So far for the theory, to show this on a plate is very difficult. We aggreed not to show the Punic war Manipel, but single centuries of Romans. BTW, I don't know any contemporary sources describing the Roman army 280 BC. So we don't know if this manipular organisation existed in these days.
See here a Roman century of Prinzeps, glued on our usual plates. I decided to show them 8 ranks deep and 10 wide for this battle. Enough to blog an advancing Phalanx of 16 men, and strong enough to break through the Samnites, Hypaspistes etc...
At the plate we will show the Romans of course in three lines, Hastati, Prinzeps, Triarier while we will use the Velites in the fight between the "tanks".
Here my idea of a Triarier formation (unfinished). Simply three ranks deep as we don't have enough figures. I hope we can expand this to a four-rank unit.
Here three centuries of Hastati which could blog two phalanxes which I glued on a single plate at the beginning of my idea. Maybe I have to remove them on smaller plates of single centuries later.
Comming to the enemies, the Samnites fought with their spear as a thrusting weapon. So we thought that they need something special. We want to show them in four ranks deep with a gap filled with javelineers and other light infantry, closed up by two ranks of heavy armed infantry to fight back an eventually break-through. We know from Alexander the great, that light troops were intermixed with the phalanxes.
And the first try of a battleline to see how it works.
Here I have glued around 430 Romans and 330 Greeks on the plates. All in all we alreacy broke the 7000 figure mark in the meantime.
If still one wants to volunteer to join the project, I would be glad to receive a mail! The diorama will be on show for the first time on the DUZI in October this year.