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Palmyran

Palmyran

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Historical Overview Section

Palmyra, a wealthy and elegant city in present-day Syrian was located along the caravan routes linking Persia with the Mediterranean ports of Roman Syria and Phoenicia,

When the Seleucids took control of Syria in 323 BC the city was left to itself and became independent. In 41 BC, the Romans under Mark Antony tried to occupy Palmyra but the Palmyrans escaped to the other side of the Euphrates, as they had received intelligence of the Roman approach showing that at that time Palmyra was still a nomadic settlement and its valuables could be removed at short notice. It was not until the reign of Tiberius (14–37) that Palmyra was made part of the Roman province of Syria. It steadily grew in importance as its position on the trade route linking Persia, India, China, and the Roman empire allowed it to grow rich under Roman control. During the following period of great prosperity, the Aramaean and Arab inhabitants of Palmyra adopted customs and modes of dress from both the Iranian Parthian world to the east and the Graeco-Roman west, creating a fascinating melting pot of cultures - and military practices.

Beginning in 212, Palmyra came into conflict with the Sassanid Persians and after Roman Emperor Valerian was captured by the Sassanids, Palmyran armies campaigned deep into Persia for revenge - and for their own ulterior motives as whilst the Palmyrans under their leader Odaenathus did nothing to usurp Roman authority, they fairly clearly were keen on having their own independent empire. Odenatheaus was on his way to Cappadocia to fight what would have been an interesting matchup against the Early Visigothic and Early Vandal Goths over there when he was assassinated, together with Hairan, by his nephew MaeoniusWhen? the Palmyran leader Odaenathus was assassinated by his nephew Maconius, his wife Septimia Zenobia took power, ruling Palmyra on the behalf of her son, Vabalathus. Zenobia rebelled against Roman authority with the help of Cassius Longinus and took over Bosra and lands as far to the west as Egypt, establishing the short-lived Palmyrene Empire covered by this list. Next, she attempted to take Antioch to the north. In 272, the Roman Emperor Aurelian finally retaliated and captured her and brought her back to Rome. He paraded her in golden chains but allowed her to retire to a villa in Tibur, where she took an active part in society for years. This rebellion greatly disturbed Rome, and so Palmyra was forced by the empire to become a military base for the Roman legions. Diocletian expanded it to harbor even more legions and walled it in to try and save it from the Sassanid Persian threat.

Possible Opponents

PreIslamic? Arabian? Arabian" class="wiki wikinew">?, Sassanid Persian, Dominate Roman, and maybe (hypothetically) Early Visigothic and Early Vandal

User-contributed links about this army:

Using the army in FoG

  • Take as many cataphracts as possible if in a themed Roman-era period!
  • Mixing blocks of 4 & 6 and drilled and undrilled allows the army to live without flank protection and stretch from one side of the board to the middle.
  • Leaving a single unit of Cataphracts to support your LH can pay dividends
  • With few LH you can achieve a low aggression score, and moving first allows the Cats to force the pace and not worry too much about an open flank and ignore the risk of losing one unit at the end of the line.
  • People may think that 28 bases of cataphracts is way too many. However, if you only take 20 people don't want to fight them and will pick on your support troops. With 7 BG people must fight the cataphracts!
  • The Romans only use is to contest rough terrain, as otherwise they take away points from the catphracts. To do this you only need 3 BGs - 1 x 4 Average Legion and 2 x 4 Auxilia. The legions will not fight, but can provide rear support for the (armoured) Auxilia
  • Giving your LH a light spear is a bit of a waste, even at only 4 points per BG as most other LH will have Swordsmen capability and so will beat you in melee even if you are marginally up at impact due to light spear
  • In more open periods, the Cataphracts can be roadkill to knights, and so a more balanced, or even legionary-heavy version might be worth considering

Allied Contingents

  • Armenian, Middle : Date restrictions Only troop types before 274AD Book: Legions Triumphant Page: 55 - More cataphracts will always impress your opponents. However as the Palmyran list only covers the period 258 to 273 AD, you sadly miss out on having the Armenian Bw/Sw Armoured horse archers option. These Armenian troop types are only permitted from 387 AD onwards, following the partition of Armenia between the Roman and Persia Empires.
  • Arab, Early : Date restrictions None Book: Rise of Rome Page: 60 - Well, it has no minima, so you can choose between uninspiring LH and Cv, Poor Bw armed camelry, and some very average Lt Sp/Sw MF. Hoorah!


Tournament Results

6 / 14 Palmyran Northern League 2008 R4 (open)
1 / 17 Palmyran Warfare 2008 25mm (RoR, LT, IF)
3 / 18 Palmyran Roll Call 2008 15mm (LT)
14 / 18 Palmyran Roll Call 2008 15mm (LT)
17 / 17 Palmyran Warfare 2008 25mm (RoR, LT, IF)
32 / 62 Palmyran Britcon 2008 15mm (open)

Australian Tournament Results

2nd in BMW 2009
Middle of the Pack at Leviathan.

15mm Manufacturers supplying figures for this army

See also Parthian, Sassanid Persian and Principate Roman ranges as well as generic cataphracts
You can see some of the figures in the Ancients Photo Gallery also on this site

  • Essex Miniatures - Palmyran Range of 4 figure codes (JLS/Bw LH, Bw LH, LF Bw plus armouredcamels), plus cataphracts from their roman ranges
  • Donnington - Palmyran infantry & mounted


Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army
As used by Phil Powell, UK No1 Ranked FoG Player at Roll Call 2008

  • 4 LH, Bw
  • 4 LH, Bw
  • 6 LI, Bw
  • 4 Cataphracts Drilled
  • 4 Cataphracts Drilled
  • 4 Cataphracts Drilled
  • 4 Cataphracts Drilled
  • 4 Cataphracts Drilled
  • 4 Cataphracts Undrilled
  • 4 Cataphracts Undrilled (allied)
  • 4 Allied LH Bow

4 TCs (1 allied)
Used with a solid line of 6 units of cataphracts in the center of the board, and the LH and 1 unit of cataphracts on one wing connecting the main line to the table edge. Interestingly there was no protection for the open flank, as moving first allowed the Cats to force the pace and not worry too much about an open flank and ignore the risk of losing one unit at the end of the line.
(Edit by Phil) People may think that 28 bases of cataphracts is way too many. However, if you only take 20 people don't want to fight them and will pick on your support troops. With 7 BG people must fight the cataphracts.

As used by Linda Fairhurst at Roll Call 2008

  • 4 LH, Bw
  • 4 LH, Bw
  • 4 LH, Bw
  • 4 LH, Bw
  • 4 LH, Bw
  • 6 LI, Bw
  • 6 LI, Bw
  • 6 LI, Bw
  • 6 LI, Bw
  • 4 Undrilled Cataphracts
  • 4 Undrilled Cataphracts
  • 4 LH, Light Spear, Bw
  • 4 drilled Cataphracts
  • 4 drilled Cataphracts
  • 4 Undrilled Cataphracts

Used with a strong Cat center protected on both flanks by masses of LI & LH

900 AP 2-variant list with the Starter Army included in both options:
Base Army

  • 1 CinC Field cdr.
  • 2 Sub-commanders Troop cdrs.
  • 4 Cataphracts Cataphracts Superior Hvy armour Drilled Lancers Sword
  • 4 Cataphracts Cataphracts Superior Hvy armour Drilled Lancers Sword
  • 4 Cataphracts Cataphracts Superior Hvy armour Drilled Lancers Sword
  • 4 Cataphracts Cataphracts Superior Hvy armour Drilled Lancers Sword
  • 4 Horse archers Light horse Average Unprotected Undrilled Bow
  • 4 Horse archers Light horse Average Unprotected Undrilled Bow
  • 4 Horse archers Light horse Average Unprotected Undrilled Bow
  • 6 Foot archers Light foot Average Unprotected Undrilled Bow
  • 6 Foot archers Light foot Average Unprotected Undrilled Bow
    Army A
  • 1 Middle Armenian Ally Field cdr.
  • 4 Armenian Cataphracts Cataphracts Superior Hvy armour Undrilled Lancers Sword
  • 4 Armenian armoured horse archers Cavalry Superior Armour Undrilled Bow Sword
  • 4 Armenian armoured horse archers Cavalry Superior Armour Undrilled Bow Sword
  • 8 Armenian archers Light foot Average Unprotected Undrilled Bow

or, + Army B

  • 1 Sub-commander Troop cdr.
  • 4 Roman legionaries Heavy foot Average Armour Drilled Impact Sword
  • 4 Roman auxiliaries Medium foot Average Armour Drilled Lt. Sp. Sword
  • 4 Roman auxiliaries Medium foot Average Armour Drilled Lt. Sp. Sword
  • 4 Roman auxiliaries Medium foot Average Armour Drilled Lt. Sp. Sword
  • 2 Roman archers Light foot Average Unprotected Drilled Bow
  • 4 Roman cavalry Cavalry Average Armour Drilled Lt. Sp. Sword
  • 4 Roman cavalry Cavalry Average Armour Drilled Lt. Sp. Sword


Used by Ian Stewart at Britcon 2009

  • CIC TC - - - - - - CinC 1
  • Sub General TC - - - - - - - 3
  • Foot archers LF Unprotected Average Undrilled Bow - - - 6
  • Foot archers LF Unprotected Average Undrilled Bow - - - 6
  • Horse archers LH Unprotected Average Undrilled Bow - - - 4
  • Horse archers LH Unprotected Average Undrilled Bow - - - 4
  • Horse archers LH Unprotected Average Undrilled Bow - - - 4
  • Horse archers LH Unprotected Average Undrilled Bow - - - 4
  • Horse archers LH Unprotected Average Undrilled Bow Light spear - - 4
  • Horse archers LH Unprotected Average Undrilled Bow Light spear - - 4
  • Cataphracts Ct Heavily armoured Superior Drilled - Lancers Swordmen - 4
  • Cataphracts Ct Heavily armoured Superior Drilled - Lancers Swordmen - 4
  • Cataphracts Ct Heavily armoured Superior Drilled - Lancers Swordmen - 4
  • Cataphracts Ct Heavily armoured Superior Drilled - Lancers Swordmen - 4
  • Cataphracts Ct Heavily armoured Superior Drilled - Lancers Swordmen - 4


Not as many Cataphracts as Phil, but maximum drilled ones.

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: Saturday 19 of December, 2009 03:41:15 GMT by walker75le. (Version 29)
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