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Assyrian Empire and Sargonid

Historical Overview Section

Before the military reforms of the former general / kingship-siezer Tiglath-Pileser III, the Middle or Neo-Assyrian? army was very similar to the other Mesopotamian armies of the time. Soldiers were mostly raised farmers, who had to return to their fields to collect the harvest. Professional soldiers were limited to a few bodyguards that protected the King and or other nobles and officials. However this wasn't entirely successful as once the empire attempted to expand militarily, battle after battle killed off important soldiers, whilst the change of the seasons saw soldiers returning after a short time to their fields without achieving any really decisive conquests. But the upside was that the flowerbeds at the barracks were simply superb.

By the mid-eighth century B.C., the Assyrian levy-army could not cope with the demands of an empire that often stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf, and so when Tiglath Pileser III came to the throne in 745 B.C he changed the Assyrian army by the introduction of a standing army. This included a larger number of foreign soldiers supplied by vassal states as tribute or when demanded by the Assyrian King. They were given Assyrian equipment and uniform which made them indistinguishable from one another, possibly to increase their integration. Whilst the infantry in the standing army contained a large number of foreigners (including Aramaeans and even Greeks), the Assyrian Cavalry and Charioteers continued to be dominated by Assyrians. There were exceptions however, and as casualties mounted additional troops would not be unwelcome; Sargon II reports that he managed to incorporate 60 Israelite Chariot teams into his army.

The core of the Assyrian army lay in its chariots, originally used as two-horse vehicles. However, the rise of Cavalry in the 1st Millennia B.C. meant that by the 7th Century B.C. the Chariot was upgraded under the reign of Ashurnasirpal II to heavy four horse chariots which could contain more men and went off smashing into enemy formations and dispersing enemy infantry in the process. The Assyrian Cavalry and Infantry would then be able to exploit the gap and rout the enemy thereby taking the field!

The Assyrians were amongst the first to deploy charging cavalry under Tiglath Pileser III, and by the 7th century B.C., mounted Assyrian warriors were well armed with a bow and a lance, armored with lamellar armor and their mounts equipped with fabric armor, providing limited yet useful protection in close combat and against missiles. Cavalry would form the core of the later Assyrian armies. As the Empire suffered horrendous casualties under Ashurbanipal's campaigns of conquest, the rebellions following his death may have contributed significantly to the downfall of the Empire as fewer vassals were available to pay tribute horses and other war material needed.

Assyrian Infantry were cheaper and more numerous than the cavalry. Assyrian Infantry were composed of both native Assyrians and foreigners employed as auxiliaries, spearmen, slingers, shield bearers or archers. The latter type was the most dominant in Assyrian armies and from the time of Ashurnasirpal, archers would be accompanied by a shield bearer. Many different types of bows are recorded by the Assyrians, including Akkadian, Cimmerian and their own "Assyrian" type. Armour (lamellar) amongst the melee troops was limited to the best soldiers only, whilst the rest of the army made do with shields and helmets.

Using the army in ADLG

  • Heavy Chariots are almost as good as Knights
  • hint 2

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Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army
Ian Mackay's podium-placing list from warfare 2016
Strategist
1 Guardsmen Medium swordsmen Elite
4 Line Infantry ½ Medium swordsmen ½ Bowmen ------
1 Levy Levy ------
1 Light Infantry Light infantry javelin ------
==
Competent
4 Chariots Heavy chariot impact Elite
4 Light Infantry Light infantry bow ------
==
Competent
4 Horsemen Heavy cavalry bow Elite
2 Scythians Light cavalry bow ------


Harrison's 200AP podium-placed list from Warfare 2016
Ordinary
4 Chariots Heavy chariot impact Elite
2 Scythians Light cavalry bow ------
==
Brilliant
4 Horsemen Heavy cavalry bow Elite
2 Horsemen Medium cavalry bow ------
==
Ordinary
1 Guardsmen Heavy swordsmen Elite
4 Line Infantry ½ Heavy swordsmen ½ Bowmen ------
2 Levy Levy ----
1 Light infantry sling Light infantry sling ----



200 Points

  • LH, Bow
  • 4 HC, Bow (included General)

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  • 4 HCh
  • 4 LI
  • 2 Bw/Sw MF
  • 1 Med Swordsman

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Bedouin Ally

  • 4 Camels
  • 2 LCm



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