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Thread: Pikemen are unbeatable

  1. #1

    Default Pikemen are unbeatable

    I've always wondered what purpose pikemen served other than as an extremely inflexible anti-cav unit. Here is a unit at the top of the infantry tier in terms of training/investment. Yet does anyone bother with them? Sure they have their moments. But we don't, shouldn't ask for miracles in battle. We ask for the undying reliability of a sword, shield, spear . . . but a pike?

    The problem with pikes is that while the look mean, they swing like girls, BUT they thrust like men. AND that's all they should ever due in M2TW. Unfortunately, when left to their own devices, they often resort to their secondary attack, swinging their swords. So I did some testing and viola!:


    Against dismounted English Knights!!!

    Here's what I did:

    Keep your pikemen on hold ground against infantry despite what you've read. Holding ground keeps them from loosing formation and mingling with the enemy while receiving a charge. Once your first line drops dead from the charge--it gets better--and the pikes start falling, reset the phalanx formation/button. Pikes will start to raise. There will be a dumbfounded look upon their faces as they stand idle taking blows. Then as if possessed by spirits of Switzerland, they'll start to reform, brandishing their pikes once more.

    Once your pikemen have pushed the enemy back beyond the tips of their pikes and no one still has their pocket knife out. Release you pikemen from their hold ground instruction and watch the slaughter unfold as they advance with astonishing brutality (in pike formation). Their attack rate is quite superhuman.

    Their biggest, and perhaps fatal drawback is that they require constant attention/micromanagement. Probably not good for a large force. However, if you always fight your battles when defending against sieges, you might find them very useful. But give them space away from the gates. They don't like to be pushed. [You'd think the prospect of being pushed into a pike, would halt gate traffic.]

    Halberds can be used the same way, but their phalanx isn't quite as impressive. Enemy units still reach into their formation, even at poles length.

    Armored Swordsman (heavy units with shields) are little hard to beat. They can be routed, but it takes luck. A single enemy swordsman can wreak havoc in a pike formation. With protected flanks and a weak charge (sieges), they can handle anything.

  2. #2
    Banned Kadagar_AV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    In average 2000m above sea level.

    Default Re: Pikemen are unbeatable

    format the pic mate, people will have to scroll left/right to read it

  3. #3
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003

    Default Re: Pikemen are unbeatable

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadagar_AV
    format the pic mate, people will have to scroll left/right to read it
    I just clicked the "adjust to width" button...

    On topic, I don't like the idea of exploiting some sort of buggy behavier in formation changes only to get more effective pikes.

    "Topic is tired and needs a nap." - Tosa Inu

  4. #4

    Default Re: Pikemen are unbeatable

    Palaver, your computer allows for delicious detail. Mine can't cope with those shadows...

    Anyway, back on topic. Pikes are certainly and quite strangely a very good unit against even infantry.
    I support Israel

  5. #5
    One of the Undutchables Member The Stranger's Avatar
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    Dec 2004

    Default Re: Pikemen are unbeatable

    strangely? pikemen were also good against infantry in reality... look to the late medieval battlefields (and to the macedonian phalanx)... halberds were even better though

    We do not sow.

  6. #6
    His higness, the Sultan Member Randarkmaan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Lierbyen, Norway

    Default Re: Pikemen are unbeatable

    Yeah, did that advancing pike-block of doom against the Aztecs once. 3 units of Tercio pikemen, 2 musketeers and one unit of heavy cav + general left alot of dead Aztecs for a small cost in Spaniards. The pikes were best, I just couldn't believe it; they just cut right through them (once they got to their senses and kept their pikes lowered while advancing) they (the Aztecs) didn't even get close.
    "One of the nice things about looking at a bear is that you know it spends 100 per cent of every minute of every day being a bear. It doesn't strive to become a better bear. It doesn't go to sleep thinking, "I wasn't really a very good bear today". They are just 100 per cent bear, whereas human beings feel we're not 100 per cent human, that we're always letting ourselves down. We're constantly striving towards something, to some fulfilment"
    -Stephen Fry

  7. #7
    Ricardus Insanusaum Member Bob the Insane's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
    London, UK

    Default Re: Pikemen are unbeatable

    Sweet post...

    Took a little practice but I got it working...

    Even managed a very close victory with one unit of French Militia Pikemen (no upgrades) against one unit of English Amoured Swordsmen (again no upgrades). Cost wise that is 260 beats 570...

    Edit: that is a custom battle, VH difficulty, Grassy Plain, Huge Unit size...

    My steps where simple, start with Guard mode on and Spearwall on...

    Wait for the enemy to charge...

    just after impact as the bulk of my guys are raising their pikes, I hit the Spearwll button to switch it off, and then after half a second or so hit it again to swtich spearwall back on...

    Then I watch how the battle progresses, and when my guys have their pikes down and have mostly pushed the enemy back a bit I hit the Guard mode button to switch it off and then watch the carnage...

    As the OP said a lot of micromanagement but effective...

    Same thing does not seem to work for western Halberds though...
    Last edited by Bob the Insane; 08-19-2007 at 22:04.

  8. #8
    Harbinger of... saliva Member alpaca's Avatar
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    Aug 2003

    Default Re: Pikemen are unbeatable

    Hey nice find. What do you think of this modification which requires less micromanagement: Pair your pikemen up with a cheap unit of peasants or something else to stop the charge. After that happened, the pikemen will still be in a nice, tight spearwall formation and right-clicking on your enemy will make the thrusty steed thrust away to wreak havoc on your foe.
    I found this to be quite effective, with or without "hold ground" (although it was a bit better without). The only micromanagement you have to do is to attack the enemy after the charge and hit stop after they rout (as is true for every other infantry unit).

    As has been suggested in the gunpowder thread, you can also pair them up with handguns or the like for another increase in effectiveness (especially if your opponent doesn't want to charge you).


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