Wolves from the Bible

The ancient Assyrians in miniature

An odd thing about going to a very religious school is it gives a good knowledge of biblical warfare. This is a great help if you take up ancient wargaming as a hobby. Then there’s reading Byron’s “The Destruction of Sennacherib” describing  the ancient Assyrians as “descending likes wolves on the fold” that stuck in my mind. 

Later this made me think of building an Assyrian wargames army. In the 1970s I toyed with getting a 25mm Lamming Miniatures army but decided the blocky style of figures wasn’t for me. They looked more like pie tasters than the elegant figures shown in Assyrian sculptures at the British Museum

WAB and WRG and me

Alan Buttery’s Wargames Research Group (WRG) work on biblical armies kept the flame burning. I then got the seminal WRG book on biblical warfare when it was issued. Following that was the Warhammer Ancient Battles (WAB) Chariot Wars volume, which was in many ways a follow up to the WRG book. 

Rules and reference books

Rules and reference books

Even combined with new and old Osprey books I didn’t quite crack. It was De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA) that finally did it. I went for an early Nomad army that was quick to paint, then a Mycenaean one. 

I was hooked and realised adding Elamite and Neo-Babylonian forces to the early Nomads would create the allied force at the 691BC battle of Halulue. Naturally I’d need the opposition in the form of a Neo-Assyrian army. 

Early Arab DBA army

Early Arabs – Essex Miniatures 15mm figures

 Recruiting and organising the armies

As usual I started sensibly with  a DBA army for each allied contingent. When it came to the Assyrian host I decide to have my cake and eat it by creating a force that would work with other rules like Field of Glory (FOG).  The annual sale at Museum Miniatures saw a parcel of small Assyrians arrive. Now they are organised and ready for their turn on the painting table.

Fresh out of the box from Museum Miniatures

Fresh out of the box from Museum Miniatures


For those interested I have based my army on the DBA list for Neo-Assyrian Empire and then added elements (an element is a group of figures on a base) to make up numbers for Field of Glory and similar rules. I won’t reproduce the lists here as the DBA  one is in the rulebook and the Mad Axeman’s  FOG Wiki has several suggested Field of Glory lists too.

Organising the army - baggage and leftover figures

Organising the army – notes, command, baggage and leftover figures

Now I just need to check I’ve enough Nomads, Elamites and Neo-Babylonians to face these wolves…

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About Rick Lawrence

Making models and playing tabletop games since the late 1960s, and still enjoying it! Now working in heritage and dabbing around with photography, with quality cafe time when I can.

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