Ptolemaic Successor 323 BC - 250 BC

In Egypt: Ag 0. Dry. WW, Rv, WW or Rv, E, RGo, M, Rd, BUA.
Outside Egypt: Ag 2. Warm. WW, H(S), Wd, V, RGo, Rd, BUA.
Nominal list scale: 1 element equals 256 men (normal scale).

C-in-C - Reg Kn (F) @ 31 AP 1
Sub-general - Reg Kn (F) @ 31 AP or as phalangites, Reg Pk (O) @ 24 AP 0-2
Xystophoroi - Reg Kn (F) @ 11 AP 1-6
Tarantines and similar - Reg LH (O) @ 5 AP 1-5
Greek mercenary cavalry - Reg Cv (O) @ 8 AP or Reg Kn (I) @ 10 AP 0-3
Cretans - Reg Ps (O) @ 2 AP or Reg Ps (S) @ 3 AP 0-8
Rhodian mercenary slingers - Reg Ps (O) 2 AP 0-2
Syrian or other slingers - Irr Ps (O) 2 AP 0-3
Cilician or other javelinmen - Irr Ps (S) @ 3 AP 0-4
Thracian mercenaries - Irr Ax (S) @ 4 AP or Irr Ax (O) @ 3 AP 0-2
Bolt-shooters - Reg Art (O) @ 8 AP 0-3
Penteres or Hexeres - Reg Gal (S) @ 4 AP [any Reg foot, Art (O)] 4*-10
Trieres or Tetreres - Reg Gal (O) @ 3 AP [any Reg foot] 4*-10
Transports - Irr Shp (I) @ 2 AP [generals, any Reg foot, Bg] 0-10
Camp defences - TF @ 1 AP 0-24

Only in Egypt:
Bedouin camelry - Irr LH (I) @ 3 AP 0-2
Egyptian or other garrisons and border guards - Reg Ax (I) @ 3 AP 0-8
Egyptian archers - Irr Ps (O) @ 2 AP 0-16
Regrade Egyptian archers with anti-elephant caltrops as Irr Ps (X) @ 6 AP 0-4
River boats - Irr Bts (O) @ 2 AP [Ps (O)] 0-8
Upgrade river boats mounting light catapults as Irr Bts (S) @ 3 AP [Ps (O), Art (O)] 0-1/2
River forts - TF @ 2 AP 0-12

Only in Egypt after 312 BC:
Indian Elephants - Irr El (O) @ 16 AP 0-2

Only in Egypt after 305 BC:
Agema - Reg Pk (S) @ 5 AP 0-8

Only outside Egypt:
Kyrenean or other Kyrenaican allies: List Kyrenean Greek (Bk 1)

Only before 275 BC:
Macedonian phalangites - Reg Pk (O) @ 4 AP 7-24
Greek mercenary foot - 0-1/4 Reg Sp (O) @ 5 AP, rest Reg Sp (I) @ 4 AP 20-32
Regrade Greek mercenary Reg Sp (I) if acting as Euzonoi as Reg Ax (O) @ 4 AP 0-16

Only outside Egypt from 315 BC to 307 BC:
Cypriot allies: List Cypriot and Phoenician (Bk 1) Up to 2 contingents

Only after 276 BC:
Macedonian Phalangites - Reg Pk (O) @ 4 AP 19-48
Mercenary Thureophoroi - Reg Sp (I) @ 4 AP 8-16
Regrade mercenary Thureophoroi if acting as Euzonoi as Reg Ax (O) @ 4 AP Any

Only if invading through steep hills, the enemy has PF, or a naval landing party:
Re-arm Macedonian Phalangites as Reg Ax (O) @ 24 AP if general, @ 4 AP otherwise Any
Re-arm Agema as Reg Ax (S) @ 5 AP Any

This list covers Egypt from Ptolemy's takeover after Alexander's death 323 BC until the introduction of African war elephants. Armies must be either based in Egypt (including southern Palestine) or from outside Egypt, including Cyprus, Syria, Cilicia and the Peleponnese, but not from Kyrene, armies based in which are covered by the Kyrenean list. Generals may always dismount as Pk (O) or (S). Agema must be in the C-in-C's command. Minima marked * apply only if more than two elements of transports are used. Kyrenean and Cypriot allies cannot be used together. Boats may not be used with other naval elements. River forts are treated like fortified BUA for deployment (such as 'garrisoning', etc.), except that they must be positioned within 300p of WW or Rv, rather than touching a WW, in a flank sector, or on an invader-positioned road. If invading, or unable to be positioned when defending, their AP are accordingly wasted.


List dates: The current list starts in 320 BC for no good reason other than all the Successor lists start then; 323 is the natural starting date as Ptolemy is described as hiring mercenaries and collecting Macedonians as soon as he arrived in Egypt in 323 BC; by 322 BC he already had enough troops to dispatch Opellas with a 'great force' to conquer Kyrene. The list ends with the great eastern Elephant hunt of 250 BC.

Agression: The Egyptian forces are downgraded to aggression 0 as they represent the armies that defended Egypt, armies outside Egypt were more aggressive, even invading Greece at one point, but still less so than other Successors' forces, hence the rating 2.

Terrain: A Rv or WW is compulsory when defending Egypt since the only way to invade Egypt was marching along the coast to the Delta, or invading by sea, or from the south along the Nile. Consequently battles were either fought by the sea, such as at Gaza, or across branches of the Nile such as Perdikkas' and Antigonos' unsuccessful invasions. Terrain for non-Egyptian armies is mostly based on Cyprus, but Cilicia, western Syria and Southern Greece are all similar, and Ptolemaic enclaves were all coastal.

List scale: Using the normal scale of 1:256 gives armies in the usual 200 - 600 AP range, since forces are, where recorded, reported as being from 10000 to 22000 strong, but in all these cases they represent less than Ptolemaic Egypt's full-strength. The size of the army in 306 BC (which isn't reported) is likely to have been conisiderably bigger than the 22000 men reported at Gaza in 312 BC, since it represented essentially the entire, Cyprus having been temporarily abandoned in 307 BC.

Generals: Whilst Macedonian commanders usually fought with their Companions, the option for pike sub-generals represents lower-ranking commanders. However, Ptolemy I is noted as wielding a pike when fighting from a fort parapet, so Kn generals dismount as Pk rather than Sp. They are allowed to do so at any time, just not when defending fortifications, since Ptolemy on this occasion approached the fort at a run from some considerable distance away, and later at Raphia in 217 BC, Ptolemy IV was to dismount mid-battle to lead his phalanx.

Xystophoroi: A reasonably high proportion is allowed, since Ptolemy attracted a high proportion of the Macedonian nobilty to his side, and also at Gaza in 312 BC, the breaking of lances features prominently in Diodoros' account. Ptolemy had 4000 cavalry on this occasion, quite a high proprtion. The minima for mounted troops is lowered to reflect forces those forces operating in more hlly regions (eg. in 307 BC Menelaos had 800 horse compared to 12000 foot in Cyprus).

Tarantines and similar: I have renamed these from "ethnic cavalry" at this earlier date, and such troops were likely employed even at this date given the number of horsemen present at Gaza.

Greek mercenary horse: These were likely used from the outset, even in Egypt, not just in the 3rd century, when the Ptolemies had less contact with Greece rather than more.

Macedonian phalangites: The proportion of Macedonians is unknown at this early stage. The army at Gaza in 312 is said to have comprised of "some Macedonians, some mercenaries, and great numbers of Egyptians", although only a portion of the Egyptians were actual combatants. I set the minima at 2000, a single Alexandrian taxeis' worth. In the 3rd century, the settler system increased the number of "Macedonian" phalangites, and the proportion of mercenaries used decreased in comparison.

Greek mercenary foot: These may be Ax, by analogy with Antigonos, who once selected his best (possibly Greek, as opposed to Macedonian) peltasts to reinforce his light troops, and here called Euzonoi. The Sp (O) represent mercenary hoplites, and Sp (I) Iphikratean "hoplites".

Archers: Cretans figure quite prominently in later Ptolemaic service, and likely did so at his early date as well. Figures of up to 2000 men are recorded; many may have been javelimen rather than (or even in addition to) archers.

Slingers: these were proabably mostly Asians, but Rhodians are mentioned as serving as mercenaries in the relief of Rhodes, and their fame with the sling was well-known. From Xenophon's Anabasis it seems likely that many Rhodian mercenaries did not normally serve as slingers, but could become slingers at need.

Javelinmen: Akontistai are mentioned attacking Demetrios' elephants - their provinence is unknown, but were most probably Cilicians, given Ptolemy's influence in the region.

Thracians: not attested at this time, but Ptolemy may have had a limited number, given their seeming ubiquity around the eastern Mediterranean.

Artillery: Bolt-shooters are noted as being deployed in riverine forts, halting naval landings being attempted by Demetrios, and some of the river boats used in the same campaign are noted as being equipped with 'ordonnance' - probably light bolt-shooters embarked on boats and protected by moveable screens, as was Demetrios himself to use two years later against Rhodes. These do not fit the definition of Bts (X), which are heavy stone throwers mounted for seige work, and Bts (S) seems by far the best category.

Naval: The Ptolemaic fleet was very powerful, and Ptolemaic fleets transporting armies were several times intercepted only just before they could disembark their forces, such as at Salamis-in-Cyprus or at Athens (120 ships in this case). Although such large fleets therefore never fought in conjunction with primarily land forces, the possibilty was most certainly there. The actual size of such a large DBM fleet is possibly best left somewhat representative however (naval battles taking up much more room than land battles) - the contingent here is sufficient to allow 60 ships, such as Menelaos had in Cyprus in 307 BC when defeated by Demetrios.

Camp defences: These do not seem to have been universal but were usually employed by Hellenistic armies.

Bedouin camelry: Although one secondary source I have read claims camels were only introduced under Ptolemy II, Diodoros records a "Fort Camel" as early as 321 BC, so such troops could well have been in use from before Ptolemy's take over of Egypt.

Garrison troops: Native Egyptians may have garrisoned some forts initially, given their being recorded as serving in the field, but later Jews were apparently settled in large numbers by Ptolemy I and these seem to have taken over the role.

Egyptian archers: Large numbers of Egyptians appeared at Gaza, mostly as baggage porters, but some carrying missiles (preseumably for resupply purposes), and others were "armed and serviceable for battle" - most probably as archers.

River boats: These were employed on the branches of the Nile delta, and so can't be used with the maritime fleet. See under artillery above for upgrading them to Bts (S).

River forts: Such outposts figure quite prominently, playing their role in defeating both the 321 BC and 306 BC invasions.

Elephants: Elephants are not directly attested until after the period of this list, when African elephants were used, but since Demetrios' Indian elephants are described as all being captured at Gaza, and the usual practice was for the captors to use them, it is quite likely that they were avalable for Egyptian-based armies after this date. Demetrios had 43 animals; I assume that not all would have survived the battle, and that not enough mahouts might been readily found, and so allow only 2 elements rather than 3.

Agema: The institution of such a guard is extremely unlikely before Ptolemy I proclaimed himself king in 305/4 BC.

Kyrenean allies: The initial invasion under Ophellas in 322 BC was in support of one side of the Kyrenean civil war, after the Kyreneans rebelled in 313 BC, there is the possibilty other Kyrenaikan cities did not rebel (information is too patchy to be sure) and so might have contributed troops to the 313 BC reconquest army; similar situations may have existed right up until 246 BC when Kyrenaica was once again brought under direct Ptolemaic control.

Cypriot allies: Cyprus was heavily divided when Ptolemy initially imposed his rule, with some factions supprting him, and other resisting. After Demetrios ousted the Ptolemaic army in 307 BC he reorgainsed the (remaining) Cypriot military forces into regular units, so that when the Ptolemies regained control, they would not qualify as separate allied contingents, hence the narrow date range allowed.

Re-arming of Macedonian pikemen: This is recorded at the seige of Halikarnossos under Alexander, and quite likely applied at other seiges too, and also on ship-board, since Demetrios is recorded as fighting on his flag-ship with spear and javelin; Ptolemaic armies would be unlikely to be substantially different at this date.

This page last modified 8 August 2002.

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