Sunday, 2 January 2022


Ioannis Macenronikas
Surprisingly for the festive period, I have somehow managed to add two new units to my Clash of Spears Republican Romans. I don't usually get the opportunity to paint much over Christmas, but this year I've found the odd little bits of time here and there and suddenly, here they are! Both units are skirmish infantry, which don't add a huge number of points to your warband total, but the Romans are now up to 800+ points (or will be when I finish my second Leader!)

After their last outing against the Syracusans, it was pretty obvious that the Romans lacked a little distance hitting power and a unit of Cretan Archers seemed to be about the only option available. Cretan Archers appear in a number of Clash lists, so painting these up enables them to be used in other forces when they are not drawing denarii from the Roman pay chest. 

In the Clash of Spears lists, Cretans are classed as "rare" and that is reflected by their lack of availability to buy in the shops! The only ones I could find in 28mm were from Warlord Games and, as usual, their figures look like they've been recruited from the local primary school compared to the Victrix figures, which make up the rest of my Roman warband. In an attempt to boost their stature a little, I based them with an additional layer of MDF board between figure and circular base and then attempted to cover up the "platform" when I added the basing material. Sadly, they still look somewhat bijou when standing side by side with their Latin allies, but when deployed as a unit on the table top, they don't draw too much attention to themselves and, however slight they maybe, they will give the Romans that much needed firepower.
Warlord's Cretan Archers are cast in metal and cost £13.50 for 8 figures (as of December 2021) in a variety of poses. Apart from being short, they also appear a little flat and it took quite a lot of file work to get them ready for painting but, as nobody else seems to sell them, needs must where the Devil drives!

As you can see from the Clashculator stat sheet above, the Cretans have a number of traits. Skirmish Specialist gives them a +1 save from missiles and a free Reaction at 4" from an approaching enemy unit (although they still need to pass the Reaction Test). The "Aimed Shot" trait allows them to re-roll for shots that miss the target. The addition of a buckler gives them a +1 to saves in melee but, if they ever get into that situation then it's probably not going to save them from the inevitable disaster!
Including the Cretans in the Roman warband is not quite straightforward, as their "Rare" status impacts upon what you need to have in your force to keep it as a "Muster Warband". I also have some Roman Cavalry waiting on the painting table, but, as they are classed as "Rare" as well, including both units tips the warband into the "Ad Hoc" category, so another unit of Hastati would be required to retain the balance.

As well as the archers, I have also added a second unit of Velites to the Republican warband. As I've mentioned in a previous post, I really love these Victrix figures; you only get a couple of body poses on the sprue but, with a variety of arm positions and an assortment of heads, a unit of 6 figures have lots of skirmish type variation.
For this set of figures, I only used bare or helmeted heads as my plan was to mix these up with the first six I painted to make two new units! Thankfully, I remembered which shade of red I had used on the shields of the first group so that these guys could fit in alongside the earlier figures.

With all twelve Velites painted and based, it was a matter of sharing them out into two groups, with an even spread of figure types...
My first Clash of Spears game for 2022 should be the week after next, as the next ten days or so are all about wielding much bigger brushes as we decorate our living and dining rooms! That first game will involve all my 800 point or so of Romans pitted against my Celts, who haven't had a run out for some time now... so looking forward to it!

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