Alexander's Agrianian Peltasts

The Agrianians were a Paeonian related tribe that had a close relationship with Alexander. They were mountain men, noted for their ferocity in hand to hand combat, as well as their javelin throwing. They were able to tackle any terrain obstacle in their way. 1000 picked Agrianians were attached to the hypaspists and they were the elite light infantry in Alexander's army. They were the first foreign contingent to be incorporated into, and accepted by the army. Some few were armed with slings, this might have been the younger tribesmen.  The slingers and javelin men seemed to operate together at a number of actions..notably Issus (which is the inspiration for the set-up above) where a detachment of Agrianes with some Companion squadrons in support drove back thousands of Persian threatening Alexander' right flank at the start of the action.

Agrianians were constantly in action, involved in every skirmish, commando raid, or battle in Alexander's long campaigns.

The style of dress of these fellows is difficult to pin down. Duncan Head in AMPW describes them as wearing Paeonian tunics that are depicted as quilted on a surviving coin [see link]. The Sekunda Osprey Alexander books have a painting of an Agrianian but that depiction is rather odd as it shows neither javelins, nor any Thracian or Paeonian gear at all, and a purple tunic. This is a bit much for my tastes, but then again tby then theses were veteran and elite troops... who knows?.  The models   are wearing a blue-green tunic which is a color described in AMPW possible for Paeonians. These crest colors are quite fanciful, purple being somewhat rich... I have since changed the crest color to red.

The Agrianians  were sandwiched in between Thracians, Illyrians, Triballians, Macedonians, Getae, and Celts and thus I feel that their dress could be a conglomeration of these people's influences. (One complete conjecture on my part is that their close proximity to the Celts allowed them to adopt the Thureos early..this is the larger shield that eventually most Peltasts used..but this is complete wishful thinking on my part). 


The only specific Agrianians that are in 28mm scale that I could find are made by Essex, and thus this unit is a mixture of Essex figures and Old Glory Peltasts from their Alexandrian line. The Essex figures are wearing the Paeonian style quilted tunic depicted in AMPW and a simple attic style helmet along with an aspis or round shield (which may be a hypaspist style shield which they may have adopted). The figure itself is well done but its down looking big nose style is typical of Essex. An Essex Macedonian standard bearer and musician is used, although he has had a Agrianian head swapped in. The officer is from Old Glory, the Agrianes were lead by a Macedonian officer and I like this figure (even though he is bearded). The other cloaked Peltasts are Old Glory and I like them because they have some interesting  "Thracian" style and "Phrygian" style helmets. The shield devices are pure conjecture, as are the colors. I like the blue cloaks as this seems consistent with other mountain tribes and their proximity to the Celts. 

Contrary to what I wrote in AtG it has been brought to my attention by Duncan Head that it is unlikely that Agrianians had tattoos, as that notion is a probably based on confusion with another Balkan tribe known as the Agathyrsi, noted in Herodotus, and described as painted much later on by Vergil. Thracian women are often described as being tatooed, but apparently tattooing of Agrianian men is incorrect. Please note this when you read page 18  of AtG, and pay no attention to my mention of beard coloring and tattooing as that is based on an older wargaming reference now generally discredited. One I apparently could not get out of my head... and never went back and corrected. Thanks to Duncan for pointing out this error.

In Warhammer Ancient Battles the elite Agrianians are very useful troops, they are mainly so because of their high morale. Rather than having super stats, it is their staying power that gives them an edge over other skirmishers. They can flee knowing that the odds are good they will rally, and will usually pass a break test if down by only -1 CR.

[New Agrianians by A&A TBD]