Pikemen (ETW unit)
Melee attack: 9
Charge bonus: 3
Can hide in woodland
Can hide in light scrub
Despite the fact that firepower is the key to battle, “trailing a pike” into battle is more gentlemanly than carrying a gun. Pikemen are shock troops, relying on mass and impact in melee. Pikes are not without their uses: a solid wall of spear points is a formidable barrier to any cavalry attack. Pikemen still march into battle because not every European nation can afford (or find) enough guns for everyone. Sending men into battle with an obsolescent weapon is better than sending them forward with nothing at all.
By 1700, most European generals realised that the pike and pikemen were hopelessly outdated and outclassed on a modern battlefield. Pikemen had been a vital part of all infantry formations, protecting musketeers from cavalry and being the “shock” element in melee combat. There was a fatal problem for pikemen: a musket could kill at a distance, and once a decent bayonet was developed, pikes really did lose their point!
Although a brilliant general in every (other?) respect, Maurice de Saxe, the great Marshal General of France, remained an advocate of the pike even in the 1740s. By then, it was obvious that pikes were useless against massed musket-armed infantry.