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.
Notable Users of Halberds
Nations & Settlements
- Halberds were a common weapon among the armed forces of Shadowdale.
- Halberds were a common weapon among the armed forces of the Sembian cities Ordulin and Yhaunn.
- The Ogre's Pact • The Veiled Dragon • The Council of Blades • War in Tethyr • Star of Cursrah • Master of Chains • Crypt of the Moaning Diamond
- Video Games
- Secret of the Silver Blades • Pools of Darkness • Eye of the Beholder • Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon • Gateway to the Savage Frontier • Treasures of the Savage Frontier • Menzoberranzan • Icewind Dale • Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn • Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance • Sword Coast Legends • Warriors of Waterdeep
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