Persian Units


Assyrian Horse Archer
Assyrian Horse Archer

Class: Cavalry

Information: Because of their alliance with the dreaded Assyrians, the Persians can deploy the dreaded Assyrian Horse Archer. Brutal to the extreme, these warriors can lay waste to enemy Infantry.

Weaknesses: Countered by foot Archers.

History: According to Herodotus, Assyrian troops served in the Persian armies under King Xerxes I during the campaigns against the Greeks. Among these troops were Assyrian horse archers. These famous riders are depicted on a number Assyrian reliefs.

Elephant Archer
Elephant Archer

Class: Archer

Cost: 50 Wood350 Gold

Information: From the eastern most edges of the Persian Empire come these ferocious creatures. Carrying Archers on its back, the Elephant Archer is both a deadly ranged weapon and the ultimate melee attacker. It can stampede for area-effect damage, and train archers atop. The Elephant Archer is very effective versus infantry units.

Weaknesses: Countered by Field Siege and Archers.

History: Elephants became excellent war machines when properly trained in ancient times. Several recorded battles account for the use of war elephants including Guagamela (331 BC), Gaza (312 BC), Heraclea (280 BC), Zama (202 BC), and Hydaspes River (326 BC). They seemed to have been introduced by Asian armies who were masters at controlling these ferocious beasts. Usually 1-3 armed men were mounted on top. Western armies such as Persian, Macedonian, Carthaginian, and even Roman began to make use of the psychological terror these beasts would inflict upon the enemy. Aside from the standard trampling power of these beasts came the ingenious idea of mounting a small wooden tower on top of the elephant. Mounted in the tower were archers and javelin throwers raining death as the elephant moved about during battle.

Female Civilian
Female Civilian

Class: Miscellaneous

Information: The Female Civilian is a campaign only unit that has no special attributes.

Weaknesses: Countered by all military units.

History: Persian women in ancient Persia were aristocratice and possessed numerous rights sometimes on par with men. They were known to work beside men in workshops and received the same salary. High-born women were known to even exercise an influence on affairs of state. Female members of the Achaemenid royal family possessed their own estates, and ancient sources survive showing their active involvement in management--such as letters that relate to the shipment of grain, wine, and animals to palaces from distant land-holdings.

Flame Onager
Flame Onager

Class: Siege Weapon

Cost: 300 Wood300 Gold

Information: A siege engine that hurls projectiles to smash enemy defenses and buildings.

Weaknesses: Countered by Cavalry.

History: As the use of siege weaponry continued to enhance into the latter part of antiquity, so did their efficiency by means of better technology and sophistication. The catapult was one such siege weapon that proved not only useful against city walls and fortresses, but also on the battlefield. It is not known exactly how far back in antiquity catapults made their first appearance on the battlefield or in sieges, but sources do confirm their first major appearances in latter Greek times between C. E. 400 B.C. and 300 B.C. Alexander the Great utilized sophisticated catapults which aided him in helping to subdue several cities he besieged; included the city of Tyre and its “impregnable” grand island fortress. There is little to no evidence of the use of catapults by the ancient Persians, however, seeing that numerous documents and much historical data has been lost, we should not omit the possibilities--as it can be stated with certainty that advancements in siege weaponry were being made during this time period.

Griffin Siege Tower
Griffin Siege Tower

Class: Siege Weapon

Information: The Griffin Siege Tower is a super siege tower for the Persians. The Griffin Tower not only comes up to the siege stricken wall of a city, it has archers who can use it as an attack platform. Rather than a series of ladders, there is a Griffin head at the top through which the forces emerge, creating an effect that is sure to stop more than a few soldiers in their tracks.

Weaknesses: Infantry, Cavalry, Siege Weapons.

History: Ancient sources perfusely highlight the use of the siege tower as the preferrable method for assaulting deffensive positions, such as walls, towers, and other fortifications. Aside from that, sources also confirm the use of mobile towers on the battlefield equiped with archers. The historian Xenophon also mentions the use of "mobile towers" deployed by King Cyrus of Persia at the battle of Thymbra (547 BC). Xenophon's account follows thus:

"And because the Persians had to hold out their little shields clutched in their hands, they were unable to hold the line, but were forced back foot by foot, giving and taking blows, until they came up under cover of the moving towers. When they reached that point, the Egyptians in turn received a volley from the towers; and the forces in the extreme rear would not allow any retreat on the part of either archers or lancers, but with drawn swords they compelled them to shoot and hurl."

"...and when Cyrus had mounted he saw that the Egyptians were now assailed on every side; for Hystaspas also and Chrysantas had now come up with the Persian cavalry. But he did not permit them yet to charge into the Egyptian phalanx, but bade them shoot and hurl from a distance. And when, as he rode round, he came to the engines, he decided to ascend one of the towers and take a view to see if anywhere any part of the enemy's forces were making a stand to fight. And when he had ascended the tower, he looked down upon the field full of horses and men and chariots, some fleeing, some pursuing, some victorious, other vanquished; but nowhere could he discover any division that was still standing its ground, except that of the Egyptians; and they, inasmuch as they found themselves in a desperate condition, formed in a complete circle and crouched behind their shields, so that only their weapons were visible; but they were no longer accomplishing anything, but were suffering very heavy loss...."

Source: Cyropaedia of Xenophon; The Life of Cyrus The Great By: Xenophon (c. 430 - 355 BCE)

As evidenced by the account, mobile towers proved their effectiveness on the field of battle. They gave archers not only a platform from which to shoot, but also proved useful in allowing commanders and kings the ability to get a good view of the battlefield and hence make strategic decisions.

Javelin Thrower
Javelin Thrower

Class: Archer

Information: Javelin Throwers are infantry units that hurl a deadily javelin--presumably strong against archers.

Weaknesses: Unknown, but presumably against swordsmen, cavalry, and siege.

History: As with most ancient armies, javelin throwers served as auxiliary soldiers during battle. Persia made extensive use of these levy units in virtually every battle they engaged. Upon the opening of a battle, they would run up ahead of the main army, hurl their javelins at the enemy, then quickly retreat back into the safety of the main army and reload. Javelins flying to and fro in many cases would aid in throwing the enemy into panic and disorder.

Ladder Team
Ladder Team

Class: Miscellaneous

Cost: 25 Wood50 Gold

Information: This small group of hardy ladder carriers is responsible for constructing ladders that can be used by infantry units to assault walls or other elevated defensive positions. Infantry units will climb up the ladder to engage the enemy atop the walls or fortifications.

Weaknesses: All military units

History: As with any typical ancient army, besiegers required the use of ladders to directly assault enemy walls and defensive positions. The Persians as well made efficient use of this basic assaulting utility.

Nebuchadnezzar
Nebuchadnezzar

Class: Hero

Cost: 200 Gold

Information: (630 BC to 562 BC): Although he is slow to anger, Nebuchadnezzar will quickly leap into a fray if his people are in danger. For melee combat, he uses a mighty axe, but he’s also extremely proficient with his bow, which fires arrows in lightning-fast succession. He can zoom in x2 with his bow.

As Nebuchadnezzar gains experience, the firing speed of his bow increases. He is extremely agile and fast on the battlefield, able to slash his foes and quickly move on.

Weaknesses: His low stamina limits the amount of time that Nebuchadnezzar can spend in Hero Command.

History: Nebuchadnezzar, first prince and later king of Babylon (c.605-562BC), was especially known for his conquest of Jerusalem and rebuilding of Babylon. While yet prince, his ailing father Nabopollassar sent him out to fight against the Egyptians of whom he totally crushed and destroyed their strong city of Carchemish. From there he continued and conquered the whole of Syria-Palestine and brought the entire city of Jerusalem under his subjection taking a great number of Jewish hostages, among whom according to Biblical text were Daniel and his 3 companions. Shortly thereafter his father died and he hastened home to Babylon to take the throne. The rest of his life was spent organizing conquered territories, subduing rebellions, suffering near-defeats against the Egyptians, laying a 2 year siege against Jerusalem--destroying the city itself and the temple as a result of king Zedekiah's rebellion, and eventually subjugating Tyre after a siege of 13 years. Nebuchadnezzar will also always be remembered as a great builder, not to mention those splendid hanging gardens that helped make Babylon the world's greatest ancient city of the time.

Noble Archer
Noble Archer

Class: Archer

Cost: 40 Wood40 Gold

Information: Only the most elite among Persia's Archers attain the rank of Noble Archer. Deadly accurate, they can attack the enemy from astonishing distances. They are most effective against spear infantry.

Weaknesses: Cavalry and Swordsmen.

Upgrades: Archer > Improved Archer > Parthian Archer > Improved Parthian Archer > Noble Archer

History: Persia's early Achaemenid army consisted of bowmen in large proportions. The archer "classification" could cover a multitude of races and categories. The army consisted of bowmen from wide ranging geographic localities such as the Indian border regions, Ethiopia, the Ionian Greek city states, and of course, not forgetting the Mede and Persian bowmen that could be found in "The Immortals" elite Persian class infantry. This particular archer represents the elite archer class of the Persian army, and even possibly a member of the 10,000 Immortals--of whom were both archers as well as spearmen depending on the need.

Noble Cataphract
Noble Cataphract

Class: Cavalry

Cost: 180 Gold

Information: Extreme skill with a weapon and expert horsemanship are the requisites to join the ranks of the Noble Cataphract. When deployed against enemy Archers and Siege Weapons, the Cataphract are nearly unstoppable.

Weaknesses: Countered by Spear Infantry.

Upgrades: Horseman > Improved Horseman > Cataphract > Improved Cataphract > Noble Cataphract

History: After the defeat of the Lydians by Cyrus the Great, large amounts of cavalry found its way into the Persian forces that were based in Asia Minor. The Persian army began to largely depend on their cavalry. The cavalry added a lot to the army mostly because of its speed and great agility. Cavalry were often recruited from the nobility. The most heavy cavalry units were well protected with armor, both on the horse and the rider. The Persian Cataphracts were Persia's best cavalry, and the Noble Cataphracts in Rise & Fall represent the highest upgraded level of the Persian cavalry line. These heavy cavalry units could deliver fairly potent attacks once they charge in. However, as massed cavalry, they were not as maneuverable as other mounted units.

Noble Guard
Noble Guard

Class: Infantry

Cost: 40 Gold

Information: The backbone of the massive Persian army are the Noble Guard, elite Swordsmen that are specially trained to attack and conquer Outposts and are good against Outpost defenders.

Special Ability: Levy Troop > Improved Levy Trooper > Trained Swordsman > Improved Trained Swordsman > Noble Guard

Weaknesses: Countered by Spearmen, Cavalry, and Siege weapons.

History: The basic infantry line is what made the bulk of Persia's enormous numbers--many of them being poorly trained. According to some ancient historians such as Herodotus, the number of Persia's armies reached up to almost two million during the time of Xerxes I, although it is quite likely that these figures were exaggerated. The hosts of Persia's armies during the time of Darius I and Xerxes I composed a great variety of different surrounding nations who were subjected under Persia's authority. Among those infantry units that survived battle, there were promotions to higher, more elite, classes. These included elite Royal Guards--who may or may not have been members of the 10,000 Immortals.

Noble Spearman
Noble Spearman

Class: Infantry

Cost: 15 Wood30 Gold

Information: Trained to provide defensive protection for your Archers, the Noble Spearman is extremely deadly when it comes to combating marauding enemy Cavalry.

Weaknesses: Susceptible to archery and ranged siege units.

Upgrades: Spearman > Improved Spearman > Cilesian Spearman > Improved Cilesian Spearman > Noble Spearman

History: The later Achaemenid Persian forces were able to deploy more formidable infantry core on the battlefield. Such were the Persian spearmen. Early sources call them Kardakes (or Cardaces). There is debate as to the amount of armament worn, but sources seem to classify them from the mediocre to elite fighting infantry class. In some respects, these shield and spear bearing footmen were considered a form of "hoplite", and organized themselves in phalanx-type formations. The most noble of the spearmen class would be none other than those of the elite 10,000 Immortals--although Immortals were known to only bear short spears along with several other types of weapons.

Sargon II
Sargon II

Class: Hero

Cost: 200 Gold

Information: (763 to 705 BC): Sargon II wields a massive scimitar, which he uses to hack his enemies to bits. When he needs to attack from a distance, Sargon II switches to the Bow of Atar, a weapon of incalculable power that fires multiple arrows simultaneously. As Sargon II gains experience, he can fire even more arrows, which will utterly decimate enemy formations. A master archer, Sargon II inflicts the maximum damage with each shot. In Marksman Mode, Sargon II can zoom in x2.

Weaknesses: His low constitution and hit points make Sargon II susceptible to melee attackers.

History: Sargon II was one of the greatest kings to reign over Assyria. He conquered Samaria, Media, Urartu, and eventually Babylon c. 712 BC. He was well known for his writings and works of engineering; he built the new capital of Babylon, Dur Sharrukin (now known as Korsabad) from 713 to 705 BC. Sargon II was killed in an ambush.

Scythe Chariot
Scythe Chariot

Class: Cavalry

Cost: 300 Wood150 Gold

Information: Equipped with massive, spinning blades, the Scythe Chariot rushes directly into the heart of enemy formations. As it races through enemy ranks, its giant blades cut enemy soldiers to pieces.

Weaknesses: Spear infantry.

History: As the age of the chariot progressed, improvements were made to enhance their effectiveness. One such improvement were the scythe blades that were attached to the axles. If deployed on feasible terrain, and successfully charged into enemy formations, the scythe blades proved a great asset in not only cutting and wounding enemy soldiers, but served well for psychological demoralization. Scythe blades were known to have been utilized by the Assyrians, Gaul-Barbarians, Persians, Antiochus the Great of Syria, and Celtic peoples. The historian Xenophon gives account of King Cyrus' "Scythe Chariots" deployed at the battle of Thymbra (547 BC).

"But in the place where Abradatas and his companions charged, the Egyptians could not make an opening for them because the men on either side of them stood firm; consequently, those of the enemy who stood upright were struck in the furious charge of the horses and overthrown, and those who fell were crushed to pieces by the horses and the wheels, they and their arms; and whatever was caught in the scythes--everything, arms and men, was horribly mangled...."

"The scythe-bearing chariots also won extraordinary distinction, so that this military device also has been retained even to our day by each successive king."

Source: Cyropaedia of Xenophon; The Life of Cyrus The Great By: Xenophon (c. 430 - 355 BCE)

Some claim that Xenophon's accounts of the effectiveness of the Scythe Chariot are exaggerated. Nonetheless, we feel these accounts are important enough for Rise & Fall to emphasize the intended use of the Scythe Chariot in ancient warfare. Years later, Darius III of Persia utilized approximately 200 scythed-chariots at the battle of Guagamela against Alexander the Great. Their use proved futile when pitted against the newly introduced organized phalanxes.

Siege Ram
Siege Ram

Class: Siege Weapon

Cost: 150 Wood150 Gold

Information: When forced to contend with staunch enemy defenses, the Persian army sends in the Siege Ram. Not only does it smash through enemy gates, it's also more than capable of destroying key structures. Rams can only attack structures.

Special Ability: Rams can only attack structures.

Weaknesses: Countered by melee units.

History: Since ancient times up through the middle ages, battering rams were used to break open fortification walls or doors. Some of the more sophisticated battering rams deployed by armies of antiquity consisted of a ram slung from a wheeled support frame by ropes or chains so that it could be much more massive and also more easily swung against its target. The support frame served two main purposes: to hang the swinging ram, and to support a roof which protected the soldiers who were operating the engine from missile and arrow fire. After a given number of repetitive rams against a wall or gate, a breach would form allowing the attackers to break through the defenses.

Subject (male)
Subject (male)

Class: Miscellaneous

Cost: 40 Gold

Information: Persian Subjects gather resources and builds structures in order to expand your empire.

Weaknesses: Countered by all military units.

History: Persian citizens enjoyed the wonderful benefits of its high-class society. Male citizens who became fathers often ruled with tyrannical authority, treating their children as slaves. Different Persian men acquired different statuses in society depending on their bloodline, including craftsmen, priests, and military. Slaves were not of Persian blood, but were very well needed to work on projects of agriculture, warfare, and monumental construction. Some slaves, such as state owned, were well paid.

Trireme
Trireme

Class: Boat

Information: This Persian ship can train Infantry, Archers, Sailors, and Drummers. Use the ship to attack enemy islands and control Naval Outposts. Can also board and ram enemy ships. To board ships, you pull alongside an enemy vessel, grappling it, and then ordering your soldiers to rush onto the enemy ship. This adds a wonderful degree of depth to the combat and makes the battles a little more individual and meaningful, especially since you can enter hero command and lead the charge yourself.

Weaknesses: Other Triremes.

History: Although the Persians did not have a standing fleet themselves, their Phoenician allies provided their fleet for them. Persia mostly relied on land armies, as very little needed to be conquered by land compared to by sea. However, when it came to the rebellious Greek city states as well as other small powers that resided on the Mediterranean coastlines, a strong Persian fleet was needed to retain their authority over these coastal "upstarts". The trireme reached its highest point of development in the eastern Mediterranean during the 5th century BC. Light, fast, and maneuveralbe, it was the principal naval vessel with which Persia, Phoenica, and the Greek city-states vied for mastery of the seas from the Battle of Salamis in 480 BC through the end of the Peloponnesian War in 404 BC.