Iphikratous Hoplitai are well equipped infantry that are most effective in the formidable, if slightly inflexible, phalanx formation.
The hoplite went through a technological revolution from the time of the Peloponnesian War right until about 250 BC. Gone were the old hoplon shield and metal cuirass; gone were the short spears and crested helmets. These men were equipped with the latest in Hellenic technological innovation. Longer spears, linen and leather armor, lighter shields, boots, and Attic style helmets were the order of the day. This equipment put the hoplite on a par with his Makedonian rival to the north and made him lighter and quicker. These men are the quintessential heavy spear phalanx of the post-Peloponnesian era, and should be utilized in such a fashion. They are mobile and less tactically rigid than their Makedonian counterpart (whose primary job is to tie up the enemy infantry). They’re hard hitting and well able to engage in melee with their shorter xiphos swords if the phalanx is disrupted. They’re still vulnerable to flanking attacks and to missile troops, but are on a par with the Diadochoi’s troops as a unit.
Historically, the reforms of Iphikrates are the most notable in the series of innovations that befell the Hellenes, though they weren’t as readily embraced until after the Makedonian phalanx proved the traditional hoplites obsolete. Prior to that, even Athenai and Thebai – who were the least reluctant to accept the changes - were not eager to accept the changes and didn’t begin to field the newer Hoplitai in very large numbers. Some poleis such as Sparte refused to accept the new equipment, and Spartiatai Hoplitai to this day use more conservative armaments. During the long series of internecine squabbles with Hellenistic powers and one another, the Hellenic cities had a great deal of trouble dealing with enemy mobile troops. This is offset somewhat by their equipment. Iphikrates himself can be reasonably credited with the adoption of a smaller shield, a longer spear, a better sword, and lighter armor. The helmet came later, at around 350 BC, followed by a further lengthening of the spear and adoption of the small thureos shield after the Galatiai incursions. Boots were adopted by the Hellenes around 300 BC and the final lengthening of the spear (to better fight the Makedones) happened near 280 BC. Numbers of individual armies dwindled due to infighting and constant mercenary activity.