The Emerald Legion
The Legion begins to deploy on the outskirts of the village of Ghola
The Emperors of Galfor have long utilised mixed infantry forces in their armies. Armed with a combination of long pikes and muskets, these soldiers resemble in some ways the tercios of Earth's history. The famed Emerald Legion, one of the most disciplined and best drilled native infantry regiments in the System, is one such tercio.
The Emerald Legion was originally raised by the Empire approximately 900 years ago, when Galfor was a mere city-state along the Great Wolof Canal. Thanks to the technological stagnation caused by the so-called Fall of the Ancients, their arms and training methods have not changed in all that time. Their training regimen is especially brutal, and reportedly less than half of the recruits are accepted as Legionnaires. A full quarter of all recruits die during the initial training.
As you might imagine, a regiment that has existed for nearly a millenium has been in combat more times than an article of this scope may record. However, a brief history of recent events seems appropriate.
The Emerald Legion fought at both the First and Seccond Battles of Ghola, where they were overwhelmed by British technological might and unstoppable military resolve. They did give an excellent accounting of themselves, and were the very devil in close quarters combat. The Legion took advantage of the cover granted by their pavises until the last moments, when they flung themselves into the clash of cold steel against our brave Tommies and a few blue-coated legionnaires of the French Legion Extraterrestriale. Sadly for them, their numbers had been so reduced by fire from the ASA (Armored Steam Automaton), Mk II, that they were swiftly pushed back. Once their captain had been slain, the rest of the Legion withdrew hastily from the field.
The Legion has also been involved in several of the attacks on British and French outposts that have taken place lately. One such attack rapidly reduced the platoons of British and sepoy infantry protecting a convoy of unobtainite, and made off with the valuable stuff. The Emperor sold it to his German advisors, no doubt!
Several Legionnaires, positioned for battle.
The standard Legionnaire of the Emerald Legion wears a long green tunic and laced ghurr leather hobnailed sandals. Rank is indicated by yellow bands on the hem of the tunic for officers.
In battle, Legionnaires wear armor. A breastplate protects the torso, with a mail kilt hanging below to protect the soldier's upper thighs. Greaves and a metal helmet - quite similar to the ancient Roman helmet - complete the protective gear. The helmet is crested, with a plain green for regular Legionnaires and a yellow stripe for officers. While useless against modern weapons at even moderate ranges, the armor does protect against long range shots and in the general melee of bayonet versus pike.
Legionnaires are armed with either a long pike or a rifled muzzle-loading musket. NCOs may have a modern breechloading carbine as well. Officers are armed with swords. The Legion's commander also carries a baton carved from the ivory fangs of the deadly h'lee'rael sand tiger(http://vbir.blogspot.com/2009/02/tiger.html). Finally, each unit is equipped with a number of large wooden pavises, which they use as cover on the open plains of the Martian deserts. These thick wooden shields are virtually immobile during combat, but can provide a decided advantage when fighting against primitive Martian firearms. The pavise is universally painted a bright emerald green, with the Martian character for the letter "G" in yellow.
[Editor's Note: The miniatures pictured here are from Black Hat's excellent 18mm Martian Empires range. In the US, you can get them from Scale Creep (www.scalecreep.com).]