Having partnered with Cutting Edge Miniatures back in 2013, our Hail Caesar range has seen a huge expansion over the past few years – and we’re still releasing more Cutting Edge models even now!
With that said – we know that it can be a little daunting for newcomers to the period – so we asked Cutting Edge Miniatures owner, Peter Womack to give us an insight into some of the key players of the era…
We’re starting this week with the Hittite Empire – however over the next few weeks, we’ll explore some of the other recent additions to the range
A Brief History of the Hittite Empire
Hittite power waned in the Middle Kingdom at the beginning of the Late Bronze Age until the New Kingdom was established by King Tudhaliya I/II who, allied with Kizzuwatna and with assistance from Middle Kingdom Assyria, vanquished the Mitannian state of Aleppo and then expanded to the west at the expense of Arzawa (a Luwian state).
After Tudhaliya’s reign a period of weakness followed until Suppiluliuma I restored and extended Hittite power, again defeating the Mitannian state of Aleppo and other cities in Syria such as Carchemish.
A map of the Hittite Empire during the reigns of Suppiluliuma I and Musili II circa 1350-1295 BC at the time of its greatest extent. Hittite tributary lands also encompassed Luwian states in western Anatolia at various times, including Arzawa and Ahhiyawa – which have been given provisional, though likely, locations on this map.
Mursilis II campaigned in the west against Arzawa and Ahhiyawa so that by c.1300 BCE the Hittites were competing with New Kingdom Egypt for control of Syria and Canaan in the south. This came to a head when the Hittite army and their allies under Muwatalli II clashed with the New Kingdom Egyptians, under Ramesses II, at the famous Battle of Kadesh in c.1274 BCE.
After this date Hittite power began to decline due to the expanding Assyrian Middle Kingdom. Tudhaliya IV lost territory to them and was defeated at the Battle of Nihiriya. He did manage, however, to conquer Cyprus though it was subsequently lost to the Assyrians. The last Hittite King, Suppiluliuma II, did win a naval battle against Alashiya off the coast of Cyprus but the Assyrians by this time had annexed much of Hittite territory in Asia Minor and Syria, hastening their demise.
The Hittite Empire was eventually destroyed by the Sea Peoples and Gasgan invasions at the end of the Late Bronze Age. Also, from the west came the Phrygians or Mushki, who filled the void in central Anatolia; whilst in the east the start of the Iron Age saw the rise of the Urartians.
The Hittite Empire incorporated the nations of Anatolia and Syria and hence included a diverse number of peoples.
The figures can be suitably used for other central Anatolians, and the Gasgans or Kaska from northern Anatolia, by using Later Highlander Warriors II. Use Later Highlanders I for eastern Anatolian or Taurus Highlanders.
For Hittite Archers use a combination of the Later Levy Archers, which have a Syrian style and Later Highlander Archers, which have a more Anatolian look.
Some figures can also be used for armies of the Luwian States of Western Anatolia such as Arzawa and Pitassa, though for the western Anatolians such as Wilusa (possibly Trojans) and Ahhiyawa (possibly Achaeans), figures from the Achaeans and Sea Peoples ranges will be more suitable.
South Western Anatolians, such as the Lukka, were part of the Sea Peoples confederation that infiltrated further into the Near East at the end of the Late Bronze Age. They fought as allies for both the Hittites and the western Anatolians such as the Trojans. They will form part of the Sea Peoples range of figures. It is now reasonably established that the Sea Peoples were just in fact a confederation of Achaeans.
The New Kingdom Hittites of the Late Bronze Age were influenced culturally by Syria, from where many of their allies came. The infantry figures from the Syrian & Canaanite list are therefore also included in this list, though for the allied Syrian and Ugaritic Chariots, the Syrian & Canaanite Army category needs to be consulted.
The later Hittite 3-man chariots are included in this army, which differ from the earlier lighter chariots. Both styles of chariots were, however, used in in the Empire period, both by Hittites and other Anatolians.
If you’re new to wargaming in the ancient period, head over to the Hail Caesar section, where we have an ever-growing library of articles to help – with historical information, hobby guides, and a near-constant stream of new releases!