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Friday, 7 December 2012

Spartan Cavalry

Here are a few photos of some Spartan cavalry units for my Spartan army of the Peloponnesian War and later. The figures are all Foundry. One unit is armoured and the other unarmoured, both are small units in Hail Caesar game terms, with the armoured deemed medium cavalry while the unarmoured are obviously light cavalry.

Thucydides in his description (5.67) of the Spartan forces at the Battle of Mantinea in 418 BC mentions 'their cavalry being posted on the two wings'. A few years ago we actually refought this battle playing WAB and it resulted in an unlikely Argive, Athenian and allies victory! Apart from scouting and skirmishing, guarding the wings or protecting the flanks seems to have been the usual role for the cavalry in the Spartan army.

Xenophon  (Hellenika 6.4.10-11) in his description of the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC is particularly scathing of the Spartan cavalry:

...the Spartan cavalry at that time was in the very worst shape. This was because at Sparta only the wealthiest men raised horses, and when troops were called up, each man who was selected by his officers to serve in the cavalry would come to obtain his horse and whatever arms were given to him, and immediately go to the field. Most important of all was the fact that the men riding the horses were in terrible physical shape and utterly uninterested in wining glory.


  1. Great looking cavalry...and army!

    1. Thanks Phil...lots of Hoplites still to do!


  2. Nice to see these guys, good work on them


  3. cracking Mike,

    Must finish my Athenians...... so I can sort them out LOL


  4. Thanks Matt, too many projects not enough time...


  5. Great looking force you have there!


  6. Interesting facts on the Spartan cavalry and superb paintwork on the horse flesh.

  7. Thanks Pat, pity they're not that great on the table...


  8. Very nice, I like how some helot skirmishers at the front and you would have a nice Spartan mini-army.

    I like how one unit is armoured and the other one is not. Also impressive Immortal and Victrix units as well! I my-self also have some Peloposian stuff (Thebans, Athenians and Spartans)but at the moment I've got 5 Spartans and 15 Athenians out of 60 that I bought :/

    Also any chance of trying to mix Warlord's Phalangite heads with Victrix hoplites? I've got some Phalangites myself and I was going to buy Victrix's Athenians but half of the heads are Corinthian helmets so are half of the box would be useless to me unless I find extra heads.

  9. Thanks Piotr, I've still got quite a few units to do, planning on separate Spartan, Athenian and Theban armies.

    You should be able to but you don't get any spare heads with the Victrix sets, The Mercenary Hoplites are good for later types.