Old Elam

(2700 BC onwards)


These armies represent the forces of Elam. More than any other peoples, Elam were the Sumerian's traditional foe. A rich culture, ethnically different to the Sumerians, they were nevertheless heavily influenced by their close location to Sumer. On more than one occasion they were seen as both a threat and a place of plunder by Sumerian and Akkadian kings.

Elam has a history going back at least a thousand years before it emerged as a contemporary of Sumer. The time designated as the Old Elamite period (2700 BC – 1600 BC) is the one that concerns us here as 2700 BC signals the first recorded military contact with Sumer. The two great cities of Elam, Anshan and Susa, were sometimes considered to be their own kingdoms in the early stages of the Old Elamite period but there does appear to be a level of unity in a broad coalition of independent city-states not to different from those of Sumer.

From Sumerian records we know Enmebaragesi the Sumerian king of Kish, "smote the Land of Elam" around 2700 BC.....so began the centuries long struggle between these two cultures.

Three dynasties ruled at the time, with the Awan dynasty being at the forefront of conflict with Sumer and Akkad. Awan was one of Elam's four major cities, located to the immediate north-west of Susa. For a short period Elam exercised a degree of control over the southern parts of Sumer following what seems likely to have been a significant military incursion around 2550 BC when Ur was defeated. A reprisal attack was made from Sumer and then the Lagashian warrior-king Eannatum attacked (c.2450 BC), defeating the Elamites so comprehensively that they were forced to form a coalition of the kings of Elam, Subartu and Urua at the battle of the Asuhur canal, in a failed bid for success. Succeeding rulers of Lagash continually engaged in clashes against Elam for the next century or so in constant tit-for-tat engagements.

In time, Lagashian control diminished and Elam began to assert independence once again (c.2360 BC). Not until Sargon's campaigns do we hear of the Elamites once again as Sumerian kings vied for control of their own lands in constant hegemonic wars.

The coming of the Akkadians bought a series of campaigns for the Elamites with which to contend. Sargon defeated thirteen cities or regions capturing governors, generals and even the king of Elam himself. At the same time a kingdom or confederation known as Marhashi was emerging to the east, on the Iranian Plateau. During Sargon's reign he held suzerainty over Greater Elam but after death his son Rimush was forced to once again make war on the Elamites, winning a great victory at the battle of the Middle River (c. 2273 BC).

After Rimush's brief interlude as king the Elamites faced more Akkadian attacks by his successor Manishtusu (c. 2265 BC). He campaigned into eastern Elam, solidifying and even expanding the conquests of his brother in that region. It would appear that these attacks would've been against Elam's emerging eastern region state of Marhashi, which had now formed into a cohesive entity, bordering Anshan and becoming militarily threatening. It could also be that the Marhashi declaration of independence from Akkad brought about this Akkadian response.

Further attacks by the Akkadian kings came from Naram Sin, which though poorly documented, do show that he campaigned in Elam and Parahshum in south-western Iran. No doubt given the extent of his other conquests he would've brought as much force to bear against the Elamites as he did elsewhere during his reign. With the decline of Akkadian power, Marhashi overran Elam for a time, and united efforts in fighting against the Akkadian empire, resulting in a climactic battle being fought near Akshak (c.2210 BC), at the confluence of the Diyala and Tigris rivers between the two states. This battle, brought on by an Elamite incursion, gives us a sign of the decaying power base of the Akkadian Empire as their enemies marched on Akkadian lands. Nevertheless, the Elamite attack against the Akkadian king Shar-kalli-shari, according to Akkadian records, was a battle lost. Regardless, Akkadian hegemony was waning and the Elamites began to reassert their independence.

So it was that after centuries of conflict with Sumer and Akkad, and just as the Elamite resurgence was taking hold, a new threat descended upon them. In 2193 BC Elam was overthrown by the Gutians as they swept through southern Mesopotamia from the Zagros Highlands and into Elam itself, also destroying the Akkadian empire. The new Simash dynasty eventually came to power during this period of instability. The Simash leadership had to deal with sporadic periods of diplomacy and attacks by the Gutian chieftains until finally they lost control and were expelled.

After the expulsion of the Gutians the Neo Sumerians of the third Dynasty of Ur, led by Shulgi, invade Elam and conquered Susa (c. 2050 BC). This incursion was not to last long however. Kindattu, the Elamite king, together with the people of Susa, rose up and sacked Ur (c. 2004BC) leading its king into captivity, ending the third dynasty. With this threat removed, Elam became a powerful kingdom once again, although it was shortly thereafter pushed out of southern Mesopotamia six years later by the Amorite city state of Isin, ending Elamite influence in Mesopotamia at the close of the third millennium.

As can be seen, for the wargamer the struggles between Elam and Sumer are akin to those waged between England and France from Agincourt to Waterloo. There are endless scenarios between these two foes who engaged in countless campaigns against one another. Even internal Elamite city-state clashes offer plenty of gaming potential.




Troop Type
Number
Q
P
CV
Range
Pts
General (mounted)
1
-
*
5
n/a
50
Sub General (mounted)
2
-
*
5
n/a
50
Army Standard
0-3
-
*
-
n/a
20
Captain
1 per unit
R
*
5
n/a
20
                - change to veteran
any
V
*
5
n/a
25
4-Ass Battle Carts
0-4
V
S
special
n/a
35
                - exchange for 4-Ass Straddle Car / Platform Cart
0-1
V
U/P
special
4
20/25
Axemen Royal Guard; or
0-1
V
P
5
n/a
18
                - equip all axemen with Pike
0-1
V
P
4
n/a
16
Archers Royal Guard
0-1
V
P
2
4/8
6
Shushan Spearmen
1-2
R
P
3
n/a
7
                - upgrade to Shielded front rankers
0-half
R
S
3
n/a
8
Shushan Archers
1-6
R
U
2
4/8
6
                - change to Skirmishers
any
R
U
n/a
4
4
Anshan Highlander Wild Tribesmen or
0-2
R
U
special
2/4
6
                - change to Archer Skirmishers
any
R
U
n/a
4
4
Anshan Highlander Slinger or Archer Skirmishers
0-2
R
U
n/a
4
4




Old Elam Allies and Enemies
 
Dynastic Sumerian
Akkadian
Early Eblan
Old Elam
Zagros Mountain
Hattian Kingdoms
Neo -Sumerian
Amorite Nomads
Magan
Harrapan
2700 BC
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2600 BC
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2500 BC
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2400 BC
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2300 BC
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2200 BC
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2100 BC
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2000 BC
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



Special Rules & Notes
  • Skirmisher types should outnumber massed archers, and slingers should outnumber archers.




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