Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Working through prep for 2nd Mantinea

As mentioned in my last post, the Society of Ancients Battle Day for 2023 has been announced as 2nd Mantinea, 362BC. This is the first time in a couple of years that the battle is one I have armies for, so I'm determined to make the most of it. Pleasingly, although I don't have all of the troops I'll need painted yet, I do have a pretty decent start made on them. 

My rules of choice will likely be Lost Battles, so it's the Lost Battles scenario I'll look to to work out how many more troops I'll need to paint up. Bearing in mind that the troop scale is 2.5, it will be 1250 men per average infantry unit, half that for veterans, double for levies, and average cavalry will represent 625 actual horsemen per unit.


2 x Veteran Hoplites (Spartan)

8 figures per unit - 16 figures total 

13 x Average Hoplites (5 x Athenian, 2 x Mantinean, 2 x Elean, 2 x Achaean, 1 Arcadian, 1 Allied

16 figures per unit - 208 figures total

1 x Average Light Infantry (Mercenary)

16 figures per unit

3 x Average Heavy Cavalry (1 Spartan, 1 Athenian, 1 Elean Achaean and Arcadian)

9 figures per unit - 27 figures total

Total figures needed: 224 hoplites, 16 light infantry, 27 heavy cavalry


Average Leader plus Veteran Hoplites (Epaminondas and the Sacred Band)

8 figures per unit, plus Epaminondas and companion - 10 figures total

8 x Average Hoplites (2 x Theban, 3 x Boeotian,  2 x Tegian, 1 Megapolitan, Asean and Pallantian)

16 figures per unit - 128 figures total

5 x Levy Hoplites (2 x Argive, 1 Euboean, 1 Thessalian, 1 Messenian and Sicyonian)

32 figures per unit - 160 figures total

3 x Average Light Infantry ( 1 x Locrian, Malian and Aenianian, 1 Thessalian, 1 Euboean and Mercenary)

16 figures per unit - 48 figures total

4 x Average Heavy Cavalry (2 x Thessalian, 1 Theban, 1 Boeotian)

9 figures per unit - 36 figures total

Total figures needed: 2 leaders, 296 hoplites, 48 light infantry, 36 heavy cavalry

Grand total: 2 leaders, 524 hoplites, 64 light infantry, 63 heavy cavalry

Next step will be to work out how many figures I have already painted, and how many are in the lead mountain. Hopefully I will not need to buy any more, but if I do, it won't be the biggest disaster in the world. There is a little flexibility, too: if I end up being short I could use 12 figure units for light infantry and 24 figure units for the levy hoplites without losing too much in the look of it all.


64 Thebans (Xyston), 64 Generic hoplites (Black Hat) / 8 unpainted (unknown make), 88 unpainted (Xyston) - 224. (300 if Italians are added) - enough for Thebans

64 Spartans, 96 Generic hoplites (Xyston) / 64 unpainted (Xyston) - enough for Allies.

48 Levy hoplites (Old Glory Italians, but they could pass at a pinch)

28 Hoplites (Chariot Italians which could pass at a pinch).

48 Light Infantry with javelin and small shield (old Glory) / 32 unpainted (Xyston)

48 light infantry with bow or sling.

Oodles of peltasts.

Unpainted (all Xyston):

8 Mounted Generals

8 Cavalry with petasos and pilos in chitons

12 Cavalry with Boiotian helmets

8 Cavalry armoured with Boiotian helmets

12 Thessalian Cavalry with cloaks and chitons

20 Cavalry with petasos and pilos in metal and linen armour

12 Spartan Cavalry

19 foot command

To paint: 

64 Spartan hoplites, 88 Theban hoplites, 19 foot command

80 cavalry, though I can get away with a few less.

To buy:

Ideally, I would purchase and paint up another 72 generic hoplites (and about 120 more so I don't have to use Spartans for Athenians etc.!) I will think about this...


  1. Great to see you're still on fire with Ancients, Aaron!

    1. Thanks Dean - if you can call not having painted anything for three years on fire, then I guess I am!

  2. I look forward to your project and Battle Day game too. For myself, it might be fun to consider doing this battle in 6mm although I would be starting from Ground Zero.

    1. Have you seen the 2mm Strength and Honour stuff at all, Jonathan? I think if I were to start from scratch that could be an interesting way to go. I don't think hoplites will be in the rules to begin with, but the armies themselves look quite impressive.

  3. What a plan!

    Take a look at the PSC greeks - a bit less expensive than Xyston's originals and Thebans were just released.

    1. Aargh, too late - I just ordered a swag from Fighting 15s last night! I didn't realise PSC had Greeks. Thanks for that, I might keep an eye out for when they have Carthaginian Sacred Band available.

  4. This is going to look awesome once you pull it all together. That's a LOT of hoplites, though.

  5. Yes! Aaron sounds great, it'll be an impressive array of hoplites!

  6. Absolutely start on it now, but do it in small bite size chunks so that when you complete a unit you have the satisfaction of making progress and keep on trudging on.


  7. Good luck with the project mate, it sounds fantastic!

  8. Thanks all, started prepping some figs tonight.

  9. I really look forward to another of your excellent ancient battles Aaron, in due course. All the best with the painting. If you are anything like me, I'd be flexible with the deadline ('tis a hobby after all!).
    Regards, James

    1. Thanks James! Yes, I do plan to go at, shall we say, my own pace!


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