Roman Triarii

Field of Glory II is a turn-based tactical game set during the Rise of Rome from 280 BC to 25 BC.
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JaM2013
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Roman Triarii

Post by JaM2013 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:39 pm

One thing that always bugged me is the fact everybody considers Roman Triarii to be elite unit, yet there are multiple occasions when Triarii were not even included on campaign, and sometimes were excluded from battle when historians specifically mention forming strong force to punch through enemy lines, like for example at Cannae, when Triarii were left guarding the camp while Principes and Hastati were sent to battle.

At the same time, it is kinda strange everybody considers older men to be more wealthy, considering how Roman Census worked.. just because somebody was older (40+) it doesnt automatically mean they were also wealther.. there were richer and poorer families in Roman middle class, which was forming the Roman legions in early Republic, yet those richer families would most definitely equip their sons with better equipment, than some poor family would equip their father. So technically, those in Census Class 1 and 2, which based on some historians formed about 50% of heavy infantry, would not be exclusively Triarii..

At the same time, if you look at human physiology, men after 40ties are usually no longer in their prime strength, especially, in farmer society like Romans. Those older men would definitely lack stamina and flexibility to be used with heavy throwing javelins like pillum, so their use as Spearmen makes a lot of sense - Forming a spear wall was much less fatiguing, than running around with heavy shield and javelins.. If anything it would be the Principes who should be considered elite units, as these were formed from men that already saw combat, and were in their prime strength.. (after all, it was the word Princeps that was eventually used to describe Emperor -as a "first citizen" above all others, while later this word would evolve into Prince - another prominent title)

Triarii at the other side, were practically a force of reservists, old men, who while still effective due to their previous war experience, would not be used for direct combat, unless absolutely necessary.
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Old_Warrior
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Re: Roman Triarii

Post by Old_Warrior » Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:04 pm

As an older guy ... well forget it .. you are right! ROFL

rbodleyscott
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Re: Roman Triarii

Post by rbodleyscott » Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:08 pm

JaM2013 wrote:Triarii at the other side, were practically a force of reservists, old men, who while still effective due to their previous war experience, would not be used for direct combat, unless absolutely necessary.
Agreed.

Although what you say is entirely correct, you will find that in the game they are best used in the way that the Romans actually did use them.

Their units are steady, but not effective as offensive units.
Richard Bodley Scott

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Adraeth
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Re: Roman Triarii

Post by Adraeth » Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:11 pm

Regarding T.Livius i doubt Triarii were just older guys from Rome :D , indeed i think they were wealthier ones who can afford the proper "panoplia", considering that Triarii were almost like hoplites in battlefield tactics, so they should be more effective as defensive line vs cavalry for example.

XOPT13
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Re: Roman Triarii

Post by XOPT13 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:22 pm

You can make some categories of triarii - Poor, Average, Superrior. Player can choose.

JaM2013
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Re: Roman Triarii

Post by JaM2013 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:07 pm

Technically, Romans usually formed 4 Legions - two for each Consul. These men were all selected from the pool of eligible citizens, where each Legion had its pick. Its safe to assume that during that "draft" best equipped and fit men would be selected first. Which means those 4 Consular Legions would be the elite force Rome had. In times they needed more legions, they would pick less and less fitted men, so any Legion above that four, would be equipped worse and worse. So Hastati from Consular Legions would be most likely better equipped than Triarii from those extra Legions..
During second Punic war, after Cannae defeat Romans had to draft legions very quickly, and armed them with whatever equipment they had in temples.. these legionaries would most likely have no armor besides helmet and shield..
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Searry
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Re: Roman Triarii

Post by Searry » Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:21 pm

People in the ancient era were much more fit if they weren't hit by any illnesses in their life.
The first line Principes were likely the elite of the legion as opposed to the triarii, with the best equipment and training and combat experience. Triarii were likely the honorary last line of defence and likely rich camp guards(the camp was very important in ancient warfare) from higher ranks of the plebs.
The Consular legions were drafted from the more richer folk and the dictatorial legions were likely scraped together in a panic when the enemy was nearing Rome.
You can't outfit a strong force of equal strenght with the draft system the early republic used. If you standardize equipment like the "Marian" legions were, you have more cohesion with the supply lines and armorers.
An armorer handing out new shields and salvaging some battered ones is probably much better than a family in Rome having to send a new shield by mail to their son/father/whatever.
Then there's the issue of routing units. The troops will probably throw down any extra weight and gear when they run for their lives so there's the issue of supply again.

The auxiliaries were then equipped probably less coherently than the cohorts Polybios explained. They probably had the same gear the Italians used against the Romans in previous conflicts. Not sure about the Socii revolt when Hannibal defeated the Romans in Italy though.

Excuse my ramblings.

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