What have the Romans ever done for us? Part 2
The second part of this wander down the Via Appia through my 3d printed Roman army for Legiones Antiquitata (LA) moves away from the standard Roman fare of legionaries, auxiliaries and velites and into the more colourful areas of barbarians, artillery and the mythic which differentiates LA from other ancients rules. In Legiones the historical and the mythical are arrayed side by side so for the Roman army you would expect wolves, eagles and tortoises as a minimum!
If you have not read Part 1 then you are in for a treat...not really but you probably should and it is here https://www.firstcommissionpainting.co.uk/blog-old
Now you have read Part Uno we can move on to the less regular parts of the army!
Barbarian infantry - From the Punic wars to the end of empire Roman armies were not averse to hiring barbarians to fight for them and the barbarians in LA the barbarians are represented in 3 forms, infantry cavalry and steppe cavalry. They are generic and could represent anything from Celts to Germans to Goths. The infantry models I use are Germans but pull double duty as Celts in my Celtic army and as the Romans might say 'one barbarian is as good as another!'
These are painted using a quick, 'speedpaint' method touched up with normal paints to get them done as quickly as possible as are all those pictured here. Statswise they are average troops but with massed can be fielded in up to 6 units activating on one card and have impetuous which means they will move 1 hex closer to the nearest visible enemy at the start of the turn and if they can get a charge off can reroll their misses on the subsequent combat. This is a once per game ability though and lost if they are attacked first! They get Support to reroll one die if next to another barbarian infantry but on the downside they activate only on a 7+ card and will die easily to any serious cavalry or monster.
Barbarian cavalry - classic medium cavalry. I use the armour wearing Celts for mine from 3d breed mixed with some Reconquer Visigoths. Once again they all represent barbarian shock cavalry with Impetuous, skilled 1 and charge so pretty vital to get a good first charge in as after that they are pretty meh. As with all medium cavalry in LA. they also have hack which allows them a one die attack against any slower unit that moves away from them in the enemy movement.
Steppe cavalry - Huns, probably with Aetius as only available in the 'End of Empire' list. Mine are from Kyoushuneko miniatures and are a bit big for my taste but I dont have time to reduce and repaint so large Huns it is. They behave exactly as you would expect with 4 dice missile fire out to 4 hexes and skilled 1 on that shooting to reroll 1s. They will also evade if charged so only hit on 5-6 and can shoot and move using hit and run which is a rare ability. I have not used them yet so cannot speak to their effectiveness but they will probably be annoying.
Gladiators - these have become a favourite in my army as they are skilled 2 with skirmish which means they can shift any light units from any terrain and laugh while doing it. They also have the veteran attribut to throw away any card to reroll any number of dice and can themselves evade if they want. On the downside they are not cheap, you can only have 2 units and they dont play nicely with eachother being advance(-) needin a 7 card to move both together. I tend to use them in different areas anyway so this last is less of a problem.
Ballistae - 2 available and with 6 dice at range 8 are great for taking out enemy heroes as they critical heroes on 5 and 6 so on average 4 hits and if you invest a red card to reroll or have near the Eagle Altar (see part 1) they should do more! At worst they will make enemy heroes dubious about entering their range. They are however pretty immobile so deployment is very important.
Mangonel - Only one available and best taken if you are facing a horde as like the Ballista has critical but against troops. With blast pushing half the initial damage (from 5 dice) caused onto an adjacent unit you can theoretically knock out two units a turn though in my recent games have not actually killed anything....sad face
Marines - a very niche unit. They are a cut price gladiator unit with skirmish and skilled 1 in melee but half the hit points and less attack dice. Still only 12 points a throw and 3 available in any Roman army whereas Gladiators aren't available in the End of Empire list. I am using regular Auxiliaries wearing blue and with a blue shield for mine!
Freed Slaves - very much the bottom of the barrel at only 2 attacks and with dubious meaning they retreat 2 hexes per hit after combat instead of 1 and fight as disadvantaged. In reality they are likely to just fall over. On the upside they are only .5 VP when lost and with massed can be parked en masse on an objective worth 5 points. even if they all die they are up 2 VP and have sucked up enemy attacks. My freed slaves are actually 3d breed Spartan Helot models with Velite shields! as the Romans might say 'one slave is as good as another'....
Roman Elephant - I don't know that that the Romans used Elephants other than the famous one in the Claudian invasion of Britain though I think they may have used them against the Macedonians at Pydna. Anyway they are only available in Republican and Imperial armies in LA not in End of Empire armies. They are fearsome in combat but susceptible to magic as they have a low willpower. In test games this meant that if you took elephants you needed to keep a magician handy to cast Cleanse otherwise your elephant spent the game Slow or badly Confused!
Prefect - a single man unit with no abilities other than Channel which allows him to pass on orders from the general far outside the general's command range of 4 hexes. Other than this admittedly useful ability he does nothing and will die if he leaves cover! Mine is from the Resinwarfare Sons of Mars KS which is now available.(Aug 2023)
Giant Eagles - Not the LOTR eagles these are more objective grabbers. They can fight other fliers but are not really combat beasts. With a move of 4/7 they can either get anywhere to contest an objective or move 4 and attack something small in the hope of swoop which lets them pick up a non massive single figure unit and throw it 2 hexes away doing a bit more damage and potentially moving it off an objective. Eagle by The printing goes ever on.
Wolfpack - Summonable on 3 successes these are fast, skirmish and have a frenzy attack allowing them to reroll Every dice even the hits, useful if its very disappointing or important! Like Eagle not really combat beasts but ideal for grabbing objectives. Would be a summons 4 in other armies but well this is Romulus and Remus town! Evade will help keep it alive.
Giant Wolf - another summons 3 but the fighty version with 4 attacks and critical troops. Also has skirmish but not evade so once committed to a fight its in to the death. Still only a summons 3 due to Roman wolf affinity!
Tortoise troll - not a real troll as doesn't have regen but benefits from having 10 hit points and is hard to hit by missile fire - all such being disadvantaged due to its hard shell. Like a troll it hits with 5 dice and is unstoppable following up for a second disadvantaged attack. It is also fearless like a troll so no terror tests but unfortunately its also stupid like a troll with a WP of 2 making it vulnerable to enemy spells such as Compel. This model is one of the many great models by Archvillain.
Tortoise - yep an actual giant tortoise. This comes in two versions, the first carries a Ballista creating an actual self propelled artillery piece and as it moves so slowly is not disadvantaged when firing (steady attribute)whilst the second carries archers and has a better melee profile with unstoppable.The tortoise was an stl by ydstudio for about £3 and I built the platform from pvc board.
Lemures - an easily summonable flight piece with ethereal and terror 1 for survivability. Probably only a summons piece if you need extra objective control but the ethereal 'flythrough' can cause piecemeal damage. Doom 4 can be effective against a lower WP unit and can carry over.onto adjacent same type units. These Lemures are some sort of owl from Ghamak, Lemures took the form of birds so they look spooky enough. The bases are not Ghamak - i think they were from a Zabavka KS.
Strix - a sort of vulture type flyer with terror 2 and the scavenger attribute to give it 4 attacks against wounded units. If you can get it against a low WP wounded unit it can get in 4 attacks against a probably disadvantaged defender. Also a good objective grabber as enemies will need pass a terror 2 attack to have a chance of forcing it off. The Strix below is a print from The printing goes ever on and definitely not listed as a strix but the name escapes me.
Snake Swarm - good general summons, it has poison, confuse 4 and skirmish so a good all rounder, best summoned turn 1 or 2 as not very fast, unlike the other summons available.
Roman Ghouls - raised by the Libitinarii presumably. Despite being pretty regular in stats like a normal infantry guy they do have skirmish and frenzy which helps them do some damage if they roll badly as they can then reroll ALL their dice. Scavenger gives them an extra dice against a wounded enemy as well.
That's it for the Romans, next up will be their early protagonists the Celts!