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JaronK
2006-02-24, 05:14 AM
I was playing around with the idea of armies fighting in D&D and I got to thinking about the lack of a pike in the D&D rules. A longspear really doesn't cut it... that's as long as a halberd or glaive, both of which are easily half the size of a pike. So, I'm trying to make appropriate rules for a pike, which probably wouldn't be of any use to adventurers but might be rather common in large armies. The rules are based on the longspear.

"Pike
Two Handed Simple Weapon
Cost: 8gp
Dmg (M): 1d8
Critical: X3
Weight: 15lbs
Type: Piercing
Special: Extended Reach Weapon. A pike has reach. You can strike opponents 15 feet away with it, but you can't use it against foes 10 feet away or closer.

If you use a ready action to set a pike against a charge, you deal double damage on a successful hit against a charging character."

Obviously this weapon isn't very good in small skirmishes, where an opponent can just get too close for the pike weilder to hit, but in large infantry formations it would be quite useful. Does it seem balanced?

JaronK

Dhavaer
2006-02-24, 05:19 AM
It looks okay I guess, but I've never made a weapon so I'm no expert. At first it looked too good for a simple weapon, but then it's a two handed, piercing battleaxe with reach.

Valiena
2006-02-24, 05:25 AM
Looks fine, same as I made mine in fact. The first Rank of soldiers have short swords and tower sheilds, and fight on the defensive, with 2 rows of pikemen attacking anyone in melee with them, it can get real sick real quick even if they are first level warriors.

JaronK
2006-02-24, 05:39 AM
It looks okay I guess, but I've never made a weapon so I'm no expert. At first it looked too good for a simple weapon, but then it's a two handed, piercing battleaxe with reach.

It's actually just a longspear with higher weight, higher cost, and the ability to attack at exactly 15' out instead of 10' out.

The idea is that a unit of warriors would have the Phalanx Fighting feat. Each warrior would have a pike, handaxe, heavy wooden shield, and brigadine mail armour. The front rank uses their handaxes and shields in combat, while the bank rankers use pikes to hit anyone attacking the front.

All in all, it's pretty effective, and very cheap... 51gp in total gear per warrior, which I think is cheap enough to be seen on the battlefield, and with Phallanx fighting the front rankers have +3AC, so the total combo gives 19AC base and a healthy number of attacks from the back rankers.

Conscript militia troops, meanwhile, would be commoners with pikes. While they're weak, they do get enough attacks to be a threat.

JaronK

Valiena
2006-02-24, 05:53 AM
It has needs the ability to be set versus a charge to do double damage.

Dhavaer
2006-02-24, 05:58 AM
It does.

Valiena
2006-02-24, 06:23 AM
appearently I can not read at 4 am. Heh Heh.

Altair_the_Vexed
2006-02-24, 06:37 AM
You know, I'd never noticed it was missing from the game!

It's the simplest of weapons after the Club or Stone - essentially a long pointy stick.

It could be argued (by someone who knows the nature of the various pole-arms better than I do), that it's already covered by an existing item like the halberd or ranseur or whatever. I think it's the halberd - which is essentially a long, pointy stick.


[edit - but I don't have the pics in front of me here at work...]

Gordon
2006-02-24, 09:20 AM
It looks okay I guess, but I've never made a weapon so I'm no expert. At first it looked too good for a simple weapon, but then it's a two handed, piercing battleaxe with reach.

Yep, the first thing I was thinking was "it should be martial," mostly since both Epaminondas and Philip II trained blocks fairly extensively to use these (as part of inventing the "professional army" in the 4th CBC).

As a major improvement on the Battleaxe (statwise) it should at least be martial, if not Exotic.

Didn't this weapon show up in the recent Dragon issue with the Polearm article?

Hurlbut
2006-02-24, 10:31 AM
I think it's the halberd - which is essentially a long, pointy stick.


halberd is a weapon having an axlike blade and a steel spike mounted on the end of a long shaft.

Thomas
2006-02-24, 10:43 AM
A pike is a very long spear. Hence, it is obviously covered by the longspear. Admittedly, the longspear may be too short; pikes could be 12' - 16' long, and depending on how you think about it, that could mean a 15' reach in-game. Personally, I'd imagine that for balance, you'd need to keep at least one third of the length behind yourself, which would cut the reach to around 10'.

Chris_Chandler
2006-02-24, 11:07 AM
This is quite similar to the version I hammered out after a good discussion over on the 3ebb forum. It makes for a good, balanced melee weapon, and it introduces an "extended" reach without trying to break or abuse any rule with it. I basically could not abide it being absent from the weapon list. Posters are right - essentially the logical extension of the longspear.

Awl Pike, Two-Handed Melee Weapon
10 gp Small 1d6 Medium 1d8 x3 18 lb. Piercing

Awl Pike: An extremely long spear, the awl pike is treated as a reach weapon, but has a 15-foot reach. It may not be used against adjacent foes, or against foes 10 feet away. If you use a ready action to set an awl pike against a charge, you deal double damage on a successful hit against a charging character.

Hurlbut
2006-02-24, 11:28 AM
A pike is a very long spear. Hence, it is obviously covered by the longspear. Admittedly, the longspear may be too short; pikes could be 12' - 16' long, and depending on how you think about it, that could mean a 15' reach in-game. Personally, I'd imagine that for balance, you'd need to keep at least one third of the length behind yourself, which would cut the reach to around 10'.
Pike is probably longspear as you pointed out (10 to 14 feet long).
One source I found stated that pikes were used extensively by infantry primarily against cavalry.

Toliudar
2006-02-24, 11:30 AM
I'll echo Gordon - this is a good idea, and fills an important niche in mass combat, but should be a martial weapon.

sniffles
2006-02-24, 12:02 PM
While there's no specific pike listed in the PHB, an issue of Dragon offered up information about a whole assortment of polearms and related weapons. Unfortunately I don't know the issue number.

It also included numerous feats for use with polearms. It seems to me that this information could easily be used for pikes as well.

DarthMarasmus
2006-02-24, 01:07 PM
It's actually just a longspear with higher weight, higher cost, and the ability to attack at exactly 15' out instead of 10' out.

The idea is that a unit of warriors would have the Phalanx Fighting feat. Each warrior would have a pike, handaxe, heavy wooden shield, and brigadine mail armour. The front rank uses their handaxes and shields in combat, while the bank rankers use pikes to hit anyone attacking the front.




I'd base it off of the Greek phalanx used by Alexander. The sarissa (essentially the same as a pike) was sometimes as long as 20 feet, so at the front of the formation, there were spearheads poking out from the 3rd and 4th rows of the formation. The hoplites (the men in the phalanx) carried the sarissa, a oblong wicker shield (or was that the Persians using wicker?), a short sword, and a dagger.

Probably the best tacktic would be to keep the pikes up unless someone got through and was able to directly attack the front line of the formation, the front line should drop the pikes and draw their swords. The back three ranks should keep their pikes up to keep more from coming in.

Of course, like you said in the OP, it really wouldn't be of much use to adventurers (I don't really see any polearms as being useful to adventurers personally). As such, I wouldn't really be too concerned with the game mechanics of the pike since the adventurers will probably never use them, the mechanics wouldn't really come up. I group mass warfare and pike formations under "DM's discretion" with regards to how things turn out. Mass combat always presents a problem in D&D.

Reltzik
2006-02-24, 01:12 PM
While pikes all had wooden hafts, later models typically were reinforced with metal for a considerable ways down from the head, to prevent the heads from being cut off. I'd say these later models would cost 15 gp, and the haft would have metal's hardness for purposes of sundering.

And, yeah, martial weapon.

Knifie_Sp00nie
2006-02-24, 01:35 PM
I'd leave pike a simple weapon. I question whether a pike is even a weapon at all. It shares some weapon characterstics, but in use, it seems more like a portable fortification.

Used in a mass formation, it almost becomes a terrain type, slowing movement and possibly inflicting damage (like caltrops). Something like:

A pike formation halves movement and immediately stops charging creatures. Creatures moving into or through the head of a pike formation suffer an automatic attack (base attack 0) that deals 1d4(6?) points of damage. A pike formation is always considered set vs. a charge and deals double damage on a successful hit against a charging creature. A pike may not be used as an individual weapon.

felblood
2006-02-24, 03:54 PM
Make it martial. The length of such a weapon amplifies your movements and makes it difficult to balance, such that it would require training to use at optimum effeciveness.

Kevlimin_Soulaxe
2006-02-24, 04:20 PM
Why am I the only one who puts tridents and sheilds up front, glaives in the second row, and pikes in the third, with conscripted commeners weapon and sheilding farther back? It seems so deadly, and everyone should have enough 1st level warriors to put up there.

Hurlbut
2006-02-24, 04:22 PM
Why am I the only one who puts tridents and sheilds up front, glaives in the second row, and pikes in the third, with conscripted commeners weapon and sheilding farther back? It seems so deadly, and everyone should have enough 1st level warriors to put up there.
I think generally it is just easier to have an uniform weapon for a mass formation.

Fhaolan
2006-02-24, 04:36 PM
Why am I the only one who puts tridents and sheilds up front, glaives in the second row, and pikes in the third, with conscripted commeners weapon and sheilding farther back? It seems so deadly, and everyone should have enough 1st level warriors to put up there.

Not unusual in RL history, but not quite that exact mix. A shield wall backed by a pike formation was fairly common when shields were available. Halberds and other pollweapons in the front row were also common, usually spaced out and used to defeat opposing pike formations.

During the English Civil War, double-armed men were highly prized. These were men trained with both pike and bow. There would be a hook on the pike that would allow the archer to snatch the pike off the ground using his bow, into his hands.

I usually have longspear being pikes. Although I agree that there are special types of pikes that are considerably longer than the longspear. Greek awl-pikes, for instance, being 20' or so long. The ones in the Enlgish Civil War *started out* being very long, but tended to be much shorter at the end of hostilities. There was a tendency for the rank-and-file to cut their pikes shorter to make them easier to carry (and to use the cut-off end as firewood :) ). Anyone who has tried to carry a pike in formation knows what a specialized skill that is. ["Advance your pike!" "Let fall your pike!" "Cheek your pike!" blah.. blah... blah... Spent a year doing that with a re-enactment group in Ontario. :) ]

Sylvius
2006-02-24, 07:35 PM
Not everyone has simple weapon profiency, so clearly it does require training to use.

I'd leave it as a simple weapon, if only because I recently watched a doucmentary about it, in which a rugby team was trained as a unit of pikemen inside of 2 hours.

Darkie
2006-02-25, 01:07 AM
I was inclined to think Martial simply because of how unwieldy it is, and all sorts of justifications we can make a arguement for, but I realized there isn't much point to it... I mean, it being Simple doesn't really change much compared to it being Martial...

Anyhow:
Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pike_%28weapon%29), because I like references to exist in a thread.

Reltzik
2006-02-25, 02:38 AM
Why am I the only one who puts tridents and sheilds up front, glaives in the second row, and pikes in the third, with conscripted commeners weapon and sheilding farther back? It seems so deadly, and everyone should have enough 1st level warriors to put up there.

The problem with sending a neatly-dressed formation into combat is simple.

"Combat" and "neat" are like oil and water. They don't go together well.

The front ranks of a phalanx are the most exposed to missile fire, likely losing a few ranks before they even get into melee. THEN they go bye-bye really, really fast, given how little room they have to dodge. Inside of two minutes, it'd mostly just the commoners in the back ranks with the simple weapons, unless the phalanx completely outclasses the enemy.

Pikes are valuable even in the front row. Striking first not only breaks up the enemy formation (right when they're about to hammer the front ranks, which is JUST when a commander wants the enemy to become disorganized), it's also a major morale booster in its own right.

Besides, soldiers train with their weapons. This means, first of all, that instituting specialization means that those trident-bearers KNOW they've been consigned to the front ranks. Not good for morale. And, second of all, that you're not going to be replacing the heaviest losses (trident-bearers) with battle-tried veterans; you're going to be replacing them with more trident-bearers, ROOKIE trident-bearers, because the only veterans left specialized in something else. Consigning veterans to the front rank IS good for morale; it tells them they're trusted. (It also makes a telling difference in the initial clash and the momentum derived from it.) Green recruits, however, already know they're not trusted, and will place a more cynical interpretation on the assignment.

Matthew
2006-02-25, 03:08 AM
Frankly, I think spears are a bit of a disaster in D&D. Like most of the weapons presented in 3.0 and 3.5 (not to mention their earlier incarnations), they are depicted with gameplay in mind, rather than historical accuracy / authenticity; consequently, I think it is important to think about them in gameplay terms when desigining new variants.
As is well known, in 3.0 you have the Halfspear, Shortspear and Longspear, as well as the Javelin, Light Lance and Heavy Lance. In 3.5 these become, for one reason or another, the Shortspear, Spear, Longspear, Javelin and Lance, respectively.
However, the most interesting change, from our point of view, was that the Longspear became a Simple Weapon in 3.5, whereas before it was listed as a Martial Weapon. The only member of what I consider to be the 'basic spear family' that remained a Martial Weapon was the Lance, even when being used on foot and in two hands, in the manner of a Longspear.
The Lance is one pound heavier than the Longspear and twice the cost, but the chief difference between them lies in the fact that the Lance does not inflict double damage when set against a charge and does inflict double damage when held in one hand and used in a charge on horseback. I would suggest that the inability of the Lance to inflict double damage when set is something of a game balance rationale, intended to prevent PCs from only carrying around multi purpose Lances and rendering the Longspear redundant.
Personally, I am inclined to treat the Lance exactly as a Longspear when used in two hands on foot (even to the extent of classifying it as a Simple Weapon)and suspect that its status as a Martial Weapon refers to its potential use on horseback. For the same reason, I am also inclined to treat any basic spear, regardless of length / reach, as a Simple Weapon, including the aforementioned Pike, but obviously the precedence exists for classifying it as a Martial Weapon if its use is regarded as being sufficiently 'specialised'.
As for weight and cost, again I would be inclined to take my lead from the current rules. If we consider the Spear to be a five foot reach weapon (i.e. not a reach weapon) and the Longspear to be a ten foot reach weapon (as seems to be the case), then we may consider there to already be a formula suggested for calculating the cost and weight of longer reach spears. Since the Longspear is listed as being three pounds heavier and three gold coins more expensive than the Spear and given that this extra cost and weight is directly related to the increased reach, we can assume that a fifteen foot reach weapon would weigh twelve pounds and cost eight gold coins. Similarly, we could extrapolate the cost of a twenty foot reach spear at fifteen pounds and eleven gold coins.
Of course, this method assumes that the thickness of the spearshaft and size of the spearhead remain constant; this has been supposed mainly for the sake of simplicity. Nor does it take into account the difficulty of construction or economics of demand, but since these factors are directly related to the skill of the artisan and campaign conditions, I do not believe they need to be represented in the basic listed price. Rather, like all of this, it should be left to the discretion of the individual DM.
If you bothered to read this far, thanks for reading and I hope this proved a useful contribution to the discussion for you.

JaronK
2006-02-25, 08:19 AM
Actually, that last post was great.

To those saying that a halberd and a pike are in any way similar... no. Not even close. A halberd is essenciall a short spear with an axe on the end, which is extreamly good for close combat and useful with a bit of reach as well. It's horribly implemented in D&D rules, since a good halberd weilder can easily match a swordsman when fighting up close and personal. None the less, halberds, ransuers, billhooks, and other such chopping pole arms were only a little taller than their weilders, and could be used to either stab or chop at the enemy. They required a good bit of skill to learn to use properly, but in skilled hands were very deadly. Halberds were, in fact, often used as close range defence for pike units, to keep greatswordsmen (who could chop the ends off the pikes) at bay.

Pikes, meanwhile, were extreamly long, in the 12' to 18' range. They were used exclusively for piercing, and required very little training to use (I was trained to use one in about an hour, including basic formations). In fact, one of the main attractions of the pike (as well as the crossbow, and the handgun) was how easily you could train troops to use them... for the cost of a single knight, you could get a veritable horde of peasants with pikes, which is why for the most part the introduction of the pikeman to the battlefield spelled the end of the mounted knight (handguns certainly helped in this regard, for very similar reasons... in fact, for a while units of pikemen with handgunners inside was the unstoppable unit of its time).

So, yeah. From precident in the rules, it should be something very similar to the longspear, but with noticeably better reach than existing pole arms. For historical reasons, it should be a simple weapon (like the longspear). It's really just tweaks that are needed.

JaronK

Sir_Banjo
2006-02-25, 09:22 AM
I think it's good. Perhaps you could make the damage 2d4 or a d10 like the other martial polearms.

Just one thing about the pike. Whilst it may be relatively easy to stab someone with a pointed stick, the difficulty part is being able to operate as part of a unit of soldiers. The swiss mastered the art of pike drill and that's why they were the most feared fighting force of their time. Their only possible better was the ottoman janissary, but I suspect that's as much due to the whole east vs west dichotomy as prowess.

MaN
2006-02-25, 10:03 AM
I had wanted to bring the pike back into D&D, if only as a tactic to be used against the party by masses of NPC warriors. I used basically the same stats as JaronK's but required a feat to use in formation. (Perhaps instead it could be a skill check? "Perform, Formation Marching" :-/)

The biggest problem I encountered was how to use it offensively. Moving in formation would require every member moving in unison (meaning during the same initiative). I began working on treating the formation as a large/huge/etc sized creature with so-many attacks per round but gave up when the plot advanced beyond that encounter.

SpiderBrigade
2006-02-25, 02:06 PM
Good points there, MaN, about the movement. Obviously pikes aren't going to work very well at all if the members of the formation are scattered all over the initiative order. Theoretically, they could all delay, but they'd still have to move one-at-a-time, by the RAW. I'd say either require a feat to move all-at-once, or use a skill check vs a certain DC. The latter has the advantage of being able to model differences in pikeman skill. Elite troops will move as a coherent unit, while green conscripts might flub the checks more often and get into disarray.

Once the group is moving together, I'd suggest still resolving the attacks on an individual basis, rather than treating the formation as a single creature.

Mike_G
2006-02-25, 04:36 PM
Any Phalanx or other formation would train to move together.

You just have to ignore the "each man moves individually" thing. Maybe give the whole unit one initiative roll, say at -2, and move them together. I usually always make my hordes of NPCs use the same initiative, just to simplify my DMing. Especially if they have the same stats.

I spent quite some time in God's Own Marine Corps learning to move together. Not that you do than much on the battlefield any more, but drilling so a whole unit moves the same is part of military training to this day.

So, a trained infantry unit in formation acting in unison, moving and attacking together, makes perfect sense.

MaN
2006-02-25, 04:53 PM
I agree it makes perfect sense, my problem was in fitting it to a rule-set.

How would you handle that? Feat? Skill check with DCs for advance, charge, turn, etc? Maybe the formation could learn 'tricks' as they advance in level sort of like an animal companion.

Mike_G
2006-02-25, 05:17 PM
I agree it makes perfect sense, my problem was in fitting it to a rule-set.

How would you handle that? Feat? Skill check with DCs for advance, charge, turn, etc? Maybe the formation could learn 'tricks' as they advance in level sort of like an animal companion.


If youi make a hundred soldiers roll a skill check to follow any given order, some will fail and screw up regardless of their skill, and that's simply not realistic with trained troops.

Just assume that they are trained to move together. It's not that hard. Well, it is, but if they've been trained up to Warrior 1 they've done it. For simple stuff anyway, like advance, retreat, left face, present pike, raise pike etc. Even the "Ready. Aim. Fire." of later warfare was done as one. If a minum of 5% of all soldiers rolled a 1 on thier "move together" skill, the British Empire would've lasted like a week. Especially as 1st level warriors get two skill points and one feat.

If you want to make it a roll, have the commander make a Leadership check, Cha based, low DC to give an order. Say DC 10 for something routine, adjusted up for difficult or dangerous things. "Charge!" might be DC 12 agianst an enemy infantry unit, but DC 25 against a dragon.

Gordon
2006-02-25, 05:35 PM
I agree it makes perfect sense, my problem was in fitting it to a rule-set.

How would you handle that? Feat? Skill check with DCs for advance, charge, turn, etc? Maybe the formation could learn 'tricks' as they advance in level sort of like an animal companion.

Skill checks would work fine. Figure that a first level fighter has 4 ranks in that check, and the DC for basic things is 5. Without a negative stat modifier, you're pretty much guaranteed to make it on a 1.

SpiderBrigade
2006-02-25, 05:41 PM
Well, I'd point out that there are no crit failures on skill checks. I'm also by no means suggesting that, in normal circumstances, a trained soldier (warrior 1) would ever fail such a check. The DC would be, like, 5 for basic maneuvers. Then you would start getting into circumstance modifiers for difficult terrain, spells, hails of arrows, whatever.

The reason I like a skill check for this instead of a feat is that it allows even conscripts to TRY to do maneuvers, and actually have a decent chance of success. As others have pointed out, it's not THAT difficult to stay at least roughly in formation. More precise drill is harder, which is why you need training.

So, if this were a skill, what ability would it be keyed to? Dex, for not being clumsy? Wis, for paying attention to the people around you, spacing, etc?

edit: yeah, as Gordon said. Of course, not all fighers/warriors would have this skill, but pikemen would ;-)

JaronK
2006-02-25, 06:23 PM
What I was going to do was say that warriors can learn a number of manuevers equal to their intelligence (an idea based off animal training). These manuevers can be either formations (ranked, marching, etc) or actual battlefield moves (advance, charge, retreat, etc). Set manuevers can always be ordered by the unit commander and always work. If you want a unit to do something it hasn't been trained for (perhaps hide in ambush, or shoot for a specific target, or something) the soldiers have to make a test (sense motive or listen perhaps) to correctly follow that order. If they fail, they do the manuever closest to what you wanted, and if they fail by a lot bad things can happen (such as uncontrolled retreat, or just standing there, or whatever is appropriate to the situation).

JaronK

Matthew
2006-02-25, 07:37 PM
It seems to me that there really is no need for special rules, skills or feats to govern the movement of a unit of Pikemen; if they have trained together for a reasonable period of time and are not under any great stress, then a a unit of pikemen ought to be able to execute simple maneuvers. If they haven't, then they won't be able to and you'll end up with a mess. The longer the unit has trained together the better it will be.
If you need special skills / feats to govern this, then you would need special skills / feats to govern every other military formation, such as forming a shield wall, or a testudo, or executing a cavalry charge or whatever. I'm not ruling out the possibility, I just don't think you need the extra complication for a fairly basic formation.
On the other hand, it may be worth introducing feats that enhance the performance of said formation in battle, so that they become elite and expert in their chosen speciality, as with the swiss Pikemen referred to earlier.
On the subject of initiative, I would be inclined to use one roll for any given unit. Failing that, you might want to have the whole unit stop and refocus so that they all act at the same initiative point; the time that this takes would reflect the time taken to organise their ranks for a maneuver. This is drifting into the realm of wargaming, though.
The Leadership check is really what ought to matter, modified for circumstance, as this is likely the role that PCs will be assuming and where they can influence matters, inspire their troops and lead them to victory or else bloody slaughter. The same goes for villains, of course.

Thomas
2006-02-26, 05:24 AM
Check out Heroes of Battle. The book DOES have rules for things like training a cavalry unit for a charge (they get the benefit of being able to squeeze their horses into 10 ft. X 5 ft. areas, and giving enemies a penalty for avoiding being trampled). If you really want to use rules for pike formations (which is totally unnecessary), then adapt those.

Now, why the rules are completely unnecessary: Who the heck rolls initiative separately for dozens of people? I myself only do one initiative roll for one group "of a kind" (i.e. one bunch of goblin War1's gets one roll). And of course they move at the same time, if they get the same initiative; it's not like every combatant takes turns acting in a 6-second period! They're all spending the 6 seconds doing something (marching, for example), and since they have the same initiative, it seems they're doing it in time. If one soldier's movement triggers something (an AoO, for example) that breaks their formation, then I guess their formation was broken. Confusion abounds. That's war.

Edtharan
2006-02-26, 10:00 AM
I did a Mass combat system for D&D. I used skill checks for formations and treated the whole unit as a single entity. Leadership and morale checks were based of the designated commander.

I use feats to offset the difficulties of moveing and acting in formation (+5 to the skill checks). Any group of troops could attempt to use a formation, but the DCs for the more complex formation was high.

Also a unit culd be in multiple formations (eg shield wall in the first rank and pike wall in the second and third ranks) and would require a higher DC for the skill check to keep in formation.

I used a single check for attacks. If the die scored exactly the AC of the target then 50% of the troops in a group that were attacking scored a hit. For each +/- 1 on the die it was modified by 5% (ie if you rolled an 18 but only needed a 14 to hit you would have 70% of the attackers hit).

Damage wass rolled and multiplied by the number of attackers (or you could just roll individually but when you are dealing with 100s of attackers this is not feasable) and then divided by the number of defenders that were able to be attacked.

You can DL my rules here:
http://wilsonrjfj.customer.netspace.net.au/Paul/Mass_Combat_Rules.pdf

----------------------------------

The real benifit of a massed unit of infantry against cavalry, was that a horse would not charge into them. But if the infantry lost their nerve and ran, the cavalry could then attack them. Pikes just made it that much harder to get cavalry up close (it was an arms race of the lance vs the spear/pike as to which was the longest).

Matthew
2006-02-26, 02:08 PM
I thought 'Heroes of Battle' might provide rules for that sort of thing. I've never read it myself, though.

Reltzik
2006-02-26, 02:13 PM
I'd say create a new skill, Military Command. Charisma-based, usable untrained. Make it available to Fighters, Warriors, and maybe Arristocrats. (And, of course, Experts. And Marshals, similar expansion classes, and anyone who takes the Leadership feat.)

This skill represents how good the character is at training and commanding units. Skill checks would be made by the Commander first to train and drill the unit, and second to hold them together and issue commands under the heat of battle, rally fleeing troops, so forth. The DC of the latter will have to do with how tense, dangerous, and chaotic that moment of fighting is, morale, so forth, and also the nature, extent, and success of earlier training rolls.

ShneekeyTheLost
2006-02-26, 08:32 PM
My two cents...

Should remain a simple weapon. Pesants who have never wielded a weapon before trained in how to use the pike in six weeks. True, there were others who were trained with a MUCH higher skill, but that is handled by Weapon Focus/Specialization and other feats. It's really not all that complicated... pointy end aims at the heavy cav charging you. Plant a foot on the butt end into the ground, and hope it doesn't break.

And yes, having a phalanx of 100 men at 10 X 10 all wielding pikes is not something you wish to charge. However, this is what Fireballs were designed to eliminate...