The business end of a halberd had three main parts: the axe-head, the back spike and the spear tip. While many pole arms had similar structure, halberds had a few distinguishing features. Their axe-heads were concave (curving inward) to nearly straight, instead of convex like most axes. They were also set at an angle to the shaft instead of being mounted perpendicular. Their back spikes were fairly short and angled slightly downward. Some had spear tips that were long and slender, while others were medium length and broader (often on ceremonial weapons). They were generally 8 feet (2.4 meters) in length or longer with their spear tips.
Known colloquially as a "medieval can-opener" due to its effectiveness against plate armor, the design of the weapon, with its ability to mount slashing, piercing, or tripping/dismounting attacks made it extremely versatile against many different opponents. However, its large size was often considered detrimental when fighting in close quarters. Halberdiers could attack the flanks of a pike formation with great effect because the pikemen could not bring their much longer weapons to bear in close combat. If a halberd wielder was about to be tripped during their own trip attempt, they could drop the weapon to avoid being tripped.
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- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 69. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 117. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
- ↑ Gary Gygax (1978). Players Handbook 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 35, 37. ISBN 0-9356-9601-6.
- ↑ Gary Gygax, David Cook, and François Marcela-Froideval (1985). Oriental Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 39. ISBN 0-8803-8099-3.
- ↑ Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins, James Wyatt (June 2008). Player's Handbook 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 218. ISBN 0-7869-4867-1.
- ↑ Jeremy Crawford, Stephen Schubert (September 2011). Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 21. ISBN 978-0786957446.
- ↑ Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 149. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
- ↑ Dungeons & Dragons FAQ (HTML). Wizards of the Coast. (2003). Archived from the original on 2017-07-09. Retrieved on 2018-05-22.
- ↑ Gary Gygax (August, 1985). Unearthed Arcana (1st edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 125. ISBN 0880380845.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 118. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
- ↑ David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 74. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.