charging spears

From: Karin Goihl & Daniel Fahey <>
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 23:12:57 +0100

>>I'm not terribly familiar with Swiss Pike, (my specialty is late
>>13th Norman) but I believe in the real world it relied on much longer
>>spears than allowed in the SCA. Nor were they big on charging.

>Swiss pikemen certainly did charge, but it relies on well trained
>troops to avoid losing formation. Same applies to Macedonian pikemen
>and even Greek Hoplites used a 12ft spear.

Yes, Swiss pike formations were known for charging. They moved at such a speed that it terrified opponents when they saw them coming. Makedonian formations were well-trained and also charged, once up a slope out of a river, and won. Aside from the few Greek mercenary units and the Spartans, hoplites were not well-trained, but normally charged into combat anyway, it seeming unseemly not to. They made some attempt to maintain formation, but didn't always quite achieve that. Training is good, but not necessary. Daniel

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