At the close of the fourth century AD, Rome faced its greatest danger in
over 500 years. To the east, the Sassanid Persian Empire presented a powerful
challenge to Roman dominance in the Middle East. To the north, German
tribes pressed against the Rhine frontier. To the northeast, Gothic tribes
also stirred. And rival Roman would-be emperors faced off against one
Fading Legions covers these battles, when the last of Rome’s
legions faced hordes of enemy horsemen. The Romans are in a state of military
transition, adding more and more mounted and missile-armed troops to their
forces while retaining the heavy infantry that had formed the army’s
backbone for centuries.
Despite Rome’s undoubted cultural and scientific superiority,
the empire’s enemies have a decided edge in military technology.
The Persians, who face the Romans in five of the game’s scenarios,
have war elephants, but their real advantage comes from their “cataphract”
cavalry: big men on big horses, both protected by chainmail armor. The
Persians usually have large numbers of infantry, but these aren’t
Barbarians come in several flavors: Germans, Visigoths and Ostrogoths.
Ostrogoths (known as Greuthungi at this phase of their history) are almost
exclusively heavy cavalry, with some allied peoples tagging along as light
cavalry and mounted archers. The Visigoths (known as Tervingi in those
days) are primarily heavy infantry, with some mounted archers, light cavalry
and foot archers in support. And they have their famous wagon-forts to
wheel onto the battlefield. The Germans are also most heavy infantry,
but bring some heavy cavalry to the battlefield as well.
Rome’s striking power is in her legions, disciplined heavy infantry,
but these are vulnerable to arrows and heavy horse. There’s a whole
legion capable of missile fire, plus some auxiliary light infantry and
light cavalry capable of loosing arrows. Rome has but a handful of armored
cavalry, and only one of these units is as good as their Persian counterparts.
But they do have one unit of camel-mounted archers.
There are 11 scenarios included in Fading Legions.
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