View Full Version : "Rebel" Army List
03-01-2007, 04:13 PM
O.K., just kicking around ideas for a long-term DBA campaign during the Classical era. One thing I was thinking of was having provinces revolt if a certain number of circumstances are met. For such instances I was thinking of building a generic "Rebel" army that the GM would play that would rampage until beaten and order restored.
I wanted the army to be fun and unpredictable to play (control)--any ideas? Here's my idea for a build:
1x3Kn. (Gen.) Disgruntled aristocrat, exiled senator, etc.
6x7Hd The unfortunate plebes
4x3Wb Natives with a bone to pick
1x3Bd Former veterans, Hoplite class citizens, etc.
03-02-2007, 11:14 AM
The obvious list to base the rebel army might be a combined II/45 b and c. Replace the Bd with Sp.
1 3Kn or 3Cv or 4Sp(G) (the rebel leader and entourage)
2 2Ps (slingers recruited from shepherds or hillmen with javelins or bows)
5 5Wb (large numbers of foot with hated in their hearts and nothing to lose)
2 4Sp (Ex soldiers, deserters)
2 4Sp or 1 2LH + 1 3Ax (Ex soldiers, deserters, mounted raiders, hillmen)
03-02-2007, 02:16 PM
This sounds an interesting project.
It seems to me that there are likely to be a number of possible sources of troops in the rebel armies.
Firstly, some of the garrison or other nearby government troops may be subverted to join the rebel cause. They would reflect troop types of the government army, but necessarily in the same proportions as the main government forces. In an Imperial Roman setting more auxiliaries might join the revolt than legionaries (or vica versa). In a Greek setting some of the mecenaries might join in but the citizen hoplites might not.
Secondly, the revolt may be able to attract allies/participants from the colonised natives. If they have not been under the colonial thumb for too long they may still use their previous tactics and weaponry. As time (decades or centuries) passes they are more likely to copy the weapons, organisation and tactics of their successful oppressors. For example, the Romano-British weapons, tactics, appearance etc. seem to owe more to the late Roman Empire than the pre-Roman British tribes.
Ex-soldiers and deserters seem to me to be likely to be organised and armed in the same way as the army that they were previously in.
Lower class colonists and native inhabitants who have adopted the imperial culture could either be hordes, or possibly trained by rebel officers to become the same kind of infantry troop types as predominate in the main armies. Perhaps horde elements which survive over a year in game terms could be exchanged for blades, spears, psiloi or auxilia?
Mercenaries can give a little bit of unpredictability. In both Greek and Roman settings they would give a lot specialist troops (e.g. slingers, archers and mounted).
Would the rebel leaders be likely to use freed slaves? Most of the ruling classes of the classical world would avoid that unless they were desperate, like the Roman Republic during the Second Punic War. You may want to think about the internal politics of the rebellion.
Lastly, if I was formenting rebellion in a frontier province I would be quite keen on getting help from over the border. (They may want a buffer zone taken from what was imperial territory.) If you are in a seaside province can you do a deal with the pirates?
03-02-2007, 04:39 PM
Thank you for your input gentlemen!
"Lastly, if I was formenting rebellion in a frontier province I would be quite keen on getting help from over the border. (They may want a buffer zone taken from what was imperial territory.)"
One thing I was thinking was that once a certain amount of time has passed, the rebel province can request that a neighboring ruler become their overlord, which I really think would make things interesting. I was also thinking that the rebel province could offer terms to their former ruler for independence; however, I don't want to burden the GM with too much.
Basically the rules would center around making the "owner" of the province feel the pain of a rebellion and have to pay a price for improper management, i.e. prevent them from simply blazing a trail across the map. I'm tempted to give the rebels a BUA if they are ignored long enough, and make the taking of the BUA a victory condition for the returning army.
Another thing I was thinking of was to randomize the rebel army composition. Any other ideas?
03-03-2007, 01:00 PM
Here's another idea....in lawless or uncontrolled provinces, you could have bandits (like the 5th c. Bacaudae) represented by 1-3 elements of warbands, hordes or others, who could attach themselves to armies operating in the area like allied contingents. Which army they would support could be determined by die roll, or by letting players bargain for their services with payments of gold or prestige points.
03-04-2007, 12:35 AM
Very nasty idea Chris!
08-31-2007, 12:10 PM
I have faced similar issues while trying to conceptualize the make-up of Yellow Scarves rebels and what-not to battle the Later Han/Three Kingdoms armies in China. Hordes or warbands supplemented by a little cavalry or light horse (both of which represent bandit types) seem to make the most sense; the idea of disgruntled garrison troops joining the throng also adds a dangerous element or two (likely spear or crossbow, but most likely the former).
08-31-2007, 01:17 PM
Check out the below link for an example of troop types able to be recruited by province:
You can use a similar process for your rebel armies. I would like to point out you do not need to restrict yourself to the peasant rabble as the main element of the rebel forces. Consider the case of Alexander the Great during his campaigns in Asia. If there is a revolt in Greece while he's absent, what would that army look like? Most probably, it would be an army from one of the city states which rebelled and dragged some adjacent city states into the conflict against the stay-behind Macedonians? So the army list for Thebes, Athens, Arcarnania, or any other city would be perfectly fine or a "rebel" list. Caesar in Gaul would face "rebel" armies that essentially mirror the Gallic list.
This is not to say that you shouldn't develop a "revolt" list with masses of peasants, but that shouldn't be the limit of possibilities.
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