Lighting up their little faces - in a wrong sort of way

Targaryans. What can you say? A sort of Mongol/Hunnic horde mixed with Greek Hoplites and mercenary Catalan Companies with Dragons and a touch of glamourous insanity for flavour.

Late starters to ASOIAF but apparently quite good in game turns I recently painted up some of the recent Targ sculpts so thought I'd do a quick canter through the varied units that have recently crossed the blazing steppe which is my painting desk. These may not be ALL the available units as I am limited to what comes to me to work on.

First up is Daenarys in her horse princess iteration, dressed in skins and heading out determinedly to somewhere. This was a really hard mini to paint and this was about the third version before i was happy. Not sure why it was so difficult.

And here she is as Mother of Dragons. Another figure which was not easy. I gave her the old side eyes to make her look as if she doesnt trust what is being said to her as well as so I could put her next to a dragon and she would be looking at it as if it were a naughty pet.

As here with Viserion ...

The dragons supplied in the mother of dragons box are all good but do require filling along the shoulders to avoid unsightly 'Dragon crack'. Below are Rhaegal in green and Drogon working a black/red combo.

Rhaegal has the look of a happy puppy about him.

Team Dragon. You get a good idea of the scale here and these are the infant dragons I believe.

So onto the Mongols and their enormous Eurasian empire that I know almost nothing about. It seems to have started when Ghengis Khan united a number of khanates in the area of Mongolia in 1206 and sent them off a-conquering with a ruthless overwhelming energy. By 1227 The Mongol Empire (called the Yuan Dynasty in China) stretched from the Caspian to the pacific and along the northern borders of India and Persia. By the 1260s they had reached Europe small numbers being driven off from Vienna! With the deaths of various great Khans the Empire fell apart into 4 sections, The Golden Horde in the west, The Ilkhanids in the area of Persia. The Yuan in China and the Chagatai - never heard of these boys - in the middle bit. By the 1300s the age of expansion was pretty much done and the fierce Mongols fell to the fate of 'barbarian invaders' everywhere being subsumed by the more advanced cultures that they conquered. There are worse fates...

Of course the Mongols were not the only steppe based warriors that the Dothraki might be based on. The Huns of Attilla fame, the Hsung-Nu in the East and a host of lesser Scythian type horse warriors could be the models

Like the Mongols etc the Dothraki are horse warriors operating in clans out on the steppe. Our Ghenghis is of course Drogo the horse lord. Here wielding a strange sword and a head. Not a normal set of weapons.

In Steppe horseman armies there are historically two types of horsemen, light horse archers and more heavily armed "shock" type. Usually hordes of the first and very few of the latter.

The role of the first was to harass the enemy with endless "Parthian Shots" riding into bow range then riding swiftly out again having loosed a few arrows. Each time forcing the enemy to halt and cover up, maybe killing or wounding a few until gaps appeared and the enemy were worn down.

At this point a more determined attack could be launched at the weakened enemy by the "heavier" cavalry.

In the Dothraki these appear to be defined by age/experience groups as much as by equipment, with the Screamers above being rash impetuous lights while the Veterans being the steadier more skilled cavalry

None of them seem particularly well armoured and thus liable to come off badly against more western style knights as represented by the only heavy cavalryman in the army - and to be honest he has cast aside his panoply.

The solid core of the army is made up of the unsullied who are clearly Hoplite type infantry of the Spartan persuasion, drilled and fearless. They are classic spearmen of the type used for centuries. I chose to paint them in bronze armour as by the time that iron armour came into common usage the days of the Hoplite were largely over having been replaced by the Legionary.

Hoplite armies were great on open ground but soon realised they were weak against Light infantry missile troops with whom they could never get to grips so as in ancient times Daenarys has recourse to mercenaries to fill the roles that the unsullied and the Dothraki cant, Light infantry missile troops and what the Greeks called Peltastoi. Peltasts were a sort of medium infantry who could operate in open order and were excellent in broken ground and against light infantry - able to chase, catch and kill them before they damaged the Hoplites.

Enter the Stormcrows providing Missile punch and a flexible infantry.

Mercenary companies have existed for millennia, famous examples being the Shardana of Phaeronic Egypt, the Persians' Greek mercenaries, the Catalan companies of the Middle Ages and of course the Landsknechts and Swiss of the Italian wars to name but a few.

As I said at the beginning these are only the units that have passed across my desk, I am aware of unsullied swordsmen for example but have not seen them in the plastic. Hopefully I will at some point in the future and will update when I do.