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Thread: Roman Unit Roster

  1. #1

    Default Roman Unit Roster

    I have a small question about the Antesignani. In everything I've read there is no mention of "Light Infantry" within the Legions themselves. From everything I've read the "Light" Infantry was provided by Auxiliary units. They were often trained to be better than the Legionnaires themselves in combat for the express purpose of ambushes. scouting, and their lack of heavy armor.
    I was also curious why they were armed with a spear. The Legions never had spears, and only certain Auxiliaries would use spears, since the offensive nature of the Legions of Rome meant that they were better served by swords, as they always moved into meele as quickly as possible. I would think that as a scout/ambush unit the Antesignani would use swords, since they would close a.s.a.p.
    In fact, the only times that I've read of Legionnaires serving as "Light" Infantry was during the late Imperial period. Though the truth is that they did not serve as regular Light Infantry. They would, to react to Germanic and Getic raids, take off most of their heavy armor and only use a "heart" breast-plate (like the one the Polybian Hastati wear in-game). After this they would invade the tribe and take all of the material wealth and slaves they could, to make a show of Roman invincibility.

    My question is, why are Antesignani a "factional unit"? Wouldn't it be more accurate to place them within Regional MICs? Also, why are they in the Marian Period only, if they only really came into their own during the Principate?

  2. #2
    EB II Romani Consul Suffectus Member Zaknafien's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    Plinius nat. 10,16
    Tacitus hist. 2,43
    Caesar bc 1,43 & 44 and 3,75

    The velites were last mentioned in 86 BC. The antesignani were first mentioned by Caesar when describing the events of 49 BC. There are good clues suggesting that the latter were a continuation of the first.

    a. Polybius (VI, 22) says that the velites wore no armour and a simple helmet covered with a wolfskin or something similar.

    Vegetius (ERM 2.16) says that the antesignani wore lighter armour and a bearskin over their helmets.


    b. Three quotes:
    M. Terentii Varronis Saturae Menippeae 22. 552, 25 et 555, 8:
    quem secuntur cum rotundis velites leves parmis, antesignani quadratis multisignibus tecti
    ...because the light velites were cut to pieces(? while equipped) with round parmae, the antesignani (well) protected by multifigured square ones...
    Festus, 238:
    Parmulis pugnare milites soliti sunt. Quarum usum sustulit C. Marius, datis in vicem earum Bruttianis
    'Soldiers used to fight with small bucklers. The use of which C. Marius has abolished, with Bruttians given in their place'
    Festus, 26:
    Bruttianae parmae dicebantur scuta quibus Bruttiani sunt usi.
    'Bruttian bucklers were the shields called that the Bruttians used to use.'


    Taken togeter these quotes show that Marius (and others?) gave the velites better protection and strongly suggest that they evolved into antesignani.

    Keep in mind that all units, unless stated, are essentially works in progress. Note the recent changes on the Cohors Imperatoria and Evocata, to correct some mistakes in the uniform, etc, for accuracy. We may look at these as well, before all is said and done in EB I and certainly on moving on to EBII.
    Last edited by Zaknafien; 07-27-2007 at 14:35.


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    EB II Romani Consul Suffectus Member Zaknafien's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    It should also be noted we're already looking at changing their helmet, and getting rid of the cloak and breeches, which are obvious mistakes.


    "urbani, seruate uxores: moechum caluom adducimus. / aurum in Gallia effutuisti, hic sumpsisti mutuum." --Suetonius, Life of Caesar

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    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    Yes, further, it is worth pointing out that the Roman army was multi-skilled, there has even been a gravestone found which appears to depict a Legionary archer from the Flavian period.

    The Legionaries regularly used spears when confronted with massed cavalry, or used their pila for that purpose. The Antesignani were light screening troops who needed to hold the line until the other Cohorts could form an order of battle, regardless of their other uses this is their primary use in EB.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    I wonder why they're so much smaller than the velites, if you say they may be a continuation of them. They're great units, but sometimes a bit limited by their small number.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    It's 'cause they're sort of elites.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    Okay. Thanks for the explanations, very useful and interesting.
    I do want to know, is there a way to get them to use their swords? Because the description says that they have javelins, a spear, and a sword. That means that using the Alt key makes them switch javelins and spear. If they have the sword I'd like to know how to get them to use it against other infantry.

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    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    although they carried swords we can't get them to use them in game because we are restricted to two weapons. It was decided the spear was more important.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    Well that stinks.
    Though I personally think that as an ambush and scout unit swords would be more useful. Realistically you want to occupy the smallest space so that it is harder to notice you, have the least possible weight so that you can close fast, and a weapon that is variable for defense and offense.
    Spears just seem too clumsy for scouts and ambushers to use (which is what their description implies). I was also wondering, why give them the spear, if they only have 31 soldiers (124 in huge, 62 in large)? a cavalry charge will make them hurt badly (especially if you can organize it alla Return of the King (a huge long line only one or two deep)), so making them an anti-cavalry unit just seems like it detracts usefulness from the units.

    Just my two cents. But, just to know if this is bred form ignorance, how good are they compared to Cohors Reformata? How do they compare to other faction's elite units?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    They consistently hold their lines against virtually every unit, but need assistance if seriously outnumbered. They're excellent as an anti-cavalry unit, but should of course be protected from big charges.

  11. #11
    Megas Alexandros's heir Member Spoofa's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    any unit, elite or not would be destroyed if they were streched out to only two ranks deep....

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    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    Quote Originally Posted by gran_guitarra
    Well that stinks.
    Though I personally think that as an ambush and scout unit swords would be more useful. Realistically you want to occupy the smallest space so that it is harder to notice you, have the least possible weight so that you can close fast, and a weapon that is variable for defense and offense.
    Spears just seem too clumsy for scouts and ambushers to use (which is what their description implies). I was also wondering, why give them the spear, if they only have 31 soldiers (124 in huge, 62 in large)? a cavalry charge will make them hurt badly (especially if you can organize it alla Return of the King (a huge long line only one or two deep)), so making them an anti-cavalry unit just seems like it detracts usefulness from the units.

    Just my two cents. But, just to know if this is bred form ignorance, how good are they compared to Cohors Reformata? How do they compare to other faction's elite units?
    Most people play on large at least, also, although they were a scout and ambush unti in EB, in our pitched battles, they are an elite guard and holding unit.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    Also how in the heck are they "light" if they use the theuros shield, and have a Hoplite muscle Curiass, wouldn't that make them Inflexible?
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    EB II Romani Consul Suffectus Member Zaknafien's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    the tactical meaning of 'light infantry' doesnt mean 'poorly armored'. Even today, in my army unit, the 10th mountain division, we are 'light infantry'. though my tactical armor vest with shoulder pauldrons and side plating is a pretty damn good piece of armor, and quite heavy, i might add :)


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    Amanuensis Member pezhetairoi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    Sooo...what exactly is light infantry, then? Just a screen? My idea of light infantry is quite heavily coloured by images of tunic-clad unarmoured psiloi hurling pointy sticks and running away at high speed, i'm afraid.


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    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    Quote Originally Posted by pezhetairoi
    Sooo...what exactly is light infantry, then? Just a screen? My idea of light infantry is quite heavily coloured by images of tunic-clad unarmoured psiloi hurling pointy sticks and running away at high speed, i'm afraid.
    Those are skirmishers. Light Infantry are really mobile hand-to-hand fighter who aren't quite tough enough to slug it out with lin infantry.

    Hastati might be considered light infantry because they are the first to engage but are not usually expected to break the enemy.
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    Arrogant Ashigaru Moderator Ludens's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Roman Unit Roster

    I personally always thought heavy infantry indicated close-order troops, while light infantry (also) operated in loose order. It's more a question of fighting style than of equipment.
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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    personally, i think antesignani are the bomb! i always have them in every army, on my front lines.
    heres how i deploy them: https://i199.photobucket.com/albums/...deployment.jpg
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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordmaster
    They consistently hold their lines against virtually every unit, but need assistance if seriously outnumbered. They're excellent as an anti-cavalry unit, but should of course be protected from big charges.
    cavalry protection doesnt really matter that much in terms of infantry. cavalry is pretty weak, especially against other cavalry.
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    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    Quote Originally Posted by hooahguy14
    cavalry protection doesnt really matter that much in terms of infantry. cavalry is pretty weak, especially against other cavalry.
    Then you don't know how to use cavalry. When was the last time you sufferred a charge from Greek or Steppe heavies?
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    Βασιλευς και Αυτοκρατωρ Αρχης Member Centurio Nixalsverdrus's Avatar
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    Default AW: Re: Roman Unit Roster

    Quote Originally Posted by hooahguy14
    cavalry protection doesnt really matter that much in terms of infantry. cavalry is pretty weak, especially against other cavalry.
    Even Roman (allied) cavalry is surprisingly strong. You just have to make them charge instead of holding the line.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    Quote Originally Posted by hooahguy14
    cavalry protection doesnt really matter that much in terms of infantry. cavalry is pretty weak, especially against other cavalry.
    ?

    Have you gotten your tiny antesignani unit charged by Companions yet?

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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    Quote Originally Posted by Philipvs Vallindervs Calicvla
    Then you don't know how to use cavalry. When was the last time you sufferred a charge from Greek or Steppe heavies?
    that may be why. havent encountered the greeks yet.
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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordmaster
    ?

    Have you gotten your tiny antesignani unit charged by Companions yet?
    they actually have been charged before by some medium gallic cavalry, and they held up pretty well. and im playing on the "huge" unit scale.
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  25. #25

    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    Gallic mediums ain't companions, mate ;)

  26. #26
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordmaster
    Gallic mediums ain't companions, mate ;)
    only cavalry ive encountered so far, mate.
    ill try them out in custom battle.
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    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    Quote Originally Posted by hooahguy14
    that may be why. havent encountered the greeks yet.
    Then to be honest you're not qualified to comment, if you have not faced the Greek and Eastern Lancers.
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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    Quote Originally Posted by Philipvs Vallindervs Calicvla
    Then to be honest you're not qualified to comment, if you have not faced the Greek and Eastern Lancers.
    i have done custom battles with greek heavy cavalry.... on both sides...
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  29. #29

    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    I think that there might be a balancing issue with the Antesignani armor stats. Antesignani are shown with a bronze curiass and helmet and have 14 for armor. Pedites Extraordinarii and Camillan Triarii both have a bronze curiass, helmet and one greave and have 12 for armor.

    Its looks like the Antesignani's armor should be at least 2 points lower...
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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Unit Roster

    ok- i stand corrected- i tried out a unit of antesignani vs. a unit of companions and the companions won- but i lost 1/2 my companions.
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