This thread is starting from the assumption that GURPS Myth is basically accurate, at least where it isn't venturing into territory Bungie didn't mention.
"In the TFL-era, my impression is that "The Legion" wasn't formed as a single military unit- rather, it's a scratch-Legion, formed from the survivors and veterans of maybe a dozen destroyed armies." - Martel
"I guess the worst thing about having a reputation for being a bunch of hardasses is that the Legion always finds itself where the fighting will be ugliest. So we're up here as the first line of defense against an attack by The Deceiver." - the Journal Writer.
Between Martel's post and that not-entirely-upset comment by the Journal Writer, it appears that "a" legionaire in the Province is noticably less capable than the Legion's hardasses, even after those who are merely average soldiers are "recruited" by Balor as Thrall. Not incompetent, mind you. But if the Legion is sent where the fighting will be ugliest, that means that its regarding as something of an elite.
Anyone have thoughts on exactly how that is so?
Though the Journal Writer would find it a sick joke, I'm tempted to say "luck", at least in terms of how it would work in a tabletop roleplaying game. The Legion's veterans have made it through some seriously tough times by being too stubborn to break and run and having just enough of an edge to win. Somewhat higher than average ability, true, but also things generally being a little easier but not enough to make it easy or the warriors any more elite than they already are.
Fortune favors the brave. Even though they're reduced from six thousand (?) at the siege of Madrigal to a third of that by the time of Alric's desperate to the point of madness gamble at Balor's fortress, the Legion seems to be winning more than the rest of the Light. Winning in the sense of moving towards victory, not merely holding the Dark off.
Of course, we don't know what the rest of the armies are up to, besides Maeldun apparently recapturing Scales and Alric's army being destroyed in the east. Any thoughts, on any of this, would be welcome.