Illyrian 700BC-10AD (Book I/47)

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Army Consist

Element Description of Troops
1x2LH (Gen) Illyrian Noble Cavalry
9x3Ax Illyrian Raiders
2x2Ps Illyrian Skirmishers
Camp Followers Grecian Mess Camp

The Illyrians were hill tribes near Greece who mounted aggressive campaigns against their neighbors until being subjugated by the Romans in 148BC. They were well known as sea raiders and slavers, and made a custom of arming and fighting along side their slaves. Though ferocious in combat, their bravado had a tendency to get them into places from which only skill (and luck) could pull them out again.

This army was painted for use in Mike Demana's "Gods of War" campaign in Columbus, OH. So far, they've had very mixed results. An auxilia army which aggressively invades neighboring lands (and thus never gets to pick the terrain) is going to have difficulties in any event. Still, against the right opponents they've done remarkably well.

Illyrian Noble Cavalry [1x2LH (Gen)]

The Illyrians were not known to field a large number of mounted troops, nor were they known to be heavily armed or armored. The Light Horse troops here represent nobles who would have been able to afford and maintain the horses necessary.

The General's figure itself (as well as the standard bearer) is an Old Glory Successor States command figure. The remainder of the army is all Museum Miniatures.

NOTE: The second Light Horse depicted here was painted exclusively for Mike's campaign, as the "1st army" of each nation is allowed a 13 element battle force.

Illyrian Raiders [9x3Ax]

The Illyrians had a pretty wide variety of arming tactics, sometimes using spears and shields, others using javelins, and still others using the familiar hoplite shield of their Greek cousins.

The shield designs were often similar to those of the Macedonian tribes, and as such here you can see many of the Macedonian designs in raised bronze (some being bronze inlay on silver.) While I wasn't really that proud of the paint job on the sheild patterns, giving them a slight glossy coat had an interesting effect with the metallic paint.

Very little was said of the Illyrian style of dress, except to say that they were particularly fond of vertical stripes. As a result, the tunics turned out very experimental. In the end, they were another disappointment, as they look like they should be working at a hot dog stand at Venice beach.

Probably the most problematic part of painting these troops, however, was the skin-tone. I'm not good with skin colors to begin with, and I wanted to get a darker, olive-skinned, perhaps Indus-influenced tone. In the end, despite about 10 different rounds of drybrushing, the skin just came out much too dark. So, apparently they've all had to trudge through some very, very dark mud to get to the battle.

Illyrian Skirmishers [2x2Ps]

The Psiloi are pretty typical of Greek skirmishers, though they would more likely have been armed with javelin than with bow, there is some precedent for shortbow armed archers. Plus, I wanted the javelinmen to be mixed in with the rest of the Auxiliary troops.

Grecian Mess Camp [Camp Followers]

I cannot claim credit for this camp (or any part of it, in fact.) It was entirely commissioned of Mike Demana, and was one of his first round of camps that he made for sale. It's a superb example of his camp building skills, to say the least.

Please send any comments/criticisms/corrections to

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This page was last updated on February 5th, 2008 at 03:07 PM