Thursday, December 12, 2013

Assyrian Medium Infantry

This is part 2 of a series on my Ancient Assyrian army (mostly "new" Minifigs of the late 1970's).

These kind of  figures appear on Assyrian reliefs, and are sometimes termed "Pioneers". They may have been that, or troops that fought with (? 2 handed) maces. 

For wargames tactical variety, we have assumed the later. They are usually shown wearing mail shirts.

More of a "Light Heavy Infantry" unit in the old WRG parlance!

File:Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia c. 1450 BC.png
Map of the early Assyrian state and neighboring powers circa 1450 BC (from Wikipedia).

Thjis is a unit of Medium Spearmen (again, LMI in old WRG speak).

The Assyrians were often at war with the neighboring Kingdom of Urartu, which they often defeated but never conquered. The troops armed in this style were either imitations of their foes, or Urartuan troops incorporated within the Assyrian army.

File:14 century BC Eastern.png
Map for Middle Assyrian period,  1392 - 934 BC (from Wikipedia)

In either case, the crested helmet was characteristic of these troops. 

Here's another unit of these troops.

Handy for protecting flanks or rough terrain in wargames terms.

The crossed belts on the chest, looking remarkably "Napoleonic, were characteristic of the dress of these troops depicted in Assyrian reliefs. 

Map of Neo-Assyrian Empire and expansions, and vicinity  (from Wikipedia once again).

Well now, *these* chaps certainly don't look like Medium Infantry, do they?

No, in fact the conical shields mark them as belonging to the Quradu, or Assyrian Royal Guards.

The mail shirts are clearly seen here.

Yep, these fellows mean business!

A little Assyrian inspiration, Hollywood style - trailer for a "maybe someday" movie on the Assyrians.

Fear the goat from the front, the horse from the rear and man from all sides!

(Assyrian Proverb)


  1. Fun to see more components in your Assyrian collection. For forty year-old figures, they have aged pretty well! When was the last time these chaps saw action on the table?

    Cool movie trailer. No dialogue and heavy metal music...ominous atmosphere.

    1. My Assyrians have actually seen a LOT of use over the years; they last took the filed in March 21013 at HAVOC, for my game there using Charlie and David Sweet's Ancient rules:

    2. So they did! I remember reading that BatRep where you used a grid map and a modified (?) Sweet's rules. The Egyptians stuck in mind but I forgot about the Assyrians. Good stuff!

    3. They've also seen action using Hostile Realms (watch out for those flying Bulls!), Archon 2nd edition, but mostly a lot of action in the 1980's and 1990's with our Legion! and Sweet inspired house rules, which I've named Legio Quadratus:

  2. 1970s is indeed new when talking ancients (ha, ha).
    Guard units are special in any period and I do like the look of those Assyrians.

    1. LOL, good one, James.

      This perhaps the best of the Minifigs ranges....

  3. Nice movie trailer but there was a definite Persiany look about those chariots...

    1. I am sure the "trailer" (more of a "wish" than an actual movie "trailer") was put together using screenshots from one of the computer wargames. Still good for inspiration, and I think an actual movie about the Assyrians could be awesome!

  4. Good troops for a 'Civilization' style solo universe!

  5. Thanks, Rafa.

    All my Ancient armies are organized with 2 stand subunits for use with my own Ancient rules; they'd work well for C&C Ancients that way as well, I'd think.