Byzantines are a challenging faction to run in SAGA. Their battleboard rewards tight deployment and thoughtful interaction between each part of your warband. Levy skirmishers shield the main line. Warriors shield the bowmen, who have the unique in game ability to shoot over their own troops and into melee. Mounted hearthguard are held back until they can charge and recoil from the enemy at a critical moment. I painted up Steppe Tribes for another option as well!
Bow armed Warriors (Toxotai): These fellows punch well above their weight. There are a number of plays on the Byzantine battleboard to keep them safe and to shoot into combat or support of combat. If you're successful at shielding them properly, it'll be a maddening game for your opponent.
These Foundry's Scythians are Perry Bros sculpts. They're stupendous sculpts with loads of detail. I was looking for an excuse to paint these ever since I acquired them last year. Once I confirmed Scythians served in Byzantine army, I put them on the table for this warband. By 700- 900 AD,
Scythian fashion was surely changed from whats portrayed here but I'm using them anyway. Eventually, I'll paint up something more historically accurate to replace them. For now, they're quite lovely and annoying to my opponents as they race in to shoot, shoot again and then race away.
Hearthguard (Kavallaroi): Though few in number, they're critically important for delivering a knockout blow. The KONTOS ability allows them to roll a die for each figure ending a turn in melee. For each die roll of 4 or more, they dish out an extra hit. And that's before you roll your melee dice!
Surprising everyone, the Byzantines are unbeaten in our summer SAGA campaign. I'd like to say it's due to my brilliant generalship but that would be a fib. All my games were close, with the Byzantines getting hot down the final stretch. Heads up to all Byzantines players...you're required to shout "For Basileus!" before throwing your dice during critical moments. It's worked for me all summer long!