Unlike conventional Ji Infantry, the heavier version of these units do not merely lose their mobility and cost for greater durability, but they also carry a bigger punch, thanks to their elite status - only veteran units in Chinese armies are issued with armour.
Pre-20th century Chinese armies predominantly used four classes of melee weapons, which were the Dao (sabre), Qiang (spear), Jian (sword) and Ji.
Of these, the Ji was a weapon unique to China, being a polearm with a steel or bronze tip mounted on the end of a long shaft, next to which is attached a curved blade. Because of the attachment of the curved blade, the weapon can be used to both stab and slash.
The Ji was first used during the Shang Dynasty (17th-11th centuries BCE), when it was made of bronze. It was popularized during the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770-256BCE), when it was made of steel instead. Conflict with the nomadic tribes of Mongolia and Siberia soon resulted in the Ji being replaced by Qiang-type spears as well as other polearms.