Sunday, May 26, 2024

Picts Revisited

I took a bit of a break last week  (or maybe two weeks ago...? or THREE!?) to reorganize and rebase my small force of Picts. 

Some time ago I picked up a lot of Foundry Picts. I can't for the life of me remember where...? Ebay...? Maybe from Bob...? Or someone else...? I don't know... At some point later I picked up a few Black Tree Design Picts when I was placing an order with them. The only other post with the Picts label (at the time I started writing this) is from nearly a decade ago... Searching further back I found some pics from about 15 years ago (I should probably add the Picts label to THOSE posts!) 

Originally the plan had been to build a De Bellis Antiquitatis/Hordes of the Things army with them and have a few spares left over to base singly for assorted skirmish games or role-playing games (which was what I did with most things around that time). You can see the elements I did get around to completing in the Ancient Rome, Enemies, Allies and Gladiators Gallery.

Thought I never finished painting the entire Pictish army, I did use the elements I'd painted with a few of the Dark Age Irish in many Hordes of the Things games as "Generic Celtish Warrior" armies.

I have not played DBA or HotT for some time and, though I still like those games, figure I'm more likely to play Lion Rampant or Dragon Rampant and have slowly been rebasing a lot of the older HotT armies to use with Dragon Rampant (or Song of Blades and Heroes or any role-playing game...). There are some forces I'll keep based for DBA - Dark Ages armies, Greeks, and Roman, Enemies and Allies, and the Diadochi (if I EVER get to painting them!?) mostly because I could run campaigns with them - which would be a LOT of fun! 

I started this early last year with Orcs Revisited and  Dwarves Revisited (and Distractions - Lord of the Rings)

I think this is the first of the historical DBA forces I've rebased. I was back and forth about whether to base on wooden discs or plastic bases. Generally I've been doing all the fantasy forces on plastic - to match with the many, many GW miniatures I have that are all on plastic bases. And these being armed with swords and spears - like other fantasy forces... I thought I might do these on plastic... the most likely opponents for them will likely be fantasy armies... but I can't do EVERYTHING on plastic as that would get silly expensive (the wooden discs are, like, 1/4 the cost of plastic bases, and I've bought a lot of them... so.. eventually I went with the wooden discs...)

All the Picts. 

(Still a bit to paint) 

Mostly I've had Lion Rampant/Dragon Rampant in mind while reorganizing these. Here is how I think they will likely be fielded

  • 3x Light Foot/Infantry (12)  @3 = 9
  • 2x Scouts/Skirmishers (6) @2 = 4
  • 1x Light Riders/Cavalry (6) @4 = 4
  • 1x Belicose Foot/Warrior Infantry (12) @4 = 4

Total = 21 Army Points

Here's what's done so far:

All the PAINTED Picts

(about 15AP of the stuff above) 

Light Riders - the leader Leader's unit. I might change these to Heavy Riders/Cavalry... They don't really have the armour to justify calling them "Heavy" or "Elite" Riders/Cavalry... but they also lack the missile weapons that "Light" Riders/Cavalry should have (other than the three in the back with javelins).

I do have an extra rider that at one point had a flag... I'm not sure what happened to the flag... At SOME point I may get around to making a new one and then this rider could be substituted in for one of the others... 

The core of the force - three units of Light Foot/Infantry (only one of which is currently painted). When initially organizing them I thought the three of them would be 12 Army Points... alas they are only nine... so I have a few more Army Points of stuff to come up with!?

Two units of Skirmishers/Scouts. 

I could have made it ONE unit of twelve Archers/Light Missile troops... but I don't think the Picts tended to use massed missile troops and would more likely have used skirmishers... (I could be wrong, I'm no expert on Pict warfare tactics!) 

Another option could be to take these and mix them into the Light Foot units so I end up with four units of light foot and give them the light Missiles/Javelin upgrade which gives them a limited ranged attack... that would be four units at 4 Army Points and my total would then be 24...? I kind of like the idea of separate skirmishers and blocks of light infantry. 

Belicose Foot/Warrior Infantry. 

Tactically I imagine the Bellicose Foot/Warrior Infantry would be set up out front of the army and just charge straight into the enemy to disrupt their lines while the light infantry behind move up to seize important ground and then hold it. The Skirmishers/Scouts would fan out and attack/harass the enemy from the flanks! The cavalry would be the fire brigade set up rather centrally to move up to attack the enemy where the pict line was having trouble...? I have no idea if that would work. 

I have a few spare infantry. I figured I could pull the sword armed figures out and call them Elite Foot/Infantry...? At least in the fantastical games played with Dragon Rampant... They could be a small unit of bad ass warrior elites. Maybe this could be a dismounted version of the Riders (which I could call Elites as well...?) 

I also have a Chariot... I'm not sure if this was, specifically, a Pict chariot or just a generic celt one that some how made it into the force...? 

I also have a warrior Priestess. Maybe something crazy could be built around her. An Elite foot infantry unit with some of the aforementioned spares...? 

And then there is THIS guy... maybe he could be a Single Model Unit of Elite Riders in Dragon Rampant and be some sort of Heroic General...?

Conveniently it all fits into ONE DRAWER in my game room. So, no room for MORE! Just need to finish up the two units of light foot and the handful of others... 

Still a fair bit to be painted before they could be fielded (unless I did something ridiculous in Dragon Rampant and brought in the Hero General and/or Pirestess as single model elite units, or something)... (28 foot miniatures, to be precise) Not sure when I'm going to get to that? I've only painted 82 this year so far... Also, I haven't really been playing Dragon Rampant lately, haven't for a while and don't have any immediate plans to do so... Mind you, I think these would be a little easier and quicker to paint...? Maybe if I got them done I'd get motivated to play...? And there are a group of guys in town that are very interested in playing miniatures agnostic games (because they HATE Games Workshop now). 

If I continue with this, I should really finish rebasing all the Isengard Orcs - because that would give me a full ready-to-play force for Dragon Rampant (and other games!) Honestly, though, I was hoping to get back to working on Warhammer Underworlds miniatures! (and I did!) This all probably came about because I hadn't played it for a few weeks and lost focus... 

I have Ancient Egyptian and Nubians that were initially meant for DBA armies that I think I'll rebase at some point as well... 


  1. Nice picts!
    The guy on the big horse, with the big sword, looks like a mini from the Celtos line. I still have a bunch of those minis (which I painted in the previous century), including an unfinished chariot (mostly because I thought the driver that came with it looked too boring and a bit depressed).

    1. Yes he is! I have a few other Celtos minis. Most of the humans I've put on Flagstone bases to use as a warband for something like Frostgrave about half of them are painted... But didn't feel like doing so for this guy, so he's been left in the Picts. I got all of them years ago when my FLGS was blowing out all of their Celtos and Void minis for $1(CAD!) per pack. I also have two dwarves, a handful of Undead things and a PILE of Orc-like-things.

  2. I like them. Tattoos are well done, bases look great... that silver surfer chariot needs work, but you knew that! Nice job (and I feel your pain on the rebasing....)

    1. Thanks!

      I've become pretty efficient with the rebasing... The pain is decided which ones to rebase and which to keep as DBA armies. Also, at this point, which to keep and which to try and figure out how to dispose of...

  3. You have pict an interesting army to rebase! They look excellent full of barbarian menace and splendour! I look forward to seeing them in action. Excellent work !
    P.s apologies for the dad joke

    1. Ha-ha! No apologies necessary.

      I look forward to seeing them in action as well... but I'm not going to hold my breath or anything...

  4. I just realized, I could field the painted models (in Dragon Rampant) as:
    1x Hero General (Elite Rider, Single Model Unit, Hatred) @7
    1x Light Foot/Infantry (12)  @3
    2x Scouts/Skirmishers (6) @2 = 4
    1x Light Riders/Cavalry (6) @4
    1x Belicose Foot/Warrior Infantry (12) @4
    1x Priestess (Scout, Single Model Unit)@2
    Total 24 Army Points

    Alternatively, I do have some ancient Germans that are individually based that they could team up with...

  5. Picts can also work as Dunlendings for a LotR game, I think.

    1. Cool! I don't know that much about the LOTR game (or the setting for that matter, as I never finished reading all of the books!), so I will take your word for it! Thanks!
      Who would they fight against? Rohan or Isengard? (those are the two factions I have enough for a battle!)
      (I guess I could google that myself...)

    2. Ah, looked it up... "Bitter foes of the Rohirrim"... so... ONCE I get the rest of the Rohirrim painted up, they have an additional enemy!

    3. In the books Dunlendings were old enemies of Rohan, and because of that they became allies of Isengard. In the films, if I remember correctly, there is only one scene where Dunlendings showed up (maybe only in extended edition) - there Saruman was persuading them to raid Rohan. So both "Dunlendings vs Rohan" and "Dunlendings + Isengard vs Rohan" are completely canon.
      But there are some hints in the books that there were some tensions between Isengard and Dunlendings and it isn't completely impossible (although not mentioned directly) that Saruman used his army to conquer some Dunlending tribes before attacking Rohan. And after the War of the Ring Dunland established peaceful relationships with Rohan and Gondor. So I'd say that both "Dunlendings vs Isengard" and even "Dunlendings + Rohan vs Isengard" (against some remnants of Saruman's army) are also plausible, if not completely canon.