Sertorian 80 BC - 72 BC

Warm. Ag. 1. WW, Rv, H(S), H(G), Wd, O, V, RGo, Rd, BUA.
Nominal list scale: 1 element equals 256 men (normal scale).

C-in-C - Reg Cv (O) @ 28 AP or Reg Bd (F) @ 27 AP 1
Sub-generals - Reg Bd (O) @ 27 AP or Reg Cv (O) @ 28 AP 0-2
Italian legionaries - Reg Bd (O) @ 7 AP 8-20
Africans - Reg LH (O) @ 5 AP or Reg Ps (S) @ 3 AP 2-4
Cavalry - up to 1/2 Irr Cv (O) @ 7 AP, rest Irr LH (O) @ 5 AP 2-12
Lusitanian caetrati - up to 1/3 Irr Ax (S) @ 4 AP, rest Irr Ps (S) @ 3 AP 16-48
Balaeric or other slingers - Irr or Reg Ps (O) @ 2 AP 0-6
Celtiberians - 1/4 to 1/2 Irr Ps (S) @ 3 AP, rest Irr Bd (F) @ 5 AP 0-36
Other Iberians - 1/4 to 1/2 Irr Ps (S) @ 3 AP, rest Irr Ax (S) @ 4 AP 0-18
Upgrade Spanish as trained regulars - LH to Reg (O) @ 5 AP, Cv to Reg Cv (O) @ 8 AP, Ps to Reg Ps (S) @ 3 AP, Ax and Bd to Reg Bd (F) @ 7 AP 0-60
Boats and pirate vessels - Irr Bts (O) @ 2 AP [Ps, Ax, Bd] 0-4
Replace boats with Mithridatic supplied galleys - Reg Gal (S) @ 4 AP [Reg Bd] 0-1/2
Ditch and rampart for camp - TF @ 1 AP 12-36
Bolt-shooters - Reg Art (O) @ 8 AP 0-2
Field fortifications - TF @ 2 AP 0-24
Roman allies: List Late Republican Roman (Bk 2)

Sertorius was a Roman member of the faction opposed to Sulla who successfully defended Spain, with considerable local assistance, against the likes of Metellus and Pompey. Other Roman leaders joined him, notably Papernna who brought 53 cohorts with him from Italy, and who eventually murdered Sertorius, at which the Spaniards immediately deserted him and he was defeated by Pompey. Sertorius equipped and trained his Spanish in Roman fashion, and after his death, some of his troops made their way into Gaul where they were still active in Caesar's day. This list covers the armies of Sertorius from his return to Spain after his African venture. His previous army in Spain is covered by the Late Republican list, his Spanish venture should be covered by the Early Moorish list.


Aggression: I have rated the army aggresion 1 rather than 0, since although Sertorius was never given the opportunity to conduct actions outside Spain, it was his intention to do so whenever he could - by marching on Rome. Indeed Appian says he was already starting to do so when Metellus was sent against him to forstall him.

Terrain: Sertorius was a masterful ambusher and constantly able to hide forces on wooded hills etc; I think a compulsory H(S) is appropriate given the aeas he operated in.

List scale: Sertorius' inital force in 80 BC is recorded as being 7600 strong, while later his lifeguard alone is reported to be thousands strong. The normal list scale is thus appropriate.

Generals: The current Sertorian option in the Ancient Spanish list assumes that Sertorius' guards were his African Moors. However, this is contradicted by Appian (1.112) who says his direct bodyguards were Celtiberians; Plutarch likewise records his lifeguards being Spaniards. His sub-generals were Romans rather than Spaniards, and thus if fighting on foot, are thus graded Bd (O) not (F). Indeed, Sertorius himslef need not be C-in-C, since his forces were large enough, and his generals loyal enough, that he could split his forces up into more than one army at a time.

Italian legionaries: 2600 are recorded in his initial army, although it is possible that some of these men were Spaniards, not Italians (Plutarch against Appian). More joined him subsequently, athough numbers are not given. I assume not great numbers more, aside from those that were led in bulk from Italy under the likes of Parpenna, who are treated as allies. Since these men were essentially volunteers rather than raw recuits, I grade them as (O) not (I).

Africans: Apparently 700 Moors went to Spain with Sertorius. They may have been cavalry, since some captured Pompey's horse on one occasion, making them more likely to have been cavlry than infantry. However, on another occasion, Sertorus is described as picking out a select group of moors and Spaniards for their fleetness on foot; which does not describe cavlarymen well. Accordingly they can be classified as either foot or mounted.

Other cavalry: An initial 700 Lusitanian horse is recorded; maximum numbers are a pure guess, since no numbers are given.Evidence is lacking as to what proportion should be scutarii and what caetrati, or even if there was a tactical difference.

Lusitanians: There is confusion in the sources as to exactly which peoples were Lusitanians and which were Celtiberians, or indeed, other Iberians. Appains states Sertorius' initial force was of italaisn and Celtiberians; Plutarch says (at least a prpoprtion of) the Spanish component were Lusitanians. Plutarch's account seems the better; but even he says that Sertorius soon gathered recuits from tribes other than the Lusitanians. He gives 4000 caetrati in his initial force.

Slingers: The scant spources do not mention these, but their use can be inferred from better detailed accounts of other armies operating in the region.

Celtiberians and other Iberians: A large proportion of Sertorius' Spaniards are recorded as being Celtiberians; indedd, if appian is to be believed, seemingly the majority. I grade Celtiberian scutarii as Bd (F) rather than Wb (F). Firstly, when trained earlier by the Carthaginians, Livy describes them as being a 'regular legion' implying having a somewhat similar fighting style as their Roman opponents; although describing them as moving more quickly. He also describes them as being hampered when fighting Romans by broken ground. However, the exact opposite of effect occurs in DBM with Celtiberians graded as Wb when fighting Bd: the Bd are hampered, not the Wb. By making them Bd (F), they still retain the same fast movement rate; they still maintain the same impetuosity that Sertorius' recent recruits are described as having compared to his trained regulars, and they suffer more from bad going than Bd (O) do in that the same -2 tactical factor penalty suffered bites more hard on the troops graded (F) than (O). Having them rated as Bd also means that when they are subsequently trained, they keep the same style of fighting that was observed by Caesar of his enemies in Spain.

Trained regulars: Not all Sertorius' forces were trained in Roman methods or used Roman arms, as he was constantly recieving new recruits from all over Spain. Contrary to the current list's claims, there is no reason to suspect this training extended only to his scutarii - especially since his caetrati are mentioned as being in the very cohorts that were introduced by such training. Ax are regraded as Bd when regular - only Irr Ax are allowed to have heavy throwing weapons according to the rules... In any case, the classification of Iberian scutarii as Ax (S) rather than Bd may be somewhat suspect.

Naval forces: As sea-battles were fought by Sertorius (eg against Cotta), naval forces should be allowed to accompany land armies. His vessels are described as 'built not for strength but lightness and swift sailing' and as including pirate vessels hence the classification as Bts (O); he later obtained 40 galleys from Mithridates to bolster this arm. The total umbers if naval elemnts allowed is small to reflect there is no actual recorded instance of them being involved in a land battle.

Camp defences and field forifications: being a Roman general leading Roman troops, Sertorius of course used fortified camps; he also made used of field fortifications in the manner of other good Roman commanders, attempting to encircle his opponent's army (Appian 1.110).

Bolt-shooters: these are not directly attested, but are likely given that they were a standard part of any Roman camp and that Sertorius is recorded as having constructed war-engines when previoulsy in Spain.

Roman allies: The large contingent under Perpenna is classified as an allied contingent since it is recorded as fighting from a separate camp from Sertorius' army (Appian 1.110) and was commanded by a general who considered himself every bit the equal of Sertorius, and indeed who treacherously murdered him, which hardly vouches for his 'sufficient loyalty' as is required by the rules of a sub-general. Furthermore, the strength of this contingent - some 53 cohorts, requires more than just 6 elements of troops - and indeed, is going to require over 10 times this number! (As the Late Republican Roman list is at double scale, an allied contingent drawn from it may include 64 elements of legioanries at the normal scale used by this list)

This page last modified 8 September, 2002

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