Thematic Byzantine

Well... with the first army being later hungarian and the second army Seleucid I have a book 4 and a book 2 army. I can also try knight/lighthorse and pike/elephant combinations with lots of gimmikery in both armies to keep me interested and painting unique models.

A logical next step was to try a Cav based army. I still didnt want it to be huge and it needed to be colourful enough to let me run amok with the paint jobs. This led me to some sort of Byzantine outfit and selection through a process of elimination.

Early was out as too popular and too close to the classical period (not a true dark ages army).

Kommenan and later were all excluded due to being too late.

Maurikian was my favoured choice as I had just finished reading the Strategikon and the painting and army structure was based on my readings. The problem was the changes to compulsory double baased cav in 3.1. I am happy with an army that is not a tiger but Compulsory double based Cav arent morphable and I could get a list I liked out of it.

This left only Nikephorian and Thematic The later wasnt as well known as a viable army (and maybe it simply isnt) but to em the Thematics are a romantic favorite of the period... The darkest hour of western civilisation defending against the rampages of barbarians and other enemies from all sides. On paper it looks ok apart from the lack of decent foot or any filler troops at all.

I have decided to start out with the army structured as thematics will make sure that the army can be morphed into Nikephorian later if I want to.



Commander in Chief & bodyguard.

This is the emperor and his tagmatic troops- two elements of imperial tagmatic cavalry and a supporting element of light horse. All troops are essex apart from the emperor's head which is that of an AB roman general.

Three Generals: Banners are made from champagne bottle foil and hand painted in acrylic. Ive done two banners per general element, one of an assorted Byzantine Icon and the other of some version of a cross.

The Subgenerals are 50 paces troops which are a little early for Thematics but mixed in look fine. Seen here are the single element of donkey boys - my mounted fire siphoners. (an irregular miniatures conversion)

Cleaner shot of the tagmatic troops

Thematic Cav S. These are the main strike force of the army. The jury is still out as to thier effectivess (or my crapness at handling them). The themes would have had a wide variety fo troop armour and weaponry at this stage and so for variety I have mixed in troops that have little to do with byzantine but you'd be hard pressed to notice.

Theres even a sassanid or two along with a couple of sarmatians goths and heavy cav Huns

Gothic ally general. You can only have this ally is micro mode. Once I get my slav ally painted these guys will form the two potential georgian fast knights able to be mixed in with the main body.

Sundry light horse:

Two elements of flank guards/linkers and two of ambushers.

Thematic archers (Light Horse S)


inferior pike are the best foot available in the army however they can get Psiloi support whick makes ehm O against mounted.
Artillery O on carts. Handy for thier ability to shoot in any direction.
Ass riders Reg Bow O that can (and are) mounted on donkeys. These guys are handy with the main strike command as they can ride and redeploy with the Cav
Dismounted donkey boys - psiloi X fire siphoners