Marian Legions Rule
When the Marian Legions Rule is in effect, all Roman Heavy infantry and Roman Medium infantry units are armed with pilum and sword.
These units are considered both close combat and missile weapon capable units and must follow the rules for Ranged Combat when utilizing the Range Combat capability. A Marian Legion unit has a range of two hexes and will roll 1 battle die when it holds or moves only one hex. As with other missile weapon capable units, a Marian Legion unit may not perform both Ranged and Close Combat in the same turn.
Before Marius’ reforms the maniple had been the legion’s tactical unit. Now it was the cohort—ten to each Marian legion. He abolished the old classes of velites, hastate, principes and triarii. All Marian legionnaires were equipped and organized in a standard way. Each soldier was armed with the pilum—an iron headed javelin 6 feet 9 inches long, a short sword, and a coat of armor. Marius also hired soldiers from the proletariat, creating a professional army, rather than the earlier militia-based force. Finally, Marius abolished the distinction between Roman and allied Italian soldiers, incorporating all into his new legions. Each legion became a standing organization, with its own numeric designation and an eagle as its sacred standard.
When the Julian Legions rule is in effect, all Roman Heavy infantry units and Roman Medium infantry units have capabilities identical to the Marian Legion units, but with one added ability:
Julian Legion Medium and Heavy infantry units may move one hex and close combat normally, or move two hexes and forego close combat (note: if ordered by a Doubletime card, these units still move two hexes, but may now close combat).
By the time Caesar was appointed proconsul for Gaul, the legion’s training and battle experience had made it the most agile and effective fighting formation in the known world (when commanded competently). The number of veteran legions had also steadily increased. The numerous Heavy Roman foot units depicted in battles here are equipped no differently than their Medium Roman foot counterparts—they simply have the combat experience to be more effective in battle. The veteran legions played a prominent role on the battlefield and were extremely loyal to their commanders.
When the Imperial Legions rule is in effect, all Roman Heavy infantry and Roman Medium infantry units are armed with pilum and sword. These units are considered both close combat and missile weapon capable units and must follow the rules for Ranged Combat when utilizing the Range Combat capability.
An Imperial Legion unit has a range of two hexes and will roll 1 battle die when it holds or moves one hex. As with other missile weapon capable units, an Imperial Legion unit may not perform both Ranged and Close Combat in the same turn. In game terms, the Imperial Medium and Heavy infantry units have regressed to where their capabilities are similar to the older Marian legions.
From the earliest days of the Roman Empire its military system was unmatched. Yet the sheer size of the Empire began to place a strain on its military system and by the 3rd century many of the soldiers in its frontier field force were mostly Romanized barbarians, or conscripts pressed into service to meet multiplying threats. A lack of training and military discipline led to a decline in the “esprit de corps” of the Legion and the decline of the Roman professional army.