my thoughts on the Roman/Frankish armies operating within the Loire region of Gaul in the mid-5th Century, I do recommend that you take some time to read Guy Halsall's s four-part series on "The Genesis of the Frankish Aristocracy" over at Historian on the Edge (link takes you to Part One).
If I recall correctly, Halsall has advised he will not keep the series up indefinitely, so don't wait.
What does this socio-economic-military piece have to with wargaming the period? Well, lots if you are trying to put the Roman and 'Barbarian' factions into a proper context of the Fourth and Fifth Centuries AD. It certainly made me wonder how much the Franks serving as bodies of imperial military forces might have considered themselves as Roman as the state they fought for. Could one really tell the difference between one Roman army composed of Franks and another that was not, especially if both purchased clothing and equipment from the same kinds of imperial sources (whether government-issued or otherwise)?
How do you interpret that for the tabletop? I would imagine it means predominantly using late imperial figures, mixing in more 'Frankish' elements the further away from 460 you get. If nothing else, I'm not convinced the stereotypical Frankish warrior images - top-knots, throwing axe, round shield - are necessarily applicable to what was going on inside mid-Fifth Century Gaul.
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