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-The Roman Double Aces -by Paul Bruffell-


The double and triple line formation of Roman armies is well recorded and studied. Caesar used the double aces on many famous battles. This article will take a small battle to demonstrate why the double line formation is so effective.

As you can see in the set-up below, the Gallic tribal force is in one mass formation and the Roman force is in two lines. The second line will act as a morale booster when the game is undertaking morale checks during combat. The second Roman line also allows transfer of troops in and out of the front line. These are key elements of the game reflecting Roman army practices.

Double Line Example

The second line also allows the Roman force to respond to possible flank attacks given the highly trained and manoeuvrable Legionary units.


Below are 2 forces of similar points value – just over 1200 points each.

Double Line Example 2

The Roman front line throws their pilum and charges in to meet the on-rushing Gauls. The second line is held in reserve.

Very quickly the Roman skill and discipline begin to tell and Gallic casualties begin to mount. Soon the Gauls are committing their noble heavy infantry and attempting to swarm round the Roman left flank.

The Roman second line is ready and dispatches two units to protect the front line flank.

In to the Action

As the battle wages and soldiers and warriors become equally exhausted, the Roman rear two units of the second line move in to replace tired units at the front line.

New fresh troops quickly get the upper hand and smash the Gallic left.

Second Line Commits

This is often too much for the fickle Gauls and they retreat leaving the battlefield to the Romans.

More to come...