The Sassanians made a concerted effort to utilize a heavier infantry component that
would round out their fighting force. We know that from the early days of the Sassanian Spah well armed armored infantry were in service, especially during the campaigns of Shapur I against Rome in the mid-third century. Many of these infantry would of worn
a T-shirt style mail garment extending to the hips along with a two-piece riveted ridge
helmet. Even more interesting some ancient contemporaries like Ammianus Marcellinus
noted that some of these infantry were well trained and highly disciplined. I mention this
because generally the impression of the Sassanian infantry is rather poor (and indeed
some of the contemporary accounts speak poorly of the infantry) so a contradiction
seems to occur. My own opinion is that the Sassanians did employ heavier infantry
that received a greater degree of training and seemed to be able to hold their own
in combat (obviously never the equal of their roman counterparts) for a while against
the roman heavy infantry. I suspect these infantry were recruited from the Medes
who had a history of infantry combat much like Carthage made use of the libyans
for their heavier infantry units. The Sassanians also recruited (or levied) peasant infantry probably intended for the more laborious tasks of siege works, baggage handling etc...
I'm also generally certain if needed these same levied forces could be thrown into battle
but being mostly peasants with little military training their performance would be
of little value also accounted for in the roman records. With all the above in mind I've
decided to build the Sassanian heavy infantry in two components. For their trained and
capable infantry I will go with Aventine sculpts which has them in mail and ridged helmets
and for the levied infantry I would use a combination of Gripping Beast and A&A sculpts.
The figures below are some of the Gripping Beast and A&A miniatures. Initially I was going
to with 2 blocks of 16 figures but now thinking one block of 40 might be better to portray
how levied forces would be deployed (high numbers too install courage and confidence).
Hopefully soon i will post additional pics along with pics of the Aventine miniatures.