This article is about the unit in Age of Empires III. For other uses of the term, see Pikeman.
"Archaic heavy infantry. Good against cavalry and buildings."
In-game description

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

Pikemen are available to European civilizations except Ottomans and Russians.

Overview Edit

An archaic unit, the Pikeman has low attack and three main advantages: high siege damage, high speed, and large multipliers against cavalry. While they are not suited to fighting any other units except cavalry, they are effective at supporting other units who are harassing the enemy. This is mainly by threatening their key buildings such as their military production. If they are engaged by infantry at all, their best move is to simply run out of range, thanks to their high speed. For example, Pikemen themselves should not be engaging Settlers/Villagers because Settlers actually have higher melee damage and can actually defeat the Pikemen in a duel. Despite having more speed than most infantry, they are not fast enough to pursue cavalry and are better used defensively to respond against cavalry attacks, rather than chasing them.

Pikemen are usually created in small numbers and rarely created outside of the Colonial Age. This is for multiple reasons: firstly, while the Pikeman is 20% cheaper in raw resources than a Musketeer, it costs wood, which is slower to chop. Secondly, the other anti-cavalry units (Musketeers and Dragoons) are vastly more versatile unit options because they can engage other units than cavalry without requiring overwhelming numbers. Thirdly, army sizes increase to the point that dedicated siege warriors are no longer necessary to threaten buildings. Fourthly, the other units can be further upgraded to stay useful in later ages, whereas archaic units largely cannot be upgraded. In short, other infantry units replace its siege role while also having melee capabilities, while ranged cavalry replaces its ability to quickly fend off cavalry attacks, and while they can't fulfill an identical role to the Pikemen, overall these units are a better replacement.

They can be defeated by most other units, but are particularly countered by ranged infantry and artillery. In the Colonial Age, they are useful for destroying buildings, since most civilizations lack artillery at that stage. Pikemen are useful as a front line defense for ranged units to position behind. Using them with Crossbowman is an effective combo early in the game, as they can take out infantry at long range while the Pikemen defeat any cavalry that get too close.

Spanish players have the option of being able to almost instantly (2.7 seconds) train Crossbowmen and Pikemen in the Colonial Age, due to the TEAM Archaic Soldier Training and Fencing School cards. If Standing Army from the Church is used, Pikemen and Crossbowmen can be created instantly.

Upgrades Edit

Age Upgrade Cost Effect Civ.
Ages fortress
Veteran spear infantry Veteran Pikemen 200 wood,
200 coin
Upgrades Pikemen to Veteran (+20% hit points and attack) British
Ages industrial
Guard spear infantry Tercio 1,000 wood,
1,000 coin
Upgrades Pikemen to Tercio Pikemen (+40% hit points and attack); requires Veteran Pikemen Spanish
Ages imperial
Imperial spear infantry Imperial Tercio 1,500 wood,
1,500 coin
Upgrades Tercio Pikemen to Imperial Tercios (+50% hit points and attack); requires Tercio

Civilization differences Edit

Further statistics Edit

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Cavalry, light infantry, buildings
Weak vs. Skirmishers, archers, artillery
Hit points Infantry Breastplate Infantry Breastplate (+10%)
Thin Red Line Thin Red Line (+20%, British only)
Corselet Corselet (+25%, Spanish and Knights of St. John only)
Grand Encampment Grand Encampment (+25%, United States 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%)
Tillys Discipline Tilly's Discipline (+20%, Germans only)
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%)
Other Merritocracy Meritocracy (-20% upgrade cost)
Penalties Thin Red Line Thin Red Line (-25% speed, British only)
Coffee Trade Coffee Trade (-10% speed, Dutch only)
Tillys Discipline Tilly's Discipline (+10% cost, Germans only)
High Crusade High Crusade (-5% hit points, Knights of St. John only)
Corselet Corselet (-15% speed, Spanish and Knights of St. John only)
Grand Encampment Grand Encampment (-25% speed, United States only)

Home City Cards Edit

Trivia Edit

  • Spanish Royal Guard and Consulate Pikemen are named after the Tercio infantry organization system used by Spain during the Habsburg era.
  • The Russians originally had the Pikeman, as there are unused voice files for Russian Pikeman in the game files and in the Scenario Editor.

History Edit

"Pikemen fought in very tight formations that maximized the danger to enemies as they approached. The front rank would set their pikes against a cavalry charge, placing the butt of the staff against the ground, braced by the instep of their back foot, with the tip raised up at an angle. The rank standing just behind the first would hold their pikes straight out at about shoulder height to add still more stabbing spearheads. As firearms developed, they were integrated into units of pikemen. By the mid-seventeenth century an infantry regiment might be composed of two-thirds musketeers and a third pikemen. Eventually firearms with mounted bayonets came to replace pikes, which were little seen or used after the nineteenth century.

A typical pike was a 10- to almost 20-foot spear-like wooden staff with a steel or iron spear point. Some pikemen also carried swords and axes to attack any enemies who survived the deadly bristling of pike formation. They wore helmets, and sometimes breastplates, to defend themselves against attacks.

Gallery Edit

See also Edit

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