Comitatenses (Western Roman Empire)
Comitatenses (WRE)
Appears in Rome: Total War: Barbarian Invasion
Type Melee Infantry
Weapon(s) Sword, Javelin
Soldiers in each unit 81
Attack skill 8 (Melee); 9 (Missile)
Charge bonus 2
Hitpoints 1
Armor 10
Defense skill 9
Shield bonus 6
Special abilities Uses a missile weapon before charging; Can sap
Cost 680

Comitatenses are the mobile field forces of the late Roman Empire. It is their task to meet enemies on the field, not to be garrisons on the frontier.


The comitatenses earn their existence to the military reforms of Constantine the Great. He divided the army into two types of troops: the other half of the system were the limitanei, or frontier troops. Originally, the comitatenses were regarded as an elite force personally asociated with the Emperor, but the needs of Imperial defence soon meant that they were detached as regional field armies across the Roman World. Enemies would be allowed to penetrate the "limes"(pronounced LEE-mays) or frontier line while being delayed by the limitanei, and then be destroyed in detail by the comitatenses.

Commanded by "comites"(the origin of the French aristocratic title "Comte", and therefore "Count"), these were well equipped and professional soldiers, even if not quite the equals of Caesar's legions.