Is the phalanx formation unbeatable in open field combat? Been playing a lot of...

Gavin Fisher
Gavin Fisher

Is the phalanx formation unbeatable in open field combat?

Been playing a lot of Total War games and similar games to it, I have found the perfect formation.

Pikemen: front and center
Shock infantries (with big sword or big axe): behind the pike, near two flanks.
Heavy cavalries: near two flanks.
Archer: Skirmish before enemy gets close, when enemy gets close gets behind formation.
Artillery: Behind formation.

Order of battle:
-> if enemy attack, loop them full of rocks and arrows, if they send cavalries, counter them with cavalries, otherwise, hold them with the pikeman then hammer them with heavier cavalry.
-> if enemy not attack, just loop them full of rocks and arrows until they attack then repeat.
-> if horse archer, stand firm and loop rock and arrows at them until they die.

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Other urls found in this thread:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Pydna

Henry Fisher
Henry Fisher

Is the phalanx formation unbeatable in open field combat?
I'm positively sure that you could devastate a phalanx with a single machine gun.

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Ryder Cook
Ryder Cook

Machine gun fire is just firing phalanx.

Jaxon Nelson
Jaxon Nelson

if horse archer, stand firm and loop rock and arrows at them until they die.
You've been playing shitty games, otherwise horse archers would ruin your formation.

Jaxon Gonzalez
Jaxon Gonzalez

In actual reality, crossbowmen destroy mongol horse archer.

Horse archers are baiters, do take the bait.

Wyatt Edwards
Wyatt Edwards

Ultimate strategy if you're a rock paper scissors strategy game player
The Roman staggered formation of hastati and triarii rendered the phalanx obsolete

Dominic Scott
Dominic Scott

oh please, the roman only win due to the fact they lure the phalanx to uneven terrain.

In open combat, nothing can break the phalanx frontal defense.

Mason Adams
Mason Adams

And this is legionnaire, not hastati and triarii (who are frankly USELESS against phalanx).

Eli Green
Eli Green

In open combat, nothing can break the phalanx frontal defense.
Which is why you flank them with cavalry. There has never been an unbeatable weapon, formation, doctrine, or tactic - if there were then we'd still be using it a few thousand years after it was developed.

Levi Reed
Levi Reed

unbeatable
Nothing is unbeatable
But when it comes to ancient infantry formations then it is the best one. The only way to counter it is with heavy cavalry, but if the enemy also has cavalry or other troops at the sides then you're eternally fucked

Andrew Kelly
Andrew Kelly

wait in uneven terrain for the to get you
if they do they die
if they don't just wait, they die from hunger

get fucked, bugperson

Ethan Hughes
Ethan Hughes

I think this BR is trying to communicate

James Clark
James Clark

Except that's where your cavalries come in. Your big bad heavy cavalries.

This is literally what Alexander used, phalanx supported by heavy pikemen, which were then re-introduced in late medieval/renaissance period.

Michael Flores
Michael Flores

If you force the enemy to stay in one place, you already win.

Jace Scott
Jace Scott

There has never been an unbeatable weapon, formation, doctrine, or tactic - if there were then we'd still be using it a few thousand years after it was developed.
And we still use this hammer and anvil to this every day, support fire to suppressive enemy, assault move to flank and destroy enemy, repeat ad infinitum.

Isaac Hall
Isaac Hall

This! It takes a high level of mongrelization with the eternal Persian loser to fuck this up.
Proof that Ptolemies had the right idea and that inbreeding is only bad when it involves inferior genes.

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Elijah Powell
Elijah Powell

Bottom Pic
Is it just me or does the shaded portion look like the continental United States + Alaska?

Jace Moore
Jace Moore

Well, he's a vidy strategist. Not many games give you anything deeper than rock, paper scissors.

Eli Collins
Eli Collins

BREAKS YOUR PHALANX!

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Nolan Sanchez
Nolan Sanchez

But the machine gunner will be weighed down by his first aid kit rendering him immobile, meanwhile the phalanx will flank him and kill him.

Not quite unbeatable, what you need is some sort of shotgun mounted underneath each spear, that would be truly unbeatable. Henry VII knows whats up.

Jacob Reed
Jacob Reed

See

And even then, Pyrrhus only lost because of logistics purpose, he cannot replace his troops unlike the romans who zerged him.

Austin Nguyen
Austin Nguyen

Rocks user, you only need to throw rocks.

Jaxon Moore
Jaxon Moore

Of course you're praising horse archers.

Jackson Ortiz
Jackson Ortiz

That is why you have your own artillery.

Sebastian Lopez
Sebastian Lopez

Don't they have shields to block them?

Colton Foster
Colton Foster

The one major battle the Romans fought against macedon they brought war elephants kinda horse shit to say they beat the phalanx

Colton Scott
Colton Scott

Should not elephants be particularly vulnerable to 20 foot iron spears?

Matthew Gutierrez
Matthew Gutierrez

rome 2

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Anthony Ross
Anthony Ross

Out of interest what stops you just using plate armoured infantry (or other suitable heavy infantry) to simply push through until you're inside their minimum effective range? Assuming you aren't moving particularly quickly they won't be able to use your own momentum against you like with cavalry and I doubt even the strongest man can penetrate plate armour with a piercing weapon no matter how long it might be. Obviously this would not be so practical in ancient warfare but assume some time during the medieval period. This should be more effective the longer the enemy's weapon is.

Noah Edwards
Noah Edwards

Uh yeah, a pike can penetrate plate armor, or at least it can push it away.
But just in case you get too close, that's where the shock infantries (hypaspists or halberdier or zweihander) come in to counter them.

Julian Davis
Julian Davis

Pike is great in most TW games, as it should be.

Anthony Johnson
Anthony Johnson

Better hope no one brought a ballista to yout spear fight.

Easton Edwards
Easton Edwards

Even getting through the spear wall is a challenge by itself. There are multiple lines of spears, all violently pushing forward with the momentum of the entire formation behind it.
If it were that easy the Romans wouldn't have such a huge trouble with defeating it. Pyrrhus had many victories over the Romans. There simply wasn't any practical war of breaking through the phalanx. Only under disadvantageous terrain did the Romans have a chance. The very concept of this formation was designed from the ground up, through battle experience since the dawn of time, to be almost unbeatable. And it was.

As long as you didn't fuck up, and as long as the enemy didn't outnumber you 1000 to 1 with elephants and other machinery, the phalanx had the advantage.

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Elijah Richardson
Elijah Richardson

Artillery dawg.

Alexander Stewart
Alexander Stewart

Also, the phalanx was never phased out.

Classical/antiquity: hoplite spearwall to Macedonian phalanx
Medieval: Viking age shieldwall to Scottish schiltron or just regular spearwall.
Renaissance: tercio/pike square.
Modern: infantry block.

Hunter Parker
Hunter Parker

By the way, why does Vietnam care about ancient Greek tactics so much

Gavin Green
Gavin Green

Greek mythology was my shit and I really love to play hoplites in Rome Total War.

Landon Ross
Landon Ross

I'm positively sure that you could devastate a phalanx with a single machine gun.
I'm positively sure that you could devastate a machine gun pillbox with a single guy in energy shielded power armor with a railgun.

Machine guns eternally BTFO

Angel Cruz
Angel Cruz

History says that yes 20 foot spears did fuck all to a war elephant

Thomas Perry
Thomas Perry

implying Macedonia was the only kingdom to use the phalanx

Nearly everybody in antiquity used the phalanx. It's not like it was an advanced technique. Rome used it for a while until they realized that the staggered formation exceeded the phalanx in the terrain they were in.

Le ballista face

Jace Sullivan
Jace Sullivan

And? The other large scale historical conflicts Rome got into where they faced the phalanx more often then not they got rekt. Remember Pyrrhus defeated the romans

Kayden Lewis
Kayden Lewis

Oh yeah. He won so hard he had to retreat. Not to mention the phalanx wasn't the deciding factor for the battle, but the war elephants he brought with him. But he used the phalanx. So the phalanx is great, right?
Not to mention the maniple system had only been used to fight mountain tribes for decades. This was the first real army it had to face. With the backing of other Greek states and Egypt. A refined and drilled maniple system would destroy the (arguably) best phalanx users around at the battle of Pydna.

Parker Cooper
Parker Cooper

I'm pretty sure that the Samnites, who inspired the roman Hastati and Principes, used rocky terrain a few times to beat Etruscan or Tarentine hoplite formations, though I'm not sure. I don't think you'd need Legionnaires to beat hoplites or pikemen up front, any infantry that can pull off legionnaire formations at decent speed and armed like Samnites could pull it off tbh.

Ian Nelson
Ian Nelson

mountain tribes for decades
Bullshit they were fighting the carthagianians and Syricus almost at the same time. He left not because defeat but because he had become unpopular in sicily and integrating them inyo his kingdom was no longer feasible.

Chase Hall
Chase Hall

Like most heavy infantry, they are good at withstanding cavalry attacks and operating within narrow spaces (Thermopylae). They are carrying too much gear to be good at maneuvering or skirmishing, are somewhat vulnerable to archers, particularly mounted archers.

Carter Watson
Carter Watson

In actual reality, crossbowmen destroy mongol horse archer.

Except crossbows take much longer to reload and it's incredibly difficult to hit moving targets. Which is why the horde of horse archers riding around your crossbowmen will rape them.

Wyatt Kelly
Wyatt Kelly

maniple system developed during the Samnite war (343 BC - 290 BC)
first pyrrhic victory in 280 BC and Pyrrhus retreated 275 BC
first punic war started in 264 BC

Unless you were talking about Pyrrhus fighting the Carthaginians and Syracuse at around the same time. But that was because he realized he couldn't defeat the romans and thought he could make some more money to fuel his war on Rome by helping Syracuse. And we're moving away from the original discussion on phalanxes. You failed to discredit that his phalanx was the cause of any of his pyrrhic victories as well. So from the original point, the phalanx is still ass and the maniple was superior.

Aaron Allen
Aaron Allen

The negative of phalanx maneuvering isn't from equipment carried, but any kind of maneuvering must be in sync or you break the phalanx and create more flanks not protected by shock infantry or cavalry. You'll often find that veteran soldiers were in the back of phalanxes to hold back the newer soldiers in the front back from retreating. They were also often found on the outside flanks to stand strong against anybody to make it to the flanks. If the phalanx were to split in half, you'd find new soldiers on the flanks and they'd break and run causing a chain of retreats.

Colton King
Colton King

That is not what history taught us, crossbowmen benefit from stabler position and easier tranning time.

Kayden Cruz
Kayden Cruz

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Pydna
The two centers engaged at about 3pm, with the Macedonians advancing on the Romans a short distance from the Roman camp. Paullus claimed later that the sight of the phalanx filled him with alarm and amazement. The Romans Allies tried to beat down the enemy pikes or hack off their points, but with little success. Roman Allies officers began to despair. One 'rent his garments' in impotent fury. Another seized his unit's standard and threw it among the enemy. His men made a desperate charge to recapture it, but were beaten back despite inflicting some casualties. Unable to get under the thick bristle of pikes, the Romans used a planned retreat over the rough ground.

But as the phalanx pushed forward, the ground became more uneven as it moved into the foothills, and the line lost its cohesion, being forced over the rough terrain. Paullus now ordered the legions into the gaps, attacking the phalangites on their exposed flanks. At close quarters the longer Roman sword and heavier shield easily prevailed over the Macedonian Kopis and lighter armor of the Macedonians. They were soon joined by the Roman right, which had succeeded in routing the Macedonian left.
Yes, so literally because the macedonians got baited.

This is in 168BC so the legions were advanced and post Marian-reform while Macedon powers have waned.

Joseph Murphy
Joseph Murphy

Issue is that a crossbow bolt is going to go clean through a horse. If 100 bolts fire, that's 100+ enemy horsemen dead. Either when the bolt hits the rider… or if the bolt hits the horse and the rider falls, causing obstacles for horses behind it which might trip too.

And then, often, the crossbowmen retreat behind their pavises, or there is some other method (pikes?) that prevents
horde of horse archers riding around your crossbowmen
And it takes a lifetime to train a horse archer, a country can trade 100 crossbowmen for 100 horse archers and win every single time.

Reason why Mongols were successful had far more to do with politics and determination, than some kind of inherent superiority of a horse archer.

Adam Adams
Adam Adams

The zerg rush and more mobile formations was the only way to beat the Phalanx and even then that was more down to getting lucky.
The only real flaw is that a Phalanx requires a lot of cohesion and time to setup properly. So really the only legit tactics is to flank them or bumrush them before they get setup which has only happened a few times in history and most of that was down to fuck ups on the Phalanx part or sheer luck.
In theory you could beat it with artillery but if you are in a position to abuse that against the enemy they've seriously fucked up.

Henry Lee
Henry Lee

Except crossbows take much longer to reload and it's incredibly difficult to hit moving targets.
Doesn't matter, Crossbowmen had their Pavise shields behind which they could hide and safely aim at the horse archers. Also the crossbow has a far greater range than the bows used by most horse archers.
So the horse archers have to move into the range of the crossbowmen to fire their bows and in this moment the crossbowmen had enough time to fire a salvo and hit some of them.
In the end the crossbowmen are much easier and cheaper to train and support than horse archers.
Which is why the horde of horse archers riding around your crossbowmen will rape them.
user those crossbowmen will not be alone, but they are part of an army that includes Knights, if the horse archer get closer to outflank the Crossbowmen(who can easily move his shield btw) then they will be in the range where the Knights can reach them and then the horse archers lose their advantage, which was based on attacking the enemy with arrows and then retreating to a save distance.

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Dominic Nelson
Dominic Nelson

Man, this is why I think the mongols are gonna be in a reckoning if they truly fight against the HRE (which were comprised of heavy infantries, heavy cavalries and crossbowmen militia/pike militia, as well as italian and various kind of german mercs), mongols only have numbers.

Josiah Murphy
Josiah Murphy

this thread

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Alexander Gomez
Alexander Gomez

168BC
post Marian-reform
Are you retarded?

Nathaniel Scott
Nathaniel Scott

Never mind, still legionnaire either ways.

Grayson Sanders
Grayson Sanders

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Jackson Ross
Jackson Ross

Let me go get an orange first.

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Ryan Lopez
Ryan Lopez

That worked very well lol

James Martinez
James Martinez

no sources

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