Spear and Shield

From: Andrew Barton <AndrewBarton_at_compuserve.com>
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2001 18:54:07 -0500

> Here's one thing I know. In SCA combat, where cost of weapons means
nothing, there are in my experience exactly ZERO effective spear and shield units.

Which suggests to me that there must be some systematic difference between what happens in the SCA and what happened historically. Greek hoplites were highly effective troops for many centuries, and Hellenistic armies, which contained a wide variety of troop types, still relied on pike phalanxes as their core infantry.

Is one difference unit size? How many fighters in an SCA unit?

Also, do SCA spear units actually charge with levelled spears? My friends in Civil War re-enactment units tell me they never charge with levelled pike for safety reasons.

> When you arrange your troops with multiple lines of spears of different
depths ...

This is said to be done in Glorantha, but I doubt any real-world army ever had different lengths of spear in the same unit. You couldn't do basic drill evolutions such as doubling or halving depth, or facing a formation left or right. Hellenistic pikemen, with a standard unit depth of 16 men, all had pikes the same length.


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