Thursday, October 7, 2021

The Saxon Army


"Did you just say 'The Sex on Amy?'"

-No, I said Saxon, as in my Dark Ages Anglo-Saxon Army.  

"That's not as exciting.  Unless you like a bunch of dirty men with long strong spears."

-But doesn't everybody??


Dark Ages Anglo Saxon Army

Since aaaaaalll the way back in August (as seen in THIS previous post on August 4th) I've been slaving away at making new big battle bases as the old ones just wouldn't do anymore because I am an older, wiser, and generally more fussy wargamer.  

With 4 more bases done; I peered up from the frantic work at my hobby desk, waved away the lingering clouds of static grass and flock hanging in the air, rubbed the brown paint off my fingers and face, and discovered---- "Hey, I'm Kinda out of Saxons.  Guess that means the army is done."  

Now it is time to see the army in it's new glory and also do an inventory (because I'm not really sure what's in it).  I laid out the army as if I were gonna play Hail Caesar.  It's a Parade!  


Saxon King in the center of the army

A noble leading the left flank

A noble with a fine mustache on the right flank.
If I ever go bald, I'm growing a huge cop-stache like this.

Picture taken from the helicopter of the whole army.

Here's a graphic of what's in the actual army

The entire army consists of 8 bases of armored 'Thegn" types (chainmail) and 10 bases of unarmored 'Ceorl' types.  3 leader types, and 4 groups of skirmishers.  Since a normal unit consists of 10 miniatures I made the small skirmisher units 5 miniatures.  2 of the Thegn bases could count as Huscarls if I wanted, as the base has miniatures all with axes, a steely penetrating gaze (which was hard to paint), and a standard bearer.  Though, I think the army overall is a light on banners and could use more just for the visual appeal. 

In Hail Caesar, it's perfectly fine to have loose order skirmishers without a base and just little blobs.  Other rule sets that I also want to use will want these on bases as well.  The plan is to use a standard 10 man base with the 5 skirmishy miniatures and 5 blanks to cover to left over holes. 

The priest miniatures are just for show because I have them.  Besides, no self respecting defender of the christain faith would take to the field without a few to nag at him.   Though in actual HC games they will serve as markers for special rules and re-rolls.  

Last pic I promise.  Though doesn't everybody LOVE a parade.

I'm very pleased with the overall appearance of the army.  On a side note; I found it difficult to photograph so many miniatures so I'm not sure I pulled it off.  

I did say "Kinda" 

Just to be super clear: I haven't been painting miniatures.  All those Dark Ages Saxons were previously painted and I'm just sticking them on the new fangled base.  IN FACT, looking back at previous posts shows that I haven't painted ANY miniatures at all this year.  I find that interesting.  I've painted other stuff of course; one cannot completely escape the endless chore of painting in miniature wargaming.  Just like doing dishes or laundry, and I thought getting married would free me of those chores....

While 18 units is suitable massive, I actually envision the army being closer to 24 bases, because that's how many I bought for them.  And there is a still a handful of Saxons left over.

Left over Saxon dregs.
"Why don't you love us?"

Obviously not enough miniatures to fill a base, so these remainders will be just stored loosely all on their lonesome, and who knows what trouble they will get into?  Staying up late, drinking hard cider, and looking at naughty things on the internet.  Websites like "dark age beauties" or ever worse: hobby blogs. 

A Conflict of Desires 

I have a strong desire to actually finish something.  Can you imagine having a wargaming project actually finished?  So on one hand I want to start painting up Saxon miniatures to 'complete' the army or at the very least so that every Saxon is on a new ultra pretty big battle base.  On the other hand I have a desire to keep churning out big battle bases but now for the Viking Army 

Tub of Vikings says,
"you better make us some fancy-smancy bases before we get bored
and burn down your house and enslave your family."
Damn pushy Vikings.  Always threatening to pillage something.

When both armies are on the bases then some mass battle games can take place.  I got some things in mind I want to do.  

To make up my mind on what to do next, I'll play that game where you answer a bunch of rapid fire questions of 'This versus That' and you answer without thinking too much to arrive at your true desire...

Pizza or spaghetti?    Pizza

Sit ups or push ups?   Nap

Blonde or Brunette?   Brunette

Airplane or boat?   Boat

Coffee or tea?  Coffee

Summer or Winter?  Winter

Roses or Daises?  Ahhh, I'm a man, all flowers look the same

Cats or Dogs?  Neither

Missionary or Cowgirl?   Nap

Cake or Pie?   Cake

Hamburger or Taco?   Taco (that one was actually hard to answer)

Pancake or waffle?    Pancake

Tattoos or Piercings?   Well I still have all my tattoos but I took out all my piercings years ago...

Robots or Dinosaurs?    Dinosaurs

Guacamole or Salsa?   Guac

Pineapple Pizza or Candy Corn?  Gross!

Miniatures or Bases?   Bases.

AH-HA!  Bases it is then.  One can't argue with a modern psychological technique that I read in a Cosmo magazine.  

Till next time.  Thanks for reading.  Comments appreciated.  


  1. Stew, I ran the test and said ‘bases’ as well! Makes sense to get a quicker army hit from doing the Vikings next. The Saxons look great and that is a goodly number, the overhead graphic does a good job at defining the ranks and positions … they should be at Hastings on 14th October for an anniversary parade / battle / general testing rules muck-about.

    1. Thanks Norm. Great minds think alike. I’m glad I included the graphic.

      I forgot the anniversary of Hastings was coming up.

  2. Great looking horde of Saxons. You have given modern decision science a major blow with your decision-making process. You are from the West Coast and don't like Hawaiian pizza? Hmm. Where are you from ORIGINALLY?

    I said "Miniatures" although I am in the midst of rebasing an Egyptian army...

    1. Thanks JF. Hawaiian pizza is just like rocky road ice cream. It should be good but it’s not. 😀

      Yes I was born on the west coast but for awhile I lived in Oaklahoma in my very young youth. That might explain it ya’ll.

  3. Very impressive looking army!

    Basing up the Vikings may be less glamourous, but it does mean that a game can be played... on the other hand you should not stifle your desires to paint when they arise.

    1. Thanks David. I’m all about being less glamorous.
      I never really have a desire to paint any miniatures. My desire is for nice looking completed armies and painting is just the required means. 😀

    2. I totally know what you mean, and if I were less lazy/less cheap, I could have such glorious armies... instead I have a bunch of pieces here and there!

    3. It’s not that totally dislike painting, I just would never do it for it’s own sake if you know what I mean. 😀

  4. Love the look of your Dark Age collection. I’m guessing that these bases are more like movement trays and that you maintain the flexibility of using your figs individually mounted for other systems. Definitely would like to see them lined up vs similarly configured Vikings...and also would like 🍕.

    1. Thanks Ed. Ah yes, movement trays is a better description. I just like the aliteration of big battle bases.
      Everyone likes pizza. Just not pineapple pizza. It’s gross. 😀

  5. Clearly, there is a distinct need for Vikings, as the sole purposed of that many Saxons is to hang off the end of viking spears. The fact that I just finished up the first blob of my Soviets, am turning to Vikings, and require external motivation in no way detracts from the inherent and eternal truth of that statement.

    1. Thanks Markus. I see where your allegiance lies. 😀
      I’ll probably start on them next week.

  6. Wow those saxons look great! Did we play with that many way back when you demo’d Hail Caesar for me? Cos it looks like there are plenty more from here.

    Basing Vikings yes. Cos like you say that project needs a-finishing’! I have still to finish painting my own Saxons and Vikings… I think tho I will attempt to before years end.

    Push-ups all day long and what kind of gentleman would prefer crass and common coffee over the delights of a well steeped cup of tea with milk?

    O and Pineapple pizza yes too on rare occasion. Albeit very very rare.

    1. Thanks Dai. I dunno and I don’t remember. Probably around the same. They just look more impressive now. 😀

      You drink tea and I’ll have coffee and we will both enjoy the wonderful drug that is caffeine. But pineapple pizza NEVER!

  7. Great looking Saxons, good looking movement trays too, of course it's time to base up the Vikings!
    Best Iain

    1. Thanks Iain! Yes it’s time to make more trays for the Vikings. 😀

  8. I’m here for the dad jokes really (as promised on TMP), but now that I’m around I have to say that’s a great looking army Stew!

    And I vote Vikings too!


    1. Thanks Mike! I’m gonna say that was a promise fulfilled. 😀

  9. Hahaha - yes, your jocular writing style puts a smile on my face too Stew - and the figures aint too bad neither! You have to rebase those Vikings before they get out of control, rape and pillage are no laughing matter - wait, have you watched "Norsemen" on Netflix?!

    1. Thanks Kieth. I actually haven’t caught that show yet. Currently the wife and I are watching Manifest (when the kids allow us). 😀

  10. All I can say is wow! The basing and army just look sensational. I like the variation in colors and shield designs for this army. Most people go with a few colors repeated over and over but I think using a variety like in this army looks really impressive. Getting a wargaming project completed sounds great too. I've never gotten close to doing that and probably never will :)

    1. Thanks Jeff. I can’t take too much credit for the shields. They are all shield transfers from Little Big Men Studios. 😀

  11. Tremendous looking army Stew….I can’t imagine not painting figures at the moment ! You need to get them into battle, having played our two big games I immediately went out and bought some more as you do 👍

    1. Thanks Matt. Yes, as you do. 😀
      The quicks way to battle will getting the trays done for the dirty Vikings. Then I might have glorious big battles too (but less glorious than yours😀).

  12. Great looking saxon army there Stew, now for the vikings or those long ships are going to pretty easy to capture.

    1. Thanks Tony. We can’t be having that now can we? 😀