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PostSubject: The Roman Legions   Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:50 am

The Roman Legions

The Legions are a well-bloodied, well-discplined, and feared fighting force well respected - and dreaded - by all of the Mediterranean world. They have earned their place as the foremost fighting force in the world through right of arms and hundreds of years of difficult, often desperate conflict. An enduring part of the Legion remains their ability to both adapt and adopt strategies, tactics, and weapons from their enemies. Where they fight, the Legions adopt the best of what they face, and make it their own, before making the people they fought, in turn, Roman. As such, the Legions have changed, in form and function, greatly throughout the years. Of recent memory, the most startling change has been the Marian Reforms.

The Marian Reforms
When Gaius Marius ruled Rome, he saw a great need to increase the number of men within the Legions, and thus, the eligibility of those who could serve. Previously, the ideal of the Legions was the citizen-farmer-soldier, a volunteer, temporarily levied fighter drawn from both the proletariat and the upper echelons of society, called upon to defend Rome and their own farmland. By the time of Marius, however, the traditional class drawn upon for soldiers had been tremendously diminished, as wealthy owners of Latifundium gobbled up all available land, reducing the men eligible for service. Marius did away with these requirements, opening up the service to all men of age, who held Roman citizenship. At the same time, he drastically improved the discipline and fighting power of the Legions, reducing the three-unit system into one unit of heavy infantry, and transforming the Legions into a standing army as opposed to a temporary volunteer force. While this move was unpopular with the Patrician class, it immensely bolstered the numbers of the Legions as well as their fighting power. Now, however. these masses of salaried men may be enticed by willing generals to fight for coin rather than for Rome.

The Roman Strategem
The Roman style of fighting relies almost entirely upon the standard, versatile unit of heavy infantry that is the Legionnarie. Drilled to perfection, these soldiers are trained to both fight unerringly on the front lines but also act as entirely self-sufficient logistic units, carrying their lives upon their backs. Within a few hours, any Legion can create a temporary fortified position simply from the materials around them; at the same time, any city's walls stand vulnerable to the sheer force of their manpower. The Legionary Cohort, the standard unit of 480 men, of which there are 10 to each Legion, can stand toe to toe with practically any other infantry unit in the known world.

The Legions focus almost entirely upon this powerful, hard hitting, versatile infantry unit. However, this is to the detriment of their other units - Roman cavalry units are light at best, and hardly represented, while archery units are often discounted entirely. Where it is necessary, the Legions supplement their weaknesses with local units of Auxilia, non-Roman citizens who, at the end of their service, will be granted citizenship. Commonly, the Legions take well-experienced archers and cavalrymen from their provinces to act as these auxilia.


Currently Active Legions

LEGIO X ANTIQUA - Po Valley
LEGIO XI ANTIQUA - Po Valley
LEGIO I MACEDONIA - Macedon / Greece
LEGIO II MACEDONIA - Macedon / Greece
LEGIO I ILLYRICA -Illyrium
LEGIO I GALLICA – Gallic frontier
LEGIO II GALLICA – Gallic frontier
LEGIO I HISPANIA – Hispania
LEGIO II HISPANIA – Hispania
LEGIO III HISPANIA - Hispania
LEGIO I AFRICA – Eastern Africa / Carthage
LEGIO II AFRICA – Western Africa / Numidian Frontier
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