Cyaxeres that is, according to Herodotus.
When designing a wargame army, it can add to the experience if one takes the time to consider its underlying structure as well as its character or story. Where do the troops come from, how are they raised, organized and paid and so forth. This is especially true if a long term campaign is being contemplated. Conceptually, this can be done without respect to rules and basing but eventually, such practicalities need to be addressed.
I have long been a proponent of fixed width multi-figure basing. For the last 25 years, my standard has been a 60mm frontage with 6-8 infantry or light infantry in 2 ranks, 4 skirmishers or 2-3 cavalry in a single rank. A system which I adopted from Comitatus. This gave me some grief when trying DBA since my depth was so far out but worked well with Armati and with the help of casualty caps has worked with WAB as well. I have also used these bases to try out Warmaster and FOG. Even if the bases work ok, some rules dictate particular unit sizes which can play havoc with named regiments with a long history. Now its hard to predict what your friends might want to play 10 years from now so prudence dictates picking an organization that suits me but which is flexible enough to allow troops to be drawn off for pick up games even if sabots have to be used.
A mass of Persian infantry, 6 bases each with 6 figures. Is that 1 WAB unit? 3 Armati units formed deep? or 2 Warmaster units one behind the other? The usual mix of Garrison and RAFM figures with spara from Garrison.
I've played more than 12 sets of ancient rules during the last 36 years (counting WRG 3-6 as 1 but WRG7th as different) and played everything from competition games to historical refights, campaigns and table top teasers. Most of those rules had something to offer but I think something old school-ish is most likely to have the flexibility to handle the variety of skirmishes, battles and sieges that I hope to encounter and for now, strange though it may seem to those who aren't familiar with them, Warhammer Ancient Battles (WAB) fits that bill better than most and is popular here to boot. If that changes, well, I recently downloaded the free WRG 3rd edition pdf.
When I revived my Persian army for use with WAB a few years ago, I decided on big infantry blocks supported by smaller, flexible cavalry and light infantry units so, given my basing style, I went with units of 36 infantry, 12 man light infantry or cavalry or 6 skirmishers. Now the books tell us that the Persians were organized in decimal fashion in 10's, 100's and 1,000's though these were not all up kept up to strength (hence the Immortals). No mention of cavalry or light troops being fielded in smaller detachments though one could always make the case. I decided instead to aim at standard 1,000 man units and to heck with optimum wargame effect. After some thought, I settled on a 1:50 ratio but assumed that 100 men per unit were off sick or on baggage guard duties which gives me standard 18 man units. Too big for easy maneuver for cavalry and light infantry and too small to give the heavy/medium infantry punch and staying power in melee. In other words, just right.
But what about basing? The multi-figure bases work ok but most people use single figures which the rules appear to encourage. It certainly enhances flexibility, especially of light troops who can skirmish or form up. My 18 man units also mean that I can't form my infantry 4 deep so either I stick with a 2 deep formation or I need to split some bases. Oh dear. Well, I may leave some of the multi-figure bases but since I need to rebase so many figures anyway, I am leaning to putting all figures on a 20mm wide individual base with unit sized movement trays. If I want to play something else, I will quickly be able to make sabots and field wrg/dba standard elements.
The new model army: RAFM Seleucid arab archers given spears and hired by Cyaxeres for his upcoming campaign in Lydia. 18 figures with officer, musician and standard bearer on individual bases ready to form up or skirmish. Bases by Litko.
What about the Lydians? That's going to take a bit more thought. Eventually I hope to post a complete illustrated OB for each side. Make take a while so a planned list will appear first.