The Swiss Halberdier is the unique unit of Helvetia. It is a strong polearm infantryman armed with a halberd and a bonus against cavalry, as well as a small bonus vs. infantry. The Swiss Halberdier can be upgraded to the Swiss Pikeman.
Available to: Helvetia
Trained at: Assembly Hall
Cost: 50 Food, 60 Florins
Armor/Pierce Armor: 0/1
Upgrades to: Swiss Pikeman
Special: +20 vs. cavalry, +10 vs. ships and lancers, +4 vs. infantry.
The Swiss Halberdier comes with advantages as well as disadvantages over a regular pikeman:
The greatest advantage is, that it has a comparably higher attack against cavalry (although it only has a +20 attack bonus, it still has 3 more basic attack than a regular pikeman) and additionally a small attack bonus against infantry. Furthermore, it has slightly more hit points and a bit of pierce armour, which makes it more durable when opposing archers.
However, the disadvantages almost even out the unit's bonuses: it moves more slowly than a pikeman, has no ranged attack and is extremely expensive. This makes it hard to afford this unit, makes the additional pierce armour almost useless, and makes the regular pikemen the better choice over the Swiss Halberdier in most situations.
Unlike the upgraded Swiss Pikeman, the champion among spearmen, the Swiss Halberdier is mainly effective if you face infantry, as they can hardly outmaneuvre this unit. Still, be sure to have some Skirmishers at hand in case you have to face an opponent's archer backup.
With its many mountains, the Swiss could easily defend choke-points and strategic positions to keep out their enemies. They employed the halberd - a short-staffed pole-arm with a blade as well as a pike - to much effect, and devastated Austrian armies with it. The heavily armed halberdiers were a serious threat to any army, infantry as well as cavalry.