Historically, I haven't known that much about the history of the Middle East, starting with the Arab Conquests and extending through the Golden Age of Islam with the Ummayad and Abbasid Caliphates. Recently I read "The Great Arab Conquests" by Hugh Kennedy, and that sparked an interest in finding out more about this period, especially in the light of current events. I initially built a Syrian States army from the time of the Crusades, but it turned out that I didn't enjoy playing a shooty horse type cavalry army as much as I thought that I might. That got me searching for something with a play style that would be more to my taste.
And why does it turn out that I like the Dailami? Hard hitting and resilient infantry armies are something that I actually enjoy, and one of the things that I think that FoG doesn't have quite right is the dynamics of charges by irregular tribal warriors. But although drilled, the Dailami are armored, medium infantry, sword fighting, impact foot - most of which can be rated superior - with the capacity for striking the way I imagine an impetuous foot charge to do. And in their case, even if their charge doesn't work out as well as hoped for, then their armored, sword characteristics allow them to stand in melee against almost anything but lancers in the open. To compensate for this weakness, the Dailami also get a smattering of light horse, lancers of their own, and elephants. Being expensive, the army is small, but it is definitely hard hitting and forgiving. I'm very excited about playing it.
From a historical perspective, the Dailami are also interesting to me because their Buwayid dynasty was the first indigenous state to rise up after the Arab Conquests that was not Arab, and they revived Persian culture in the Middle East. In addition, they were long time protectors of remnant Zoroastrians, and besides never being conquered by the Arabs were one of the last Middle Eastern populations to accept Islam - this is fascinating to me in the same sense that the Lithuanians are, being the last European people to accept Christianity. I guess I just have a soft spot for the last of the Pagans - from anywhere in the world.
Here are photos of the last few bits of my Dailamis, all painted up. First, an eight stand unit of superior, light foot archers:
And here are two pictures of my last three general stands:
I'm really looking forward to the New England Regional FoG Tournament to play some games with these guys. I can't wait to see how they will work out for me.