Thursday, 24 February 2011

Byzantia - I love it when a plan comes together

Byzantia's elite Varangian Guard assault a farmhouse strongpoint

A bit of background - I have a Greek World War One/1920's army, which I got mainly because:

(i) I have had a plan for doing Back of Beyond post-WW1 Imagi-nation gaming for some years.

(ii) I also have a thing going (you may have noticed) for Byzantium, so the Balkans were my chosen turf.

(iii) About 5 years ago I was offered c 100 Eureka specially made c 1900 Evzones at a good price (Evzones are the Greek elite light infantry - the guys who now stand guard and ponce about in skirts, tassels and pompoms but who have a war record the Foreign Legion would be proud of.). Ideal for the rank and file of a Balkan Imagi-nation, as the Evzone uniform - being quite different - stands up fairly well into the 1920's and makes them ideal Imagi-Nation material.

Byzantia Infantry in action in Trans-Syldavia

(iv) Last year some guys at my club decided to get into WW1, but we decided to do Eastern / Salonika Front as (a) it seemed less written about, more mobile and thus more interesting and (ii) one of the guys wanted to build Russians anyway. I immediately bid my Greeks for the project, and we were off

After building the WW1 armies, we kinda fell into the Russian Civil War to allow my friend's Russians to fight my Greeks (see the Odessa Files posts here) as they are on the same side in WW1.

Anyway, the Russian Civil War (for those who are not familiar with it) is full of the most weird and wonderful troops, contraptions and personalities and I have managed to build my Imagi-Nation up while also building up a (reasonably) believable Greek/Allied army for WW1 and the Russian Civil War. The combination of Greek, French and White Russian troops has allowed ample scope for my Imagi-Nation of Byzantia, so I thought I'd reel it off so you could see how the plan (all accidentally, I swear) came together:

- The Varangian Guard - traditionally wore blue and were heavily armoured - however, someone gave me some poilu, and these are now French Trench Stormers in Varangian Horizon blue

- The Gianitzaroi - my guard Turkish regiment - they are actually Turks, but double as Turcos in my French army - there are minor differences to Turcos, but first you have to know what a 1918-20 Turco without his  overcoat on looks looks like to pull me up :-)

- My own Fluff has a western mercenary unit - les Biscotins (aka Byzantine Boukellari, or Biscuit Eaters) and they double as the Foreign Legion.

Les Biscotins prepare to defend a Byzantia border village, Varangian Guard can be seen in the house behind.

- as to the 1920's Byzantine cavalry, between the French, Greek, Cossack and White Russian volunteer/mercenary cavalry there is every permutation and combination you could dream of!

- the Latinikon drive tanks (Brrrrm Brrrm) and the Tagmatic heavies are in (still got to build them) Ford Model T Armoured Cars

So - Result. I now have a WW1, RCW and Byzantia army in one build. Pictures to follow, Varangian Guard up top.

.....just wait till you see the specially designed Renault-Danglis tank......


  1. I'm really enjoying this blog, a friend of mine
    is such a Byzantine-file that he has a resurgent
    Byzantine Empire in Ground Zero Games "Stargrunt/Full Thrust" universe we carried that
    idea over to our game world set in the 1930s to near future alternate earth. I'll be following your progress here closely!

  2. Yes, I am considering a Byzantine type outfit in WH 40K for my planned SM force :-)

    Let me have links to your 1930's universe when they are available!.

  3. Sure just look at :

    look under The Early Years,
    Insula Mucronis