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Thread: hastati vs principes

  1. #1

    Default hastati vs principes

    Some background:
    I'm early on in my Romani campaign and have conquered the Italian peninsula but my economy is not a powerhouse yet. So, whatever I buy consider the bang for the buck. This is still the Camillan era.

    So, I was comparing the hastati and principes.
    Statswise and historically, principes are the more experienced troops,
    and their superiority is noticeable on the battlefield. They also have better
    equipment because of their standing/wealth in society.

    On the other hand, they only cost 40 mnai more than hastati to recruit, and the upkeep is comparable. I try to have proportions of hastati/principes/triarii/other based on my imagination on how it might have been in Roman times. But based on recruiting costs alone, the motivation is to pick the pricipes over hastati (bang for the buck).

    I know it varies, but what were approximate the ratio ranges in those times anyway? I'd imagine something like

    1.2-1.5 hastati : 1 pricipe : 0.6-1 triarii


    Was there a particular reason why principes are not significantly more costly than hastati? I'm just curious.

  2. #2
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: hastati vs principes

    What the unit-cost formulas add up to, pretty much. Recall that if you're talking about the Camillians, the equipement difference amounts pretty much to the pectoral plate (basic shortsword costing the exact same as a spear).
    Last edited by Watchman; 04-16-2008 at 20:21.
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    Wielder of a pointy-thing Member Olimpian's Avatar
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    Default Re: hastati vs principes

    Well most people around here use hastati fot role-playing reasons.But if you're looking for bang-for-the-buck and less historical accuracy...principes all the way.I think their biggest advantage over hastati is that the latter is vulnerable to missile fire far more and, since they are used in the first line, will count for most of your casualties in battle,while principes are better armoured and perform better in the front line.

    EDIT:And Camilian principes are better against cavalry because they have a spear
    Last edited by Olimpian; 04-16-2008 at 20:27.

  4. #4
    Voluntary Suspension Voluntary Suspension Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: hastati vs principes

    Quote Originally Posted by spqr_arcani
    Some background:
    I'm early on in my Romani campaign and have conquered the Italian peninsula but my economy is not a powerhouse yet. So, whatever I buy consider the bang for the buck. This is still the Camillan era.

    So, I was comparing the hastati and principes.
    Statswise and historically, principes are the more experienced troops,
    and their superiority is noticeable on the battlefield. They also have better
    equipment because of their standing/wealth in society.

    On the other hand, they only cost 40 mnai more than hastati to recruit, and the upkeep is comparable. I try to have proportions of hastati/principes/triarii/other based on my imagination on how it might have been in Roman times. But based on recruiting costs alone, the motivation is to pick the pricipes over hastati (bang for the buck).

    I know it varies, but what were approximate the ratio ranges in those times anyway? I'd imagine something like

    1.2-1.5 hastati : 1 pricipe : 0.6-1 triarii


    Was there a particular reason why principes are not significantly more costly than hastati? I'm just curious.
    The ratio in the Camillian era is 1:1:1, in the Polybian it's 2:2:1.
    "If it wears trousers generally I don't pay attention."

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  5. #5

    Default Re: hastati vs principes

    I use the principes pretty much exclusively. Typically I'll put 2 Triarii in an army and the rest of the line infantry is all principes. A full stack army will look something like this:

    1 General
    10 Principes
    2 Triarii
    4 Accensi or archers of some sort
    3 Cavalry (usually heavy)

    I do however use 5 or 6 Hastati for auto resolve battles with rebels/slaves.

    An interesting note is that Polybian Hastati are nearly as good as Camillan Principes. They have a lower attack strength but have better moral and skill.

  6. #6

    Default Re: hastati vs principes

    Cool, I learned so much within an hour!

    I'm the type that likes to roleplay somewhat, but not hardcore at it.
    So I'll still get hastatis despite the bang-for-the-buck consideration.
    I'll also try going for the triumph thingy but it's not a must.

    I haven't played the EB 1.1 long enough, so it could be that in Polybian
    the prices might be modified a little. If I recall correctly, the 1.0 campaign that I abandoned had hastatis and principes with more noticeable recruiting difference.

    I was also surprised to learn from playing EB that principes had spears as well. For the longest time (with RTW vanilla and other mods), principes were simply a more veteran version of hastatis.

    PS. And by the way, I have no idea why a smiley face appears at the beginning of the title every time I post. I actually don't smile that much. :)

  7. #7
    master of the wierd people Member Ibrahim's Avatar
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    Default Re: hastati vs principes

    speaking of spears, isn't the latin for a spear=hasta? kind of sounds Ironic: the Hastati have swords, but the hastas are with the principes; you'd figure the opposite, but no...
    Last edited by Ibrahim; 04-16-2008 at 21:15.
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    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: hastati vs principes

    AFAIK it comes from the Hastati once, before the general adoption of the pilum and in all probability also before the rest of the heavy infantry started to carry throwing-spears too, having carried a javelin called - unimaginatively enough - hasta lancea; hence the name.

    Or that's what I read somewhere long ago.
    Last edited by Watchman; 04-16-2008 at 21:26.
    "Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. --- Proof of the existence of the FSM, if needed, can be found in the recent uptick of global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Apparently His Pastaness is to be worshipped in full pirate regalia. The decline in worldwide pirate population over the past 200 years directly corresponds with the increase in global temperature. Here is a graph to illustrate the point."

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  9. #9
    master of the wierd people Member Ibrahim's Avatar
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    Wink Re: hastati vs principes

    I read it too, but it still makes no sense...the contradictions in this life really amusing..
    Last edited by Ibrahim; 04-16-2008 at 21:31.
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    Voluntary Suspension Voluntary Suspension Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: hastati vs principes

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchman
    AFAIK it comes from the Hastati once, before the general adoption of the pilum and in all probability also before the rest of the heavy infantry started to carry throwing-spears too, having carried a javelin called - unimaginatively enough - hasta lancea; hence the name.

    Or that's what I read somewhere long ago.
    It's just as likely to come from the Servian Army where the 2nd and 3rd classes were defined by their role as spearmen, rather than skirmishers and slingers.
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  11. #11
    master of the wierd people Member Ibrahim's Avatar
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    Default Re: hastati vs principes

    speaking of lancea, didn't the word lance come from it? hmmm I wonder
    I was once alive, but then a girl came and took out my ticker.

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  12. #12
    Like the Parthian Boot Member Elmetiacos's Avatar
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    Default Re: hastati vs principes

    Celticists claim that the Latin lancea comes from a Gaulish word... but they would say that...
    'you owe it to that famous chick general whose name starts with a B'
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  13. #13
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: hastati vs principes

    Not like the two languages weren't closely related and shared a lot of very similar-sounding words anyway...
    "Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. --- Proof of the existence of the FSM, if needed, can be found in the recent uptick of global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Apparently His Pastaness is to be worshipped in full pirate regalia. The decline in worldwide pirate population over the past 200 years directly corresponds with the increase in global temperature. Here is a graph to illustrate the point."

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  14. #14
    Not your friend Member General Appo's Avatar
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    Default Re: hastati vs principes

    I find that playing it historically works quite well, using the Hastati in the first line is almost always enough to break the enemy when the cavalry flanks them and the Principes reinforces the line. Often I´ll only take casualties to the Hastatii, which are easily replenished.
    The Appomination

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  15. #15
    master of the wierd people Member Ibrahim's Avatar
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    Default Re: hastati vs principes

    also they can take on and hold a line of battle on their own (as I had happen at Bononia lately-vs.Gaesatae too (15 dead and wounded out of 81, gaesatae ~12 out of 49, later all but 9 from rorarii) they broke because the rorarii arrived behind them and fired away. the problem is that they die miserably under missile fire, and many of the surrounding hand to hand troops are superior (Gaesatae, bataroas, and Curoas, and Hastati samnitici). they are better than the pezoi bruttioi and equally as good as leukanoi and liguriae (at least that's how I found them to be) I don't know, I usually fire away and charge at the unit to my right rather than head on...what you do, i don't know
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    EBII Hod Carrier Member QuintusSertorius's Avatar
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    Default Re: hastati vs principes

    By the way, the singular is hastatus, hastati is already plural.

    Also if you're just going for effectiveness, you're better off with an all-principes army. But that's just boring. You get that with the Marian reforms anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by General Appo
    I find that playing it historically works quite well, using the Hastati in the first line is almost always enough to break the enemy when the cavalry flanks them and the Principes reinforces the line. Often I┤ll only take casualties to the Hastatii, which are easily replenished.
    Indeed, they get chewed up badly, but usually hold the line. The Polybian version, with better armour, tend to survive better.
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  17. #17
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: hastati vs principes

    Quote Originally Posted by QuintusSertorius
    Also if you're just going for effectiveness, you're better off with an all-principes army. But that's just boring. You get that with the Marian reforms anyway.
    Then again, that also well illustrates why the standard "Marian" kit was pretty much exactly the old principes one... no ?
    "Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. --- Proof of the existence of the FSM, if needed, can be found in the recent uptick of global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Apparently His Pastaness is to be worshipped in full pirate regalia. The decline in worldwide pirate population over the past 200 years directly corresponds with the increase in global temperature. Here is a graph to illustrate the point."

    -Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

  18. #18

    Default Re: hastati vs principes

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchman
    Then again, that also well illustrates why the standard "Marian" kit was pretty much exactly the old principes one... no ?
    Well almost, the old Principes kit included the hasta where the Marian kit is gladius based. But yes, standardization was a key element of Roman success. It simplified logistics and troop replacements.

  19. #19
    Whatever Member konny's Avatar
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    Default Re: hastati vs principes

    I trust very much in the Camillan Hastati when it comes to fight enemy spearmen . May be, it is just my impression, but they seem to kill spearmen very fast when those do not come along with Hoplites or long pike units.

    Disclaimer: my posts are to be considered my private opinion and not offical statements by the EB Team

  20. #20
    master of the wierd people Member Ibrahim's Avatar
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    Default Re: hastati vs principes

    @konny: I've noted that too; one unit got away with killing 100 enemy lugoae for just 15 hastati. but that is applicable to all sword bearing units due to higher lethality (.125 for spear, .13-.33 for sword, depending on type)
    now hoplites have high A, which negates low lethality; the sarissa's lethality is ~.16 if i recall, higher than the gladius (.13)
    Last edited by Ibrahim; 04-17-2008 at 01:13.
    I was once alive, but then a girl came and took out my ticker.

    my 4 year old modding project--nearing completion: http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=219506 (if you wanna help, join me).

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