Everyone loves the Romans, right? We certainly do, which is why we named our second-ever wargame Hail Caesar, and why the Early Imperial Romans were our very first miniature range! There’s only one problem with the Romans – there’s so much choice, and it can be difficult to decide exactly which Romans to collect. Fear not – I’m here to help you navigate the Roman Empire and pick a period that’s just right for you!

Republican Romans

We’ll start with the Republic, an oft-underappreciated period of Roman history that spanned almost half a millennium; conquering much territory and laying the foundation for the Empire that followed. We have a great range for the later Republic, because there was a lot going on in that period, most notably Caesar’s seizure of supreme power (and the attendant civil wars), as well as significant fighting in Gaul and Iberia. The clashes between powerful generals such as Marius and Sulla also meant that there was plenty of action closer to home – you’ll never have a shortage of opponents! As befits such an important period, there’s plenty of plastic and metal goodness in the range, allowing you to field your legions exactly how you like them, including auxiliaries from Gaul and Numidia. There’s also a great sourcebook for the period, fittingly-titled Age of Caesar, which allows you to play through Julius Caesar’s meteoric rise to power through Gaul, across the Rubicon, and into Egypt – or stand in his way and try to change history. You also get a fantastic free figure – Optio Maximus Gluteus, whose name is not at all humorous, when you buy the book from the Warlord Games webstore.

A Caesarian Roman division forms up for battle.

Speaking of Julius Caesar, we can now look at one of the greater campaigns of this period with a more finely focussed lens thanks to the brand-new Caesar’s Gallic Wars supplement. There’s no greater challenge in Hail Caesar than trying to emulate Julius Caesar’s subjugation of the Gallic tribes, and the new supplement allows you to do just that, providing a battle-by-battle breakdown of Caesar’s campaigning prior to crossing the Rubicon. Through modern-day France, Germany, and Britain, Caesar’s Gallic Wars is an absolute must-have for any true Patrician wanting to make the most of their Caesarian Roman forces… or indeed for any dirty Gaulish player wanting to try and stop the inevitable march of Rome! Packed with highly-detailed scenarios and army lists allowing you to faithfully recreate the famous (and plenty of lesser-known) battles of the period, Caesar’s Gallic Wars also provides a ton of inspiration for ‘what-if’ and hypothetical games in the dark forests and open plains of north-west Europe. For my money the truest challenge has to be to play through the entire campaign cycle (of no fewer than 44 separate scenarios!) – for this, I’d recommend a club campaign, with one group of players taking the Romans and the rest of the club opposing them as the myriad Gaul kingdoms – a win is definitely worth the clubhouse bragging rights here!

Caesar’s Gallic Wars

The new Caesar’s Gallic Wars starter set gives you two starter forces: the barbaric Gauls and the legions of the late Roman Republic – a fantastic start to your campaign to conquer all comers and write your name in the annals of history! In addition to the fantastic models it contains everything you need to play the game (dice, counters etc), and a Gallic Wars introductory guide which not only provides context and history for the battles concerned, but guides you through the steps of collecting, building and gaming a Hail Caesar army. Also included is an A5-sized Gamer’s Edition of the rulebook, conveniently stripped back to concentrate purely on the game mechanics, which is perfect for quickly referencing rules in the throes of battle. It makes a fine companion for the main rulebook.

Hail, Caesar!
Late Republican Romans (Caesar’s Legions) – Start Here

Imperial Romans

Imperial Rome is a period of history that has fascinated historians, filmmakers, wargamers – and wargames companies – for centuries. Arguably one of the most iconic militaries of all time, the Roman Legions of the Imperial period varied significantly in equipment and experience over the years, but the most beloved of Hollywood (and us) are the Legionaries clad in the banded metal lorica segmentata. Used between the First and Fourth Centuries AD (although historians remain bitterly divided on exactly how widespread that usage was), the image of gleaming steel armour over red tunics looks absolutely fantastic on the tabletop, and when Warlord Games was founded was the natural choice for our first ever plastic kit. Sixteen years later, those bold Legionaries are still marching on, well-supported by a huge range of plastic and metal miniatures. From the Auxiliaries who supported the Legions in huge numbers, to hard-bitten Veteran legionaries (more on them in a second!), and the elite Praetorian Guard, the plastic range is a fantastic way to quickly build up your forces. For more specialist troops, including the famed Balearic Slingers, as well as mercenary archers from the East, and all manner of cavalry (and camelry!), siege weaponry, and officers, are available in metal to bolster your ranks.

The Praetorian Guard on Campaign.

To support this awesome range, there’s a trio of supplements to allow you to play through some of the most famous (and infamous!) campaigns of the Roman Legions. We’ll start in 9 AD and the dark forests of Germania with the eponymous book. With the region in revolt, Governor Publius Quinctilius Varus will lead three Legions into the Teutoburg Forest and a legendary doom… Germania covers the infamous Battle of the Teutoburger Wald itself, as well as the campaigns of Germanicus and Aulus Caecina Severus to win back the lost Eagles of the Legions. Featuring scenarios, background, and rules for both Romans and Germanic tribes, Germania is a must-have for any serious Roman player – only you can avert Varus’ failure and put the Germans in their place! Included for free only when purchasing from the Warlord Games webstore is the excellent Germanic warrior, Dennus Damennus.

Queen Boadicea leads her British warriors to face the Roman invaders.

From Germania, we cross the channel to Britannia, a land of mystery, giants, and riches – if you’re a Roman! Britannia was considered to be right on the edge of the known world, famed for its tin and copper, and rumoured to be haunted by spirits and magical beings. With the Roman Empire rapidly running out of places to conquer, it was only a matter of time before they took a crack at the strange island off the coast of Gaul. Caesar tried twice, but didn’t succeed, while Caligula’s rather unhinged plan never got across the Channel. It would fall to Aulus Plautius, under the orders of Claudius, to assert Roman dominance over Britain, starting in 43 AD. War would rage for the next two decades before Britannia could be considered truly pacified, and the fighting encompassed one of the most famous uprisings in British history – the Boudican Rebellions. The Britannia sourcebook allows you to fight through this entire period, providing rules for the glorious, steadfast Legions, as well as the nasty little Brittunculi that you’ll no doubt be bringing to heel! If you purchase directly from the Warlord Games webstore, along with the awesome book, you’ll also receive a great free figure, the Briton Druid Kennera Blackthorn!

Finally, we come to Dacia – no, not the car manufacturer, but the province in the Carpathians! Resisting the Roman Empire at arguably the height of its power, the Dacians under their king Decebalus put up a legendarily fierce fight. Opposing him was the great soldier-emperor Trajan, and a gargantuan force of Romans, who soon learned that the Dacian barbarians were no pushovers – remember those Veteran Legionary plastics? They come equipped with the iron manica arm guards, which appear to have been specifically adapted from gladiatorial equipment and used only in the Dacian campaigns, to guard against the lethal forward-curved blades of the iconic Dacian falx. This shows the immense impact the Dacian warriors had on the Legions, and although they would eventually be brought to heel by Trajan’s might, they were undoubtedly some of the toughest foes the Roman soldier would ever face. Naturally, as one of Trajan’s finest commanders, you’ll want to be right in the thick of the action, and that means you need to know how both your troops and the enemy fight – Rome’s Dacian Wars has you covered on that front, as well as providing plenty of extra rules for things like sieges (those Dacians have an aggravating habit of retreating to their mountain fortresses), riverboats, and more besides. It’s just what you need to make sure you earn yourself a place of honour on Trajan’s Column!

Hold the line! Imperial Roman Legionaries brace for the impact of a Dacian warhost.
Imperial Rome – Start Here

Well-drilled, and clad in his segmented armour the Legionary was the lifeblood of the Roman war machine – there was no kingdom or state that could withstand the unforgiving Legions of the Roman empire…

Thus armed, no one can withstand the might of Rome. Legio Aeterna Victrix!

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