Militia Pikemen (ETW Unit)
Despite the fact that firepower is the key to battle, “trailing a pike” into battle is more gentlemanly than carrying a gun. Pike-men are shock troops, relying on mass and impact in melee. Pikes are not without their uses: a solid wall of spear points is a formidable barrier to any cavalry attack. Pike-men still march into battle because not every European nation can afford (or find) enough guns for everyone. Sending men into battle with an obsolescent weapon is better than sending them forward with nothing at all.
By 1700, most European generals realized that the pike and pike-men were hopelessly outdated and outclassed on a modern battlefield. Pike-men had been a vital part of all infantry formations, protecting musketeers from cavalry and being the “shock” element in melee combat. There was a fatal problem for pike-men: a musket could kill at a distance, and once a decent bayonet was developed, pikes really did lose their point!
Although a brilliant general in every (other?) respect, Maurice de Saxe, the great Marshal General of France, remained an advocate of the pike even in the 1740s. By then, it was obvious that pikes were useless against massed musket-armed infantry.
Militia Pikemen are a cancelled unit which would have been available in the Road to Independence Campaign. They have the ability to use the Pike wall and Pike square formations, which can be devastating against enemy infantry or cavalry. As a result of this they should be used to engage enemy lines on their flanks and to protect friendly line infantry from cavalry. However as with all melee infantry they should not engage a prepared Line Infantry unit from the front as this will surely end in disaster.