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They are still both listed and are both at the research/review stage (https://www.linear-a.de/new-master-figures-from-linear-a-preview/normal-sets-part-i/). The naming of landwehr cavalry has gone, so perhaps that 'surprise' will be otherwise?
I have corresponded with Andreas quite a bit, chiefly to say how impressed I am with the coming figures. I know from that that they have been quite focussed on the phalangites, so others will move once they have been released.
I am assuming since the Napoleonic surprise sets remained on the 'in production' page as opposed to the 'coming soon' page after that recent addition/change that there is a fair chance we'll see them, or at least considerable progress on them, this year.
The regular updates and date of last update are excellent features of the linear-a site aren't they?
They sure are James. Reminds me of a once great manufacturer who also used to do something similar. Helps when making plans for building armies or dioramas. Also gives a heads up as to whether we need start saving!!!!
Thanks for the update James. Much appreciated.
Stay safe down there in Oz!
This looks like a fine set, James. Linear A are releasing some very interesting sets, and this phalangite set looks to be very useful. I can see myself buying a few boxes.
Understandably, moulding long pikes/sarissae is a tricky business in 1/72 plastic, and it remains to be seen how (relatively) thick these pikes are. If too thick, then I'll have to fall back on the tried and tested plastic broom bristle approach.
I suspect that the intricacies of moulding pikes is one reason for the lower-than-average number of figures in this 'big' box. Redbox did something similar with their Lansknecht/Swiss pikemen...and only gave us 20 figures to a box.
Phalanx/Pike blocks are expensive!
Love the diversity of the poses in each of these sets. While Zvezda's phalangites were versatile and HaT's decent enough for Alexander's battles, I feel like this range will show the true range of phalangite style that were on display after Alexander's conquests down to the fall of Cleopatra's Egypt (if not sooner). The shield positioning for the most part is quite satisfactory and I believe in the all important sarissas which are provided, for now.
My main grip is the box contents. Not only is there 24 of them, which as stated above is typical for this weapon type, the proportions of each rank are significantly off. The typical sarissa phalanx had 18 men per file, of which only roughly about six could have their weapons lowered at any sort of angle. So getting just 6 back rankers for poses that should be providing 66% of an ideal phalanx is annoying and not a huge improvement on the old Zvezda or HaT sets. It is also worth noting that sarissa phalanxes would have all held their weapons vertically except when they were lowered for the stabby combat part, so they are not particularly great for the beginning of a battle either. The poses provided are very nice though, great shield angles. Frankly I would not mind a set or two of JUST these back rank guys, or poses similar to theirs. Given what I see here that could be a future possibility.
So the summary is that while they are great for dioramas and smaller wargaming pieces that only have 4-6 figures, I don't feel it would be economically practical to give the actual feel of the human mass that went into making the typical sarissa phalanx due to having only six guys who are fit for the rear ranks. Certainly useful sets though, I see more positives than negatives here.
Speaking for I, me, myself personally, I can't wait to get me hands on them.
Four boxes of each, likely mixed and matched within them and a bit with Zvezda's Macedonians and linear b's Mithridatic heavies with seven (most likely) or perhaps six to a rank and two ranks on a 120 mm x 40 mm base (a left-over from Impetus that I'll use for Lost Battles; and whatever other system I may use).
For Successor stuff I'll limit myself to two bases per unit, I expect, but may go to three if there are only phalangites on one side of 'the argument'. Lost Battles is agnostic to basing, so it's purely about the effect and preference.
I'm also happy to have the shabby, pointy-fighty ones (to expand on your wonderful expression 'Babylonian') as I like the look of them and you get a nice 'push of pike' on the table. With similar poses in my Great Northern War figures I have interlocked them or set them up with pikes above or between other troops for storage.
As with everything, I appreciate that what may suit me may not suit others, but they look like they are gonna be the cat's guts as far as I am concerned.