Sunday 16 April 2023

Early Imperial Rome

The Early Imperial Romans are two commands strong and ready for battle. The painting began with twelve elements of legionnaires, five representing each the legions X Gemina and XIV Gemina M.V. Shield patterns are similar but wings and central spine differ in colour. Tunics were painted white and not the traditional red and I must say, the contrast has more appeal. Red is still present for shield colour, neck cloth and helmet crests. See the links below for references.


The two packs of legionnaires gave me five elements for each legion and two elements of praetorian guard, easily noted by their white helmet crests. Both legions are further strengthened an element of command figures which can represent a sub-general when playing double size command or BBDBA (options, options).   

Praetorian guard

Two blade elements were painted as Praetorian Guard. Shield patterns were the 3rd and 4th cohorts represented in the link below. The shield pattern for the cavalry is similar but lacking space do not have stars.

Auxilia cavalry

The two packs of late 1st – early 2nd century cavalry included many with the hexagonal shield. This was unfortunately as the smaller shields meant less space and other patterns were selected on a plus side, I could and did add an element of praetorian cavalry. The Early Imperial Roman list have horse archer and Moorish light horse for as light horse. The extra cavalry figures from the two packs were painted as the mounted detachments of the auxilia equitatae which abound in both provinces of Pannonia. Detachments were small; therefore, each element of LH represent detachments from two cohorts. 

Auxilia infantry

For the two commands, one pack of auxilia infantry fulfilled the required number of elements and sagittarii, in both forms 4Bw or Ps, are painted for both commands. Each element was given a distinct shield pattern, however, two cohort miliaria or double strength unit are present; the I Aelia Sagittariorum M.E. and the I Ulpia Pannoniorum M.E.


One pack of Roman command supplied four generals for this army. As mentioned earlier, two generals are on foot (4Bd), a single general based with two extra cavalry figures supplies a mounted command, and lastly, a second mounted figure, accompanied by a retinue of foot, creates a CP (command post) for special scenarios.


These were a last-minute addition. From a recent sale of Middle Imperial Romans there remained a few elements over; a ballista with crew and second converted as a mobile piece. Rummaging through the collection I found two sets of Essex cart and horse. The carts were given a single trail to allow two mules to replace the single horse. The Late Roman crew were modified to match an earlier period and mixing the crew helped to disguise any major differences.

Recommended viewing.


Did RomanLegions really wear red? (Invicta)


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