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In the 3rd century, the Auxumite kingdom of Aksum began interfering in South Arabian affairs, controlling at times the western Tihama region among other areas. By the late 3rd century it had begun minting its own currency and was named as one of the four great powers of his time along with the Sassanid Persians, the Principate Romans, and China.
Around 350 AD Aksum invaded the previously-stable Nubian Kingdom (also known as Kush) leading to a collapse of the existing state and a period of fragmented government. Eventually three smaller kingdoms replaced it: northernmost was Nobatia between the first and second cataract of the Nile River, with its capital at Pachoras (modern day Faras); in the middle was Makuria, with its capital at Old Dongola; and southernmost was Alodia, with its capital at Soba (near Khartoum). Nubia was an important crossroads for the Nile civilizations, leading to the emerging Kingdoms being involved in many confrontations with their neighbours - in one of the most important King Silko of Nobatia crushed the Blemmyes, and recorded his victory in a Greek inscription carved in the wall of the temple of Talmis (modern Kalabsha) around AD 500.
The bishops of Alexandria had been active in the region as far back as 373, however the adoption of Christianity is generally demarcated by the actions of a Monophysite priest named Julian, who converted the king and nobles of Nobatia around 545. The neighbouring Nubian kingdom of Alodia was converted around 569 and Makuria may have been converted (to Roman Catholicism) the same year. The records of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria state that in 719, the church of Nubia transferred its allegiance from the Greek Orthodox to the Coptic Church, indicating an ongoing struggle between these two branches of Christianity.
By the 7th century Makuria expanded and became the dominant power in the region. It was a quasi-ally of the Byzantium against the Sassanid Persian Empire of the day and declined after the 7th century due to unknown reasons, but informed speculation suggests the rise of Islam heavily impacted its ability to trade with the Far East in the era when shipping was limited to coastal navigation as well as cut it off from its principal markets in Alexandria, Byzantium and Southern Europe.
Even so, its bowmen were strong enough to halt the southern expansion of Islam after the Arab Conquest had taken Egypt. After several failed invasions, the new Muslim rulers in Egypt agreed to a treaty to allow for peaceful coexistence and trade. This treaty held for six hundred years. Over time the influx of Arab traders introduced Islam to Nubia, and Islam gradually supplanted Christianity in the region. By 1315 Mamluk Egyptian rulers dominated the area and had appointed a Nubian Prince who converted to Islam triggering further conversions amongst the populace. While there are records of a bishop at Qasr Ibrim in 1372, his see had come to include that located at Faras. Archeological evidence demonstrates that by 1350, the "Royal" church at Dongola had been converted to a mosque.
- V2.0 list change Christian Nubian armies cannot have more than Â½ of their Medium Foot archers battle groups as Superior.
- The Nubians were reknowned for their skills at archery, and the heart of this army is the highly unusual troop type of Superior Bowmen - tremendous value at 6 points each, allowing you to create a machinegun wall that advances across the table in V1,0, or a half-sized wall in V2.0.
- Camelry offer an interesting option, abeit one with little to recomend it in combat, and in a superior bowmen army you have little to worry avbout with enemy cavalry anyway, so why bother?
- The bowmen are best supported and supplemented by hordes of light horse with both javelin/spear and lance/sword
- Arguably the army may start to look a bit underpowered against anything other than all-mounted opponents if the Bedouin and possbly even Mamluk cavalry are not taken, but by filling th etable you can make it hard for an army with (limiyed) heavy foot to actually break half your units inside a normal game length.
User-contributed links about this army:
- History of Nubia from the Nubia Museum
- Christian Nubian DBA Figure Gallery for this army - from Fanaticus
- Christian Nubians DBA Figure Gallery for this army - from Fanaticus
- Possibly a picture! of Auxumites, from Wikipedia.
- put the link text readers will see in here write some more detail about the link here
- Egyptian, Mamluk From 1276 Swords and Scimitars page 54 Mostly textbook Arab ally, but you can squeeze in 6 SuperiorArmoured Cv lancers and some Bedouin LH lancers too
Look for Moorish, Nubian, Roman-era Numidian and generic early Arab ranges for figures for this army.
You can see some of the figures in the Ancients Photo Gallery also on this site
- Essex Miniatures Numidians and Arab ranges
- Donnington Numidians, Blemmeye, many Arabs as well
- Museum Miniatures Various Arab ranges and Belmmye/Nobades
- Gladiator Miniatures by Fighting 15's (Previously Black Hat) Biblical ranges with Nubians, and Moors in their Dark Ages ranges
- Old Glory 15's, Biblical ranges, Numidians and Arabs
- Magister Militum Numidian and Arab ranges
- Minifigs Biblical, Numidian and Arab ranges
- Irregular Miniatures Arabs, Sudanese, Berber ranges
- Lancashire Games Pre-Islamic Arabs and some biblical era figures for Nubians
- QRF Models Auxumite and Nubian ranges may work here, in the Feudal Castings range
- Tin Soldier Arabs, and some Numidians in the Carthaginian ranges
- Battle Line Miniatures (NZ) Blemeye range
- Corvus Belli Numidian range
- Isarus - sold by 15mm.co.uk Blemeye Range
- Outpost Wargame Services some of their arab troops may work
- East Riding Miniatures Grumpys Persians might do at a pinch?
- Viking Forge generic Arabs
- Hall of Ancient Warriors You may find something lurking in their Egyptian ranges
- Falcon Figures Biblical Nubian range, and Blemmye/Nobades
- Eureka - Australian Site Abyssinians !
- 50 Paces.com
- Warmodelling.com Numidians in a Carthaginian range
Which troops are absolutely needed for this army, and what are your thoughts on how to organise, paint and buy them.
Sample army lists for this army
Paul Brandons Successful at Britcon 2010 version at 800 ap
- 1 x IC
- 3 x TC
- 2 x 6 MF Prot Def Sp Poor
- 1 x 6 LF JLS Poor
- 2 x 6 Bw(S) unprotected
- 6 x 8 Bw(S) unprotected
- 2 x 4 Cv Prot LTSp/Sw Ave
- 2 x 4 LH JLS Ave
- 1 x 4 Cv Arm Ln Sw Sup
FoG author Simon Hall has succesfully used a list similar to this, creating a machine-gun wall of bowmen supported by cavalry
- 3 or 4 commanders (including IC)
- 1 BG armoured lancers
- 1 BG protected lancers
- 4 BG light spear cavalry
- 2 BG light horse
- 2 BG spear
- 6 BG of 8 bow
- 1 BG of light foot
Also as used by Paul Brandon at the 2009 IWF
- 0 CinC IC - - - - - - CinC 1 - General
- 0 Sub-general TC - - - - - - - 3 - General
- 1 Javelinmen LF Unprotected Poor Undrilled Javelins Light spear - - 8
- 2 Spearmen MF Protected Poor Undrilled - defensive spearmen Spearmen - 6
- 3 Spearmen MF Protected Poor Undrilled - defensive spearmen Spearmen - 6
- 4 Archers MF Unprotected Superior Undrilled Bow - - - 8
- 5 Archers MF Unprotected Superior Undrilled Bow - - - 8
- 6 Nubian Cavalry Cv Protected Average Undrilled - Light spear Swordsmen - 4
- 7 Archers MF Unprotected Superior Undrilled Bow - - - 8
- 8 Nubian Cavalry Cv Protected Average Undrilled - Light spear Swordsmen - 4
- 9 Bedouin cavalry LH Unprotected Average Undrilled - Lancers Swordsmen - 4
- 10 Bedouin cavalry LH Unprotected Average Undrilled - Lancers Swordsmen - 4
- 11 Archers MF Unprotected Superior Undrilled Bow - - - 8
- 12 Archers MF Unprotected Superior Undrilled Bow - - - 8
- 13 Archers MF Unprotected Superior Undrilled Bow - - - 6
- 14 Bedouin cavalry Cv Protected Average Undrilled - Lancers Swordsmen - 4
- 15 Noble cavalry Cv Armoured Superior Undrilled - Lancers Swordsmen - 4
- 16 Nubian Cavalry Cv Protected Average Undrilled - Light spear Swordsmen - 4
Include any notes you want here, including comments on how to use - or play against - the army.
Remember to leave a line before you copy the above section as a template for your own list