Roman Legionaries are tough, well trained and highly effective infantry: the backbone of the Roman army after the Marian reforms. Six centuries form a cohort, which is approximately the same size as a modern infantry battalion. Legionaries fight using a combination of hand-hurled, armour-piercing pila (spears) released just before contact and the famed gladius (short sword) which is used as a stabbing weapon. They wear a good-quality helmets, chainmail armour and carry large shields. Legionairies are superb in close combat, but they can be slow over more difficult terrain, as their close-order formations, such as the testudo (or tortoise) require them to keep in step. Historically, the cohorts were raised after general Marius reformed the Roman army and did away with the land-owning hastati-principes-triarii legionaries and recruited men from the landless poor. Every man who retires from the Legion after 25 years service can expect enough land to give him an income in his old age.