Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Hayfoot! Strawfoot! Hayfoot! Strawfoot... Sub-Roman Levy Troops

From the sublime, we now come to the ridiculous. Arthur's levy troops, in complete contrast to his elite companions. What a bloody rabble!

There's an old legend that in days of yore, when confronted with an influx of recruits so gormless they didn't even know their left from their right, military instructors would teach them to march by tying bunches of straw to the recruits' right ankles, bunches of hay to their left ankles and roaring out a cadence of "Hayfoot! Strawfoot! Hayfoot! Strawfoot! Hayfoot! Strawfoot!" If ever there was a set of candidates for this approach I think we have them here.

 What a rabble!

These are obviously Gripping Beast's long-awaited Dark Ages Infantry, as reviewed here. Many of these have West Wind replacement heads. The faces, both from Gripping Beast and West Wind are really full of character. I've tried to make the troops look reasonably random in terms of the colours of their clothing (the word uniform is totally inappropriate!) whilst keeping a fairly limited palette. The shading on the clothes is by inkwash. I'm in two minds whether this has worked as well as I would like.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear...

In a lot of games, the temptation is to use low-grade troops like this to mop up high quality enemy units, to make life a bit simpler for your own good troops. Dux Brit punishes this, as the British player needs these yokels to survive and go back to farm to feed the rest of your army!

Likely looking specimens!

Here they are again, drawn up in shieldwall. I don't know what effect these men will have on Aelle, but by the Goddess, they frighten me!

Bedivere manages to achieve some sort of order.

Merry meet again!


  1. Great job on these. Levy are my favorites. As long as you don't expect anything, they are bound to pleasantly surprise you.

  2. You never expect levy to do anything useful, so when they do it's a surprise but if they don't you say 'never mind, they're only levies'.
    Good to see some of the new GB plastics painted up, haven't seen any so far.

  3. Really nice Mitch! Did exactly the same thing with the plastic GB figures. I did throw in a few of the unarmoured Musketeer ones to get even more variety. Some of those have Pannonian caps which look nice in a levy unit.

    BTW if you replace the GB heads with helmeted West Wind ones you can even easily make up Milites ( warriors) for Dux B.
    I'm going to give these oval shields to reflect their 'higher' status'