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Thread: [PREVIEW] - Mamlakatin Saba

  1. #1
    Ritter-Floh's Avatar Artifex
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    Default [PREVIEW] - Mamlakatin Saba

    Faction Preview: Mamlakatin Saba

    Horse and Chariot - Hafrat Berd

    The earliest kingdom we know about is that of Saba (Sheba) with its capital city called Marib. This city was built on the edge of the desert in the dry delta of Wadi Adana. In this area, there is little rainfall, but twice a year, the wadi fills with water from the biannual rains that occur higher up in the mountains. The water in the wadi was then used to irrigate the rainless, arid area around the wadi making cultivation possible. Examination of the sediments found around Marib has shown that irrigation in this region goes back to the third millennium B.C.

    Agriculture was difficult and costly to say the least. It presupposed the power to control and exploit the seasonal rain-floods with the aid of complex irrigation systems. Again and again these installations were threatened by unusually strong floods. Canals and dams had to be maintained in good working order or the whole thing would not work. Finally, one had to reckon with periods of drought, when rain would not come for several years at a time.

    Marib's position, however, had less to do with access to water, and more to do with incense. The city held a commanding position on the developing inland caravan route that ran from the areas on the Indian Ocean (eastern Yemen today) which produced frankincense across the desert to the Mediterranean. This route wound its way along a chain of watering places between the mountains and the desert.

    The caravan trails depended as much on the political situation and trade connections as on the geography of the area. In order to make one's way from the main centers of production (which were in the eastern Yemen) to the Mediterranean Sea, one had to avoid the mountains, with their difficult passes, feuding tribes, and frequent dens of thieves. At the same time, one had to find enough water and food for men and beasts. There was practically only one trail in South Arabia which fulfilled all these requirements: from Shawl, the capital of the Hadramaut, it went through the desert, following the Yemenite mountain ridge to Timna, the capital of Qataban. From there, it passed via Marib, the capital of Saba, to Baraqish, and on past Jebal al-Lawdh, to Najran.

    Being completely level, the track offered no natural obstacles. Artificial irrigation safeguarded water and food supplies for the caravans. It is therefore not surprising that the ancient capitals along this trail were situated at the points where the most important valleys entered the plain.

    Pliny the Elder recorded the distance between Timna (the capital of Qataban) and Gaza, the northern end of the frankincense route, as 2,437,500 steps, or 62 days by camel. He was particularly impressed by the prices of South Arabian goods and complained bitterly about Greece's trade deficit (100 million sesterces). Consequently, the Romans looked upon the riches of southern Arabia with envy. (Pliney XII, CHAP. XIIII and Pliney XII.84)

    As money became available through the sale of incense, the Sabeans began to erect large sanctuaries, which were entered through impressive monolithic pillars. Work was started on the stone walls which were to be the fortifications of the towns. At the same time (6th century B.C.), the first written documents in the form of stone inscriptions appear. The oldest of these are very short and invariably refer to religious rites or construction projects. These inscriptions are in Sabean characters, which later became wide spread, extending even to Ethiopia. Some experts feel that the Sabean characters may have been derived from alphabets existing in Southern Mesopotamia. The first mention of a caravan on the so-called frankincense route is contained in the Old Testament. The story in I Kings 10:1-13 tells us of the visit of the legendary Queen of Sheba to King Solomon (about 970 - 930 BC). This report suggests that trade relations were being established or expanded between these two kingdoms. It is generally assumed that Sheba was located in Southern Yemen, although some have argued that it could have existed in Ethiopia. Three Assyrian texts from the 8th and 7th centuries B.C. mention tributes or presents from Saba. These lists of the goods include incense and precious stones. The texts also mention the names of two rulers, pointing to this being a reference to the south Arabian Sabeans, not, as some have suggested, a north Arabian tribe of the same name. Saba lay outside the reach of the Assyrian armies; therefore the tributes cannot have been an expression of political submission. It is much more likely that they were trade tariffs or gifts which were supposed to guarantee smooth trading. Thus the passage constitutes the first, if indirect, reference to Sabean trade with the north. Later, a Sabean named Itamra and identified as a representative of the Sabean ruler, Yitea Amar, is mentioned as one of those who brought tribute, in the great inscriptions of the Assyrian king, Sargon II, dating from 715 B.C. This is most probably due to the fact that during this time the Assyrians had gained control of the port of Gaza where the frankincense route reached the Mediterranean. Thirty years later, around 685 B.C., the Sabean ruler, Karibilu, sent gifts to the Assyrian king, Sennacherib, when the foundation stone for the Bit Akitu temple was laid outside of the ancient Sumerian city of Uruk (biblical Erech).

    Over time, various groups splinted from the Sabean Kingdom. Ma'in was originally a Sabean territory, but towards the end of the 5th century BC, it gradually began to sever its ties with Saba. For more than a century it enjoyed a period of tremendous economic prosperity. During this period, the Minaean Empire controlled most of the incense trade routes in southern Arabia. To control and protect this route the Minaeans established a colony far out in the northwest of Arabia, in the oasis of Dedan. The confrontation between Saba and Ma'in for control of the frankincense route is illustrated by an inscription that describes a battle between the Medes and Egypt which is probably a reference to the subjugation of Egypt by Artaxeres III Okhos in 343 B.C. In this inscription, the two leaders of the Minaean community of Dedan express their gratitude for the fact that their property had been saved from attacks by Sabeans on the caravan route between Ma'in and Najran. Further proof of the extent of the Minaean influence is reflected in their inscriptions which refer to Gaza, Egypt, Ionia, Sidon in Phoenicia, Ammon, Moab, Yatrib (later known as al-Medina), and other places. Along with this, an epitaph found on a sarcophagus found in Egypt, recounts that a Minaean delivered perfumes to an Egyptian temple. On the Greek island of Delos, with its temples dedicated to Apollo and Artemis, two Minaeans erected an altar to their native god Wadd, and in the early Greek and Roman world historians spoke of "Minaean frankincense" because it was mainly the Minaeans who produced this much demanded product.

    Around 400 BC, Ma'in and Qataban broke free of the Sabean yoke and expanded their territories considerably. At the height of their power in the third and second centuries B.C., Qataban extended its power as far as the Indian Ocean in the south and to within a day's journey of the Sabean capital Marib in the north. As these other ancient kingdoms of Southern Arabia grew in strength, it became urgent for the Sabeans, seeing themselves hemmed in, to fortify Marib, their easternmost base. They also managed to bring the routes leading into the Yemenite highlands more and more under their control. Some South Arabian inscriptions mention the incense trade as is illustrated in an inscription (about 4th/3rd century B.C.) found on a straight section of the city wall of Baraqish. It runs something like this: "Ammisadiq and the leaders of caravans, and the Minaean caravans who had set off in order to trade with Egypt, Syria and beyond the river... at the time when (the gods) Athtar dhu-Qabd, Wadd and Nakrah protected them from the attacks which Saba and Khawlan had planned against them, their property and their animals, when they were on their way between Ma'in and Najran. And in the war which was raging between north and south. And at the time when (the gods) Athtar dhu-Qabd, Wadd and Nakrah protected them and their property when they found themselves in the heart of Egypt during the war between the Medes and the Egyptians. Athtar Dhu-qabd guaranteed to them and their property peace and indemnity until they returned to their town Qarnaw." The Hadramaut
    Sabean inscriptions suggest that the Hadramaut was an ally or vassal of the mighty Sabean empire up to the 4th century B.C., when it became an independent kingdom and acquired tremendous economic significance because of its possession of Dhofar, the area in the east where the frankincense grew. A rock inscription at al-Uqla near Shabwa, where the kings of Hadramaut annually re-enacted the coronation ritual, tells of delegations from Palmyra, Chaldea, and India about 235 A.D., whom the ruler apparently invited to attend this important event. One of the outstanding features of the Hadramaut was the ability of their builders to build high-rise buildings from mud. Even today, many mud houses in Hadramaut villages reach eight to nine stories. It is hard to image that well before the birth of Christ, the inhabitants of southern Arabia erected buildings, some of which reached eight stories. When built side by side, ancient towns like that of Shibam, Yishbum, and Sana'a had streets of high-rise buildings. A four-line inscription, today in the Museum of Sana'a, tells of the buildings in the Sabean Himyaritc region that were made of stone.

    For centuries, these four kingdoms (Saba, Ma'in, Qataban, and Hadramaut) were of more or less equal strength. They rivaled one another for control of Southern Arabia, but in the last quarter of the 2nd century B.C., a shift of power took place. Around 250 BC, the Minaean Empire and parts of western Qataban were conquered by Saba, while Radman, formerly a province of Qataban, managed to gain independence and to rob Qataban of some of its southern territories.

    The Himyarite Empire was founded in 115 B.C., on the corner of the Arabian Peninsula at a place known as Bab-el-Mandeb. Gradually it expanded its control and slowly annexed all the surrounding Southern Arabian states. Saba was conquered in 25 B.C. after the Roman Army, led by the Nabataeans, attacked and weakened Saba. Qataban fell to the Himyarites in 50 A.D., and Hadramaut followed in 100 A.D. From that time on, the Himyarite Empire was Arabia's dominant state until the sixth century A.D. Like other early Arab states, the Himyarites made a living by selling frankincense and myrrh to the rest of the civilized world. This was such a lucrative business that the Romans called the Himyarite Kingdom "Arabia Felix," meaning Happy Arabia. To date, the first mention of Himyar in Southern Arabia occurs in a Hadramite inscription, dating from the beginning of the 1st century A.D., which reports the building of the wall at Qalat, the later Libna, to protect Hadramaut from the Himyars in the south, who had apparently already occupied large stretches of the coast. The Himyar metropolis, Zafar, was mentioned for the first time as Sapphar in the sixth book of Pliny's Natural History, written during the reign of Emperor Nero (A.D. 54 - 68). Henceforth Zafar challenged Marib for supremacy and the Himyar rulers even claimed Saba by designating themselves "Kings of Saba (Sheba) and Du-Raidan", a title which from then on the Sabean kings residing in Marib likewise adopted to stress their own claim to be the sole rulers of Yemen. It seems that the Nabataeans allied themselves with the new Himyarite Empire that lay along the southern coast. The other South Arabian kingdoms all had capitals and cities that faced inland towards the incense trail. These kingdoms refused to export incense by boat, and relied totally on Arab camel caravans to carry their goods north. The Himyarites on the other hand, floated their frankincense out to an island where the Nabataean boats collected it and transported it to the markets in the north. Within a few years, the Himyarite Empire grew in strength and power, while the other kingdoms struggled and eventually caved in to Himyarite domination. By transporting incense with boats, the Nabataeans gained almost exclusive control of the frankincense trade between Arabia Felix and the Mediterranean. Over the next several centuries the Nabataeans capitalized on this monopoly, raking in incredible profits.

    As we mentioned earlier, the Nabataean profits grew and the Romans became concerned about the drain the incense trade was making on their economy Things became so bad, that in 24 B.C. Aelius Gallus, the Roman prefect of Egypt, decided that an expedition had to be sent to Arabia Felix to discover the source of the incense. He insisted that the Nabataeans guide his soldiers in the expedition. The Nabataeans were of course initially dismayed until Seleucius, the brother of the king realized how the Roman Army could be used to crush Saba, the Mineans, and the Hadramaut and thus help transfer power to the Himyarites, friends of the Nabataeans.

    Rather than making the entire journey by boat, the Romans, under Seleucius' guidance, landed on the coast of Saudi Arabia, and made a difficult journey through the rocks and sand. Hundreds of Roman soldiers died on the journey. Once in the Hadramaut, more soldiers died from disease and exposure. Najran was conquered and several Minaean towns were destroyed. Others opened their gates to the enemy. Marib held out, however, and in the end, the Romans were forced to retreat through lack of water and disease.

    The expedition had failed only a few miles from the frankincense fields. For the Romans it was a disaster. Seleucius was later executed by the Romans for failing to bring the soldiers successfully to their goal. However, the expedition was probably a success for the Nabataeans as the Roman foray upset the balance of power in Southern Yemen, allowing the Himyar Empire to expand its area of control against the war torn areas, as soon as the Roman army had left.

    As the demand for frankincense grew, the Hadramis from the Hadramaut introduced a second harvest of frankincense in Dhofar. Nevertheless, even this was not enough. Pliny mentions that a few dozen million sesterces went to Rome from the Himyarite Kingdom. Then at the funeral of Nero's wife (65 AD), Pliny the Elder tells us that an entire year's harvest of frankincense was burned. This created massive shortages of frankincense throughout the entire Roman world.

    The Nabataeans by this time were almost exclusively making use of the sea route, loading frankincense from their island port in South Arabia off the Himyarite coast. This port was out of the control of the warring kingdoms of Southern Arabia and provided a secure place for them to conduct commerce. These goods were then moved north by boat, and unloaded at the Nabataean port of Leuce Come where Nabataean caravans moved them north to Petra and west to Alexandria and Gaza. It is interesting to note that the Nabataeans also set up a military fort at Leuce Come so that they could tax the incense that still made its way through the traditional overland route. The tax was set at one quarter the value of the caravan's load. Farther inland the Nabataean center at Meda'in Saleh was situated at the inland caravan cross roads and controlled all of the trade passing through that point.

    Eventually the Himyarite Kingdom suffered a permanent economic slump because of Christianity's success, and the decline in the demand for incense. For centuries the Egyptians had stuffed mummies with myrrh, and Greeks & Romans used frankincense to cover the odor of burning flesh at cremations. Since Christians buried their dead, instead of burning or embalming them, the demand for frankincense and myrrh dropped dramatically as Christianity spread in Europe.

    The first record of the breach of the Marib dam is found in an inscription stemming from the reign of Ta'ran Yuhanim and his son Malikkarib Yuha'min in the second half of the fourth century AD. Then in 542 AD, the Marib dam was breached again.

    The beginning of the seventh century witnessed the final destruction of the Marib dam. This disastrous event, referred to in the 34th surah of the Qur'an as "the Flood," caused the desolation of the Marib oasis. Following the death of Khosrau II in 628, the Persian governor in Southern Arabia, Badhan, converted to Islam and Yemen followed the new religion. Thus for the first time in history the Arabian Peninsula was politically united and able to build up strength to a level unknown during the time of the competing kingdoms of Southern Arabia.

    This faction revamp will be released in 1.0

    This faction overhaul is a complete revamp and changes the appearance of all arabian units, and adds
    11 new units to the arabian factions. Special thanks goes to Brivime for helping me planning the sabean roster and for the unit names, to Ahiga for converting new models and some awesome stuff from LoB, and Kuauik for the new models! Here are some pictures of the new and remade units:

    Melee Infantry

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    (Gunud haAhrama - Red Sea Light Infantry) When the men of the Red Sea Coast are called to war, they fight in a manner centuries old. Armed with the traditional balta harbiye, a double edged axe, and light wickerwork and leather shields, these men form a light and unruly levy.

    (Muqrabn - Arabian Shortswordmen) These hardy men from the desert rush into battle with what they can afford - a sword, helmet, and buckler - and cut down enemy skirmishers or spear-armed infantry. Relying on their speed and buckler to ward off enemy missiles, they are very vulnerable to arrows, and do not stand much of a chance against a cavalry charge, but can effectively deal with infantry of similar quality.

    (Siyyafnan - Arabian Thureos Soldiers) These thureophoroi are little different from their Hellenic counterparts. Armed with swords, along with the large and robust thureos shield, they have their qualities as a defensive force, keeping a strong front against infantry. The thureophoroi, common in the Hellenistic kingdoms, are well suited to the tactical needs of smaller states, mainly border defence.

    Spear Infantry

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    (Muqrab Lukhta - Arabian Spearmen) These men are not levies per se, and are generally superior to Pantodapoi and such eastern spear levies, having lived in the harsh desert and experiencing a raid or two in their time.

    (Haghar Hayar - Sabaean Nobles) Hailing mainly from the splendid city of Maryab, these nobles would rather avoid combat, yet are well-trained and possess the best armour and weapons available: high-quality longspears, composite bows and strong shields. They are truly an elite force to be reckoned with, able to hold the line even against the heavy infantry of the Hellenes.

    (Gunud haMadnakha - East Coast Levies) These raiders and pirates dominate the military stage of Eastern Arabia. They are light infantry equipped with padded armour worn over their tunics and wicker shields, giving them some protection against arrows. They are swift, agile troops, and their spears give them an edge against light cavalry.

    (Qadub - Sabaean Militia) The citizens of Maryab and other cities form the core of the Sabaean shabs (military unit, like a cohort), and are an important force for the whole commonwealth. These men are not professional soldiers and are not the best-equipped either. Their shields and spears are strong, yet nothing is stronger than their loyalty.

    (Farasin Tosita - Sabaean Bodyguard Infantry) These men, though devoted to the Sabaean high priesthood and their ancient city-gods, are personally loyal to their king - who exclusively pays for the cost of their equipment and training. They serve as temple guardsmen in addition to his personal escorts, marching as a ceremonial guard and as an elite corps of regular troops in battle. They are superb melee warriors, fiercely loyal to their king and trained for the most difficult assaults and confrontations.

    Missile Infantry

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    (Istratutiya - Arabian Light Infantry) These lightly armed men are not much to look at, clad in simple attire and armed with the most rudimentary spears and shields, but they are far more capable soldiers than they seem at first glance. Years of both tribal skirmishing and warfare on behalf of their Sabaean rulers has made them into warriors of surprising merit and skill.

    (Hazin Shab - Sabaean Archers) The bow is a cheap yet effective weapon useful for both hunting and war. These men do not have the money to buy expensive equipment, as most of them are farmers from one of many small villages. They may not look like much, but they are valuable when used well on the battlefield.

    (Qala'in Arabi - Arabian Slingers) Slingers are common in Arabian armies, being levied from the nomadic tribes. These men are mostly lower class herders. The tribesmen are not wealthy, so they march to war in only their simple garments, carrying a simple shield and their own, often homemade sling, in addition to a dagger for self-defence.

    (Gunud Shbeta - Light Archer Spearmen) These lightly armoured Arabian archers are versatile troops. Equipped with bows and spears, these men are able to provide an army with ranged support while also acting as light spearmen. However, the versatility of these troops is their main advantage, and they should not be expected to hold out for long in melee against disciplined opponents.


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    (Farasin Khafif - Arabian Light Cavalry) The tribes that provide these cavalry forces are generally nomadic, and as such they spend more time mounted than on foot, even if the mount is often a camel rather than a horse. In battle these men are a highly skilled light cavalry contingent, exceedingly useful for skirmishing, pursuit, and harassment.

    (Farasin Qeshatn - Arabian Horse Archers) Being lightly armoured, these horse archers are ill-suited to a melee fight except with other horsemen of their ilk, though they do have a high-quality sword and helmet for when they must fight in close quarters with the enemy, preferably from his flank or rear.

    (Abbir Farasin - Sabaean Medium Cavalry) Hailing from a highly urbanized society, these men come from both small and large settlements. Many help to work royal land grants, a few ride horses provided by stables owned by their local high priesthood, and some even enroll in the forces of semi-independent city commanders.

    (Nauariya haRabb - Arabian Bodyguard Cavalry) Every Arab tribal leader surrounds himself with fierce warriors who make up his personal guard. These riders are the elite, to be used in times of crisis. The men of the guard are equipped with a lance, sword, shield and leather armour. Agile and powerful, they can be used anywhere on the battlefield and against any enemy.

    (Qeshatin haGamla - Arabian Camel Archers) Wearing long robes or tunics of skin down to the knees, sometimes with decorated edges, these camel riders are equipped as archers, but they also carry longswords. They do not use reins or bridles; in fact, they drive the camels in the same manner as the Numidians drive their horses: with a stick and a rope wrapped around their necks. In addition, due to the repulsive smell, horses detest camels and try to avoid them in battle.

    (Lukhta haGamla - Arabian Camel Spearmen) Wearing long robes or tunics of skin down to the knees, sometimes with decorated edges, these camel riders are equipped with spears and wicker or leather shields. They do not use reins or bridles; in fact, they drive the camels in the same manner as the Numidians drive their horses: with a stick and a rope wrapped around their necks. In addition, due to the repulsive smell, horses detest camels and try to avoid them in battle.


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    (Seregelānān - Sabaean Chariots) The only chariot image that specifically depicts military use is at Hafrat Berd, where two of the three men in the chariot box are wielding weapons. The man in front appears to have a sword, and the man in back may have a bow. There are always two horses, but the box, its position, the number of spokes, wheel construction, and the number of men (1-3) are highly variable and often not very realistic.

  2. #2

    Default Re: [PREVIEW] - Mamlakatin Saba

    Great preview! Nice work

  3. #3

    Default Re: [PREVIEW] - Mamlakatin Saba

    Looking good. Great Job!

  4. #4
    Litharion's Avatar Artifex
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    Sep 2013

    Default Re: [PREVIEW] - Mamlakatin Saba

    great work as always

  5. #5

    Default Re: [PREVIEW] - Mamlakatin Saba

    Swell job guys, these units look really good.

  6. #6

    Default Re: [PREVIEW] - Mamlakatin Saba

    What a fantastic army ! Sumptuous !

  7. #7
    Irishmafia2020's Avatar Senator
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    Dec 2006
    Navajo Nation, Arizona USA

    Default Re: [PREVIEW] - Mamlakatin Saba

    Awesome Job! Saba is one of my favorite factions to play, but they have been unplayable because of their lack of decent units. These guys look great though, so I will have a great time with them when 1.0 is released...

  8. #8
    suras333's Avatar Semisalis
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    Default Re: [PREVIEW] - Mamlakatin Saba


  9. #9

    Default Re: [PREVIEW] - Mamlakatin Saba

    Are those Haghar Hayar have 240 men in a unit?

  10. #10

    Default Re: [PREVIEW] - Mamlakatin Saba

    Good work! =) great arabian style!

  11. #11

    Default Re: [PREVIEW] - Mamlakatin Saba

    really nice work;P

  12. #12

    Default Re: [PREVIEW] - Mamlakatin Saba

    Genuine question here but is the way they ride camels normal ? To me it feels like they could fall at any moment

  13. #13
    BalrogOfMorgoth's Avatar Decanus
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    Around Etampes, France

    Default Re: [PREVIEW] - Mamlakatin Saba

    Awesome ! How does the generals look like btw ?

  14. #14

    Default Re: [PREVIEW] - Mamlakatin Saba

    I love seeing more variation in the types of nations to play.

  15. #15
    Dynamo11's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: [PREVIEW] - Mamlakatin Saba

    Looks cool

  16. #16

    Default Re: [PREVIEW] - Mamlakatin Saba

  17. #17

    Default Re: [PREVIEW] - Mamlakatin Saba


  18. #18
    Bucle_CT's Avatar Semisalis
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    Quart Hadast

    Default Re: [PREVIEW] - Mamlakatin Saba

    Awesomeness in its most beautiful state [emoji106]

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Default Re: [PREVIEW] - Mamlakatin Saba

    A great work. I like the uniqueness you gave some units like bows for spearmen. I guess they are like thureos spears but with bows instead of javelins? I like it! I knew i would like to play them when 1.0 hits! I wished there were official unit cards ready, i might try making HQ ones again.
    Last edited by Alu10; October 25, 2014 at 06:03 AM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: [PREVIEW] - Mamlakatin Saba

    Quote Originally Posted by Senryakku View Post
    Genuine question here but is the way they ride camels normal ? To me it feels like they could fall at any moment
    I think this is the only way to mount dromader camel. And there is no bactrian camels in the Arabia

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