WAB: Arabs and Saracens army building

I’ve taken a recent interest in Warhammer Ancient Battles. Building a list is a bit more complicated than the 40K/WFB rosters I’m used to, not only do I need to figure out a new set of rules with hundreds of army lists available – but I also need to hunt down appropriate figures for the army.

Army Selection

When creating a new army I look to balance four elements:

  1. Will the army look nice? I have to enjoy the models.
  2. Does it have any fun units? The army has to have several ways of playing.
  3. Will the army play well? I have no time to paint up a force only to find the list is a dodo.
  4. Is it affordable? I know the hobby is expensive – but there is no need to spend $600 if $300 will do.

I think a Muslim force may meet all of these goals. The units are well priced for both calvary and infantry. In the absence of any true heavy cavalry in the game, skilled horse archers will need to take care of my need to play with horses. The list has access to Elephants and flame throwing archers – how cool is that! The Arab style units with robes and turbans will allow for natural color choices and keep metallics to a minimum. I’ve also been advised that the list covers about 800 years, making it an easy army to keep in period. Finally, the list can also be allied to a Crusader force – a good way to recycle units if the list does not work out.

Arabs and Saracens 1000 points

General – composite bow, light armor, shield, Warhorse 152 pts
Arab Light Cav #6 with Thrusting Spear, Light Armor and Shield. Leader, Standard, Musician 135 pts
Turkish Light Cav #6 with Composite Bow, Leader and Musician 118 pts
Turkish Light Cav #6 with Composite Bow, Leader and Musician 118 pts
Arab Spearmen #24 with Leader, standard, musician, Thrusting Spear and Shield 183 pts
Religious Volunteers #23 with Leader, Standard, Musician, Hand weapon and Shield 153 pts
Auxilliary Infanty #7 with Javelins, Shield and Naffatun 62 pts
Arab Archers #10 with short bow, Musician and Naffatun 79 pts

Miniatures Choices

Arab/Moor forces are produced by a variety of companies, most of whom are based in the UK but have retained US distributors for those of us who like to shop in dollars and want nothing to do with customs roulette.

Perry Bros on sale at War Store : Well done figures in the Crusades – Islam army, but I’ve been advised that the figures are a true 25mm and may not fit well with other figure lines.

Musketeer Minis on sale at Little Wars: More pleasant looking figures in the Armies of the Caliphates line, price is similar to the Perry Brothers with $6 horsemen and $2.50 infantry.

Gripping Beast on sale at Old Glory 15s: This group may well be the winner. Not only are the figures recommended, but the line prices well with $4 horsemen and $1.50 infantry. One slight problem, Old Glory has the Moors product line on their web site, but not the Armies of Islam line. I may need to do a bit of mix and match if I can’t get cavalry in the US.    edit:  Appears that Old Glory 15 is no longer carrying Gripping Beast – the product is no longer posted on their web cart.

Artizan Designs on sale at BrigadeGames: Forgot to mention this line of Moors. The infantry are attractive, the calvary not so much. But to their credit, Artizan is one of the few to post large, clear photos of their figures. Price point is $2.50 infantry and $6.50 calvary.

One minor rant – I had trouble finding lines on the US retailers at both War Store and Old Glory 15. For reasons know only to themselves, the product lines are re-titled in the US listings, causing all sorts of confusion for a WAB rookie like me. Fortunately, both stores promptly returned emails detailing were the product was listed.

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  1. #1 by DrunkenSamurai on May 2, 2008 - 9:19 am

    Welcome to the world of WAB! It is a really fun game. I agree that it is much more challenging to build and army for WAB but sometimes I find this enhances the fun (other times it is just s pain). One of my first armies was an Arab army and it is a good one to start with. There a lost of different tactical approaches you can take. I look forward to seeing how this project develops.

  2. #2 by xenite on May 5, 2008 - 2:59 pm

    I can’t wait to see how these come together. I am looking forward to continuing on my Undead Araby army for WFB when I am done with school.

  3. #3 by chicagoterrainfactory on June 25, 2008 - 11:30 pm

    FYI: Several posts on TMP list Little Wars as a bad trader – use caution before ordering.



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