Hordes of the Things
This page last modified: 6 March, 2002
In 1947, some Bedouin stumbled across a series of caves in which a large number of 2000 year-old scrolls had been hidden - the now famous Dead Sea Scrolls. The scroll now known as 1QM, as well as some small fragments forming part of the 4QM series, detail a war involving the Sons of Light, a Jewish army, against the Sons of Darkness - the 'Kittim'.
It is apparent from the details contained in the scrolls that the Kittim is the Seleucid kingdom against which the Maccabees rebelled in the 160s BC, and that the scrolls describe an idealised version of the Maccabean army triumphing over their opponents.
Stronghold: palisaded camp
1 x Cleric general - priests escorted by trumpeteers
1 x Lurkers - ambush parties of javelinmen and/or archers and slingers
1 x Paladin - 1 to 4 angels: Gabriel, Raphael, etc.
1 x Knights - armoured lancers
1 x Riders - horse archers
2 x Shooters - slingers
2 x Warband - javelinmen
2 x Spears - spearmen with bronze-faced thureoi shields
Options: Replace Paladin and Lurkers with Artillery - catapults and/or stonethrowers which may optionally be mounted in seige towers and an extra Riders. Replace both Warbands with 2 more Spears.
The army was directed by the priests who issued their orders via masssed trumpeters. Banners figure prominently, and featured pious quotes. Ambush parties are mentioned in passing, but the battle is envisaged as a stand-up affair. The lancers were veterans, with lance, shield, helmet, body armour and greaves, while the horse archers were younger men, apparently unarmoured. They could instead (or perhaps additionally, the text is unclear) carry javelins. These mounted troops formed the flanks of the army. Slingers advanced first, followed up by javelinmen; spear and sword-armed shieldbearing infantry formed the last line to deliver the coup de grace to the recoiling foe. Artillery is mentioned in one text defending the camp - this is probably best modelled as part of the Stronghold; however, what appear to be mobile seige towers are mentioned in another, and these are probably best modelled by an element of Artillery. The camp should not include women or young boys (and thus were most likely over numerous in real Judaean camps), nor toilets, which had to be situated at least 1000 yards away from the camp so that no nakedness would be seen in its vicinity!
Stronghold: palisaded camp
1 x Knight general - and escort of xystophoroi lancers
1 x Knights - fully armoured cataphract lancers
4 x Spears - pike-armed phalangites
1 x Behemoths - elephants with towers and accompanying light infantry
1 x Blades - mercenary Galatians
1 x Spears - mercenary thureophoroi spearmen
1 x God - Belial
Options: Replace mercenary spears with Riders - Asiatic horse archers
The enemy are not detailed - they are there to be crushed after all, not described, but historical accounts of the Seleucid armies that fought the Macabees have survived. in the Dead Sea Scrolls, they are described as receiving the aid of Belial in their struggle on the field, but are, having driven back the Sons of Light three times, eventually defeated.
Return to my HotT index.