Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 77

Thread: "What's a Greek boy gonna do anyway?" - Achaemenid Persians by Sigur

  1. #1
    Chapter Master sigur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Vienna, Austria
    Posts
    16,538

    "What's a Greek boy gonna do anyway?" - Achaemenid Persians by Sigur

    Hello and welcome to another little historical wargaming plog. I haven't started one of these in several months so I thought it was time again. This time I'm returning to 15mm Ancients (remember my Thebans plog?) with yet another DBA army - II/7. Later Achaemid Persian. 420BC-329BC.


    DBA you probably are familiar with. It's that game which requires only relatively small tables and low numbers of figures. It's very abstract but fast and fun. Armies always consist of 12 elements (bases) and army lists sometimes give players a choice to choose between two different elements for one of the 12 "slots".



    The initial plan was for my gaming nemesis and me to collect an army each and replay Alexander the Great's campaigns against Persia. I got to choose which side I would go for and decided to go with the Persian Empire.


    Why would I do this? If confronted with the choice of two armies I will usually go for the more colourful and diverse army. I also tend to favour states/realms/formations who undeservedly get a lot of bad press. Alexander the Great pretty much is THE prototypical golden boy of western military history. For the past 2300 years, every ambitious military leader looked up to the ideal of Alexander and his amazing conquest of pretty much the known world. Or something like that. And of course there hardly is anything more annoying than the posterboy wunderkind who is beloved by everyone. No, actually it was a tough choice. The Greek/Macedon army would have been a great project as well and a really good follow-up for my Thebans (whom Philipp II. got all these ideas about deep formations and long pikes from after all). And of course because Hoplites are cool. But then again, there of course were HUGE numbers of mercenary hoplites in Persian services as well at the time and of course many persian units in Alexander's army. It's all way less clean cut than the first impression might make us think it is.


    This. Is. PERSIA!

    So, let's have a look at the Persian Empire or the Achaemenid Empire to be more precise. About the Greek city states and ancient Macedonia we're all kind of informed about anyway. The ancient Persian empire was the largest empire the world had seen (and would see for centuries to come. I guess the Mongol empire was bigger because the Mongols were bigger than Jesus back when they were big). At its height the empire spanned three continents and approximately covered modern Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, all significant population centers of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya, Turkey, Thrace and Macedonia, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, much of Central Asia, Afghanistan, China northern Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and parts of Oman and the UAE. According to the Guiness Book of Records the empire was home to over 40% of the world's population then, a number never achieved by any other empire in human history. So that's pretty big, especially if you compare it to the size of ..well, pretty much everything else around it.


    Cyrus II., the Great. Most historians agree that this recreation of an original relief took some liberties. He probably didn't have wings.

    As a general and very much simplified history the Persians - as one of many nomadic tribes - emerged in what is today south western Iran. Loose confederations of tribes and local powers were established, first of all the Medians. However, the Persians got somewhat established as a local power and along came Cyrus II, the Great. He was a cunning one indeed, overthrew the Median empire, grabbed the rest of asia minor and Babylonia. The new thing about Cyrus' reign though was that as long as everybody paid their taxes in time local traditions, structures (as far as they were tolerable) and religion remained untouched. The cults themselves that is. Public funding for the high temples were cut and they had to pay taxes and local commissars kept an eye on the activities of the high priests. Oh, and they all had to agree that the top god of all is Ahuramazda. Otherwise there pretty much was freedom of religion.


    The symbol of Zoroastrianism, founded by Zarathustra. Not a depiction of the god-creator Ahuramazda himself but rather the dualism/struggle between him and who...?


    Of course!


    These principles were the main pillars of the Achaemenid Empire for centuries to come - a strong, centralized leadership taking care that everybody got to trade unharassed with everybody else, local rulers keeping things running on their level and keeping everybody more or less happy. At least happier than they would be as an enemy to the empire. A testament to Cyrus' smarts in dealing with the various stakeholders is that nobody really had anything bad to say about him. The Greeks, the old testament, least of all the Persians themseves. He was often cited as a peace-loving, sober-minded chap who after his death got stylized to be the perfect regent. Kinda like Arthur. Never played with unpainted miniatures either.

    After Cyrus' son reigned a little (and not horribly at that but he got killed, same as his brother. It happens, I sppose. Actually, it's a pretty interesting story about people getting supposedly killed and replaced by look-alikes and such stuff), his former adjutant/pal/"lance holder" and advisor Dareios I. took over and made quite a name for himself by not only keeping the empire together but also getting wide reaching reforms done, having a canal dug to connect the Nile with the red sea, thus creating a neat shipping route between Egypt and Persia, had the Royal Roads built. All of that after clobbering down some insurgencies of course but that's to be expected right after a change of kings. All of this, especially the structural reforms which would remain until the end of the Achaemenid Empire, got Dareios I., king of kings, the title "the great" as well. The Achaemenid Persian Empire had the great historical luck of having two Greats reign in somewhat quick succession.


    Dareios I., the Great

    Dareios also started that thing with Greece but that's for another time. Yes, I'll get to miniatures then as well. ;-)

  2. #2
    Chapter Master
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    6,882

    Re: "What's a Greek boy gonna do anyway?" - Achaemenid Persians by Sigur

    Sweet! I think most of us know a ton about Macedon, but the Persian Empire much less so. I am looking forward to this.
    Do you like free wargames?
    http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
    Chapter Master Steam_Giant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Shropshire, UK
    Posts
    1,699

    Re: "What's a Greek boy gonna do anyway?" - Achaemenid Persians by Sigur

    "Cyrus probably didnt have wings and never played with unpainted miniatures"

    your wasted here Sigur. You should write a history book.. with beautifully painted miniatures of course.

    Looking forward to more.

  4. #4
    Librarian Engel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Vxj, Sweden
    Posts
    377

    Re: "What's a Greek boy gonna do anyway?" - Achaemenid Persians by Sigur

    Ohh this is going to be good. Best of luck.

  5. #5
    Modsticker Codsticker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    'stachehammer: Age of SigMo
    Posts
    7,462

    Re: "What's a Greek boy gonna do anyway?" - Achaemenid Persians by Sigur

    What scale is this project going to be?* Also, have you had a look at the DBA3.0 rules yet?


    *or "size" if you prefer...
    Quote Originally Posted by Salty
    What the Modsticker said.

  6. #6
    Chaplain
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Aboard the Conqueror
    Posts
    227

    Re: "What's a Greek boy gonna do anyway?" - Achaemenid Persians by Sigur

    Ooh a new Sigur painting log! I can't wait!
    Warning= lecture incoming
    I hope that this will help you
    During the time period that you're collecting an army for the Persian army made extremely heavy use of Greek mercenaries. At the battle of the river Granicus(Fought in 338 B.C. I believe) the entirety of the Persian infantry were mercenary hoplites. Indeed the commander of the Persian army was a greek Memnon of Rhodes. Only the cavalry and skirmishers were from the Persian empire. The greek mercenaries numbered about 15,000. At the siege of Halicarnassus most of the defenders were survivors from the greek mercs who fought at the Granicus(which js a river in western Turkey).
    Traditionally the cavalry in Persian armies were light cav such as horse archers, perfect for the long open plains of the Persian empire. Contact with the Makedonian companion and Thessalian cav forced them to start using more heavy cav. At the battle of Issus and Gaugamela(Issus being more them experimenting, Gaugamela seeing the first major deployment of Persian heavy cav) they started utilising more heavy cavalry, the best of whom were from Mediaans the satrapy of Babylon(I think). At the battle of Gaugamela the Babylonian heavy cavalry broke through the Makedonian forces under Parmenion and rescued Darius' mother from Alexanders camp. The Persians didn't use Elephants all that much with Elephants only being used at Issus, while they used scythed chariots at Gaugamela.
    As far as Persian infantry goes, aside from Greek mercenaries they were largely levies who were equipped as light infantry with slings bows etc. The only heavy infantry they used were the immortals, a unit of 10,000 men who whenevrrller one man died or was injured another man went forward and replaced him. They had wicker shields which were pretty uselesagainst pikes, had scale arnour(also not very usefull against pikes) and covered their faces with a cloth. I'm not sure but I believe they were still in use at this time.
    Ancint armies and empires are an area I know quite a lot about so if you need any more info just gimme a shout

  7. #7
    Chapter Master sigur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Vienna, Austria
    Posts
    16,538

    Re: "What's a Greek boy gonna do anyway?" - Achaemenid Persians by Sigur

    @Easy E: Thanks. Well, I don't know much about ancient Macedon to be honest. But I think it was influenced heavily by the Greek city states so indirectly I know a little. But yeah, about the Achamaenid Empire I knew basically squat. And I think that there's a LOT of interesting stuff to know (which we'll barely even scratch in this thread of course).

    @steam_giant: I do know that I'm wasting time here. Thanks though, glad you like the introductionary post.

    @Engel: I hope so. Thanks!

    @Codsticker: 15mm, "standard" size for DBA as far as I'm aware. Funnily enough I have petty problems with some terms or misuse thereof in wargaming but will happily refer to 10mm/15mm/28mm/etc. as "scales". :-D Nope, no DBA 3.0 in sight, we'll just stick to 2.0 or 2.2 or what we're playing. I haven't really followed all the stuff around 3.0 but it seems to be rather tumultous, with some people claiming it's horrible from what they've seen so far, others really liking it and so on.

    @GabrielSantar229: Thanks for the comment and the lecture. :-D Yeah, I knew the thing about the huge number of Greek mercenaries and the general layout of the Persian army. Funnily enough there are no Immortals in the Xyston army box, rather than that it's Egyptian spearmen and Kadarkes who, depending on the source I read are either Greek mercenary hoplites or a hoplite-like Persian guard unit (the difference probably was pretty seamless I would guess). They were equipped like hoplites but got to wear these yellow hats/hoods which I read is the sign of being a regular unit of the persian standing professional army? Have you heard of anything in this regard? Oh, and I think that some alternative army lists for Later Achaemenid Persians feature heavy cavalry. I wouldn't mind having those guys. ;-) Mostly because Persian heavy cavalry looks amazing. Last November I painted a few Successor Cataphractii(?) for the cover of Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy and those were smashing looking models.

    So, where were we.. ah right, Dareios. I forgot to mention that he ordered Persepolis to be built as a residence city for him. If you look around on the internet, there are several pretty amazing reconstruction pictures and videos around.


    A reconstruction of the main palace in Persepolis by Charles Chipiez, 1884

    Anyway, Dareios and the Greeks. Now to the Northern border of the empire lived the Saka, a mostly nomadic people with mad horse riding skills (the Persians actually differentiated between three tribes of Saka: "Saka behind the seas", "Saka with the pointy hats" and the third were named after a drug they were rather fond of [only for religious reasons of course]). At Dareios' times they were technically vassals of the Persian empire, sent auxiliary troops and money to the grand king, but still were always regarded as a kind of danger at the doorstep. So Dareios thought it was a good idea to traverse the Bosporus (via a bridge of almost 900m length made of ships), occupy Thrace and setting up a position to the flank of the Saka regions. This operation of course meant that the Persians entered the European mainland. They took Thrace, made Macedonia a vassal, travelled up the Danube river for a bit and then set up positions.


    Saka cavalry armour. You can guess which of the three tribes this must have belonged to.

    The Greek city states understandably didn't like that because they feared that they may get invaded next, but the one thing they disliked even less than getting occupied is seeing any of the other city states getting ahead of themselves. So Athens allied with the Persian empire. Only six years later the Athenians broke the alliance to send military help (only a small squadron of ships though) to the Ionian Greeks who started a revolt against the Persian empire. Cyrus the Great had already brought the Ionian Greeks into the Persian Empire and they'd gotten their own local government but they'd never been quite happy with that.


    Rabble, rabble, rabble, rabble! This is very roughly the area where the Greek rebellion took place.

    Before the revolt was finally quelled, the rebels took the local regent's city Sardis and desecrated Persian temples and whatnot. Which in the minds of pretty much every culture back then was a bad, bad thing. You can punch someone in the face but you do not key their car. That's not cool. I think that's a comparison based on similar levels of reason.

    So, following the natural order of things it seems, the Persian army burned down one of the the Ionian Greek cities and Dareios launched a punitive expedition against Athens for supporting the rebellion but the Persian ships got cought in a storm and got mangled too badly to do anything. For now the dust was to settle but these were the starting moves in the legendary struggle between the Persian empire and the Greek city states.



    Interestingly enough Dareios was mostly angry with Athens for supporting the rebels. The Ionian Greeks in asia minor got some concessions (like restoration of Greek democracy in their cities and other things). Them and Sardis were made to agree to various pacts to they would work together and trade to avoid either side retaliation moves for what happened during the rebellion and things seemed settled.

    A second punitive strike against Greece was launched just a few years later. First came the envoys to all Greek states to ask for them to just join the Persian empire and avoid any bloodshed. Some of them agreed (like Thebes which would ruin their reputation with the other city states for ever), Athens and SCHPARTAA did not. The former tyrant of Athens had fled to the Persian court and was to be reinstated if the Persians took over the city state and Athenians liked their democracy. Sparta didn't want to lose control over their Peloponnesian subjects (who they treated really shoddy, especially so by ancient Greek standards). So a Persian expeditionary force was sent out, Eretria (another city state who had supported the Ionian rebellion) was seized, burned to the ground and the population was taken deep into the Persian homeland.

    Then the relatively small Persian force landed right next to Athens who sent a runner to their allies in Sparta to let them know that everybody's getting ready for the battle of Marathon and that Athens would be really happy if the Spartans came too. However the Spartans were met on the 9 days a year they were not allowed to wage war due to a fertility god's festival so the Athenians were to face the Persian force on their own (plus a few minor allies). I think the Greek were outnumbered about 3:1. Still, the Greek went for a pitched battle to spare the city. Their leader, despite being of the conservative "party" of nobles, tried some unorthodox things: wide, thin formation on the centre and - to avoid the famously deadly Persian archers - the Hoplites in full armour, with helmets and shields sprinted into battle over a distance of about 300 yards.



    Due to this, unfit ground and limited space usual Persian tactics of using archers and cavalry didn't work out so well and they were thrown back into the sea. The battle of Marathon was a victory for the Greeks but probably less of a huge historical event than it's often viewed as.

    So things were basically back to normal. The Ionian Greeks were peaceful again, Thrace and Macedon was back in Persian hands. Four years later Dareios the Great was killed in battle in Egypt and his fourth son Xerxes I. took over as new king of kings.


  8. #8
    Chapter Master sigur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Vienna, Austria
    Posts
    16,538

    Re: "What's a Greek boy gonna do anyway?" - Achaemenid Persians by Sigur

    Xerxes wasn't willing to put up with the Greeks any longer and this time it would be a proper campaign instead of a small expeditionary force. As every good Persian campaign into Europe they started with pontoon bridges. Xerxes went for two bridges to get his large (between 50.000 and 100.000 fighting mean at the most but with them were a lot of of civilians, logistics people, engineers and so on) force across. The bridges are estimated to have been about 2200m and 2500m in length. And guess what, just after they were finished a storm came up and destroyed them! It's like writing a really, really long and clever posting on Warseer (before the times of auto-saving the texts of course) and then hitting backspace or accidently closing the window or something. Infiriating. So was Xerxes and he, in a very well-known scene, had his guys punish the floods by giving them a good whipping.



    He also had the head engineers of the bridges... well, beheaded (no pun intended, I couldn't think of the proper term for the main engineers) and two new head engineers started rebuilding the bridges. Anyway, things didn't go too bad from then on, King Leonidas was beaten at the battles of Thermopylae...


    Battle of Thermopylae

    ...at the same time the Greeks were beat on sea and Delphi fell into Xerxes hands (but was not plundered). Athens was sacked too, and plundered. Important artifacts were brought to Persepolis.

    At Salamis the Persian fleet, despite their numerical advantage, got mangled badly and retreated. The sizable land force still remained in Greece and was a big threat to Greek cities. Xerxes himself retired to Persepolis and contained the new rebellions of the Ionian Greeks and Babylonians (he also tore down the Marduk temple and the tower of Babylon. In general Xerxes was way less religiously tolerant than his predecessors. This has something to do with his mother's advice (not joking!) and the rise of the Magi (again, not a joke!). The Greek gathered a force to face the Persian army at the battle of Plataea. The terrain was much more suited for the Persian tactics to work and most of the Greek army was already retiring in quite a chaos when the Persian commander fell in close combat with some remaining steadfast Spartans and the Persian army retreated. In the very interesting Ancient Warfare Podcast I remember there's an episode on victory and defeat and how especially in the Ancient world this was never quite so clear cut as one would think. I definitely suggest giving it a listen some time.

    With another defeat at Mykale (and the burning of the Persian fleet) the Persian army had to retreat and with the rebellion of the Ionian Greeks, backed up by the mainland Greek army ready for a counter-attack, the war had arrived back where it had begun. At this point though the allies started to have their own interests in mind again. The Spartans were less interested in the war to go on because they saw their interests in the Peloponnese as secure and didn't see much use in helping the Ionians whereas the Athenians saw much to be gained in forging a pact with the Ionians and freeing them. The war went back and forth a little but in 449 BC Xerxes' (who was killed by the commander of his lifeguard) son and new grand king (after killing his elder brother), Artaxerxes I. and the Greek made peace (or not, there isn't really too much evidence of an actual treaty). The Ionian cities had gotten independence for now, Persia got Cyprus. Parts of Thrace were retained by the Achemenid empire. Artaxerxes introduced a new strategy of instead of open warfare the Persian empire would financially support enemies of Athens. Otherwise the guy seems to have been "a good egg". Religiously tolerant and all.


    Artaxerxes I., referred to by some sources as "Long Hand" because appearantly his right hand was much longer than his left (even visible in this relief)

    In the meantime Alexander I. of Macedon (not THAT Alexander yet) had gotten his realm out of the Persian empire and had started expanding.

    In the Achaemid empire things were rather quiet, the occasional regicide aside. After Artaxerxes' death Xerxes' II. took over but was killed by Sogdianos who himself got killed by Dareios II. shortly thereafter. Under his reign the empire supported the Spartans in their war against Athens (passively) in exchange for getting the Ionian Greek cities back. After the war the Spartans said "yeah but no.", resulting in war between Sparta and the Persian empire.

    Dareios II.'s successor Artaxerxes II. was challenged by his half-brother who led "ten thousand" (probably less) greek mercenary hoplites into Persia to overthrow the regent but failed and was killed. All of a sudden multiple thousands of unemployed mercenary heavy infantry were sitting in the middle of nowhere, without any allies and nowhere to go really. None of the local regents wanted to employ them, their officers got taken hostage and were killed. In the end they found back to the sea and either assimilated into the local population or got home, but the situation had shown that a well drilled and equipped force in Persia from outside was a huge problem to deal with for the Persian officials.

    In the east some regions around the Indus river also fell off the empire and the Egyptians proved to be as rebellious as ever. At this point Philipp II of Macedon had forged an alliance between his now bigger-than-ever Macedon and the Greek states with the only goal to march into Persia. But alas, he died and his son Alexander I. of Macedon took over.


    Macedon when Alexander took over

    In the may of 334 BC Alexander along with 35,000 Macedons and Greeks, crossed the Hellespond into the Persian Empire.


    ...and this is where we start.


    So, as I said a long, long time ago at the beginning of the opening post I'm doing a Persian army. Instead of going for second-hand miniatures by Essex this time I got my models from Xyston, widely regarded as the go-to manufacturer for 15mm Ancient figures. They sell rather handy army sets for DBA. I went into my LGS where for at least 10 years they had an army box of Xyston Later Achaemenid Persians standing around, hidden away on the toppest of top shelves, under a layer of dust. I'd seen the box several times over the years, but never had a real reason to pick them up. Well, now the day had come. I really should have negotiated the price a little. If it hadn't been for me the box still would be there and would be there for te next 10 years to come, guaranteed. Anyway, I picked the minis up for a only slightly too high amount of moneez (supporting local traders and all). So I did get to throw some paint onto the infantry. It will be a bit late for a summer campaign I'm afraid but I want to get these minis done. Not only for DBA but also for Impetus and this new little set of rules called Spear and Sword.



    Usually a DBA army consists of 12 elements/bases, each depicting a single unit. However, the army list offers some choices in terms of what units to bring.

    .) For the general's unit I get the choice between Light Chariot or him, along with a guard of cavalry horsemen (the options are purely cosmetic I think, both do the same in-game)
    .) 2 units of Cavalry
    .) 2 units of Light Horse
    .) a Scythed Chariot or a unit of Psiloi (light skirmishers)
    .) 2 units of Psiloi
    .) 4 units of Kadarkes Guards/Egyptian Spearmen (heavy spearmen) or 4 units of Takabara (light infantry).

    All of these options are in the box. Spears sadly are not included (and surprisingly expensive. I ordered them through North Star Games and split them with Mr.Macedon.). I also ordered some shield decals from Little Big Men Studios. They make decals especially for these models (and many more). I'd love to give painting the shields by hand a go but I don't have the time I'm afraid. Bases aren't included either. For DBA they are all 40mm in the front but the depth varies depending on the troop type. From my TYW project I of course have a few 40x20mm bases left for the light infantry. For all others I have to cut bases from plasticard.

    The models Xyston make are really beautiful. Great stuff, great detail. They are rather large (verging on huge) for the scale but oh well. My opponent's models are by Xyston as well so it's all good.


    Takabara, unpainted, without spears or shields. It's always good to have seperate shields.

    After cleaning the models I kept most of them apart. because they are mostly one part casts anyway, apart from spears and shields. The chariots require a little assmbly but I'll have to see how much of those I assemble before painting and/or basing.


    Here's what's happened so far:


    Light infantry (those will get some nice crescent-shaped shields):


    A bunch of skirmishers:


    Heavy infantry (spearmen). The kardaka in red will get hoplite style shields whilst the egyptians in the right will get huge shields:


    Hope you like them so far. :-)

  9. #9
    Chaplain
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Aboard the Conqueror
    Posts
    227

    Re: "What's a Greek boy gonna do anyway?" - Achaemenid Persians by Sigur

    Nice! I especially like the heavy infantry! It's also nice for my historians soul that you put the research in to your historical armies. I learnt quite a lot from your 30 years war log. One thing I wpuld say though is be careful. From what I can see you've been researching the Persian army from about 480 B.C. The Persian army was quite a different beaqt in 338 B.c. Than the army that Leonidas and the 300 fought.

  10. #10
    Chapter Master sigur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Vienna, Austria
    Posts
    16,538

    Re: "What's a Greek boy gonna do anyway?" - Achaemenid Persians by Sigur

    Thanks, very flattering and I'm glad to see people reading that babbling. The weird thing is that it's surprisingly hard (by which I mean "harder than looking stuff up on google for about an hour" ) to find more exact info on the setup of the Persian army, tactics and how all that changed. Do you have any good links at hand for having a look at those things? I assume that the army list from DBA aims to cover the greek wars up to the end of the Achaemenid empire to keep thinks simple and versatile for playing.

  11. #11
    Chaplain
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Aboard the Conqueror
    Posts
    227

    Re: "What's a Greek boy gonna do anyway?" - Achaemenid Persians by Sigur

    I don't have any links readily to hand, I'm getting my info from Arrians account fof Alexanders campaign, Xenophons Anabasis and Great battles of the Western world which includes Guagamila and a overview of the Persian and Makedonian/Greek army. If you look further up I've already posted an overview of the late Persian army.
    Sigur, sorry I've just noticed your response to my lecture(facepalms). So to answer ypur questions. As far as I'm aware the Persians didn't have a standing army. I've done a bit of research and the Kardakes were a sort of successor to the Immortals, after the Persians saw how effective the phalanx was. The Kardekes fought in a large pike block similar to those used in Europe during the 1500s- late 1600s. As to the evyptians I've nver heard of any egyptian units being used aside from the standard levies used by the Persian empire to supply the majority of it's infantry and skirmishers. You're right about the differences between Kardakes and mercenary hoplites being pretty transparent. However, during Darius III(? The king who fought Alexander) Kardakes weren't really in use any more as the Persian crown had defaulted to using mercenary hoplites. The infantry used at Issus and Gaugemela were largely the levies of the same type used by Xerxes during his invasiin of Greece., although I believe 8000 mercenary hoplites were used at Issus.
    In regards to the Persian heavy cav, they weren't entirely like successor cataphractii. Successor Cataphractii were a blend of Makedonian cavalry tactics and Persian heavy cav. The Persian heavy cav had slightly less armour(I believe they only armoured the main body of their horses and the riders didn't wear full face helmets or arm armour beyond the shoulder) and used axe/shield as oppossed to spears.
    Last edited by GabrielSantar229; 09-08-2014 at 22:47.

  12. #12
    Chapter Master sigur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Vienna, Austria
    Posts
    16,538

    Re: "What's a Greek boy gonna do anyway?" - Achaemenid Persians by Sigur

    thanks for looking up the additional info. The nice thing about the relatively large portions of mercenary hoplites is that for games bigger than DBA I can always add some of my 15mm Thebans to the army. It's interesting to hear that the Persian Empire didn't have any standing army at all around the time of the invasion. I'd assume that the sheer size of the empire made a standing army at a specific location a bit of a waste looking how everybody took turns rebelling at almost opposing ends of the empire so it'd be easier to just raise a levy army. Speaking of which - the levy troops you mentioned probably were Takabara (light infantry with shields, like Peltasts) and bowmen/slingers?

  13. #13
    Chaplain
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Aboard the Conqueror
    Posts
    227

    Re: "What's a Greek boy gonna do anyway?" - Achaemenid Persians by Sigur

    Levies is quite a wide term for them. They varied depending upon where they were levied from. Those Takabara you described sound like your typical levies but seeing as most would supply their own gear it would generally be a small to medium sized round shield and a spear, sword or axe. Then there would be the bowmen and slingers from modner day Iran/Iraq(with Babylonians being quite good archers).
    Indeed the Persian empire didn't have a standing army, all it had were the royal bodyguard(the Imortals/Kardakes) and the greek mercs. Even the cav was levied.

  14. #14
    Chapter Master
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    6,882

    Re: "What's a Greek boy gonna do anyway?" - Achaemenid Persians by Sigur

    Nice job Sigur, you even managed to throw in a bit about Xenophon and the 10,000.
    Do you like free wargames?
    http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/

  15. #15
    Chapter Master sigur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Vienna, Austria
    Posts
    16,538

    Re: "What's a Greek boy gonna do anyway?" - Achaemenid Persians by Sigur

    @GabrielSantar229: Oh yes, it makes sense that they'd bascially bring their local equipment, skills and outfits.

    @Easy E: At this point I really had to keep myself at a short leash because I realized that about 80% of all I'd written up wasn't really all that important to the Alexander-related stuff. On the other hand of course it's all super-related and important. I guess it depends on the reader's view of things and interest in history. Yeah, the march of the "ten thousand" is a pretty amazing story. No surprise it was picked up by all kinds of authors, film directors and so on as a theme.

  16. #16
    Chapter Master Steam_Giant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Shropshire, UK
    Posts
    1,699

    Re: "What's a Greek boy gonna do anyway?" - Achaemenid Persians by Sigur

    no no no. i didnt say your wasting your time. i meant your talent deserves more regard.

    time spent on the hobby is never wasted.

    great start on the painting. love those kadarka

  17. #17
    Chaplain
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Aboard the Conqueror
    Posts
    227

    Re: "What's a Greek boy gonna do anyway?" - Achaemenid Persians by Sigur

    Sigur I have a question. Do you have any idea which Persian force you want to represent? Like the army from Gauganela,, Issus or the Granicus?

  18. #18
    Chapter Master Karak Norn Clansman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Karak Norn
    Posts
    3,188

    Re: "What's a Greek boy gonna do anyway?" - Achaemenid Persians by Sigur

    What a write-up! Great stuff, and the start of another true eyecandy log.

  19. #19
    Chapter Master sigur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Vienna, Austria
    Posts
    16,538

    Re: "What's a Greek boy gonna do anyway?" - Achaemenid Persians by Sigur

    @Steam_Giant: No worries, I understood you. Just in terms of "being productive" I was wasting time. But I guess you're right in terms of hobby time. Thanks.

    @GabrielSantar: To be honest, I don't know much about Alexander's campaigns, almost nothing. I first wanted to look into the Persian history a little to get a feeling for what I'm working with here. I haven't even started looking into any particular battles, orders of battles and so on yet. The thing is also that the DBA rules set gives you a generic one-size-fits-all kind of army (which in this case I'm not entirely happy with I have to admit) so this is what I'm doing now. I'm really interested in adding stuff for larger battles with a different set of rules and this is the point in time I will look at more specific battles and of course orders of battle, as I do with my TYW stuff. It just helps a lot with setting up an army. But for now I'll just stick to the models I have. Do you have any pointers for specific timeframes?

    @Karak Norn Clansman: Thanks very much, let's see how it works out.


    Well, I spent most of my time this weekend doing the write-up but I also did a little bit of painting. Some light cavalry (WIP):





    Hope you like them.

  20. #20
    Chaplain
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Aboard the Conqueror
    Posts
    227

    Re: "What's a Greek boy gonna do anyway?" - Achaemenid Persians by Sigur

    Ok Sigur I've not fully researched all the various types of Persian cav so you may have to do that. Anyways here's the Persians at Granicus, Issus and Guagamela.
    Granicus= 9,500 Peltasts, 5000 hoplite mercs, 10,000 cav cavalry: Paphlagonian, from northern Turkey. Appear to have been light cav with helmets and stabbing spears or javelins. Hyrcanian cav. From Armenia, likely to be light cav wiith javelins. Medes: From Iraq. Infantry wore no armour and used stabbing spears or bows/slings. The cav were horse archers. Bactrian cavalry: Similar to Scythian cavalry i.e. Horse archers or javelin cav. Some of the Persian cav at the Granicus were nobles and therefore medium/heavy cav.
    Issus
    modern estimates say 50-100,000 men, ancient estimates say 250-600,000
    Modern estimates=69,000 peltasts, 10,000 Immortals, 10,000 hoplite mercs, 11,000 cavalry and Arrian says there were also 20,000 kardakes present though this is likely an exageration.
    Gaugamela
    Lowest modern estimate=10,000 peltasts, 12,000 cavalry, 10,000 Immortals, 1000 Bactrian cavalry, 1,500 archers, 200 scythed chariots, 15 elephants
    cavalry=some were allied Scythian cav. Others were(Warning long list) Carian, Persian royal horse guards, Dahea, Arachosian, Bactrian, Persian, Susian, Cadusian, Syrian, Median, Mesepotamian, Parthian, Sacian, Tapucian, Hyrcanian, Saresinian, Capadoccian and Armenian cav.
    The early Persian army was heavily reliant on it's cavalry and that's how Cyrus the great conquered the empire. Later after the battles of Marathon, Thermopaly, Platea and the march of the 10,000 mercenary hoplites became much more common and fhe Kardakes were created.
    (Sinks back into chair) hope that helps.
    Last edited by GabrielSantar229; 11-08-2014 at 16:51.

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •