Silver Shield Pikemen
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Very good defensive unit
- Low damage but average armour penetration
- Average attack
- Good morale
- Very vulnerable when not in phalanx
During his final years on campaign, Alexander the Great renamed his elite hypaspist infantrymen argyraspides or 'Silver Shields'. Following Alexander’s untimely death, his generals fought each other for territory and the enormous power that came with it. When the smoke cleared, the former 'commander-in-chief of the camp', Seleucus, controlled Babylon and several other eastern satrapies, proclaiming himself king in 306BC. His territory became known as the Seleucid Empire, and the Silver Shields formed the elite of its armies from the very beginning. Throughout most of their tenure they were equipped in the Macedonian fashion and trained for phalanx combat like their illustrious forebears. However, following their catastrophic defeat at Magnesia in 190BC by the Romans, the Seleucids began to re-model the Silver Shields on the impressive Roman legionaries who defeated them, certainly in equipment if not in tactics. It is thought that the 5000 men at the head of the Daphne Parade in 166BC were Silver Shields equipped in this way.