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Thread: What exactly is the intended role of the Thorakitai?

  1. #1

    Default What exactly is the intended role of the Thorakitai?

    The implication is that they are intended be a late-game replacement of hoplitai, and the the mainstay of the Hellenic late-game battle line. However their unit description and their low availability implies that they have a more specialised role?

    Historically which was the case? Did they ever form the bulk of the forces of the Hellenic powers, or were their numbers too few to fill anything more than a support role?

  2. #2

    Default Re: What exactly is the intended role of the Thorakitai?

    Both, depending on the period.

    Early on they were used to support the hellenistic phalanx, copying the success of non-aspis troops like the galatians.

    A century later they were the mainstay of the late seleucids/ptolemids as they dropped the phalanx. Eventually the romans would see them and call them imitation legionaries. In the case of the Pontus (and maybe the ptolemids), the rulers eventually sought to hire roman officers in an attempt to copy their discipline and general effectiveness.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What exactly is the intended role of the Thorakitai?

    Ah I see, thank you. Their recruitment levels should be beefed up in that case. At least in my KH campaign, even very late-game I couldn't get them in near enough quantities to form a battle line.

    In Pontus' case, do both the Thorakitai and the Galatianised Swordsmen represent Mithridates' "imitation legionaries"?

  4. #4

    Default Re: What exactly is the intended role of the Thorakitai?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aodh Mór Ó Néill View Post
    In Pontus' case, do both the Thorakitai and the Galatianised Swordsmen represent Mithridates' "imitation legionaries"?
    Thorakitai are greek soldiers, while galatianised are natives from anatolia.

    As for the later you would need to ask a team member, I only can give you my opinion as a player. I think the imitation legionaries are a nebulous concept and it isn't clear how much it was really an imitation. Mithriditates did use roman deserters and likely organised some units along roman fashion. However for a long time, the eastern greeks had their own mobile troops that used thureos-like shields, and they were progressively losing their skirmish role and becoming line infantry (what thorakitai represent).

    For Pontus, most of their line infantry would be composed of non-greeks, so units like the bosphoran elite infantry, galatian elite spearmen, and galatianised infantry (spear/swords) would represent what romans called imitation legionaries. IDK if there are plans to include a very late unit that would specifically represent roman deserters or anatolians trained by roman officers, something that happened in the third mithridatic war.

  5. #5

    Default Re: What exactly is the intended role of the Thorakitai?

    when did the seleucids drop the phalanx? Afaik, the ptolemies adopted thureophoroi style troops after their phalanx was massacred at panion but the seleucids continued to use it. even mithridates vi had a phalanx corps.

  6. #6

    Default Re: What exactly is the intended role of the Thorakitai?

    Hellenistic Infantry Reform in the 160s BC by Nicholas Sekunda

    I'm sure there is more recent scholarship on the topic, you'd need to ask a team member.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What exactly is the intended role of the Thorakitai?

    I would really love a Submod with Thorakitai units replacing spears with swords. I mean we have machairophoroi, but they look so lightly armored. I know it sounds like a waste of unit space, But really its not, Just like we have eastern swordsmen, and spearman, we should have thorakitai with spear and with sword. i RP that my phalangitai changes to makedon peltastai, or the other greek heavy units since we cant represent that via 2 weapons, might as well have 2 units. It only makes sense right?? I have been using Illyrian thorakitai to RP as the heavy armored units / veterans of my galatianised swordsmen, due to the lack of this heavy armor sword infantry for any greek faction.

  8. #8

    Default Re: What exactly is the intended role of the Thorakitai?

    Quote Originally Posted by moisesjns View Post
    I would really love a Submod with Thorakitai units replacing spears with swords. I mean we have machairophoroi, but they look so lightly armored. I know it sounds like a waste of unit space, But really its not, Just like we have eastern swordsmen, and spearman, we should have thorakitai with spear and with sword. i RP that my phalangitai changes to makedon peltastai, or the other greek heavy units since we cant represent that via 2 weapons, might as well have 2 units. It only makes sense right?? I have been using Illyrian thorakitai to RP as the heavy armored units / veterans of my galatianised swordsmen, due to the lack of this heavy armor sword infantry for any greek faction.
    Use Katoikoi Thraikes. They have AP swords like Machairaphoroi and much better armour.

  9. #9

    Default Re: What exactly is the intended role of the Thorakitai?

    I'm not sure about replenishment and total pools in the late game, but I would think thorakitai availability increases with time. We had a concept at one point, which was never deployed, to let the player pick army styles in specific regions and build that barracks, e.g., phalanx-focused, thorakitai-focused, and so on. It got rather complicated, produced a number of little riddles, and we ended up not following it up.

    The Ptolemies didn't completely scrap the phalanx after Panion, but for a recent treatment of that question you can see my chapter "No Strength to Stand" on the impact of Panion on the Ptolemaic army and especially its phalanx class: https://www.academia.edu/35419480/No...lemaic_Decline
    The Ptolemies were still fielding some phalanx units near the end of the 2nd century BC, although the weight of Ptolemaic effort was toward lighter and more flexible units represented in EBII by thureophoroi, thorakitai, and other units. I'm not sure what the recruitment level is; it's difficult to grant access to really large numbers of one particular type of troop because there are so many to choose from. But I'll check and see if these units should be more available in the late game than they are at present.

    A mixture of kata Galaton units and thorakitai would suffice for the "imitation legions" of Pontos. Hope that helps on several of the questions!

  10. #10

    Default Re: What exactly is the intended role of the Thorakitai?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sar1n View Post
    Use Katoikoi Thraikes. They have AP swords like Machairaphoroi and much better armour.
    I do use them and they are great, Sadly they still lack the amount of chainmail that truly makes them look like heavy/ medium armor infantry. Just place a katokoi, Machairophoroi, galatianised Swordsmen, and illyrian thorakitai close to each other. The Illyrians by far stand out as the most armored of all 4. i would even say they look more armored than galatian retainers at max armor. But a great recommendation for a placeholder.

  11. #11

    Default Re: What exactly is the intended role of the Thorakitai?

    The Hellenes are missing a native heavy swordsman unit alright, but I don't think that should warrant a unit slot. Machairophoroi should just get an armour upgrade with the Thorakitai reform.

  12. #12
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar I am your sovereign now
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    Default Re: What exactly is the intended role of the Thorakitai?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aodh Mór Ó Néill View Post
    The Hellenes are missing a native heavy swordsman unit alright, but I don't think that should warrant a unit slot. Machairophoroi should just get an armour upgrade with the Thorakitai reform.
    That would also really help the Machairophoroi to stand apart from the Thureophoroi, since they look entirely similar aside from weaponry. In either case, the chainmail-armored Thracian Katoikoi and Illyrian Thorakitai provide great heavy swordsmen in the meantime, and to a lesser extent the Galatian colonists also fill this role. Galatian Retainer spearmen are far more intimidating and badass looking in their heavier armor, though.

  13. #13

    Default Re: What exactly is the intended role of the Thorakitai?

    Was chainmail really so superior in quality and cost-efficiency compared to other armors used at the time? I mean what were the general-use torso protective gear before the advent of the gaulish invasions? How did they stack up to mail, and were they still widely used decades after the so called "thureos" (weapons, armor, and tactics associated with said shield as well) reforms by the various eastern Mediterranean states and cultures?
    Last edited by Pooploop; May 20, 2021 at 11:44 AM.

  14. #14
    Laetus
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    Default Re: What exactly is the intended role of the Thorakitai?

    Chainmail is an excellent form of defense, a lot better than many believe it to be. Contrary to public belief, it offers great protection even against thrusting weapons, some types were even able to stop couched lances. Its biggest drawback is the cost and time of manufacture. There are different theories about the armour worn by 3rd century BC hellenic soldiers. Linothorax, if it was even used by the hellenistic powers was made either by gluing layers of linen together but it could have been also quilted just like the majority of textile defenses from around the world. According to Pausanias linen armor should be used for hunting because it was susceptible to a strong weapon thrust. Another form of armor could have been the spolas, believed by some to be the maun type of armor classical hoplites wore, which was made from animal hide.

  15. #15

    Default Re: What exactly is the intended role of the Thorakitai?

    Just started a game as Hayasdan (first time since EBI). Is there a specific unit available to them that I can use to emulate Tigranes the Great's infantry-heavy "legionesque" armies. or do Hellenic theuros troops fill that role? I know that Galatianised swordsmen are only available to Hayasdan in limited quantities.

  16. #16

    Default Re: What exactly is the intended role of the Thorakitai?

    Amazing info, thanks guys! I just had a thought today when I was re-reading their unit card descriptions. The elite and regular thorakitai, based on abilities and stats, seems to almost mimick the Marian first cohort/reformed cohort, but since the thorakitai didn't fight in a phalanx, what did they fight in? By this I mean more the sub-unit structure than formation, as the phalanx can be divided into lochos/lochoi, but what can a unit of thorokitai be divided into?

  17. #17

    Default Re: What exactly is the intended role of the Thorakitai?

    Victor1234, I can't quote this word by word from an accredited source, but terms like taxeis, lochoi, mora...they are just general unit and subunit designations. I know that the Spartans divided and designated groups of men by those terms, the Macedonian phalangites did as well, and the thorakitai (from whatever Hellenistic state they were recruited from/employed by) most likely followed suit.

  18. #18

    Default Re: What exactly is the intended role of the Thorakitai?

    Thanks, that would make sense that they kept up the continuity.

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