Sunday, 15 November 2015

Dacia The Roman Wars, Volume One, Sarmizegetusa- Radu Oltean

It was back in the summer of 2014 that I saw mention of this relatively new book from Radu Oltean, and given my start into putting together a Dacian Wars collection of figures was inspired to drop Radu an email to order up a personally autographed copy direct from the man himself.

I mentioned my receipt of the book back in August last year together with my early work on the figure collection.

With plans for next years projects worked out and the need to get the Dacian War collection back on track I have been doing a bit of reading including the excellent Hail Caesar campaign/scenario book which has formed the basis of my collection as laid out below. In addition I picked up a copy of Ancient Warfare Magazine covering the subject and this formed the core of my reading whilst in Italy.

The book that has really inspired my thoughts has to be Radu's which now having had a good read I thought I would share my thoughts.

This book is a really great scene setter for those who want to get a good grounding in the subject and I found the style informative and interesting mixed with copious illustration, colour photographs of the topography today and excellent maps detailing what is known based on the texts and archaeology.

The book starts at the beginning looking at the establishment of the tribes that composed the grouping that the Romans knew as Dacians and the drivers at play that caused them to become a huge thorn in the new Empire's side forcing them to move over the Danube to deal with the problem once and for all.

There are great chapters looking at the archaeology to help fill in the gaps from what is left out in the written records that have survived and the descriptions of the defences and fortresses together with the fighting for them are brought to life with the fantastic vivid artwork - the cover artwork above should give you a good idea of what to expect.

I have seen Trajan's column several times, most recently on my trip to Rome last year and I wish I had had this book with me when I did as the explanations and descriptions of the work gives great insight to the activities portrayed.

If you have an interest in the Dacian Wars, this book is a great read and totally inspiring for the wargamer planning to put a collection of figures together; and now it is easy to pick up a copy from Karwansaray on the link above.

This year has been very much about bringing the Talavera collection to a conclusion which I aim to finish mid 2016, adding specific units in time to look at other Peninsular War campaigns. So with that plan set up, the Dacian War project had to take a back seat, ably supported by Tom who put together several units before his gap year.

So with a view to getting the Dacian Wars back on track second half next year I have put the rest of the collection together which now stands at the following:

1 x Praetorian Legionary Cohort x 20 figures
6 x Legionary Cohorts x 20  - 5 painted
6 x Auxiliary Infantry x 24 - 3 painted
2 x Foedarati Warbands x 40
4 x Auxiliary Archers x 8
2 x Slingers x 8
3 x Scorpion - 1 painted
2 x Numidian Light Cavalry x 10
2 x Auxiliary Cavalry x 10
1 x Praetorian Cavalry x 10

Balance to get
1 x German Light Cavalry x 10
2 x Onager
1 x Ballistae
Some Baggage units

1 x Noble Warband x 40
12 x Warband x 40
4 x Javelin Skirmishers x 8
4 x Archers x 8
1 x Slingers x 8
2 x Scorpio
6 x Cataphracts x 8
6 x Horse Archers x 6
1 x Light Cavalry x 6

2 x German Light Cavalry x 10
Some Baggage units

As you can see Tom and I have made a good start on the Romans and I will look to get that collection finished off before diving into the Dacian and Sarmatians, although the Cataphracts are rather enticing - resist, resist!!

So plenty of stuff to come in the foreseeable.

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