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Thread: [UNITS] The Scythians

  1. #1
    Willhelm123's Avatar Decanus
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    Default [UNITS] The Scythians

    Introduction

    The Pontic–Caspian steppe in 202BC was primarily inhabited by a group of people called the Scythians. The Scythians were a large group of people with many sub groups. They were a branch of Iranian peoples, who spoke Scythian, a language from the eastern branch of Iranian languages. The Scythians being nomads, had a prominent horse culture where they were extremely skilled riders, and extremely skilled archers. So naturally their main method of combat was horse archery, keeping their distance while loosing arrows, however they were also known for their heavily armoured shock cavalry and fielded some dismounted troops as well. The vast majority of Scythian troops are mounted, as almost everyone would own a horse or several. Their horses are small but hardy and tough. Sometimes it is nessecary for troops to fight dismounted, perhaps to hold ground or for use in sieges. These dismounted troops may be less mobile but are no less fearsome.

    The Scythians were equipped with a variety of armours and weapons, of various origins. Trade brought many Greek armours or Greek influenced armours into use by the Scythians, and it's not uncommon to see warriors wearing a linothorax or Greek helmet. Lamellar armour types are a common native armour, as well as scale armours. Among the heaviest cavalry units, segemented plate armours are popular, providing all round protection to the warrior during the charge. The most common weapon is the composite bow, made of horn, wood and sinew, it is very powerful for its size, and allows archers to fire easily from horseback. Native swords are short, and are similar in design to celtic shortswords, a variety of spears and lances are also used.


    The Units




    Scythian Warlord
    The Warlord is the leader of a Scythian clan, tribe or confederation. He is a warlord because he rules due to having a following of men, and not necessarily because of the land he owns or wealth he has, but because of his charisma and following. He and his men are the elite of Scythian society, the most respected warriors, who own expensive equipment.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Scythian Tribes People & Scythian Dismounted Archers
    This unit is comprised of the general tribes people of Scythia. They aren't dedicated warriors, they are farmers, craftsmen, retired warriors, and women. A unit such as this would normally be on foot, but due to the nature of Scythian society where almost everybody owns a horse, these tribes people fight on horseback, and they wouldn't be Scythians if they didn't know how to use a bow. They are not cut out for melee combat though. If needed this unit can go to war dismounted, essentially acting as a force of foot archers.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Scythian Warband & Dismounted Warband
    The Warband is comprised of the men of Scythian society who consider themselves as warriors. Unlike Celtic or German society, the Scythians didn't have a specific warrior class, anyone could walk the warrior path if they desired. These men pride themselves on being brave warriors, they fight on horseback with bows, as is the Scythian method, but they are also adept in melee. If needed, these men can be recruited to fight on foot.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Scythian Nobles
    The Scythian nobility are no strangers to warfare. They are little different to other Scythian warriors, and they fight in the same manner. However they are rich enough to afford good armour, usually of scale, lamellar, or sometimes a Greek import. This makes them more adept in melee combat than other units.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Scythian Cavalry
    Scythian Cavalry are a kind of forerunner to the cataphracts. Rare among Scythians, they have abandoned their bows, and dedicated themselves to charging into melee. They use spears, which are also fairly rare among Scythians who usually prefer shortswords. Their spears give them an advantage in the charge over the other Scythian cavalry units.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Scythian Cataphracts
    Scythian Cataphracts are the result of a switch in military mindset from more defensive skirmishing, to offensive, decisive crushing charges. These men are technically nobles, as only they could afford the unique heavy armours worn by these Cataphracts. Often they will wear segemented arm and leg armour as well. Their horses are also well protected in scale and llamellar. Being Scythians, they still take their bows into battle, prefering to fire them as a preliminary barrage before charging with their lances.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Scythian Spearmen
    Scythian Spearmen are not just dismounted cavalry, they're a dedicated foot unit of spears. While not particularly amazing spearmen, or even well trained, they do represent a real change in Scythian tactics, showing a clear desire to have some sort of holding, pinning force on the battlefield, more than just skirmishing cavalry. These spearmen tend to be recruited from the general tribes people, as warriors would consider this role below them.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Credits
    We would like to thank the Divide et Impera team for many of the unit components seen above. Access to their massive unit resources sped up the creation process of these units a great deal and proved to be invaluable. Their fantastic work paved the way for us.
    Divide et Impera TWC Forum


    AE Dev, mainly units

  2. #2

    Default Re: The Scythians [Preview]

    Awesome update willhelm, But those shields on the backs of the scythian warlords are clipping big time!.
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  3. #3
    Willhelm123's Avatar Decanus
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    Default Re: The Scythians [Preview]

    Oh damn, thats actually an animation error, fixed now.
    AE Dev, mainly units

  4. #4

    Default Re: The Scythians [Preview]

    yeah that looks like the shield hasnt been placed correctly on the vmd, should be a pretty easy fix I'll tell william thanks for spotting it!
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  5. #5
    The Wandering Storyteller's Avatar Content Staff
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    Default Re: The Scythians [Preview]

    An excellent preview!





















































  6. #6
    Linke's Avatar Hazarapatish
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    Default Re: The Scythians [Preview]

    Very nice progress, are these for Saka tribes aswell or will they be receiving their own overhaul, together with Parthians and Dahae, other Iranian nomads?

  7. #7
    Willhelm123's Avatar Decanus
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    Default Re: The Scythians [Preview]

    The Eastern Steppe tribes have the same structure, but they do look slightly different. They don't have Greek equipment, and they have Parthian and other eastern items mixed in. A different colour scheme as well.
    AE Dev, mainly units

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Scythians [Preview]

    Very very good units! Lots of scales and horns and steppe decorations. Hats off!

  9. #9

    Default Re: The Scythians [Preview]

    I dig the armours, those helmets with the ram horn design are damn cool.
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  10. #10
    Visarion's Avatar Alexandros
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    Default Re: The Scythians [Preview]

    Look at all the goodies

  11. #11

    Default Re: The Scythians [Preview]

    Great job!
    Shogun 2, no thanks I will stick with Kingdoms SS.

  12. #12

    Default Re: [PREVIEW] The Scythians

    I'm going to have to totally disagree and dispute this unless you plan to implement the Sarmatians into the game aswell and make the scythians a vassal of the bosporan kingdom the last scythians that didnt assimalate into sarmatians were pushed into the coastal polis's the Sarmatians had conquered the territory of what was once scythia and were predominate in ponto caspain steppes at this time period. Your unit roster is totally ahistorical the sarmatians were the tribe to implement the combined arms of heavy amoured cataphract like cavalry the scythians tactics were light archer cavalry. I will provide more evidence later.
    Last edited by Malarkey95; March 24, 2016 at 07:54 AM.

  13. #13
    Willhelm123's Avatar Decanus
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    Default Re: [PREVIEW] The Scythians

    So you want the Scythians to have about 3 units?
    AE Dev, mainly units

  14. #14

    Default Re: [PREVIEW] The Scythians

    Scythians and Sarmatians had both developed lamellar and scale armour for their horses by the time of the Achaemenids. The idea that only one would have armoured cavalry several centuries later, especially when the dynasty that succeeded the Achaemenids was themselves of Scythian descent and famous for advancing and popularizing cataphracts, seems pretty ridiculous.

  15. #15

    Default Re: [PREVIEW] The Scythians

    Scythians and Sarmatians had both developed lamellar and scale armour for their horses by the time of the Achaemenids. The idea that only one would have armoured cavalry several centuries later, especially when the dynasty that succeeded the Achaemenids was themselves of Scythian descent and famous for advancing and popularizing cataphracts, seems pretty ridiculous.
    This. The Persians were employing armor for their cavalry and heavily armored riders against Alexander (though, with javelins instead of spears or lances). Likely that came from the Scythians/Dahae in particular. It was only a few weeks ago I was reading a theory that Alexander's Companions played a part in developing the full Cataphracts of the third century on as they represented a combination of the two approaches. Exposure to the Hellenistic/Macedonian cavalry led to the Scythians adopting new tactics which they combined with their traditional light horse archers which came back to the Greek world via the Parni/Parthians. Fairly heavily armored riders were already about in the 4th century, and I don't see any conclusive evidence it was the Sarmatians who adopted it or refined it to the heavy/light cav model employed by the Parthians. It actually seems to be the Scythians in the Black Sea region who introduced that to the East.

    To go a step further, there were still important and powerful Scythian tribes/rulers attested at our start date and through the first century on the Ponto-Caspian steppe.

    Achaemenid heavy cavalry:



    All of this said, I do take one issue with this roster and I've expressed it to William personally. It's his roster and research, though.

    I may incorporate some units for the Sarmatians and Dahae from DeI, when I get a chance to compare. Though it's hard to really distinguish the Dahae from the other Saka units we have. Or Sarmatians from Scythians at this point.

    If there is counter evidence or something I'm missing, I'd love to hear it.

    The Scythians most definitely had heavily armored cavalry. In the East in particular. And I have never encountered any credible evidence that the Sarmatians developed that approach. If anything, it seems to stem more from the Eastern Scythians/Saka.


  16. #16

    Default Re: [PREVIEW] The Scythians

    Actually I think I'm wrong I was reading this and not sure about it I think you guys have it spot on some of the articles in this magazine are propositioned and if succesful written up by the readers/casual enthusiasts themselves and not always the academics.
    One thing your definitely wrong on is the horses height the Scythians had tall large horses all the sources say so the Scythians were a tall people, whenever the celts needed riding horse they would import from the Scythians as the Celts horses were small at most were 1.2-1.4 meters and only used for cart puling etc. Whilst Scythians were much larger Williams your thinking of the Mongols today they ride ponies
    Last edited by Malarkey95; May 16, 2016 at 11:44 AM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: [PREVIEW] The Scythians

    Didn't the Parthians and other dynasties on the Iranian Plateau have access to a breed called Nissan horse which came from the Zagros mountain range? I can't remember where but I read or heard that when theses dynasties fought the armies of the steppe usually they had nearly similar armies and 1 of the main reasons why overall they managed to keep the eastern border fairly safe was the Nisean steed. They were stronger build and had more stamina, though I don't know if there was a height difference.
    Unfortunately the Nisean horse is extinct.

  18. #18

    Default Re: [PREVIEW] The Scythians

    I'm no expert on ancient horse breeds and it's not something I have read up on extensively, but it is my understanding that the Persians and people occupying Iran had larger horses than the West in general. Alexander the Great and his men were riding the equivalent of ponies against them in their major battles (per Peter Green, at least).


  19. #19

    Default Re: [PREVIEW] The Scythians

    In Sogdiana (Just to the east of saka etc), they had horses that were referred to by the Chinese of the Tang Dynasty as 'Heavenly horses' because they were so large and powerful, so the eastern factions did have larger horses. Also the scythians should definitely have cataphracts, it is thought that the achaemenids took the idea for cataphracts offf the scythians. On the subject of cavalry, the celtic and germanic tribes should not make much use of cavalry because horses that were usable in war could only be afforded by the richest in celtic/germainc society.

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