From Encyclopedia Ermariana
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Pikes are the ultimate polearm weapon with the longest reach and the best capability to puncture through weak points. However, they are extremely unwieldy and completely incompatible with shields since the length of the weapon forces its' wielder to maintain a solid two-handed grip.

Consequently pikes are the weapon of choice for large armies where it is easy to cover a large area with a number of pikes, and enemy movements happen on strategic - not tactical - scale. On the contrary, because of their clumsy handling they are very rarely, if ever, seen in the hands of adventurers and other small-numbered mercenaries, who often find themselves fighting against superior numbers.

Pikes are the distant cousins of spears, however the two should not be mistaken for one another.