Thinking a little about the dynamic of RuneQuest battles. At the skirmish level, they likely resemble real world ancient combat with some added magical effects – more deadly weapons, ranged magic, the occasional mass effect spell like stacked Thunderbolt, etc. But we have the usual array of:
- Light close and ranged combat, slow moving
- Heavy close combat, slow moving
- Light close and ranged combat, fast moving
- Heavy close combat, fast moving
- Ranged combat
But when we get to battles, things get different. Massed magicians can cause remarkable effects on the battlefield – even something as trivial as 20 magicians casting Demoralize simultaneously to break a unit. Get six Yelm priests casting Sun Spear, or six Storm Voices casting Thunderbolt, and formations break. And the Lunar College of Magic (and soon the Sartar Magical Union) know how to link dozens of magicians together to create much larger effects.
Add to that the presence of a Hero with a capital-H on the battlefield. Jar-eel can break through a phalanx on her own, and Harrek can route heavy cavalry without breaking a sweat.
And battle standards are sources of magic and power. Lose your regalia, and all the spells and morale linked to it is in jeopardy.
As a result, I think most large RuneQuest battles are far more dynamic and chaotic than historical battles. Regular soldiers are used to delay attacks on the magicians, and Rune Lords (and their companions) charge deep into the enemy line. Duels between leaders are common, as victory can break entire enemy formations.
So don’t assume it is going to look anything like the opening of Rome or Gladiator!
Is there much in the way of flying troops & Air elementals? Flight is a pretty powerful spell (3 Rune Points usually), so you might find it among massed magicians. Elementals happen all the time. Magicians unleash waves of elementals – Air, Fire, Earth, Lunar, and Darkness usually. I’d love to see a piece of art showing that! Heck this looks right: