Total War: Rome 2 explains why you never bring a horse to a phalanx fight
Cavalry just don’t do well vs. the front of a phalanx line. Dare I say, phalanx lines are designed to repel cavalry charges. A phalanx is a defensive maneuver where soldiers with pikes or spears set up a wall of pointy death over other solders in front with shields. The idea is that if somehow your enemy can get through ten feet of spear, they still have a wall of shield to somehow bypass. The phalanx has lines of soldier behind them to add more spears and to replace those who fall.
Horses are unable to bypass this due to range of the spears. However, an attack form the side or even the back can be extremely effective. The phalanx formation excels in defending one side. In a field alone these soldiers won’t do as well as say in a city street. Due to Total War: Rome 2 having this Greek originated formation in game, Creative Assembly decided to make their series Rally Point show it off in Episode 16: “Phalanx for the Memories.” Ouch, my head.
The team does an excellent job in showing off the formation and gameplay in Rome II. It looks like they have tons of fun in the process as well. Watch the video below and get excited for next month!