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"Nader Shahs armies in 15mm" Topic

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forwardmarchstudios02 Jun 2011 8:37 p.m. PST

I'm thinking about doing up some of the armies of Nader Shah and his Persian/Moghul enemies in 15mm. I've had the idea since reading an article in Wargamer Magazine yeas ago, and have always had an interest in Central Asian armies anyway. My idea would be to use Black Powder as the rules with some modifications. From what I understand his armies were mostly cavalry, but with some European artillery. But there were also infantry involved, and some of his armies were quite large, multi-national/ethinc forces. It sounds quite interesting Anyways, I was wondering what ranges would work for this in 15mm? What kicked this idea off recently was the new Caucasian troops Khurasan miniatures is putting out, which although for an earlier period look like they would fit very nicely into the 18th century in Central Asia. I was surprised that there aren't any other threads on this topic on here anywhere. Anyways, I was just wondering if anyone had any recommendations. Also, what sort of artillery would he have had? Would it have been Persian or French in origin? Apparently he did have some European advisors, and at least one French priest as a personal doctor. Any other advisors?


timurilank02 Jun 2011 11:20 p.m. PST

As I near the completion of my Mogul and Muslim armies, I too have been researching the early 18th c. Persian army.

DBR and DBR-RRR army lists are a good start to have a good sense of cavalry to foot ratios. I would also add the WRG Eastern army list which might still be availabe in the files section, Yahoo AWRG. "A" for Australia.

Khurasan Miniatures are good, but Circassian/Georgian units were a minority. Essex or Old Glory (Renaissance) are the two ranges I have been looking at.


forwardmarchstudios03 Jun 2011 3:24 a.m. PST


I have the DBR books, they are a very good starting point for the period although they don't cover Nader Shah in particular. They go up to 1700 at least for a few armies, but not past that. Although I think that the change in tactics between 1700 and 1750 in Central Asia would appear, to many wargamers, to be rather minor at first glance, I can't help but think that the reality was very different. For instance, the ebb and flow of loyalties between the troops of different tribal confederations is something that beguiles Western commanders to this day. Nader Shah had a mastery of that, insofar as he was able to put together an Empire, at least for a few years, that stretched from the Mideast all the way to India. Which was something only Alexander had previously done. As it were, the last great Central Asian conquerer.

Anyways, I don't see how a battle like Karnal could be re-created with any ruleset without some extreme tinkering. Naptha lit on platforms held between camels????? War elephants???? Artillery??? A force outnumbered 3:1 defeating its opponent?????

It's downright Warhammerian!

Sorry. Anyways….

timurilank03 Jun 2011 4:35 a.m. PST

Actually, Nadir Shah's reform produced a trained force of cavalry, infantry and artillery, thereby reducing the unwieldy mass and recalcitrant tribal levies.

I have not come across any war elephants, but in addition to the camel gunners there were lance and bow armed cameleers.

In short, the training and discipline prevailed over the Mogul Empire.


RudyNelson03 Jun 2011 6:30 a.m. PST

We did an article on his forces and military actions in Time Portal Passages.

forwardmarchstudios03 Jun 2011 7:57 a.m. PST

Timurlenk- I meant the Moghuls had war elephants, not Nader Shah. I'll have to order up both his army and enemies…

RudyNelson- do you have a link to that?

RudyNelson03 Jun 2011 8:04 a.m. PST

send me an email at
I will send you a copy.

doug redshirt03 Jun 2011 10:45 a.m. PST

You have to read Harold Lamb's Cossack stories. There are 4 volumes with 2 and 3 covering the Moghuls and Afghans. Fun readying. All four are on Kindle.

timurilank03 Jun 2011 12:42 p.m. PST

Good tip Doug. Here, from the Harold Lamb site is an overview of titles and synopsis:


Custine03 Jun 2011 3:42 p.m. PST

"The Sword of Persia" by Michael Axworthy, is a good source of information on the army of Nader Shah.

It would seem that the hard core of Nader's army was a large body (12000) of trained infantry who formed up in lines, fired volleys from their jayerchis ( heavy muskets), wore red uniforms and a curious four cornered hat. These redcoats were instrumental in every one of Nader's victories against Ottomans, Afghans or Moguls.

To my knowledge nobody makes a figure for this. Khurasan's Caucassian range looks like it will do nicely for Nader's heavy cavalry and some tribal units, but wont look right for his regular infantry or regular light cavalry.

Maybe the good people at Khurasan will consider Nader's army for a future project?

timurilank04 Jun 2011 4:11 p.m. PST

@ Custine,

I have seen other uniforms depicting the musket armed infantry; uniform colour red or yellow or shades in between. These reminded me of dismounted Turkoman with long top coat, but another type of head gear.

The History of Nadir Shah, by James Fraser is another interesting title:


This one is on my Christmas shopping list.

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