Saturday 18 December 2021

Fantastic Battles army showcase - The Bacchae

The Bacchae are an army I have long wanted, but never had to opportunity to build. The flexibility of Fantastic Battles almost feels like it was designed to facilitate just such an army. Themed around the thiasos, or procession of Dionysos, this force has drawn it's inspiration from the broad palette of ancient literary and visual sources. I kept the units as wild as possible (no hoplites etc) without it becoming a bland swathe of brown as I wanted it to have a timeless feel, so it would feel just as natural fighting against Trojans, or an army of medieval knights.

The army uses berserk as a racial trope to represent the intoxicating leadership of Bakchos. They were trialled with the stimulants trait as a racial trope, but I find it easier to remember who can do what this way! 

The characters in the army are an exotic bunch. From left to right: a company of dryad magic-users (entangle); Pan, a magic-user (curse); Bakchos/Dionysos, the mage-lord (confusion); and two captains, Papposilenos (a drillmaster) and Eros.

The core of the army are the satyrs, irregular companies with mixed weapons, able to navigate any wilderness.

If the core of the army are the satyrs, the maenads are its heart, sole, and crushing hammer. The maenads have both stimulants and heavy weapons to represent their frenzied state.

The centaurs provide a mobile unit of archers to support the infantry units, and can still handle themselves in a melee.

Bakchos' leopards are stealthy hunters to be used to harass flanks and get through difficult terrain.

The most least-traditional unit in the army are the Indian yakshi maidan guard - rationalised as yakshi and Dionysos appear together in Gandharan art. Only a small unit, they provide a reliable reserve to plug gaps or take advantage of exposed enemy flanks.

Another Indian-derived unit, the elephant provides some a bit of punch with its furious charge and heavy weapons.

The swift flank guards are erotes driving goat chariots. Because everyone needs erotes driving goat chariots!?