Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Neo-Assyrian Cavalry and Arab Camel Riders













Here are some Eureka Miniatures, Neo-Assyrian guard cavalry that I've just finished painting. The Arab Camel riders I painted quite a while ago and the Foundry Chaldean slingers I added a couple of bases to bring them up to strength for a twelve figure unit. I have one four horse chariot to finish then I should be able to play a Chariots Rampant game with my Neo-Assyrians.

There is an interesting summary of the evolution of Neo-Assyrian cavalry in the Chariot Wars WAB supplement by Nigel Stillman (p.57):

The cavalry arm of the Assyrian army evolved rapidly during the Assyrian Empire. As the empire expanded, the horse breeding regions of Anatolia, Iran and Urartu (Armenia) came under Assyrian control, providing the army not only with better mounts but expert riders as well. The Assyrians fought the Cimmerians and Scythians and recruited many of them into the regular standing army and the royal guard. Wearing Assyrian uniforms, they became indistinguishable in the sculpted scenes, but written records give the names and origins of many soldiers, showing that cavalry was recruited from all the regions renowned for horsemanship. Initially Assyrian cavalry consisted of mixed units of unarmoured mounted archers and shield bearers, and the later held the reins for the archer while he took aim. By the time of Tiglath-Pileser III (745-727 BC), riders discarded their shield and consisted of mixed units of armoured archers and spearmen... By the time of Ashurbanipal (668-627 BC), the royal guard cavalry were equipped with spears and bows, wore armour and rode mounts protected by felt bards like those worn by the chariot horses.










12 comments:

  1. Great stuff, Mike! I have not considered Eureka Miniatures for the Assyrian Wars but I ought too. I especially like the camel troops.

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    1. Thanks Jonathan, the Eureka figures are very nice, big and chunky, they also have Elamites. Foundry are still the best range. The camel riders are a mix of Warlord and Castaway Arts.

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  2. Great looking Assyrians and Arabs! There's an exhibition at the British museum on at the moment I really should get to. I was interested to hear about how the cavalry arm was recruited to.
    Best Iain

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    1. Thanks Iain, I'd love to see that exhibition - I Am Ashurbanipal at the the British Museum. I've ordered the book from it, next best thing! I have heaps of photos from a previous trip of Assyrian reliefs there.

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    2. I think it will be a great book, I highly recommend the book for last year's exhibition Scythians: Warriors of Ancient Siberia.

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  3. Fabulous looking Ancients, Mike! I love the way you did the Assyrians' leggings - classic look. The camelry is also impressive. Oh, and the photography and backdrops are very nice as always!

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    1. Thanks Dean, they're a lot of work to paint but worth the effort. I have a Foundry unit I'm trying to finish as well but it seems to take forever!

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    1. Thanks Michal, hopefully I'll get in a game with them soon.

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  5. These look fantastic. Nice bit of historical info too. Always visit British Museum when in London. Those reliefs are breathtaking. So crisp and detailed. The leggings stripes ate very nicely done. Camels are really nice. How do Warlord and Castaway camels compare.

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    1. Thanks Colin, yes the Assyrian reliefs at the British Museum are amazing, they have an exhibition on Ashurbanipal there at the moment. The Warlord camels and riders are nicer and slightly larger than the Castaway ones.

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Assyrian Reliefs at the British Museum Part One

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