Here we are in Force Selection. I've been agonizing over what to pick against Wellsonian's Marian Romans for several days. My League performance this season is mediocre. I am 4-1-5 in the Biblical League and only earned 3 wins against 5 major losses in Classical Antiquity. My Digital League Rating for this season will go down instead of up. Wellsonian has 4 wins, 1 minor loss, and 3 major losses in our Classical Antiquity division. Wellsonian has the stronger "impact" army; both mounted and foot, while I have only slight advantage in missile units.
The game is about Points of Advantage and Cohesion Tests. Half of his legionaries will have "armored" points of advantage over mine. Both sides legionnaire heavy infantry gets a +1 cohesion test modifier not available to medium and light infantry nor cavalry. All his legionary infantry will be "superior" and "elite". Only half my legionary infantry is "superior" and "elite" with the remainder being "average".
My elephant would disorder any of his cavalry which it might move adjacent to or attack. While I favor elephants somewhat, they are, as @olaf pointed out to me, "glass cannons"; they're good while they last but shatter sooner than most other units, especially from enemy missiles. Wellsonian, however, might expect me to take one anyway.
Heavy artillery behind my front line would provide 3-4 turns of protection by attrition against advancing enemy cohorts before impact. 10% loss in a single turn produces a cohesion check which "superior" units will likely shrug off but 10% and more losses incur a -1 penalty on subsequent melee cohesion tests. I tend to dislike artillery though because it can fall too easily to light cavalry getting behind me after our battle lines clash.
The map consists of mixed terrain with a stream running down my right flank. The woods on my right and the stream on my left protect me somewhat from a cavalry flanking maneuver.
Normally, Wellsonian's Marian Romans are weak in cavalry which produces vulnerable flanks. Allied Armenian cavalry solves that problem for him. Armenia produced excellent cavalrymen several centuries for the Roman and Byzantine empires. Cataphracts are fearsome!
Based on running the numbers and past experience, I expect Wellsonian to field 8-10 legionary cohorts (heavy infantry impact foot & swordsmen), 2 cataphracts with maybe an elephant, 5 superior cavalry, 4 light horse archers, 5-8 light infantry archers and slingers, and 3-4 medium infantry; most likely Spanish Scutarii (impact foot swordsmen) and/or Thracians with rhomphala (heavy weapon). His units are more expensive so I expect him to field 28-32 units.
I decided to face him with all 6 units of my superior cavalry and 7 horse archers. My 4 medium infantry Thureophori are mandatory for me. I have mixed luck with them and decided 4 medium infantry units were enough. For skirmish light infantry I went with 2 archers, 5 slingers, and the mandatory javelinmen. I fielded 9 legionary infantry cohorts; 2 elite, 2 superior, and 5 average with 3 of those being only partially armored instead of fully armored like all Wellsonian's will be. Finally, I am going to take the Heavy Artillery. Wellsonian won't expect it and I will use it to protect my weaker center by inflicting casualties for 3-4 turns upon his advance. With 35 units, I hope to outnumber him by 3-4 light cavalry to threaten his flanks or rear.
Because he has the stronger units, I will play this defensively for now and slowly advance my center to the edge of the left flank woodline while using my cavalry to secure the right flank and take the high ground there as well.
That's it for now. May Fortuna frown upon my opponent and the Lord of Hosts aid my cause!