve read online that the elephants have been a disappointment to many players.  I suspect that the cause of this is, in part, unrealistic expectations. An elephant is a 1 point unit and, with a few exceptions (e.g., Viking berserkers), they have the comparable damage output and survivability of 1 point of HG.

With this in mind, I use my elephant as a second line unit, much in the same way one would use 1 point unit of HG. I generally use my elephant for clean up, attacking small, isolated units that stray too far from support, or in concert with other supporting units. An elephant is also a great deterrent for cavalry units and mounted WLs.

To help compensate for the relatively slow speed of the sarissa warriors and elephant, I field a unit of mounted HG, a javelin Levy, and a unit of Samnites. Of course, my warlord is also mounted.

Cretan archers are the go-to mercs for many AoH players, but for my Epirotes, I prefer the Samnites.  These mercs have determination and free charges against units with fatigue.  As such, itís a unit that generates a SAGA die but doesnít typically use one to activate.  Also, it can move ten inches and is not slowed by uneven terrain. This helps offset the slow sarissa and elephant. With Aspis in play, both my javelin Levy and Samnites can close ranks and get 2 bonus defense dice.

Samnites are great at countering enemy missile Levy, and they eat Cretan archers for lunch.  They can get to them fast, blast through uneven terrain, and since missile troops canít close ranks, the Samnites hit on a 2.  If the enemy has more fatigue than the Samnites, you get 3 bonus attack dice. If you spend a fatigue to lower the Levy armor to 2, you are auto hitting with all your attack dice.  Depending upon the circumstances, and if your opponent uses the Samnitesí fatigue to avoid being auto-hit, the Samnites can charge again and again to finish off any survivors (remember, free charge against fatigued units), and do so without spending any SAGA dice.

With Aspis and Thureos in place, the Greek javelin Levy becomes a surprisingly resilient melee unit.  Iíve used it with great success to blunt charges and set up the charging unit for a counter attack from my other units.

Overall, I rank Epirotes as one of the bottom tier AoH factions.  Nevertheless, when used correctly, as a defensive, counter-punch warband, they can be a competitive warband.


« Last Edit: September 04, 2021, 01:03:28 AM by Koyote »

Offline Fremitus Borealis

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Re: Koyote's SAGA Age of Hannibal
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2021, 01:33:07 AM »
I want to test out Cretan Archers, so I built 8 archers using Victrix Greek Archers kit. Like the Victrix Peltast kit, the Archers kit is a bit dated, so I did some converting and kit bashing. I used heads from a couple different kits. Using a hobby knife, I remove the poorly cast daggers from the bodies, and added sheathed daggers that come from the Italian Allied Legions kit.

I wish the Victrix Archer sprue included bucklers, so one can make proper Cretan archers, but sadly they donít.

None of the kits that I own include small enough shields to serve as
bucklers. I almost ordered a pack of Byzantine bucklers from Gripping Beast, but then inspiration struck. Using a hole punch and plastic sheeting I removed from the box my old iPhone was packed in, I made my own bucklers.

The hole punch makes fairly clean cuts, so cleaning up the sides, by shaving with a hobby knife, took very little time. 

Once all the shields are glued in place, Iíll add greenstuff straps.



Oh this is brilliant! I started kitbashing some Cretans a while back and had the same issue with the shields. I think I may just try something similar to get rolling on that unit again! (This also reminds me that I've been slowly picking away at painting another unit of Cretans (the Warlord metal ones) for....... some time now. Perhaps this will give me the shot in the arm to finish those up! :D )
"Nice try, history; better luck next year."

 

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