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Lances & Pikes

The lance is a pole weapon based on the pattern of the spear but adapted for mounted combat. The lance is perhaps most known as one of the foremost weapons used by european knights, but the use of lances were spread throughout the old world wherever mounts were available.
In Europe, lances for jousting were much different from the weapons used in war. In jousting lances, the tips would be blunt and the center of the lance could be designed to be hollow, in order for it to break on impact. In war, lances were much more like ordinary spears, long and balanced for one handed use.

A pike is a pole weapon once used extensively by infantry and foot-soldiers principally as a counter-measure against cavalry assaults.
Pikes were extremely long weapons, and could exceed six metres in length.
The steel tip was fairly long compared to the shaft, making the weapon most unwieldy in close combat.
This meant that pikemen were often equipped with a sword for close encounters.
In operation on the battlefield, pikes were often used in large square "hedgehog" formations, defending attached musketeers.
Large pike formations were in use during the 17th century, but were eventually rendered obsolete by long range firearms such as rifles.
The landsknechts were pikemen of renown during the 15th to the 17th centuries, mercenaries of the European Renaissance. They were most skillful in their handling of the long pike.



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