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New: Early Egyptian Spearmen & Retainer Axemen

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These figures can also be used for Egyptian armies of the First Intermediate period between the Old and Middle Kingdoms and the early part of the Second Intermediate period up to the native Egyptian 16th Dynasty of Upper Egypt.

Egyptian armies comprised equal proportions of archers and close combat fighters (axemen and spearmen), though they were organised into separate units. The archers did not engage in close combat but provided massed archery fire, softening the enemy lines, before the close fighters engaged the enemy in hand to hand fighting.

In addition, forces were further divided into the hereditary, retained or professional soldiers and the conscripts recruited from the various nomes, or districts of Egypt in times of war. The former were also known as Ahauty and in the case of the close fighters, as Menfat or shock troops.

The Pharaoh also had a personal retainer bodyguard of heavy axemen, also known as Shemsu.
Armies of both the Old and Middle Kingdom of Egypt also used native Egyptian light javelinmen and other auxiliary skirmishers in a supporting role. These included Nubian Archers, Libyan Javelinmen and Amurru or Bedouin Slingers.

Early Egyptian Spearmen


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Early Egyptian Spearmen with Light Spear and Shield. These Spearmen can be used in both Old and Middle Kingdom armies as Conscript Spearmen, recruited from the various districts, or Nomes, of Egypt in times of war.

Early Egyptian Retainer Axemen


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Guard or Retainer heavy two-handed axemen of Old or Middle Kingdom Egypt. These Retainers were also known as Shemsu and accompanied the Pharaoh or other Commander in battle. Although seemingly incompatible with the two-handed epsilon axe these retainers are armed with, they are depicted in reliefs with a huge body shield.