I have thought for some time that the tight, closed ranks that I have used so far represent a bit too much of the parade ground arrangement and lack the inevitable distortion that is bound to happen during actual field – especially when advancing towards enemy. It is all well for hoplites or phalangites to be represented shields nearly interlocking, and in good order, but then I looked at the legions and they were a bit too orderly in my opinion.
So I thought that perhaps little more disorderly arrangement could better show the legion marching to confront the enemy lines. I tried to highlight the point or the relative disorder by adding some unusually rough ground to justify the more flexible layout of the units. Not sure at this point if the layout should be reserved only for gladius armed Principes that are advancing, or for everyone.
Not entirely sure that the painting is satisfactory for the Principes though – the shields really did not turn out as I intended, and I still need to redo the helmets with bronze – because of some odd reason I went on to have them in steel instead. I recall somewhere that legionnaire had much more room around him than phalangites or hoplites (even in loose order), partly to increase flexibility of arms, but also to enable short sword to be used efficiently. I tried to translate the additional room by adding a good pace between the troopers.
So, I guess the question is, which one would look better, or failing that, more realistic. Hastati on the left with regular three rank Baccus way, or advancing Principes on the right?
I know that moving to larger bases would enable more options, but not really feeling like redoing everything just for the sake of few legionnaires…