Re: phalanx vs. legion

From: Peter Metcalfe <metcalph_at_...>
Date: Wed, 06 Sep 2000 20:42:15 GMT

Steve Lieb

>I'll be happy to discuss this off list with anyone (we're wandering OT
>here) but the classical Macedonian Phalanx had really no chance >against
>the typical Legion formation, mainly for reasons of tactical >flexibility,
>combined arms, and mobility - either the pre- or post->Marian Legion, IMO.

Which makes one wonder how King Pyrrhus won his battles. "no chance" is far too strong IMO and combined arms is what Alex and his merry Successors did make use of and the basis of Sandy's vision of the Lunar Army (except no elephants).

>suggesting that mobility/flexibility were the key to
>defeating phalanx armies, which seems logical when you think that any
>cavalry support would have been stirrupless.

The lack of stirrups means that they couldn't make frontal charges with counched lances. An overarm lance could just be as lethal if used in flank attacks against infantry (especially on the right side) which is what most of them were used for.

However the Lunars do have stirrups, I don't think the Pentans do and I don't know if the Orlanthi (the Heortlanders might) do.

--Peter Metcalfe

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