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Bosporan

Bosporan

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Historical Overview Section


The Bosporan kingdom or the Kingdom of the Cimmerian Bosporus was an ancient state, located in eastern Crimea and the Taman Peninsula on the shores of the Cimmerian Bosporus (see Strait of Kerch). It is arguably the first truly 'Hellenistic' state in which a mixed population adopted the Greek language and civilization. The storyline of the motion picture Cross of Iron revolves around conflicts that arise within the leadership of a Wehrmacht regiment during the German retreat from the Taman Peninsula.

The kingdom was founded and governed from 480 to 438 BC by the Archaeanactidae ruling family, who gave place to a Thracian tyrant Spartocus (438–431 BC). He founded a dynasty which endured until c. 110 BC in which his successors were either called Spartocus or Paerisades, making it difficult for historians to assign them any certain order, but proving a boon to wargamers who can name their generals with a high degree of certainty. The last King of the dynasty Paerisades V in 108 BC called in the help of Diophantus, a general of the Pontic king Mithridates the Great, promising to hand over his kingdom to that prince if he could help against rebels, shortly before he was slain by a Skythian or Saka named Saumacus who led a rebellion against him.

With his general in sort of control, Mithridates entered the picture and entrusted the Bosporus Cimmerius to his son Machares, who, however, deserted to the Late Republican Romans. But even when driven out of his own kingdom by Late Republican Roman General Pompey, Mithridates was strong enough to regain the Cimmerian Bosporus and Machares slew himself. Subsequently the Bosporans again rose in revolt under Pharnaces, another of the old king's sons. After the death of Mithridates (63 BC) Pharnaces tried to regain his dominion during the Late Republican Roman civil war, but was defeated by Caesar at Zela and later killed by a former governor of his. A pretender, Asander ruled as archon, and later as king, until 17 BC. Successive succession disputes were rarely free of pernicious Roman influence until Tiberius Julius Aspurgus (8 BC - 38) founded a line of kings which endured until 341, all under close Roman patronage.

The Bosporans carried on a perpetual war with the native tribes supported by their Roman suzerains, who even lent the assistance of garrison and fleet (the latter is not represented in FoG, but would have been in DBM). In 255 Goths (possibly Early Ostrogothic and Herul tribes) raided the shores of Anatolia. With the coins of the last King Tiberius Julius Rhescuporis VI, in 341, materials for a connected history of the Bosporus Cimmerius come to an end. The kingdom probably succumbed to the Western Hunnic army who had defeated the nearby Early Alans in 375/376 and moved rapidly westwards bringing destruction in their wake.

User-contributed links about this army:


Using the Army in FoG

  • Ostensibly the heart of this army is the high quality charging lancers, who will outmatch most cavalry in the Classical Period. 12 is a minimum for a decent strike force in an all-skirmish army, otherwise take 5+ units (of 4) for real punch - 4 is a half-way house that is just wrong.
  • Later dates allow the fielding of material quantities of actual and faux legionaries through use of City Militia (especially post 84BC) and a Dominate Roman ally contingent, giving hard hitting power and also helping boost the unit count of the army. This option seems to deliver a far better infantry strike force than the limited number of spearmen or Thracians available to earlier armies
  • They are also one of few armies now allowed to deploy in formations of 4 bases, making a Bosporan Swarm quite a possibility - abeit a risky one for Ordinary Militia legions.
  • Bow-Swordsmen horse archers are also available in serious quantities, and are likely to be better than most of their in-period opponents.
  • The army (in its post 108BC version) has remarkably few minima (8 Cv) allowing great flexibility in army choice and making it difficult for an opponent to know whether he or she is facing a stubborn infantry force or a highly mobile light horse army with a core of lancers - that can also operate in Steppe terrain.
  • The option for up to 6 units of 2/3-points-each poor light foot helps to bulk out the army considerably, and will cause problems for slower-footed opponents.
  • Alternatively use two BGs of 8 poor LF archers and one BG of 8 LF slingers. They will provide your lancers with a screen against shooters, are a threat in themselves and generally a bloody nuisance to your opponent as well as increasing the size of the army.
  • The army will have enough LH and Cv to get +2 on initiative, bu an FC or IC makes it highly likley you can win the initiative throw and secure the (somewhat unlikely Steppe terrain
  • The MF bow are not really worth it in a Bosphoran army

Allied Contingents

  • Skythian - Early Skythian or Saka : Date restrictions Before 300 BC Book: Immortal Fire Page: 28 - Bw/Sw cavalry or Lh are always welcome additions, and Bw/Sw Cv are unusual in period
  • Sarmatian, Early : Date restrictions None Book: Immortal Fire Page: 49 - More charging cavalry to add to your existing charging cavalry - Yoiks!
  • Roman, Principate : Date restrictions 25 to 284 Book: Legions Triumphant Page: 6 - 4 legions, 4 auxilia, 4 cavalry as a minimum make this expensive but tough - and all 3 are useful. Make the legions as good as you can afford if you are taking them, and don’t be distracted with the other optional troops.

UK Tournament Results with This Army

6 / 20 Bosporan Warfare 2008 15mm (RoR, IF, LT)
10 / 13 Bosporan IWF 2008 15mm (open)
11 / 16 Bosporan Godendag 2008 Doubles (RoR)
15 / 16 BOSPORAN Scottish Open 2008 (open)
16 / 41 Bosporan BHGS Challenge 2008 (open)
17 / 41 Bosporan BHGS Challenge 2008 (open)
18 / 41 Bosporan BHGS Challenge 2008 (open)

15mm Manufacturers supplying figures for this army

As a hellenized / Roman client army, there are a wide range of suitable figures for Bosporans. You can see some of the figures in the Ancients Photo Gallery also on this site

Image Image Image Image Image


Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army

800 AP list used at Warfare 2010 (2nd place)

  • 8 Poor LF Bw
  • 6 Poor LF Sling
  • 8 LF Bw Poor
  • 6 LF Sling, Poor
  • 4 LH, Bw,Sw
  • 4 LH, Bw,Sw
  • 4 LH, Bw,Sw
  • 6 Poor LF, Bw
  • 4 LH, Bw,Sw
  • 4 Armoured Lancers
  • 4 Armoured Lancers
  • 4 Armoured Lancers
  • 4 Armoured Lancers
  • 4 Armoured Lancers
  • 4 Cv, Unarmoured Bw/Sw, Average
  • IC + 3xTC


800 AP list used to win Britcon 2010

  • 1 x 6 LF, Poor, Bow
  • 1 x 6 LF, Poor, Sling
  • 6 x 4 LH, Average, Bow, Swordsmen
  • 2 x 4 LH, Average, Bow, Sworsmen (Skythian)
  • 1 x 4 Cv, Undrilled, Armoured, Superior, Lancer, Swordsmen (Skythian)
  • 4 x 4 Cv, Undrilled, Armoured, Superior, Lancer, Swordsmen
  • 3 x TC
  • 1 x Allied TC


3 x 4 Cv Lancers
4 x 4 LH
2 X 6 MF armoured L/S sword drilled (these are your best infantry troops in this army)
1 x 6 MF L/S undrilled ( essential rear support for the above)
I think 4x6 various LF
IC and 3 TC

800 AP list used by Richard Collins at Warfare (100 AD version)

  • 6 Poor LF, Sling
  • 6 Poor LF, Sling
  • 6 Poor LF, JLS
  • 6 Poor LF, JLS
  • 6 Poor LF, Bw
  • 4 LH, Bw, Sw
  • 4 Militia, Armoured Impact Foot Swordsmen, Average HF
  • 4 Militia, Armoured Impact Foot Swordsmen, Average HF
  • 4 Militia, Armoured Impact Foot Swordsmen, Average HF
  • 4 LH, Bw, Sw
  • 4 LH, Bw, Sw
  • 4 Cv, Armoured, Superior, lance, Sword
  • 4 Cv, Armoured, Superior, lance, Sword
  • 4 Cv, Armoured, Superior, lance, Sword
  • 4 Allied Legionaries, Superior, Impact Foot, Skilled Swordsmen, Armoured
  • 4 Allied Legionaries, Superior, Impact Foot, Skilled Swordsmen, Armoured
  • 4 Allied Legionaries, Superior, Impact Foot, Skilled Swordsmen, Armoured
  • IC, FC, allied TC


This army used the many poor LF and small unit size permitted to Romans to maximise the unit count, and also to put a lot of irrellevant troops out early to mask deployment of the allied legions and lancers. The legions provide a surprisingly hard infantry center to the army, further enhanced by the "better than most militia I know" militia. The army has virtually no rough terrain capabilities, but its swarm of LF and LH can delay and harass the enemy in rough terrain, and the allocation of even just one or two units of militia can make coming out of terrain a risky proposition for most MF types.

1000 AP doubles Bosporans - 4 Generals

  • 4 Lancers Superior Armoured, Swordsmen, Undrilled Nobles
  • 4 Lancers Superior Armoured, Swordsmen, Undrilled Nobles
  • 4 Lancers Superior Armoured, Swordsmen, Undrilled Nobles
  • 4 Cavalry Unprotected Bow Swordsmen Average Undrilled Bowmen
  • 4 Lancers Superior Armoured, Swordsmen, Undrilled Nobles
  • 6 LH, Bow, Sword, Unprotected, Average Light Bowmen
  • 6 LH, Bow, Sword, Unprotected, Average Light Bowmen
  • 4 Cavalry Unprotected Swordsmen Bow, Average Bowmen
  • 4 Lancers Superior Armoured, Swordsmen, Undrilled Nobles
  • 6 Li, JLS, Average, Unprotected Geneic Light Infantry
  • 8 Li, Bw, Average Unprotected Undrilled Generic Light Bowmen
  • 8 Li, Bw, Average Unprotected Undrilled Generic Light Bowmen
  • 8 Li, JLS, Average, Unprotected Geneic Light Infantry
  • 6 Medium Infantry Protected Average JLS undrilled Foot rabble
  • 8 Medium Foot, Average Heavy Weapon Protected Undrilled Thracians
  • 8 Medium Foot JLS Swordsmen Armoured Average Undrilled Better Rabble

match report using his army against Carthaginians at Usk 2008


Name of Army / Date

  • Using asterisks inthe edit mode creates a bulleted list in the actual site
  • This is a lot easier to do than easier than setting up tables
  • For FoG I suggest listing your army in order or march
  • with troop desctiptions on each line, for example
  • 4 HF Armoured Average Drilled Impact Foot Swordsmen
  • 8 LG Undrilled Unarmoured Poor Bowen
  • Dont forget to include your Generals !!!

Include any notes you want here, including comments on how to use - or play against - the army.

Remember to leave a line before you copy the above section as a template for your own list

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Created by admin. Last Modification: Thursday 25 of November, 2010 21:26:03 GMT by admin. (Version 23)
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