Sunday 1 May 2016

Project Rome - post 2nd Punic War.

The campaign-siege rules, army lists and scenarios for the Witcher Project are complete and now start the final stage of intensive play testing all scheduled for this summer and fall. I am pleased with the development of the siege rules, however, the campaign rule set does demand the reader to have a good knowledge of events in the game series which does have its drawbacks and the integration of magic will require much experimenting. Rather than wrestle with this problem I have opted to design a solid ancient campaign system on which the fantasy-magic elements could be later added. This brings me to the topic at hand, why the selection of Rome of the post 2nd Punic War? Most importantly, this was a period when Rome developed an efficient military system which overcame the setbacks experienced during the 2nd Punic War and one that eventually overcame the variety of fighting styles of new enemies. 

Rome of the mid-republic is well known for the wars against Carthage and Macedon but after reading Livy’s History of Rome, I found the long and difficult campaigns in Iberia and Liguria would serve well for what was needed; campaigns of conquest, large and small scale conflicts, plenty of treachery, and sieges. Lastly, the project would require new figures to be collected and the construction of new terrain pieces for Hispania.   

II/33 Polybian Roman, 275 – 105 BC
Looking at the DBA 3.0 army list we have 2 x Cv, 4 x Bd, 2 x Sp, 2 x Ps and 2 x 3Ax/4Ax which are allies. Reading Livy and Polybius, Rome raised consular armies for campaigns which comprise of two legions raised from Roman citizens and two legions from the Latin provinces. I plan is to build a big battle size collection and tripling the quantities should bring the totals to a suitable size, however, I found the proportions Roman to Latin were not quite right. To solve the disproportions, I approached the elements issue from a different angle. 

The Consular Army
Each legion in the consular army is comprised of 1,200 velites, 1,200 hastati, 1,200 principes, 600 triarii and 300 cavalry, bringing a total of 4,800 infantry and 300 cavalry. Two such legions conscripted from the Roman citizenry and another two from the Latin allied provinces will bring the total force to around 20,000. In exceptional circumstances, the numbers could be increased, but the proportion of Roman to Latin would remain consistent. 

Using the historical ratio given at page 14 or the rule book, the number of elements for a consular army are now 2 x Ps, 4 x Bd, 1 x Sp and 1 x Cv per legion Romano and 2 x Ps, 4 x 3/4Ax, 1 x Sp and 3 x Cv per legion Latini bringing the total number of elements to 36 including the two consuls (Polybius gives allies thrice the number for allied cavalry). 

Reading Livy’s account of the Hispanic campaigns, it was common to split the consular army into wings (1 Romano and 1 Latini legion) with each undertaking different objectives which works well for the number of scenarios I have planned for. 

I do not expect this project to surpass the Severan work as the number of armies required to be collected will be relatively small in number. I do think the project will achieve its primary goal and that is the development of a solid campaign system.  

The first elements. 


  1. Good luck, I'll be interested to see what you come up with.



  2. James,

    The campaign rules for the Witcher project worked well enough but lacked a solid core.
    Returning to the ancient period to develop a “back to basic” should resolve that deficiency.

    I will focus on the conquest of Hispania from the post 2nd Punic and stop at the Marian reforms.
    This will give me an ample timeline to work with and integrate the diplomacy, revenue, supply and movement in this rule set. The siege rules should work well for this period.