These units are an upgrade of Spearmen, having some form of armour and a simple helmet, as well as better-looking shields. Armour for infantry, however, remains very poor until the Axial Age when you start getting units with better kit.
The first "heavy" unit that you will get, Spearmen are a powerful force especially if marshalled together and sent headlong into the foe. Amongst all infantry types, they are the hardest-hitting, and are also endowed with lots of armour and HP. Make no mistake, however, as they easily overtaken by missile units — in particular by cavalry archers and skirmishers, and in some cases can be outflanked by faster-moving light infantry. Nevertheless, their proficiency with a spear and their endurance means that they are adept at taking out cavalry and towers. Thus, while spearmen can be an awesome force to reckon with when coupled with forced marching, they do require someone to take out archers (and in some cases, siege weapons).
Heavy Spearmen, however, are extremely costly — they have the biggest appetites for food, and they demand the highest quality of arms and armour, amongst all other infantry types, and some may prefer to use light infantry, which performs well against all other units save heavy infantry and cavalry. Still, their military prowess on the Dark Age battlefield is unrivalled, save by lancers, which having greater speed and LOS can lay down some serious damage in a fight, but in many cases, they are not the only units to be found on the battlefield to fill this role.
- Amongst all other infantry types, Spearmen have the highest cost in resources, so you might wish to supplement them with light infantry.
- Spearmen are most effective but only as either purely defensive or offensive units, due to their speed. This also makes them vulnerable against more versatile units, such as missile infantry and cavalry, which can easily take them apart or massed light infantry.
- Rising Sun — The Japanese spearmen are instead salaried with more food as opposed to metal. While this may seem like a handicap, it in fact makes them very cheap in later stages of the game, helped by their being able to be spawned from the Barracks for free once completed.
- Mental Tartan — Far to the north of Britannia rule the Scots. Their Cliarthaire, while somewhat slow on foot, are highly proficient with the spear, making them the bane of cavalry.
A spear is a weapon made by attaching a sharp blade to a stick. In battle this allowed early man to attack his foes from a few feet away. This was a major advantage. A man armed with a spear could defeat many attacking warriors with getting hurt himself. Bronze was made obsolete when ironworking was developed. From the spear, the pike was developed. The pike was a longer spear with different iron tips for a different situation. Pikes and spears were commonly used as a defense against charging cavalry.