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Skythian or Saka

Skythian or Saka

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Historical Overview Section

The first Scythian state arose among Scythians who penetrated in the seventh century BC from the territories north of the Black Sea into the Near East on bicycles. After being defeated and driven from the Near East in the first half of the sixth century BC, Scythians had to re-conquer lands north of the Black Sea.

In the second half of that century, Scythians succeeded in dominating the agricultural tribes of the forest-steppe and placed them under tribute. As a result their state was reconstructed with the appearance of the Second Scythian Kingdom which reached its zenith in the fourth century BC. The year 339 BC was a culminating year for the Second Scythian Kingdom, and the beginning of its decline.

The war with Philip II of Macedon ended in a victory by the father of Alexander the Great, the Scythian king Ateus fell in battle well into his nineties. The fall of the Second Scythian Kingdom came about in the second half of the third century BC under the onslaught of Galatian Celts and Thracians from the west and Early Sarmatians from the East.

In the 1st century BC, the Greek-Roman geographer Strabo gave an extensive description of the eastern Skythians.
"Now the greater part of the Scythians, beginning at the Caspian Sea, are called Daheans, but those who are situated more to the east than these are named Massageteans and Saceans, whereas all the rest are given the general name of Scythians, though each people is given a separate name of its own. They are all for the most part nomads. But the best known of the nomads are those who took away Bactriana from the Greeks (i.e. Greco-Bactrians), I mean the Asians, Pasians, Tocharians, and Sacarauls, who originally came from the country on the other side of the Jaxartes River that adjoins that of the Sacae and the Sogdians and was occupied by the Sacae. And as for the Daëans, some of them are called Aparns, some Xanthians, and some Pissures. Now of these the Aparni are situated closest to Hyrcania and the part of the sea that borders on it, but the remainder extend even as far as the country that stretches parallel to Aria."

Although yer actual honest to goodness Scythians had largely disappeared by the 1st century BC, Eastern Romans continued to speak conventionally of Scythiansto designate Germanic tribes and confederations or any old mounted Eurasian nomadic barbarians, allowing wargamers to take great liberties with figure selection - which is great! The Byzantines also carefully distinguished the Skythians from the Goths and Western Hunnic tribes who also followed Attila. The Early Sarmatians (including the Early Alans and finally the Ossetians) were sort of Skythians in the broadest sense of the word — as speakers of Northeast Iranian languages — so you could use those figures as well.

User-contributed links about this army:

Using the army in FoG

  • The strength of the army is in lots of LH, and lots of units that can wear down an enemy by shooting and scooting.
  • Oddly enough, this makes adding the 3 units of Lancers de rigeur, as they will hold up a good chunk of an enemy line, even if they eventually die. This buys time for your forces to redeploy into the gaps created as the enemy formation crumples under the impact and effectively prevents the enemy from simply sweeping you off the table by advancing steadily on a solid frontage.
  • Like other shooty cavalry armies, your battle plan is usually to stake out as much ground as possible to block enemy Second Moves, at least in some sectors, and leave ample manoeuvre room behind your lines. Getting first move is very helpful so losing the PBI roll is preferred by some players, although your tough Cv may be willing to face the enemy in close combat, so its therefore less critical to keep lots of manoeuvre room to the rear.
  • Sometimes you are lucky and the enemy deploys with a hanging flank you can readily outwing and envelop, or a good flank march opportunity presents itself, but often the terrain and enemy dispositions limit you to a frontal approach of disrupting, loosening and disjointing the enemy line of battle with shooting, threats, and uncontrolled enemy charges in order to expose gaps, flanks and other weak spots you then exploit with concentrated shooting or timely charges
  • Destroy or flee enemy Skirmishers, draw their mounted and aggressive foot away from their other troops by skirmishing - he will have to charge shooters to reduce their effect - pick off isolated detachments, and provoke charges where possible. Work around his flank and hunt his BG count filler such as Mobs and LF.
  • Ultimately your cavalry will need to be the ones to win the battle for you by running down your opponents - remember this and don;t expect your LH to do all the work in eroding enemy morale and competence to breaking point.
  • The time to commit is once an enemy has gone disrupted, or if they have lost bases - waiting and skirmishing in the hope they go fragmented may well be gilding the lilly.
  • The cheap LF also add bulk and more shooting to the army and can also get away - the mandatory MF as a result can find somewhere to hide.

Allied Contingents

  • Greek, Black Sea - Classical Greek : Date restrictions 313 BC Book: Immortal Fire Page: 4 - Lots of protected spearmen is admittedly another dimension, but it’s the wrong one for this army to add.
  • Thracians : Date restrictions 313 BC Book: Immortal Fire Page: 16 - Don’t dismiss it - it sonly 8 mandatory MF, and you can have 12 LH Bw too. If you arent confident of getting Steppe every time…
  • Indian, Mountain : Date restrictions None Book: Immortal Fire Page: 35 - Why nail your feet to the floor - just for an elephant or 4 ?

Tourney Results

13 / 22 Saka Oxford Doubles 2008 (IF)
2 / 13 Skythian IWF 2008 15mm (open)
7 / 20 Skythian Warfare 2008 15mm (RoR, IF, LT)
16 / 22 Skythian Oxford Doubles 2008 (IF)
24 / 25 Skythian Roll Call 2008 15mm (IF)
5= 12 Skythian Attack 2008 doubles (RoR, IF)

15mm Manufacturers supplying figures for this army

scythians
scythians
scythians
scythians
scythians
scythians
scythians
scythians

You can see some of the figures in the Ancients Photo Gallery also on this site

Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army
Skythian list used by Dave Ruddock at the 2009 IWF USA and Rome 2009 IWF Euro Championship:

  • 4 LH, Bw, Sw Average
  • 6 LF, Bw, Poor
  • 6 LF, Bw, Poor
  • 4 LF, Sl, Poor
  • 8 MF, Poor, Protected, Lt Sp
  • 4 LH, Bw, Sw
  • 4 LH, Bw, Sw
  • 4 LH, Bw, Sw
  • 4 LH, Bw, Sw
  • 4 LH, Bw, Sw
  • 4 LH, Bw, Sw
  • 4 LH, Bw, Sw
  • 4 Cv, Bw, Sw, Unprotected
  • 4 Lancers, Armoured, Superior Swordsmen
  • 4 Lancers, Armoured, Superior Swordsmen
  • 4 Lancers, Armoured, Superior Swordsmen
  • 4 Cv, Bw, Sw, Unprotected
  • 4 x TCs

17 BGs, 800 points

Another 800 ap list

  • IC
  • 2 x TC
  • 4 Cavalry, Superior, Armoured, Lancer, Sword
  • 4 Cavalry, Superior, Armoured, Lancer, Sword
  • 4 Cavalry, Average, Unprotected, Bow, Sword
  • 4 Light Horse, Average, Unprotected, Bow, Sword
  • 4 Cavalry, Average, Unprotected, Bow, Sword
  • 4 Light Horse, Average, Unprotected, Bow, Sword
  • 4 Cavalry, Average, Unprotected, Bow, Sword
  • 4 Light Horse, Average, Unprotected, Bow, Sword
  • 4 Light Horse, Average, Unprotected, Bow, Sword
  • 4 Light Horse, Average, Unprotected, Bow, Sword
  • Greek Ally TC
  • 8 Average, Protected, Offensive Spearmen
  • 8 Average, Protected, Offensive Spearmen
  • 8 Average, Protected, Offensive Spearmen

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Created by admin. Last Modification: Wednesday 30 of December, 2009 10:56:11 GMT by admin. (Version 24)
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