EB1: In battle slingers are used as light skirmishers, troops with no armour or melee weapons but who rush forward against the enemy to pepper them with stones, only to flee when threatened.
EB2: Not intended for the main battle line, the Payadag i Falakhanan harass the enemy line with projectiles and retreat behind their own lines when the enemy approaches.
Slings are very easy and cheap to make and, yet, they are a respectable weapon. It is for this reason that they are so prevalent among the poverty-stricken hill tribes of the eastern lands. In battle, slingers are used as light skirmishers, troops with no armour or melee weapons but who rush forward against the enemy to pepper them with stones, only to flee when threatened. The best method of releasing a stone from a sling is by an underhand motion. These missiles can leave the sling in excess of 60 miles per hour. A well trained slinger can hurl a stone as far and as accurately as a good archer. The effect when they strike is nothing short of devastating.
Historically, slingers came from the shepherd boys of the highlands who use slings to herd sheep and goats. They stand guard in the upland pastures, and if they see an animal straying, they sling a stone in front of it to ward it back to safety. Ancient hand slings generally consisted of a single long strip of leather or woven wool, with a central "pocket" for the stone. The longer the sling, the greater would be its range. Long-range slings were about 3 feet long.
The sling, although simple, can be a very lethal weapon, and even more so, cost effective. It requires nothing but a sling, some stones, and a strong arm to become a slinger, and yet a slingshot to the head can incapacitate or kill even the most hardened warrior. The men in this unit are no professional warriors, but simple men from throughout the Iranian lands who have been levied by their rulers, whether native or foreign, to do battle for them. Hardly fit to be part of the main battle line, their task is to swell the ranks of the forces, and harass the enemy line with projectiles. Once the enemy has been sufficiently weakened or disorganised by this barrage, these levies will retreat behind the battle lines, to allow more seasoned fighters to engage the enemy in hand-to-hand combat.
Dressed in their everyday clothes of Iranian fashion, with pants, jackets and headgear in the form of kyrbasias, a kind of hat with flaps that can be tied under the chin, or in front of the face, these men go to war for their current masters much as their ancestors did for the great kings of old, such as Kurush or Xerxes. They wear no armour, except for the occasional hide vest, and their clothes are fashioned in the Iranian manner with bright colours and patterns. Apart from their slings and the stones they carry in a small bag, the use wicker or reed shields as protection, and should the enemy come close enough, they have short axes to wield in the melee. To think they would be able to hold out long against any but the most undisciplined and poorly equipped enemy would be to fool oneself, as they have neither the training, nor the will to risk their lives in such a lethal gamble, and will soon turn and run.
Historically, the great levied armies of the eastern kingdoms during antiquity, although impressive in numbers, often consisted to a large degree of levied farmers and villagers from around the realm with no combat training or experience of military life, and generally without any interest or stake in the cause for war. Such combatants would have been unreliable in smaller numbers, and their lethality lay more in their number than their prowess. Nonetheless, these kinds of troops were often used for different roles than the more seasoned combatants, and warriors of the retinues of Azads and nobles. While these more professional troops held the line of battle and engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the foe, the levies were expected to shower the enemy forces with projectiles, and harass their flanks. Despite being numerous, large armies comprised primarily of levies were known to melt away quickly in the face of a superior foe, despite outnumbering them severely. A well-known example of this is the battle outside Tigranokerta during the Third Mithridatic War, where the immense Armenian army under Tigran the great retreated in disarray in the face of a much smaller Roman force under the command of Lucullus.
Eastern slingers are a frequent sight in Eastern armies. They are cheap, and their AP (Armour Piercing) projectiles can deliver a nasty surprise. They are mostly used to counter enemy missile and cavalry units, but can also be used in liaison with Gund-i Palta (Eastern Skirmishers) and Thanvare Payahdag (Persian Archers) to weaken approaching enemies. Players should avoid placing Shuban-i Fradakhshana behind their main lines, as the trajectories of projectiles fired by the slings are not as curved as those fired by bows, which may result in your own units getting accidentally hit in the process.
Eastern Slingers are very cost-efficient ranged troops. Not only can they kite enemy heavy cavalry (prompt them into attacking by inflicting losses), they can even destroy these troops, given enough time. If possible, the enemy general should be targeted - especially if his unit is very experienced and therefore hard to beat in melee.