Later Sarmatian

Later Sarmatian

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Historical Overview Section

The Sarmatians, Sarmatae or Sauromatae (Old Iranian Sarumatah 'archer') were a people originally of Iranian stock. Mentioned by classical authors, they migrated from Central Asia to the Ural Mountains around 5th century B.C. and eventually settled in most of southern European Russia, Ukraine, and the eastern Balkans.Around the year 100 BC, Sarmatian land ranged from Barents Sea or Baltic Sea ("Oceanus Sarmaticus") to tributary of Vistula River, to the Carpathian Mountains, to the mouth of the Danube, then eastward along the northern coast of the Black Sea, across the Caucasus to the Caspian Sea and north along the Volga up to the polar circle. The Sarmatians flourished from the time of Herodotus and allied partly with the Hunnic empire when they arrived in the 4th century AD. The Sarmatians were closely related to the Scythians. In a recent excavation of Sarmatian sites by Dr. Jeannine Davis-Kimball, a tomb was found wherein female warriors were buried, thus lending some credence to the myths about the Amazons. Amazons are reported as Sauromatae wives.

This period covers the !st to 4th Centuries AD, when the Sarmatians fought mostly against Rome, for whom they proved a foe until at least the late fourth century A.D. Ammianus Marcellinus (29.6.13-14) describes a severe defeat, which Sarmatian raiders inflicted upon Roman forces in the province of Valeria in Pannonia in late 374 A.D. The Sarmatians almost annihilated both a legion recruited from Moesia and one from Pannonia, which had been sent to intercept a party of Sarmatians who had been pursuing a senior Roman officer named Aequitius deep into Roman territory. The two legions failed to coordinate and their quarreling allowed the Sarmatians to catch them unprepared.

The major Sarmatian tribes were the Iazyges and the Rhoxolani.

At the end of the 1st century AD the Iazyges took part in an alliance with other Sarmatians and the Germanic Quadi to invade the Roman province of Pannonia, shattering the Roman Legio XXI Rapax, soon afterwards disbanded in disgrace. When Trajan conquered the Dacian's, (Dacian or Carpi) educing their lands to a Roman province he then sent Hadrian, to force the Iazyges to submit also, but on Trajans death the Iazyges stayed independent, accepting a client relationship with Rome. By the late second century, the Roman Empire was becoming increasingly overstretched and in 166 while the Romans were tied down in a war with the Parthian's a confederation o fnomadic tribes including the Vandals Lonmbards and Quadi all swept south over the Danube, joined by the Iazyges. The Emperor Marcus Aurelius spent the rest of his life trying to restore the situation (in the Marcomannic Wars). In 170, the Iazyges defeated and killed Claudius Fronto, Roman governor of Lower Moesia. Marcus Aurelius moved against the Iazyges personally, and foeced them back after hard fighting until the revolt of Avidius Cassius in the East interrupted the campaign. At this point the Iazyges made peace with Marcus Aurelius, yielding up, it is said, 100,000 Roman captives. The Iazyges were also forced to provide the Romans with 8,000 cavalry to serve in the Roman army as auxiliaries. Some 5,500 of these were shipped off to serve in the Roman army in Britain; it is theorized they may have played a part in the development of the Arthurian legend. Marcus' victory was decisive in that the Iazyges did not again appear as a major threat to Rome.

In the mid-first century AD the Rhoxolani began making incursions across the Danube into Roman territory. One such raid in AD 68/69 was intercepted by the Legio III Gallica with Roman auxiliaries, who destroyed a raiding force of 9,000 Roxolanian cavalry encumbered by baggage. Tacitus describes the weight of the armor worn by the 'princes and most distinguished persons' made 'it difficult for such as have been overthrown by the charge of the enemy to regain their feet' The long two-handed kontos lance, the primary melee weapon of the Sarmatians, was unusable in these conditions. The Rhoxolani avenged themselves in AD 92, when they joined the Dacians in destroying the Roman Legio XXI Rapax. During Trajan's Dacian Wars the Rhoxolani at first sided with the Dacian or Carpi, providing them with most of their cavalry strength, but they were defeated in the first campaign of AD 101-102. They appear to have stood aside as neutrals during Trajan's final campaign of AD 105-106, which ended in the complete destruction of the Dacian state. The creation of the Roman province of Dacia brought Roman power to the very doorstep of Rhoxolani territory. The Emperor Hadrian reinforced a series of pre-existing fortifications and built numerous forts along the Danube to contain the Rhoxolani threat.

Later, Marcus Aurelius also campaigned against the Rhoxolani along the Danubian frontier. They are known to have attacked the Roman Province of Pannonia in 260; shortly afterwards contingents of Rhoxolani troops entered Roman military service. Like other Sarmatian peoples, the Rhoxolani were conquered by the Huns in the mid fourth century and disappeared from history.

Using the army in FoG

One dimensional doesn't quite cover it adequately. But lots of armoured superior lancers charging can be a frightening sight for any enemy, just be prepared to take casulties, and don't try too complex a plan.

Armoured Superior Lancers rock. But they are expensive. When it comes to lancers, quantity has a quality all of it’s own. A mix of armoured and protected can give you most bang-for-buck. Against enemy skirmishers protected lancers (ideally supported by an IC) in one rank are more than capable of doing the business, however armoured remains the best value upgrade as it gives you a +1 against most things in melee. As undrilled troops you need a simple plan, as enemy with drilled cavalry will try to exploit your flanks and position themselves for flank intercept charges using the “move full speed then turn 90 degrees” with columns of drilled lancers.

The big issue is protecting the flanks of your line of charging lancers. Some armies can simply do this with yet more lancers, accepting attrition along the way – and this should not be discounted as your support troop options are limited. The LH can doa good job, but may be outnumbered - you don't want to lose BGs of LH as every one that dies means one BG of lancers may not even get into combat before the army breaks. 8's of LF with Bw may be OK on a flank where they will come up against against enemy mounted of LH. And a unit of 8 LF can form a good screen in front of lancers to protect them from shooting.

The ideal combination for lancers is a mix of 4’s and 6’s, using the 6’s as the sledgehammer to take casualties and not suffer the -1 for losing 25%, and also to last longer before autobreaking. Lancer Cavalry also ideally need generals to help them in combat, and so having a general with a 6 is better value. Your lancers can also help your LH to hunt enemy LH, with combined Lancer/LH charges that enemy LH have to flee from, and where your own LH may be able to catch the flee-er’s.

Allied Contingents

  • Alan, Early : Date restrictions None, Book: Legions Triumphant Page: 41 - Lots of charging Superior Lancers (and plenty of LH bw/Sw to help them) in an ally doesn’t really give this army another dimension
  • Quadi - Early Frankish, Alamanni, Burgundi, Limigantes, Rugian, Suebi or Turcilingi : Date restrictions None, Book: Legions Triumphant Page: 59 - 8 minimum HF Impact foot swordsmen make these rather uninspiring as an ally, will just slow down your Lancers.
  • Taifali - Early Ostrogothic, Herul, Sciri or Taifali : Date restrictions None, Book: Legions Triumphant Page: 64 - Up to 18 lancer cavalry - and good quality - gives a lot more mounted clout to an army that doesn;t really need any more, use less than 3 units to effectively get a cheap general to command the 2 blocks of lancers
  • Limigantes - Early Frankish, Alamanni, Burgundi, Limigantes, Rugian, Suebi or Turcilingi : Date restrictions None Book: Legions Triumphant Page: 59 - 8 minimum HF Impact foot swordsmen make these rather uninspiring as an ally

UK Tournament Results with this army

User-contributed links about this army:


  • Early Alan - can be used to boost LH from 12 up to 30, or add some rather scary protected or unprotected shooty cavalry
  • Limigantes Early Frankish Its hard to see why you'd want to slow this army down and give someone a nice target like a block of HF Protected Impact Foot Swordsmen..
  • Quadi Early Frankish as above
  • Taifail Early Ostrogothic and Herul Up to 4 Bgs of 4 LH Bw coudl be useful to boost army break point, together with 1-2 BGs of allied lancers for the general to commmand as well

15mm Manufacturers supplying figures for this army

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

Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

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

Core Troops

Which troops are absolutely needed for this army, and what are your thoughts on how to organise, paint and buy them.

Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army
800AP Army

  • 1 Crap Foote MF Protected Poor Undrilled - Light spear - - 6
  • 2 Javelinmen LF Unprotected Average Undrilled Javelins Light spear - - 6
  • 3 Slingers LF Unprotected Average Undrilled Sling - - - 6
  • 4 Nobles Cv Protected Superior Undrilled - lancers Swordmen - 4
  • 5 Bowmen MF Unprotected Average Undrilled Bow - - - 8
  • 6 Bowmen MF Unprotected Average Undrilled Bow - - - 8
  • 7 Light Horse LH Unprotected Average Undrilled Bow - Swordmen - 4
  • 8 Light Horse LH Unprotected Average Undrilled Bow - Swordmen - 4
  • 9 Bowmen MF Unprotected Average Undrilled Bow - - - 8
  • 10 Nobles Cv Protected Superior Undrilled - lancers Swordmen - 4
  • 11 Nobles Cv Protected Superior Undrilled - lancers Swordmen - 4
  • 12 Nobles Cv Protected Superior Undrilled - lancers Swordmen - 4
  • 13 Nobles Cv Protected Superior Undrilled - lancers Swordmen - 4
  • 14 Nobles Cv Protected Superior Undrilled - lancers Swordmen - 4
  • 15 Nobles Cv Protected Superior Undrilled - lancers Swordmen - 6
  • TC TC - - - - - - - 2
  • FC FC - - - - - - - 2

This army was used in V2.0, with the theory that more Protected lancers may be better than less Armoured ones. It was also used to test the theory that units of bowmen are now half-viable, especially in rough terrain, due to the increased effectiveness of shooting at impact. It was a partial success....

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: Sunday 10 of March, 2013 11:11:44 GMT by admin. (Version 14)
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