While the spotlight of our first season will shine on the Caesarian Civil Wars, I’m also excited to share insights into various other hobby projects along the way. This post marks the beginning of that broader journey. Stay tuned for an engaging mix of deep historical dives and diverse hobby explorations!

When Rome’s legions marched across the land, they brought with them the promise of a new order. In the tabletop skirmish game “SPQR: Death or Glory,” you too can lead a force that embodies the disciplined might of Rome. Let’s delve into a build of an early Imperial Roman force and why it stands out as a formidable contender in the game.

The following build is for a 500 Denarii force that could form the basis of a strong campaign army that could be added to and customised as the campaign progresses.

The Hero: A Centurion’s Command

At the core of our force is the Hero, a Centurion. Our Centurion, Lucius Cornelius Felix wears the lorica hamata (chainmail) this, above all else, was really more of a modelling choice than anything else as the miniatures I had available included Warlord Game’s early imperial Romans and their centurion wears the hamata and phalerae (a set of medallions awarded for acts of valour attached to a leather harness and worn over the hamata) Felix wields a gladius, and carries a large scutum for protection.

Felix is the heart and soul of this force, and a melee monster, he is the best melee combatant in the force. To that end he has the “blessed at birth” talent adding +1 to his melee characteristic and as a second talent I have chosen the “Voice of Command” talent providing a bonus to bravery checks for all units within 6″ of him. In the thick of battle, Felix’s combat prowess and inspiring presence can turn the tide, making him indispensable.

The Backbone: Legionaries

No Roman force would be complete without its legionaries. For this build I have chosen to go with a cohort of 10 legionaries, equipped with the iconic lorica segmentata armour, forming the backbone of the force. These legionaries are equipped with pila, which will skewer even the toughest of foes before they close in for melee, in game terms the pila can only be used once per battle. They are best deployed against a charging enemy which looses any charge bonuses and are unable to use their shields while they remain locked in combat.

The legionaries are accompanied by a standard bearer, benefiting any unit within 6″ of the bearer (including the unit he belongs to) allowing them to re-roll any failed will to fight checks.

The Support: Auxiliary Archers

Adding a touch of versatility, I have a contingent of 5 auxiliary archers. They provide ranged support, capable of softening enemy ranks or targeting specific threats. In “SPQR: Death or Glory,” ranged units can exploit the terrain and control critical points on the battlefield, making these auxiliaries a crucial element of our strategy. Unfortunately, I could only afford to equip them with their most basic equipment a chain shirt and bow, normally I would pay the extra 4 Denarii for the swords, but unfortunately with this build that wasn’t an option as it would have placed me well above my 500 Denarii limit.

The Siege Engine: Scorpio Team

Finally, we introduce the scorpio, an artillery piece that exemplifies Roman engineering. Operated by a dedicated team, this war machine can unleash deadly bolts that can penetrate multiple enemies or deliver devastating damage to singular targets. Its presence on the field can force opponents to reconsider their approach, thus granting you a psychological edge.

Why This Force Dominates the Table

This force composition offers a balanced mix of offense and defence, ranged capabilities, and battlefield control. The archers’ ability to harass and pick off key enemy units can be game-changing, while the scorpio adds a level of threat that can disrupt enemy formations and strategies.

By combining the steadfast reliability of the legionaries with the tactical versatility of the archers and the sheer power of the scorpio, this early Imperial Roman force is well-equipped to handle a variety of scenarios, making it a powerful choice for any commander in “SPQR: Death or Glory.”

With this force, you can march into battle knowing that you carry with you the glory of Rome – a glory built on discipline, innovation, and the unyielding spirit of its warriors. Whether you’re holding the line or launching an offensive, this force is capable of earning a decisive victory that will echo through the annals of history.

The Tabletop Historian