Sunday, May 27, 2007


The Elite range has only one Triari pose - and it's a bit limited. Basically a guy kneeling down. Then I noted that the hastati and principes figures were equipped very similarly, the only point of differentiation being that they were armed with a pilum rather than a hasta (or "spear"). I am going to try arming some hastati with the hasta to make up the second and subsequent ranks of my triarii.
As I hope you can see in the accompanying picture, they make a convincing shieldwall together.
Looking at the picture, I wonder how the guy wielding his weapon overhead might look.
I've another two dozen on order from Elite Australia at the moment, so I ought to be in a position to perform some experiments soon.

Ranking Up

It's a fairly fiddly business with the Elites. You sort of need to offset them from each other a bit. The miniatures' poses are a bit too deep to get them to rank up easily.

Elite Miniatures republican Romans

I've gotten around to painting up some of Elite Moiniatures Rebublican Romans.

This is the beginning of my first unit of hastati or principes.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Names, names, names...

Now see here you fellows, I'm looking for a name for my General.

Gn. Biggus Dickus comes to mind, but that's dreadfully immature....

Any suggestions?

You don't have to be serious, you know.

Oh, also, I need a name for the leader of my Gallic noble cavalry. Something ending in "-ix" might just be appropriate.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Roman Sexuality

Interesting article I found on Wikipedia.

Adult content, I think.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Elite Miniatures Republican Romans

Not a bad little range this.

I ordered and received samples from the range and my first impressions were “very nice”. They figures have the characteristic “Elite” look to them, are well-sculpted and cast and, well, Nathan from Elite Australia is always a pleasure to deal with.

The range is limited. For example, the only Triarius figure is kneeling “at the ready”. Nonetheless, there are two figures that can be used to represent hastate or principes in mail, while there is another hastatus/principes depicted wearing the pectoral/breastplate who could be enrolled to add some more variety.

See also the useful Penal Legionary figure who could be used as either a Velite variant or as an unarmoured hastate/principes. I wonder also if he might not be used as a Marine.

All figures are supplied with head variants which serve to break things up somewhat, also.

There are useful mounted Consul and Cavalry figures (one of each), but you might want to consider buying in cavalry reinforcements from Ist Corps or a similar supplier. Considering the lineage of Elite miniatures, perhaps the old Hinchcliffe range might also provide as well.

The Elite Celt range includes useful figures for Roman Allies or Enemies – I have some of their armoured cavalry on order and expect to take delivery in a day or two.

WABBY thoughts on the Legion

I'll probably fall for the most available option and go for WAB as my rule set for putting Romans on the Wargames table.

To that end I'm thinking on how best to represent the legion organisationally.

If I was to break the legion down to what to me seems like a nice, manageable 1:20 figure ratio, I'd come up with something like this:

Velites - 30-60 figures (depending on your source material!)
Principes - 60 Figures
Hastati - 60 figures
Triarii - 30 figures
Equites - 15 figures

Each group is divisible by three you'll note, so in terms of actual units, you could have:

Velites - 3x10/20 figures
Principes - 3x20 figures
Hastati - 3x20 figures
Triarii - 3x10 figures
Equites - 15 figures

That's between 225 and 255 figures. Not an unmanageable amount, I think.

This leaves out Italian Allies, Gallic Noble Cavalry and Gallic Warbands, of course. At this point in time I'm starting to think I may have to buy the WAB "Hannibal and the Punic Wars" supplement and perhaps even this one when it becomes available.

I ought at some stage do a points breakdown.

Up Pompeii

Oh, how crass I am.

Vexing Velites


I've conflicting info here.

Some sources give me a figure of 1200 Velites per legion.

Another tells me that every century of Hastati had 60 men plus an additional 20 Velites. Two centuries per maniple gives me 40 Velites for every 120 Hastati and thus in a legion with ten Maniples of Hastati, there ought to be 400 Velites rather than 1200.

I think I'm missing something really obvious.

Can anyone tell me what?

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

How the Republican Legion Fought - take 1.

I was doing a little reading last night on how the Roman legion fought in the later Republican era, before the so-called “Marian” reforms.

The Roman infantry fought in three lines.

Originally, the arms and equipment they used were derived from earlier times when the wealth of an individual determined their equipment and thus their role on the field of battle. By the period I am interested in this was changing due to the manpower demands brought on by the Punic wars. Filling out the ranks meant drafting in men from the poorer classes who would not normally be able to equip themselves. This meant the State had to step in with arms, armour and clothing.

Without going into the administrative structure of the legion, it seems to me that there were three types of infantry in the legion, as well as a small body of cavalry. These infantry types were the velites (light infantry skirmishers), the hastatii and principes (who by this time might as well be collapsed together into the designation “medium” infantry) and the triarii (or for all intents and purposes, “heavy” infantry).

Taking the velites first, you had a body of lightly armed and equipped men whose role was to contest the enemy advance, cause disruption among his ranks and hopefully counter his own skirmishers.

Their role pretty much ended as soon as the battle lines engaged.

The fairly interchangeably equipped principes and hastatii were equipped with a mail shirt, a helmet and a greave for their leading leg. They bore an “Italian” shield (or scutum) a javelin (or pilum) and a short, stabbing sword. Drawn up in two lines, one behind the other, they formed the main part of the battle line.

Their role was to close with the enemy, discharge their missiles from close range and then follow up with sword and shield.

Should the effort of this first line be in van, the first line would fall back through gaps in the second who would renew the assault.

In the meantime, the men of the first line would collect their second pilae and themselves stand ready to rejoin the effort should the second line prove unsuccessful.

One assumes that each line could theoretically assault twice before running out of pilae!

The triarii formed the third line in the battle-array. Armed as they were with a spear and shield (and much the same panoply as the medium infantry) they formed a phalanx which could I assume cover a retreat or act as a refuge for broken troops.

Good brief description here.