Macedonian phalanx shields were of wooden construction lined with leather and thin layer of bronze. I took an artistic liberty to leave polished bronze layer, instead of colored cloth or leather. Sunburst was very common pattern along with some geometric designs, but probably there were others as well.Because phalanx has limited value against more nimble enemies, they are – if and when poorly protected from the flanks, quite vulnerable to enemy cavalry and light troop menace. During era of Alexander, phalanx was fielded with excellent companion cavalry, but during successor era quality and numbers – if not dwindled, changed. Essentially, for phalanx to be effective, a hammer is needed (cataphracts hopefully serve that purpose) and something more maneuverable for the flanks, which should arrive in form of peltasts.
That said, I think that psychological effect of phalanx is as important – if not more so than mere combat value. Well disciplined and massed ranks of long spears ought to sow fear in the opposing ranks – who seldom were as effective fighting machine as Romans. In a way I’d like to think that shining shields, expensive imperial colors and lavish panoplies would impose the imperial authority over the enemies. Out of the mighty Seleucid army, two stands of peltasts, one stand of cataphract elephants, and two stands of phalanx are still to be completed. So far the phalanx does not look that formidable.
But that is BI for now since there will be Signal Close Action event in coming weekend. Time to take a few ships for a cruise around Coromandel coast, India.