A phalanx is a dense formation of hoplites/, shield-to-shield and five, ten, or even fifteen ranks deep. Their large shields and heavy armour make hoplites almost immune to archery, and their dense array of spear or pike points make them formidable to infantry and elephants. All that phalanxes need fear are attacks in the flanks and rear, lucky shots from artillery, and attacks by dragons.

When phalanx meets phalanx the two are mutually invulnerable, and a pushing-match not unlike a Rugby scrum develops. Victory goes to the better-disciplined and denser array, hence the the gradual deepening of the phalanx over time.

In the Archaic Period the phalanx is supreme, but in the Classical Period the unorthodox tactics of the inimitable Jasper of Suvein have caused a pause in military thinking. In the Decadent Period urban skirmishing is more common than open war, and the phalanxes of the militia and regular army are largely untested since the Civil War.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.