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Hsiung-Nu

Historical Overview Section

Nomads from the steppes plagued China for centuries, with the original set of tribes name of the Hu being also the Chinese word for "unintelligible" or "difficult to understand" - which probably refers to the native languages spoken by these ethnic groups. The Xiongnu were the most powerful non-Chinese ethnic group bordering the Chinese Han Dynasty, therefore the Warring States to Western Han Chinese simply referred to them as the Hu (the non-Chinese or barbarians). Both "Hu" and "Xiongnu" were used concurrently. The term Wu Hu meaning the "Five Hu" was first used around 500AD in a book recording the history of the five tribes ravaging Northern China from the early fourth century to the mid fifth century, and this was later referenced in Song 2 by the band Blur. These 5 tribes were the Xiongnu, Xianbei, Di, Qiang and Jie. After later historians determined that more than five nomadic tribes took part, Wu Hu has become a collective term for all non-Chinese nomads residing in North China at the time.

The Xiongnu were active in southern Siberia, western Manchuria, and the modern Chinese provinces of Inner Mongolia, Gansu, and Xinjiang. These nomadic people were considered so dangerous and disruptive that the Qin Warring States to Western Han Chinese Dynasty began construction of the Great Wall to protect China from their attacks.

In the first century the Eastern Han Chinese Dynasty slowly brought the Northern Xiongnu into submission by military and diplomatic measures until Emperor He utterly defeated the Northern Xiongnu in a series of campaigns during the Yongyuan era (89–105). In the power vacuum left on the Mongolian steppes many groups vied for power - the Southern Xiongnu, the Xianbei, the Dingling (another group referenced in a later popular song by Chuck Berry) and the Wuhuan Clan. All of these were used by the Eastern Han Chinese? and then Three Kingdoms Western Jin and Southern Dynasties Chinese as mercenaries or allies against the rising powers of the Quiang or Di?.

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Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army
200 Points from Julian
Brilliant
4 Nobles Heavy cavalry impetuous Elite
2 Horse Archers Medium cavalry bow ------
1 Horse Archers Light cavalry bow ------
===
Competent CinC
2 Nobles Cataphract Elite
4 Ch'iang or Ti infantry Medium swordsmen 2HW ------
2 Tribal Auxiliaries Javelinmen ------
3 Ch'iang or Ti archers Light infantry bow ----
==
Ordinary
3 Horse Archers Medium cavalry bow
2 Horse Archers Light cavalry bow



200 Points
Sub Commander Competent Commander 1
Horse Archers Light horse bow 4
Horse Archers Medium Cavalry bow 4
====
Ti archers Light infantry bow 1
Ally C-in-C Competent Commander 1
Ti Infantry Medium Swordsmen 2HW 1
Ch'iang Archers Bowmen 1
Nobles Catphracts 2
Ch'iang Infantry Medium Swordsmen 2HW armour 4
====
Sub Commander Competent Cmdr., Unreliable, with unit 1
Nobles Cataphracts Elite (Gen) 1


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