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Sarmatians, Alans, and Bosporans


Sarmatian Armoured Lancers and Medium Lancers painted by
Steve Dean.
These fiercely charging nomads had emerged from Central Asia to carve out domains in Russia and Eastern Europe. Along the way, they contacted, allied with, and made war on many peoples, including the Skythians, Parthians, Germans, Dacians, and of course the Roman Empire. The Alans followed in their wake, and were described by some sources as wearing a type of pointed cap. Alans used a superior lance-bearing technique to defeat the Parthian cataphracts, and were greatly feared for their initial onslaught. Later they were part of the great wanderings of the peoples at the fall of the Western Roman Empire, and fought both for and against the Romans at this late point. Some even say that they provided the inspiration for the Arthurian myth, particularly the "Sword in the Stone," which closely resembles Sarmatian/Alan religious practices.

Some of these horse warriors wore scale armour of metal or horn, many poorer men wearing instead quilted or leather armour. These men fought with a lance, used two handed. Some had no armour at all, being instead horse archers. By the first century AD, these peoples had adopted the tubular leather bowcase and quiver, and a more powerful bow, from their Asiatic nomad neighbors, which increasingly replaced the ancient "gorytos" combination bowcase/quiver. These models reflect that change in archery equipment (but can be used for earlier Sarmatians in a pinch).

Though the brilliance of the Sarmatian and Alan armies lay in the reckless courage of their cavalry, these armies often contained large numbers of infantry as well, either Sarmatian or perhaps conquered subjects (their origin is not certain). These are available as well, both spearmen (with smallish wicker shields) and archers.

Many of the exclusively Alan models have the Skyth cap (and many thanks to Mr. Duncan Head for helping to determine what that might have looked like). While this may have been a mark of the Alans, there's no reason not to mix "Alan" and "Sarmatian" packs for the armies of either, perhaps using more Alan codes for an Alan army and more Sarmatian codes for a Sarmatian army.

This line is also suitable for Early Bosporan Kingdom troops, until Roman influence began to be felt in the appearance of the soldiery. However, no models for Bosporan Greek Infantry are available at present, but we will however be making those shortly ourselves.

The leather/quilt-armoured lancers would be perfect as DBMM Lh(S)!

Sculpted by Tony Aldrich.


CodeContentsPrice (US$)Order/Progress
KM-200Sarmatian/Alan Scale Armoured Lancers, Scale Armoured Horses (x 3)$3.29
KM-200aSarmatian/Alan Scale Armoured Lancers, Unarmoured Horses (x 3)$3.29
KM-201Sarmatian/Alan Scale Armoured Archers (shooting), Scale Armoured Horses (x 2)$2.29
KM-201aSarmatian/Alan Scale Armoured Archers (shooting), Unarmoured Horses (x 2)$2.29
KM-202Sarmatian Leather- or Quilt-Jacketed Lancers, Unarmoured Horses (x 2)$2.29
KM-202aAlan (Skyth Cap) Leather- or Quilt-Jacketed Lancers, Unarmoured Horses (x 2)$2.29
KM-203Sarmatian Unarmoured Horse Archers, Unarmoured Horses (x 2)$2.29
KM-203aAlan (One With Skyth Cap, One Without) Unarmoured Horse Archers, Unarmoured Horses (x 2)$2.29
KM-204Sarmatian/Alan Command, Commander and Draco Bearer, Armoured Horses (x 2)$2.29
KM-204aSarmatian/Alan Command, Commander and Draco Bearer, Unarmoured Horses (x 2)$2.29
KM-205Sarmatian/Alan Spear-armed Infantrymen, Standing (x 6)$3.29
KM-206Sarmatian/Alan Bow-armed Infantrymen, Skirmishing (x 6)$3.29
KM-207Sarmatian/Alan Wicker Shields, Small Round (x 3) and Rectangular (x 3)$2.29
KM-208Bosporan Scale Armoured Infantry with Oval Shield and Spears, Attacking with Sword (x 6)$3.29