The Armies of Stilicho 396-408 AD

Stilicho was probably born is what today is Germany. His father was a Vandal and his mother a Roman citizen, however in the way he was brought up it is unlikely that he ever considered himself anything other than an elite Roman.

After a successful period in the army of Theodosius I he helped raise the army that fought for Theodosius I at the battle of the Frigidus River against the forces of Eugenius. He was appointed guardian of Theodosius son Honorius in 395. Following the death of Theodosius, Honorius became emperor of the Western Empire, and his brother Arcadius of the Eastern half. Neither proved to be effective emperors, and Stilicho came to be the de facto commander-in-chief of the Roman armies in the West.

Era: Triumph of Cavalry   The Armies of Stilicho 396-408 AD CR: H: 4 L: 4   BP: 2 Init: 5
Number Type   Description Key FV PROT Weapon Cost
1 HC (d!) Equites Palatina K 4[0]0 +1 Various  
2 LC Illrricani K 2[0]0 +1 Javelins  
2 LHI Auxilia Palatina* K 4[1]2 +1 Javelins  
1 FT Legio Palatina K 6[1]1 +1 Spears  
1 FT Legio Comitatenses K 5[1]1 +1 Spears/bows  
1 SI Auxilia   2[1]1 +2 Bows  
1 SI Auxilia   3[1]2 +2 Javelins  
    Gallic and British Units          
1 HC (d!) Equites Palatina K 4[0]0 +1 Various 10pts
2 FT Legio Palatina K 6[1]1 +1 Spears 8pts
2 LHI Gallic Pseudocomitatenses** K 4[1]2 +1 Javelins 7pts
1 LI Gallic Limitanae K 3[1]2 +1 Bows 6pts
2 LI Gallic Limitanae   3[1]2 +1 Javelins 5pts
1 SI Auxilia   2[1]1 +2 Bows 2pts
2 SI Auxilia   3[1]2 +2 Javelins 2pts
    German Foederati/Mercenaries          
2 HC (d!) Warriors K 4[0]0 +1 Spears/Javs 10pts
2 WB Warriors K 5[1]3 +1 Various 8pts
1 SI     2[1]1 +2 Bows 2pts
1 SI     3[1]2 +2 Javelins 2pts
    Alan Foederati          
1 HC Riders K 5[1]0 +2 Lances 12pts
2 LC *** K 2[0]0 +1 Various/Bows 8pts


Core: 1GR

Bonus: (Max: 3 ) 2GR, 2SH,1RG,1W


Core: 38 Bonus: 130


All WB are BP4 Move 6

All FV5 HC are Obligatory Chargers

*up to 2 FT may be substituted either

FT K 6[1]1 +1 Spears at 8pts (Legio Palatina) or

FT K 5(1)1 +1 Spears/bows at 8 pts (Legios Comitatenses)

**up to 2 FT may be substituted.

FT K 5(1)1 +1 Spears/bows at 8 pts (Legios Psudocomitatenses)

***Only 1 Line may be chosen. There is some debate as to whether this cavalry had bows. Therefore a choice is provided.

Light troops from any package only count against the requirement for purchasing all light troops in order to acquire an extra light division if any troops from that package are purchased.

Zosimus says that Stilicho selected the strongest and most courageous soldiers, whom he retained with himself, sending the most feeble part and the refuse of it into the east from the Army that fought at Frigidus. So, hence the date, Ive constructed the army after he sends the Eastern forces back as the Thracian campaign in 395 was a bit of a none event.

Stilichos main adversaries were Alaric the Visigoth who he faced in Thrace, in Macedonia, at Pollenta and at Verona. He also fought a major incursion by Rhodogaisus and defeated him at Fiesole near Florence, where he used Hun mercenaries for the first time in a Western Roman army.

For players that wish to fight with the force mix that Stilicho fielded historically the following bonus selections should be used:

396-405: Gallic and British Units, German Foederati/Mercenaries, Alan Foederati.

406-408: Gallic and British Units, German Foederati/Mercenaries, Alan Foederati, Hun Mercenaries.

Sources: Zosimus; The New History, Cameron; Claudian: Poetry and Propoganda at the Court of Honorius, Bury; History of the Later Roman Empire.

Ordo Link: Armies of Stilicho

Last Edited: 19 August 2008

List Author: OCahan