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Achaemenid Persian

Historical Overview Section

The Achaemenid Empire or Achaemenid Persian Empire was the first of the Persian Empires to rule over significant portions of Greater Iran, and followed the Median Empire as the second great empire of the Iranian Peoples. At the height of its power, the Achaemenid Empire encompassed approximately 6.5 million square kilometers and territorially exceeded Rome as the largest empire of classical antiquity. The empire was forged by Cyrus the Great, and spanned three continents, including territories of Afghanistan and Pakistan, parts of Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and all significant population centers of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya.

Xerxes I , son of Darius I, organised a massive expedition aiming to conquer the Classical Greeks. His army entered Greece from the north, meeting little or no resistance through Macedonia and Thessaly, but was held by a small Spartan Classical Greek force for three days at Thermopylae. A simultaneous naval battle at Artemisium was tactically indecisive as large storms destroyed ships from both sides. The battle was stopped prematurely when the Greeks received news of the defeat at Thermopylae and retreated. The battle was a strategic victory for the Persians, giving them uncontested control of Artemisium and Aegean Sea.

Following his victory at the Battle of Thermopylae, Xerxes sacked the evacuated city of Athens and prepared to meet the Greeks at the strategic Isthmus of Corinth and the Saronic Gulf. In 480 BCE the Greeks won a decisive victory at the Battle of Salamis and forced Xerxes to retire to Sardis. The army which he left in Greece under Mardonius was destroyed in 479 BCE at the Battle of Plataea. The final defeat of the Persians at Mycale encouraged the Greek cities of Asia to revolt, and marked the end of the Greco-Persian Wars, along with Persian expansion to Europe.

Using the army in ADLG

  • Use the normal bowmen to lengthen the Sparabara & Immortals line - a base or two tucked in the middle of each block is cheap enough and no-one will want to take them on anyway
  • hint 2

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Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army
Britcon 2018
64 EAP
Competent
2 sparabara ½ Medium swordsmen ½ Bowmen ------
1 immortals ½ Medium swordsmen ½ Bowmen Elite
2 persians and medes Heavy cavalry bow Elite
1 persians and medes Medium cavalry bow Elite
1 scythian and bactrian Light cavalry bow Elite
1 lydians Light infantry javelin ------
==
Competent
2 lydian hoplite Heavy spearmen armour Mediocre
2 light infantry javelin Light infantry javelin ------
2 thracians Javelinmen ------
1 parthians Bowmen ----
==
Competent
2 immortals ½ Medium swordsmen ½ Bowmen Elite
1 persians and medes Heavy cavalry bow Elite
2 persians and medes Medium cavalry bow Elite
1 scythians and bactrians Light cavalry bow Elite
1 lydians Light infantry javelin ----

Campaign 2018
3 Immortals
2 Elite HC
2 LH JLS
2 LF Bw
Genius General
==
3 Sparabara
3 LF jav
Ordinary general
==
2 LF Bow
2 LH Bow
4 Elite HC
Included Brilliant general

2 Sparabara
1 Immortals
2 Javelinmen
1 LF Bow
2 HC Elite HC
1 Lc Bow
Brill general
==
1 Imortals
1 Sparabara
2 Med Spears
1 LF Bw
1 LF Jls
Competent
==
2 Elite MCv
2 Elite HC
1 LC Bw
1 LC Bw
Competent
200 points used in Saumur 2016
Competent General
2 Persians and Medes Medium cavalry bow Elite
1 Kappadocians Light cavalry javelin ------
1 Scythians Light cavalry bow ------
1 Persian Guardsman Heavy cavalry bow Elite
1 Persians and Medes Heavy cavalry bow ----
1 Bactrians Light cavalry bow Elite

Competent General
2 Immortals ½ Medium swordsmen ½ Bowmen Elite
4 Sparabara ½ Medium swordsmen ½ Bowmen ------
2 Thracians Medium swordsmen ------
2 Libyans, Colchians Light infantry javelin ----
1 Arabs Light infantry bow ------

Included Competent Allied General
4 Hoplites Heavy spearmen armour
2 Light Inf Javelin Light infantry javelin



200 Points
3 Competent Generals

  • 3 Persians and Medes Heavy cavalry bow Elite 13
  • 1 Kappadocians Light cavalry javelin ------ 6
  • 2 Scythians Light cavalry bow ------ 6
  • 1 Persians and Medes Heavy cavalry bow ------ 11
  • 1 Levy Levy ---- 3

======

  • 3 Immortals ½ Medium swordsmen ½ Bowmen Elite 11
  • 3 SPARABARA ½ Medium swordsmen ½ Bowmen ------ 9
  • 1 assyrians Medium spearmen ------ 7
  • 2 Libyans, Colchians Light infantry javelin ---- 4
  • 1 Scythed Chariots Scythed chariot ------ 3

=

  • 4 Hoplites Heavy spearmen armor ---- #N/A
  • 2 Light Inf Javelin Light infantry javelin 4



Anti-Elephant list used at Patras 2019

Strategist
1 x ½ MSwd ½ Bow Elite
2 x ½ MSwd ½ Bow
3 x Javelinmen
1 LC Bow Elite
1 x HC Bow Elite
1 x MC Bow
1 x MC Mediocre
1 x HSp Mediocre
1 x LI Bow

Brilliant
1 x ½ MSwd ½ Bow Elite
1 x ½ MSwd ½ Bow
1 x Javelinmen
1 x MC Mediocre
1 x HSp Mediocre
1 x LI Jav
1 x MCm Bow Mediocre
2 x Scythed Chariots

Ordinary/Included
1 x HC Bow Elite
2 x MC Bow
1 LC Bow

This list has one specific aim - to scare elephants (or rather their generals) and maybe even kill them (the elephants that is). It only got two outings at Patras and the only elephant it killed was from shooting (after first shooting down its LI shield). The Elephants were effectively neutralised by fear of the Javelinmen leaving the rest of the army to shoot up the Medium foot escorts and sundry others.

The Mediocre troops were good value – the MCm add to shooting and can whip through brush at full speed; the MC are good for covering gaps and threatening flanks; the HSp can be pushed into the face of enemy cavalry and will take a lot of effort/time to kill and they sometimes win a combat.

The Scythed Chariots aren’t expected to kill anything although they when they do it’s a bonus. Their main function is to focus the mind of the opposition and make them cautious about coming forward. The trick is to have a gap in the line so they can get in cleanly. I keep the general with them so they never have to charge in range and can always make a difficult manoeuvre.

General purpose list used at Patras 2019

Strategist
1 x ½ MSwd ½ Bow Elite
1 x ½ MSwd ½ Bow
2 x HC Bow Elite
2 x MC Bow
1 x MC Mediocre
1 x HSp Mediocre
1 x LI Bow
2 x Scythed Chariots

Brilliant
2 x ½ MSwd ½ Bow
1 x MC Mediocre
1 x HSp Mediocre
1 x LI Bow
2 x MCm Bow Mediocre
1 x LCm Bow Mediocre
2 x War Wagon Bow

Ordinary/Included
1 x HC Bow Elite
1 x MC Bow
1 x LC Bow

If you’re having difficulty making sense of this list then join the club. My thoughts on drafting it were I wanted all Cyrus’s toys – the chariots, the wagons and the camels. Plus I wanted it to have a good chance of controlling the battlefield and having enough C&C to allow me to use the toys effectively. It took half a dozen practice games to get them to work as part of a coordinated force.

The high initiative meant I often got to choose which terrain to fight in (never Plain). I could attack an opponent that would be suited to advancing quickly from the start. Or defend in order to draw a heavy infantry army out into the centre of the table.

The Persian and Median horse archers have an obvious and traditional role as do the Sparabara/Immortals, and the Mediocre MC and HSp. The camels were a tempting target for opposition archers and often ended up as casualties while more strategically important troops took less shooting.

As mentioned already, the trick with the scythed chariots is knowing when to commit them, Their value is in the attention they draw and the time they take to be dealt with – one sticking on the front of a Cataphract line means tying up a cataphract and its supports for a turn.

Finally, the war wagons – it takes a lot of practice to use them effectively. They’re pigs to manoeuvre, but once you get the hang of them they can do some amazing things. Such as:

  • using the 1UD 'advance and slide' to withdraw in front of approaching heavy foot while maintaining a barrage of missiles.
  • Combine the 1 UD advance and slide with a 60° wheel and they can swing their rear end alarmingly.
  • Because they ignore ZoCs they can walk between vulnerable friends and enemy that might overwhelm them in melee.
  • They’re resistant to shooting (+2 protection except from artillery) and can control a surprisingly large frontage (for 20 points they can easily tie up 30 to 60 points of enemy foot).

  • 4 of these
  • etc
  • etc

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