Spear and Shield

From: Donald R. Oddy <donald_at_grove.demon.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 02:28:36 GMT

>From: Andrew Barton <AndrewBarton_at_compuserve.com>

>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.

There's another big disadvantage, hoplite tactics relied on the man behind filling the gap when someone fell. Any advantage from different spear lengths would be lost as soon as the unit suffered casualties and would probably be even less effective. I suppose it is possible that a well trained unit might hold the spear at different places along the shaft depending on which rank they were presently in which would have a similar effect.

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