Carried over from another thread. Might be a better modelling of Roman legions?
The Roman form a shield wall (that is a continuous line of shields touching each other a bit like a greek phalanx), of which they put themself totally behind. Think like they put the shield over there head in order to offer no weak point.
Once contact is made the Romans soldier will try to maintain the shield wall and strikes from under the shield so as to never expose their head.
The main conclusion I have from this report on roman tactics are the following :
_ Cohesion is an avantage against warband. The Legion would be put on equal footing only once the shield wall is broken. So corelatively, there should be a loss to the roman legion POA when they lose cohesion.
_ Roman Legion should be nearly imprevious to Pike as it is reported in most battle as the Pike won't pass the Shield wall (though they will be push back ultimatly with very to no losses as they cannot close to the phalanx either to push with their shield) Right now The phalanx have advantage in melee which I find somewhat wrong.
_ Roman Qualify as impact foot to represent their pilum use before closing in, so I guess they should remain Impact foot.
Big shield used in formation (like Greek Phalank or Roman legion or Early Frank) have a bigger impact on tactical combat than armour (even very heavy). That why I think that it should be an item by itself. Once disorganized, the Shield Wall lose its effect.
Greek phlanx would be : Spear, Shield Wall, When Disorganized they become spear.
Roman Legion would be : Swordmen, Shield Wall, when disorganized they will just fight as swordmen which they are (that would explin why they defeat Pike in rough terrain). To even thing out, I beleive the Roman superior and elite legion should not be made swordmen plus as the gladius is not a long weapons and therefore not that much good for duel.
I think that this "bonus" should not stack with Impact foot and should only play while receiving a charge (when charging the shild wall cannot really be maitain) if this bonus is used in Impact at all (I beleive it should be used in impact though).
It's a shame that the evidence that you have is an historian's interpretation of other sources rather than a quote from an ancient source. Historian interpretation of the past changes with time. Not sure if Nik can recall any sources that would support this? Certainly roman shield shapes changed over time and some (the big rectangular ones for example) would lend themselves to this style.
It sounds like the capability you are looking for in melee is "spears". If steady, these stop the enemy sword POA. Spears are not as good as Impact foot in the impact phase though - so they would be a POA down to Gauls. Not a bad reflection of that interaction IMHO (probably better than the current one).
However, it would mess up the legion vs Pike interaction. Spear are weak against Pike. It would also, IMHO, make legions too good vs cataphracts. So if we have to have one classification, the current one is better generally.
Of course, we could have a "legion" troop type. Counts as IF/Sw against all but enemy IF, in which case they count as Offentsive Spearmen. That would require a change to one or two army lists though.