I have long been admirer of the rules by Too Fat Lardies that depict the twilight years of Roman Britain after the legions had left but before the Saxons had taken over. It is probably something to do with my childhood being brought up reading the excellent novels by Rosemary Sutcliffe which really seemed to sum up the end of an era. Bernard Cornwell’s “Winter King” books about the rise and fall of a Dark Age King Arthur gave a rather more grown up and evocative depiction of life in 5th Century Britain.
So when TFL brought out their Dux Britanniarum rules complete with a campaign setting with the minimum of book-keeping it was only a matter of time before I bought a copy. This I did at Salute in 2014, complete with a set of cards and a box of Gripping Beast Dark Age Infantry.
And there they have all sat on the metaphorical shelf for the past year or more waiting for me to pluck up both courage and paint brush to make them into a fighting force. The only problem is that 28mm figures still seem expensive to me, even the plastic ones, especially if this were to be a marginal activity alongside my preferred ECW forces.
So here is the sum of my research into the rather more affordable realm of 1/72 plastic figures, which are both surprisingly detailed to one brought up on Airfix figures and ideally suited to the skirmish type game such as Dux due to the variety of poses in the box which are, perhaps, less suited to larger scale and more regimented games.
With thanks to the Plastic Soldier Review, please take a look!
According to the rules, the infantry are divided into Levy, Warriors and Elite troops while I will also add the Harassing troops of Skirmishers and Archers. Each will be shown here in turn.
Italeri do an excellent set of Late Roman Legionaries who would be ideal for use as elite troops. Looking at the review on Plastic Soldier Review confirms that these are really well moulded figures.
HaT also does a set of Late Roman Heavy Infantry who would also fit in well in the elite troops role. These are also well moulded though maybe not quite so sharp as those from Italeri?
The HaT Medium Infantry could make up the Warrior or even the Levy class.
These Miniart Legionaries are a bit crude in comparison with the Italeri and HaT figures but they could “do a job” as Warrior class.
Another set by HaT provides a range of missile troops, both javelin men and archers, while these can be rounded out from the Italeri and Miniart legionary sets.
Italeri’s “Gothian Cavalry” looks to be ideal for the Shock Cavalry of the British, especially as they have a Germanic look about them.
HaT’s Light Cavalry look pretty good, but are perhaps better suited for a more “organised” period of the Late Romans.
The HaT Gothic Cavalry might be a better bet for Roman cavalry, being a bit less uniform.
The HaT Medium Cavalry could be a good bet for those parts of the former Roman province that remain closer to the spirit of the Empire.
The Miniart Roman Cavalry could also be pressed into service as Shock Cavalry but, like the infantry from the same company, look a bit crude.
All pictures of the figures are courtesy of the Plastic Soldier Review, which is a fantastic resource for being able to see what the 1/72 plastic figure has to offer wargamers. Check out the site for detailed reviews of the figures.
The figures can be bought from a variety of sources but for a good range of plastic kits in general and 1/72 figures in particular, you can’t go too far wrong with Hannant’s.