Legions Ancients - Pre-Colombiana.
Legiones antiquitata is a game where the historical ancients armies we all know and love exist in a world where timelines have slipped and the mythic has seeped into reality. In less flowery prose it has ancients and fantasy in the same army. There are currently 15 army lists but more will be added as 3d stls become available, one massive gap being India. Rules, lists etc for beta testing of Legions are available here https://www.firstcommissionpainting.co.uk/general-clean
In this blog I will look at the armies currently representing the ancient Pre-Colombian Americas. There are currently just two....an Amerindian for North America and a Warriors of the sun for Central America. First up are the Warriors of the sun or more prosaically Aztecy types! I would love to include an Inca type for South America but currently figure availability makes this unrewarding..
Most of the miniatures here are from a kickstarter by Red Copper Miniatures back in 2022 which provided everything you would need and more for Aztecs. Above you can see some of the famous Eagle Knights who were professional warriors who had.captured for sacrifice a certain number of enemies. The Red Copper minis shown capture the look perfectly as they wield their obsidian weapons. For a long time these flintlike weapons were seen as rather inferior but newer research has shown the devastation a strike with these can cause. There are now medical instrument companies who provide surgeons with flint/obsidian operating tools as they are sharper and keep their edge better than steel.
This chieftain represents Moctezuma, the emperor of the Aztecs at the time of the Spanish conquest. He is the general in my Legions army equally able to both fight in melee and to use his command 3 ability to order three nearby units to take a free move.
Jaguar Knights were also professionals and once again RCM has captured them well. I am less convinced by my leopard skin though which makes them look a bit like girls at an 80s disco. But with decapitated heads..
Less headhuntery looking are these Otomi warriors in green. I am unsure as to whether these are the suitwearing Aztec veterans shown on the Mendoza codex or the mercenary guys hired by the Aztecs or Aztecs just named after the Otomi mercenaries...However in Legions they are the mercenaries who come with the ever useful Skirmish and Ambush attributes, allowing them to deploy hidden anywhere outside the opponents deployment zone but also usefully move and fight normally in cover.
A nice vignette here with an Aztec priest and Altar. Aztec warfare had as a main motivator the capture of prisoners for sacrifice to the gods. Not sure of all the theological ins and outs but long story short , bit harsh. The Aztec army in legion benefits from this though as their army special rule means that when they kill an enemy troop unit they get a blood token which entitles them to 'sacrifice' the token in exchange for a reroll when they need it
Not all Aztec warriors were suit wearers though, these guys were the rank and file armed with spears and shield or macuahuitl clubs with the same obsidian blades. The quilted armour filled with cotton is called a ichcahuipilli and was apparently surprisingly effective against cutting weapons and arrows but not at all against thrusting weapons such as the Spanish employed. This is unsurprising as it developed as a response to weapons available in their universe not against alien technology.
Bows and slings were used by the Aztecs for missle fire, presumably to incapacitate as much as kill with the primary objective being captives. In Legions they are 4 dice weapons with a range of 4 hexes which is at the low end of effective missile weapons, but the archers do have skirmish which lets them move through and fire from cover with no disadvantage so they are mobile and hard to kill.
The Aztecs also have access to a range of jungle and prehistoric creatures from a pair of Raptors to a single T-rex! Pterosaurs provide a bit of objective grabbing mobility as well. My Raptors are from Printmyminis and pterosaur by epic miniatures. Both sets being well detailed stls that printed nicely. The Raptors are point and shoot weapons that start in ambush and charge the first enemy monster they see as they have the critical monsters attribute doing 2 hits on 5's and 6's. However once out they die quite quickly so glass dinosaurs!
Pterasaurs by epic miniatures. In retrospect I should have printed them at maybe 75% as they are quite big considering they are not combat monsters in the rules. They are more objective grabbers but look significantly more intimidating! These were quite early in my printing experience and could be printed much better by someone more skilled. On one wing you can see the error lines quite clearly. However as they are for my personal use I will not be redoing them!!
That is where I am at with the Aztecs currently however I have a Stegosaur with a howdah full of archers on the painting table and already have some Wargames Foundry Conquistador allies painted however these were painted 25 years ago and are not photo worthy at the present!
The second of my Pre-Colombian armies is this Amerindian army of North America. As with all the armies in Legions it is a historical and geographical travesty as it includes troop types from across the continent in one list. So here we can have an army combining Woodland, Plains and Southwestern troop types. In part this is due to the lack of miniatures as few manufacturers are making Amerindians without guns. It's almost like nobody is interested in the Amerindians until they become adversaries to the White Man and then are worthy of interest. This is reflected in the paucity of miniatures I have almost all being Wargames Foundry miniatures chosen for not having rifles!
However it is also due to the wish to make interesting and competitive armies within the Legions system allowing Apache skirmishers to operate alongside solid Woodland infantry and mobile Plains cavalry.
This chap represents my general on foot. His clout thing is based on a tea towel we have at home but which looks better on him.
The Bowmen are virtually identical to the Aztec bow being at the low end of firepower but benefiting from Skirmish making them mobile and hard to squash. Firing from any type of cover with no disadvantage they will evade if attacked making most attackers need 6's to hit them.
All these are the aforementioned Wargames Foundry minis which I acquired over 20 years ago and which sat unloved in the attic/loft until I realised I could use them by discarding the gun armed ones.
Mounted Plains Indians are a key part of the army as not only can they pass easily through terrain being light they also have skilled 1 bow letting them reroll 1's and additionally have Hit and run allowing them to move after shooting or fighting. This makes them annoying but at least they cannot shoot from cover like their infantry equivalents. They do however have evade which helps their survivability in melee which isn't their strong-point but will fall easily to decent archers.
In a break with the rest of the army the Medicine man is a Wild West Exodus miniature as is the Totem pole. Almost all 'shamans' in Legions are either magician 5 or Magician 3 meaning they either Know 5 spells chosen pregame and cast them on 5 dice or they know/cast 3 spells on 3 dice. Paying for a totem which most but not all armies have access to lets a magician reroll misses on casting. It thus increases the success rate significantly. In the Aztec army the sacrificial alter is the totem. Base size is irrelevant as long as it fits inside a hex!
Lord of the print supplied the stl for this Wendigo which is part of the supernatural support for the Amerindians. It can be part of the starting army list or be a difficult summons for the Medicine man. Either way it has a powerful Lure spell and is critical heroes so useful for taking out any enemy hero or just pulling a troll like dumb-ass willpower monster into kill range
More support comes from the Thunder Eagle which unsurprisingly has a 4 dice fireball attack as well as Swoop. Swoop allows it to attack a non massive enemy and if a damage is caused it lifts the enemy into the air and drops it within 2 hexes for up to 3 more damage. Useful for flying in and taking control of an objective. Once there it can flame away happily.
Adlet werewolves again from WWX are a great summon as they are fast, rash and skilled 1 which means they will generally charge the nearest target and reroll misses on its first attack. Only 2 allowed but good for damaging high value targets.
The problem with developing this army is just the lack of stls for different Pre- Colombian Amerindian tribes.for example Woodland Indians and those of the Southwest such as Navajo or Apache. Hopefully this will improve soon.