Samnite Spearmen are dependable medium infantry using flexible fast formations. They are well armored with bronze breastplates and helms and throw their heavy javelins before ensuing melee with their spears.
The Samnites come from the Apennine highlands of central and southern Italy. They have a military tradition as old as Rome itself. They were an expansionistic people until they were forcibly put down, for the last time in the 290’s BC. Their flexible formations were ideal to fight in rough terrain and the Romans eventually copied and improved them after having felt their effectiveness first-hand. These Samnite Spearmen are dependable medium infantry carrying heavy javelins that they throw before ensuing melee with their spears. They are well armored with bronze breastplates and helms and have a single greave on their left leg (the leg most vulnerable in hand to hand combat). Although not a shock unit as their swordsmen counterpart, they are well trained, fast and reliable spearmen. They are not capable of standing up to professional heavy infantry, but their spears, bronze breastplates and large shields make them suited to fighting against quite a few infantry and light and medium cavalry types.
Historically, the Samnites were one of the most rebellious Italian peoples and joined up with Rome’s enemies on a regular basis. They fought with Pyrrhos in the 290’s, rose up in rebellion during the first Punic War, and fought alongside Hannibal in the second Punic War. They rose a final time during the Italian Social Wars, and were incorporated into the Roman state by receiving Roman citizenship. They still fought with their distinctive bronze belts until the middle empire, and even then legions from Samnium still had the national symbol of their former country on their shields.