Miniatures Talk

Ancient Dacians or Celts?

Posted by OwenChpw on 26 Aug 2020, 04:14

Hello,

Just thinking if anyone has any strong preferences towards the Dacians or the Celts? I think they both have similar army themes; bare chested barbarians, nobles in armour, but

1. Dacians have curved falxes, scale armour, forward pointing helmets and very nice shield designs

2. Some celts have chariots, warpaint (woad)

On the tabletop they look quite similar, I'm wondering if anyone has strong preferences. This isn't really a question I can ask on the street and get an informed answer...
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OwenChpw  Australia
 
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Posted by Ochoin on 26 Aug 2020, 08:17

Owen, I can't pretend to know very much about the Dacians.
On the other hand, I am a Celt...or at least my ancestors were Caledonii and Picts. Probably.

Your question prompted some research. I found this:
https://www.iongrumeza.com/node/28

The guy makes some interesting points but I think his academic credentials might be a little shaky so I wouldn't accept it all.

My thoughts are that all "barbarians" might share a number of common features but there were distinct cultural aspects that didn't make them interchangeable. An analogy could be a claim that medieval Chinese & Japanese are identical......clearly this is true only on a very, very superficial level.

And keep in mind, my academic credentials are probably pretty shaky too!

donald
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Ochoin  Scotland
 
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Posted by XbriX on 26 Aug 2020, 10:10

Personally I love Dacian look. As for the question I would say it highly depends what period are We talking about;

1) Celts were there long before Romans, so you can use them to fight against classical Hellenic factions, early republican Romans or imperial Romans. To be honest their culture was in decline during Imperial period (not counting occasional rebellion against roman oppressors, or Britain campaign). Body paint berserkers and chariots were used by continental Celts during the earlier period, and by the time of great roman conquests were mostly replaced by Hellenic style heavy cavalry and armored infantry.
Things were different in Britain due to it's isolated nature, where chariots and dreaded naked guys were still a thing during Caesar and Imperial invasions.

2)Dacians as you describe them ("curved falxes, scale armour, forward pointing helmets and very nice shield designs") are mostly an Imperial period thing. The thing I love about them is that Romans were actually scared of them. Falxes were so good in terms of armor piercing capabilities that they could literally cut a poor legionnaire in half. The loses on the roman side were so big they started forging up-armored helmets to withstand a direct hit.

3)As much as I love Dacians, I've never painted any, due to lack of good plastics out there. There is an old HAT set, which is not spectacular and a small bunch of Strelets figures which are to blocky for my taste.

Note: I'm not a historian, so I might be wrong in some areas ;-)
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XbriX  Poland
 
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Posted by OwenChpw on 26 Aug 2020, 14:02

Ochoin wrote:Owen, I can't pretend to know very much about the Dacians.
On the other hand, I am a Celt...or at least my ancestors were Caledonii and Picts. Probably.


Haha and then over thousands of years, they became Scottish clanspeople! Another reason to respect the source material, in a way that Science fiction and fantasy miniatures don't have, is the basis on history and connections to people that exist today. I like to think all miniatures painted of a culture have a basis of interest, research and love of a people and its period due to the hours, days, sunk in. Otherwise why go to so much effort to research, clean mould lines, paint and base?

Ochoin wrote:Your question prompted some research. I found this:
https://www.iongrumeza.com/node/28

The guy makes some interesting points but I think his academic credentials might be a little shaky so I wouldn't accept it all.


Thanks Donald, I did find that link when I was just looking around the internet (couldn't find anything else - hence asking a forum). It was an interesting read but I think I may have to delve into an Osprey and then go from there.

Ochoin wrote:My thoughts are that all "barbarians" might share a number of common features but there were distinct cultural aspects that didn't make them interchangeable. An analogy could be a claim that medieval Chinese & Japanese are identical......clearly this is true only on a very, very superficial level.


Oh of course, no culture is interchangeable, that'd be ridiculous. I was thinking more of miniatures, like how a HaT Gaul and HaT Dacian look quite similar. Pure visual tabletop 'look.' I think Germans, Celts and Dacians all tick the barbarian box in wargames but I'm getting Dacian envy as I'm working on my Celts. It's the Dacian shield designs, they look so nice but I can also see the similarity in Celtic shield designs. Hmmm.

XbriX wrote:Personally I love Dacian look. As for the question I would say it highly depends what period are We talking about;

1) Celts were there long before Romans, so you can use them to fight against classical Hellenic factions, early republican Romans or imperial Romans. To be honest their culture was in decline during Imperial period (not counting occasional rebellion against roman oppressors, or Britain campaign). Body paint berserkers and chariots were used by continental Celts during the earlier period, and by the time of great roman conquests were mostly replaced by Hellenic style heavy cavalry and armored infantry.
Things were different in Britain due to it's isolated nature, where chariots and dreaded naked guys were still a thing during Caesar and Imperial invasions.


Yeah I do love the flexibility of the Celts historically and they were so widespread miniatures can represent different Celtic peoples. I did read how Caesar was surprised that the ancient Britons were still using chariots, almost trapped in time in this antiquated style of warfare. Very cool, it's why I'm working on Britons now.

XbriX wrote:2)Dacians as you describe them ("curved falxes, scale armour, forward pointing helmets and very nice shield designs") are mostly an Imperial period thing. The thing I love about them is that Romans were actually scared of them. Falxes were so good in terms of armor piercing capabilities that they could literally cut a poor legionnaire in half. The loses on the roman side were so big they started forging up-armored helmets to withstand a direct hit.


Yeah I love how the Romans adapted their armour just for the falxes, with the arm-plates as well, that's kind of what's drawing me now, I like the curved look of the falxes, they look really distinctive. It's a fascinating culture as well, I just don't want to add another project to the pile...

XbriX wrote:3)As much as I love Dacians, I've never painted any, due to lack of good plastics out there. There is an old HAT set, which is not spectacular and a small bunch of Strelets figures which are to blocky for my taste.


I will say, I'm not very impressed with the current Dacians on the market but the LW Dacian set seems to have the shield designs moulded in and the shields look great in my opinion. The men holding them on the other hand...
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OwenChpw  Australia
 
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Posted by XbriX on 26 Aug 2020, 14:26

OwenChpw wrote:I will say, I'm not very impressed with the current Dacians on the market but the LW Dacian set seems to have the shield designs moulded in and the shields look great in my opinion. The men holding them on the other hand...


I just noticed linear-a announced "Trajan`s Legion versus Dacians Set 1". Maybe we will get a nice set of Dacians in a year or two.
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XbriX  Poland
 
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Posted by Santi Pérez on 30 Aug 2020, 23:41

My vote goes to the Celts, OwenChpw. Don't ask me why, but I see them as more natural enemies to the Romans, my preferred army of ancient times. :mrgreen:

Santi.
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Santi Pérez  Spain
 
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Posted by OwenChpw on 01 Sep 2020, 05:54

XbriX wrote:
I just noticed linear-a announced "Trajan`s Legion versus Dacians Set 1". Maybe we will get a nice set of Dacians in a year or two.


I completely forgot about this set! Another reason to collect Dacians!


Santi Pérez wrote:My vote goes to the Celts, OwenChpw. Don't ask me why, but I see them as more natural enemies to the Romans, my preferred army of ancient times. :mrgreen:

Santi.


Haha Santi I got you covered, I'm still updating my Celts. Might do Dacians within the decade however (model projects need long-term planning).
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OwenChpw  Australia
 
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Posted by Graeme on 02 Sep 2020, 00:04

Definitely Celts, because it's part of my cultural heritage; I don't think there's many Dacians in the family.
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Graeme  Australia
 
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Posted by Hobbyinovator on 04 Sep 2020, 10:57

Dacians, since they have been less covered then the Celts.
Interesting reenactment video were they test the Dacian battle scythe againt Roman armor and shields:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVTghukALZM
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Posted by Hobbyinovator on 04 Sep 2020, 12:08

Video with good examples of Dacian Falx fencing stances:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxkjWjzlLZc
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Posted by Edmund2019 on 26 Sep 2020, 00:00

From a wargaming point of view it could be interesting to check what armies have your opponents. If you want some historical match up Dacians shall face Imperial roman, German peoples and Sarmatans (and maybe others?). So if your opponent has republican roman or earlier better use Celts. Just in case you are looking for some degree of historical accuracy, it isn't really needed to have fun ;)

I'm painting barbarians currently, and the plan is to mix them all (and let God sort them out) together and use them as Celts or Germans armies as needed. I probably will buy some Dacians boxes at some point and place them in the front ranks. I like Hat's Dacians, they are not very good but they are characterful and in a box you get all the different troop types.

Said that, I would recommend you to paint Dacians, because reading your post you are passionate with the Dacians! :D

Do you have photos of your celts somewhere in the forum?
Edmund2019  Spain
 
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Posted by OwenChpw on 27 Sep 2020, 00:48

Graeme wrote:Definitely Celts, because it's part of my cultural heritage; I don't think there's many Dacians in the family.


Haha, fair enough, I do get that's part of the appeal. I think there's also a broader interest to family members even if they're not wargamers.

Hobbyinovator wrote:Dacians, since they have been less covered then the Celts.
Interesting reenactment video were they test the Dacian battle scythe againt Roman armor and shields:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVTghukALZM


That falx looks vicious, I do love the look of it, it's just intimidating. Dacians being rarer makes them interesting in my mind, I do like less-represented nations and cultures.

Edmund2019 wrote:From a wargaming point of view it could be interesting to check what armies have your opponents. If you want some historical match up Dacians shall face Imperial roman, German peoples and Sarmatans (and maybe others?). So if your opponent has republican roman or earlier better use Celts. Just in case you are looking for some degree of historical accuracy, it isn't really needed to have fun ;)


I'm part of a wargaming club (stopped due to Covid though) and everyone has a range of armies but I'm the lone 1/72 player, so I have to make everything myself! Since making an army is such a large commitment I focus on things that interest me. If I had infinite time I'd just make everything but I like to keep ideas of historical accuracy within the boundaries of the army. I don't mind if Celts battle against the French of the 100 Years War because to me, a game is about the social experience and there's enough fantasy universes of knights against barbarians to handwaive explain it (For Honor for example) but it's important that I try to keep the armies themselves historically accurate so I can have historical matchups as well.

Edmund2019 wrote:I'm painting barbarians currently, and the plan is to mix them all (and let God sort them out) together and use them as Celts or Germans armies as needed. I probably will buy some Dacians boxes at some point and place them in the front ranks. I like Hat's Dacians, they are not very good but they are characterful and in a box you get all the different troop types.


Haha, the great thing about Ancient Celts and Germans - they look quite similar! If you painted the;m in a generic enough fashion they could be interchangeable but I think the ancient sources differentiated them by appearance by

- Celts wearing multicoloured clothes
- Germans having distinctive hair styles which differed by tribe.
-Dacians wearing caps, forward facing helmets and falxes

But if they all have shades of earthly colours they could feasibly be all of them. The HAT Dacians lack of poses is what gets me, but I might pick some up anyway. Send me some photos of your barbarians when you're ready!

Edmund2019 wrote:Said that, I would recommend you to paint Dacians, because reading your post you are passionate with the Dacians! :D

Do you have photos of your celts somewhere in the forum?


Thanks, I probably will make a unit at some point!

My Celts are Iceni, Ancient Britons, nearly done, just need to do the skirmishes:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=23514
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OwenChpw  Australia
 
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Posted by Edmund2019 on 27 Sep 2020, 13:57

I'm part of a wargaming club (stopped due to Covid though) and everyone has a range of armies but I'm the lone 1/72 player, so I have to make everything myself! Since making an army is such a large commitment I focus on things that interest me. If I had infinite time I'd just make everything but I like to


I'm in a similar situation, as I have no 1/72 opponents... I have to do it by myself too.

Great Ancient Britons army!
Edmund2019  Spain
 
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Posted by OwenChpw on 28 Sep 2020, 06:12

Edmund2019 wrote:
I'm in a similar situation, as I have no 1/72 opponents... I have to do it by myself too.

Great Ancient Britons army!


Thanks, mate if I ever go back to Europe (Spain?) I'll shoot you a DM / Email, but I need to make a more transportable army, the Queen's chariot's driver is extremely flimsy.
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OwenChpw  Australia
 
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