Sunday, April 01, 2018

Late Imperial Roman project: reinforcements.

As Capt Arjun noted in his game report, all of us ended the first game discussing how we'd modify our army lists for the next game. Marty is thinking of steering his Sassanid army towards a Palmyran army, and I decided I needed to add more foot soldiers - the most reliable and effective component of the Late Imperial Roman army.

First off was adding some bulk to the Gothic allied foot. The proportion of Gothic soldiers in Roman armies increased towards the end of the Imperial period, and even regular "Roman" units would have been composed of largely Gothic soldiers. These bases represent Gothic contingents that were added wholesale to the Roman army, keeping their uniforms and identity. I chose a green-yellow colour scheme to give the bases a unified look, that would visually contrast easily from the Roman units (which are predominantly white-red in colour scheme). Shield patterns are taken from a variety of sources, with some common patterns (quarters and radiating spokes) and some known Gothic insignia (crescents and stars). The circling serpent/draco design is found also in the Notitia Dignitatum, and could have been adopted by the Romans from Gothic designs. There are actually a few figures of Isaurian javelineers mixed in (they're the ones without shields): I didn't have enough Goths to form 4 bases, so they were added to make up numbers. I positioned them so that they are in the middle rear, and these 4 bases are meant to have a diorama look: the grass flock is arranged to form a perimeter and visually indicate a border for them. I'm not too concerned about the historical accuracy in this case: Gothic armies were often coalitions of various ethnic groups and races, and, depending on the battle, sometimes unevenly equipped. 

I painted up one more unit (4 bases) of palatini foot. These are a mix, with the rear figures coming from an early Byzantine army pressed into service as LIR: they'll work both ways, and I can use the rear two bases of spearmen in an Early Byzantine DBA army. The archers are from the Gothic army, and so they will pull double duty as well.

Last but not least, I finally painted up the command bases, with shield patterns that match the existing three palatini/comitatenses units, allowing me to swap them in.

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