General Roman Strategies

By jonnuscaesar

Ok here goes, didn't really know how to do this but I've had a go at showing some of my favorite tactics. I did all of these as the Romans/Julii so I'm not sure how well they would work with other factions. The first two are best used in defense, and the third in attack. I've also taken it for granted that your infantry will be high class, e.g. legionary infantry or better.

1. The envelopment.

For this you need a fair few men: 4 decent cavalry, 2/3/4 long ranged archers, e.g. archer auxilia, 2/3/4 decent infantry. This is how you set them up:

When the enemy approaches your cavalry should be out wide so that their army would be side on to your infantry if they attacked them, allowing you to flank them. The main idea of the formation, though, is that the enemy will be drawn into the middle because of the archer fire, wanting to stop it because of their losses. As they do so, pull the archers back, engage with the infantry, and flank/get behind the enemy with your cavalry. This will no doubt either crush them or break them, so it is best to leave one side open, so the enemy can flee, minimalizing your losses (they could fight to the death).

2. Spear-head

This is more useful if you have a lack of infantry or units in general. For this to function properly, though, you will need 2 units of infantry, preferably 2 of cavalry though 1 would do, and a unit of archers. This is how you set them up:

The shapes are a bit off here, but you can see the idea. Again the archers are used to lure in the enemy, which the cavalry engage at the last minute. The infantry then serve as flankers, surrounding the enemy yet again. If the enemy attacks the infantry, you can sally forth with the cavalry either through the center, or out of the sides to flank. If necessary, you can also use the archers in melee.

3. Reverse flanking

A favorite of mine, mainly because it's different and a bit strange. You need a sizable army: 3 or 4 decent cavalry that you can quickly remake or don't care about, preferably 4 units of infantry, and anything else is a bonus. Set them up like this:

As you can see, this really is the opposite of a standard formation. The idea is that the cavalry engage as much of the enemy's front line as possible, so that the infantry again serve a flanking role. This could be difficult with slow moving infantry, so it may be worthwhile to use a charge, withdraw, re-charge tactic with the cavalry to preserve them until the infantry reach their target. This tactic can end up in a sloppy battle and heavy cavalry losses, but it can go a good way to preserving some valuable infantry!