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Nikeforian Byzantines


Nikeforian elite lancers with armoured horse archer, and spearmen with archers of the spear units, as painted and based by Steve Dean Painting.
This army represents the force used by a resurgent Byzantine Empire to go on the offensive in the Levant as well as in Eastern Europe against, respectively, its Muslim foes and the menacing Bulgar Empire. Extensive conquests were made against the former by the emperors Nikiforos Fokas and Ioannis Zimiskes, and the latter empire was destroyed by Vasilios II (Basil II).

This is a very popular army, and needs no introduction here, in no small part because of the amazing artwork by Angus McBride in the early Osprey book on this subject, yet the miniatures for it were all created based on earlier interpretations of soldier's dress and equipment which are now generally seen to be inappropriate for this period. Some problems: the kataphractoi used normal cavalry shields, not small ones; the infantry are described as wearing textile armour and felt helmets tied around with cloth; the bow armed infantry in the spearman units were to have multiple quivers and bows; specialist spearmen called menavlatoi were to use huge heavy spears to kill enemy kataphracts; no cavalry other than the kataphractoi are described as having armoured horses; and so on. These distinctions are all reflected in our line of miniatures.

This line is also suitable for Later Thematic Byzantines as well as Byzantine forces up until the Crusades.

Sculpted by Mike Broadbent.

UPDATE DECEMBER 2014: We have substantially expanded all of the heavy cavalry poses. The kataphractoi now have three poses of each type (lancer or maceman) and the heavier and medium cavalry also have three poses each. We have added one more pose of horse as well. Each one of the above is also now available with either a large round shield or a teardrop shield (larger than the one originally released). We do not currently have paintup images of these expanded codes but will add them as soon as available.

In the meantime the images below show only a fraction of the poses in each pack.


CodeContentsPrice (US$)Order/Progress
NIKE-KAT-LANCE-ROUNDNikeforian Katafractoi (fully-armoured cavalry) with lances, round shield (x6 in 3 poses)$8.99
NIKE-KAT-LANCE-KITENikeforian Katafractoi (fully-armoured cavalry) with lances, kite shield (x6 in 3 poses) (same figures as above but supplied with kite shields)$8.99
NIKE-KAT-MACE-ROUNDNikeforian Katafractoi (fully-armoured cavalry) with maces, round shield (x6 in 3 poses)$8.99
NIKE-KAT-MACE-KITENikeforian Katafractoi (fully-armoured cavalry) with maces, kite shield (x6 in 3 poses)(same figures as above, but supplied with kite shields)$8.99
NIKE-ELITE-ROUNDNikeforian Elite Cavalry (Tagmata etc, well-armoured) with lances, round shield (x6 in 3 poses)$8.99
NIKE-ELITE-KITENikeforian Elite Cavalry (Tagmata etc, well-armoured) with lances, kite shield (x6 in 3 poses)$8.99
NIKE-MEDIUM-ROUNDNikeforian Lesser Armoured Cavalry with lances, round shield (x6 in 3 poses)$8.99
NIKE-MEDIUM-KITENikeforian Lesser Armoured Cavalry with lances, kite shield (x6 in 3 poses)$8.99
NIKE-CAV-ARCHERSNikeforian cavalry archers in felt armour (x6, breakwaist figures)$8.99
KM-805Nikeforian cavalry commanders, mace (x2)$2.99
KM-806Nikeforian general and mounted musician (x2)$2.99 Being redesigned
KM-807Nikeforian Emperor, icon-bearing horseman and mounted musician (x3)$4.49
NIKE-INF-SPEARNikeforian infantry spearmen, fabric armour, mixture of felt and metal helmets (x8)$5.99
NIKE-HVY-INF-ARCHERNikeforian infantry archers of the spear units, fabric armour, mixture of felt and metal helmets (x8)$5.99
KM-810Nikeforian infantry Menavlatoi with extra-heavy spears, fabric armour, metal helmets, small shields (x4)$2.99
KM-811Nikeforian infantry Akontistai (Russ or other javelinmen), fabric armour, felt/metal helmets, small shields (x4)$2.99
NIKE-LIGHT-INF-ARCHERNikeforian infantry archers, skirmishing (one bow, one quiver, no armour) (x6)$4.49
KM-813Nikeforian infantry slingers, skirmishing (x4)$2.99
KM-814Nikeforian infantry commanders, mace, fabric armour, metal helmets (x4)$2.99
KM-815Nikeforian Varangian infantry, mixture of Northern European and Byzantine equipment, Danish axes (x4)$2.99
KM-816Nikeforian Varangian infantry, mixture of Northern European and Byzantine equipment, long spears (x4)$2.99
KM-817Nikeforian multitailed flag with seven tails (conversion piece for any spear wielding model) (x2) (may be trimmed to make a smaller flag)$2.99
KM-1200Norman, Frankish or Lombard Milites, charging with various weapons (x 6, six different poses and three different horse poses)$8.99
KM-818WNorman or other Frankish mercenary milites Warband, charging with spear or sword (x24)$32.99
KM-818HNorman or other Frankish mercenary milites Horde, charging with spear or sword (x48)$62.99
KM-819Patzinak mercenary horse archers, shooting (x12)$17.99
TR-8Stone wall section (1 x 40mm length)$2.49
TR-7Supply Ox Cart$4.49