An estimation of the size of the Legion.

Content of the article: "An estimation of the size of the Legion."

This has been a subject of debate ever since F:NV first came out. Estimates of the Legion's size have ranged from a mere several thousand to a mammoth hundreds of thousands (one rather far-fetched estimate that I've come across is 800,000-strong).

I am here to not only provide my own estimate (which, again, is an ESTIMATE, nothing concrete), but also to shed light on just how unrealistic it would be for the Legion to expand beyond the upcoming estimate. My own estimate has the Legion at about 5,000-strong by the events of F:NV. 8,000-strong if one wants to be extremely generous to the Legion.

The basic reasoning for my estimate is that the Legion is essentially just one large roving tribe of slave warriors that sustains itself by either conquering and assimilating other tribes or by simply breeding its own soldiers. Combined with the fact that the Legion is only a mere 34 years-old and the fact that the Legion is literally a bastardized copy of an ancient Roman legion of the late Roman Republic (which typically numbered in the estimated range that I've provided), it just wouldn't make any sense at all, whatsoever, for the Legion to expand beyond my estimate.

However, as this apparently isn't a strong enough case for some Legion supporters, allow me to delve into my much more specific case as to why that is. Let's begin with the fact that the Legion has conquered 87 tribes by 2281. According to Legion supporters, the Legion consists of all 87 tribes and therefore has all of their combined strength. However, not every tribe that the Legion conquers is assimilated, as some have actually been completely exterminated down to the very last man, woman and child (with some exceptions).

Tribes that have been known to have been exterminated include the Ridgers tribe, the Twisted Hairs tribe (Ulysses was the sole survivor that managed to avoid such a fate), the Twin Mothers tribe and 5 other unnamed tribes. Combined with the fact that the 87th tribe is such a recent conquest (Caesar himself isn't even aware of its fall) that it can't be included (its fate being entirely unknown, after all), that's 9 tribes that can't be included in the official tally. Of course there could very well have been other tribes that were exterminated but, for the sake of discussion, let's just assume that the Legion only has 78 tribes to its name.

Now we examine exactly how the Legion assimilates conquered tribes. When a conquered tribe is assimilated, only those that the Legion deems worthy of slavery and useful are spared. The able-bodied men, male adolescents and male children are taken to be trained as Legionaries whereas the women and girls are taken to be breeding stock (which is extremely shortsighted in that it costs the Legion potential soldiers). Everybody else (the elderly, the sickly and those men, male adolescents and male children that are either too weak or too old for Legionary training) is put to the sword.

Furthermore, attrition from fighting off the Legion's forces would further lessen the amount of troops that the Legion could harvest from conquered tribes. Meaning that at the end of the day, the Legion won't be acquiring too many soldiers from the conquest and assimilation of other tribes. Especially in just a 34-year timeframe.

There's also the issue of lack of modern medicine and any real medical knowledge in the Legion. Having to get by on extremely primitive tribal remedies (i.e Healing Powders and Bitter Drink), the Legion has an incredibly difficult dilemma on its hands in relation to treating battlefield injuries and breeding future Legionaries.

Basic bullet wounds and shrapnel cuts that might otherwise be treated by a Stimpak or a Doctor's Bag all but doom a Legionary to an otherwise easily-avoidable death due to either infection or execution at the hands of their comrades (nobody "retires" from Legion service, after all).

Lack of RadAway and Rad X means that Legionaries could needlessly die from overexposure to radiation when such a fate could be easily avoided. Much more complex injuries (which are extremely common when going up against heavily-armed, well-equipped adversaries, I might add) that might require limb amputations and life-saving surgeries are well out of the expertise of Legion healers, meaning that death from their wounds or summary execution by their comrades is a certainty for Legionaries.

Without access to modern medicines, life expectancy in the Legion is extremely piss-poor to the point to where sustaining an army outside the range of several thousand warriors would be all but impossible. As for breeding, the lack of proper medical expertise and modern medicines ensures that extremely high infant mortality rates (50%-75% by my calculations), child mortality rates (60%-85%, by my calculations) stillborn rates and miscarriage rates are an inevitability.

With the vast majority of children born in the Legion dying before they're even born or before they even take their first step, the Legion couldn't possibly raise an army above the thousands range, even with the conquest and assimilation of other tribes into the Legion's ranks. A mere 34-year timeframe most certainly wouldn't allow it.

We must now examine the sheer brutality of how Caesar turns men and boys into Legionaries. If one manages to survive the fall of their tribe to be enslaved or manages to survive birth and infancy in the Legion, they must now survive the grotesquely severe tribulation that is Legionary training. A process so deadly and lethal that even NCR Ranger training (which is so intense that 8-out-of-10 prospective recruits wash out) is left deeply wanting in comparison.

Only in the Legion, there's no such thing as "washing out". You either get through the training, or die trying. Most Legion prospects will ultimately prove to be too weak and perish, with only a select few surviving long enough to finally become a full-fledged Legionary.

When combined with the fact that this will be a long, arduous process that spans across many years or decades (depending on when one exactly begins the training) and all of the other aforementioned limitations and inhibitions, it's only obvious that the Legion couldn't possibly surpass my estimate. It most certainly couldn't be done in only 34 years

There's also the issue of life expectancy in the Legion to consider, as well. Aside from the aforementioned obstacles to a higher life expectancy above, yet another such obstacle is the Legion's own structure. Even if one survives the conquest of their tribe, the assimilation process, birth/infancy/childhood in the Legion and Legionary training, they must now survive the crucible that is the life of a Legionary. Or, to be more specific, life as a Recruit Legionary.

As a mere recruit of the Legion, one is extremely shoddily equipped and all but helpless in the face of any meaningful adversaries. Outfitted with an armor that's so light and ineffective that it can't even protect its wearer from a straight razor and armed only with crude blades, makeshift spears and only a massively meager handful of obsolete firearms that are just about broken, Recruit Legionaries are used as little more than expendable cannon fodder.

Cannon fodder whose sole purpose is to either overwhelm an opponent through sheer weight of numbers or at the very least weaken an opponent so that the older, more experienced higher-ranking Legionaries can finish what they started should they fail. Such a structure means that most Legionaries won't survive past a year (as even basic tribes could more than easily kill Recruit Legionaries en masse, nevermind more powerful enemies) in their service to Caesar.

Alongside the fact that a Recruit Legionary has to survive 5 years in order to advance in rank and status (meaning better access to better weapons as well as a higher chance of survival) to become either a Prime Legionary or Recruit Decanus, the other aforementioned problems above all but ensure that the Legion couldn't possibly build a force above several thousand warriors in only 34 years.

Then there's also the issue of the actual size of the tribes that the Legion conquers and assimilates. You see, tribes in the Fallout universe are quite often tiny family-sized units that rarely, if at all, exceed 100 members in total. Aside from the fact that they suffer from all of the Legion's own problems, but on a far more massive scale due to their far smaller size and much more primitive nature, there's also the fact that trying to survive in an irradiated, inhospitable post-apocalyptic Wasteland is a gargantuan task.

Especially for extremely primitive tribes and tribals. The Wastes are filled to the brim with hostile wildlife (i.e. Deathclaws, Cazadores, Night Stalkers, Yao Guai, etc. etc.), that's constantly trying to kill you, radiation, Raiders and bandits that are always looking for someone to rob, rape and murder and so very much more that make basic survival, let alone expansion, virtually impossible for just about everybody, most particularly tribes.

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On top of all of that, tribes have to survive in a post-apocalyptic world where fresh, clean drinking water that isn't irradiated is all but impossible to find and where food is extremely scarce. Furthermore, due to lack of anything that's even remotely close to an education, tribes have to subsist on hunting and gathering their food (agriculture would be well beyond their capabilities without a proper education, after all). Not bad if one's focused on basic sustainability, but if expansion is what one is after, then it just wouldn't be realistically sustainable.

In addition to these problems is the fact that tribes almost always never get along with each other and are constantly warring against each other accordingly. Meaning that when combined with the other aforementioned issues, inter-tribal conflict will definitely serve to cull numbers and keep tribes well below the 100-mark.

We know for a fact that inter-tribal warfare and all-around chaos was the norm in Arizona, which was essentially Hell-on-Earth prior to the Legion's rise to power there. All in all, we can safely conclude that the tribes that the Legion conquered weren't even 100-strong, meaning that when attrition, the assimilation process and extermination are taken into account, it would make perfect sense for the Legion to be within my estimate within a 34-year timeframe.

Last, but not least, we examine the inevitable attrition that would come with the Legion's 34 years of non-stop territorial expansion and tribal conquest, most particularly their war with the NCR. Let's begin with the attrition associated with the Legion's expansion prior to 2277, the year in which the First Battle of Hoover Dam occurred. Quite a few of the 66 tribes (only 64 of which were assimilated) that the Legion conquered before 2277 didn't go down without a fight and actually almost defeated the Legion before ultimately being defeated.

One such example is the unnamed tribe that Vulpes Inculta conquered to earn his promotion to head of the Frumentarii. The battle was going very poorly for the Legion and was nearly lost until the then-Decanus (rank and status unknown) Vulpes Inculta spotted a hole in the enemy tribe's defenses, led his unit through said hole and captured the tribe's chieftain. His actions are ultimately what won the battle for the Legion that day.

And while it isn't known how exactly the Legion's conquest of the other tribes went down, it could be safe to assume that there were plenty of other tribes that offered similar, if not even greater, degrees of resistance and that the Legion's conquest and pacification of the East was long, arduous, hard-fought campaign that saw immense loss of life for the Legion. Something that even Legate Lanius, who is only a very recent member of the Legion, admits to.

As for the attrition that came after 2277, it was even worse for the Legion. The First Battle of Hoover Dam in particular was absolutely shattering for them. Aside from being the absolute worst defeat in the Legion's history, it was so massively costly and destructive for Caesar that had the Divide Incident (which saw the NCR's primary supply lines nuked), not occurred prior to the battle, the NCR could've very easily completely annihilated the Legion.

It took 5 years and the conquest of 20 tribes (only 15 of which were assimilated; not including the 87th tribe) before Caesar was finally confident enough to return to Hoover Dam in preparation for yet another confrontation with the Republic. Another costly victory for the Legion was the conquest of the Hidebarks tribe, the tribe of the future Legate Lanius. Still recovering from their disastrous defeat at Hoover Dam, the Legion immediately took advantage of the breathing room afforded to them by the Divide Incident by searching for new tribes to conquer and assimilate.

The first of these tribes would be the Hidebarks tribe. Long story short, the tribe took several months for the Legion to conquer owing to the fact that the future Legate Lanius would single-handedly ambush and slaughter entire Legion patrols for sport.

Eventually, the Hidebarks were cornered and forced to surrender. Legate Lanius was given both his trademark mask and his new name and title in exchange for being allowed to kill all of the surviving adult males in the tribe (meaning fewer warriors for the Legion to harvest, I might add).

Combined with their catastrophic defeat at the First Battle of Hoover Dam, the Legion's conquest of the Hidebarks tribe definitely served as a rather sizable impediment to the Legion's growth in the 5 years preceding the events of F:NV. The final example of post-2277 attrition for the Legion was their invasion of Colorado sometime between 2277 and 2281. When Legate Lanius led his forces into Colorado, all he found was a barren, lifeless, completely inhospitable wasteland.

A wasteland that was completely bereft of towns, communities and settlements in which the Legion could rest and acquire additional supplies, tribes through which the Legion's ranks could be replenished or even flora and fauna through which medicine, food and other basic necessities could be extracted.

By the time that the Legion finally reached the ruins of what was once the city of Denver, their forces were completely exhausted and worn out. Tired, hungry, thirsty and deprived of energy, they were further disheartened to find that Denver was even more Hellish and nightmarish than the rest of Colorado.

Not only was Denver completely bereft of civilization and useful flora and fauna, but it was entirely overrun by swarms upon swarms of feral hounds that would attack everything and everyone on sight, including themselves. Everyone other than the first semblance of human life that the Legion finally encountered in Colorado: the Hangdogs tribe.

Unfortunately for the Legion, however, the Hangdogs refused to submit to Caesar's authority and resisted with a fiery passion. Using their innate mastery over animal bonding to turn the hounds of Denver against their Legion foes as well as extensive guerilla warfare tactics, the Hangdogs initiated a brutal war of attrition against the Legion that lasted years and also exacted massive casualties on Legion forces.

Combined with supply lines that were stretched thin beyond their absolute breaking point across hundreds of miles worth of brutal, completely unforgiving terrain (making it nigh impossible to bring in additional reinforcements and supplies from outside Colorado) and the complete lack of tribals as well as accessible means of sustenance anywhere near Denver, the Hangdogs and their canine Allies were easily able to turn the Legion campaign in Colorado into a catastrophic disaster.

Even by Legate Lanius' own admission, the campaign nearly broke the strength of the Legion and almost flat-out failed. In fact, Legate Lanius was only able to "defeat" the Hangdogs by playing to their spiritual superstitions. You see, the Hangdogs not only viewed the hounds of Denver as means of sustenance and survival, but also as friends, family and even spirit animals.

They held immense respect for their hounds, bordering on religious worship. Legate Lanius eventually figured that out and hatched a plan. By capturing several Denver hounds and burning them alive right in front of the Hangdogs' camp, he deduced that the Hangdogs would believe that the hounds would not only burn to death in agony in this world, but that their spirits would continue to burn in eternal torment in the spirit world as well, causing them to finally surrender.

His plan, unfortunately, worked like a charm. The Hangdogs' elders, unwilling to see their beloved spirit animals suffer an eternity of fiery torment, surrendered the whole tribe to Legate Lanius. And with their surrender, the Legion's conquest of Denver was finally complete. However, the immense costs in blood and treasure ultimately rendered the campaign completely worthless.

The Legion's severely enormous casualties were so catastrophic that the Legion was actually forced to halt all further campaigns and territorial expansion for several months until they could recover (as if the First Battle of Hoover Dam wasn't enough to deal with) and in the meantime, the Legion ultimately gained nothing of any value from the campaign, either.

While the Hangdogs were assimilated into the Legion, given their talents in animal husbandry, to become beast masters that would be responsible for breeding, training and conditioning the Legion's own warhounds, such a useless, worthlessly trivial gain in no way compensated for the Legion's devastating losses in Denver. Even the conquest of Denver itself was all but useless to the Legion.

The city is still hopelessly overrun with hordes of hounds (as confirmed by dialogue with Antony at the Fort and Ulysses) and offers no practical benefits to the Legion aside from enabling them to harvest some of its hounds for their own use. The Legion may have conquered some territory in Colorado leading up to and including Denver, but they ultimately gained nothing of value from it. Especially in light of their enormous losses.

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So not only did the Legion have little in the way of time and not only was it dealing with conflicting priorities that limited the amount of troops and supplies that could be spared for its invasion of Colorado, but it also suffered severe casualties and spent years conquering an area that was of almost no value to it, as well.

And given that the Legion was still more or less recovering from their cataclysmic defeat at the First Battle of Hoover Dam at the time, such a disaster couldn't have come a moment too soon for Caesar. As you can see, attrition throughout the Legion's 34-year history of warfare all but guarantees that the Legion can't have an army that numbers beyond several thousand troops.

Throw in the fact that the Legion practice's an extremely savage form of discipline that includes rituals such as decimatio (an event that sees both a unit's leader and every tenth man beaten to death), the fact that Legionaries will commit suicide to either avoid captivity or evade a brutal execution by the Praetorian Guard, the fact that homosexuality is forbidden under penalty of death (breeding and procreation are absolutely vital to the Legion's continued existence, after all) and the fact that Legionaries actually have mandatory quotas on exactly how many children that they have to have within a specific set of time (definitely indicative of just how difficult it is for the Legion to replenish its ranks) my point is made.

With all of the above information, it can be safely concluded that the Legion's strength is at most 5,000-strong, 8,000-strong if one wants to be incredibly generous.

Here's some sources and even direct quotes from J.E. Sawyer himself alongside the rest of the developers for verification:

Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.459: "Rebirth of the Son of Mars

The adolescence and young adulthood of the man who calls himself Caesar were spent as a scribe of the Followers of the Apocalypse. While this boy had a quick mind, he made for a scribe of uneven ability, for his success in academics was equal to his interest in the subject assigned.

Nor was he a favorite among his fellows. Though athletic, handsome, and petulance held him back. He never felt that he belonged among the Followers, and blamed them for it. Their rigorous devotion to scholarship was stifling, their mission to ensure that humanity would never repeat the mistakes of the Great War was ridiculously naive. The boy longed for something more.

When the time came for the boy to leave the Boneyard and trek the wastes as part of a nine-person expedition, wanderlust soon curdled into disappointment. The primitive conditions of the tribes the expedition encountered disgusted him. Inferior people all, wretched in their squalor.

Still, he seemed to discern, amid the chaos of their petty struggles and everyday atrocities, the true order of the wastes-and it was one of anonymous, amoral liberty. The wastes called to the boy as a blank slate upon which a man of will could write his own destiny.

During the same period of the time that the boy was coming to these insights, the expedition uncovered a cache of well-preserved historical texts. Among with adventure fiction and comic books, history had always been his favorite subject, and so the task of cataloguing and studying the texts fell to him. Though the boy had long been aware of basic facts concerning many ancient empires, these new texts filled in many previously obscure details.

Reading The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire rendered him a veritable hermit for two weeks. But even that could not have prepared him for the Commentarii, the account of the military campaigns of Gaius Julius Caesar, written by the man himself. Reading Commentarii changed the boy's life.

Unfortunately, it was destined to change the lives of thousands more, and for the worse. In Gaius Julius Caesar the boy found a man who seemed to have fulfilled the full measure of potential greatness allotted to him by fate, a man whose career spanned political accomplishment and military achievement in equal measure.

Such adventure! And intrigue! And cool uniforms! The boy's frustrations with his lot in life gained sharp focus. In reading about Caesar, he was like an ant scurrying about the feet of a regal statue. He resolved that he would go to any lengths necessary to change the course of his life. The Commentarii would be his blueprint. In an illiterate, benighted world, who would ever know that Caesar was not his original creation?

That night, Caesar offered a different sort of assistance to a tribe his expedition had contacted recently: weapons, medical supplies, and tactical expertise. He led several tribal accomplices back to the expedition's camp and through its defenses, and there oversaw the murder of his eight fellows. Within a week he was leading the tribe on ever more ambitious raids against neighboring bands of raiders and tribals." (Behind the Bright Lights & Big City)

Joshua Sawyer on Forumspring February 8 2011: "What's the premise for Caesar's Legion being so sexist, esp. in a world where Ranger Stella can mangle bodies daily in the Arena? Is it just breeding issues? Cause even the abominably sexist Romans were not that sexist, and Caesar is a smart man.

Breeding issues are pretty huge in cultures that took a big step back from infant mortality progress made in the last 100-200 years. Prior to the last few centuries, infant mortality was often around 50%-ish. Child mortality (prior to age 12) was about 60%. Those are pretty awful odds of reaching adulthood.

Remember that Caesar's Legion is basically a roving army that continually breaks down and absorbs tribes that it conquers. That can only go on for so long, and Legionaries who are indoctrinated from birth are even more loyal than adolescents who are integrated. Breeding new generations of Legionaries is vital for the Legion's continued existence.

Even though breeding is incredibly important in the Legion, there isn't any concept of family outside of the Legion's structure. All of the places where the player encounters the Legion are forward camps where direct military service is given the most weight and is of the most immediate importance. Because only males are involved in that service, they look down upon females even though it's incredibly short-sighted."

J.E. Sawyer (source): "Edward Sallow created Caesar's Legion as an imitation of the Roman Legion, but without any of the Roman society that supported the Roman Legion. I've written this before, but there are no optimates, no populares, no plebes, no equestrians, no patricians, no senate, no Rome.

There's no right to private property (within the Legion itself). There's no civil law. There aren't even the ceremonial trappings of Roman society. Legates don't receive triumphs following a victory. No one in the Legion retires to a villa in Sedona.

It's essentially a Roman legion with only the very top commander having any connection to the "source" culture, the rest being indoctrinated conscripts from cultures that were honestly less well-developed than anything in Gaul. Gauls are pretty sophisticated compared to the 80+ tribes.

Gauls could read the Latin or Greek alphabets (Gallic language, obviously), had extensive permanent settlements, roads, calendars, mines, and a whole load of poo poo that groups like the Blackfoots never had.

What Caesar gave to those tribes was order, discipline, an end to internecine tribal violence (eventually), common language, and a common culture that was not rooted in any of their parent cultures.

The price was extreme brutality, an enormous loss of life and individual culture, the complete dissolution of anything resembling a traditional family, and the indoctrination of fascist values. Caesar's Legion isn't the Roman Empire or the Roman Republic. It isn't even the Roman Legion. It's a slave army with trappings of foreign-conscripted Roman legionaries during the late empire. All military, no civilian, and with none of the supporting civilian culture."

J.E. Sawyer's Formspring: "Soldiers in Caesar's Legion don't have personal freedom. They "get" to fight and die for Caesar. It's not a volunteer military, though many legionaries are born or raised into it, so they are effectively brainwashed."

The Courier: "Caesar's dead. What more do you need?"

Chief Hanlon: "The Legion is more than just Caesar! It's got the momentum of thousands of men behind it. They're not just going to roll off into Arizona if we give them a good shove.

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The Courier: "What happened to Graham after Hoover Dam?"

Chief Hanlon: "Losing the dam was the worst defeat the Legion ever suffered. Graham had been with Caesar since the beginning, but he had to set an example. The praetorians covered Graham in pitch, lit him on fire, and down into the Grand Canyon he went."

The Courier: "I'm guessing you don't like Caesar very much."

Joshua Graham: "Love the sinner, hate the sin. With Caesar, it's often very difficult to see through all of that sin to the person inside. I can say that we were both lucky that NCR's supply lines and land routes north of Mojave Outpost were destroyed before the Battle of Hoover Dam.

Something bad happened near Death Valley, at a place called the Divide. NCR couldn't cut across anymore and it slowed down their reinforcements. Terrible storms ripped entire companies apart before they even got to Nevada soil. The aftermath of Hoover Dam could have been even worse for Caesar."

The Courier: "Who is Legate Lanius?"

Ulysses: "Lanius… the "Butcher." {Somber, recognizes name}Monster, Terror of the East. Not even his slaves have seen his face – struck them blind so they can't. Wears a mask, don't even know if it's the same man. He put Colorado to the sword, broke the Hangdogs by throwing their hounds upon the flames, so they might burn forever in the afterlife."

The Courier: "I hear you were a slave of Caesar's Legion."

Jimmy: "What Marco said is true. The Legion attacked my village when I was 16. My parents were killed as examples. The rest of us, chained and dragged to some kind of camp. A Centurion there chose me as his tent servant. He was handsome, and gentle, most of the time.

Said it was our secret, and he'd protect me. Gave me little gifts, stupid things. But Caesar punishes homosexuality with death, and we nearly got caught, and there were suspicions. So when he took me out into the desert… Well, I knew he was going to get rid of me. So I kicked him where it counts and I ran. And then swam. And ran some more. Wound up here."

The Courier: "Sounds like life in the Legion is tough."

Jimmy: "It's tough on both sides of the fence, really. I think women have it worse. They're like money, given as rewards. Breeding stock. Honestly, as long as men meet obligations and the child count, "friendships" are a sight more equal than the level of most Legion husbands and wives."

The Courier: "How did you end up joining the Legion?"

Antony: "When the Legion showed up, we fought, most tribes did. Hangdogs hung out longer than most… {beat}broke us by throwing our dogs on the fire. So we gave up, our elders couldn't bear the idea of our spirit animals burning in the afterlife. Still, Caesar was impressed enough to conscript us, use our skills with dogs to join the Legion as houndmasters."

The Courier: "Tell me about the Burned Man."

Vulpes Inculta: "Ah, yes {you know his name}- we are forbidden from speaking his true name. He was a shaman of some kind before he met {KAI-zar}Caesar, a holy man from out of the Utah. The Burned Man proved dangerous, unpredictable, and impossible to kill. He helped {KAI-zar}Caesar form the Legion but almost led it to destruction."

The Courier: "As Legate, do you really believe that, or are you taking a chance?"

Legate Lanius: "Hnh. {Beat} Long ago… when taking Denver, I had to face such a challenge. Many died, over many years to claim the city as ours. It was the lines of food and water that nearly broke the Legion's strength… and the lack of tribals near that cursed city. What I felt in that struggle, I felt as I saw the map of the West. The West is a trap. The bear has already been caught in it, and it is dying."

The Courier: "Eventually – but moving your whole army West means losing the East. You can't hold both."

Legate Lanius: "The East was a hard-fought campaign. Even now, Caesar drew too much of the Legion's blood needed there for… this. Hoover Dam is but a place. I will not have it be the gravestone of the Legion – whether quickly, or as you describe, slowly… by attrition."

The Courier: "Lanius will lead the assault on Hoover Dam?"

Caesar: "Yes. This time my Legionaries will be more frightened of the commander behind them than the enemy before them. There will be no failure this time, no retreat, no years of gathering slaves and resources for another assault. With {Lah-nee-OOS}Lanius to drive the Legion forward, the dam will be taken. It will be our {slight beat}bridgehead across the Colorado."

The Courier: "Tell me about Vulpes Inculta."

Caesar: "Vulpes is the best of my {Froo-men-TAR-ee}Frumentarii. A remarkable individual from an unremarkable tribe south of the Utah. He was brought into the Legion as a boy, survived training, fought well enough as Legionary to be promoted to the rank of {deh-CAN-us}Decanus.

Then, in battle against an {dismissive}unimportant tribe, he broke ranks and led his {con-too-BUR-nee-um – a Roman squad}contubernium through a hole in their defenses to capture its chieftain. Well, his {ken-too-REE-on}Centurion wanted him crucified for disobedience. So I made him a {froo-men-TAR-eye} Frumentarii."

The Courier: "I've heard rumors of your legate, Lanius. What's his story?"

Caesar: "Lanius is the greatest of my battlefield commanders. Some might call him a great man, but I'm not sure he qualifies. Once, he was the greatest warrior of the Hidebarks, a tribe of the Arizona. Maniacal in battle. Sometimes he'd ambush Legion patrols {emphasis}by himself.

When, after several {emphasis, usually campaigns are faster}months we found and surrounded the Hidebarks' camp, their Chieftain raised a banner of surrender. The warrior who was not yet {Lan-ee-OOS}Lanius went insane with rage. {a pleasing memory}He struck down his Chieftain and attacked his own tribe."

The Courier: "What happened when Lanius attacked his own tribe?"

Caesar: "He killed fifteen before they brought him down. He didn't die, obviously. I had him tended to. He was {beat}maimed, most of face torn off. It was days before he regained consciousness.

When he did, I went to his bedside and showed him the helmet I'd had forged to cover his face. I said he could have it if he'd fight for me. He accepted… on condition that he be allowed to kill the surviving males of his tribe. {chuckle}I said, make it the {emph}adult males and you have a deal."

The Courier: "He sounds more like a savage than a general."

Caesar: "Lanius is savage. Savagely loyal, too, but only to me – he has no love for my Legion. But this has its uses. He has no attachment to his men, no compunction about battlefield losses. All he cares about is destroying the enemy.

When another legatus or a {Ken-TOO-ree-on}Centurion fails to achieve results, I send {Lah-nee-OOS}Lanius to make things right. His first step is to beat the failed commander to death in front of his assembled troops. Then he orders the ritual of {deck-ih-MAH-tee-oh}decimatio."

The Courier: "What is "decimatio?"

Caesar: "It means "decimation," but in ancient Rome the word had a very specific meaning – a punishment for cowardice. The Legionaries are lined up in ranks. Every tenth man steps forward and is beaten to death by his brothers. It instills a certain… robust obedience."












Source: reddit.com

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