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Early Achaemenid Persians

This is the current major project I have following the completion of the Lybians.
 
An Early Achaemenid Persian Army, based on the list built upon Herodotus, which Roy produced for Warflute last year.
 
You can see it on the resurected 'Warfloot' forum at this link.
 
 
 
 
 
Khurasan Immortals, Xyston Persian Great King, and Khurasan Sparabara.
 
I completed the biggest single set of figures first - the Sparabara - and the Immortals, both using the excellent Khurasan figures.
 
The rest of the army will be a mix of Khurasan (who promise to do a Saka foot figure), Xyston (who have a later Achaemenid range I can plunder), and others (for things like an Ethiopian skirmisher, and an Arab camel figure) - picking up units from here and there in an attempt to get as ployglot a look to the army as possible.
 
We have used the list twice now, at the Glasgow Armati 'round' using Malcolm's figures, but I want to have the matched pair myself to play against my Saitic Egyptians.  Perhaps one day I will make up the Hoplite army as well.  This is a tactics buster of an army - it has so much cheap and almost worthless infantry, that it makes normally effective game tactics fall apart.
 
The poor quality warbands option.  Thracian warband, and Mysians and Bithnyians. 
 
I have used Xyston figures for all of them, with Paphlagonian and Kappadocians in place of the Mysians and Bithynians, and thrown in a few Thracians to both to round out the numbers of figures per base and add a little variety.  I wanted to ensure there was an identifiable difference between each warband, despite there being no in-game difference, as the big idea for this army is to emphasis the vast range of subject peoples sending contingents. 
 
Kappadoocians with their unique hats seemed perfect for the slightly more northern Bithynians; and the Paphlagonians, also with unique hats, filled in for the Misyans, while I added a second spear to the Thracians.  You can see one Thracian with dyed blue hair, a reference I found along with them being red headed, in the Osprey, I also went for slightly separate patterning on their clothes - Thracians got more zig zag lines, Misyans got sleeve cuff borders, and Bithynians and Mysians got the two vertical stripes on their tunics, but I was not dogmatic about this.  Shield transfers are all LBMS thracian pattern.
 
 
 
 
 
Mysians , Thracians and Bithynian warbands.
 
In game terms these are almost worthless - but they look good.
 
Asian-Greek Hoplites.
 
A proper phalanx for you this time.
 
 
 
 
 
 Two Ionian hoplites and the Carians
 
This options here are all comparatively poor quality reluctant subject Hoplites from Asian Minor and other areas under the Great King's control - as such, the figures are unarmoured Hoplites, and I have tried to get some sort of individuality between each different phalanx - so I used Oscan transfers for one (The Carians), Tridents for another (The Cypriots below) - to reflect a particular affinity to Poseidon (I should have used some dolphin transfers as well, so they were not too Mantinean looking), I added shield borders to one Ionian contingent and left the other without shield borders.
 
 
 
 
 the Cypriots and the armoured Thebans.
 
The exception are the Thebans, who were keen volunteers with the Persians and as such are proper Hoplites all with Boeoitan helmets, and for whom I used fully armoured figures as a simple code to reflect this improved quality.
 
One of the big things which concerned me with these, was avoid in the semi-Spatan uniformity which I was worried that might come about if I used all the same shield transfer on a complete unit.  These guys are not equipped from state arsenals, and while I was quite happy to keep a sense of uniformity about some shield patterns - especially the Thebans - I didn't want them all to look like they were a single uniform unit.  I've had some spectcular failures with shield transfers in the past, so I knew that I had a limited colour pallet for the shield before applying the transfer, and decided on three options only, White, Brass and a terracotta mix.  I am very happy with the outcome, especially the Thebans (brown ink wash over Brass makes a fantastically rich colour for Bronze armour.
 
Something I was especially keen on modelling was the overlapping shields for the phalanx - I can't tell you how much it annoys me when I see some of the stunning 28mm figures available now who are all fighting like Romans in open order even though the guy has put them on a movement stand which should have allowed him to get the shields to overlap at the front line.  When I first set the front row up for this for mine, it left a lot of space on either side of each figure, so I thought I might be able to squeeze a 5th figure on, as I had done with my Vikings.  It worked, and I am particularly pleased with it - and it stands as a counter to anyone who tells you that Xyston figures are too big for the bases.
 
The subject peoples 
 
These make up the bulk of this army are the main attraction for doing it (especially when contrasted with the rather bland 'immortals and sparabara-only' options which some other rule sets offer you) Herodotus makes great play on the polygot nature of the invasion force, and this is something I particularly want to emphasise in this project.  Most of them are at best a liability in game terms, but they present a formidable aspect as a group, and were particularly fun to paint.  You have to be a real uniformity / production line nut to want to do a Persian army in any other way.
 
There are three types of infantry available here. 
 
Infantry with large shields who are similar in quality to the Sparabara, but who do not have bow;
infantry who do have bow, but are without the protection of the large shield; and infantry who have neither bow nor large shield and are pretty poor all around.
 
 
 
 
Persian and Assyrian infantry - with the large shields.
 
The list specifically allows for Egyptians in this choice, bu as I am pairing the army against my late Egyptian army, I am leaving them out, and have instead opted for some particularly nice Xyston Persian levy in Persian dress - which I have given the shields from the Khurasan Sparabara too (sometimes its handy to massively over-order - as I did with the Khurasan figures).  I chose to use a shade of green on them (a rare colour in the ancient world albeit) to break up the reds and yellows, although I am quite tempted to do another unit in a dark blue lower tunic and orange over tunic, as I've recently spotted a colour illustration using this combination which looks quite impressive .
The Assyrians are the Xyston Phoenician marines, but with the same makers Egyptian marines shields.  I wanted to get a break from the biblical period Assyrian empire look, but keep something of a hint about it, and I think these came up well.
 
 
 
 
 
Pactyian infantry bowmen, Kaspian Infantry bowmen, Saka / Cissian infantry bomen (the new Xyston Scythian range mixed with some Persian bowmen)
 
The pure bowmen options - Xyston mountain Indians as Pactyians - which is apparently roughly where the dodgy bits of modern Pakistan are now, so mountain Indians seem appropriate here in place of the more usual white kilted Indians you usually find; and Xyston Kapadocians as Kaspians (not a stretch for me, as I have used the same figures for Black Sea Iberians and Armenians in another army)  I thought adding a semi Thracian trim to the cloaks would help avoid the block-colour problem which plagues a lot of non-uniform armies. 
I have two units of each at the moment, but should I spot some nice figures which can fit in, I will happily add them in to get a fully mixed appearance to the army.  I avoided using Persian bowmen, as they are needed elsewhere.
I have left a space here for the Saka infantry.  These have not yet been completed - and are pretty much the same as Sparabara in game terms, but without the large shield bonus.  I had been hoping that Khurasan would produce these, as they were promised at the time the Immortals were released, but no such luck.  Xyston have released some Scythian infantry which I will mix in with Persian bowmen to fudge the unit with - I'm hoping to be able to revisit them at some stage when I can see either the Xyston Scythian infantry with bow, or the Khurasan Saka infantry - if either are still coming, of course.
 
 
 
 
Mossynoici levied infantry, Colchian levied infantry
 
The properly poor infantry.  With a fighting value of 4, they are as weak as levy (but with a bit more saying power), and are the weakest level of infantry you can get in Armati.  I love them for it.
The figures are the Xyston Persians in Eastern and Median dress respectively.  The shields, however, are Corvus Belli oval basket shield (Celts, Hundred Years War) which I used the small round file to dig out indents from, making a passable violin shield.  I particularly wanted to get violin shieds into the army, and simply could not find any on sale.  These also happen to be some rather nice figures, and I think they came up very well.  All the illustrations I could find showed a plain reddish shield, so I was also happy to not have to worry about a shield pattern.
 
The Lights
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hebrew Light Infatry, Armenian Light Infantry, Paphlagonian Light Infantry and Pactyian Indian Light Infantry
 
 Peltast types first - I have again attempted to get as much variety into the army as the list allows.  I was particulrly hppy to be able to make use of one of the newer Xyston ranges ere - the Hebrews, which seem perfect for the sort of forces which this troop type represents.
 
There are also some Light Infantry Bowmen - figures I have no doubt will only be used to make up points at some stage.
 
 
 
 
Thracian and Persian figures here - I couldn't see anywhere to get Sogdians as the list calls for.
 
 Skirmishers
 
Three varieties of skirmishers: Javelins, Slingers and Bowmen
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thracian and Persian javelinmen; Persian and Hebrew slingers, and Kushite bowmen.
 
The Kushite Bowmen are a copy from the Immortal Miniatures 28mm range - I had a deal of trouble finding a figure to use too - Essex produced one in the end, which I mixed with some old Lybian figures with their feathers cut off.  the others are all Xyston - the Hebrew Slingers are particularly nice, especially the chap with stones in his cloak.
 
Cavalry
 
Finally, the mounted component of the army
 
First, the 'funnies'
 
 
 
 
Indian Chariots and Arab camels
 
I did these first, ast hey were picked up in odd orders to make a reasonable sized package for the manufacturers to deliver - I assume they will be a bit miffed at having to go to the post office for one pack of something, so I try to bulk up a bit with some other stuff when I can.
 
the chariot is Xyston, and the camels are a mix of Chariot Miniatures and Essex - all Midianite ranges.
 
Finally the Cavalry.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Light Cavalry - Scythian, Mede, Persian and Paphlagonian
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Heavy Cavalry - Satrapal Guard, Scythian, Babylonian colonists, Persian Colonists, Median Cavalry.
 
That is the completed project.  I really enjoyed planning and producing this army, and I have had one very good game with them already, not successful, but that is the frst game syndrome, so to be expected.
 
I also noticed a lot of image problems on this page when I was adding the cavalry - the problems are new, and were not there even a few weeks earlier, and nor are they apparent when I edit the page, so it must be a google vs Internet Explorer thing - the images are fine in Firefox, if that helps anyone, although a couple are a bit skewed - which I think may just be a change of camera issue
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