Villanovan Helmet Urns
|Before 800 BC||After
|1x 3Cv or LCh/Gen||1x 3Cv or LCh/Gen||Tribal King/Chieftain and his followers|
|11x 3Wb||5x 4Wb||Well-heeled spearmen with characteristic Villanovan helmets, bronze pectoral, and shield. Later period shows more Greek influence including bronze-faced round shield. Small proportion fight with axes.|
|1x 3Cv||Mounted nobles.|
|4x 3Ax||Poorer warriors with scutum, fire-hardened javelins and handweapons (light axe or knife).|
|1x 2Ps||Mixed archers and slingers.|
The early Villanovans are enemies of themselves (I/33a), the Early Northern European Barbarians (I/14d), and the Italian Hill Tribes (I/36). The later Villanovans fight the later counterparts of the above and add the coastal Greeks (I/30bc) as enemies.
As a low aggression, arable army, the early Villanovan Warband are an intimidating match for the Blades and Spears of the Early Northern European and later Geometric Greek armies, if they can come to grips. In bad going against earlier Greek Auxilia, the Villanovan Warband lose many of their advantages. The later Villanovan list offers significant improvements both in mobility, with that extra element of Cavalry plus Auxilia that can work in concert with the Villanovan Warband to more effectively contest the bad going. A contest with the Italian Hill tribes will require creative tactics to avoid what is otherwise a pretty even shoving match of Warband vs. Warband/Auxilia.
The early Villanovans lived in small villages of wattle-and-daub huts, clustered on hills and in other easily defensible locations. Over time, "nucleated settlements" evolved into small walled cities, generally at sites associated with Etruscan city-states (e.g. Clusium/Chiusi) in the later period.
At present, M.Y. Miniatures offers the only 15mm Villanovan range, and provides DBA army packs for each sublist. A compatible range is expected from Donnington in April 2007. Mirliton’s Etruscan and Early Roman ranges also provide many useful figures, especially for the poorer warriors and skirmishers.
For the better armed warriors, look for the crested helmet of Northern European origin (recreation at right) or the knobbed bell helmet of eastern central European origin. Several Gallic/Celtic ranges often include a few suitably helmeted figures; just avoid those with chainmail and substitute round (hoplon-style) shields.
What we know of the Villanovan Italians is known primarily through pottery, burial urns, bronze implements, and other archeological finds, and not from written sources. As a consequence, there are no popular histories of Villanovan culture in print and no helpful Osprey or other references that I can point you to. Early Etruscan sources may provide some guidance.
Last Updated: 11 Oct. 2007
Comments and suggestions welcome.
Send them to Chris Brantley, IamFanaticus@gmail.com.