Pontic Units

Peasant

The last option of any desperate army (except perhaps slaves or convicts), peasants are good for increasing your numbers...and not much else. Poorly armed and with little military experience, their morale and discipline are both understandably low. They are cheap to train, however, and their one advantage is an ability to hide well. Peasants should be used as an absolute last resort, or in cases where funds are extremely short.



Peltasts

Much like the Roman velites, skirmishers are restricted to peppering the enemy with long-range javelins before the actual battle commences. They can also be useful for acting as a distraction to the enemy, to lure them into an ambush, or to create a diversion by attacking some target. They are fairly useless in melee combat, and should not be subjected to it.




Hillmen

equivalent of the other factions' militia troops, Hillmen are lower-echelon tribal warriors who have been handed weapons and sent into battle without any training or knowledge of tactics. This makes them largely useless on the battlefield, but they can be used to great effect for ambushes, raids, scouting, and such like. Their lack of training also means that they have poor discipline. Hillmen are armed with spears.



Eastern Infantry

Another generically-named unit type, the Eastern Infantry also carry spears, as well as large shields. This allows them to execute quite efficiently a defensive function, although attempting to use them for anything more than this may have unpleasant consequences for a Parthian player. They are also militia troops, and have the poor morale and discipline common to this kind of part-time soldier.



Phalanx Pikemen

More professional and with far more experience than the Eastern Infantry, Pontic Phalanx Pikemen are accordingly more effective as a unit, and provide good, solid phalanxes where Bronze Shields are not available or required. They carry swords for close combat, although their primary function is to create a wall of pike-points and "fix" the enemy in place while other Pontic units go on the offensive.




Bronze Shield Hoplites

Bronze shields are the elite of the army of Pontus, heirs to the world-conquering phalanxes of Alexander. They are lightly armoured and carry a small shield, and each carries an enormously long pike, or sarissa. This 4-5m long spear allows up to five ranks of Bronze Shields to bring their weapons to bear on the enemy, while those further back can protect the front ranks by angling their pikes to deflect missile fire. When deployed as a phalanx they are extremely formidable unless outflanked, attacked from the rear or subjected to intense missile fire. Their superior discipline, training and esprit de corps makes them slow to tire on the battlefield as well. Bronze shields are the successors to the hoplite warrior traditions of Greece and Macedonia; to carry a bronze shield means that you are worthy of honour and that your family has social standing.

Archers

Archers were used more widely by Eastern cultures than Western. Maybe it has something to do with the wide open lands of the East as opposed to the constricted press of the wooded West, or maybe it has to do with practicality over some cultural bias against killing from afar. Regardless, the archer is a proud and deadly member of Eastern armies, often recruited and trained for years before entering service. Like all foot archers, these men can fire volleys of normal arrows or use flaming missiles- excellent against elephants and chariots.

Javelin Cavalry

These light horsemen are armed with javelins and are therefore ideally suited for raids and scouting, but not very useful in a pitched battle. They should definitely be kept away from enemy cavalry, which they have no protection against. Militia cavalry, like militia hoplites, were recruited from civilian ranks only when necessary.






Cappadocian Cavalry

Cappadocian lancers are excellent horsemen, best suited to charging into and breaking through enemy formations. They are not as headstrong as other elite heavy cavalry and will not charge without orders - war is a serious business that has little room for vainglorious folly. They wear heavy chainmail and carry swords for use in close combat once the initial charge is over and momentum has been lost. While not in quite the same class as the super-heavy cataphracts from nearby Armenia, these men are a powerful force. They should not, however, be expected to charge into prepared spearmen. Cappadocia is a region that is famed for its cavalry, and these men are rightly feared throughout Asia Minor.

Pontic Heavy Cavalry

Pontic heavy cavalry are javelin-armed horsemen who can also fight hand-to-hand - a potent combination in one force. They wear light chainmail armour and carry shields and swords so that they can close with opponents and fight when the situation requires. Their primary means of attack, however, remains the javelins that they carry. They can pepper an enemy with missiles and then have the option of closing to deliver the coup de grace, or they can withdraw and await another opportunity for mischief! They are not ideally suited to fighting other skirmishers - many of their javelins will be wasted against targets who can dodge, after all - but they can be very useful in driving broken enemies from the field.

Chariot Archers

Much like the chariot unit, but carrying archers instead of swordsmen. Since chariots were pulled by multiple horses, they could be quite difficult to catch, even for cavalry, and this became even harder when they were raining arrows on their enemies. These chariots had their own drivers, so that the archers (who were armored, incidentally) could concentrate on the obviously far more important business of killing.



Heavy Chariots

Like the Seleucids, the Pontics attached blades to their chariot wheels, allowing these vehicles to cut men down as they drove past them. Pulled by two horses and carrying a heavy infantryman, they tend to be just as excitable as any cavalry unit, and their high morale is balanced by their substantial lack of discipline. Nevertheless, this is a very powerful unit.



General's Guard

A bodyguard was, historically speaking, a functional unit, rather than a type of soldier. In the game, however, they are spear-armed shock cavalry, whose success or failure depends to a large extent on the personal characteristics of the general who they are guarding - his effect on their morale, for example, or on their discipline, will play a large role in determining how they fight. They are in all cases excellent troops.



Onagers

An onager, unlike a ballista, worked similarly to a catapult. These machines could be used to hurl projectiles up to half a mile (with the larger versions). The Roman used them in many different ways: large boulders were flung at walls to help bring them down; many smaller rocks were used against enemy troops as a sort of shrapnel; various burning projectiles were used to try and spread fire; and diseased animal carcasses were flung into the enemy-held city to spread disease.

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