Welcome to the September 2022 announcements.
The August releases arrived and have been sent out.
For this set of announcements, we have lots of news. We have a brand new series based around the Macedonian phalanx plus additions to virtually all the ranges.
To view a larger image, just click on the image.
We hope you enjoy them!
Mike & Myszka and all at the Sierra Toy Soldier Company
Laomedon, the legendary King of Troy, son of Ilus and Eurydice and father of Podarces (later famous as King Priam of Troy) brought about his own destruction and that of the initial city of Troy, by not keeping his word.
Laomedon refused to give the gods Apollo and Poseidon a promised reward for building the original walls of Troy. The gods sent a pestilence and a sea monster to ravage the land.
An oracle revealed to Laomedon that the only way to save Troy would be to sacrifice his daughter Hesione. She was bound to a rock to await her death by the sea monster.
The Greek hero Heracles who happened to be at Troy, offered to kill the sea monster and rescue Hesione in exchange for Laomedon's divine horses, which had been a gift from the god Zeus to Tros, Laomedon's grandfather.
Once Heracles had killed the monster and saved Hesione, Laomedon refused to give up the horses.
Heracles left Troy and then returned with a band of warriors, captured the city, and killed Laomedon and all his sons except for Priam, and Tithonus.
It was Priam who set about rebuilding the walls of Troy. Priam became a natural leader and had a deep understanding of trade and exchange. The location of Troy at the mouth of the Hellespont, the straits through which all sea traffic too and from the east were obliged by geography to pass. This afforded Troy tremendous opportunities for enrichment. The tolls and tariffs meant the city grew in greatness and wealth. The towers and Priam's new palace reached higher than the levels of the walls, and gleamed in the sun to tell the world that Troy, the jewel of the Aegean, was the greatest city in the world, ruled over by a mighty king and prospering under the protection of the gods.
Large towers were usually built into the walls of Troy to defend a major gateway. The South tower was built to guard the Scaean Gate.
The Eastern wall was also reinforced by a large tower. This massive bastion at the north east corner of the city was built to defend a well which was the main water supply.
The city walls of Troy will be available over the next 4 months. The total width of all the Troy wall sets together, as seen in the above picture will be 32" and approximately 8" depth.
The Trojans, too had their semi-divine heroes and these included Hector (son of Priam), Aeneas, Sarpedon, and Glaucus, just to name a few. They also had help from the gods, receiving assistance during the battle from Apollo, Aphrodite, Ares and Leto.
In Greek Mythology, Deiphobus was a son of Priam and Hecuba. He was a prince of Troy, and the greatest of Priam's sons after Hector and paris.
Deiphobus is known to have killed four men of fame in the Trojan War.
According to the Iliad, Deiphobus along with his brother Helenus, led a group of soldiers at the siege of the newly constructed Greek wall and killed many, and wounded the hero Meriones.
As Hector was fleeing Achilles, Athena took the shape of Deiphobus and goaded Hector to make a stand and fight. Hector thinking it was his brother, listened and threw his spear at Achilles. When the spear missed, Hector turned around to ask his brother for another spear, but "Deiphobus" had vanished.
It was then Hector knew the gods had deceived and forsaken him, and he met his fate at the hand of Achilles.
After the death of Paris, Deiphobus was given Helen of troy as a bride for his deeds in the war, defeating the bid of his brother, Helenus.
During the sack of Troy, Deiphobus was slain by either Odysseus or Menelaus, and his body was mutilated.
Demophon was the son of Theseus and Phaedra, and brother of Acamas. He fought with his brother in the Trojan War, and was among those who entered the city in the Trojan Horse. The brothers freed their grandmother Aethra, who had been captured by the Dioscuri and served Helen as a handmaid for a while, and brought her home.
Demophon married Phyllis, daughter of a Thracian king, while he stopped in Thrace on his journey home from the Trojan War.
On the next day after the wedding, he had to leave, promising to return and take Phyllis with him as soon as possible. She gave him a casket and told him not to open it unless he should lose every hope to return to Thrace.
Demophon eventually settled in Cyprus and forgot about Phillis. She would come to the sea shore every day, expecting to see the sails of his ship, but in vain. After the appointed date was past, she either died or killed herself.
One day Demophon opened the casket out of curiosity, what he saw there was so horrifying that he jumped onto his horse and rode wildly away, until he fell off his horse onto his own sword, and died.
The Macedonian phalanx was an infantry formation developed by Philip II and used by his son Alexander the Great to conquer the Achaemenid Empire and defeat armies of other kingdoms. Phalanxes remained dominant on battlefields throughout the Hellenistic period, until they were ultimately displaced by the Roman Legions.
In 359 BC the Macedonian army led by the king Perdiccas III, was decidedly defeated by the Illyrians. Perdiccas' brother Philip II had been a hostage in Thebes for much of his youth, and what he had learned influenced his restructuring of the Macedonian infantry. Philip's military reforms were a new approach to the current hoplite warfare, which focused on their shield and thrusting spear. Philip's new focus was on a new weapon, the Sarissa. He called the soldiers in the phalanx Pezhetairoi, meaning "foot companions".
Each phalangite carried as his primary weapon a Sarissa, a double pointed pike over 18 foot in length. The Sarissae were carried in two pieces before a battle and then slid together when they were to be used. At close range such weapons were of little use, but an intact phalanx could easily keep its enemies at a distance. The weapons of the first few rows of men all projected beyond the front of the formation, so that there were more spear points than available targets at any given time. Men in rows behind the initial rows angled their sarissae at angles in an attempt to ward off arrows or other projectiles. There was a secondary weapon called a xiphos, which was a short sword. They also had a smaller and flatter shield than that of the Greek Hoplon. The shield was worn hung around the neck so as to free up both hands to wield the sarissa.
The Phalanx consisted of several blocks of men, called syntagmata. There were 16 of these with 16 men in each Syntagmata. Each block was commanded by a syntagmatarchy, who together with his subordinate officers would form the first row of each block.
Neither Philip or Alexander actually used the phalanx as their arm of choice, but instead used it to hold the enemy in place while their heavy cavalry broke through the enemy ranks. The Macedonian cavalry fought in a wedge formation and was almost always stationed on the far right. The hypaspists an elite infantry unit were stationed on the immediate right of the phalanx wielding hoplite sized shields and spears. The left flank was generally covered by allied cavalry usually Thessalians, which fought in a rhomboid formation and served mainly in a defensive role.
The Powhatan people may refer to any of the indigenous Algonquian people that are traditionally from eastern Virginia. It is estimated that there were about 14,000-21,000 Powhatan people in eastern Virginia, when English colonists established Jamestown in 1607.
In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, a "Mamanatowick" (paramount chief) named Wahunsenacawh created an organization by affiliating 30 tributary peoples, whose territory was much of eastern Virginia. They called this area Tsenacommacah ("densely inhabited land").
Wahunsenacawh came to be known by English colonists as "The Powhatan Chief".
Each of the tribes within this organization had its own Weroance (leader), but all paid tribute to the Powhatan Chief.
After Wahunsenacawh's death in 1618, hostilities with colonists escalated under the chiefdom of his brother, Opchanacanough, who sought in vain to expel encroaching English colonists.
His large scale attacks in 1622 and 1644 met strong reprisals by the colonists, resulting in near elimination of the tribe.
By 1646, what is called the Powhattan Paramount Chiefdom by modern historians had been decimated.
More important than the ongoing conflicts with the English colonial settlements was the high rate of deaths the Powhattan suffered due to new infectious diseases carried to North America by Europeans, such as measles and smallpox.
The native Americans did not have any immunity to these, which had been endemic in Europe and Asia for centuries. The wholesale deaths greatly weakened and hollowed out the native American societies.
By the mid-17th century, the leaders of the colony were desperate for labor to develop the land. Almost half of the European immigrants to Virginia arrived as indentured servants. As settlements continued, the colonists imported growing numbers of enslaved Africans for labour.
By 1700 the colonies had about 6,000 black slaves, which was one-twelfth of the population.
After Bacon's Rebellion in 1676, the colony enslaved the native Americans for control. In 1691, the House of Burgesses abolished native slavery, however many Powhatan were held in servitude well into the 18th Century.
There are several detailed accounts of the Powhatan peoples, but we are fortunate to have the exquisite water-colours of John White, who was the governor of the second Roanoke Settlement. Luck would have it he was gathering supplies in England when his colony vanished.
The main weapon of all the Indians faced by the English settlers during this period was the longbow. This measured 5-6ft. and was made from witch-hazel or hickory. It was noted that the Indian bows were quick, but not very strong or accurate.
Kings, nobles and warlords have always imported mercenaries. Distrusting their own subjects, they placed faith on forces answering only to their benefactor. Through the ages, skilled and well-knit mercenary units have held inordinate power. Sometimes such units become so powerful that they turn on their employers on perceiving any threat. Sometimes, they even captured power. In India also, well-knit bands of Afghan, Turk, and African mercenaries have made great fortunes and captured power.
Arab mercenaries entered quite late in the game in India, when British supremacy had already emerged. Before the Arabs could expand their power in India - like so many foreign groups before them - their own benefactors and the British cut them down to size. However, their power and influence completely ended only in 1948.
The Sultans of Gujarat and the Deccan began employing Arab mercenaries in the 16th century. However, it was the Maratha campaigns of the 18th century that led to a huge influx. Arab mercenaries mostly hailed from Yemen's Hadhramaut region, a land known for bold and enterprising people.
In the service of the Marathas, the Arabs gained reputation as extremely skilled and reliable fighters.
Thousands of Arabs served Maratha chieftains such as Scindia, Bhonsle and Gaekwad. Arab agents opened recruitment agencies in Indian ports, and some of these agents became very wealthy. Indian financiers also established ties with the Arabs to expand influence in Indian kingdoms.
Tribe and clan conflicts from the homeland existed in the mercenary units, but this did not dent their efficacy or their lustre.
An Arab trooper was paid three times as much as a Deccani/Maratha trooper, and even more than a European mercenary.
However, their service depended entirely upon the regularity and size of the pay. When arrears mounted, the Arabs turned on their employers till they received their dues. In one instance, the Arab mercenaries even intervened in a political crisis in Baroda state. They imprisoned Maharaja Anandrao Gaekwad and his faction had to invite the East India Company's army to retake control.
The British were aware of the threat posed by the Arab forces - and the Anglo-Maratha wars soon demonstrated how deadly Arab units could be.
When Britain finally concluded the Anglo-Maratha wars in 1818, she ensured that the Arab mercenaries were disbanded.
The British even paid the arrears so that the Arabs could leave immediately.