Mongol soldiers in full uniform in Aleppo, Ilkhanate, 639SH.

The Mongol army remained unchanged throughout the Mongol Conquest of the World, despite the introduction of gunpowder. It has remained constant and unrivalled throughout Mongol history and is charged with the heavy task of maintaining order and cohesion across the Mongol Empire.



A Zuut practicing near Hohhot, Great Khan, 946SH

The Mongol army organises its troops into units using a decimal system. Once a Mongol soldier is assigned to a certain unit of the army they will stay in that unit for the rest of their career; this would build strong relationships between soldiers.


An Arban is made up of 10 soldiers (6 archers and 4 lancers) and includes 50 mounts. The members of an Arban were considered collectively responsible for each other and if one soldier does something wrong in battle their whole Arban is punished. Arban are designed to be able to function independantly (each soldiers looks after 5 mounts - which can include horses or camels) and an army will often split up into its individual Arban to pick off enemy soldiers at the end of a battle. 

The commander of an Arban is called the Arban Jurtchi.


A Zuut is made up of 10 Arban, or 100 soldiers (60 archers and 40 lancers), and includes 500 mounts.

The commander of a Zuut is called the Zuut Jurtchi.


A Mingghan is made up of 10 Zuut, or 1,000 soldiers (600 archers and 400 lancers), and includes 5,000 mounts.

The commander of a Mingghan is called the Mingghan Jurtchi.


A Tumen is made up of 10 Mingghan, or 10,000 soldiers (6,000 archers and 4,000 lancers), and includes 50,000 mounts.

The commander of a Tumen is called a Noyan. Unlike the Jurtchi of the smaller divisions of the army, the leader of a Tumen is too important and (due to the meritocratic nature of the Mongol army) too talented to risk losing in a battle, so Noyan are positioned on a well-defended vantage point from which they can watch the battle unfold and signal to Jurtchi using banners and blow horns. 


An Ordu is made up of 10 Tumen, or 100,000 soldiers (60,000 archers and 40,000 lancers), and includes 500,000 mounts. The Ordu (or Horde) is the biggest unit of the Mongol army, including a herd of half a million mounts; Ordu rarely stay fortified in one place, as the area would quickly be starved by the enormous food consumption of the mounts. To be sustainable, an Ordu is stretches out over many li, and travel over 500 li every day (Mongol soldiers must learn to sleep on horseback and take shifts sleeping while the other soldiers keep the herd moving in the right direction. In an Ordu 37,500 mounts carry sleeping soldiers, 400,000 mounts have nobody riding them and just 62,500 mounts carry soldiers that are awake).

The commander of an Ordu is called the Boyan. A battle will often be commanded by a single Boyan, who will be on a well-protected vantage point with usually ten Noyan, with a map of the area and a good view of the battle. The Boyan decides on the next move, then orders the Noyan to signal the Jurtchi accordingly.


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