Republican Roman

Historical Overview Section

The reforms of Marius professionalised the Roman Army and got rid of the old distinctions between Triarii, Principes and Hastati, creating a modern all-sword & pilum equipped professional force.

The foremost of the Marian reforms was the inclusion of Roman landless mass, the capite censi, men who had no property to be assessed in the census. Instead they were "counted by the head". These men were now among the ranks of those who could be recruited even though they owned no significant property. Because these poor citizens could not afford to purchase their own weapons and armor, Marius arranged for the state to supply them with arms. He thus offered the disenfranchised masses permanent employment for pay as professional soldiers, and the opportunity to gain spoils on campaign. With little hope of gaining status in other ways, the masses flocked to join Marius in his new army. These professional soldiers were recruited for an enlistment term of 16 years, later to rise to 20 years full service and 5 years as evocati under the reforms of Augustus.

With this permanent standing army Marius was able to standardize training and equipment throughout the Roman Legions. Drilling and training took place year round, not just when they were urgently needed. Marius organized the legions as follows. The total number of men in a full strength legion was about 6,000, of whom 5,200 were actual soldiers. The rest were classified as noncombatants. The internal organization of a legion consisted of 10 cohorts of 6 centuries each. The century consisted of 80 men. However the first cohort was irregular and consisted of 5 double strength centuries (containing 160 men). The century was divided again into 8 man units that tented and messed together in camp, this was called a contubernia. The century fought as a unit, marched as a unit and camped as a unit. The century carried with it all the arms and accoutrements required to feed and maintain it as a fighting unit. This reduced the size of the baggage train required as support and made the army much more mobile. Between 2 and 6 legions clubbed together constituted an army. The legions soon were in peak physical condition and discipline, unmatched in the ancient world. This was the second important reform that improved the Roman military.

The third reform that Marius was able to introduce was legislation that offered retirement benefits in the form of land grants. Members of the head count who had completed their term of service would be given a pension by their general and a plot of land in the conquered region on which to retire. Officers and commanders were given monetary rewards that were 10-25 times greater than that of a common foot soldier.

Finally, Marius granted citizens of the Italian allies (Etruria, Picenum etc.) full Roman citizenship if they fought for Rome and completed a period of service in the Roman army.

Using the army in ADLG

  • This list appears to restrict the proportions of Hastatii, Triarii and Velites in each "legion" in the list, however the original French version suggest that this is given as advice in order to play historically.

The indicated ratio is not compulsory, only min/max applies so you do not need to take them in a 4:1:2 proportion.

  • You are required to take a fortified camp.
  • 2 Numidian LH and the Strategist are semi-compulsory in order to have a decent chance at controlling terrain and attacking
  • Armour is pretty much a given too on all legions, as otherwise they are just bog standard vanilla foot.
  • One Elite and one Average legion is almost the only way to do this army, as again having some Elite Armoured Impact troops gives you the punch on a narrow frontage to go through most enemies. 3 Legions eats all your points and means dropping both Elite status and Armour.
  • The third command is then only there to hold flanks while the Legions get in. Whether that means 2-3 Cavalry and some LH, or a few rough terrain troops is the real question

Using the army in ADLG against Huns or similar

Assume you lost the initiative and are in a mostly open table. First, what is each side’s “theory of victory” in this match-up? If you don’t have conception or plan about how you win you probably won’t…

Romans: You need to force the Huns to actually fight you, while avoiding being flanked decisively. The base calculation here is that if you advance 2 UD every tu! rn, starting from 5 UD in at deployment AND keep the Huns in front of you in turn 5 you are 15 UD and in turn 6 you are 17UD across the table and at about that point the Huns have to fight or flee off the table. Now the Huns know this as well so they are going to try and avoid this and try and slide around your side so they aren’t going straight back, they will try and arrange to fall back somewhat diagonally to buy themselves more time/room, try to get you to spend time not advancing and pushing them, etc. The nastiest thing they will do is shoot then fall back and march to the other side of the table YOU MUST NOT LET THIS HAPPEN. Your job as a Roman is to nullify as much of this BS as possible and push them back or into a corner where they have to fight.

So how do you do this?

First, you deploy carefully. DO NOT leave multiple open flanks. Bow armed cavalry are basically just as expensive as legions so are unlikely to outnumber the legions. So you should be thinking in terms of one elements of HI for every cavalry. If a legion charge a cavalry it is a fight in your favor at +1 (armor) vs. +0 (elite) this is a good fight for the legion. Stay together don’t expose two flanks, you probably can’t avoid exposing one. The Huns might/will try and turn your flank. The one thing you don’t want to do is have your potent "Elephant+anything" groups isolated on their own – especially on the open flank. If you do that you can guarantee that the Hun will send every man on a horse to kill them. They are much much more vulnerable than the legions. This goes equally for small groups of cavalry or light cavalry in a Roman army. If you put them somewhere the shooty cavalry can get at them they will do it and do it hard. They can’t compete with masses of bow armed cavalry – don’t try. This is equally true for a Roman cavalry group. NO the Romans can’t take a few cavalry and “skirmish” with the Huns. That leads to a lot of dead Roman cavalry. They aren’t useless but you have to use them extremely careful.

Put that group in one of two places depending on the terrain. It either goes in the middle of your army OR it goes on the edge of the army next to a waterway. Both of these are dangerous locations for our Hun to mass cavalry and you would in fact like them to do so. Why? In either location you push forward and there is a line of legions that are placed to cut off the retreat routes. Sure they can just flee away but that is what you want and eventually the Hun is going to flee and want to turn to one flank or the other to find more space. This is the secret sauce if you will of pushing someone off the table. They need to make this turn while they still have table space to get out of the way. If they can’t march (and more on marching below) that means the cavalry is going to turn and move 3 UD one turn and maybe more 4 more UD the next turn. You need to be able to catch them before they squirt off to the side of your legion by any means necessary. Your ZOC extends out 1 UD and as you advance you can slide 1 UD to the side for free. Always be looking to get the Hun into a position they can’t turn away to the flank. Normally, a cavalry army needs to start thinking about this maneuver when they are about 5 UD from their base table edge at least.

5UD is usually the magic point as that is the last spot they can be assured of not fleeing off the table and being pretty sure they can turn and start moving sideways. When the Huns decide they are going to try and can opener your flank – be ready for that and start turning. Be ready to get heavy troops all the way to the table edge or nearly the table edge. This is a place the M Cav can help if you are careful. They move a bit faster so you can use them to fill the last little gap BUT they need legions supporting them or they are victims.

Get the rest of your army turning as well – remember you have a legion for ever MC Bow. Yes the LC Bow are annoying and will shoot at you and you want to keep them from getting behind you but fundamentally they aren’t that dangerous. Again M Cav + L Cav can help keep them corralled. Or you have “extra” width with the elephant/cavalry group to help. One key to remember is that you are marching on an interior line, behind your rear, so you have less distance to cover than the cavalry player. This can often let you match any big turning/flanking maneuver.

Once all this has happened do what you can to prevent the MC from being able to march move again. March moves are sneakily dangerous.

Your goal here to create a fight where the Huns are forced to fall back to and edge somewhere so they can’t simply keep retreating. That can be their back edge, your back edge, or a side – somewhere they are going to commit their troops. DON’T let them commit then slide sideways to an open part of the table. That is how you lose. If you have to this is the point to sacrifice some cavalry/light cavalry/medium infantry to hold them in place while the legions catch-up.

When you do this ALWAYS charge them every t! urn you can. It forces them back – closer to an edge and it stops half their shooting. Even better is if you can force them back and break up their groups. That over time will pip starve them and they will become less efficient and/or leave you elements you can scoop up by preventing flees. Similarly, don’t let your army get broken up into tiny groups. Each Corps can fairly easily support two groups, but once you are at three or more you risk being unable to charge due to lack of pips.

LMI and especially MI shooters are extremely useful here. DO NOT place them alone on your flanks as unsupported they are vulnerable and a good target. Nestled safely in the midst of heavy infantry they provide powerful firepower and are like all weak points in an unpleasant place to attack.

Terrain considerations:

Always try for the waterway, it is generally helpful. If you get a waterway don’t bother with the village it isn’t helpful as it most likely is sitting on your base edge on the waterway which is not a useful spot.
Don’t get overly obsessed with RGo especially of the fields/brush sort. Unless you have a lot of medium infantry – especially medium infantry that shoots (not a Roman forte) it doesn’t make that much difference. Its biggest value is letting LI stand up to mounted so it is of some value but not hugely. Next biggest use is dummy ambush markers preventing marches..
If you are somewhere that isn’t steppes/plains then you want DGo. The single most dangerous thing you can place for the Huns is a piece of DGo (or impassable) sitting on their baseline dividing up the deployment zone. This generally will compact their army which is good and even better dramatically cut down their ability to march away from your advance. Watch out as the counter-move to this is often to flank march. That is not terrible for you unless you deploy badly and get caught out by it.

User-contributed links about this army.

Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army

200 Points
2 Numidian Cavalry Light cavalry javelin ------
4 Hastati and Principes Heavy swordsmen armour impact ------
1 Triari Heavy spearmen armour Elite
2 Velites Light infantry javelin Elite
4 Hastati and Principes Heavy swordsmen armour impact Elite
1 Triari Heavy spearmen armour Elite
2 Velites Light infantry javelin Elite
4 Spaniards and shit Medium swordsmen
1 Syracusan slinger Light infantry sling

200 Points
3 Ordinary Generals and a Fortified Camp

  • 4 Hastati-Princeps Heavy swordsmen armour impact ------
  • 2 Velites Light infantry javelin ------
  • 1 Triarii Heavy spearmen armour Elite
  • 3 Roman Horsemen Heavy cavalry ------

  • 4 Hastati-Princeps Heavy swordsmen armour impact ------
  • 2 Velites Light infantry javelin ------
  • 1 Triarii Heavy spearmen armour Elite

  • 2 Extraordinarii Medium swordsmen armour Elite
  • 2 Numidians Light cavalry javelin ------
  • 1 Cretan archers Light infantry bow Elite

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