Korinthian Legion Military Formation in Ulskandar | World Anvil

Korinthian Legion

The backbone of Korinthos’ military machine, the Legion model was first devised in Atenos on the continent of Tafran, before being refined through the invasion of the Isthmus of Xana in Turoza by individuals such as Dioscuros the Steadfast. In essence, a Korinthian Legion is a miniature army, designed to be completely self-sufficient, but also designed to be flexible enough to work on its own, or as part of a much larger force comprised of several Legions working in tandem. Those who have witnessed the movement and actions of a Korinthian Legion in war have compared it to an army of Golems, such is the discipline and seamless carrying out of manoeuvres.



A Korinthian Legion is comprised of 1,800 soldiers at full strength with 1,000 forming the Legion’s core force of foot soldiers, 400 missile troops, 300 cavalry, who can be mounted on a variety of mounts including horses and wargs. The final hundred individuals in the Legion being comprised of the officers staff, a small corps of engineers, medics, spell casters, and support staff. The infantry, archer and cavalry elements of a Legion are then further broken down into Cohorts of 100 men, which gives the Legion 10 Cohorts of infantry, 4 Cohorts of missile troops and 3 Cohorts of cavalry. The Cohort of officers and support staff never operate as a single mass, and are instead distributed around the rest of the Cohorts to command and support them.


Legionnaires are equipped with a range of different weapons depending upon where they sit within the Legion’s structure:
  • Infantry are equipped with shields, spears and longswords and are heavily armoured in chain and small amounts of plate.
  • Missile troops are equipped predominantly with long bows and short-swords, but each Cohort of missile troops will have five portable ballistae each of which is crewed by four legionnaires. Missile troops were much less armour, normally restricted to leather armour with chain reinforcement, but each Cohort of missile troops will have a supply of large barricade shields that can be erected to protect missile troops from incoming enemy fire.
  • Cavalry Cohorts are equipped sabres, lances and javelins. They wear chain and plate armour though their mounts tend not to be armoured to increase agility.


Each Legion is commanded by a Legate who has overall command of the Legion and its activities. Below the Legate are 7 Captains, one of which takes overall command of the missile troops and their deployment, one of the cavalry and their deployment, with the remaining five Captains taking responsibility for two Cohorts of infantry troops. Captains fulfil a strange role in the hierarchy, as they are required to oversee the administration of the Cohorts under their care, and to some extent lead them strategically, but because a Legion’s Cohorts can act very independently from one another, they often find themselves leading from the command post rather than in the field. Captains are also required to act as a council to the Legate, and are often dispatched as emissaries when needed as well.   Below the Legate and the Captains are the Centurions, 18 in total, with each being in command of a Cohort within the Legion. The eighteenth Centurion is designated as the Centurion Quartermaster, and is command of the support services of the Legion and their distribution. All Centurions have 2 Lieutenants that report into them, which is the lowest rank of full officer and 4 Sergeants who are picked from soldiers in the Cohort that show the most promise as being potential officer material. Centurions are the principal controllers of the Legion on the ground and can often be found in the centre of the Cohort when in formation. The two Lieutenants are stationed at either end of the Cohort’s formation, to ensure that the flanks and rear of the Cohort are secured, and make adjustments if necessary. Sergeants principally relay orders from either the Centurion or Lieutenants to the rest of the Cohort.   Above the level of the Legion, Generals in the Korinthian Army have overall control of three Legions, whilst the Marshall of Korinthos has command over all armed forces fielded by the nation.


The make-up of a Korinthian Legion allows it great flexibility to operate in a variety of scenarios. A Legion can form itself into an incredibly strong defensive unit, for example, using the Cohorts of infantry to form a bristling wall of shields, whilst the missile Cohorts fire upon the enemy from within and the Cavalry Cohorts continually sally out to strike at the enemies weak points. Equally a Legion can deploy itself in a very aggressive stance, and attack as a single large unit over a very wide frontage, or utilise the command structure of the Cohorts to attack multiple positions at once.   A common tactic Legates deploy when attacking an enemy is to send the Legion’s Auxiliary forces in ahead of the main formation when advancing in an attempt to swamp their adversaries and cause confusion within their ranks. The idea behind this is that either the Legion’s adversaries will become bogged down fighting the Auxiliary that they will be overwhelmed when the Legion itself attacks, that their formation will be disrupted by the Auxiliary attack making them an easier target for Legionary troops, or that the Auxiliary will be defeated and will retreat, tempting the enemy into breaking formation to pursue them, only to them break apart against the tight, disciplined formation of the Legion that has continued to advance.   A Legion can also be effectively deployed in areas that need peace-keeping, or repressing, as the Cohort system allows them to have military bases over a wide area that are relatively self-sufficient, especially when supported by much more flexible Auxiliaries.


All Legionnaires are given the same basic training that lasts at least six months, and is then further reinforced through regular rigorous drills and practice manoeuvres when with the Legion proper. Individuals that show a natural aptitude for fighting on horseback, or in the use of missile weapons are given extra training after their basic training has concluded in order to prepare them for these more specialised roles.


Logistical Support

The logistical support of the Legion is headed up by the Centurion Quartermaster whose men arrange for the distributing of rations, the movement of supplies and ammunition all from within the Legion itself. Logistical matters are made slightly easier by the fact that the Legionary troops are divided within their Cohorts into mess groups that cook their own food and eat together, which means that the only logistical matter that needs to be considered is getting their raw rations to them, rather than cooking en masse for the Legion as well.


Korinthian Legions are often accompanied by Auxiliary forces made up of other Goblinoids, primarily Goblins and Bugbears, but never other Hobgoblins. A Legion will normally be accompanied by about 500 Auxiliary troops, who are paid by Korinthos, but are responsible for supplying and maintaining their own equipment, and who are not nearly as organised or disciplined as the Legion itself. Normally Auxiliary troops will be deployed as skirmishers ahead of the Legion, or will be deployed as a swarm of troops on the Legion’s flanks to discourage attacks there.


As an intrinsically military society, Korinthos’ Legions always have a steady stream of recruits being trained to join existing Legions to replace casualties, or be formed into new Legions that will be deployed once up to full strength. Often Legions will be brought back up to full strength only once they have been rotated out of ‘frontline’ service to more sedate duties, or when a Legion is given a period of leave. In dire circumstances, however, where a Legion cannot be brought out of a combat zone, new recruits will be marched to where the Legion is located and immediately enter active service.
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Cover image: by Chris Pyrah


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