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 Post subject: Preview: Lydia
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:22 pm 
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Now at this time, there was no nation in Asia more valiant or warlike than the Lydian.”
- Herodot (I 79,3)

RoP has done an incredible job creating the world’s first reconstruction of an army serving a Kingdom mankind has forgotten. It was within the time when King Midas’ empire fell under the onslaught of the Kimmerians, that a new power arose from the ashes:

Lydia: The Mermnad’s Kingdom

Lydian realm: (around 550BC)



Historical Situation:

King Gyges, first in the proud line of the Mermnads’ dynasty, fought the Kimmerian hordes back giving his life in this epic struggle. His son Alyattes finally defeated them and made Lydia the most powerful nation in Asia Minor.
Alyattes also continued the war against the Ionian city states in the west and expanded the realm eastwards reaching the Halys. Here stood the mighty Medes, having an empire stretching from the Halys to the Oxus. In the first clash between the Lydians and the Medes the sun dyed and both of them realized the Gods did not want that battle. With the help of Nabû Nā’id, King of Babylon, a peace treaty was arranged.
But that did not stop the Lydian expansion. Until now, King Kroisos has subjected almost all of Asia Minor. And he is lusting for more power. A war is to come.

In the east, the invincible seeming arch enemy of Media has to face internal trouble due to an up-rising by a small tribe, called Persians. Of course, their chances to succeed against the Medes are small, nevertheless this could cause some disarray in the Median defenses.
Babylon, an empire of so much old glory, has fallen into an odd situation. It was still Nabû Nā’id ruling, but he has become strange… more interested in antiquities than politics. This again, could prove to be very useful when the war against the great eastern empire – may it be Median or Persian – will be waged. This time, no one would stop Lydia.

His wealth is still well known to almost everybody in the western world and this is a reputation he well deserved. The Lydian Kingdom was indeed very prosperous, trade income from the coast, metals from the mines and crops from the fields. One does not wonder, that it was under the Lydian Kings, the money was developed. The heraldic animal of the Mermnads’ dynasty, the Lion is on all coins, although Kroisos has replaced the old motive of the Lion’s head in front of a rising sun by a bull-slaying Lion.


One of the most important trade partners is Egypt, ruled by Chenibre Amose-si-Neith. He is also a most reliable ally, although being an ursupator. He led a revolt against the dynasty, Gyges once had helped achieving power. Nevertheless, Amose’s wise rule has prevailed and he has proven to be a worthy ally.
Contacts to the Greek cities on the main land were established as well. A small, but powerful city state called Lakedaimonia seems to be interested in an alliance.

So the political and economical situation is excellent. The army is no worse. In classical times, the Lydians were known to most Greeks as decadent, soft people. However, in our timeframe, they were the most warlike people in all Asia, as Herodot reports. The nobility was equestrian with proud military traditions and they could defeat anyone on horseback.
The noble cavalry is simply the best cavalry around, no one can match them. Especially their skill fighting with the long lances they carry is famed. As if this was not enough, Kroisos himself arranged a refitting using Greek high-tech armour.
Other very capable horsemen were drawn from the Paphlagonians, who settle at the shores of the Black Sea. They were one of the oldest people in Asia and said to have assisted the Trojans in their struggle against the Greeks. One Greek city, Kolophon, still musters a respectable cavalry, which is employed by the Lydian Kings with pleasure.
But usually the subjected Greek cities, accepting Lydian overrule, furnished the typical Greek Hoplites. Many peoples such as the Karians and Pamphylians also have adopted the Panhoplia, the Karians were even credited having developed the shield’s grip, blazon and the helmets’ crests. The citizens of the Lydian cities naturally fought as hoplites after their homes grew rich.
Several more people were acting in the ranks of the Lydian army as light troops, archers and skirmishers. All together, the Lydian army is entirely based on non-professional, but nonetheless excellent troops, while the great diversity of that army makes it stand without weaknesses in the field. The enormous beauty of the Lydian arrays was admiringly noted by the Greeks. Actually, according to Sappho, only the face of the Girlfriend can be more beautiful than a Lydian battleline.
However, being non-professional, a Lydian King will have trouble keeping that army campaigning over the seasons.

So make your campaigns short and your victories decisive!

Units, Part 1: The Light Levies

The Mysians

The Mysians were a native folk of Anatolia, similar in ethnicity to the Lydians and Karians. However they did not favour the phalanx formation and instead fought as far more lightly armed troops. Carrying small shields and javelins of burnt wood the mysians make excellent skirmishers and work well to support the heavier hoplites. However their light equipment and lack of a bronze helmet mean they are extremely vulnerable in close combat. The smart commanders use their speed to avoid prolonged conflict with the enemy.

The Phrygians

The Phrygians inhabited the rich plains of eastern Anatolia and their infantry forces comprised the typical light skirmishers of the Asia minor cultures. Armed with a small shield and a set of Javelins the Phrygians fight in a similar way to the Mysians. However the Phrygians also carry a spear for close combat making them more able to provide light support on the flanks of a phalanx. Their famous Phrygian cap distinguishes them on the field and their speedy assaults, harrying the enemy with javelins are a key factor in disrupting enemy formations.

The Paphlagonians

The Paphlagonians also provided cavalry for the Lydian emperor’s armies, but their soldier’s arms were far less magnificent than their Lydian overlords. The Paphlagonians fought in the same manner as the Lydian knights but were not respected or feared in the same way due to their lack of heavy armour. They wore woven caps instead of helmets and long leather riding boots to maximise on manoeuvrability whilst on horseback. Whilst lacking in armour the Paphlagonians made up for this with the speed of their cavalry, without the heavy weight of a knight the Paphlagonians can chase down routers more effectively and also provide fast assistance to critical areas on the field.

The Kolophonians

The Kolophonian Cavalry were of a similar nature to the Lydian cavalry, but they were of Greek stock and as such their armour and arms reflect this. Using heavier armour than the Paphlagonians the men of Kolophonion can fight well in close order with the Lydian knights. Kolophonion had been under the influence of the Lydian empire for many years now and as such the horsemanship of these Greeks has as a result improved in contrast to the more mountainous Greek lands. With far more oppurtunity for cavalry warfare and a good breed of horse to ride, these Greeks are by no means the sterotypical horsmen of mainland Greece. Whilst not the heavy shock cavalry of later Greco-Macedonian times, these Hellenes are not in the least weak in the melee. They carry a javelin for ranged combat and a spear to pierce the ranks of the enemy.

Units, Part 2: The Hoplite Levies

Ionian Hoplites

The Lydian empire held sway over many of the Ionian City states in Asia Minor and because of this they were able to recruit many of the famed citizen hoplites. Stalwart in battle and always a solid infantry force the hoplites are the mainstay of any battle line. Armed with a bronze shield and a long thrusting spear the Hoplites work together in well-drilled cohesion to face the enemy head on and decide the fate of nations with a strong right arm. However the morale of these troops will not hold true in the same fashion as a free city state. These hoplites are fighting for a foreign King’s conquests and they know it.

Karian Hoplites

The Hoplites from Karia are traditionally credited with the invention of the proud plumage displayed from bronze helmets of the era. The bright decoration of the Karian helm earned them the nickname of “Cocks” by the Persians because of the pride in their appearance. These hoplites are not ethnically Greek but Herodotus describes them as vastly similar to the Hellenes. However the Karians also implement the deadly sickle as a secondary weapon used against cavalry. The heavy curved blade is ideal for chopping and slashing away at cavalry, unseating the rider and leaving him exposed or trampled underfoot. With the combination of a phalanx and the lethal sickle the Karians are the ultimate in anti – cavalry infantry.

Pamphylian Hoplites

The Pamphylians were another subjugated people of the Lydian empire, native to Anatolia they were not Hellenes but the close contact with the Greek peoples of the world has influenced them enough to produce a good hoplite corps. Whilst not as well trained or practiced as the constantly warring Greek city state hoplites the Pamphylians are still able to maintain the well drilled cohesion of the phalanx.

Units, Part 3: The Lydians

Lydian Hoplites

Whilst the elite of the Lydian army and society relies heavily on their Cavalry and occasionally chariots, the ascending middle class citizen of the urban sections of the empire developed much in the same way of the Greek city states into a hoplite corps of infantry. A Lydian noble’s place is on horseback But the middle class, craftsmen and tradesmen favoured the strong brotherhood of a close formed phalanx. The stalwart quality of a heavily armoured hoplite charge thundering toward the enemy with spears at the ready has won the Lydians many a battle.

Lydian Archers

The Lydians, like many eastern cultures utilised archers to rain a lethal volley of arrows upon the enemy. With their high velocity projectiles and composite bows adopted from the Kimmerians the Lydian Archers can not only disrupt enemy formations but also cause a high casualty rate in the enemy before they even close for the melee. Whilst not being as practiced in the art of archery as their eastern neighbours the Lydians were perfectly capable of delivering organised volleys of missiles with good accuracy. However their lack of armour prevents them from engaging in close combat.

Lydian Chariots

The Lydian nobility had a long tradition of riding chariots to war. Similar to the Eastern style chariot warfare the Lydians would use the vehicle as a mobile weapon platform. Armed with javelins they harass the enemy with speed and mobility before closing in more vulnerable lighter troops in lightning raids. However the lack of heavy armour or offensive weaponry attached to the carriage means the Chariots cannot sustain prolonged stationary combat nor deal with excessive missile barrages. Drawn by four richly decorated horses these chariots are both a fearsome and wondrous force to behold upon the battlefield.

Lydian Noble Cavalry

However, most of the Lydian nobility rode into battle mounted on the richest steeds in Asia Minor. Kept in the finest of conditions the Lydian mount was constantly maintained in the best of health and ready for action. The Lydian knights themselves have practiced horsemanship all their lives on the hunt and in the numerous wars of conquest for the Lydian Empire. They were feared throughout the civilised world as deadly knights able to turn certain defeat into a heroic victory.
Armed with a javelin and an extraordinarily long lance for the time period, the Lydian knights pepper the enemy with missiles to demoralise and confuse them before closing in for brutal melee combat. The Lydian cavalry are well equipped to destroy the enemy cavalry and cripple opposing armies, following this they can be used in conjunction with pinning infantry for shock tactics against infantry. But as with all horsemen their strength lies in continued mobility and they should not get bogged down in combat with infantry. It should be noted that in recent years the proud tradition of horsemanship among Lydian nobles might have slipped due to the decadence of their rich empire and this may take its toll in battle.

Units, Part 4: The Officiers

Lesser General:




Some videos for you:

http://www.riseofpersia.com/developers/ ... 0Lydia.wmv
http://www.riseofpersia.com/developers/ ... ia%202.wmv

Models/Textures: Goscinio
Research: FliegerAD
Texts: FliegerAD/Rez
Thanks: to all, who like this mod! We await your comments, critics and suggestions with great anticipation! If you want to show off your support, you can sport our Lydian userbar:


In peace times, sons burry their fathers, in war fathers burry their sons
- King Kroisos of Lydia and Other Nations (after Herodot I 87,4)


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