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Thread: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

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    Wielder of a pointy-thing Member Olimpian's Avatar
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    Default Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    So history has proven the legion to be superior to the phalanx.But from what I have read,this was more due to other factors than military ones:lack of native greek population to serve in the army(hence superior numbers for the Romans),mediocre commanders that relied too much solely on the phalanx and didn't support it properly with cavalry(the hammer to the phalanxe's anvil) and flakers,lack of proper military training and drilling,etc.Still,Pyrrhus managed to defeat the Romans in "pyrrhic victories"(although the Romans suffered more casualties than him-from what I've read-but his were not easily replaceable).This leads me to think that the phalanx could defeat the Roman war machine if in the proper hand and supported by enough heavy cavalry to dominate the flanks and other supporting infantry like more mobile hoplites,spearmen or peltasts.Had Alexander fought against the Romans,I think he would have "hammer-and-anvil"ed 'em to their deaths,since the Romans had little cavalry or supporting troops,so their maniples would have been easy-pickings.
    So,what do you guys think,in a historical "fair fight",phalanx or maniple?
    (PS Sorry for the long post)
    Last edited by Olimpian; 03-16-2008 at 22:02.

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    Certified Chav killer Member Long lost Caesar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    Phalanx. As long as the troops were well trained, fresh and supported they could keep almost any enemy at bay, but it's like you said; Greek commanders relied too much on the phalanxes and forgot that they needed support=Roman conquest.
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    Descendant of great Herakles Member Torvus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    Definately the Phalanx. I've always thought that Alexander could have done very well for himself if he went west instead of east.

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    The Rabbit Nibbler Member Korlon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    I would think that given enough cavalry support, the Phalanx could've done very well against the Romans. The Phalanx was very susceptible to uneven terrain though, so surely it would depend on whether it was a flat field or some rocky region, as the Romans were very flexible troops. Given the weak cavalry the Romans had, surely the Macedonian ones could rout their counterparts and be able to support the flanks of the Phalanx better than it was in history. This is, however, somewhat wishful thinking, but since we're going all out, I'd say that the Phalanx could definitely defeat the Roman Maniple if they were fighting in their prime.

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    Not your friend Member General Appo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    I´d go with the phalanx, but the great thing about history is that there was never ever a "fair fight". The Romans took advantage of the weak state of the Hellenes, and conquered those puny spear-wielders.
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    Maniples. I am just not comfortable with the idea of slow moving, unmaneuverable blocks of men who are weak on three sides, and need flat, unborken ground to operate efficiently. If I could make one adjustment, however, I would have additional cavalry support for my maniples, which is what i often do in-game when facing a cavalry heavy enemy.

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    Member Member anubis88's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    Well, at Magnesia the Seleucid's did have quite a balanced army, and a pretty good general....
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    Not your friend Member General Appo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    Remember, we´ve got to make a difference between "Which one is better in a fair fight?" and "Could Alexander have kicked Roman ass?.
    To the first one, I´d say the Phalanx, to the second, I´d say no, if we say that the Romans were in the state they were a few years after the Second Punic War, then Alexander would have lost. Remember, Alexander only needed to win a few battles to bring the entire Persian Empire crumbling down, Hannibal won just as many and great victories and but the Legions never stopped coming. Just look at Pyrrhos, he defeated the Romans in battles, but they didn´t go down on all four and beged for mercy just because of that, and so he got so shocked he moved to Sicily and the much more reasonable Carthaginians. Heck, Pyrrhos even had Elephants to suppoer the phalanx, what did Alexander have? Some Companion Cavalry, a bunch of Agrinians and a couple of thousand other various support troops, all nothing against a few dozen of Indian Elephants. Roma Invicta,

    Sorry if I´m a bit offensive and dumbening things down a bit, but I´m tired, I´m pissed (not at any of you of course) and I think I might be intoxicated.
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    Exposed Member Member LordCurlyton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    Quote Originally Posted by anubis88
    Well, at Magnesia the Seleucid's did have quite a balanced army, and a pretty good general....
    QFT. I'd have to stick with the maniple, especially once you hit Augustan times. If the Hellenic states had not bled themselves dry they could definitely have hurt the Romans a lot more as phalanx warfare IS a very viable form but Western Europe is not quite as flat as going eastwards, and the locals tend to favor more unconvential forms of warfare. I believe the Alexander would probably have beaten any period Roman army thrown at him but would have eventually suffered the same fate as Hannibal. And if he didn't and managed to effectively subdue the Romans, well there's always the Iberians, Celts, and Germans, all of whom I don't doubt would gladly have used skirmish warfare to its utmost.
    Now, if we're just talking your average legion vs your average phalanx army, with commanders of roughly average skill and knowledge on both sides, I give a coin toss to the battle. It would depend on whose flanks broke first, really. While the Romans may not have had much cavalry, its not like they didn't have any, and they didn't hesitate on using their allies to provide support troops. As long as the cavalry can check the Successor cavalry long enough for infantry to swarm it, then the legion wins in all likelihood. If the Successor cavalry can swiftly defeat the Romans then the phalanx army will win. But a maniple will be able to stand up to a pike push long enough for these things to matter.
    Wow, I've rambled on and I'm still not sure whether I've said anything useful.

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    NOBAΛO AYΣE Member Ayce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    I'd go with Phalanx, but I've broken many Greek Phalanxes easily by picking their flanks or by forcing them to raise their spears, that's why I use these guys, better at sword combat:


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    amrtaka Member machinor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    Regarding Alexander having problems with western Europe terrain and persistent Romans... always remember, that Alexander conquered the region of later Baktria (today's Afghanistan) and subdued the very tough resistance there which would be comparable to what he'd have had to face in the west.
    Pyrrhos was simply to impatient to fight the war against the Romans to the bitter end. He wanted quick and total victories. The famous Pyrrhic Victory is a product of Roman propaganda for the major part. Sure, he got losses, but Epeiros was not that far away. So his resupply situation was not that worse than the Roman one. Plus, the Romans needed trained troops, too. It's not liek they were born soldiers. The warwinning discipline and moral of the Romans was the result of training.
    Hannibals unability to win his war was mostly because of his disastrous logistical situation. He was basically on his own in enemy territory with almost no supply lines. If you take that into your consideration, than it is astonishing how long he managed to keep on campaigning and winning battles one after another.
    Coming back to Alexander: A commander with Alexander's persistence and tactical and strategical ability, combined with his superior logistical situation would've had quite a good change of reducing the memory of Rome to that of some obscure regional power that got wiped out without any greater problems.

    But as usual in what-would-have-been-if-discussions, it's all pure speculation.
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    Keeper of the Pax Romanum Member TruePraetorian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    Maniple. First off, you have to account for the tremendous Morale of the Romans. If that wasnt enough, their lines would out-last the greeks due to their more professional nature.

    Legion vs Alexander, though, would lead to many Alexander victories at first. Notice I said at first. The romans were well known to adapt to any situation: Reforming the military to fight phalanxs would have been done very quickly. Therefore, I suspect that after a few Greek victorys, the romans would turn the tide and ultimatley defeat the greeks.
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    ...might I inquire what "professional" there was about the militia system the Romans created the power-base of their empire with...?
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    Exposed Member Member LordCurlyton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    Oh no not again........*whimper*

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    Amanuensis Member pezhetairoi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    Phalanx without doubt. Alex's pezhetairoi were trained in all arms of combat--swordfighting, javelin throwing, sarissa play. But the phalanx that the Romani faced in the Makedonian wars were really some kind of pantodapoi phalangitai in terms of stats, minus the AP ability. In short, hopeless without their sarissae. It was never a fair fight. There were always extenuating circumstances, you could argue.

    But there are signs enough that if they were fighting on ground of their own choosing, and the phalanx was made of Alex's pre-Granicus troops, that would already have been enough to prove the phalanx victorious. Even at Kynoskephalai, the formed phalanx on the (left? right?) wing forced the Romani right back down the hill. At Pydna, on their flat ground the Romani and Pelignani couldn't break through the phalanx and took heavy losses just trying to break through the hedge.

    But of course, the phalanx is ever vulnerable to outflanking, however frighteningly elite they are. Hence we must consider the fact that the phalanx requires support in order to form a balanced battle line. The legion, on the other hand, is a self-contained force unto itself.

    EDIT: Heh, why that response, Lord Curlyton? XD
    Last edited by pezhetairoi; 03-17-2008 at 01:51.
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    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    Maniple. Divide and conquer doesn't work very well with all phalanx armies.
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    Amanuensis Member pezhetairoi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    True, hence I say drawback of the phalanx army is that it is strictly not standalone, and that it is strictly defensive. But in defence, of course, it is brilliant.
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    Member Member Gaivs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    Funny thing is, my Pursuit of Empire, Philip Alexander and Rome course, the essay topic is; "The Roman legion is a far superior fighting machine than the Macedonian Phalanx. Evaluate and discuss."

    I raised several major themes.
    1, Roman Flexibility
    2, Lack of sufficient Cavalry for Macedonians
    3, Evolution due to lack of cavalry, Phalanx turning into an attack instead of defensive role when it was under Alexander
    4, Roman determination
    5, Roman Political and Military institution

    I obviously talk about other things, and expand on those points majorly, but to boil it down, you cant blame Macedonia as having a poor commander. Philip V was quite capable and had already won many battles until he faced the Romans. Phyrros was perhaps the best general since Alexander, yet he still could not defeat the Romans. Also id like to add, Rome was not Rome when Alexander conquered the east, if he went west he would have crushed it like any other tiny city state. However, the Rome after the Punic wars would have abolutely and easily annhilated Alexander in battle. He had what...One main army? The Romans, according to Polybius, had over 700 000 men able to serve in the legions.
    Id like to note, The Macedonian style Phalanx, was undefeated in battle by any other type of army until Cynoscephelae. That is too say, the only defeats ever suffered by a Macedonian Phalanx, were inflicted upon them by another Macedonian Phalanx, until the Romans defeated them.
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    Member Member Gaivs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    By the way, read Polybius on the Phalanx. I have included it here.

    The Histories, Book XVIII, Chapters 28-32:

    In my sixth book I made a promise, still unfulfilled, of taking a fitting opportunity of drawing a comparison between the arms of the Romans and Macedonians, and their respective system of tactics, and pointing out how they differ for better or worse from each other. I will now endeavor by a reference to actual facts to fulfil that promise. For since in former times the Macedonian tactics proved themselves by experience capable of conquering those of Asia and Greece; while the Roman tactics sufficed to conquer the nations of Africa and all those of Western Europe; and since in our own day there have been numerous opportunities of comparing the men as well as their tactics, it will be, I think, a useful and worthy task to investigate their differences, and discover why it is that the Romans conquer and carry off the palm from their enemies in the operations of war: that we may not put it all down to Fortune, and congratulate them on their good luck, as the thoughtless of mankind do; but, from a knowledge of the true causes, may give their leaders the tribute of praise and admiration which they deserve.

    Now as to the battles which the Romans fought with Hannibal and the defeats which they sustained in them, I need say no more. It was not owing to their arms or their tactics, but to the skill and genius of Hannibal that they met with those defeats: and that I made quite clear in my account of the battles themselves. And my contention is supported by two facts. First, by the conclusion of the war: for as soon as the Romans got a general of ability comparable with that of Hannibal, victory was not long in following their banners. Secondly, Hannibal himself, being dissatisfied with the original arms of his men, and having immediately after his first victory furnished his troops with the arms of the Romans, continued to employ them thenceforth to the end. Pyrrhus, again, availed himself not only of the arms, but also of the troops of Italy, placing a maniple of Italians and a company of his own phalanx alternately, in his battles against the Romans. Yet even this did not enable him to win; the battles were somehow or another always indecisive.

    It was necessary to speak first on these points, to anticipate any instances which might seem to make against my theory. I will now return to my comparison.

    Many considerations may easily convince us that, if only the phalanx has its proper formation and strength, nothing can resist it face to face or withstand its charge. For as a man in close order of battle occupies a space of three feet; and as the length of the sarissae are sixteen cubits according to the original design, which has been reduced in practice to fourteen; and as of these fourteen four must be deducted, to allow for the weight in front; it follows clearly that each hoplite will have ten cubits of his sarissa projecting beyond his body, when he lowers it with both hands, as he advances against the enemy: hence, too, though the men of the second, third, and fourth rank will have their sarissae projecting farther beyond the front rank than the men of the fifth, yet even these last will have two cubits of their sarissae beyond the front rank; if only the phalanx is properly formed and the men close up properly both flank and rear, like the description in Homer:

    So buckler pressed on buckler; helm on helm; And man on man; and waving horse-hair plumes In polished head-piece mingled, as they swayed In order: in such serried rank they stood. [Iliad, 13.131]



    And if my description is true and exact, it is clear that in front of each man of the front rank there will be five sarissae projecting to distances varying by a descending scale of two cubits.

    With this point in our minds, it will not be difficult to imagine what the appearance and strength of the whole phalanx is likely to be, when, with lowered sarissae, it advances to the charge sixteen deep. Of these sixteen ranks, all above the fifth are unable to reach with their sarissae far enough to take actual part in the fighting. They, therefore, do not lower them, but hold them with the points inclined upwards over the shoulders of the ranks in front of them, to shield the heads of the whole phalanx; for the sarissae are so closely serried, that they repel missiles which have carried over the front ranks and might fall upon the heads of those in the rear. These rear ranks, however, during an advance, press forward those in front by the weight of their bodies; and thus make the charge very forcible, and at the same time render it impossible for the front ranks to face about.

    Such is the arrangement, general and detailed of the phalanx. It remains now to compare with it the peculiarities and distinctive features of the Roman arms and tactics. Now, a Roman soldier in full armor also requires a space of three square feet. But as their method of fighting admits of individual motion for each man---because he defends his body with a shield, which he moves about to any point from which a blow is coming, and because he uses his sword both for cutting and stabbing---it is evident that each man must have a clear space, and an interval of at least three feet both on flank and rear if he is to do his duty with any effect. The result of this will be that each Roman soldier will face two of the front rank of a phalanx, so that he has to encounter and fight against ten spears, which one man cannot find time even to cut away, when once the two lines are engaged, nor force his way through easily---seeing that the Roman front ranks are not supported by the rear ranks, either by way of adding weight to their charge, or vigor to the use of their swords. Therefore, it may readily be understood that, as I said before, it is impossible to confront a charge of the phalanx, so long as it retains its proper formation and strength.

    Why is it then that the Romans conquer? And what is it that brings disaster on those who employ the phalanx? Why, just because war is full of uncertainties both as to time and place; whereas there is but one time and one kind of ground in which a phalanx can fully work. If, then, there were anything to compel the enemy to accommodate himself to the time and place of the phalanx, when about to fight a general engagement, it would be but natural to expect that those who employed the phalanx would always carry off the victory. But if the enemy finds it possible, and even easy, to avoid its attack, what becomes of its formidable character? Again, no one denies that for its employment it is indispensable to have a country flat, bare, and without such impediments as ditches, cavities, depressions, steep banks, or beds of rivers: for all such obstacles are sufficient to hinder and dislocate this particular formation. And that it is, I may say, impossible, or at any rate exceedingly rare to find a piece of country of twenty stades, or sometimes of even greater extent, without any such obstacles, every one will also admit. However, let us suppose that such a district has been found. If the enemy decline to come down into it, but traverse the country sacking the towns and territories of the allies, what use will the phalanx be? For if it remains on the ground suited to itself, it will not only fail to benefit its friends, but will be incapable even of preserving itself; for the carriage of provisions will be easily stopped by the enemy, seeing that they are in undisputed possession of the country: while if it quits its proper ground, from the wish to strike a blow, it will be an easy prey to the enemy. Nay, if a general does descend into the plain, and yet does not risk his whole army upon one charge of the phalanx or upon one chance, but maneuvers for a time to avoid coming to close quarters in the engagement, it is easy to learn what will be the result from what the Romans are now actually doing.

    For no speculation is any longer required to test the accuracy of what I am now saying: that can be done by referring to accomplished facts. The Romans do not, then, attempt to extend their front to equal that of a phalanx, and then charge directly upon it with their whole force: but some of their divisions are kept in reserve, while others join battle with the enemy at close quarters. Now, whether the phalanx in its charge drives its opponents from their ground, or is itself driven back, in either case its peculiar order is dislocated; for whether in following the retiring, or flying from the advancing enemy, they quit the rest of their forces: and when this takes place, the enemy's reserves can occupy the space thus left, and the ground which the phalanx had just before been holding, and so no longer charge them face to face, but fall upon them on their flank and rear. If, then, it is easy to take precautions against the opportunities and peculiar advantages of the phalanx, but impossible to do so in the case of its disadvantages, must it not follow that in practice the difference between these two systems is enormous? Of course, those generals who employ the phalanx must march over ground of every description, must pitch camps, occupy points of advantage, besiege, and be besieged, and meet with unexpected appearances of the enemy: for all these are part and parcel of war, and have an important and sometimes decisive influence on the ultimate victory. And in all these cases the Macedonian phalanx is difficult, and sometimes impossible, to handle, because the men cannot act either in squads or separately.

    The Roman order on the other hand is flexible: for every Roman, once armed and on the field, is equally well-equipped for every place, time, or appearance of the enemy. He is, moreover, quite ready and needs to make no change, whether he is required to fight in the main body, or in a detachment, or in a single maniple, or even by himself. Therefore, as the individual members of the Roman force are so much more serviceable, their plans are also much more often attended by success than those of others.

    I thought it necessary to discuss this subject at some length, because at the actual time of the occurrence many Greeks supposed when the Macedonians were beaten that it was incredible; and many will afterwards be at a loss to account for the inferiority of the phalanx to the Roman system of arming.
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    master of the wierd people Member Ibrahim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx


    reeeeeaaaaaaaaaalllllly long post; very insightful.
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    Exposed Member Member LordCurlyton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    Quote Originally Posted by pezhetairoi
    Heh, why that response, Lord Curlyton? XD
    Oh you know...past threads and all. I'm sure you can find or know of which ones I speak of.

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    Wannabe Member The General's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaivs
    By the way, read Polybius on the Phalanx. I have included it here.

    The Histories, Book XVIII, Chapters 28-32:

    ...
    Thanks for that, was a very nice read.
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    memristor fan Member keravnos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    I say Pyrrhos' evolved phallanx that he used to defeat the Romani at Asklo/Asculum.

    You can't get better than maniples (samniti maniples at that) interjected with taxeis of phallangites.

    Makedonian phallanx was just a solid block of phallangites. Pyrrhos changed that. Hadn't the Carthaginians come to the rescue of the Romani, when they invaded Sicily, things that we all take pretty much for granted might not have been quite as such.


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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    When MP is fixed in EB 1.1... we can actually test it.

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    Wielder of a pointy-thing Member Olimpian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    Thanks for the read Gaivs,very interesting,and everyone for your sustained opinions.It seems many people see the great potential of the phalanx,and also its drawbacks and missuse.I always like to use "what if?"s when looking back on ancient warfare(although many say history and "what if?"s are not good friens),and this is one of them.Like WW2 or other such major events,the rise of the Roman Empire was one of the main moments in history,and I often think what a world dominated by a Greek Empire would have led to...

    BTW,I find Pyrrhus' army composition(from Wikipedia) of 20.000 infantry(phalanx and others I suppose),3.000 cavalry,2000 archers,500 slingers and of course his elephats to be very similar to the proportions of what my armies look like.So could this be the ideal composition of an effective phalanx?
    Last edited by Olimpian; 03-17-2008 at 14:11.

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    Wannabe Member The General's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSpartan
    When MP is fixed in EB 1.1... we can actually test it.
    In EB elite phalanxes seem to ignore their biggest supposed weakness, flank/rear attacks... Every now and then you get to face single formations that are attacked from all directions (both flanks and rear, at least), and who then just turn to face the enemy and the formation doesn't disintegrate and morale doesn't drop as it should...
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    Quote Originally Posted by General Appo
    Remember, we´ve got to make a difference between "Which one is better in a fair fight?" and "Could Alexander have kicked Roman ass?.
    To the first one, I´d say the Phalanx, to the second, I´d say no, if we say that the Romans were in the state they were a few years after the Second Punic War, then Alexander would have lost. Remember, Alexander only needed to win a few battles to bring the entire Persian Empire crumbling down, Hannibal won just as many and great victories and but the Legions never stopped coming. Just look at Pyrrhos, he defeated the Romans in battles, but they didn´t go down on all four and beged for mercy just because of that, and so he got so shocked he moved to Sicily and the much more reasonable Carthaginians. Heck, Pyrrhos even had Elephants to suppoer the phalanx, what did Alexander have? Some Companion Cavalry, a bunch of Agrinians and a couple of thousand other various support troops, all nothing against a few dozen of Indian Elephants. Roma Invicta,

    Sorry if I´m a bit offensive and dumbening things down a bit, but I´m tired, I´m pissed (not at any of you of course) and I think I might be intoxicated.
    No offense taken of course, and I'm all for precious Rome just like you, but yeah, Hannibal could've won. He just decided not to take the city of Rome itself because he thought he could just make the Romans settle for a treaty that acknowledged the Carthaginians were superior.

  28. #28
    NOBAΛO AYΣE Member Ayce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaivs

    I raised several major themes.
    1, Roman Flexibility
    2, Lack of sufficient Cavalry for Macedonians
    3, Evolution due to lack of cavalry, Phalanx turning into an attack instead of defensive role when it was under Alexander
    4, Roman determination
    5, Roman Political and Military institution
    But the topic was related to a fair fight between maniples, or a maniple army, and a phalanx or a phalanx army. Both having the same professionalism and similarly able commanders. In that case, I'll take the phalanx, but the drawback is the cost of arming the phalanxes which is greater than the cost of arming maniples.

  29. #29
    Arrogant Ashigaru Moderator Ludens's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    Quote Originally Posted by CCPAirborne
    No offense taken of course, and I'm all for precious Rome just like you, but yeah, Hannibal could've won. He just decided not to take the city of Rome itself because he thought he could just make the Romans settle for a treaty that acknowledged the Carthaginians were superior.
    We don't know why he didn't attack Rome, but it may have been for a better reason than you attribute to him. His army wouldn't have been in top shape after Cannae, and as the following years were to prove, the Romans were still capable of creating more legions. Hannibal also lacked siege equipment, and IIRC Rome was too big to invest properly, so he may well have been incapable of taking it.
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  30. #30
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roman Maniple vs Macedonian Phalanx

    Plus the Roman survivors of Cannae - including quite a large part of the cavalry - were busily reorganising not too far away.

    Trying to march off to take a major city located smack in the middle of the enemy heartlands, with an exhausted army and a beaten but still active enemy field army in the vicinity, doesn't exactly sound like the recipe for a succesful operation IMHO. Likely didn't sound to Hannibal either.
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