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"Arab Archers at Raphia?" Topic

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541 hits since 25 Jun 2018
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Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP26 Jun 2018 8:50 a.m. PST

So the Successor battle of Raphia was one I always wanted to game after first coming across it in Rome Total War.

An examination of the order of battle lists 10,000 Arab bowmen on the Seleucid side.

I was wondering if anyone had any opinions on how these might be modeled in 28mm. If there are no dedicated miniatures for them then who would be the best proxies?

Sassanid infantry? Arab Conquest/ Crusade infantry?

Thanks for any tips.

HANS GRUBER26 Jun 2018 9:47 a.m. PST

You probably want to use pte-Islamic Arabs. Essex has some in 28mm.

Prince Rupert of the Rhine26 Jun 2018 9:50 a.m. PST

Magister Militum do miniatures for them


Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP26 Jun 2018 10:35 a.m. PST

Thank you both. I'll check them out.

idontbelieveit26 Jun 2018 11:00 a.m. PST

I would think about using Aventine miniatures Sassanid archer bodies. Not sure what I would do about the heads – not sure what kind of headwear they would be wearing. There is a post on the Aventine facebook page about someone doing something similar.

There may be images that tell us they didn't really look like that though – don't know what the evidence about their appearance is.

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP26 Jun 2018 11:06 a.m. PST

Uesugi, I would be careful with the interpretation about all of the Arabs being bowmen. From the few resources available a better interpretation might be more of a series of war bands/mobs with archers mixed in. Hopefully the rules that you use allow these kinds of formations to have some kind of ranged attack, but they would primarily be melee troops.

When I did my Red Sea Arabs for my Seleucid force I used a suggestion by another gamer (possibly Big Red Bat) to use the Perry Brothers Ansar boxed set mixed with Copplestone Somalis plus Greek looking shields. The mix seemed to produce a good series of units that were pre-Islamic Arabs. Copplestone also has Somalis with bows, so you could mix some in.

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Jun 2018 12:27 p.m. PST


Quite possibly me. These were painted by a friend- they have seen many a Raphia!


Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP26 Jun 2018 10:30 p.m. PST

Way back in the previous Century, mine were Minifigs and Hinchliffe.
There was something quite impressive about 48 figure units of exact same pose archers. Too bad they were "Irregular D" and had minimal survival skills.

JJartist27 Jun 2018 9:51 a.m. PST

Large units of mostly Seleucid or other "lesser" infantry units are hard to come by in the world of 28mm.

I like the suggestions above. The Magister militum figures are a bit old but useful. You are just going to have difficulty with finding off the shelf figures in 28mm (or even ancient 25mm Naismiths or Minifigs) that fit the AMPW mold.

My guess is that the so reported 10,000 Arab troops from tribal allies were mostly thureophoroi. Many may have had Hellenistic gear. Given the lack of battlefield reporting of any missile fire effectiveness, I doubt a large percentage were devoted archers, slingers' or javelinmen.

Maybe a thousand or so of pure lousy quality missile skirmishers, and if one wishes an archer block-- but less than the foot javelin/spearmen probably (given their lack of ability vs the Thracians opposite) open order.

The issue is always this contingent is large and needs lots of figures to fill out (if Antiochus' army is 73,000 men then this is 1:7th of the total). Sadly they are mostly useless troops, exactly the kind of units that gamers don't want to waste their time with. (Which is why the more thrureophoroi you make, the better, because these can be used more often as militia or garrisons).

One place to go is plastic Numidians. which you can convert. Spikey beards are very doable:


These Footsore figures are very useable:


Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2018 10:43 a.m. PST

I was thinking along the lines of breaking the 10k down in to Camel Archers (small number), foot archers, slingers, and javelin equipped light infantry.

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