Scutum & Pilum
We started to write this set of rules to accomplish a definite goal: to simulate battles of our Samnite Wars campaign game with a rules system more accurate than DBM. We tried to make some adjustments to DBM, with some results indeed, better one the improvement of Samnite and Campanian Auxilia, but we weren't yet pleased with what we obtained, mainly because we couldn't feel the flavour of the era. Of corse DBM was the accused, because it is a generic game that covers too many ages; therefore in DBM Pharaoh's bodyguard, Spartan Hoplites and medieval foot sergeants behave the same, just to make an example. About in the same time we was thinking about possible solutions, we discovered on Internet "IronBow", a new and innovative game published free of charge by The Perfect Captain. This game focusses on recreating unique traits of crusade era battles, with many details which add a lot of flavour, but keeping the rules very simples. This game system was an enlightenment for us; obviously there was a lot of work to do, because many rules and many details are tied down very strong to crusade age, but the general concepts of this set of rules are very like what we are seeking for.
So we got some ideas we already had in mind, we mixed them with the general concepts above and we got a first raw form of the wargame which we are thinking of [and which you are reading now].
In our rules, most important aspect is fighting technique simulation of unique troops at the time of Samnite Wars. Many Italian tribes, Samnites and Campanians included, used a loose formation which allowed to hurl javelins during charge, just few meters away from enemy line, then they closed ranks and fighted as a phalanx using javelings not hurled as spears. In some cases they fighted only as a phalanx without previous javelings throws; this happened when they fighted against barbarians people like Gauls: disordered charge formation of Gaul warriors made ineffective javeling throws, so better to use them like spears and to keep ranks closed to absorb better the impact. This fighting technique was the base from which Romans developed their famous pilum armed troops.
– Scutum & Pilum introduction
- In Print
- Archived online (webpage)
Scale is due to battle size. We recommend you use armies averaging 40/50 bases. If you are simulating small battles (up to 5,000 men) use ratio 1 base = 100 men; in large battles (up to 20,000 men) use ratio 1 base = 500 men.
– Scutum & Pilum
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