Basic Military Training
BASIC TRAINING 115 (That’s AD)
“Welcome new legionnaires to Barracks VIII and your first lesson in military history, formations and tactics. I am your instructor, Flavius Equius, and you will address me as centurion. I will attempt to teach you the history of our glorious army and how to keep your head on your shoulders while fighting for the glory of the Roman Empire. There will be a test later…. And it may be under enemy fire!”
In Caesar 3, the military objectives are the defense of the Roman City that the governor is so diligently trying to build. As such the tactics employed should be those that can prevent the enemy from damaging the city while always keeping military losses at a minimum. Those losses are trained military soldiers, city buildings, and the loss of city income.
Caesar does not allow our Governor to develop a large military since he has no intention of letting the provincial army carry out a war of aggression against another city, or even worse Rome itself. As a result the provincial army is limited to the building of six forts, one barracks, military academies, and defensive towers for fortifications. The wall towers contain civilian workers manning ballistae for defensive use. The primary emphasis in the Governor’s decision of what to build should be the type of enemy he believes to be the major threat of the province.
Each fort costs $1000 to build. The legions in their forts do not draw a salary and require no housing or road access since they are self-sufficient. The primary legions may consist of heavy infantry, javelin throwers, and horse cavalry in any mixture the governor decides to build. They are the primary tactical fighting units of the province.
Each tower costs $150 to build and can only be built in the places where our walls are two squares thick and wide. In addition to the building cost each tower is manned by 5 paid city workers needing road access to housing. These five citizen-soldiers man the slow firing but deadly ballista located in each tower and rain down heavy darts on approaching enemies.
The $150 barracks provides the workers needed to recruit new soldiers while the $1000 military academy provides the workers to train these new recruits into better fighting men. Although Caesar has limited the building of barracks to only one per city, the governor has found a way around this. He forces time to pass slowly while he builds 2 or more barracks all at the same time. Yes, our Governor is a sly and tricky one!
Being no fool, our Governor has decreed that except in times of emergency, no soldiers will be recruited without having a military academy ready to train all new recruits. As you will learn here, history has shown that an academy trained soldier has 50% better morale and performance in battle. Therefore when he created our new city, he first made sure that a profit from exports was made. Then he built a barracks, a military academy and a javelin legion at the same time. Thus our glorious provincial army was born.
The mainstay of the provincial army usually consists of two to three legions of academy trained infantry each consisting of 16 soldiers. These are the men who defend the battle line against the enemy’s advance. Being academy trained, their primary fighting formation is the square turtle formation affording the best defense against enemy missile and weapon attacks. Against an inferior numbered enemy, a second infantry legion should always attempt to attack an enemy’s flank. Occasionally a centurion may order his legion into a more spread-out formation to prevent the enemy from moving around the legion’s flank. However these formations leave the soldiers more vulnerable to damage from the enemy and should be avoided. When the enemy is on the verge of collapse, centurions have been known to order their legion into a mop-up formation to chase-down and destroy any remaining enemies.
Since heavy infantry legions are slow moving due to the shields and armor they carry, the Governor has attempted to locate their forts near the most likely points of the enemy’s invasion while still placing the forts behind our defensive walls. In one province a novice governor ordered the building of the forts too close to what turned out to be the enemy’s invasion area. When the barbarians destroyed the fort, all of the soldiers of that legion died. It was a truly sad ending for a once glorious legion.
The other mainstay of the provincial army usually consists of two to three legions of academy trained javelin throwers each consisting of 16 soldiers. These are the men who throw their deadly spears against an enemy up to eight squares away over the heads of the defending infantry on the battle line. With the enemy being held in place by the infantry, they are easier to hit and the javelin thrower is much more accurate.
When infantry legions are not available in the defense of the city, some centurions have employed a hit-and-run method of battle. They will approach an enemy raining javelins down upon them from a distance until they draw them away from the city. Then before the enemy can engage them in hand-to-hand combat, they will flee away from them to a new location. In the famous battle of Carthago, two javelin legions continually lured the enemy away from the city, throwing and then fleeing behind each other in turn until the decimated enemy finally abandoned their attack upon the city.
Being academy trained they are capable of firing much more accurately than any non-trained javelin thrower. Their primary fighting formation is a tight line of two rows that afford them some protection if the enemy engages them in hand-to-hand combat. Once again some centurions have been know to order their legion into a more spread out formation in order to cover a wider front, but at the cost of being much more vulnerable to damage if the enemy engages them in hand-to-hand combat.
Not being weighted down by heavy shields and armor, the javelin legion is much faster in getting to the battle site. This allowed our Governor to build their forts in a central location of the province allowing them to respond to any infantry legion’s request for support. Rumors are that when immigrants first arrived to settle our city, wolves were rampant and planning attacks upon our citizens in the streets. Our Governor being a far-sighted man foresaw this and built pens of aqueducts around the resting wolves. Later he sent the javelin throwers to these pens for target practice destroying the wolf menace forever.
The provincial army usually consists of one legion of academy trained cavalry consisting of 16 horse mounted soldiers. These men are the fast moving reserves of our army that fight while mounted. They have been used to attack an enemy’s flank or rear while he is already engaged in battle thus destroying his morale. When the enemy has brought his own javelin throwers our cavalry has been used to attack them while our other legions have battled his infantry. In most battles they are held in reserve if needed to stop any enemy advancing around the heavy infantry.
In the famous battle of Lindum, the quick moving Celts used a flying wedge formation that easily drove through the defending infantry. It was the lightening charge of my cavalry legion that stopped the Celts dead in their paths before they could engage our javelin throwers. But I will be the first to admit that without our infantry and javelin legions, my cavalry would be hard pressed to defeat a strong barbarian horde.
Being horse mounted, the javelin legion is the fastest in getting to the battle site. This allowed our Governor to build their fort in a central location of the province allowing them to respond to any infantry legion’s request for support. I have heard tell of a riot occurring in another province where the governor was totally inept. It was that province’s cavalry that helped the city prefects put down the riot in the center of the city.
Why just this past year our city experienced a gladiator’s revolt despite the fact that our Governor was well loved by all the people. It was my glorious legion, along with the loyal lion tamers and prefects, that held off the rebel Sparticus and his followers from destroying the Governor’s Palace and the Senate. The Governor personally gave me the honor of crucifying the rebels.
THE WALL TOWERS
Those of you in the legions may look down upon those brave citizens who used to man the towers on our city walls. Many of them were your fathers. While the governor no longer employs them due to their cost, when the city was first built and he was unfamiliar with the tactics of battle, our Governor relied heavily on the towers for the defense of our fair city. At first he employed large numbers of them firing down upon invading barbarians. Later as the legions developed he would send us outside the walls and defend them while the enemy advanced into the range of the ballista of the towers and died. I have served in provinces where the governor has built his walls with an entrance corridor lined with ballista towers. I believe that governor called it the Corridor of Death.
Later when our Governor was more competent in battle tactics, he realized that the number of men manning the towers could be put to better use building the glory of our city. He has removed most of the towers and the citizens were put to work running the magnificent Hippodrome that is the pride of our city and envy of our neighbors. Now only a few exist to protect those sections of the city that the Governor has deemed it necessary to have a prepared defense. I have heard of provinces where the governors have placed their faith in their legions’ ability and their battlefield skills to defend the city without towers, and sometimes without walls. I will raise a toast to any of their legions if they deem to visit our fair city.
From time to time Caesar has call upon our Governor to send some legions to support the defense of a distant Roman city. Those chosen are gone for 24 months. If they are successful in defending the other city, Caesar in his generosity will allow our city to build a Triumphal Arch at no cost to the Governor. As you can see from the one located in the center of our city, many of our city villas and palaces have been built nearby. The area surrounding this arch is highly desirable.
Garrison duty within the city is boring, but foreign duty and all it’s glamour and plunder has its drawbacks. Those who are sent will be fighting under a less capable general than our own Governor. Expect heavy losses in some cases. Last year our second foreign campaign cost us 50% of our valiant brothers in arms. Luckily the legions left behind held off the cunning barbarians who decided to attack our city while others were gone defending Damascus. Some citizens say our second Triumphal Arch was not worth the losses. As a soldier I know no one lives forever. Better to die nobly defending the Empire than hide like a coward.
I cannot over emphasize the importance of using the legions in a combined way. Some governors have successfully defended a city using only towers and walls, others with only light javelin units and cavalry. Our Governor has been successful using a combination of infantry, javelins, and cavalry defending the walls of a city and has never lost a building to the barbarians and this is his XXth city.
Always fight a superior numbered enemy from behind fortifications, never in the open field unless using guerilla warfare tactics. Never let the enemy engage your legions from two or more sides if possible. Always respond with the maximum number of legions available to any enemy invasion.
Our time is gone and there is still much to be learned. Other lessons may come or the Empire may call me away before then. Use what you have learned here today and never falter in your courage. Always remember that you are the fiercest soldiers in the world and all others tremble at the sound of your approaching footsteps.
HAIL GOVERNOR & HAIL CAESAR
Original Latin text found buried with two jars of wine and olive pits in the corner of an ancient bathhouse next to a military academy ruins in Lindum. Translated from the original Latin by:
Bob the Lethargic