Marian Mules – Red Roman Legionnaires

This is the start of an army which I have wanted to do for a long time – the late Republic Roman forces. After the fun of playing ancient games at Hotlead and the fact that I have completed some Spanish earlier in the year, it seemed to only make sense to focus on getting these done and on the blog.

The late Republican army it’s actually one of those generally useful armies for ancient gaming. Not only do they fight themselves in various civil wars (Sulla, and then Caesar vs. Pompey etc) but there are loads of wars/conflicts in Gaul, Spain and all around the Mediterranean on various other fronts as well. These guys even fought the Parthians with Crassus in command and lost big time in that case.

As you can see I have focused the first pictures on just a single base to get some close ups first. All these models are 15mm and from Old Glory 15’s. I have to say I like them. Some of the raised Javelins are a little thin for my liking but they will do. I have done a load of these – 24 bases in all, which you will see more of below.

I have labeled them Marian Mules as that’s the nickname that the Romans gave these late Republican legionnaires. Marius was the Roman who reformed the Roman military system and standardized the kit and recruitment methods. He moved them from the formations of the Punic war Roman legions to the more standardized legions. These are sometimes called the worlds first professional soldiers. Before the reforms there were many ‘full time’ warriors around the world, but the troops of the later republic signed up for the army and were given equipment (and then paid for it) vs. being born into the role. So very much like soldiers today do. Being a solider was their job vs. just being recruited for a campaign or a war. Even the Punic war Roman legions were not full-time, professional career solider as we would think of them, while after the reforms these troops were.

Although the later Imperial armies are known to have the lorica segmentata (segmented cuirass) as armour, these chainmail style troops are believed to have existed throughout that period as well. The shield shape for the legions did change then but again how consistent that was is somewhat unknown. It always would not have happened over night is my expectation. So although so it is a bit of a push I can use these for poorer equipped troops or even some supporting Auxillia forces for the later periods as well.

I do hope at some point to paint up troops wearing that later armor but it’s always a bonus when playing really large games to get extra use from figures if I can get away with it a bit. However, at present the focus is on the period where they are from.

I decided not to use or try anything ‘too flash’ with the shields. I went with plain dark red, with the shading from a brighter center support, which seems to work well. It also reinforces their uniformity which we think of with Romans. The same is true with the color in general, as we all think of Roman Legions wearing the dark red. That’s seen in most TV/Movies as well. In ancient times I’m not sure how much true uniformity there would be but heck it works.

I used the same basing technique as the Spanish. They are 4 figures on a 40 x 15mm base anyway so there is not much space for any more detailed basing. These guys would prefer to fight in the open anyway in all rulesets so some rough grass cover seemed appropriate.

Below you can see all the Roman legion bases that I have done for this army. Yes as mentioned above there are 24 bases, all done the same! That’s more than enough for a DBA/Triumph! force – well more than enough for two really and possibly 3 at a push! It is 12 Art de La Guerre bases – again more than enough for a standard army. It makes 6 Hail Caesar units as laid out below when I use them for that as well.

So there we are – a Republican legion ready for the tabletop and me showing a start to another project for me.


About mellis1644

A painter and gamer who has no illusions about being the best painter but likes to play with decently painted toys and have fun gaming
This entry was posted in 15mm, Ancients and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Marian Mules – Red Roman Legionnaires

  1. Markus Sharaput says:

    Looks good, Mark!

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