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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Roman Cavalry and Velites, Impetus style

Progress on my Impetus-based Mid-Republican Romans (MRR) came to a screeching halt when I discovered I didn't have enough bases for the figures I painted up. Trips to 2 local gaming stores failed to turn up what I needed so I turned to the net and put in an order with Litko Game Accessories.  And waited.  And waited.  I love their product but I hate the 3-4 week wait.

Roman Medium Cavalry:  During this era, Roman cavalry was generally "not the equal" of their opponents. I'm trying to mince words because I don't want to jinx my first and only Roman cavalry unit!  Essentially, these boys will be fodder on the battlefield.  


Velites:  If you know how to properly pronounce velites, congratulations!  You're the rare bird who's had the benefit of a classical education that includes Latin. As the skirmishing arm of the Roman legions, velites were composed of the youngest and poorest soldiers, armed with a short sword, javelins and a wooden shield.

For the photograph, I stacked all 5 units of Velites together.  In a game of Impetus, each base operates independently.  As a painter, I appreciate that 4 figures represents an entire skirmishing unit!


You've probably noticed that velites wear an animal's head or a bit of fur in lieu of a helmet.  I did tell you these guys were poor, right?  Before you comment on their fashion sensibilities, everyone on THIS side of the Atlantic should remember that American frontiersmen were also in the habit of wearing animal hats, bits and fur on their heads as well.  I propose that Davy Crockett was not just King of the Wild Frontier, he was also the penultimate velite!
Up next will be my Roman baggage.  In Impetus, armies are accompanied by a baggage train which is represented by a rectangular base on the battlefield.  On the base, you can create a small diorama of a camp.  Loss of the baggage costs you 3 points, which is a step towards your army breaking.  While somewhat predictable, I'm creating a fortified Roman camp to represent my Roman baggage.  After that, I basically have a playable MRR army!