Points

Armatura was the fighting style of the Roman legions during the 1st through 3rd centuries A.D., when they were a professional army. The legions' armament dates to the 4th century B.C., however, and this style might have its roots in that period. The basic forms taught to legionaries, auxiliaries, and marines were similar - although the various arms emphasized different weapons. In many cities, young men of the upper and middle classes took instruction in military combat as a matter of pride. They, too, learned Armatura - but from professional instructors, sometimes brought in from gladiatorial schools.

Legionaries carried two pila (throwable spears). They would hurl one or both while the enemy was at a distance, and then engage with shield and pilum if holding ground, shield and gladius (sword) if assaulting. They trained to lead with their shield and use it offensively to shield bash or shove the enemy; Beats (pp. 100-101) with the shield were common. They also learned to minimize the disadvantages of their large shield, stabbing around it while using it for cover. Defensive Attacks (jabbing thrusts) were routine. More aggressive attacks - but only rarely Committed Attacks - generally followed up a successful shove or Beat. Parries were less common than blocks.

Auxiliary infantry learned a similar style but carried different equipment. Replace Shortsword with Broadsword and make Thrown Weapon (Spear) optional. All Roman troops prided themselves on their knowledge of dirty tricks. It would be reasonable to add a variety of unsporting techniques to any version of the style.

The Roman legions were a prosaic bunch; there are few tales of legendary feats of arms. However, given the great store Roman writers put by the stamina and bravery of their troops, cinematic legionaries might merit high FP, several levels of Fearlessness, and the Immovable Stance skill. Enhanced Block, and the skills Kiai (for the barritus battle cry) and Power Blow, also fit.

All Roman soldiers of the mid-to-late Empire probably learned Armatura. It became less common toward the end of the Empire - as auxiliaries became an increasingly large part of the Roman forces, it grew harder to find the necessary training. Armatura is also useful as the basis for styles for troops armed like Roman legionaries in fantasy worlds.

Skills: Hiking; Shield; Shortsword; Spear; Thrown Weapon (Spear).

Techniques: Feint (Shield or Shortsword); Retain Weapon (Shortsword or Spear); Targeted Attack (Shortsword Thrust/Vitals).

Cinematic Skills: Immovable Stance; Kiai; Power Blow.

Perks: Naval Training, for marines; Shield-Wall Training; Teamwork (Armatura).

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