Points

Hoplomachia was the armed combat style of the ancient Greek city-states. Most citizens learned only the spear and shield, but dedicated warriors studied the entire art. The style outlasted the citizen armies, and was common among professional soldiers and mercenaries alike. For an earlier style suitable for "heroic" Greek warriors, see Heroic Spear Fighting (p. 196).

Hoplomachoi (as practitioners were known) lead with their medium shield, often held out at an angle in front of the body or even horizontally, rim pointed toward the enemy. They use shield bashes, Beats (pp. 100-101) with the shield, and shoves to render the foe more vulnerable before bringing the spear into play. Favorite targets for the spear are the less-armored neck and face. Defensively, stylists prefer to block with the shield rather than parry with the spear. Close in, hoplomachoi make aggressive use of the spiked spear butt or resort to a sword - typically a shortsword but occasionally a broadsword. A common tactic is to grapple an adversary in order to drive the sword or butt spike into him.

Practitioners of Hoplomachia often acted as teachers, offering their services to young men seeking training in the style as well as in unarmed combat styles; see Pankration (pp. 188-189) and Ancient Greek Boxing (p. 153). Greek society was divided on their status: some thought them essential to a city's military strength while others regarded them as dangerous men of doubtful morals. Indeed, a number of philosophers agued that this kind of training was detrimental to a soldier because it taught him how to defend himself rather than to rely on his comrades in a firm battle line. Whatever the prevailing view, a teacher would not be difficult to find in ancient Greece.

Skills: Shield; Shortsword; Spear; Wrestling. Techniques: Close Combat (Shortsword); Feint (Shield); Spinning Strike (Spear); Targeted Attack (Spear Thrust/Face); Targeted Attack (Spear Thrust/Neck).

Cinematic Skills: Immovable Stance; Push, used with shield.

Perks: Grip Mastery (Spear); Naval Training, for elite epibatai, or marines, aboard triremes; Teamwork (Hoplomachia).

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