Riseofpersia.com

Magadh

Introduction

Located on the very edge of the known world, the mysterious jungle realm of the Indians has grown to a great power. The mighty Šišunaga dynasty began to consolidate their realm in northern India, south of the Ganges and expands westwards. Little is known about them.
The Greeks say their god Dionysos had come to them teaching them how to cultivate their lands, and later their greatest mythical hero Herakles is said to have reached India as well. However, even the Persians, being much closer in proximity have not yet learned much about the Indian culture.

This is about to change. With the Persian Great King Darayawauš (Dareios) expanding eastwards and the Šišunaga expanding westwards, their empires may collide. In any case, the Persians would soon realize how dangerous the Indian military force could be.
Indian warfare developed without much outer influences, unlike many other nations, because the difficult terrain and the natural barriers protecting the Indian subcontinent sealed them off from contact. Yet alone some sporadic nomad incursions brought a few new impulses. Nonetheless, the Indian art of war is very potent. The chief element is fire and movement. The dreaded Indian bamboo long bows have such a devastating effect that neither shield nor armor can offer much protection against them. This bow is almost omnipresent although the nobility is beginning to replace them in favour of the Nomadic composite bows. The reason is not any superiority in firepower, but simply the handling.

The Indian nobles, living for war and not much else, venture the dangers of battle on a light and nimble chariot driven by a trusty servant. Armed with bows they unleash their missiles on the enemy and change position. Some nobles have already begun using elephants, but still the chariot is the symbol of Indian nobility and noble warrior spirit.
The second most important weapon is the long sword. It is made of excellent metal and widely used after the exchange of missiles. It also has a most powerful impact when handled correctly. Since there is a warrior caste in India, most of them armed with bow and sword, this is often the case.
In general, due to the caste system the Indian warfare is quite professional using battle standards and music to guide their troops during the combat.
Indian battle tactics rely on the effect missiles and first attack impetus of their swords to shock the enemy and scatter it’s formations. On the other hand the lack of armor or shielding makes them not only fast and maneuverable but also very vulnerable. Thus they have an enormous punch but can take only few in return and you need to stay active and dictating the battle. Otherwise, you are lost. That makes the Indian troops quite different to handle.

Of course, the presence of battle elephants is something very special at our timeframe. It’s very useful for an Indian commander not only because of the unique availability but also because of his own weakness in horsemen, who cannot stand against any other cavalry.

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