Infamy, infamy, they've all got it in for me... part I unus
This blog is all about the Roman army for my Legiones Antiquitata (L.A.) game which is appropriate! In Legiones historical ancients are melded with mythical creatures to create an ancients/fantasy mash up. The game has been in development since 2019 and playtested extensively with the original 14 'historical' army lists now being supplemented by Fantasy lists. Just this week these very Romans played an Undead army built around hordes and went down under endless skeletons and zombies!
The Romans in this army are as with all LA armies a chronological mish mash with options in the Army lists to build a Republican, Imperial or Late Roman version. The two earlier versions share the Discipline army rule which allows the army to immediately activate a second ‘Roman’ unit once per turn. The End of Empire army has the Flexible strategy rule which for each enemy unit killed you may draw a plot card and then throw one away. Each army has limits on the units and numbers of units it can take.
Almost all the stls printed and painted here are by 3dbreed https://www.3dbreed.es/mth-rome-2021/ They are quite chunky in style which is not to everybody's taste but it does make them a bit stronger in use. The only models not 3d breed here are the priestess which is Gadgetworks and the Eagle which is by the printing goes ever on. Everything thing has been 'speedpainted' using a variety of manufacturers @contrast' type paints to be table ready!
Words written in Italics are attributes of units which are described fully in the Legiones Antiquitata rules available here....https://www.firstcommissionpainting.co.uk/general-clean
Lists for the ancients and fantasy armies (WIP) also here.
The General - can be mounted or on foot. On foot he can fight in terrain without disadvantage while on horseback he moves around faster. Command 3 is his main thing as this allows him to order 3 units within 4 hexes and line of sight to take a normal move so three different units or a group of 3 bases such as auxiliary archers. This can be really useful to move pieces into position or pull them back out of danger. This particular general has a touch of the Galba Maximus about him and has often been subjected to chants of "qui comederunt omnia crustulum?" by Briton football fans....
As can be seen below his horse is also unimpressed.
The Augurs - Magical support with 5 dice. As fragile as all magicians as long as kept out of missile range or in cover has evade to scamper away from attacks. If next to The Eagle it can reroll any misses making pretty certain that any spell will go off. On the down side staying by the Eagle makes the Augur less useful as all spell ranges are 4 hexes so the enemy can work around it. Augurs were integral to Roman religion and we all know the story of the commander who threw the chickens destined for augury overboard and his subsequent defeat so the Augur became the primary Magician for the Roman forces in Legiones. Historically I assume that they were men but my augur is female as she pulls double duty as a priestess in my Greek army!
The Libitinarii - when good Augurs go bad. The Libertinari is a magician 4 but has access to raise dead which most magicians do not. Slightly less effective than an Augur by one dice and one spell but probably just as good taken with an Eagle. My Libertinari was clearly recruited somewhere in the province of Aegyptus. As I understand it Libitinarii were the undertaker class of Roman society their name derived from the goddess of funerals. These seemed to be fitting as necromancers in LA.
The Eagle - all armies in LA. have a totemic object called Altar, which gives an adjacent magician the ability to reroll any failures. For the Roman army it is obviously an Eagle. As the symbol of Imperial Rome it also has the banner 2 attribute which allows units within 4 hexes to reroll 1s or 2s in combat.
Velites - the lightest of light troops in the list. They have very little combat power but are one of only two units able to deploy in Ambush within the Romans and as such are vital. They are also cheap and as Skirmish troops are hard to hit in terrain especially as they have Evade which means regular infantry trying to hit them in cover will need 6's.
Triarii / Praetorians - the elite infantry troops of the army with skilled 2 to reroll 1s and 2s on the attack and brace 1 to reroll defence rolls plus inbuilt support for a free reroll these guys should be ok against anything but charging knights, longbow or massive beasts. They also have the aforementioned veteran skill should they roll a handful of 3s.
Centurions - Centurions are capable fighters in their own right with 4 attacks at Skilled 2 but they are best value when leading a unit. The whole unit can activate on a 3, gains steadfast to ignore retreats and can end their move not in contact with eachother as is usual with Advance AND can take different actions. This means a massed unit of legionaries 6 strong can move to combat different enemies with either close combat melee or throw pilum.
Legionaries/Principes - standard but good quality troops. Used in mass with a centurion as above and in conjunction with the disciplined army rule and with Skilled 1 they are capable against all other infantry in the game. Support gives them free reroll on attack or defence whilst adjacent to another unit. They are vulnerable to missile fire and big beasts though. Best with a Centurion to avoid the situation when an enemy unit piles in just to mess up their move!
Auxiliaries / Spanish allies - once again this entry pulls several hundred years into one entry based on function rather than form. The Auxiliary represents the light troops of the army able to move through terrain more easily than the legionaries. I am using the classic auxiliary (below) but only because I don't have the Spanish miniatures or even the late Roman guys. I may get the Spanish at some point as i like their shield patterns. These can also be used Massed with a centurion to maximise flexibility but lack the Skilled 1 and Brace of the Legionaries / Hatati
Roman Cavalry - these are an amalgam of all the regular cavalry in Roman service and as such are pretty capable for their points as they have 4 attacks, 5 on the charge and are Skilled 1 with Hit and run. They also have a javelin capacity of 3 dice but only at 2 hex range. Overall they are quite good at a few things but not great at any.
Cataphracts - These bad boys are not available to the Republican Army and represent the apex cavalry for the Romans, these are good at just one thing but they are very good at that. On the charge they will hit with 5 dice with skilled 2. Thats 5 dice rerolling 1s and 2s. They also have impact which means the enemy is saving only on 5-6 instead of 4-6. Brace 2 protects them from naughty missile fire and if they dont kill what they hit immediately they have unstoppable which gets them a second attack at the same target but rolling at disadvantage - only 5-6 hits. Why not fill your army with these I hear literally nobody ask? Well firstly unless you are an End of Empire army the max is 2 units...boo, none for Republican armies, double boo! End of Empire armies may take 4 units but that would be a whopping 120 of your 400 point maximum.
Sharp sighted and clued up readers will see these are not strictly speaking Roman Cataphracts but are instead Parthian however as nobody yet has stls for actual Romans these will do the job.
And that is all for Part I unus. Part II duo will cover the less er known units including gladiators, marines, barbarian allies and the rather more mythical allies of eagles, wolves, tortoises and Lemures.