Phalanx Pikemen (RTW Unit)
Phalanx pikemen (or phalangites) form the backbone of Macedonian and Seleucid battle lines. In phalanx formation these troops can be used to pin the enemy line in place, while mobile forces wheel around the flanks to deliver a decisive blow.
The phalangites are drawn from families with decent resources, as these men need to provide leather cuirass armour and a metal helmet for protection. Phalanx pikemen carry a small shield strapped to the left arm, leaving both hands free to brandish a lengthy pike (the sarissa). Gripped in both hands above the head up to five ranks’ worth of pikes can be aimed at the enemy. Men in rows further back hold their pikes at a 45 degree angle, creating a shield to ward off enemy arrows. All phalanx pikemen also have short swords.
For several factions, Phalanx Pikemen are the first phalanx infantry that are not lower quality militias or levies. Their primary weaponry is very long spears, which are nearly impenetrable when attacked head-on in phalanx mode by most units. But like most phalanx units, they are susceptible to routing if they are attacked from the flanks or rear. Phalanx Pikemen have an attack bonus of eight against cavalry, which further improves their strength on the battlefield. They have a little more attack than the earlier Levy Pikemen and have twice the morale and defense. Their higher defense makes them considerably less susceptible to missile fire than their predecessor infantry, and much more likely to hold under pressure.
Overall, these units are best suited for defensive situations, especially sieges since most cities have numerous choke points. They are extremely good against cavalry and units with low melee defense such as Falxmen as long as they aren't flanked. However, they will not inflict many casualties against armoured heavy infantry such as Armoured Hoplites and Legionary Cohort and once they pull out their swords they will lose badly against them. Against those opponents they will still survive for quite awhile if their morale holds, making them a useful pinning force while cavalry flanks them.
The Pontic Phalanx Pikemen have a higher shield defense and a lower cost than the other factions’, but have only two thirds the men. This is a rather poor trade, but against the horse archers in the East it helps and they are the first infantry of Pontus that is worth a mention anyways.