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Historical Overview Section

Urartu corresponding to Ararat, or Kingdom of Van was an Iron Age kingdom centered around Lake Van in the Armenian Highland. The kingdom rose to power in the mid 9th century BC and was conquered by Media in the early 6th century BC, with its centre near the present town of Van on the banks of Lake Van in Northern Kurdistan. The name Urartu comes from Assyrian sources: the Assyrian king Shalmaneser I (1263-1234 BC) recorded a campaign in which he subdued the entire territory of "Uruatri."

Assyrian inscriptions of Shalmaneser I (ca. 1270 BC) first mention Uruartri as one of the states of Nairi – a loose confederation of small kingdoms and tribal states in Armenian Highland in the 13th - 11th centuries BC. Uruartri itself was in the region around Lake Van. The Nairi states were repeatedly subjected to attacks by the Assyrians, especially under Tukulti-Ninurta I (ca. 1240 BC), Tiglath-Pileser I (ca. 1100 BC), Ashur-bel-kala (ca. 1070 BC), Adad-nirari II (ca. 900), Tukulti-Ninurta II (ca. 890), and Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 BC). Urartu re-emerged in Assyrian inscriptions in the 9th c. BC as a powerful northern rival of Assyria. The Nairi states and tribes became a unified kingdom under king Aramu (ca. 860-843 BC), whose capital at Arzashkun was captured by Shalmaneser III. Roughly contemporaries of the Uruartri, living just to the west along the southern shore of the Black Sea, were the Kaskas known from Hittite sources.

Sarduri I (ca. 832-820 BC), son of Lutipri, successfully resisted the Assyrian attacks from the south, led by Shalmaneser III, consolidated the military power of the state and moved the capital to Tushpa (modern Van, on the shore of Lake Van). His son, Ispuini (ca. 820-800 BC) annexed the neighbouring state of Musasir and made his son Sarduri II viceroy; Ispuini was in turn attacked by Shamshi-Adad V. His successor Menua (ca. 800-785 BC) also enlarged the kingdom greatly and left inscriptions over a wide area. Urartu reached highest point of its military might under Menua's son Argishti I (ca. 785-760 BC), becoming one of the most powerful kingdoms of ancient Near East. Argishti I added more territories along the Araxes river and Lake Sevan, and frustrated Shalmaneser IV's campaigns against him. At some point the Urartuan armies reached all the way to Babylon, taking the city. Argishti also founded several new cities, most notably Erebuni in 782 BC, which grew to be the modern Armenian capital of Yerevan.

At its height, the Urartu kingdom may have stretched North beyond the Aras River (Greek Araxes) and Lake Sevan, encompassing present-day Armenia and even the southern part of Georgia (e.g. Qulha) almost to the shores of the Black Sea; west to the sources of the Euphrates; east to present-day Tabriz, Lake Urmia, and beyond; and south to the sources of the Tigris. Tiglath Pileser III claimed in his inscriptions to have reduced Urartu in the first year of his reign (745/4). There the Assyrians found horsemen and horses, tamed as colts for riding, that were unequalled in the south, where they were harnessed to Assyrian war-chariots. In 714 BC, the Urartu kingdom suffered heavily from Cimmerian raids and the campaigns of Sargon II. The main temple at Mushashir was sacked, and the Urartian king Rusa I was defeated by Sargon at Lake Urmia. The setback, however, was temporary, as Rusa's son Argishti II (714 - 685 BC) restored Urartu's power, at the same time maintaining peace with Assyria. This in turn helped Urartu enter a long period of development and prosperity, which continued through the reign of Argishti's son Rusa II (685-645 BC). After Rusa II, however, the Urartu grew weaker and dependent on Assyria, as evidenced by Rusa II's son Sardur III (645-635 BC) referring to the Assyrian king as his "father."

According to Urartian epigraphy, Sarduri III was followed by three kings—Erimena (635 - 620 BC), his son Rusa III (620 - 609 BC), and the latter's son Rusa IV (609 - 590 or 585 BC). Late during the 600's BC (during or after Sardur III's reign), Urartu was invaded by Scythians and their allies—the Medes. In 612 BC, the Median king Cyaxares conquered Assyria. Many Urartian ruins of the period show evidence of destruction by fire. This would indicate two scenarios—either Media subsequently conquered Urartu, bringing about its subsequent demise; or Urartu/Armenia maintained its independence and power, going through a mere dynastic change, as a local Armenian dynasty (later to be called the Orontids) overthrew the ruling family with the help of the Median army. Ancient sources support the latter version: Xenophon, for example, states that Armenia, ruled by an Orontid king, was not conquered until the reign of Median king Astyages (585 - 550 BC) – long after Median invasion of the late 7th century BC. Similarly, Strabo (1st c. BC - 1st c AD) wrote that "in ancient times Greater Armenia ruled the whole of Asia, after it broke up the empire of the Syrians, but later, in the time of Astyages, it was deprived of that great authority ..."

Urartu was destroyed in either 590 BC or 585 BC. The end of Urartu was violent; many of its fortresses were burned down. By the late sixth century, the Urartians had certainly been replaced by the Armenians

Using the army in FoG

  • An unusual cavalry army as its only home terrain types are Mountain and Hilly so a bit of a challenge perhaps.
  • The foot are as good as or better than most in period because they are swordsmen front rank.
  • The Royal Army cavalry are all drilled so very manouverable. They are not shock so are controllable, but do not want to be shot at and disrupted as then they would have to take a CMT if they wanted to charge.

UK Tournament Results with this army

  • 5th Roll Call 2009 (STE & IF)
  • 2nd Warfare 2009 as below (STE)
  • both times same as list below. Only varied OOM.

User-contributed links about this army:


  • Cimmerian, LH with swords, hurrah

Painting and Collecting the Army

  • Paint schemes, insignia, shield designs? Put it here.

15mm Manufacturers supplying figures for this army

Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army

  • 700BC
  • 6xProvincial Spear
  • 6xProvincial Spear
  • 6xRoyal Spear
  • 6xRoyal Spear
  • 4xRoyal Guard
  • 4xRoyal Cavalry (all these half light spear half bow)
  • 4xRoyal Cavalry
  • 4xRoyal Cavalry
  • 4xRoyal Cavalry
  • 4xRoyal Cavalry
  • 4xCimmerian Ally LH
  • 4x Cimmerian Ally LH
  • IC
  • FC
  • Ally TC

12 BG 799 points +4 PBI. Don't need a fortified camp as you can put your camp on a mountain.

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Created by philqw78. Last Modification: Thursday 11 of April, 2013 08:01:40 BST by druzhina. (Version 17)
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