Late Achaemenid Persian "apple-bearers" Guard Foot

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batesmotel
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Late Achaemenid Persian "apple-bearers" Guard Foot

Post by batesmotel » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:46 pm

In the current army list these are classified as half HF protected, Offensive spear and MF protected, bow. This seems like about the most useless combination possible where you end up with a battle group of shock troops that must test not to charge without orders but will essentially never receive a POA in impact (or melee) for their spears. (Since there is a max of 4 of these, you could in theory have them charge in a 1 wide column to get two ranks of spears.) Since Arrian's description of these troops only noted that they carry a spear with an apple (presumably actually a pomegranite) on the end, it would make far more sense to classify these troops as all Offensive spear without the archers or to at least allow the option of a pure spear armed unit. Alternatively classifying them as the Immortals are in the EAP list would also provide a more useful troop type than the existing classification. If they are going to be 1/2 and 1/2, allowing the front rank to be defensive spears rather than offensive would at least eliminate the ridiculous urge they otherwise show to charge to their death with no Impact POA :twisted:

Chris
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hammy
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Post by hammy » Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:28 pm

Hmm, you are correct, they do seem to be somewhat pants :(

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Post by Chillimaster » Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:05 am

Great point, they remind me of the FOG equivalent of the Judean Peoples Front - Crack Suicide Squad from Pythons Life of Brian. In fact the resemblance is so strong i'm wondering if it's deliberate! :o :D I think I might paint some up now!

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Post by philqw78 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:11 am

hammy wrote:Hmm, you are correct, they do seem to be somewhat pants :(
They are utterly awful.
phil
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Post by Eques » Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:08 pm

So, to be fair, were the live action version.

If you want to play a game that simulates military history you have to work with what you get.

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Post by batesmotel » Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:07 pm

Eques wrote:So, to be fair, were the live action version.

If you want to play a game that simulates military history you have to work with what you get.
And your reference for the live action version is? I don't believe Arrian does much more than list them in the amies for Issus and Gaugamela but don't recall any accounts of them fighting. I would at least give them the benefit of either being defensive spear plus MF bow or just Offensive spear with or without LF archer support. i certainly don't recall any accounts of them suicidally charging into combat which is what they are as Offensive spears with no spear POA!

Chris
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Post by will05 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:04 am

Eques wrote:So, to be fair, were the live action version.

If you want to play a game that simulates military history you have to work with what you get.
To be fair , most of our sources on the Persian army are from Greek properganda....well maybe a bit strong, but they are mostly greek and mostly not eye witness accounts either. Didn't Alexander burn the Persian archive?

The Persian Empire lasted for something over 200 years and covered what was then a huge area. Now I realise that most of that time parts of the empire were being contested, but I still find it difficult to believe that they were rubbish and possibly stupid too.

Even Darius may not have been as daft as he may seem. At Issus he underestimated Alexander and was outmanouvered strategicaly, and lost his army. It would have been very difficult for him to recover from that. Doesn't mean he or his army were pants.

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Post by grahambriggs » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:20 am

will05 wrote:
Eques wrote:So, to be fair, were the live action version.

If you want to play a game that simulates military history you have to work with what you get.
To be fair , most of our sources on the Persian army are from Greek properganda....well maybe a bit strong, but they are mostly greek and mostly not eye witness accounts either. Didn't Alexander burn the Persian archive?

The Persian Empire lasted for something over 200 years and covered what was then a huge area. Now I realise that most of that time parts of the empire were being contested, but I still find it difficult to believe that they were rubbish and possibly stupid too.

Even Darius may not have been as daft as he may seem. At Issus he underestimated Alexander and was outmanouvered strategicaly, and lost his army. It would have been very difficult for him to recover from that. Doesn't mean he or his army were pants.
Surely Issus is an example where the Persians outmanouvered Alexander and cut his line of supply so that he had to turn and fight in the knowledge that he was lost if he didn't win?

Realistically we have little knowledge of how the guard foot fought. Offensive spear and bowmen seem and odd classification. It would have been more natural to have them as light spear and bow, as the immortals are in the early Persian list.

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Post by batesmotel » Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:13 pm

Duncan Head's reconstruction of the Persian Guard Apple Bearers in AMPW is based on the Issus Mosaic and describes them as armed with a Hoplite style shield with short spear, possible with supporting archer or armed with bow in addition to the short spear. so a classification of the Guard as either the same as the Immortals in the Early list, or as HF light spear, sword backed up by MF bow (possibly with sword) would be consistent with the AMPW description. Alternativley classifying them as HF Offensive spear with supporting LF bow would also be a better representation than the current combination. (I don't beleive that Duncan's Montvert book on the Achaemenid Persians gives any difference in his interpretation of the Apple Bearers than the figure in AMPW.

Chris
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Post by grahambriggs » Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:51 pm

Yes good point. Similar figures with round shields on the "Alexander Sarcophagus" fighting against Macedonians so presumably somebody on the Persian side.

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Post by Eques » Mon Dec 26, 2011 5:55 pm

Fair enough on the historical evidence (although even the Early Achaemenid Immortals were no match for hoplites historically).

As a general point, though, I personally find it a bit odd that people complain about the rubbishness of certain troop types in the game. Its an historical simulation, surely. Part of the interest for me is putting myself in the place of commanders who would have to use them. I don't just want to play with a load of flawless automatons that ensure an automatic win every time.

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Post by grahambriggs » Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:59 am

Eques wrote:Fair enough on the historical evidence (although even the Early Achaemenid Immortals were no match for hoplites historically).

As a general point, though, I personally find it a bit odd that people complain about the rubbishness of certain troop types in the game. Its an historical simulation, surely. Part of the interest for me is putting myself in the place of commanders who would have to use them. I don't just want to play with a load of flawless automatons that ensure an automatic win every time.
I suspect when people complain about the rubbishness of certain troops they actually mean "rubbish for the points cost in a non-re-enactment game".

e.g. armoured knights generally work reasonably historically (though are a little too vulnerable to arrows I think). But they are rubbish in open competition. Largely because they come up against some troop types that they never faced in history (HA knights, longbow, armoured spear in quantity) and suddenly the 20 points a base looks a bad deal.

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Re:

Post by batesmotel » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:49 pm

Eques wrote:Fair enough on the historical evidence (although even the Early Achaemenid Immortals were no match for hoplites historically).

As a general point, though, I personally find it a bit odd that people complain about the rubbishness of certain troop types in the game. Its an historical simulation, surely. Part of the interest for me is putting myself in the place of commanders who would have to use them. I don't just want to play with a load of flawless automatons that ensure an automatic win every time.
My comment about the Persian Guard is more that the representation really doesn't make much sense in terms of the game system rather than that they are not cost effective. Classifying the troops as offensive spearmen based on the theory that they were acting as the Persian equivalent of hoplites is a reasonable interpretation of the evidence but then denying them sufficient ranks of spearmen to actually be able to function as hoplites seems to fit poorly with how FoG models this troop type. They are not required troops in the Late Achaemenid list except for Gaugamela and the number required is small even there, so my issue is really with what seems like an ahistorical troop classification under the FoG model rather than with cost effectiveness.

Chris
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