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The foot soldiers of the IX Legion are stalwart, superbly trained and well prepared for war. On Valhalla they have put their earthly training to good use, fighting endless battles against horrific foes. They are loyal to their commander, always letting him lead the way in battle; and they are loyal to each other, always advancing in tight formations to shield their fellow soldiers from concentrated enemy attacks.

Stats

  • Life: 1
  • Move: 4
  • Range: 1
  • Attack: 3
  • Defense: 2
  • Points: 50
  • Figures per Squad: 4

Abilities

  • Warlord Bonding:
    Before taking a turn with Roman Legionnaires, you may first take a turn with any Warlord you control.
  • Shield Wall:
    When defending with a Roman Legionnaire, add 1 defense die for each other adjacent Roman Legionnaire up to a maximum of +2 dice, for the Shield Wall power.

Synergy

  • Marcus Decimus Gallus: Soldier Leadership
    As Soldiers, Roman Legionnaires may benefit from Marcus Decimus Gallus’ Soldier Leadership movement bonus ability.
  • Marcus Decimus Gallus: Soldier Attack Enhancement
    As Soldiers, Roman Legionnaires may benefit from Marcus Decimus Gallus’ Soldier Attack Enhancement ability.
  • Sacred Band: Disciplined Army Defense Bonus
    Having a Disciplined personality, Roman Legionnaires are compatible with the Sacred Band's Disciplined Army Defense Bonus.

Behind the Game

The Roman Legionnaire was a professional soldier of the Roman Army after the Marian reforms of 107 BC. Legionnaires had to be Roman citizens under the age of 45. They enlisted in a legion for twenty-five years of service, a change from the early practice of enlisting only for a campaign. The last five years were on veteran lighter duties.

On the march in unfriendly terrain, the legionnaire would be loaded down with armor commonly (lorica hamata), (lorica squamata), and 1st-3rd Century (lorica segmentata), shield (scutum), helmet (galea), two javelins (one heavy pilum and one light verutum), a short sword (gladius), a dagger (pugio), a pair of heavy sandals (Caligae), a Sarcina (marching pack), about fourteen days worth of food, a waterskin (bladder for water), cooking equipment, two stakes (Sudes murale) for the construction of palisades, and a shovel or wicker basket.

The Roman Soldier underwent especially rigorous training; discipline was the base of the army's success and the soldiers were relentlessly and constantly trained with weapons and especially with drill — forced marches with full load and in tight formation were frequent. Discipline was important and infractions were heavily punished by the centurions. However, honours, rewards and promotions were frequently awarded to legionnaires who distinguished themselves in battle or through exemplary service.

  • How Many Warlords?:
    How does Warlord Bonding work? Can I take a turn with all the Warlords I control first?
    No, you can take a free (move & attack) turn with any ONE Warlord you control before taking a turn with the Roman Legionnaires. (Hasbro FAQ)
  • Opponent’s Adjacent Roman Legionnaires:
    Can an opponent’s adjacent Roman Legionnaire enhance my Legionnaire with the Shield Wall special power?
    No, only Roman Legionnaires that you control contribute to your Roman Legionnaires Shield Wall power. (Hasbro FAQ)

Strategy

The Roman Legionnaires are among the favourite melee squads in all of Heroscape. They have a decent attack if a mediocre defense (without the Shield Wall), and bond with a lot of useful figures. An effective strategy for using these units is to draft two squads of them, get them in a choke point or another place you need to control, and stay there. It will take some time until opponents can pick off this army, and by then a stronger ally figure (such as Krug or Charos) can be moved in to back them up. While they bond with any Warlord, the best Hero for them is clearly Marcus Decimus Gallus, who boosts not only their attack when next to him, but their speed regardless of where on the map they are.

While their greatest strength is their Shield Wall, it is also their greatest weakness. It requires them to be adjacent to each other and thus vulnerable to multiple or explosive attacks, such as Deathwalker 9000, Mimring or Johnny 'Shotgun' Sullivan. The less Legionnaires there are the less effect their Shield Wall is. However their cheap price means you can field a lot of them.

Roman Legionnaires or Sacred Band?

It is often argued that either of these Einar squads is stronger, though they are very similar, they have differences that could easily change the tide of a battle.

Legionnaires have the same base stats and cost as the Sacred Band, however the Legionnaires have a potential for +2 defense while the Sacred Band can only reach a maximum of +1. In order to reach their maximum power, Legionnaires must be adjacent to one another, whereas Sacred Band soldiers can hold their defense on their own, down to the last man, meaning they can't be picked off as easily and are more consistent. Their power limits who can be in their army, though, unlike the Romans who can use their power regardless who is in their army. The Greek Warlord Parmenio, however, can make a single Unique Card disciplined, aiding with the defense boost and allowing a slightly more decent selection of figures.

On another note, Legionnaires offer a wider variety of bonding than the Sacred Band, allowing bonding with any warlord, including Me-Burq-Sa, Ne-Gok-Sa, the Venoc Warlord, etc. Otherwise, the Sacred Band is restricted to bonding with Marcus Decimus Gallus, Parmenio and Valguard.

Both squads receive the same bonuses for the most part, but the Sacred Band additionally gets a 30% chance to survive a fatal attack while adjacent to Parmenio. Additionally, many players agree that the Legionnaires' shields serve to make them more difficult targets.


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