This article is about the unit in Age of Empires III. For the similar unit in other games of the series, see Halberdier.
"Slow, heavy infantry with a large attack."
In-game description

The Halberdier is a melee heavy infantry in Age of Empires III that can be trained at Barracks, Fort, and Galleon/Fluyt once the Fortress Age is reached.

Halberdiers are available to Dutch, French, John Black's Mercenaries (Act II: Ice campaign), Portuguese, and Russians.

Overview Edit

The Halberdier is a powerful hand infantry unit, good against cavalry, but vulnerable to Skirmishers. It is similar to the Pikeman in terms of its purpose and function. However, it is more versatile, dealing more damage to non-cavalry units, has more health and damage, and can be upgraded to Guard and Imperial level, but has less speed and siege damage when accounted for cost. Halberdiers have extremely high attack and hit points for an infantry unit, but are slow, and thus unable to catch up to almost anything to get into melee. This makes them much better at defensive purposes than as a primary offensive unit. The Dutch are somewhat able to overcome this weakness by combining Military Reforms and Military Drummers for a total of 5.2 speed. Training 5-10 Halberdiers and placing them behind artillery to guard from cavalry flanks is an extremely cost-effective way to defend cannons. Unlike Musketeers, they will automatically block and melee down cavalry, and can go into cover mode, which greatly increases their durability.

Additionally, Halberdiers are able to beat almost any melee infantry that gets into combat with them (with the notable exception of the Jaguar Prowl Knight), making them more versatile than Pikemen.

Upgrades Edit

The Halberdier starts as Veteran, although it does not get extra hit points and attack.

Age Upgrade Cost Effect Civ.
Ages industrial
Guard spear infantry Guard Halberdiers 600 wood,
600 coin
Upgrades Halberdiers to Guard (+30% hit points and attack) French
Guard spear infantry Nassau's Linear Tactics 1,000 wood,
1,000 coin
Upgrades Halberdiers to Nassau Halberdiers (Guard Halberdiers with +10% hit points and attack) Dutch
Ages imperial
Imperial spear infantry Imperial Halberdiers 1,500 wood,
1,500 coin
Upgrades Halberdiers to Imperial (+50% hit points and attack); requires Guard Halberdiers French
Imperial spear infantry Imperial Nassauers Upgrades Nassau Halberdiers to Imperial Nassauers (+50% hit points and attack); requires Nassau's Linear Tactics Dutch

Civilization differences Edit

Further statistics Edit

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Cavalry, light infantry, buildings
Weak vs. Archers, artillery
Hit points Infantry Breastplate Infantry Breastplate (+10%)
Corselet Corselet (+25%, Spanish only)
Cree Tanning Cree Tanning (+5%)
Maya Cotton Armor Maya Cotton Armor (+20%)
Navajo Weaving Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Attack Carib Kasiri Beer Carib Kasiri Beer (+10%)
Mapuche Tactics Mapuche Tactics (+50% siege attack)
Zapotec Cult of the Dead Zapotec Cult of the Dead (+20%)
Yoga Yoga (+5%)
Master Lessons Master Lessons (+10%)
Speed Military Drummers Military Drummers (+10%)
Inca Road-building Incan Road-building (+20%)
Apache Endurance Apache Endurance (+5%)
Sight Town Watch Town Watch (+2)
Creation speed Standing Army Standing Army (-25%)
Inca Chaquis Messengers Incan Chasquis Messengers (-25%)
Train cost Mapuche Ad-mapu Mapuche Ad-mapu (-10% coin cost)
Other Petrine Reforms Petrine Reforms (grants Guard upgrade, Russians only)
Quatrefage Quatrefage (ships 13 Guard Halberdiers, Spanish only)
Merritocracy Meritocracy (-20% upgrade cost)
Penalties Coffee Trade Coffee Trade (-10% speed, Dutch only)
Corselet Corselet (-15% speed, Spanish only)

Home City Cards Edit

Trivia Edit

  • The Halberdier's function and its availability in the third age is similar to the Hoplite and Phalanx from the original Age of Empires.
  • Despite being a weapon of German origin that was also used by the British and Spanish, none of them use it for balancing reasons.
  • Dutch Royal Guard Halberdiers are named after Maurice of Nassau who was the first to utilize linear infantry tactics on a large scale in Europe.
    • Contrary to the in-game upgrade, however, the tactic was introduced to Dutch musketeers rather than melee troops.

History Edit

"Riders with lances had better range than halberdiers, so halberdiers often fought alongside Pikemen. The axe blade of a halberd was more than capable of cleaving plate armor, flesh and bone alike, but because the halberdier had to swing the long weapon with both hands, he was virtually defenseless when attacking. This required tight coordination and unwavering resolve within a regiment of halberdiers.

The halberd is essentially a very long-handled axe. It was a six foot staff of stout oak or ash topped by a long, stabbing spear point and a heavy axe blade balanced by a spike. The spear point was used to thrust and stab, the axe blade to cut through a mounted warrior's heavy armor, and the spike opposite the axe blade to push, or pull, riders off balance.

Gallery Edit

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