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Middle Imperial Roman

Historical Overview Section


The accession to the purple on November 20, 284, of Diocletian, the lower-class, Greek-speaking Dalmatian commander of Carus's and Numerian's household cavalry (protectores domestici) was a time when conflict boiled in every province of the empire, from Gaul to Syria, from Egypt to the lower Danube. It was too much for a single person to control, and Diocletian decided he needed a mate, and raised his fellow-officer Maximian to the office of Caesar, making him co-emperor. After his acclamation, Maximian was dispatched to fight the rebel Early Frankish Bagaudae in Gaul. Diocletian returned to the East where he fought the Later Sarmatians indecisively, did a deal with the Sassanid Persians to achieve a temporary peace, absorbed the Early Armenians.

Maximian had a tougher time, as the Early Frankish and Ancient British were in open revolt, which the Romans struggled to contain. The two emperors continued to act independently against various enemies, but they agreed on a joint campaign against the Early Frankish Alamanni in 287 whilst Diocletian continued to play diplomacy with the Sassanid Persians and Palmyrans to keep them quiet, and cut a deal with the Beja? too. Diocletian then conjured up two more Caesars in 293, moving the empire closer to a Rome and Byzantium format and this allowed the Empire to take on the Later Sarmatians again in the Balkans and the Dacian or Carpi tribes on the Danube. The Sassanid Persians new King Narseh declared war on Rome in 295 or 296 which was inconvenient for a while.

After Diocletian had split the empire and then retired, there was a bit of a rebellion by the Legions at the edges of the Empire, but it got sorted out after the Civil Wars of the Tetrarchy (306-324 AD) and a geezer called Constantine won. He was so happy he invented a city and called it after himself - Constantinople. Constantine rebuilt Trajan's bridge across the Danube, in hopes of reconquering the Dacian or Carpi tribes in a province that had been abandoned under Aurelian. In the late winter of 332, Constantine campaigned with the Later Sarmatians against the Early Visigothic and Early Vandals.

Constantine's death triggered another invasion by the Sassanid Persians, and another round of civil war, including the Battle of Mursa Major in 351, one of the bloodiest battles in Roman history. The winner, Constantius lived mostly in Milan, but also visited Rome - for the first and only time in his life - in 357, and, in that same year, he forced the Later Sarmatians and Early Frankish Quadi invaders out of Pannonia and Moesia Inferior, then led a successful campaign across the Danube against the Later Sarmatians and the Early Frankish Quadi tribe - but whilst his back was turned, the Sassanid Persians invaded again!

Constantius was succeeded in 361 by Julian (and his friend Sandy), after a bit of sharp practice in which Julian started off running Gaul for Constantius, but ended up running the whole shebang. Julians first action was a bit of a mistake, as in March 363, and despite a series of omens against the campaign, he decided to invade the Sassanid Persian Empire - possibly to keep the eastern Roman army happy (as he'd been running the Western one, and the Easterners felt they were missing out). This went badly wrong, "bad" in a "defeat" sense for the army and in a "death" sense for Julian personally. This let in Jovian for the next 30 years, and he just gave stuff away to the Sassanid Persians and Early Armenians to keep them quiet.

Valentinian and his brother Ritchie Valens then ruled until 375. During his short reign there were wars in Africa, with the Early Frankish and Ancient British tribes, and Rome came into collision with new barbarian peoples such as the Early Frankish Burgundians and the Early Anglo Saxons. Valens fought the Sassanid Persians, the Early Ostrogothic and Heruls and messed up big time at in Thrace when he marched against the confederated barbarian army led by the Early Visigothic and Early Vandals on 9 August 378 in what would become known as the Battle of Adrianople . When the battle was over, two-thirds of the eastern army lay dead. Many of their best officers had also perished. What was left of the army of Valens was led from the field under the cover of night.

Theodosius succeeded Valens, and Gratain succeeded Valentian. Gratian was killed in a rebellion in 383,and after 392 Theodosius ruled as sole emperor, appointing his younger son Honorius Augustus as his co-ruler for the West after a bit of a civil war. He was largely forced into doing deals with the various Early Visigothic and Early Vandal, (Dacian or Carpi)) and Early Ostrogothic and Herul tribes, recruiting them as Foederate troops.

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.

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Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army
86 - MIR (v4 list Devonian Classic)
Competent
4 Legionaries Heavy swordsmen armour impact ------
2 Legionaries Heavy swords. armour impact support ------
1 Equite Alares Heavy cavalry Elite
==
Competent
4 Legionaries Heavy swordsmen armour impact ------
2 Legionaries Heavy swords. armour impact support ------
1 Equite Alares Heavy cavalry Elite
==
Competent Armenian Ally
2 Nobles Cataphract ------
2 Nobles Cataphract Elite
2 Horse Archers Light cavalry bow ------

86 - MIR (v4 list Devonian Classic)
Strategist
1 Equites Alares Heavy cavalry ------
3 Legionaries Heavy swordsmen impact ------
1 Legionaries Heavy swordsmen 2HW Elite
1 Auxiliaries Heavy swordsmen 2HW Elite
1 Intergrated Artillery Light artillery integrated ----
2 Cataphracts Cataphract ----
==
Competent Included
1 Equites Alares Heavy cavalry ------
3 Auxiliaries Medium swordsmen armour impact Elite
1 Auxiliaries Medium swordsmen impact ------
1 Equites Illyricani Light cavalry javelin ----
1 Dromedarii Light camelry bow Mediocre
==
Ordinary Included Bedouin Ally
1 Bedouin Noble Light cavalry javelin ------
3 Warriors on Camel Medium camelry ------
2 Bedouins Light cavalry javelin ------
1 Scout Light camelry bow Mediocre

86 - MIR (v4 list Devonian Classic)
Competent
5 Legionaries & Praetorians* Heavy swords. armour impact support
1 Clibanarii Heavy cavalry impact
2 Light Infantry Light infantry bow
==
Brilliant
2 Equites Alares* Heavy cavalry Elite
2 Auxilliaries* Medium swordsmen impact support ------
2 Symmacharii Light infantry javelin ------
2 Equites Illyricani Light cavalry javelin ------
==
Competent Included Sarmatian Ally
1 Sarmatian Horsemen* (+ General) Heavy cavalry impetuous Elite
5 Sarmatian Horsemen* Medium cavalry impetuous ------

200 AP from Patras 2019
2 Impact Elite
1HC included General
1 Lh Bow
==
4 Impact Auxilia
2 Bowmen
2 LF Javelins
1 LCm Bow Inferior
==
4 Legions HI Sword Impact Rear Support
2 Heavy Bolt Shooters
1 LF Javelin
1 Extraordinarii Auxilia with Armour and Eliteness
Brilliant General
Fortified Camp

USTT 2018 200ap
Strategist
4 Legionaries and Praetorians Heavy swordsmen armor impact Ordinary 11 44
2 Auxiliaries and Lanciarii Medium swordsmen armor impact missile support Ordinary 11 22
2 Light Infantry Bow Light infantry bow Ordinary 4 8
2 Catafractarii Cataphract Ordinary 11 22
2 Light Infantry javelin Light infantry javelin Ordinary 4 8
==
Competent E Arab Ally
1 Other nomads Light cavalry javelin Ordinary 6 6
2 Scouts on camels Light camel bow Ordinary 7 14
3 Nomad javelinmen Javelinmen Mediocre 5 15
2 Light Infantry javelin Light infantry javelin Ordinary 4
==
Ordinary Included
2 Equites Alares* Heavy cavalry Elite 11 22
2 Equites Alares Heavy cavalry Ordinary 9 18


200AP USTT 2018
Brilliant
3 Heavy swordsmen armour impact Elite
2 Medium swordsmen armour impact Elite
1 Bowmen
1 Light infantry sling
1 Light infantry javelin
==
Competent
3 Heavy swordsmen armour impact Elite
1 Heavy swordsmen armour impact
1 Bowmen
1 Light infantry sling
1 Light infantry javelin
==
Comp, Unreliable
1 Heavy cavalry impact Elite
1 Heavy cavalry impact Elite
2 Light cavalry javelin
1 Light cavalry bow


200 point list from Derby 2017
Strategist
3 Legionaries and Praetorians Heavy swordsmen armour impact Elite
1 Light Infantry Javelin Light infantry javelin Ordinary
2 Lanciarii Medium swordsmen armour impact Elite
1 Auxiliaries and Lanciarii Medium swordsmen impact missile support Ordinary
==
Competent
3 Legionaries and Praetorians Heavy swordsmen armour impact Elite
2 Light Infantry Javelin Light infantry javelin Ordinary
1 Legionairies Heavy swordsmen armour impact Ordinary
==
Competent
2 Equites IllyricanI Light cavalry javelin Ordinary
2 Clibanarii Heavy cavalry impact Elite
2 light bow Light infantry bow Ordinary

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