Thursday, June 4, 2020

Sassanid Persian Warmaster Ancients Paper Army

The time from the end of the Parthian (Arsacid) dynasty to the Arab conquest is known as the Sassanid or Sassanian period and it represents the last great flowering of ancient Mesopotamian tradition before it was overborne by the rising power of Islam. Sassanid Persia spans the wars of Roman and Byzantine Emperors, the invasions of nomadic hordes, and eventually, the Arab conquests. --Warmaster Ancients

I'm trying something new with this set. Each counter on the fourth page has a small triangle pointing toward the stand's front. This can help remind players which direction the unit is facing regardless of the images on the stand. This can be useful on units like 'shock' cavalry in Warmaster Ancients because they are mounted with the short 20mm side of the stand being the front, whereas other cavalry in the game are based with the 40mm side being the front. This also helps as a visual reminder on units such as chariots or artillery, whose counter images probably won't represent the direction the unit actually is facing.

Using those 'direction' counters is completely optional, which is why I placed them on a separate page. That way, if you don't want them, don't print page 4. The stands on page 4 are meant to replace their counterparts on the other pages. Is this a good idea? Should I do this for other sets? Let me know what you think in the comments section.

I'd like to thank the wonderful folks at Gripping Beast, whose images of their Sassanid figures I use throughout this paper army to give it a unified appearance. If only they made them in 10mm or 15mm!

The Sassanid Persians in Warmaster Ancients
The following is advice is from the rulebook on how to play this army: The Sassanids are a hard hitting cavalry based army burdened by a mandatory block of some of the worst infantry ever to appear on an ancient battlefield. Sassanid kings never expected much from their infantry and neither should you--so leave them in reserve of use them to secure dense terrain that is otherwise inaccessible to your cavalry. The archers can be extremely useful for forcing enemies out of position and are cheap too--but they won't last long if brought to close combat. The cavalry are capable of maneuvering to charge and will win most combats they initiate--but you have relatively few units and so can't afford to take chances. The Clibanarii's short range shooting ability is very useful but do not be tempted into using them as bowmen when you can charge instead. Their shooting ability is very useful as a defensive measure. The Elephants are too expensive to use in small battles but well worth bringing out for large battles where their high cost is off-set by the need for fewer commanders.

Printing the Counters
I hope you find these paper army sets useful. You can print them at places like Staples or Kinkos, using 110lb card stock paper printed at actual size. You can also print on regular paper and then glue the counters to wooden bases. (Check the older posts on how I did this with my Empire army.) Do not print the pdf to "fit margins." Always print at 100%.  I like printing the counter sets on good copy paper, spray gluing the dull side of a 'Silver Age' comic backing board with Super 77, attaching a sheet to the board, and then cutting out the counters using a sharp Xacto knife with a steel ruler. Using the backing boards makes for cheap, sturdy counters. I like keeping the shiny side down to make moving them easier on a table. Note: This set is designed to fit Silver Age and larger comic backing boards.

Click on the counter set image above to download the complete army counter set in PDF format. The set has enough counters to create many armies of 2,000 points or less. Of course, if you need more counters simply print more copies!


  1. These will give my Late Romans a challenge - they've been thumping the Dacians and Gauls! Would certainly use the triangles on shock cavalry / chariots and nellies, less so on the infantry units. Thank you again for the time and effort you put into doing these

  2. Glad you like them. Good point about the infantry counters.


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