Right now, I’m in the middle of building a helipad out of sci-fi Hirst Arts bricks. It’s slow going, but I’ll post some WIP soon.
In the meantime, I picked up Ancient and Medieval Wargaming by Neil Thomas at Half Price Books recently (a gem of a find for that store). I like his rules for their simplicity and ease of instruction, but I began to wonder what it would take to build a AMW army. So, as a bit of an intellectual exercise, a little “Miniature Math.”
Let’s build a Hundred Years War miniature army (in theory). In AMW, that means:
3 Units of Men at Arms: 3 units * 4 bases * 4 minis/base = 48 minis
3 Units of Archers: 3*4*4=48 minis
1 Unit of Billmen: 1*4*4=16 minis
I Unit of Hobilars: 1*3*4=12 minis
That’s a total of 124 miniatures: 112 infantry and 12 cavalry. In terms of monetary cost, I’m going to see about doing it three ways: Games Workshop (the Bretonnian line), Old Glory Miniatures, and Zvezda plastics. Why just these three? Because I’m sure that you could buy them all from Wargames Foundry and drop $200 on the army, but for a game that a) I haven’t played before, and b) don’t have an opponent, I’m not willing to drop that kind of cash on it. So, three ways of buying it, broken down by company:
Games Workshop (Bretonnians)
48 Men at Arms could be made with five of their “Empire State Troops” box sets: 5*$22=$110
48 Archers could be made with three of their “Peasant Archers” box sets: 3*$35=105
16 Billmen could be made with one of the “Men at Arms” box set: $35
12 Hobilars could be made with two of the “Knights of the Realm” box sets (giving your four extra): 2*$35=$70
Total Cost: $320 Ouch. That’s three Nintendo DS Lites. And the Men At Arms don’t even look right.
Old Glory Miniatures
The one unit of billmen is causing me trouble, and I may consider just going with two units of Hobilars instead. Old Glory sells the infantryy minis in units of 30–not good if I need 48.
48 Men at arms could be bags of 30 Dismounted Men at Arms: 2*$30=$60
48 Archers could be two bags of 30 English Longbow: 2*$30=$60
24 Hobilars require three bags of 10 Knights: 3*$35=$105
Total Cost: $225. That’s two DS’s, which at least is movement in the right direction…
Admittedly a smaller scale, but let’s see how the cost works out.
One box of the English Knights gets you 12 Knights and 21 Dismounted Knights: $15
One box of the English Infantry gets you 15 archers, 9 Billmen, 12 Men at Arms and 3 Command figures. I’ll get four of them to give me 45 archers (plus three command for the 48), 36 Billmen, and 48 Men at Arms (with another 9 Command figures): cost 4*$10=$40.
It’s an odd arrangment, but I end up spending $55. I know that painting soft plastic is difficult and I’ve sacrificed detail, but I’d be paying a quarter of what I’d pay for Old Glory, plus get roughly the figures I need. Heck, I could buy a French army for them to battle and still come out one DS ahead.