Sunday, December 5, 2010

Angus McBride's Art of Byzantine Armies

Angus Mcbride has a huge swath of material to work for here. Not only does this book cover a large period of time, but as I've posted previously, the Byzantine armies are often made up not of natives, but of mercenaries that range far and wide.

The cover, the first color plate on the interior, is of a cavalryma, a man-at-arms, and an infantryman. The cover however, loses the awesome background which has stone spires reaching up behind the figures, giving them a very real sense of presence and exploration.

The next one, shows three mercenaries, almughavar, Cuman, and Alan, in some thin woods having brought down a bird with some solid bowmanship.

The next one showsBuzamtome sp;doers beomg waoted pm bu a servamt in front of a castle.

The fifrth one shows a Cuman mercenary on horse, in a stream, next to an Albanian mercenary who rests a spear on a shoulder with one foot in the stream and the other on a rock outcropping and an Italian mercenary creeping along the rocks out of the river. This picture could almost be a group of adventurers exploring as the Albanian mercenary, with one hand raised and his spear which almost resembles a staff, could easily pass for a wizard with his rounded cap.

There are other illustrations, but I consider those 'pose' shots, solid artwork that is the characters essentially standing around so that McBride can showcase what these various individuals might have looked like. The ones I picked out have more going on wither its exploring, hunting, or day to day activities.

Angus McBride's art is solid and could easly make for some quick visual referens in any role playing game.