Soldier nomenclature

Mar 2018
977
UK
What about just "Hoplites" for the earlier and "Companions" for the later?
I had the same idea, in a slightly different context. Every unit also has an "elite" version of itself that can only be trained in limited numbers but is otherwise contemporary to the main unit. I'm using Companion as an adjective for such elite Pikemen and Hoplites.
 

Matthew Amt

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,073
MD, USA
So what would you call Samnite or Legionary style Infantry in one word? I'd be quite happy to make it not completely Greco-centric too, so something Celtic or Persian would be even better.
Hoo, good question! Scutari is an actual Latin word, though I think it mostly shows up later, might be just the thing. Better than "Italian heavies" or something like that.

As for Hoplites, I think I'll go with "Archaic" and "Reformed." Those should be understandable to a layman (and the latter clearly better), while still being historically sound, and vague enough to make sense in a game world where history might develop very differently
It's up to you, obviously! I don't think "Reformed" is well-defined or widely used even amongst afficionados, and I don't think the concept is well documented at all. And many may assume you mean the reforms of Iphikrates, but as I understand it we have no evidence that his "light hoplites" existed in any significant numbers.

I'm still not helping much, sorry, sorry...

Matthew
 
Mar 2018
977
UK
Hoo, good question! Scutari is an actual Latin word, though I think it mostly shows up later, might be just the thing. Better than "Italian heavies" or something like that.



It's up to you, obviously! I don't think "Reformed" is well-defined or widely used even amongst afficionados, and I don't think the concept is well documented at all. And many may assume you mean the reforms of Iphikrates, but as I understand it we have no evidence that his "light hoplites" existed in any significant numbers.

I'm still not helping much, sorry, sorry...

Matthew

Not at all, it's a lot of help! I was thinking of any particular reforms, but those of Iphikrates or the tactical changes of Epaminondas were at the front of my mind. Maybe "Improved" or "Advanced" would be better adjectives? They feel a bit more abstract however.

Scutati/Scutari is a good suggestions, certainly less than the generic "Swordsman" I had in mind.
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
14,285
A rather dull question I'm afraid, but I'm working a game at the moment and I need some names to describe different types of soldiers and I'm coming rather short. I'm trying to find a single word (or at most a two word name) to distinguish between two different types of hoplites, essentially an "early" hoplite up to the Persian wars and a "late" hoplite from the Peloponnese War onward. Any suggestions for better names than "Early Hoplite" and "Late Hoplite"? And yes, I know that the distinction between them is fairly arbitrary, but that's the nature of game design where continuous changes have to be lumped into discrete steps.

Similarly, what would be the name for a soldier who fights in armour (chainmail?) with a sword, large shield and javelins, in the manner of Samnites, Legionaries and (IIRC) some Celts?
If it is a game then those units probably have different characteristics.. What are they ? (faster ? more powerful ? etc..)

Based on that you could have very simple names such as Medium Infantry, Heavy Infantry, VH (Very heavy infantry) or fast infantry.....

Or even simpler Heavy Infantry I, Heavy Infantry II, etc....
 
Mar 2018
977
UK
If it is a game then those units probably have different characteristics.. What are they ? (faster ? more powerful ? etc..)

Based on that you could have very simple names such as Medium Infantry, Heavy Infantry, VH (Very heavy infantry) or fast infantry.....

Or even simpler Heavy Infantry I, Heavy Infantry II, etc....
But that's incredibly dull, characterless and immersion breaking. Not to mention that some lines of units are parallel for example scutari->legionnary and hoplite-> improved hoplite-> pikemen, but both lines are equally heavy
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
14,285
But that's incredibly dull, characterless and immersion breaking. Not to mention that some lines of units are parallel for example scutari->legionnary and hoplite-> improved hoplite-> pikemen, but both lines are equally heavy
Fair enough, but note that we know nothing about the game you are developing... I can only assume it is some sort of wargame/ strategy game...

Is it tactical, strategic ? is is a board game , a computer game ? what is the target audience ? are the rules 3 pages or 100 pages ? is the game simple or complex ? etc...

If the unit name has no purpose other than "historicity" (i.e. it is not important in terms of game rules and effects) then you want to limit potential confusion.... Remember you have also have colors, and unit symbols or shapes to play with..... In such games it is always tricky to make the game interesting and fun so that people want to play it again and again... If your target audience is "grognards" then they will certainly appreciate historical detail , if the target audience is the average guy, then 98%+ will not know what "Scutarii" (for example) means.... Ideally units with different names will have different capabilities or features so that players look forward to using those units and trying different tactics with a different mix of units

If you have not done so already I suggest a look at this computer game (which is both easy to play and has a good historical feel and relatively good details) :



 
Last edited: