Military History |
New World | Mexico
Steven's Aztec Army
Posted 23 Apr 2010 at 21:29
I picked up a small Aztec army on ebay. I didn't know the figure manufacturer but Peter Feinler kindly pointed out they are Naismith Design available from Navwar. They are compatible with Essex and Gladiator although a tad more slight that either, and a lot smaller than Falcon. I've also mixed in three Essex figures that I had - two painted by John Mclennan and one by me.
The army was based for DBA/DBM so I rebased, and reflocked, it for Field of Glory. What were blades and hordes in DBM become Medium Infantry in FOG. I tried to get as many complete bases as possible, and as many complete FOG units as possible, with the figures available. This wasn't many. I only got two and a bit units.
The figures are nicely painted but the painter has gone a bit overboard on the shields. Don't get me wrong, they are painted very nicely, but he has made inappropriate match ups between shield designs and types of warriors. I'll mention a few examples with specific troop types.
The army came with two guys with back banners so I made these the centre piece for two command stands. I can't match the banners to any Aztec types that I know of, but they look alright. I made a slight mistake putting mere two captive warrior - the chaps in the red suites with pointy hats - on each base. When I get more figures I might swap them out. The coyote suit wearer is a six plus warrior priest. The guy on the extreme left looks like a commander-in-chief - at least to me.
The red suit guy on the right is an Essex figure painted by John Mclennan
The warrior societies were provided the serious fighting power of an Aztec army. A man had to have captured at least four enemy to enter their ranks.
Warrior Societies: A six stand mix of Eagle and Jaguar warriors
The Cuachicqueh were the elite. To join their ranks a warrior had to capture seven or more captives, at least three from particularly fierce enemies, and have performed several heroic deeds in battle. The sported a low Mohawk (hence the name "shorn ones"), yellow suit, and a Quetzalxicalcoliuhquichimalli shield. Three of the figures are perfect but the shields of the other two are wrong.
Cuachicqueh - the Shorn Ones
Figures 1, 3 and 4 L-to-R are correct
Figure 2: The red border and the feather fringe are the wrong colours.
Figure 5: the shield is completely wrong.
Quite a few of the suit wearers I got are in Eagle suits. I rounded out their numbers with chaps in another bird suit, perhaps a heron, although I've not seen this type in the codices. That gave me four stands. Quite a few of these guys have a piano key style shield, which is quite possible for Eagle wearers. The painter has given a couple of the figures a Cuextecatlchimalli ("Huaxtec shield"), i.e. the ones featuring a black triangle. This is inaccurate as these shields are always associated with huaxtec style suits. I don't think the dotted shield is an Aztec shield.
I got four warriors wearing a jaguar suit. To make up two bases I added a couple of lesser warriors on the assumption they are novices or some such.
The vast bulk of an Aztec army was made up of clan warriors. Once again the guy who painted my figures did a lovely job but he shouldn't have bothered with all those fancy designs; clan warriors had very plain shields.
The Aztecs favoured slings over bows but my army came with four shielded bowmen so I made up a couple of skirmisher stands.