It took me a while to decide on the force but I was finally swayed by Conquest Games new line of plastic Norman knights.
Collecting a Norman army has the advantaged that it is a new period for me and therefore changing scale to 28mm will not conflict with my existing armies in my preferred 15mm scale. The new plastic range for the knights will save me a bit of money at a time of year when I am supposed to be spending it on other people (tis the season after all). And, they should be relatively quick to paint as the majority of them wear mail.
The army needs to be 300pts and will consist of 5 units of knights, one being the Duke, 2 units of Pueri, 4 units of spearmen, 2 units each of crossbowmen and archers. All in all in 2 months I need to paint 109 figures, 29 being cavalry, that's nearly two a day. Here's hoping for a quiet Christmas.
All the cavalry will be Conquest's plastic range. I am not a big fan of multi part plastic kits as I am not much of a modeller and don't like spending time assembling figures. That been said, I started on the first box of knights two nights ago and they we by far the easiest set of plastics I have assembled in recent years.
For the infantry I went with Crusader Miniatures over Gripping Beast based primarily on price as the quality between the two seems on par. They are ordered and I hope they arrive before I finish painting the knights.
Another advantage of the army is its potential to roll over another force, I hope. The last tournament I played in I used an Early Imperial Roman army and though a great army it relies on the Legions to cut their way through the enemy which takes time and casualties. This meant that although victorious in two out of three battles I did not pick up that many points towards winning the tournament.
The large amount of heavy cavalry in the Norman army should provide a greater punch and potentially roll over the top of the opponents. It is a change from recent tactics with Carthaginians where heavy reliance is based on the Numidian light cavalry so may take some getting used to.
Anyway, this diversionary project will hopefully only slow and not stop progress on the main projects.