Versatile in the sense of providing a reliable platform, fending off cavalry and faring decently in close combat, without being restricted by the inflexible Makedonian Phalanx, these men are some of the finest infantry recruitable in Asia.
These men have been trained and carry an uniform equipment, making them more reliable than other eastern infantrymen. Equipped with thureos shields and spears, they provide a strong infantry line, which levied men would not be able to hold against organised opposition.
Historically the Hakhamanishiya had always promoted a common education, in theory open to everyone, but only the nobles could afford it. All of this resulted in a comprehensive system, which formed future officials and administrators, but was also an integral part to the preparation for the military life. Split in companies of 50 youths, led generally by the noblest of them, they followed a daily routine of exercises and studies. Specifically they were trained to increase their endurance, through proper breathing techniques, but also how to resist the cold, heat and rains, to cross streams while keeping their clothing and armour dry, to tend to flocks and how to live outdoors all night, eating wild fruits, like pistachios, acorns and pears. Moreover these youths ate and hunted together, while after their exercises they were instructed about how to plant trees, cutting and gathering wood or roots and making weapons, hunting nets and linen clothing. All of this signified a rite of passage, because during this period the youths proved that they could be admitted to the adult part of society.
Even ancient authors noted the similarities to the Spartan Agoge and especially the Krypteia, however Strabon recorded how these youths were known as Kardaka, because Karda according to him meant manly and warlike spirit. This root however described those wandering or travelling, denoting the behaviour youths had to learn. With the shortage of Hellenic mercenaries in the late 4th century BC, the Satrapal administration extended part of this system to young men in their dependecies, in order to obtain a large pool of trained infantry. This very infrastructure allowed later Alexandros Megas to muster and train Asiatikoi in Hellenistic warfare and indeed the pratice was kept alive by the Seleukidai, who improved the Kardaka even further by furnishing them thureos shields.