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    Linke's Avatar Hazarapatish
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    Default Persian Preview - Hellenika

    Achaemenid Persia

    In Greeks at War you will play as the satrap (governor) of Sardis/Sparda, Pissuthnes.

    Overview: The Persian empire in the Peleponnesian war.
    After the failed invasions of Greece by Persia the Persians continued to have a hand in greek politics, this time in the shadows with gold. The most important man in Asia minor was the Persian satrap of Lydia with his capital at Sardis. This satrapy was one of the most important in the empire, having previously been the centre of the Lydian empire it continued to be an important region. From his satrapal capital at Sardis the satrap of Lydia collected taxes and mustuered soldiers.
    Sardis was full with Greek friends of the satrap, both a garrison of Persians and Greek merceneries, a tresuary, a large garden (Paradiasoi) to hunt wild animals in and much more. It could easily have appeared to be the bustling capital of a thriving kingdom and not a province on the outer fringes of an empire.

    In the north of Sardis was the smaller satrapy of Hellespontine Phrygia with it's center at Daskyleion. This satrapy would have been like it's southern neighbour but at a smaller scale. With a Persian garrison, tresuary and garden at Daskileion. The Persian homeland was far away, to keep control of these far away satrapies the satraps were given control of Persian troops at their capital, there were also other Persian garrisons throughout the satrapies.
    The old peoples retained their culture and way of war and were a large part of the satrapal armies. Phrygians,Lydians,Ionians and other would have thought alongside the Persians as vassals. Except demanding taxes and Troops they were seldom forced to do more by the Persians who were tolerant imperialists, alllowing subject peoples to live like they had before with their own culture.
    However the satraps weren't kings, their tasks were more like those of a subject, collect taxes, defend the land. And the Persian king had a large number of both royal officials and spies (his eyes and ears) in the satrapies to prevent the otherwise likely revolts.

    In the Peleponnesian war the Persians funded the Peleponnesian leauge against the Athenian Delian Empire, this was amongst other reasons becuase the Athenian domination of Ionia, a region the Persians considered to be under their area of influence. However there were other motives, a disunited Greece was less of a threat to Persia, you could win friends amongst the victors in the war, and also the Persian king could play the satraps againt each other preventing one from becoming to powerful, he had the satrap of Lydia fund the allies while Daskileyon funded the Athenians (initialy), this way they were more unlikely to unite against the far away king.

    The campaign:

    The army of the satraps (Important part of gameplay, read this)

    The Persian army is often thought of as a large gathering of units from the entire empire, but this was only true of the grand armies the king mustered for a truly important campaign. Otherwise the satrap would be the one responsible for defending the empire. This army the satrap had consisted of roughly three parts. The navy being a bit different:

    Part 1: The Persian garrison:
    Every Persian had to serve some time in the garrisons, these troops were the core of the satraps troops. Enough to defend the land but not so many that the satrap might march against the king. These units also consist of a few Persian "Hatru"men. Soldiers who after their garrison duty have been settled by the state in a small colony with enough land to feed himself.
    In game the Persian units will be the core of the army. You will start with a certain capped number representing the troops the King has allowed you to have, if you lose a unit you can recruit another (send for more men from Persia) but you cannot recruit more than the king allows you. This number can increase as you expand (add more territory that needs to be garrisoned) but will be too low for you to use them alone to campaign (/revolt againt the king) you need to supplement these troops with the other kinds below.

    Part 2: The Satrapal levies:
    The Persian satraps also would muster local peoples under their rule. These will be represented by area of recruitment units. You will need to add these to the Persian troops to have a large enough army to do anything.

    Part 3: The mercenaries:
    The Persian garrison given to the satrap by the king would obvously not be loyal to the satrap. Instead the satrap used greek mercenaries as his personal troops, payed by his own money and loyal only to him.
    These will be a factional mercenary.

    Part 4: The navy:
    The standing Persian navy of Phoenicians will be the main part at the satraps disposal, although they are not technicaly under his command but their own force. Except Phoenicians there would have been other local peoples giving ships to the Persians like the satrapal levies.

    Persian gold, the empire's second defense.
    The satrapal army was deliberately keept week so despite the satrap being very wealthy he wasn't allowed to have that many troops by the king. But this wealth could be used to defend his satrapy better than any army. If an army invaded the satrapy they could often be payed of, or their neighbours could be payed to attack their homeland meaning the invaders had to leave Persia. The satraps aso sometimes payed of invaders to attack the neighbouring satrapies.
    For example when the Spartan king Agesilaus II had to end his Persian campaign becuase Sparta's allies had revolted (funded by the satrapal gold) he remarked: "I have been driven out of Persia by ten thousand archers (Archers being a nickname to Persian coins otherwise known as darics.

    Persian Units in game:

    Part one: the Persians

    Sparabara ("Spara bearers")

    The Sparabara, together with their archer counterparts the Thanvabara. Form the bulk of the Persian satrapal garrisons. They are conscripted from all Persians, but are a far cry from being simple peasants.
    Every Persian is trained since youth for garrison duty in large groups, the Sparabara are well drilled, not unarmored and compared to their non Persian counterparts always eager to die for Persia!
    after their service in the garrison many become "Hatru" men, men given land by the state and afterwars liable to be called up for war again. They are
    well armed, carrying a large square "Spara" shield, a short spear and often a linen cuirass of Egyptian of Greek origin. They carry no helmets but instead use the Persian "tiara"

    Thanvabara (Archers)

    The Thanvabara, together with their spear armed counterparts, the Sparabara, form the bulk of the Persian satrapal garrisons. They are conscripted from all Persians, but are a far cry from being simple peasants.
    Every Persian is trained since youth for garrison duty in large groups, the Sparabara are well drilled, not unarmored and compared to their non Persian counterparts always eager to die for Persia!
    Archery his highly respected in Persia, and so the archers form a large part of their armies. These men carry fine bows of Scythian origin, Akinaka swords and Sagaris axes as sidearms and many also carry linen cuirasses.
    In battle they work together with their Sparabara counterparts, following an ancient west Asian batte tactic where the archers are protected by the Sparabara shield wall. This strategy works well againt other west Asian
    armies who are lightly armored but the Greeks more often than not render the tactic obsolete with their heavy gear.

    Takabara ("Taka bearers")

    Normally the Persian subject peoples aren't deployed in the garrisons, but the Takabara are an exception. They are formed by Iranian people near Persia liek the Sagartians, who in exchange for smaller
    taxes do military service in the garrisons with their Iranian brothers, the Persians. These ferocious warriors are used to a rough live in the Zagros mountains and are ligthly armed. They carry
    Saka axes, their namesake shield, the crescent "taka" aswell as some armor.

    Anusiya (immortals)

    The Persian garrison is mostly formed by the "Pasti", well drilled Persians conscripted for garrison duty. However, the satraps have another permanent force at their disposal, the immortals.
    Even though the satraps force of Immortals are only a small part of the 10 000 they are still one of their most capable forces. In battle they resemble the Pasti, the Spearmen form a shield wall that protects the archers.
    However their equipment is better: They carry the same bows, spears, and Shields as their counterparts but have also Iron cuirasses, Akinaka Swords, Sagaris axes and some even have metal helmets.

    Arstibara (chosen companions)

    The Arstibara are a chosen force of Persians numbering 1000. These are the best Persians avaible but also the least numerous unit.
    In battle they are similar to the others, carrying spears, Dipylon shields and both scale and Linen cuirasses. The are not an official unit but instead formed by the satrap himself,
    with the kings 2000 strong "Amrataka" guard as basis. They might be composed of minor nobility and picked soldiers.

    Asabari (conscript horsemen)

    The Asabari are part of the conscripted "Pasti". They are great horsemen but ligthly armed with Javelins as their main arm. Except that they have swords and axes and, uncommonly amongst Persians, metal helmets.
    In battle they use their swiftness to lure out their oponents into an open area where they can be picked apart by javelins before a devastating charge follows. The lightly armed Asabari have proven rather ineffective against the Greeks however, both becuase of the heavy greek equipment and becuase of the mountanious landscape of Hellas.

    Arstibara Asabari (generals guard)

    The wealthier Persians can afford both horses, helmets and either linothoraxes or scale cuirasses. These heavy horsemen might be quite few in number but they often form the bodyguard of the satraps,
    the arguably most well equiped force the satrap has at his disposal. They are heavier then the Asabari and can hold their own longer against the Greek hoplites,
    their charge from behind can also be devastating.

    Scythed Chariots

    The Persians use of chariots after Cyrus was quite limited but still existant. At the battle of Cunaxa both sides brought Scythed chariots, likely inspired by those found in Vedic India. Some Persian generals also
    used them as mobile command platforms, stationed in the centre of the army.

    Part two: the satrapal levies

    Phrygioi Psiloi

    [Herodotus 7:72/73]

    The Paphlagonians went to the war with plaited helmets upon their heads, and carrying small shields and spears of no great size. They had also javelins and daggers.
    The dress of the Phrygians closely resembled the Paphlagonian, only in a very few points differing from it.


    [Herodotus 7:77]

    The Milyans (lived in Lykia bore short spears, and had their garments fastened with buckles. Some of their number carried Lycian bows.
    They wore about their heads skull-caps made of leather. Badres the son of Hystanes led both nations to battle.

    Lydioi Hoplitai

    [Herodotus 7:74]
    The Lydians were armed very nearly in the Grecian manner.
    These Lydians in ancient times were called Maeonians, but changed their name, and took their present title from Lydus the son of Atys.

    Lydiois Hippeis

    [Herodotus 1:79]
    nevertheless led out the Lydians to battle. In all Asia there was not at that time a braver or more warlike people.
    Their manner of fighting was on horseback; they carried long lances, and were clever in the management of their steeds.

    Karian Warband

    The Karians, a warlike people in southern Ionia have a proud and ancient tradition of fighting for others. They have fought for the Egyptian Saite pharaos, for the kings of Lydia, and now they fight for Persia.
    These warriors carry large hoplon shields but fight not as hoplites but in a more "barbarian" manner. Their axes and swords can are the fear of all Ionia and they are furthermore protected by Greek armor and helmets.

    Paphlagonioi Hippeis

    [Xenophon Hellenica 4:1:3]
    Upon his arival in Phrygia.. Otys (Paphlagonian satrap) left behind for agesileus a thousand horsemen

    Phoenician marines


    [Herodotus 7:89]
    The Phoenicians, with the Syrians of Palestine, furnished three hundred vessels, the crews of which were thus accoutred:
    upon their heads they wore helmets made nearly in the Grecian manner; about their bodies they had breastplates of linen; they carried shields without rims; and were armed with javelins.

    Kilikian marines

    [Herodotus 7:91]
    The Cilicians furnished a hundred ships. The crews wore upon their heads the helmet of their country, and carried instead of shields light targes made of raw hide; they were clad in woollen tunics, and were each armed with two javelins, and a sword closely resembling the cutlass of the Egyptians.

    Lykian marines

    [Herodotus 7.92]
    The Lycians furnished fifty ships. Their crews wore greaves and breastplates, while for arms they had bows of cornel wood, reed arrows without feathers, and javelins. Their outer garment was the skin of a goat, which hung from their shoulders; their headdress a hat encircled with plumes; and besides their other weapons they carried daggers and falchions.

    Ionian marines

    The Ionians furnished a hundred ships, and were armed like the Greeks.

    Other material:

    Credits/Creators of content

    This preview was made for you by Linke, responsible for Persia in Greeks at War. But he has received help from many others.

    • Kuauik and Ahiga and also Avetis for some cuirasses, most headgear and the Spara's
    • JJpower24 for some armors and the Lydian shields
    • Mausolos of Caria, Tenerife_boy and Linke for historical research
    • Grudge NL for the basis of the UI (heavily edited though)
    • Morfeasnikos - Many textures, unit cards

    Last edited by Linke; March 11, 2016 at 07:27 AM.

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