Ok, so first up, there are no bears. But there are Samnites, and there are hoplites.
Being off work with the pox and having a lot of down time (child at school, wife at work), I've managed to get an awful lot (for me) painted recently. I didn't realise until this weekend when, with some good weather, I marshaled my freshly painted stuff together for varnishing. It turns out that I am now the proud general of ten more Hail Caesar units than I was a couple of weeks ago. Considering my initial plan was to collect an army of 12 units, this has been quite a good run (the total is now 40 units and eight commanders...).
Among the new units have been Thracian mercenaries, more Taurus highlanders, more Arab light cavalry and the like, for the Seleukid army. I may also have ordered another unit of elephants and two more units of heavy cavalry from Baccus.... but these have not arrived yet so wont get done before I return to work next week.
However, a few of the new units have been bought and painted with the principal aim of being able to convert my Seleukids into the army of Pyrrhos of Epeiros during his sojourn in Magna Graecia (280-275 BC). As most of my opponents are Romans and Carthaginians, this will make for a nice little historical match up against both.
The first crossover unit is a third phalanx of phalangites. I painted these as Leukaspides (white-shields). Leukaspides appear in Antigonid Macedonian armies but are not specifically mentioned for the Seleukids. That said, it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that one of the Seleukid phalanxes were equipped with white shields. There is also a reference to the Tarantine phalanx trained by Pyrrhos as having white shields, so the unit will double as a Tarantine levy phalanx. I also painted up a second unit of Tarantine light horse. Again, these can serve with Pyrrhos in the West, or my brave Seleukids out East.
The real surprise for me was the joy that I got out of the Baccus Samnites. I bought one pack so that I would be able to field some Oscan light infantry in the Pyrrhic army. I ended up forming these into four regular sized units and, to date, these are the only lads who wont really be able to find service in the East with my Seleukids.
I went with simple two colour paint schemes with these units, keeping dark red as the central colour for all. Together with the bronze helmets, armour and shield fittings, I think the simple colour scheme worked a treat. After the Baccus Mahdists (I use them as Hellenistic Arabs), I think the Baccus Samnites are my favourite 6mm sculpts! There are six different poses/armour combinations including a standard bearer and leader-type. They are really dynamic and take the paint very well (although one of the advancing sculpts does suffer from weak ankles).
At present I can field a tidy little 500 point, four division, Pyrrhic army which I don't think anyone could complain about. The only thing I'm not super keen on is that a number of banners in the army have Seleukid anchors painted on them, but I'm certainly not about the change that now.
Pyrrhos and the main cavalry, companions, Thessalians, and two units of Tarantine lights.
The other flanking division, Oscan horse, elephants and hillmen.
The Oscan infantry.
The heavy infantry, Cretan archers and slingers out front, phalanxes in the main line including Tarantine Leukaspides and allied/subject Greek hoplites.