For Saint James press on, Spain!
— Spanish war cry
Arguably the best pike unit in the game, the Pike Tercio is a force to be reckoned with. With better attack and hitpoints, the Pike Tercio serves well as a veritable meat shield for your more frail archers, gunners and artillery while in the field. Plus, its enhanced attack means that it is far less of a meat shield, and is also capable of dishing out damage in melee.
However, to use it on its own would be a tragic mistake. There are a variety of enemy units that would be more than happy to take out an isolated Tercio. Crossbow quarrels and shot can rip through a Tercio, regardless of the armour worn. Plus, its slow speed and cost mean that you simply cannot leave it to its own devices, so a Pike Tercio should always be escorted by other units - Pavise Arbalests and Arquebus Tercio. This results in an interlocking synergy where the Pike Tercio will be able to preval in melee fights, while the Pavise Arbalests and Arquebus Tercio can give it the ranged support that it lacks. Arquebus Tercio are especially known for their ability to boost the strength of your forces, making them stronger in heated fights.
By 1492, the Spaniards, united under Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, had emerged victorious over their Muslim foes with a highly professional tough fighting machine. This formed the Spanish tercio (Spanish: "third") formed the backbone of the most successful army in the world. Armed with pikes and arquebusiers, and for a time with swords, the tercio was also nourished by an efficient organisation for recruiting from its own provinces and keeping these units "topped up" resulting in a body of professional soldiers with superior discipline and fighting spirit, and were well known on the European battlefield for their near-invincibility in combat during the 16th and 17th centuries. Near-endless campaigning in Italy and the Low Countries made them formidable troops, with high confidence and esprit de corps.
- Best pike unit in the game, highly brutal in melee standoffs.
- More Than The Sum Of Its Parts — With better attack and hitpoints, the Pike Tercio serves well as both meat shield and main line infantry.
- An Arrow To The Knee — Despite having better stats, Pike Tercios are still vulnerable to missie units, so you should always escorte your Tercios with other units, such as other infantry.
- Pike-ing the Shot — Pike Tercios can be combined with Arquebus Tercios which can boost the strength of nearby forces, making them stronger in heated fights.