Chalkaspides are almost the Pontic equals of the Argyraspides: a well armoured and armed unit of veteran pikemen. They are usually used to hold the center of a battle line.
Can Form Phalanx
The Chalkaspides (Bronze Shields or "brazen shields") are the elite Phalangitai of the multicultural Pontic Kingdom, drawn from all quarters of local Hellenic and Hellenistic peoples, generally with varied backgrounds - though their name likens them to the great veteran phalanx of Megas Alexandros himself. Though not the same superb force, they can be a powerful and a dangerous weapon in the hands of a competent general, but are less then useless in the hands of a fool. Their service role is best restricted to that of a part-time conscript, serving during the summer campaigns, but released at harvest or else famine will follow. Their formation, the phalanx, is the traditional Hellenic infantry formation of a part-time citizen levy, passionately dedicated to its own local civic life. Known to have been used on occassion in ancient Sumeria, it is at its simplest, a compact body of spearmen, formed up in depth to present a hedge of spears to any attacker. The weak point of the phalanx is the flanks and if the enemy is able to engage the flanks then the formation will quickly fall into disorder. The sarissa is a clumsy weapon, not well suited to close quarters combat, but such is not its purpose. It is meant to be an impenetrable wall of pikes, creating a moving fortress from which cavalry can launch strikes, rolling up their enemies wings or exposed center. Vital to the success of the Pontic Chalkaspides are light hoplites or experienced Persian light infantry stationed to guard the vulnerable flanks of the greater phalanx, though a strategic cavalry charge is their best complement - completing the lethal hammer and anvil manoeuvre of the old Makedonian army.
Historically, Makedonian conquests never included Pontos, but their influence in tactics and military practices found a home on the shores of the Pontos Euxeinos and the phalanx was promptly adopted by Pontic generals and kings. Like the other latter day Hellenic states, Pontos tended to forget the nature and vulnerabilities of many of their phalanx pikemen, abandoning the highly effective cavalry tactics that had been developed to complement them or relying to heavily on a weaker battle line. When commanders attempted to use them as a purely offensive arm, they failed to achieve anything, though their leader's lack of creativity or intelligence was more to blame than their skill - which was remarkable.