Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Ventures into the leadpile and other matters

Now that I seem to have got myself back into a bit of a painting routine* and have nearly finished my latest batch of figures, I've naturally started to look at a) what to prep next and b) what next to buy. 

I would dearly like to get my Achaemenid Persians to the point that they could be fielded for a Lost Battles scenario or two, but it would also be an asset to have more Hellenistics painted up. Greek City State and Successor scenarios make magnificent spectacles, but Plataea, Issus and Gaugamela would look fairly presentable as well.  

What to do.

Well, I had a look at the lead pile, or at least the most relevant portions of it.


Geez, that's a lot to paint... 

The Persians

And so is that... 

For the Persians, ironically enough, what sticks out is what I don't have. There are no Immortals or Sparabara in the pile, and I want to be able to cover Early Achaemenids as well. I've placed a test order with Potbelly Miniatures at the suggestion of Mike, author of the excellent Bucellarii blog, and am also going to look at putting in an order at Museum for some of their Z range Persians. Right at this moment I am probably more interested in gaming the Persian invasion of Greece than I am in Alexander's expeditions (for which I have, unpainted, the Persian figures already). I don't however want to rush in and buy figures that may not fit with the rest of the collection. I will get a few samples and make sure I'm going to be happy with what I do finally order.

As always, the painting focus is on economy of action: the quicker I can get to playing status the better. Coming off painting Libyan foot, more phalangites (for Raphia and the bigger Successor battles) is tempting - it's basically the same colour scheme but with pikes - but that is also the challenge: would painting ennui await? 

While economy of action is all well and good, at some point, with any army, you simply have to knuckle down and do the work. I think that's about where I'm at with the Persians. I have quite a few skirmishers, archers, Egyptian spearmen and cavalry done already, but nowhere near enough to field a Lost Battles army. If I want to make decent progress I need to just sit down and do it.

That said, at the moment I think I will prevaricate, prep some Greek horse, and see what the new orders look like when they arrive.

One of the things I have to be wary of (and seeing the huge amount of lead in the Hellenistic pile above provides proof!) is a tendency towards the never-ending army syndrome. For a variety of reasons, I buy figures for armies that are, by most reasonable measures, finished. A sensible person would be devoting their dosh and time to working on their other armies that are not. 

But who said that you have to be sensible in wargaming? 

State of my 15mm Ancient-era armies.

Polybian Romans (x2). Marian Romans (x2). Gauls. Iberians. Early and Later Carthaginians. Macedonians/Successors (x1.5). Latins/Samnites.

Incomplete but fieldable for some scenarios or as contingents:
Hoplite Greeks. 

Fieldable as contingents, or for half-sized games:
Parthians. Numidians. 

Awaiting the brush:
Achaemenid Persians. Second Successor army. Polybian Romans (to replace some figures I'm not happy with). Second hoplite Greek army.

Looking at this, it is clear what I need to do: just get on with the Persians, and throw in some Successors / Greeks in small batches every now and then for a change.

 *at the cost, sadly, of my guitar-playing routine!


  1. Good luck with the painting Aaron! The Museum Miniatures Z ranges are superb…

    1. Yes, they do look fantastic. I will put in an order after pay day I think.

  2. Never ending army syndrome is I think in most of us, I probably could get away with not painting any more Italian wars figures but I appear to be preparing literally hundreds of pikemen! You also right about the necessity of just getting on and grinding out units on occasion, I'm finding that with my Austrian grenadiers but they are getting done! Glad to hear your back on the brushes too!
    Best Iain caveadsum1471

  3. Nice to see you back with painting and Lost Battles in mind! Last year I got a top up of (very unpainted) Persians. While looking up the Lost Battles lists it hit me that there's lots of levies and later armies lots of cavalry, very daunting so I've made no progress with them save from sorting units out.

    Just have one more unit for Magnesia and then plan to move onto Raphia!

    1. My thoughts exactly. Lost Battles is probably not the best starting point for a painting plan for Persians. It may be better to build, say, an army for Basic Impetus or something and expand from there. Looking at the Lost Battles OOB for Issus for example is, as you say, somewhat deflating, and has probably contributed to my not having made much headway with them to date!

      Will look forward to your Magnesia ventures. I wonder if we could manage a distance game? I might flick you a note in messenger.

    2. Good idea Aaron break it down a bit!

      Yes always up for that Aaron I enjoyed the Asculum refight a few years ago. Don't hesitate to msg. I could do with picking your brains on campaign ideas also after re reading your rise of Rome posts!

  4. Ahhhh, the never ending army afflicts many.


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