In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Ancient Sharp Practice

Once again, thngs have fallen together serendipitously. Or it's kismet. Or it's all Patrick's fault.

I've been fascinated by the shadowy 3rd century Roman army for ages now, since researching Legion & Empire. Armorum & Aquila are the only extensive and dedicated 3rd century range of figures out there. Here are some nicely painted examples:
Any other I've seen has been a disappointing mash up of Early Imperial troops with some Late Imperial cavalry and skirmishers thrown in.

Plus after the frustrations of designing Legion & Empire, I realized that the big battle wasn't really where it was at for most of  Imperial Roman military history. Most of your fighting was done by the frontier garrisons, chasing barbarian raiders or doing some raiding of their own. I've thought for a long while that an 'army' based around a cohors equitata (a mixed unit consisting of a cohort of 480 auxiliary infantry and a turmae of 124 cavalry) would be pretty cool, and satisfyingly heavy on the auxiliaries. I find most Roman armies have way too many legionaries and not enough auxiliaries to be honest.

So, last week Patrick gives me this:
Which gets the juices going again. And gets me looking at the A&A catalogue, for the umpteenth time.

Around the same time Richard Clarke lets out on social media that he's bashing on with a Roman adaptation of Sharp Practice.

Then, while surveying the lead pile, I notice that I have a nice little pile of close to 100 plastic (Wargames Factory originally I think) German tribesmen looking for foes. God knows where they came from, I think my friends collected free giveaways at a convention and sent them my way.

Then I see that Armorum & Aquila is running a nice "buy 4 get 1 free" sale this month.

Order sent. At a 1:10 figure ratio a cohors equitata is 48 foot, and 12 cavalry. A nice tidy little force to work on this fall.


  1. I know what you mean about the 3rd century Romans, they are fascinating. A&A have indeed done the period proud with their superb figures. You could try the Roman variant rules of Lion Rampant to be found on the I live with cats blog. I have been tempted to give then a try and they read very well indeed. I look forward to seeing your figures moving towards a game over the Fall.

    1. Yes.
      Same troops but using a Lion Rampant variation is also on mind for planning unit sizes and basing etc.

  2. Interesting post and timely too as I will be looking at Imperial Romans very soon.

    Cheers, Ross

  3. Some sort of magnetic basing so you can adjust things from full skirmish to small ranked is probably a good idea.

    The real question here is what punny name will TFL go with for the rule set?

  4. Looking forward to this. Starting up ancients myself, and interested in large skirmish scale games. I'll be curious to see the Sharpe Practice adaptation play out.