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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pontic Phalangites in the battle of Chaeronea

White Shields:  Phalangites were the backbone of the Pontic army during the First Mithridatic war.  Plutarch reports that at the Battle of Chaeronea, Archelaus employed 15,000 freed Roman slaves in  phalanx.  The Romans jeered with rage when they realized they were facing former slaves and quickly waded in to get at the "real" soldiers on the battlefield. It was no easy task. The former slaves were boiling with hatred for the Romans and fought with tremendous courage.  The slaves knew they faced victory or crucifixion and they fought hard, forcing Sulla to reinforce Murena's position.  The Romans managed to get slingers and javelinmen into the rear of the phalangites.  They showered them with missile fire until they broke and ran.



Bronze Shields:  While the slave phalanx held up the Romans, Taxiles led his Chalkaspides or Bronze Shields against Sulla.  The Bronze Shields were the elite phalangites of the army but even they could not stem the Roman tide. Once the Pontic army started to rout, the Bronze Shields phalanx formation collapsed.  Spears and shields were discarded and once they turned their backs to run from the Romans, the slaughter began.  



After the First Mithridatic war, Mithridates recognized that his phalangites were outclassed by the Roman Legions and the Roman style of fighting.  He subsequently disbanded his phalangites and hired Roman officers and expats to train and rebuild his army to fight in the Roman style.  

These 48 Xyston figures painted up fairly well and quickly.  As much as I'd like to field a Pike army in Field of Glory Ancients, the thought of  painting 200+ of these fellows makes me weak in the knees.  I'll circle back and paint up another stand for each unit so I can deploy them as "Large Units" in Impetus.  

11 comments:

  1. Nice looking figures! If they are pikes in the IMpetus list, they could be three stands deep. I have taken to basing the first stand 2 ranks deep, and the subsequent stands 1 rank deep and narrow.

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  2. Nicely done! I agree though, painting another 200 of them and you probably never want to see them again!

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  3. Thanks Brent! 3 deep? Holy cow!

    I was going to pop a single stand/line of pikemen on an 80mm x 20 to put behind the 80 x 40 = a large pike 2 unit deep at 80mm x 60mm. I've got more phalangites on order from Brookhurst so I'll come back to this.

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  4. Greate units Monty !!!

    best regards Michael

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  5. It's no secret I love Pike armed units :o) I like your Green & Blue Pike units Monty!

    umm...dare I say/write it here, :o) have you tried using lighter color base shading to create the contrast between the minis and the base to pop up more?

    cheers,

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  6. Hey Phil! I'm always up for suggestions and recommendations so thank you for yours.

    I'll have to finish this army with the same basing scheme but aftewards, I'll move to another style with lighter color for contrast. Months ago, I carelessly grabbed a bottle of brown craft paint that was too dark and used it on the bases of a bunch of Cav. When it dried, they were swallowed up! Thanks sir for the reminder.

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  7. Monty - looks great, nice, clean colours. Are the shields transfers, or painted?

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  8. Half and half! I couldn't get the LBMS transfers to stick so I painted the shields with a starburst pattern. I based them but wasn't happy with the shields. Rereading the instructions I discovered I was applying the transfers wrong! I repainted the front shields white, stuck on the transfers and called it good enough.

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  9. Very nice! That yellow and white scheme looks particularly striking. Funny you should mention having 200 more of them to paint up...

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  10. beautiful phalanx I love your painting

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