The Late Achaemenid Persians

late 4th cent. BC 

 

 

 

LATE ACHAEMENID PERSIAN LIST

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPECIAL RULES

*1  Skirmish
*2 Unreliable
*3 Scythed Chariot
*4 Elephant
*5 Darius

All descriptions are as per the original list in WA apart from the following additions.

Heavy Cavalry.  These are retainers of the Persian and Median nobility—they have armour and are armed with spears and swords. They are not as aggressive or hard-fighting as their Macedonian opponents and for that reason are not considered to be ‘shock’ but regular heavy cavalry.

Colonist Cavalry. These are equipped in a similar fashion to the Heavy Cavalry but are less likely to be armoured and could include vassals such as Indians.

Light Cavalry. The mass of Persian cavalry lack substantial armour and carry spears and javelins with which to harass the enemy rather than charging to close quarters.

Mounted Skirmishers. These are Persians, Medes, Arachosians, Paphlagonians and other local skirmishing troops armed with javelins.

Scythians. Mounted bowmen—and probably the best skirmishing cavalry of the ancient world.

Greek Hoplites. For many years Hoplites were the best close quarter fighting troops of the eastern Mediterranean region where they were widely employed as mercenaries. During Alexander’s wars they were to find their supremacy challenged by pike-armed Macedonians. They wear heavy armour of stiffened linen which was often reinforced by metal plates or scales—much like the cuirass worn by contemporary phalangites. They were well protected by bronze helmets and greaves, and carry a large round shield faced with bronze. They are armed with a long spear—often as long as ten feet— and a sword; which at this late period might be the single-edged Macedonian style kopis rather than the more traditional straight-bladed and double-edged weapon. Because Hoplites fought as mercenaries at this time, largely trusting to their own kind and sometimes distrusting their employers, Hoplites may not receive rear support from non-Hoplites—only Hoplites can rear-support other Hoplites.

Persian Infantry. The Persian foot comprise a levy rather that professional soldiers and are armed with both spears and bows. They carry a large shield (to hide behind) . Bowfire is subsumed into combat value and is assumed to have effect only immediately prior to contact. The same stats may also represent Cardaces—a corps of Persian troops recruited from the lesser nobility and armed with shield and spear— an unsuccessful attempt to provide a home-grown alternative to the Hoplites.

Subject Infantry. These are levies from far-flung satrapies of the Persian Empire. They are variously and irregularly armed with spears, bows and javelins. They wear no armour though some may carry shields. They are largely untrained, undisciplined and unenthusiastic—hence their status as ‘unreliable’.

Subject Archers. Persian, Syrian, Armenian or other archers—not really equipped to fight at close quarters and probably not expecting to do so!

Skirmishers. Skirmishers equipped with javelins or slings and small shields—these could be troops from the Persian Empire or Greek mercenaries.

Scythed Chariots. Chariots equipped with scythes were used to break up enemy formations—but rarely with any success! Rather than a fighting crew these chariots would have a single driver whose task was to ram straight into the enemy as fast as possible with fatal consequences for all concerned.

Elephants. The Persians did not enjoy much success with their elephants which were inclined to stampede and run amok  amongst their own troops. Maybe that’s why they seem to be guarding the camp during the Gaugamela battle.

Heavy Bactrian Cavalry. Up to 2 units per 1000 points of Heavy Cavalry can be upgraded to Bactrian Heavy Cavalry for the additional points cost shown. This represents troops armed with bows as well as close fighting weapons and capable of ranged shooting.

Thracian Peltasts. Up to 2 units per 1000 pts of  infantry skirmishers can be upgraded to Thracian Peltasts representing more heavily armed and armoured peltasts of which the Thracians were the most noted. Thracians were armed with a heavy cutting weapon called a rhomphaia (variously described as a long-handled sword or a double-handed bill-like weapon) as well as javelins. Other peltasts carried a spear as well as javelins. These intermediate troops were capable of skirmishers and fighting at close quarters—they were to evolve into the most common type of foot-soldier over the following centuries largely replacing Hoplites.

Darius. The General may be Darius at the extra points cost shown—if Darius is chosen to lead your army he automatically rides a chariot and this is included in his stats and cost.  If Darius is your general then disregard the penalty for unreliable units that are within 20cm of Darius—if Darius is within 20cm the unit does not count as unreliable.

Troop

Type

Attack

Range

Hits

Armour

Cmnd

Unit

Size

Min/

Max

Points

Notes

Heavy Cavalry

Cavalry

3

-

3

5+

-

3

1/4

80

 

Colonist Cavalry

Cavalry

3

-

3

6+

-

3

2/-

70

 

Light Cavalry

Cavalry

2

15

3

6+

-

3

-/4

60

*1

Mounted Skirmishers

Cavalry

1

15

3

-

-

3

2/6

40

*1

Scythian Horse Archers

Cavalry

1

30

3

-

-

3

-/1

60

*1

Greek Hoplites

Infantry

3

-

3

5+

-

3

-/6

50

*2

Persian Infantry

Infantry

3

-

3

6+

-

3

-/4

45

 

Subject Infantry

Infantry

3

-

3

-

-

3

4/-

25

*2

Subject Archers

Infantry

2

30

3

-

-

3

-/6

30

*2

Skirmishers

Infantry

1

15

3

-

-

3

-/6

30

*1

Scythed Chariot

Chariot

4

-

3

5+

-

1

-/1

50

*3

Elephant

Elephant

4

15

4

5+

-

1

-/1

70

*4

General

General

-

-

-

-

8

1

1

90

 

Leader

Leader

+1

-

-

-

7

1

-/2

60

 

Satrap

Subordinate

+1

-

-

-

7

1

-/2

30

 

OPTIONS

The following upgrade are available to the Achaemenid army. See the accompanying descriptions for details.

Heavy Bactrian Cavalry

Cavalry

3

15

3

5+

-

3

-/2

+5

 

Thracian Peltasts

Infantry

2

15

3

-

-

3

-/2

+10

*1

Mount General on Chariot

Mount

+1

-

-

-

-

-

1max

+10

 

Upgrade General to Darius in Chariot

General in Chariot

+2

-

-

-

-

8

1 max

+30

*5

Upgrade Leader

Leader

+1

-

-

-

-

8

1 max

+20

 

Upgrade Satrap

Subordinate

+1

-

-

-

-

8

1 max

+10