The Thorakitai are armored in mail and carry heavy javelins. They are more expensive and less mobile than their more lightly armored companions, but make excellent shock troops for any Hellenic army.
The Thorakitai represent the second evolution of the concept of the Theurophoroi, and show definite influence by the Romaioi in their implementation. They are armored in mail and carry heavy javelins instead of the lighter javelins carried by the Thureophoroi. Showing a clear Eastern influence and being mainly made up of non-Hellenes, the Pontic conception of the Thorakitai also have trousers and more cloth to cover exposed areas. They are more expensive and less mobile than their more lightly armored companions, but make excellent shock troops for the Pontic army. They are best utilized on the flanks of the phalanx to either flank the enemy while the phalanx pins them, or prevent enemy flankers from attacking the phalanx’s vulnerable flanks, although they can also fare relatively well as line infantry in the Roman fasion. They are best used in combination with the lighter Thureophoroi, who can support them with extra javelins and more importantly, speed, to make sure they are not surrounded.Historically, the Thorakitai were used much like the Thureophoroi, but more rarely and later on. Unlike the Thorakitai soldiers of the Hellenic armies, the majority of the Pontic Thorakitai were not Hellenic middle-class property owners, but drawn from various subject peoples of Pontos or hired mercenaries, such as Thracians, Galatians, Bosphorans and hellenized Anatolians, all who were influenced by Hellenic military traditions and arms.
They alongside the Thureophoroi were probably what the Roman writers called ‘imitation legionnaires’ who were raised before the Third Mithradatic War as a response to the Roman legions. However, it is more likely that troops like these fought in Pontic armies much earlier on and it was after his defeat during his first war with Rome, that Mithradates VI Eupator vastly increased the number of Thorakitai-type troops in his armies due to the ineffectiveness of the Pontic pike phalanxes versus the Roman legionary cohorts, yet the Phalangitai still remained in Pontic armies, although of lesser importance. However, the newly raised "Pontic legions" were mostly made up of freed slaves an "Phalangitai-turned Thorakitai", however unlike before they were more heavily armored and underwent extensive training. Still it did not help him in the remaining wars, although the 'imitation legionnaires' did fare surprisingly well considering their backgrounds and short training compared to their "Roman counterparts." Thorakitai soldiers like these could have been raised earlier than the time of the Mithradatic Wars as military innovations and trends did spread in the Hellenic world, a world which Pontos was part of.