Middle Empire Sassanids 421 A.D. to 483 A.D.

This represents the army From Vahram V through the time of Peroz to just before the accession of Khusrau III. This army is hypothesized to have placed less reliance on the bow and more on the lance than earlier Sassanid armies as well as later armies after the reforms of Kavad and Khusrau. The dates of the army are just on the cusp of the change in sections and are fairly fluid. Arguably, the dates could extend back to 388 A.D. preceding Vahram V, so the army can fight armies in the Age of Empires as well.

Era: Triumph of Cavalry   Middle Empire Sassanids 421 A.D. to 483 A.D. CR: H: 4 L: 4   BP: 2 Init: 5
Number Type   Description Key FV PROT Weapon Cost
1 CAT Asvaran Cataphracts (d!) X 6(2)0 +3 Lances 15
1 HC Diqhan Clibanarii (d!) X 4(1)0 +2 Lance/bow 12
1 LC Subjects X 2(0)0 +1 Various/bows 8
1 LC Arab/Bedouin X 2(0)0 +1 Javelins 7
1 EL Elephant X 5(3)2 +1 Various 12
2 SI     2(1)1 +2 Bows 2

2 HC Asvaran Clibanarii (d!) X 5(1)0 +2 Lance/bow 14
2 HC Diqhan Clibanarii (d!) X 4(1)0 +2 Lance/Bow 12
2 LC Subjects X 2(0)0 +1 Various/bows 8
1 HC Arabs/Bedouin X 4(0)0 +1 Various 10
2 LC Arabs/Bedouin X 2(0)0 +1 Javelins 7
4 LC Native horse X 1(0)0 +1 Bows 6
1 EL Elephant X 5(3)2 +1 Various 12
4 SI Subjects   2(1)1 +2 Bows 2
2 SI Mountain tribes   3(1)2 +2 Slings 2
2 SI Subjects & 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 Sassanid organized FT (not paighan) X 5(1)1 +1 Spears 6


Core: 1 GR

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


Core: 96 Bonus: 178

The existence of fully armored riders on fully armored horses is somewhat hypothetical at this date. All Asvaran HC and cataphracts are subject to obligatory charge. This assumption is mostly based on the behavior of Peroz in his eastern campaigns against the Epthalites. No other Sassanid HC are subject to obligatory charge.

The total of cataphracts and Asvaran clibanarii may not outnumber the combined number of lighter clibanarii and LC. The reported numbers appear to be 12 more lightly armored cavalry to every cataphract with half armored horse perhaps being counted as cataphracts. I interpreted this as more light armored cavalry [FV 4(1)0 clibanarii] and horses archers combined than cataphracts and better clibanarii. The twelve to one ratio is impossible to meet at our scale and still maintain a representative army.

If any bonus Arab LC are purchased, the bonus Arab HC 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.

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 tactical suggestions, the only uses that I can see for the levy are as a second rank behind the foot or as a mobile wall for limiting hostile maneuver. When used as a second rank, they have some value by giving depth benefits against impetus to the foot. All in all, I really see no meaningful role in game terms for the levy.

Ordo Link: There is an incredible amount of correspondence on the various Sassanid lists. For this army, the most relevant link is the Middle Empire Sassanid thread. It might also be worthwhile checking out the immense Late Sassanid Empire thread, or the somewhat more focused alternate Late Sassanid Empire 531AD to 632AD thread. Good Luck!

Last Edited: 11 April 2006

List Author: Subodai