Early Sassanid (221-290 A.D.)

This represents the Sassanid army roughly from Ardashir I through Shapur I. Later armies are represented by individualized lists in order to represent the differences in tactical doctrine and varying levels of effective organizational control from period to period. Representations of the army in its northern and eastern campaigns will be represented by yet other lists with more narrow constraints on choice much as allies are treated in many lists now.

Era: Age of Empires   Early Sassanid (221 to 290 A.D.) CR: H: 4 L: 4   BP: 2 Init: 6
Number Type   Description Key FV PROT Weapon Cost
1 Cat(d!) Cataphracts Key 6(2)0 +3 Lances 16
1 HC(d!) Clibanarii Key 4(1)0 +2 Lances/bows 13
1 LC Subjects,allies, etc. Key 2(0)0 +1 Javelins/bows 8
1 LC Arab Key 2(0)0 +1 Javelins 7
1 EL Elephant Key 5(3)2 +1 Various 12
1 HC(d) Clibanarii Key 5(1)0 +2 Lances/bows 15
2 HC(d!) Clibanarii Key 4(1)0 +2 Lances/bows 13
3 HC(d) Lighter Clibanarii* Key 4(1)0 +1 Lances/bows 12
3 HC(d) Lighter Clibanarii* Key 3(1)0 +1 Bows 10
2 LC Subjects,allies, etc. Key 2(0)0 +1 Javelins/bows 8
1 HC Arabs** Key 4(0)0 +1 Various 10
2 LC Arabs** Key 2(0)0 +1 Javelins 7
4 LC Native Horse Key 1(0)0 +1 Bows 6
1 EL Elephant Key 5(3)2 +1 Various 12
3 SI Subjects   2(1)1 +2 Bows 2
3 SI Subjects & mountain tribes   3(1)2 +2 Slings 2
3 SI Subjects and mountain tribes   3(1)2 +2 Javelins 2
2 LI Kurds, Anatolians, etc.   4(1)2 +1 Javelins 7
3 Levy Levy   3(0)0 0 Various 4
3 FT   Key 6(1)1 +1 Spears 8


Core: 1 GR

Bonus: (Max: 2 ) 2 GR, 2 SH, 1 RG


*The 3(1)0 clibanarii are a part of the lesser armed cavalry describe by the sources assuming that the lesser armed cavalry were a different troop type than the unarmored horse archers. 4(1)0 +1 Prot clibanarii may not be used with 3(1)0 +1 Prot clibanarii. They are intended as alternate simulations of the lesser armed cavalry who were either tasked as archers or who felt more comfortable with archery than the lance.

**If any Bonus Arab LC are purchased, the Bonus Arab HC unit must be purchased. If no Bonus Arab LC are purchased, they do not count toward the purchase requirements for an extra light division under Control Ratings on page 34 of the rules.

All Sassanid HC have impetus. No Sassanid HC or cataphracts are subject to obligatory charge. In this period, the cataphracts are described as holding their ground while the archers fired as if the cataphracts' feet were nailed to the ground. Elephants remain subject to obligatory charge.

THe combined number of cataphractii and clibanarii with Prot +2 may not outnumber the combined number of lighter clibanarii, Subject LC, and Native Horse.

SI and LI in this Sassanid list may not provide support to mounted troops other than elephants. SI armed with slings or javelins and LI may provide support to elephants.

As a tactical suggestion, the only uses for the levy are as a second rank behind the foot and as a living wall. When used as a second rank, they have some value by giving depth benefits against impetus to the foot. Although I have painted them, they are mostly have no real tactical value.

Ordo Link: Early Sassanid. Some interesting discussion related to this list can also be found on the Middle Sassanid thread and the Early Sassanid Army Structure thread.

Last Edited: 30 April 2005

List Author: Subodai Bahadur