Pontic Swordsmen

Recruitment Cost 620
Upkeep Cost 110
Melee Attack 37
Weapon Damage 34
Bonus vs Infantry 2
Charge Bonus 18
Melee Defence 55
Armour 75
Health 50
Base Morale 50
Strengths & Weaknesses
  • Good attack
  • Average defence
  • Average damage but low armour penetration
  • Normal morale

Employing Celtic shortswords or the xiphos, with its very similar blade-shape, these heavily-armoured elite swordsmen acted as frontline and shock infantry in Pontic armies. Garbed in scale armour and carrying thureos shields, they were equipped with javelins in addition to their swords. When charging or receiving a charge, they would throw their javelins at close range, draw their swords and attack before their enemy had chance to recover. This has led to them being referred to as imitation legionaries and the suggestion that they copied the fighting style of the Roman Legions. Over the course of the three Mithridatic Wars, waged between Pontus and Rome from 88-63BC, there was certainly time to recruit and reorganise the Pontic army on the Roman model. However, such infantry may equally have developed under the influence of the Celtic Galatian settlers or the Hellenic thorakitai, a more heavily armoured form of thureophoroi. Whatever the case, Pontic swordsmen were well disciplined and equipped, and highly effective in battle.

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