Numidian Units


The last option of any desperate army (except perhaps slaves or convicts), peasants are good for increasing your numbers...and not much else. Poorly armed and with little military experience, their morale and discipline are both understandably low. They are cheap to train, however, and their one advantage is an ability to hide well. Peasants should be used as an absolute last resort, or in cases where funds are extremely short.


Numidian javelinmen are fast moving skirmishers trained from infancy in the use of the javelin for hunting. They are recruited from amongst nomadic peoples who need their weapon skills to survive in harsh conditions. They are best employed to harry enemies and thin their ranks with volleys of missiles. They should avoid being sucked into hand-to-hand combat, as their knives are more useful in skinning animals than killing men; also, other than a small shield they have no armour. Historically, Numidian justice was extremely harsh on deserters and cowards: crucifixion was a common punishment.


Slingers perform a similar role to archers and skirmishers; their attack differs in method rather than in result. They can "reload"" faster than most archers, but are even more vulnerable against any kind of close combat troops. The most famous slingers of the ancient world were those of the Balearic Isles. In general, slingers were not quite as widely used as, say, archers or skirmishers, for whatever reason.

Desert Infantry

These hardy folk from the fringes of the Sahara make excellent spearmen, well suited to defending against cavalry. They are tough troops used to eking out an existence in the unforgiving desert periphery. The prospect of a punishing march across great distances to these robust people is almost as familiar to them as the passing of each day. Equipped with spears and large shields of wood and animal hide, battle holds few fears for these people - life in a desert gives people a certain fatalism. They are some of the best fighters available to Numidian commanders, but their lack of formal training is a slight weakness.

Numidian Legionary

Numidian Legionaries are local copies of Roman Legionaries, but lack the truly awesome discipline of the originals. They have had training from Roman advisors, and this makes them the best trained of all Numidian soldiery. They cannot, however, use tactics like the tortoise (or testudo) when approaching enemy formations, but they do fight in the same fashion as the original Legionaries, first throwing heavy spears (pila) at the enemy and then closing for hand-to-hand combat. A combination of rugged upbringing and harsh training makes them reliable and slow to tire in combat: a Numidian force can be sure that these men will do their duty.


Archers were used more widely by some cultures than others. The Numidians were one such. Their archers had more of a rounded trajectory than their slingers, and a longer range than their favored javelinmen, though lacked the mobility of the cavalry. They are not armoured and thus almost useless in hand-to-hand combat.

Numidian Cavalry

This is the staple of Numidian armies. Numidia produces some of the finest cavalry in all Africa, if not the Western Mediterranean world. Armed with javelins, these mounted skirmishers can be a nightmare for an opponent as it can prove practically impossible to pin them down in combat. Their tactics are to pelt the enemy with deadly volleys of javelins, and then swiftly retreat when charged. If the enemy stand, they are slaughtered with volleys of javelins, and if they run the Numidian cavalry can ride them down. Instinctive riders, the Numidians are famed for not using a saddle or reins, using only a stick to direct their horses. Nevertheless, they manoeuvre with the 'grace of a flock of birds'. Having adapted to the broken expanses of their homelands, Numidian cavalry have great stamina, and they are also experts in their form of the Cantabrian circle attack.

Numidian Camel Riders

These tough desert warriors are 'camel lancers', exploiting the speed of their mounts and the fear effect that camels cause to horses. The kings of Numidia are wise indeed to exploit this pool of skilled fighters. These are also a hardy people, and can put up with many privations thanks to their desert upbringing. They are not the strongest cavalry in the world, but they can surprisingly effective against both infantry and especially other (horse) cavalry. Armed with spears and carrying large shields, they are not at their best in protracted melees, but used as hit-and-run raiders they can be very effective.

Long Shield Cavalry

A rather generic name, but these horsemen know how to do their job. They are essentially light cavalry, useful for raids, for quick strikes, and for chasing a retreating enemy, but not much use in the heat of battle. Like any other horsemen, they will not be able to attack spearmen to any effect. Long Shield Cavalry are armed with spears and are slightly heavier units than Round Shield cavalry.

General's Guard

A bodyguard was, historically speaking, a functional unit, rather than a type of soldier. In the game, however, they are spear-armed shock cavalry, whose success or failure depends to a large extent on the personal characteristics of the general who they are guarding - his effect on their morale, for example, or on their discipline, will play a large role in determining how they fight. They are in all cases excellent troops.


The onager is a catapult jokingly named for the tremendous kick it has when fired at the enemy (an "onager" is a wild ass). This war machine is powered by a twisted spring of animal sinew ropes, the most elastic substance available. The throwing arm is held in tension by the sinews. When pulled back and held by a catch it can fling a boulder with considerable speed and range. This version can be used for reducing stone fortifications, but it can also be used on the battlefield for destroying enemy artillery and harassing troops (although admittedly by killing some of them outright). The onager can also be used to launch incendiary missiles such as fire pots, making it a versatile piece of artillery to any commander.