Pila, and Pilum, and Javelins, Oh My

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    Ronald Cover

    Pila are addressed in the rules as a separate equipment entry.  Historically, they were thrown weapons that were also noted as being used in melee.  The rules indicate their use to deny the enemy their shields when the Roman’s are being charged.  They also note their being normally used in pairs of a lighter and heavier pilum.

    That’s wonderful, but how does that tie with the rest of the rules?

    Pila are noted as used to attack a unit charging their users, with an attack penalty.  Do they attack as javelins, or something else?

    Does it take both pila for this defensive strike?

    Could they not be used offensively, as well?  It would be rather odd to restrict their use to defensive purposes when they should be used as easily on offense.

    If used offensively before a charge, what happens to their shield negating effect?

    Finally, the equipment entry notes both are used against charging foes.  The unit entries gives a cost of six for a single pilum, with no option for multiples as with javelins.  This is the same cost as three javelins, so is that for two pila, with a large surcharge for the defensive ability that expends them both?

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