Paul Leach Miniature Wargames 287 March 2007
WAB scenario covering the Byzantine campaign of John Aplakes against Khan Krum's Bulgar army.
The Late Roman Art of War: Constantine the Great
IIkka Syvanne Slingshot 247 July 2006
An excellent overview of the campaigns, strategy and tactics of Constantine the Great including his Balkan campaigns based on the authors doctoral dissertation.
Life & Battles of Janos Hunyadi
Matthew Haywood Slingshot 244 January 2006
This is Part 2 of the series (Part 1 March 05) that looks at the battles of the Hungarian warlord. It covers the conflicts from 1444 to 1456 including the Varna crusade and the Battle of Belgrade. Hunyadi inflicted more defeats on the Ottomans than any other previous Christian commander.
The Prince and the Emperor
Thomas Zacharis and Greg Maynard Military History August 2004
A short article on the campaign and siege of Dorystolon (Silistria) 971. Prince Svyatoslav of Kiev had, in a short period, expanded his domains to the Danube. The new Byzantine Emperor John Tzimisces had subdued the Bulgarian Tsar and concentrated his forces at Dorystolon facing a reduced Rus army with its strength dispersed into the Danubian garrisons. The siege was a mixture of investment and large scale sallies in which the Rus failed to breakout. Eventually Svyatoslav was forced to treat with the Emperor and abandon his Danubian dreams. He and his army were slaughtered by the Pechenegs on the journey home.
Kingdom in the Sun
Nick Hankins Medieval History August 2004
The first of a two part series on the other Norman conquest – Southern Italy and Sicily in the 11th Century. The Balkan interest is that these Norman states invaded the Byzantine Empire through present day Albania. The full story is probably best told by J.J. Norwich in his classic Normans in the South – but this is a well written and illustrated introduction.
Battle of Kosovo 1389
James Held Medieval History January 2004
Concise description of the battle and its place in Serbian folklore. Highlights the very limited and contradictory sources available.
Alexander the Great
Various Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy No.7
A range of articles in this Spanish wargames magazine featuring Alexander the Great. A detailed breakdown of the army lavishly illustrated with models and maps. Followed by a refight of Granicus, a period bibliography and details of figure manufacturers.
Xerxes Greek Campaign
Barry Porter Military History July 2005
General overview of Xerxes invasion of Greece in 480BC and the battle of Salamis.
CAMPAIGN OF JOHN TZIMISKES AGAINST THE RUS 969-71
Mike Reeves Slingshot 243 November 2005
Short article of the campaign that concluded at the Battle of Dorostolon in 971. Sets out the background to the campaign and how the Byzantines had to play off neighbouring states to maintain their position in the Balkans. Useful bibliography.
Invading Asia: The Macedonian Cavalry of Alexander the Great
Manousos Kambouris Slingshot 226 January 2003
A two part study of the development of Macedonian cavalry under Alexander the Great. starting with its organisation and origins this study looks at the key units, the Companions then the Scouts as well as their mounts.
The Evolution of Hellenistic Infantry
Luke Ueda-Sarson Slingshot 222 May 02
In this first part of this new series the author looks at the reforms of Iphikrates. He is credited with reforming the equipment of the hoplitesreplacing the large hoplite shield with the smaller pelta as well as lengthening the sword and spear.
Mehterhane: the origins of the military band
David Nicolle Osprey Military Journal Vol. 4/1
This article covers the history and instruments of the Ottoman Mehter band. A replica band performs daily today at the army museum in Istanbul.
Colour, Cues and Considerations: Hellenistic Military Dress
David Karunanithy Slingshot 220 Jan.02
A study of the terracota evidence for Hellenistic military dress and shields. The author looks at objects found in various sites and together with sketches draws conclusions on both the descriptions and colours of dress and shields.
Greek Military Cuisine
Nick Sekunda Osprey Military Journal Vol. 4/1
The military cuisine of the ancient Greeks is described in this article together with a few recipes. As tomatoes, potatos, oranges and lemons had yet to arrive in Greece, barley and fish (mostly salted) was the staple food.
The Gothic Art of War
M. Fredholm von Essen Slingshot 219 November 2001
A detailed study of the organisation and battle tactics of the Goths from the earliest recorded appearance until Theoderic the Great. This article looks at organisation, command and control, morale as well as the role of infantry and cavalry.
The Battle of Versinikia 813
Steven Neate Slingshot 218 September 2001
A brief description of this battle between the Emperor Michael I and Khan Krum in 813. Despite outnumbering the Bulgars by possibly two to one, the Byzantine left wing's initially successful attack was not supported leading to defeat and abdication for Michael. The article provides a good description of both armies and army lists for several wargame rule systems.
The Alexandrovo Tomb and other Recent Discoveries
Christopher Webber Slingshot 216 July 2001
This article describes archaeological discoveries at the beehive tomb at Alexandrovo (near Haskovo in Bulgaria) together with other finds at Perperek and Starosel. In particular they appear to show that Thracian nobles would have worm similar costumes to the Greeks and Macedonians. Photographs from the tomb can be viewed at www.the-thracians.com/alexandrovo_tomb.htm
Christopher Webber Wargames Illustrated August 01
A concise description of the Thracians covering army organisation, tactics and how to paint miniature figures of them. The article concludes with an army list for Warhammer Ancient battles rules system.
Khan Krum and Byzantium
M J Henderson Miniature Wargames June 2001
Potted history of the foundation of Bulgaria and the establishment of an empire under Khan Krum in 808. A brief description of the armies with gaming and figure availability.
Macedonian Unit Organisations under Alexander
Luke Ueda-Sarson Slingshot 214 March 2001
The author describes the organisation of Macedonian infantry phalanxes and discusses the difference between the theoretical organisation and the likely reality on campaign. He also concludes that infantry regiments were probably 2,000 strong and not the 1500 usually stated which therefore means that Alexander's infantry force was larger than commonly thought.
The Thracian Sarissa
Duncan Head Slingshot 214 March 2001
This article outlines the evidence for the Thracian use of the Sarissa as either an infantry pike or cavalry lance or possibly both.
Of Ox-Hide Helmets and Three-Ply Armour
David Karunanithy Slingshot 213 January 01
This study looks at the armour and equipment of Macedonian phalangites as described in the Roman history of Cassius Dio (164-235AD). The author argues that Dio's description of military equipment details should not be distorted by bias. He concludes that the cuirass may actually have been composed of three layers of a sturdy buckram material, with padding between each layer. The standard helmet issued to rank and file pikemen was probably made of ox-hide with metal being reserved for file leaders.
Battle of Pharsalus
Jonathan Jordan Military History February 2001
A summary of the Roman civil war campaign which resulted in the Battle at Pharsalus (modern day Fersala) between Julius Caesar and Pompey in 48BC.
Greek Swords and Swordmanship
Nick Sekunda Osprey Military Journal Vol.3/1
A description of the swords carried by Greek Hoplites and their use in battle. Well illustrated.
Hoplite Shield Devices
Nick Sekunda Osprey Military Journal Vol.2/5
A useful and well illustrated description of hoplite shield devices in Ancient greece during the 6th and 5th centuries BC. Very helpful for those new Foundry Greeks.
The Siege of Constantinople
Ben Yates Miniature Wargames 207 August 2000
Two part narrative description of the final siege in 1453.
The World of the Greeks
Adrian Garbett Wargames Illustrated 155 August 2000
Concise overview of the ancient Greeks to go with Foundry's latest range. Most useful for the painting guide for Spartan and Athenian armies.
"Like Beasts of Prey" - Thrace and the Thracians
Christopher Webber Slingshot Jan 2000
First of a multi-part series on the Thracians. The first part covers the geography, climate and vegetation of ancient thrace correcting some of the errors in current wargame army lists. The second part deals with cloak designs, caps and Pelte shield designs including illustrations. Excellent resource which includes a helpful bibliography. Further details on the Thracians can be accessed on the website www.sydpcug.org.au/thrace.htm.
The Lack of a Western Military Response to the Ottoman Invasions
Kelly DeVries Journal of Military History July 1999
The author looks at the reasons for the lack of a western response between the battles of Nicopolis (1396) to Mohacs (1526). She identifies three main reasons. The Christian powers were too busy fighting amongst themselves, they were too frightened of Ottoman military power and the Hungarians were too successful in resisting further Ottoman advances. She concludes that there was an element of all three reasons but that "at least for the short term, the Hungarians were doing a fine job of keeping the Turks out of the rest of Europe".
Stephen Allen Practical Wargamer 1999 Yearbook
A brief article on the destruction of the Eastern Roman army of the Emperor Valens by the Goths on 9 August 378. The author sets out the background to the battle followed by a description of the armies and the combat itself. There are suggestions for wargaming the battle and a DBA army list.
Kosovo Polje 1389
David Collins Osprey Military Journal Vol. 1/1
A topical challenge to many of the popular myths surrounding this battle. The author describes the development of the Serbian Empire and the advance of the Ottoman Turks into the Balkans. What is known about the actual battle is reproduced with prints from relevant Osprey titles.
Hoplites and Phalangites + Officers in Classical Greek Armies
Peter Hall and David Harthen Slingshot July 1999
Two stimulating articles on the organisation of ancient Greek armies. The first looks at why Philip of Macedon did not adopt the Hoplite as the backbone of his infantry force. Peter Hall argues that Philip's Phalangites came from a similar supported middle class as the city state Hoplite. Challenging the commonly held view that they were a class of small farmers.
David Harten argues that classical Greek armies (other than Sparta) did have officers below the rank of Strategos. His case rests primarily on Athenian sources and Xenophon to argue that the Greek hoplite phalanx could not have operated without junior officers.
For Ottoman DBM players there is also a helpful article by Richard Bodley Scott on using a 500 point army in competition wargames.
Macedonian Military Costume
Duncan Head Slingshot 201 January 1999
This article looks at Macedonian military costume on the Agios Athanasios tomb painting. This aristocratic tomb is near Thessaloniki and was excavated in 1994. It dates from the last quarter of the 4th Century BC and includes a number of paintings of soldiers during the period of Alexander's 'Successors'. The article describes the paintings in detail and debates the question of Macedonian 'regimental' uniforms.
Into the Byzantine Vacuum
Stephen Ryan Practical Wargamer Vol. 12/5 1998
A campaign scenario for a Byzantine power struggle in the period from the beginning of the 9th century to the end of the 11th century. The article gives a brief breakdown of the main units and personalities as well as a fictitious alternative. Nice colour plate of a Byzantine Tagmatic cavalryman in 840AD.
Phalanx Organisation under Philip and Alexander
Peter Hall. Slingshot No.194 November 1997
This article considers the origins and use of Macedonian heavy infantry as developed by Philip and refined by Alexander the Great. It is argued that the phalanx was more flexible than sometimes imagined although not without its deficiencies. It was this flexibility together with effective support from light troops and cavalry which gave it an edge over its hoplite opponents.
The Othismos: The Nature of Hoplite Battle
A.K.Goldsworthy. War in History Vol. 4, No. 1
The author challenges the orthodox view of the hoplite phalanx battle as a gigantic shoving match. He argues that the deep formations had more to do with control during manoevre than impact. The othismos therefore was a term used to describe a type of stubborn determined fighting with the massed formation providing mutual support. Not a human battering ram.
The Battle for Thrace
Paul Browne. Slingshot July 1997
A well thought out DBM mini-campaign based on the events of 969AD in Thrace. The key players are the Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus Phocas, John Tzimisces Strategos of Thrace, Kende Khan of the Magyars and Price Svyatoslav of Kiev-Rus.In the same issue is an interesting history of the Catalan company which ravaged most of Thrace in the early 14th Century.
Send mail to
firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or comments about this web site.