Dated: August 4th, 2005
Line drawings, with guest commentary by Tiglath-Greave the Assyrian.
Editor: The reputation for Assyrian ferocity is well deserved, it permeates even the commentary of our guest. Sensitive readers may have to watch out for language, you are forewarned.
"Greetings my beholden. Behold the soldiers of Assyria. Behold our power, behold your weakness. Know that fear is our friend. Know that fear is your enemy. Behold our soldiers and tremble."
"Behold our spearmen. To know us is to fear us. Obeisance is thine only hope."
"Behold our officer. Yet it is a wonderous thing, for one day he is an officer, another day he is a spearman, yet another day he is our standard bearer. Such is the wonder of the combo pose."
Shield of the Royal Guard 704-681 BC
"Behold the round shield. Know that the round shield is also known as the worst design known to mankind. Who designed this? I am not round, yet my shield is. It protects my neighbor to my right, it protects my neighbor to my left; what have they done for me lately? Yet it is too short. I hold it up and I expose the precious balls of Ashur to all manner of harm. I hold it low and the full frontal helm has not been invented yet. Bring me the shield designer and let me slay him."
Shield of the Royal Guard 668-627 BC
"Let me take that back; this is the worst shield known to mankind. Nay, this is not a shield, this is a wall. How can a man move with this shield? Mayhap I can roll this shield, forsure I cannot carry it. It will protect my neighbors, verily it will protect their neighbors too. Yet those lazy bastards cannot help me carry it for it only has one strap! SOB! Bring me the designer of this shield and I will slay him ahead of all others."
Shield of infantry 700-600 BC
"Now this is some shield. It is just shaped like me. And when mine arm is tired, I can rest it on the ground. Yet it is too heavy to hold up all the time. Mayhap in the future the bottom of the shield can be cut off (below the balls of Ashur of course) to save weight. But what about my legs? Mayhap small shields can be made for mine two legs. Yea, mayhap the small shields can be fastened to mine legs. I will ask our armorer to work on this, mayhap they will name these two small leg shields after me."
"I have no use for bowman for I would see the terror of mine enemies with my own eyes. But yea, the army has need of them. Slay them close, slay them from afar, mine enemies are slain all the same. "
"I have no use for slingers for I would see the terror of mine enemies with my own eyes. Yet, the crunch of skullbones is oddly soothing to mine ears. Come closer my friend......"
This is an interesting set. There are 3 sets of shields for the infantrymen, an unheard of proportion in 1/72 scale sets. However in this army, it appears the infantry are defined by the shields, therefore the 3 types of shields will provide 3 types of infantry. The poses are rather static, but especially with the huge shields, the infantry are unlikely to go traipsing up and down the battlefield
Despite having the unfortunate habit for murdering anyone who crosses him, Tiglath-Greave appears to be somewhat of a shield connoisseur.
Large defensive shields were probably good protection in those days when bows were not as advanced as later years. But in an era of large shields (see the Sumerian shield amongst others) even the large Guard's shield stands out. But Tiglath-Greave is probably right when he says they were pretty much unmovable. And perhaps Tiglath-Greave did slay the designer of this shield for we so no such large shields later on.
He hated the (smaller) round shield for it's size and shape. And we know, the Greeks, who carried the world's most famous round shield, the hoplon, were crushed by the Macedonians who found the hoplon too big and made their own shields smaller. Tiglath-Greave is beginning to sound prophetic here for the Macedonians and their successors were in turn crushed by a people who carried the next shield which he proposes, a roughly rectangular shaped shield long enough to cover the, ah, balls of Ashur. In fact, these people ruled the world for an era. So was Tiglath-Greave a visionary? Come on, admit it, you dismissed him at first, didn't you?
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