Army List: Early Atropatene

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David Kuijt
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Army List: Early Atropatene

Post by David Kuijt » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:24 pm

Okay, I'm working on Campaign Book 1, and one of the campaigns in there is "To The Strongest", which is based on the 4th War of the Diadachoi (307-301 BC, more or less). It's a campaign DS and I ran at Cold Wars 2011.

One of the armies (nations/states/whatever) in the campaign is Atropatene. At the time (back in 2011, under a legacy system) I just had them use the Later Achaemenid Persian list, even though the LAP list ended in 329 when Alexander went squish to Darius.

Atropates was a satrap of Darius who declared allegiance to Alexander after Darius got squashed, was accepted and confirmed in rulership of the part of the empire that became Atropatene (around Azerbaijan, lower west side of Caspian sea). He married in (as did everyone, at Susa) and was a good boy; after Alex fevered out Atropates eventually declared independence (but long before 307 BC) and was pretty much an independent ruler, including his descendants, until Parthia came up 250 BC and absorbed Atropatene as one of its provinces.

So the question is this: what should the Atropatene army list look like, between the defeat of Darius (up to which it is LAP) and its absorption by Parthia (after which it is Parthian, with a little mod for being a bit more urban)? It's a separate kingdom of its own for at least 70 years there.

The military institutions would start as basically LAP without the cosmopolitanism, as the leadership and military continued. Other influences would be Seleucids (powerful neighbors) and Skythians/Proto-Parthians and Armenians (other neighbors). Doing something half-way between Armenians and LAP would seem like a reasonable first approximation in the absence of data.

Any thoughts?
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Andreas Johansson
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Re: Army List: Early Atropatene

Post by Andreas Johansson » Mon Jun 15, 2020 6:44 am

I have nothing to add regarding the composition of Atropatenean armies, but the mention of them got me to notice the Atropatene/Elymais/Persis list is included in the "India and the Khyber Pass" thematic category, which seems like an error.

(BTW, Azerbaijan is Atropatene, in the sense that both go back to the Old Persian version of Atropates' name.)
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Re: Army List: Early Atropatene

Post by Dekelia » Wed Oct 28, 2020 3:35 am

I think you are on the right track for this. From what little information I could find I would think they would primarily be light horse (combination of Jav and Bow Cavalry) augmented by light foot and skirmishers. You could probably throw in a small amount (1) of either Elite Cav, Knights, or even Cataphracts to represent the nobles. You could also have a small number of Greek Mercenaries - those guys made it everywhere and I think they'd still be around at that time. This is a small, out of the way place so probably don't have huge resources. They would have good cavalry - though probably light.
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