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Thread: About Neitos and more professional gallic troops

  1. #1

    Default About Neitos and more professional gallic troops

    Hi everyone. I've been playing EB for years now. I've found that it's the best mod out there, and I can't really play any other of the mods after playing this one, so first of all (and of course, really late, because most of the initial devs of the mod are probably gone by now), I must congratulate the team and say I really think you did a nice job here.

    Now, I've been developing a wargame, something to play with friends because the things we've played before all have their weak points, and we want something that condenses the good points of every game we've played. The only way to find a game with those characteristics is to make one ourselves. So after laying out the main rules, it's time to make the rules for the armies, and I must say I really found inspiration in the EB troops.

    I've always been a fan of gauls, but in every wargame ever, they're just warbands with little to no complexity, with maybe a bit of cavalry or better 'fanatic' troops, maybe even some Gaesatae, usually called 'naked fanatics' or something like that. The thing is, I really know, thanks to this game and to some books I've read, that the gauls had much more to offer than that.

    The thing is, it's really hard to find information about this. For example, Neitos. Thanks to the info in this game I have information about this warriors, who supposedly are some kind of more professional soldiers, who were fighting in the latest times of the gauls as 'free people' (meaning, before they were conquered by the romans). What kind of information do you have on this? And what does 'professional' in this case means?

    For example, Solduros are elite soldiers, are usually nobles or men paid by the nobles, minor nobles, probably enriched merchants or whatever, they're used to fighting, they fight hard because they're veterans and they make their bonds with their comrades in arms and all that. They are also better equipped, but that does not make them professional. They're just elite warriors. They do not train together, they do not drill together, they don't even know how to maneuver as a unit, they're just pumped up warriors, GREAT warriors, excellent fighters, but not professionals.

    So, when you say that Neitos are professionals, what do you mean exactly? Were they a force created by the gallic leaders? Did they recieve special training? Drilling and all that? Were they truly professionals in the sense of the Marian Legions? Or were they just warriors with better equipment, excellent in combat but not very well versed in battle tactics or drilling?

    I'm asking this because in my game there are differences between training and just being good at fighting or having good equipment. One thing is fierceness and the other is discipline.

    Also, how common were this Neitos? Or are they just speculation? Like 'what if' the gauls had more time before Caesar invaded, 'what if' Vercingétorix had won?

    Any information would be really appreciated
    Also, sorry for any 'not totally accurate' expressions. English is not my first language.

    Anyway, thanks for reading this and I hope you can help me!

  2. #2

    Default Re: About Neitos and more professional gallic troops

    Unfortunatly, there's not a lot of information on Gallic warfare, other than the Roman accounts, which are dubious at best. Therefor, the identity of their units are often more conjecture than fact. Neitos simply represent the more widespread professional Gallic soldiers that appear later in the Hellenistic era, rather than being a specific historical soldier. Solduros are mentioned in the Commentarii de Bello Gallico as devoted, elite warriors with an unwavering devotion to each other and their cause.
    The myth of the naked, hairy barbarian has no base in either history or archaeology. I personally find the Gauls fascinating because of how poorly they are represented in modern culture and how little even we historians know about them.
    Another very interesting thing to remember is that the idea of nations and nationalism is a very recent one (late 18th century). The Gallic wars were not Rome vs. Gaul. They were Proconsul Caesar's campaign against certain aggressors tormenting the Gallic peoples, such as Ariovistus' Germans or the Helvetii. Or at least that's he wanted people to see. His lust for the Gallic gold industry to get him out of some impressive debts he'd accumulated, as well as the discrepancies in his excuses (eg. The Helvetii were invited to the lands they wished to settle, and were an orderly migration of peoples, not rampaging barbarian warriors.) Many Gauls fought alongside or directly under Caesar.
    By professional, it's implied these people fight as their job, rather than feudal duty or necessity. The marian legions weren't as professional as many believe, they still supplied their own equipment and were owned more by their Generals than the state, so yes, Neitos are as professional as contemporary legionaries. As for equipment, again the Romans are overestimated, the Gauls underestimated. Most roman soldiers were probably not the heavily armored and well trained legions of popular culture, these were most likely veteran shock troops as opposed to common soldiers.
    As for this wargame, I'd argue better training and being better at fighting are the same thing, which is why members of the higher social classes make better soldiers, as they have more time to practise fighting rather than making a living. Same regarding equipment, the difference in quality has far more to do with economy and class than culture.
    Discipline is more to do with cohesion within a unit of men than morale. That is why it is so important because again, unlike hollywood's impressions, melee combat consists of units of men working as a unit to fight their opponents, as opposed to a mass of individual fights.
    One thing I would love to see in a wargame is a difference between ferocity, or the willingness to fight, and courage, the ability to hold firm. This would highlight the difference between youths with little experience but the desire for glory and cautious veterans, less eager to engage the enemy, but much harder to break. This would be much better than just a high/low morale system which only accounts for the difference between skittish light troops and stalwart heroes of the line.
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  3. #3
    Uergobretos Senior Member Brennus's Avatar
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    Default Re: About Neitos and more professional gallic troops

    To add to Bodeni's wise comments (by the way I would love to see some pics of your Gallic re-enactment):

    The Neitos represent the sort of troops who are attested to in the archaeological record in La Tene C and D. By this point in time, wealthier elements of Gallic society were equipping themselves as heavy infantry and heavy cavalry. This process began in the 3rd century BC, likely as a result of increased contact with heavily armed Mediterranean forces and improvements in iron technology, and reached its climax in the 1st century BC, at which point we find elite graves in certain regions of Gaul and Bohemia (those of the Treveri and trans-Rhine region are of particular note) and isolated examples from Britain with full sets of chain mail, long slashing swords, armour piercing spears, a variety of iron helmets (see Port and Agen type) and, in some cases, large horses imported from Scythia.

    They were professional in the sense that warfare was their primary duty. Based on archaeology and contemporary historical accounts of Poseidonius, it seems that late Gallic society operated much like Medieval Feudal society. These individuals would have possessed agricultural holdings which would have been worked by clients, thereby allowing them the time to practice as warriors. We know from De Bello Gallico that certain individuals (for example Ambiorix, Commios and Dumnorix) maintained groups of retainers. Presumably these retainers would have their equipment and lifestyle payed for by their patron. They would not have had the same skills as the average Roman legionary (engineering was not a common feature of Celtic warfare) but they would probably have been trained to an equivalent degree and been proficient in both infantry and cavalry tactics. We know that some Celtic tribes, such as the Helvetti and Galatians, were sufficiently disciplined and uniformly equipped to serve in phalanx formation of even, in the case of Deiotorous troops, as rank and file Roman legionaries.

    Although such troops did exist historically, they would never have been widespread due to the nature of their equipment and lifestyle. By La Tene D Gallic armies were largely made up of these kinds of troops, however in situations of great social upheaval such as the Gallic War, when leaders increased the size of their armies by recruiting from the general population, these troops would have been outnumbered by more lightly armoured, part-time warriors.

    Also, I am unsure why the earlier Celtic historians decided to call them Neitos. Neito is a Celtiberian deity, not a Gallic one.... although linguistics are not my speciality.



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  4. #4

    Default Re: About Neitos and more professional gallic troops

    Thanks to both of you for your answers, very informative.

    I just wanted to clarify, I do not think that gauls were so 'inferior' to legionaries, not at all. In fact, the celts are one of my favorite civilzation of the ancient period, I just really love their culture. The distinction I made was mostly the drilling of the troops. Learning to move as a unit. For example, a unit wants to let another unit pass through them, so they would form in columns, leaving space for the others to come through. Another example would be turning to face foes in the flanks, or changing direction by wheeling, changing the pace, faking retreats, and all those things that professional soldiers can do, because they're trained to. They know how to act as a unit.

    Of course, gauls also acted as units in some ways, combat for example. But troops without drilling can not make such complex maneuvers, and although they may fight together in shieldwalls or supporting each other in a battle line, that's very different from the tactics one can develop with drilled troops.
    Also, although maybe veteran warriors and excellent fighters, I seriously doubt that untrained troops could hold the line as trained troops did. Simply because when all seems lost, trained troops are probably going to hold the line for longer, because they know things untrained troops don't.

    Yes, maybe some of them participated in the legions and phalanx formations, but did the gauls actually had drilled troops? Troops that could perform complex maneuvers and were actually trained together as a unit to fight? I know they fought in units, and Solduros for example were extremely brave, and held their line no matter what, but that's not the same as being drilled or trained.
    Of course most people overestimate the romans, but the truth is they had a battle drill and they knew how to march, how to function properly as a unit on the battlefield, and how to accomplish complex tasks. I know that one on one, any gaul could beat any roman, and maybe a devastating first charge would break the roman lines and give the gauls a victory. But if that didn't work, they were really in some trouble.

    So maybe at some point the gauls (and yes, I know they were not actually a nation, of course) realized it was more effective to actually train troops to increase their effectivness, and not just trying to beat the enemy with sheer shock tactics. Maybe they didn't, and the professionalism of the Neitos means they had excellent equipment and were extremely good fighters.

    In my game, there are different stats and different phases. In the Impact phase for example (almost just like Field of Glory), Gauls do have the advantage, being extremely heavy shock troops. But after that, in the melee phase, if the legionaries do not lose their cohesion as units, they have the advantage, because of the close order and discipline (and the fact that gauls historically discouraged quickly if the enemy did not break quickly). And when things start to go badly for any of the units, what matters is morale. Of course, Solduros have incredibly high morale, so they won't run. But non professional or non noble troops have much less morale than actual trained and professional soldiers like Legionaries or (if they're finally included in the game) Neitos.
    Also, in the movement phase, drilled units can move much better and perform more actions than undrilled troops, simply because they're trained to move as a whole, and they're not just a lot of good warriors walking or running together.

    To add a few more questions, how high would the percentage of chainmail equipped troops be in a gallic army? I read somewhere, sometime ago, that probably less than 30% counting both infantry and cavalry, but maybe some rich chieftain could even get 40% of their troops equipped in that way. Also, as you say Brennus, the Neitos would be outnumbered by less professional troops and part-time soldiers, but by how much?

    Another, not so related question, but still talking about gauls. From what I've read, Solduros and Gaesatae aren't contemporary. Gaesatae appeared probably earlier and dissapeared before the solduros even existed. But the thing is, the only mention of solduros is by Julius Caesar, so, maybe they had existed for a long time before he mentioned them in his De Bello Gallico.

    Any other contributions to the composition of celtic armies (both early and late) would be enormously appreciated. I really enjoy reading about this, but I really can't find so much books on this.

    Thanks for your time guys, I enjoyed reading you!

  5. #5
    Speaker of Truth Senior Member Moros's Avatar
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    Default Re: About Neitos and more professional gallic troops

    Quote Originally Posted by Uberhaare View Post
    Hi everyone. I've been playing EB for years now. I've found that it's the best mod out there, and I can't really play any other of the mods after playing this one, so first of all (and of course, really late, because most of the initial devs of the mod are probably gone by now), I must congratulate the team and say I really think you did a nice job here.!
    Thanks for the kind words, those few of us left still appreciate.

    Also if I may ask what kind of wargame are you making? I'm interested to see what you've been doing and will come up with.

  6. #6

    Default Re: About Neitos and more professional gallic troops

    Quote Originally Posted by Moros View Post
    Thanks for the kind words, those few of us left still appreciate.

    Also if I may ask what kind of wargame are you making? I'm interested to see what you've been doing and will come up with.
    It's actually a tabletop wargame, like Field of Glory or Impetus, I don't know if you've ever heard of them. There is a point system which lets you build a custom army of antiquity with different limitations, like minimum number of certain troops or units. After that you deploy your armies on a table, on opposite sides of your opponent (or opponents), and battle against him with certain rules. To give yo an idea, Field of Glory hast an almost 200 page manual.

    The thing is, none of the existant historical wargames fits my needs or my friends' needs, so we need to create a new one, and my goal is to make it the most historically accurate of all, and also make it fun even for factions we have less information about, like gauls or germans.

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  7. #7

    Default Re: About Neitos and more professional gallic troops

    I have a large selection of Keltoi miniatures I've kitbashed/sculpted myself, because no one produces even vaguely accurate Gallic minis. More into the painting myself, but your idea is one I shall follow with great interest :)
    And Brennus, I don't have any photos of the actual fighting right now, just of my equipment and stuff.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: About Neitos and more professional gallic troops

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodeni View Post
    I have a large selection of Keltoi miniatures I've kitbashed/sculpted myself, because no one produces even vaguely accurate Gallic minis. More into the painting myself, but your idea is one I shall follow with great interest :)
    And Brennus, I don't have any photos of the actual fighting right now, just of my equipment and stuff.
    I personally like Wargames Foundry minis, but they're probably not really accurate for the late period of the La Tene culture. Also they don't have a lot of variety, so... Impressive, if you have some pics of your own minis feel free to post them here, I'd love to see them!

    I don't know if I should make another thread for this question, but anyway, what about skirmishes in the ancient world? Really small skirmishes, with maybe 50 or 60 warriors per side. Maybe a raid, maybe a night attack, maybe the guards of a particular noble fighting against the warriors of a particular town... was that something usual? Because we always see big battles, or even huge battles in this game, but never the little skirmishes.

    The thing is, if some skirmish like that happened, do you think there would be some variety in the troop types or the way they would act? I mean, yeah, probably skirmishers (like javelinmen and slingers, or even archers) and some light cavalry, but could there be some heavier troops? Maybe even an equal amount of Hastati & Princeps, and some cavalry or something like that?

    Because in this wargame we want to be able to represent different scales of the conflict, and maybe in a campaign, a night raid into a town cannot be represented with big units of men fighting against each other, but instead it could be represented by a handfull of warriors, maybe 20, or 30, defending against the 20 or 30 attackers. How viable do you think the variety of troops is in the ancient world skirmishes?

  9. #9

    Default Re: About Neitos and more professional gallic troops

    Small skirmishes would mostly be light troops or foragers from the same cohort/tribe/settlement etc. So I think little variety in equipment. My miniatures are scaled down to about 30 men per infantry unit and 9 for cavalry.unit.

    It is still in various stages of painting but here it is as it stands:


    Full size: https://img809.imageshack.us/img809/2628/wqhe.jpg

    I've mixed various Greek, Roman and Keltic bits from at least 6 publishers and even then had to sculpt things like their clothes, that are always Anglo Saxon shapes, and helmets, that are always Roman or Greek.
    Of course the original inspiration for this mess was Europa Barbarorum I.
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  10. #10
    Uergobretos Senior Member Brennus's Avatar
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    Default Re: About Neitos and more professional gallic troops

    Quote Originally Posted by Uberhaare View Post
    Yes, maybe some of them participated in the legions and phalanx formations, but did the gauls actually had drilled troops? Troops that could perform complex maneuvers and were actually trained together as a unit to fight? I know they fought in units, and Solduros for example were extremely brave, and held their line no matter what, but that's not the same as being drilled or trained.

    To add a few more questions, how high would the percentage of chainmail equipped troops be in a gallic army? I read somewhere, sometime ago, that probably less than 30% counting both infantry and cavalry, but maybe some rich chieftain could even get 40% of their troops equipped in that way. Also, as you say Brennus, the Neitos would be outnumbered by less professional troops and part-time soldiers, but by how much?

    Another, not so related question, but still talking about gauls. From what I've read, Solduros and Gaesatae aren't contemporary. Gaesatae appeared probably earlier and dissapeared before the solduros even existed. But the thing is, the only mention of solduros is by Julius Caesar, so, maybe they had existed for a long time before he mentioned them in his De Bello Gallico.

    Any other contributions to the composition of celtic armies (both early and late) would be enormously appreciated. I really enjoy reading about this, but I really can't find so much books on this.

    Thanks for your time guys, I enjoyed reading you!
    We know from a description giving by Polybius (I think...) that Gallic cavalry were trained to act as part of a three man team, operating in tight formation, feigning retreat and entering the fray to come to the assistance of their fellow team members. Likewise Caesar describes how well trained the Britons were in the art of chariot driving. We also know that Gallic and Belgic troops of the 1st century BC were capable of forming a testudo to assist in siege operations whilst the Bituriges were effective sappers, as shown by the siege of Avaricum. The example of Deiotaurus warriors serving alongside Caesar's legions is further proof that some Celtic states did drill and train their troops to a high degree.

    As to what percentage troops like the Neitos would have formed, this is difficult to say. The archaeological record can only give us so much data with which to reconstruct past societies. During times of normal conflict, professional troops would have made up the vast majority of the armies, however in times of extraordinary conflict, such as the Gallic wars or the invasion of the Cimbri and Teutons, professional troops would have been the minority; by what ration is, however, almost impossible to say. As to the frequency of chainmail it varies from region to region. It also depends on what time of funerary practice was being employed in the area at the time, however I would say that by the 1st century BC it would have been quite common among noble warriors, especially those in the central Gallic states such as the Aedui and Arverni.

    Both Soldurii and Gaesatae appear to have been warriors bound by particular sacred rites, a feature which you find in contemporary societies and later ones, rather than a grade of warrior like cavalry or archers. It should also be remembered that the Soldurii were Aquitanians whilst the Gaesatae were Gauls.

    I will have a think and try to come up with a reading list or links to articles which can provide information on Celtic warfare.



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  11. #11

    Default Re: About Neitos and more professional gallic troops

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodeni View Post
    Small skirmishes would mostly be light troops or foragers from the same cohort/tribe/settlement etc. So I think little variety in equipment. My miniatures are scaled down to about 30 men per infantry unit and 9 for cavalry.unit.

    It is still in various stages of painting but here it is as it stands:


    Full size: https://img809.imageshack.us/img809/2628/wqhe.jpg

    I've mixed various Greek, Roman and Keltic bits from at least 6 publishers and even then had to sculpt things like their clothes, that are always Anglo Saxon shapes, and helmets, that are always Roman or Greek.
    Of course the original inspiration for this mess was Europa Barbarorum I.
    They look really awesome! Wargames Foundry has nice minis, but you're right, they're not even close to being historically accurate, even less for the late La Tene period.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brennus View Post
    We know from a description giving by Polybius (I think...) that Gallic cavalry were trained to act as part of a three man team, operating in tight formation, feigning retreat and entering the fray to come to the assistance of their fellow team members. Likewise Caesar describes how well trained the Britons were in the art of chariot driving. We also know that Gallic and Belgic troops of the 1st century BC were capable of forming a testudo to assist in siege operations whilst the Bituriges were effective sappers, as shown by the siege of Avaricum. The example of Deiotaurus warriors serving alongside Caesar's legions is further proof that some Celtic states did drill and train their troops to a high degree.

    As to what percentage troops like the Neitos would have formed, this is difficult to say. The archaeological record can only give us so much data with which to reconstruct past societies. During times of normal conflict, professional troops would have made up the vast majority of the armies, however in times of extraordinary conflict, such as the Gallic wars or the invasion of the Cimbri and Teutons, professional troops would have been the minority; by what ration is, however, almost impossible to say. As to the frequency of chainmail it varies from region to region. It also depends on what time of funerary practice was being employed in the area at the time, however I would say that by the 1st century BC it would have been quite common among noble warriors, especially those in the central Gallic states such as the Aedui and Arverni.

    Both Soldurii and Gaesatae appear to have been warriors bound by particular sacred rites, a feature which you find in contemporary societies and later ones, rather than a grade of warrior like cavalry or archers. It should also be remembered that the Soldurii were Aquitanians whilst the Gaesatae were Gauls.

    I will have a think and try to come up with a reading list or links to articles which can provide information on Celtic warfare.
    This is what I wanted to read! I'd love to see more information on that, the links and the articles would be extremely useful.

    Always a pleasure to read you guys!

  12. #12

    Default Re: About Neitos and more professional gallic troops

    Thanks. :)
    And the best written Sources are The gallic Wars and Polybius' The histories. Archaeological finds are harder to research as so little is published in mainstream media, aside from a few famous examples of course, which is a real shame.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: About Neitos and more professional gallic troops

    I thought Neitos were basically veteran Bataroas (Northern Gallic Swordsmen) with chainmail armour. Sometimes captured chainmail (the Gallic warriors fighting under Hannibal captured a LOT of Roman kit!) Sometimes not if the tribe was very rich.

    I treat Neitos like a Gallic equivalent of Triarii - i.e. no more numerous than Triarii would be in a Polybian Roman army. The Polybian Triarii had only half the manpower of the Principes or the Hastati, so there's only one Triarii soldier for every four Principes and Hastati soldiers. That works out as no more than two or three Neitos in a full stack.

    As for Solduros, well I treat them as a Gallic equivalent to a praetorian cohort in a Roman army, i.e. general's guards. They stand at the back of the army, and get thrown in at the critical moment if things go pear-shaped. Only one of these in a full stack.

  14. #14
    Uergobretos Senior Member Brennus's Avatar
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    Default Re: About Neitos and more professional gallic troops

    The Batroas and Neitos are supposed to represent different forms of Gallic warriors which emerged at different periods. The Batroas represent the sort of feudal/semi-feudal warriors who existed from the 5th/4th century BC onward, whilst the Neitos represent the retainer, professional warriors who emerge in Gaul around the 2nd century BC. Chainmail itself actually appears to have been a Gallic invention which was subsequently adopted by the Romans and others.



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  15. #15

    Default Re: About Neitos and more professional gallic troops

    They stand at the back of the army, and get thrown in at the critical moment if things go pear-shaped
    While I agree with your army composition, history disagrees:

    The Gauls(like the Greeks* and most but not all Warrior cultures**) consider it the greatest honor to fight in the front ranks, thus These are reserved to the most capable Warriors. Thus Soldurus would be in the heat of the battle aka in the first line of Engagement.

    I think it's safe to say the Roman "meatshield" strategy isn't quite as common in the ancient world as one might think.

    PS: Anyhow, in a Total war perspective your strategy probably is superior ;)

    PPS: So how do Neitos fit in the Armour System of EB2?

    *Tho sometimes the young warriors are considered the "finest" warriors, as seen in Spartan Armies.
    **Germanics had sort of a compostite form, similar to the Gaulish line. Just that the Skirmishing youths were actually supposed to engage the enemy to some extent to earn their manhood.
    Last edited by Ca Putt; 09-20-2013 at 13:54.
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  16. #16

    Default Re: About Neitos and more professional gallic troops

    Quote Originally Posted by Ca Putt View Post
    While I agree with your army composition, history disagrees:
    The Gauls(like the Greeks* and most but not all Warrior cultures**) consider it the greatest honor to fight in the front ranks, thus These are reserved to the most capable Warriors. Thus Soldurus would be in the heat of the battle aka in the first line of Engagement.
    I don't think so - Solduros were not Gaesatae naked fanatics. They were highly-trained, disciplined, elite bodyguards of kings and major chieftains. Whether they threw themselves into the first charge or not depends on whether the king/chieftain they were protecting was doing so personally.

    And that probably differed between individuals. Note that the two best known Celtic leaders, Vercingetorix and Caratacus, were not killed in battle, and didn't even choose to die in heroic, futile 'banzai' charges when they were clearly beaten, which suggests that Celtic leaders did not usually act like beserkers in battle, throwing themselves into the first charge. I think they were smarter than that and took care to preserve their lives, knowing the morale of their army would break if they were killed.

  17. #17
    Uergobretos Senior Member Brennus's Avatar
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    Default Re: About Neitos and more professional gallic troops

    Personally I would not say that Caratacus was Celtic, in fact he probably thought of himself more as a Roman.



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  18. #18

    Default Re: About Neitos and more professional gallic troops

    Quote Originally Posted by Brennus View Post
    Personally I would not say that Caratacus was Celtic, in fact he probably thought of himself more as a Roman.
    You're joking! Caractacus might have admired and hoped for friendship with Rome before his realm was invaded, but afterwards... surely not.

  19. #19

    Default Re: About Neitos and more professional gallic troops

    Does Caratacus count as Keltoi anyway? :P
    But yeh, I agree with Brennus. He would rather be called a Roman if I remember correctly.
    Also, I wouldn't call Solduros bodyguards. They're called "Devoted ones" for their oaths to each other, beyond that we don't know much about what roles they would have performed. That's the most unfortunate, yet enticing part of the Keltoi, how very little information we have about them, and most of that from their enemies.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: About Neitos and more professional gallic troops

    Not charging in blindly, just taking the battle in ones own Hands. Afterall the idea was to defeat/rout the enemy with the fisrt Charge, thus this Charge has to be as strong as possible thus the best warriors have to be in the front line. And the best warrior are often those of the chief/king.

    I agree tho that this probably wasn't always the Agenda, when you know the enemy is not going to rout pretty much on contact you're not going to stand in the first row with your retainers. Unless one is stupid offcource, in which case one probably isn't renown as a great General anyway. But apart from that: Elite Infantry was placed in the heat of battle, unless you're Roman or Carthaginian. Even the Hellens(and Successors) put their best troops where the battle is thickest/most dangerous. be it the Sacred band that thrashes through the enemy line, the spartiates which take the enemy head on or the Hypaspists that protect the vunerable right flank.
    "Who fights can lose, who doesn't fight has already lost."
    - Pyrrhus of Epirus

    "Durch diese hohle Gasse muss er kommen..."
    - Leonidas of Sparta

    "People called Romanes they go the House"
    - Alaric the Visigoth

  21. #21

    Default Re: About Neitos and more professional gallic troops

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodeni View Post
    Does Caratacus count as Keltoi anyway? :P
    Also, I wouldn't call Solduros bodyguards. They're called "Devoted ones" for their oaths to each other, beyond that we don't know much about what roles they would have performed. That's the most unfortunate, yet enticing part of the Keltoi, how very little information we have about them, and most of that from their enemies.
    I got my information from this EB site:

    http://europabarbarorum.heimstatt.ne...y&category=any

    The Solduros (Sul-dur-ohs; "Devoted Ones") are remarkably skilled, fearless elite guards of Celtic nobles. They pledge themselves to eachother and their charge, and fight to the very end. Small in number, they are a remarkable elite, best used to combat an enemy's opposing elite soldiers or heavy troops. They are very well armored and armed, and can surely break many enemies, but they are rare, very expensive, and while their armor and shields are of good quality, they have no form of retaliation at range, and would be too slow to chase off skirmishers or missile troops, and so would need ranged or cavalry support to be used to best effect.

    Historically, Celtic nobles surrounded themselves with elite bodyguards of kings, magistrates, and other important nobles and officials, such as high ranking druids. Among them were the "Soldurii", the greatest warriors of the Aquitanni. Each man pledged his life to a fellow of this brotherhood, and the man pledged to would return this pledge; if the one of these two died, and the other did not, the remaining man would take his own life after the battle, for having failed defend him. Julius Caesar noted that no man ever backed down from this duty, and did so fearlessly. Their skill was tremendous; they fought against great odds and could defeat many times their own number. So great and legendary was their name even to their enemies that it can be found having influenced words such as 'soldier' and 'solidarity'.

  22. #22
    Uergobretos Senior Member Brennus's Avatar
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    Default Re: About Neitos and more professional gallic troops

    There is numismatic evidence in the form of identical images appearing on contemporary Numidian, British, Armenian and Cappadocian coins to suggest that the heirs to these states were educated as hostages in Rome before ascending to their respective thrones. Creighton (2000) "Coins and Power in late Iron Age Britain" has suggested that individuals such as Caratacus would have spoken Latin as a first language and likely been able to make use of Roman military units to support their units.



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