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I would contend that the current depiction of hypaspists in the game is an unlikely case though not necessarily inaccurate.  The precise nature of what they wore is ambiguous, making many historians simply guess on the matter.  The following from J. F. C. Fuller's The Generalship of Alexander the Great does a good job of summarising the academic views.  

"Sir William Tarn is of opinion that 'they were heavy infantry, as heavily armed as the phalanx,' and that their difference from the hoplites 'was one of history, recruitment, and standing, not of armament.'  Wilcken considers that they were light--armed infantry, 'whose battle-role was to hasten forward at quick march or the double and make connection between the cavalry and the phalanx.'  And Grote suggests that 'they were hoplites, keeping regular array and intended for close combat, but more lightly armed, and more fit for diversities of circumstance and position than the phalanx... They occupied a sort of intermediate place between heavy infantry and of the phalanx properly so called, and the peltasts and light troops generally.'  Because Arrian records that Alexander made use of them to follow up cavalry, storm walled places, execute rapid night marches and other mobile operations, it would seem probably that they were more lightly armed and equipped than hoplites."  

Sorry for the long quote, but I wanted to have a full context for the argument which I personally find quite valid.  Thus, I would recommend that the units have an appearance more akin to the skiritae and Athenian marines.  They could be a bit slower, but the role probably should be the same from a gameplay standpoint.  

Edited by Thorfinn the Shallow Minded
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That would be an impractical thing to have logistically speaking.  If there were multiple types of armour issued, the difficulty maintaining the force would be much greater in supplying them with the correct things.  Also, manoeuvres would be harder to execute with practised efficiency if they kept on changing armour and weapons.  While soldiers did in some cases abandon heavier equipment for mobile operations, the implications for these soldiers seems distinct from the typical phalanx, and thus a standardised set of armour and weapons for all of these situations seems to be a far more likely scenario.  Anyways, even if they did alternate between different things, 0 A.D. has to make some generalisations where it would otherwise be unnecessarily complex; the generalisation in this case seems to be for making the hypaspists have lighter armour.

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A posting to the hypaspist corps brought with it much prestige, honor, and privilege. They probably had pick of the loot, after the crown, somatophylakes, and hetairoi, of course. The Silver Shields in particular are described as having a substantial baggage train of loot, servants, slaves, and even family members. It is not beyond probability that they had more than one kit or would alter their kit based on the scenario at hand. In fact, I would expect it from such professionals. Their kit probably evolved over the course of Alexander's anabasis too, to meet the ever changing needs of their operations. It's probable in pitched battle they'd wear the heaviest kit they had, while when storming a town's defenses in the steaming Punjab they'd lighten the load and shun body armor.

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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That is a logical argument, but what you are ignoring is the point that they were consistently deployed for mobile operations in every notable battle.  Heavy armour would ultimately weigh them down in these cases.  In the Battle of Granicus, their purpose was to support Alexander's cavalry charge on the left flank.  On the cavalry's right were a group of hypaspists for the charge.  He also placed another block on the other flank, demonstrating their mobility.  In the Battle of Issus, the hypaspists were deployed closely to mountainous terrain, where heavy infantry would find it difficult to effectively operate.  In the battle of Guagamela, hypaspists were next to the the cavalry and light infantry again.  In the Battle of Hypasdes, they supported the flank of the phalanx.  Heavily armed hoplites were essentially outdated by the introduction of the sarissa, and the notion of wearing as much as possible does not seem to be a viable stance given their usage in all of these decisive battles.  Likewise, of the sources Fuller quotes, all of which are major historians of Alexander, none of them argue for a situational kit.  I will admit that there could be some flexibility in what they wore, but the evidence seems to strongly work for them being lightly armed infantry.

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14 hours ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

The following from J. F. C. Fuller's The Generalship of Alexander the Great does a good job of summarising the academic views.

It's worth noting that book was published in 1958 and academic views change, so your source might be outdated. Also, J. F. C. Fuller (1878–1966) was a British officer involved with organizing the first tank attack (in 1917), a dominant advocate for armoured warfare (hardly surprising), and a prolific writer on a wide range of subjects, from military history to mysticism; his views were already controversial in his own time (thank you, Wikipedia). I'd highly recommend you to look for a few more (recent) sources.

Edited by Nescio
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It is true that the sources may be old, but the simple fact is that everyone had and has biases.  Regarding his views being controversial, his advocacy for armoured warfare was in many ways substantiated by the success of blitzkrieg in the 2nd World War.  Many of his writings formed the bases of officer training curricula and are in many ways still used for modern military theory.  Furthermore, although he may have believed in unusual views, perceptions of a person should not be the sole thing to shape an understanding of a historian's credibility.  If you would like to see some more sources, some of which I found that also take a similar position from more modern historiography are articles such as "Alexander's Hypaspists Again" by J. R. Ellis.  Likewise, in an article published in 2004 entitled "Philopoemen's Special Forces: Peltasts and a New Kind of Greek Light-Armed Warfare (Livy 35.27)" by Mary Frances Williams, she takes a similar stance, arguing that hypaspists were lightly armed.  Another source that has a similar stance is "The Macedonian Sarissa, Spear, and Related Armor" by Minor M. Markel.  While there are other views on the other side for this matter, it is no surprise that in academic discourse there is no broad consensus.  Obviously this not in any way an exhaustive list of examples, but I think that it demonstrates that the argument of Fuller, Wilcken, and other historians is still quite plausible.

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15 minutes ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

While there are other views on the other side for this matter, it is no surprise that in academic discourse there is no broad consensus.

Then why are you pushing for the implementation of a specific interpretation?

16 minutes ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

If you would like to see some more sources, some of which I found that also take a similar position from more modern historiography are articles such as "Alexander's Hypaspists Again" by J. R. Ellis.  Likewise, in an article published in 2004 entitled "Philopoemen's Special Forces: Peltasts and a New Kind of Greek Light-Armed Warfare (Livy 35.27)" by Mary Frances Williams, she takes a similar stance, arguing that hypaspists were lightly armed.  Another source that has a similar stance is "The Macedonian Sarissa, Spear, and Related Armor" by Minor M. Markel.

I didn't look up Ellis 1975 and Markel 1977, but I've just downloaded Williams 2004. Interestingly the article repeatedly calls Alexander's hypaspists heavy infantry, e.g.:

Quote

Alexander developed his cavalry into the premier method of fighting in the Hellenistic period and he used heavy-armed hypaspists in battle.[50]

on page 265 and again on page 270:

Quote

Alexander the Great made innovative use of his light-armed troops in pitched battles.[88] He also used heavy-armed hypaspists, some as his bodyguard and others as a special unit that fought with the infantry, in ambushes, and on special expeditions.[89] But they were heavy-armed, and Alexander's hypaspists were not peltasts.[90]

Again, please find me some recent sources that support your view :)

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I'm enjoying reading this discussion ;) 

Could you all please define what you understand as "light" armoured and "heavy" armoured /armed? I think that would help understand what everybody exactly has in mind, because right now I'm just guessing at what you mean exactly (show me some pics :) )

Edited by Sundiata
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My bad with the terminology.  It seems that I was mistakenly looking at a section referring to caetrati which also eludes to hypaspists.  The point that I wish to make is a small distinction.  Hypaspists according to my findings were heavily armed compared to peltasts, but less so than other phalangites.  Essentially the point is that they seem to have served an intermediary role in the battlefield that would be cumbersome for others.  Why prefer this to simply labelling them as the Macedonian variation of the hoplite, which seems to be the other camp for academics?  First, it seems that, as I have hopefully shown, there is a moderately good amount of support for this.  Why ardently take one side when the other position also has a good basis?  Obviously it would be academically compromising to assert entirely that hypaspists were clearly armed in one way when the primary sources do not give an explicit description of their equipment.  The main reason is to provide a consistent gameplay depiction of these units, which as I see would be designed to be used in a historically informed manner based on the tactics by which Alexander used them.  

I wish that I could say that I found more sources, but I haven't bothered looking for more.  As much as I would like to show some pictures of hypaspists, the photos from that time are a bit low quality, but here are some extremely accurate versions of hypaspists from the critically acclaimed game Age of Empires Online. :P Image result for age of empires online hypaspist

 

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I kind of see what you mean... They were indeed more of an intermediate/flexible unit. Armoured, but not as heavy as the phalangites. 

Hypaspists needed to be highly mobile, fast and needed unencumbered vision and movement. Metal cuirasses seem like overkill, generally speaking.  

The bronze and iron muscle cuirasses in 0AD's "Hypaspistes (Macedonian Shield Bearer)", indeed seem out of place. The fellow on the right in his linothorax seems perfect though. A band of bronze scales along the abdomen is an acceptable variation to reflect their elite status.   

2146790559_HypaspistesHypaspistMacedonianShieldbearerin0AD.thumb.jpg.101c402ea1b22e34eddd6bffacb5579b.jpg

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On 6/23/2018 at 2:49 PM, Sundiata said:

I'm enjoying reading this discussion ;) 

Could you all please define what you understand as "light" armoured and "heavy" armoured /armed? I think that would help understand what everybody exactly has in mind, because right now I'm just guessing at what you mean exactly (show me some pics :) )

I think you have put your finger on the main problem in the discussion. Light and heavy infantry doesn't mean anything for ancient times, it is a modern view. 

There is a problem with this idea of a different armement for the hypaspist:

The duel of Horratas against Dioxippe, the former is very probably a hypaspist, duelling with a sarissa. And when Alexander killed Cleitos with a sarissa took from the hand of a bodyguard... role belonging to the hypaspists. Finally when Nicanor, commander of the hypaspists asked his men to used their sarissa to lay the wheat/crop against the Getai.

Edited by Genava55
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You mention some fair points, yet I find that the first two seem to be speculation.  I could be wrong, yet that seems to be what I see at least.  Anyways, the point is not necessarily about whether they used the sarissa; I have not researched that topic heavily and could be misinformed (All that I do know is that a number of experts think that they would have used the hoplite spear).  That said, the point is that at the moment is that some of the soldiers that were used for mobile operations are shown wearing rather cumbersome armour in game.  Even if you take the camp of Tarn and those who have followed his arguments, I think that they would be in agreement with this notion.  

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19 minutes ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

That said, the point is that at the moment is that some of the soldiers that were used for mobile operations are shown wearing rather cumbersome armour in game.  Even if you take the camp of Tarn and those who have followed his arguments, I think that they would be in agreement with this notion.  

The main difference between the hypaspist and the common phalangite is the training and the experience. Hypaspist had daily training including 56km of walk with full equipment since king Philippe. Not the phalangite. 

If you look in the history of the Roman army, you will see how they are able to perform actions that even "light" infantry in the hellenistic world would barely perform. It is the training the difference. 

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9 hours ago, Genava55 said:

Light and heavy infantry doesn't mean anything for ancient times, it is a modern view.

Those are modern terms, yes, but they are perfectly applicable to warfare in Antiquity. Light and heavy refer to the function on the battlefield, though, *not* to their body armour.

Light infantry are auxiliaries, irregulars, skirmishers, etc. whose purpose is to harass the enemy, do raids, chase down fleeing troops, etc., kill at range, but avoid melee.

Heavy infantry are troops who fight in formation and engage in melee. They form the core of the army and the outcome of the battle is decided by them. It's very lopsided, though: the side whose formation breaks are typically massacred, the victors can survive with minimal casualties.

Medium is rarely used but refers to troops that could simultaneously serve as light and as heavy troops, without having to change equipment.

To simplify, light means ranged and heavy means melee. (It's a bit more subtle than that, of course; spearmen and swordsmen often had javelins; archers and javelinists often had swords. Again, the terms refer to their rôle, not their armaments.)

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1 hour ago, Nescio said:

Those are modern terms, yes, but they are perfectly applicable to warfare in Antiquity. Light and heavy refer to the function on the battlefield, though, *not* to their body armour. 

Light infantry are auxiliaries, irregulars, skirmishers, etc. whose purpose is to harass the enemy, do raids, chase down fleeing troops, etc., kill at range, but avoid melee. 

Heavy infantry are troops who fight in formation and engage in melee. They form the core of the army and the outcome of the battle is decided by them. It's very lopsided, though: the side whose formation breaks are typically massacred, the victors can survive with minimal casualties. 

Medium is rarely used but refers to troops that could simultaneously serve as light and as heavy troops, without having to change equipment. 

To simplify, light means ranged and heavy means melee. (It's a bit more subtle than that, of course; spearmen and swordsmen often had javelins; archers and javelinists often had swords. Again, the terms refer to their rôle, not their armaments.) 

I agree with the existence of different roles on the battlefield. I disagree with the dichotomy heavy or light, often generalized outside of the battlefield. It is why peoples are using the idea of medium infantry to fill inconsistencies in the theoretical framework but in this case you should apply it to the Roman legionaries as well:

"Velites had wholly disappeared by the time of Caesar. Their detachment from the establishment of the legion made possible a gradual decline in numbers, a decline made more likely by the changed conditions of warfare, the greater availability of foreign auxiliaries and the destruction of the economic base for military class distinction. Above all perhaps, the long service and professionalism of the first century army made the ordinary heavy infantryman better able to fill the role of velites as well as their own. In this context of gradual decline, the final disappearance of the velites need not have excited remark." - Bell (1965). Tactical Reform in the Roman Republican Army.

There is also a good example of "light infantry" tactics performed by legionaries during the Battle of Ilerda between Caesar and Pompey.

Heavy and light roles on the battlefield are more based on the unit formation, the training of the men and the quality of their officers.

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I think you're all kind of right on this topic, but I think the question is wether the current look of the Hypaspist is "appropriate" for such a versatile unit. The muscle cuirasses just seem a little "heavy".   

These Argyraspides (originally named Hypaspist) seem to be right on the money for Alexander's timeframe (I'm no expert though) 

g4nmrvt.jpg.25b8a24d047bdaa2e60bc74b0b92635e.jpg

Essentially very similar/the same as the "Seleucid Silver Shield Pikemen", before the actual establishment of the Seleucid Empire. (There should be overlap between the Macedonians and the Seleucids anyway, and the Hypaspist/Argyraspides offers this sublimely historical overlap).  

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10 hours ago, Sundiata said:

I think you're all kind of right on this topic, but I think the question is wether the current look of the Hypaspist is "appropriate" for such a versatile unit. The muscle cuirasses just seem a little "heavy".   

There's also the view that how "heavy" the armor worn was also based on position within the Macedonian phalanx. Front rankers wearing "heavy" armor and face masks, while the rear rankers wore no body armor and merely a pilos-style helmet. It's not so clear cut as me staking a position ("They wore heavy armor or armor based on the mission") or you staking a position. There was position within the phalanx, as I noted, and then also actual rank. Higher ranking officers would (GENERALLYYYYYY) wear heavier flashier armor, while lower ranks would wear more basic armor. I would love to have battalions in the game so we can depict all of these conditions and variations as accurately as we can. Have a flashy looking officer in the front right, with a standard bearer behind him; most of the front couple of ranks wearing heavy armor variations, then medium in the middle, and no armor in the back (with a lot of variant bleed between the rows, not defined harshly). 

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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This may have been the case in later years, but during the time of Alexander's campaign, the foot companions generally did not wear things such as heavy metal cuirasses.  Even for headwear, there was a tendency to just wear traditional Macedonian hats.  That said, it is unlikely at least from that evidence alone that the hypaspists would have been more heavily armed given the already established roles they had in battle.

As for my two cents for the light/heavy dichotomy, I think that it seems a bit backwards to base the class a soldier might fall into due to tactics.  Generally it seems that the strategies tend to naturally derive from the equipment provided.  While it  might be an anachronistic example, I would say that tanks are a possible analogy.  Light and heavy in this context is directly related to armament and thereby determines how they should be used.  While it could be said that training and deployment is factor, I would not consider it the deciding one.  In the context of legionnaires, such troops are not inherently heavy because there was the presence of auxiliary units to support the main blocks heavy infantry.  Probably the best support for this argument of semantics is a quick glance at the adjectival use of 'light,' which in the case of militaries, relates to armaments, not tactics.

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3 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

There's also the view that how "heavy" the armor worn was also based on position within the Macedonian phalanx. Front rankers wearing "heavy" armor and face masks, while the rear rankers wore no body armor and merely a pilos-style helmet. It's not so clear cut as me staking a position ("They wore heavy armor or armor based on the mission") or you staking a position. There was position within the phalanx, as I noted, and then also actual rank. Higher ranking officers would (GENERALLYYYYYY) wear heavier flashier armor, while lower ranks would wear more basic armor.

Although I don't doubt that's true for the bulk of the phalanx, Hypaspists aren't even real phalangites, and I doubt that reasoning would apply to veteran/elite battalions like the Hypaspist that would be fighting in much more irregular/dynamic formations on the flanks. These guys could afford more than just a pilos helmet, and the general nature of their combat roles argues against the idea of anyone choosing to leave their armor behind during battle. I get the idea that these guys were kind of like the navy SEALs of their day, well trained and well equipped. Equipment would depend on the mission, but in frontline combat, no one's leaving behind the flak jacket and ballistic helmet...

 

4 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

I would love to have battalions in the game so we can depict all of these conditions and variations as accurately as we can. Have a flashy looking officer in the front right, with a standard bearer behind him; most of the front couple of ranks wearing heavy armor variations, then medium in the middle, and no armor in the back (with a lot of variant bleed between the rows, not defined harshly). 

That would be delicious though, but also depends on the specific unit, not universal, or as you say "not defined harshly". 

 

37 minutes ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

Light and heavy in this context is directly related to armament and thereby determines how they should be used.  While it could be said that training and deployment is factor, I would not consider it the deciding one.

This is a bit like the nature vs nurture debate. I think it's both. A combination of armaments, training, and their historical deployment (actual combat experience) are all deciding factors here. What would be considered light in one culture could be considered heavy in another and vice versa. 

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The hoplite is the classical example of heavy infantry; I doubt anyone is going to disagree with that. However, warriors (I avoid the term soldiers, because it implies a salary) typically had to provide their own armaments. Most were young and not rich, they had shields but often lacked body armour. Greaves were uncommon too. Only the oldest and wealthiest actually had the stereotypical, very expensive, bronze muscle cuirass.

You see the same in the early Roman Republican ("Polybian") army, with the hastati, principes, and triarii.

Likewise, it's highly unlikely all phalangites would have the same body armour. Many different types of armour were used in the Macedonian army. Alexander's hypaspists were the elite, they could afford the classical muscle armour; I'm not saying all of them always wore one, but it's certainly possible they normally fought as traditional hoplites.

Finally, 0 A.D. is a game, and has to generalize some things. Alexander's cavalry sometimes fought on foot, and pezhetairoi (ordinary phalangites) occassionally fought with javelins instead of in a pike formation. I think it's both unnecessary and undesirable to try to implement this.

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