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Riseofpersia.com • View topic - Preview: Media

Riseofpersia.com

Rise of Persia - a full modification for Rome: Total War, based around the rise of the Achaemenid Persian dynasty.
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 Post subject: Preview: Media
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:08 pm 
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The Rise of Persia team is proud to present yet another world's first reconstruction of the last of the four mighty empires of the ancient world. The nation famous for its fearsome horsemen and the only people to have ever been respected as warriors by the mighty Assyrians.

The Median Empire

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The notion of a Median empire is often misconstrued as a centralised state along the lines of the succeding Persian kingdom as in the above picture. In reality the Medians were normally a vast confederacy of clans and tribes which only rarely united to form a single front. However during the dark times of the Assyrian empire the Median states were continually forced to endure raids from the warlike emperor's troops and often had to work as mercenaries for the Assyrians to make ends meet. It was during these periods of military service to the Assyrians that the Medians aquired the title "The Mighty Medes" due to their insurmountable skill in the saddle. Moreover some of the more westernmost Median states were subject to the status of a "secondary state" under the Assyrian empire. They operated and maintained the trade routes that flowed into Assyria from the east and took a percentage of the earnings for themselves. This influx of wealth forced the economic divide between the clans to grow. However the irregular economic advantages proved to be nowhere near enough compensation for the lack of independence and continual raids in Media.

In 614 B.C. the Assyrian empire was facing an insurrection from the men of Babylon and their King Nabopolassar. Cyaxares saw his oppurtunity to strike for freedom and marched at the head of the united western median states to attack Assyria. After winning a magnificent victory at Assur, Cyaxares met Nabopolassar and formed a solid alliance with him. The united forces went on to finally extinguish the power of the Assyrians once and for all. After winning great distinction for the Medes in this war Cyaxares went home to Media and left Babylon to pick up the pieces of the broken Assyrian empire. The Medians returned to their original patterns of life and abandoned the fortresses that the Assyrians had built to watch over their trade routes. Life was peaceful in Media and the men were free again.

However this peace would not last long as the warlike Lydian empire set its sights on the worryingly powerful Median states. Moreover tensions were strained further when King Alyattes of Media refused to extradite several Scythians who had comitted crimes against The Median warlord. Cyaxares and his family still held a great deal of prestige amongst the Median states and he was able to unite them once again in war against a foreign enemy. However the Lydian war proved ultimately indecisive although Cyaxares was able to conquer a great deal of territory between Iran and Asia minor. With the war's end sealed by an eclipse and ensuing marriage alliances Cyaxares returned home once again but this time as a ruler of foreign peoples. This was where the Median state began to take form as a real kingdom.

These days the heroic Cyaxares has passed on and left what he had created to his son Astyages. However the Median states are not all as happy about Astyages hereditary gains as they could be. Astyages carries a great deal of prestige thanks to his father however he may have to assert his authority over some of the Median cities before he is seen as a true ruler. Astyages might find a convinient scapegoat further to the south to unite his people behind him and solidify his position as King of the Medes.

Astyages is fortunate enough to command some of the finest cavalry in the world. The Medians have also been influenced by the nearby presence and raids of the Scythians to the north. To this end they are abe to field nimble horsearchers in addition to their heavy cavalry. On the infantry front their main strength lies in their archers but in close combat they will fall prey to heavy infantry. The units are divided up and brigaded according to their clans to symbolise the fragmentary nature of the Median empire. As such each clan will have certain elements they bring to the field and some of them will only be recruitable in certain parts of the Median empire.

The Strukhat Clan

Strukhatian Shieldbearers

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These spearmen are drawn from the most common and widespread of the Median clans, The Strukhat. They are mostly farmers or herdsman but still maintain a feudal obligation to muster for war when needed. Armed with a large tower shield the shieldbearer has excellent protection from enemy missile fire. However the shield itself is only made from conditioned wicker and leather so it does not afford superior protection in the melee. The Strukhat do battle Wearing a quilted linen cuirass and weilding a six foot spear so as such they are capable of holding the line against enemy infantry until supporting troops can engage.

Strukhatian Archers

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Strukhatian archers form the mainstay of the Median army when coupled with their shieldbearing counterparts. Coming from a fine Iranian archery tradition and utilising the devastating dathabam tactics these archers can be used to great effect on the field. Their main skill is in disrupting enemy formations before they can reach friendly troops and then supporting the resulting counter attack. However they are not heavily armed or armoured and as such can be exposed to danger if caught without support and forced into close combat.

Strukhatian Cavalry

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The landed gentry of the Strukhat clan go to war mounted atop the finest steeds in all the world. The Nisean horses are massive creatures bred extensively to carry armoured riders into battle. The Strukhatian nobility take greater care to protect themselves since they eschew shields as too cumbersome on horseback. As such they wear a cuirass of Iron scales and a bronze helmet to turn aside blows in close combat. They carry two javelins to throw into enemy ranks before closing in for the kill with their swords. These horsemen can be used to neutralise enemy cavalry or harass enemy infantry but should not be sacrificed on the spears of heavy infantry.

The Budii clan

Budian Archers

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The Budian clansmen hail mostly from the north eastern regions of Media and as such are more heavily infuenced by the nearby Scythian presence and the recent period of Scythian occupation. Because of this influence these warriors use the Sagaris axe in close combat and are generally a more agressive and warlike clan than their Strukhat cousins. Hence the Budian archers can hold their own at least for a short while in the melee purely on the strength of their ferocity.

Budian Cavalry

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Because of the greater Scythian influence in the Budian area and the need to counter the fast moving warriors on the edges of northern Media the cavalry from the Budian clan primarily use the bow on horseback. As such they are swift and deadly horse archers that can decimate an army without having to get into close contact at all. If the need to close with enemy cavalry or light infantry occurs then the Budian horsmen carry the fearsome Sagaris axe to deal with their opponents. However they are not geared up for protracted struggles in close combat and should primarily be used as skirmishers if they are to be used to their greatest effect.


The Busae Clan

Busae Spearmen

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The Busae are not technically an Iranian tribe but they factor under the Median sphere of influence. They are an indigenous tribe known as the "Mannae" but referred to as "Buza" by the Medians. The Busae are situated on the borders of the Iranian plateau and have more in common with the Sumerian city states than anyone else although they do show mild Scytho - Iranian influence. They fight in a style which is very similar to the old Elamite and Babyonian styles but since they have not been independant for a good while their military tradition has waned. As such they fight for the nearby Median lords as shieldbearers and can be depended on to hold a line with their wooden shields and long spears.

Busae Slingers

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The Busae peoples do not have an extensive military tradition but many poorer sections of society fight with simple slings and stones. These soldiers are very cheap and their slings are extremely effective in large numbers. The obvious abundance of sizeable stones mean the hardy warriors won't run out of ammunition quickly and their very light attire means that they can quickly retire before an enemy assault. However if they are caught by enemy infantry it won't be long before they break and flee. A wise commander will keep these skirmishers supported at all times.

Busae Archers

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The lower classes of Busae society are unable to afford the large shields and spears of the infantry and thus many of them are obliged to make war with bows and arrows. The near east has a fine archery tradition and the Busae are no exception to that. These soldiers are able to rain a deadly volley onto the enemy with excellent accuracy. As long as they are supported by heavy infantry these troops will be able to cause extensive damage to the enemy lines and throw them into disarray.


The Arizanti clan

Arizantian Spearmen

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The Arizanti clan are the noblest of all those in Media and the leading families share a common link through this heritage. They can afford far greater armaments and amour than their lower class counter parts. As such they wear a corslet of Iron scales painted gold and far more colourful garments to boot. But their lavish appearance is at a great contrast to their military skill. As Iranian aristocrats their abilities with the bow and spear are tested every day in training and hunting on the plains of Media. Their skill with the bow in particular is exceedingly impressive and can match even the honour guard of the Persians, to this end they don't carry bulky shields. In close combat they are hampered by a lack of shield but their heavy armour means they can take a good beating before needing support troops.

Arizantian Cavalry

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The cavalry of the Arizanti are the flower of the Median military. They ride the most meticulously bred Nisean steeds in all of Iran and can afford the finest equipment. On top of their excellent armament their extensive experience and training in cavalry tactics make them incredibly formidable warriors. These soldiers represent the finest evolution of the Iranian fighting art. They can be commited to charge with their spears at critical formations of enemy cavalry or in devastating flanking maneuvers.


Median General

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The Median King Astyages

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Credits:
Historical Research - Rez
Texts - Rez
Graphics - Vikrant1987 (main units), Professor420 (Median King), Halie Satanus (Fixing up broken units)
Coding - Nero666

Special thanks to Professor420 and Halie Satanus who took time out of their schedule to help us out!

And of course a massive thank you to all the fans who keep us working hard with your helpful comments and praise!

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 Post subject: Re: Preview: Media
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 10:07 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 3:25 pm
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Wow Median :D Awesome guys ,You gave life to a truely forgotten empire ,Very nice job. Thank you everyone who's working on this mod and his lovely team leader "Nero666" :)

rez ,I'm just curious where did you guys found the informations regarding median units and median military structure in general ? As you know ,there are so few written materials about them :(

Can't waite for the next major release (Which hopefully is the latest release :) )


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 Post subject: Re: Preview: Media
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 1:33 pm 
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Thanks Kami!

Well obviuously no one has ever tried to re-create the Medians before and there isn't any direct reference to their military. So what I did was to take the basis of an Iranian style military and then break it up into the different clans to reflect the fragmentary nature of the Median state.

I knew some Medes had been influenced by the Scythians so thats how we got the Budii. I knew that Arizanti has connotations of nobility so they became the rich social elite. The Busae became the Mannai because in median "Buza" meant indigenous and the indigenous peoples in Media were the Mannai/Busae. Lastly the Strukhat were the most numerous clan so i just wrote them up as standard Iranian style warriors. I had to leave the Magii out as I really could'nt find anything distinguishing for them to do on the field without wildly speculating.

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 Post subject: Re: Preview: Media
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 3:08 pm 
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Great stuff, Rez. I've actually been waiting for the Medes to get playable, and the representation is just great. A cavalry-based faction, rivalling that of Parsa and Lydia (I think for one that if Medea conquers Parsa, or the other way around, the Iranian factions should have an extended unit recruitment; For instance Parsa getting Arizanti cavalry, or Medea getting the Arshtibara guards; I think they could co-exist and historically they must have... Between the two of them, I can't envision a proper conquest but more of a consolidation process). It's a recipe for pure success, and a bliss for cavalry generals. Congratulations on this all-time first representation of the Medean army!

I have only a few tidbits on the Medeans I thought could be improved (As a whole RoP does not have a very EDU-intensive unit roster): http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2940250&postcount=13

Paretaceni and the Magi were left out, by admission, but of course I understand why; The basic units are already represented and the avoidance for duplicating units is reasonable (From what I have read, both the Paretaceni and Magi were important clans; The former because they constituted a part of the Greater Medea itself as opposed to the Budi and the Busae, and the latter due to their social elite status). An extra touch which could have completed the Medean roster would have been the chariotry. Elamite auxiliaries (Archers, Kallapani-chariots et al), Sagartian light cavalry, Amardian archers, Cadusian cavalry... I think that once the ground-work for the factions have been made, you guys have a colossal potential to bring out a vast spectrum of Iranian and Near-Eastern troop-types with their own distinctive uniforms and tactics... Maybe even the Ichtyophagoi/Mâhîg Khôrân :wink:

This definitely brought me a smile and is a testament to why Rise of Persia is one of my most favourite mods.


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 Post subject: Re: Preview: Media
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:41 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 3:25 pm
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Hey TPC ,Good to see you here :D
rez ,as you mentioned there are really no refrence about medians (Pre achaemenid medians I mean) ,But still from where did find these limited info about them.

Once again ,Congratulation on you RoP team and rez :)
Cheers


Last edited by Kami on Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Preview: Media
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:21 am 
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Hi! I very happy because of you create this mod. I think it is better than RTW, and all of the mods, what I've seen before.:)
And the creation of the median empire was wonderful too... I am from hungary and we have related some of the median tribes. They are one of my nation's elders so I very happy to will be can play them.
good work!!
When will be the final mod released?


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