[Archive] Hobgoblins with Halberds?


Seeing as how very few models in warhammer have the halberd, it’s got me wondering whether the reason is fluff or rules (or both)?

All the units I’m aware of that have the option:

Bretonnian peasants

DE Black Guard

HE Phoenix Guard

Chaos warriors/ Chosen

From this we can see that warrior elites tend to have them, infact generally they seem to be used in armies that also have a lot of great weapons (for variety maybe).  So why the peasants?

Why do these units have it do you think?

The reason I ask is because the idea of hobgoblins with halberds is very tempting. :)  Crude weapons to take down cavalry (fluffwise anyway), which would be the bane of Chaos dwarfs.  But no orcs or goblins have them (or have ever had them afaik).  Probably some obscure Solegends link to prove me wrong. :~


Don’t forget the empire halberdiers.


Orcs probably haven’t had them due to the Choppa rules, although I don’t know how long they’ve been around. But Mordheim, Orcs can use Halberds as starting equipment.

But then, Dwarves can also use spears as starting equipment.

Thommy H:

Empire Halberdiers? They’re not elite - in fact, they’re the most basic troop type in the game.

The reasoning behind their prevalence (or lack of) is very simple: halberds (or pole arms, like the bill, pike or guisarme) were the basic infantry weapon during the late-Mediaeval and Renaissance periods, because they were the antidote to heavy cavalry. So, for Empire, they’re hugely iconic because they’re the exact weapons their historical equivalent - i.e.Landsknechts - would have been armed with. That’s why they’re one of the basic weapons of the game. But, only the Empire is really based on that time period. Bretonnians have them, but with a caveat (“pole arms”) because of the balancing act that Warhammer plays between history and fantasy.

As for whether Hobgoblins should have them: probably not. They’re a weapon for drilled troops. Bretonnian Men-at-Arms have them because Mediaeval infantry should have them, but they have this thing about Bretonnian peasants being total crap, even though that has no basis in history. In reality, Medieval infantry units were well-trained, professional soldiers who consistently withstood cavalry charges. But then you don’t get the whole thing about Bretonnian knights being corrupt and evil. Like I say: balancing act.

Paradoxically, all the other units that can get halberds are elite though, so it just goes to show how mixed up the imagery can get sometimes. Personally, I feel that Men-at-Arms should just go back to basic human stats and then it starts to make a bit more sense.


Lol.  How could I forget Halberdiers!

You make some good points Thommy.

I question this bit though ‘Bretonnian Men-at-Arms have them because Mediaeval infantry should have them’.  If they really are dung eating imbeciles you’d think that they’d be about as drilled as hobgoblins? :wink: (my understanding of how GW portrays them).


Chaos warriors are not exactly drilled either.


Chaos Warriors may not be drilled but they are certainly elite. Admittedly they have been a little bit ‘Space Marined’ in terms of their fluff to game capability ratio. As regards the original point, I think Chaos Dwarf warriors would be better suited to halberds fluff wise. THe only thing is that with initiative 2 you may as well take a great weapon.

@Thommy - totally with you on the Bretonians front. I’d really like to see them resembling a proper medieval army with skilled men-at-arms and longbowmen. I suppose though they want Bretonian players to emphasise knights.

Gar Shadowfame:

halberd might be too long for a dwarf


Halberds don’t seem ‘Dwarfy’ imo, same way that spears don’t really seem right either. Hobgobs might just get away with it, but again, halberds just seem too advanced for Greenskins, more of a civilised nation’s weapon. Its a bit like giving them a rapier; it just doesn’t fit.

Personally, I feel that Men-at-Arms should just go back to basic human stats and then it starts to make a bit more sense.
I imagine that may well happen in their new book, now that 8th is much more infantry-focused.
Chaos warriors are not exactly drilled either.
I think some would be. I see Khorne Warriors being more like two axe-wielding nutters and great weapons suit Nurgle, but Tzeeentch and Slaanesh could quite easily be drilled halberdier types imo.


Skaven stormvermin can use halberds, and are an elite unit.


I would say these weapons are quite “halberd like”! :o

… and the guys are definitively Orks! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:



everyone is forgetting about the Saurus Temple Guards, who also have halberds as a standard weapon… but are also an elite unit.

basicly, some of the “fantasy” races of the warhammer world have elite units with halberds. and only the few that have some connection to real history use normal troops armed with them


Where would you put hobgoblins in a real world scenario? Tricky.

I guess historically halberds are not the weapons of mercenaries, and there would not be enough horses around the dark lands for them to be common weapons.

Gar Shadowfame:

what hobgoblins could have woudl be “mancatchers”


I think you could use a poleaxe as a counts as halberd for HGs. The poleaxe was used for smashing a cavalry soldier from his steed and delivering a quick death blow whilst they were on the ground disorientated - keeping them at arms length the whole time - sounds perfectly HG to me, and would be something original in the warhammer world.


Also, the Skaven halberds are more like oriental glaives than European halberds. Same in game terms but different uses in history.

I would say these weapons are quite “halberd like”!
Hm, yes that’s true :slight_smile: No recent Orcs have weapons like that though, so perhaps those were from before they really sorted out the current Orc ‘look’.


I guess historically halberds are not the weapons of mercenaries, and there would not be enough horses around the dark lands for them to be common weapons.

Just thought I'd point out that the Halberd ( European style anyway ) was invented by the Swiss, for use by their mercenaries, and that during the halberds period of dominance it was the predominant mercenary weapon of Europe.

Not trying to be a smart-ass or a jerk, just thought youd be interested, as it makes the concept fit with hobgoblins janissary theme.

Border Reiver:

The Halberd as used by Central Europeans was indeed developed by the Swiss as an adjuct to the big pike blocks. The Swiss were the predominant mercenaries of the 14th to 16th centuries and were still considered good until the 18th. Then as now, other mercenaries and other units decided to copy the weapon.

Similar weapons such as the English Bill and a variety of French patterns (used by Bret peasants in our world) are outgrowths of agricultural tools. Similar to flails.

There are a wide variety of similar weapons world wide, such as a variety of Chinese weapons, the Japanese Naginata, etc.

Now generally I view hobgoblins as similar to the tribal auxillaries used by the Assyrians, getting some of the benefits of the superior material technology of the CDs in exchange for military service, working as overseers, etc. What surprises me is that the CDs haven’t equipped their troops with that ubiquitous cheap and effective weapon - the spear.


The reason hobgoblins never got spears in the RH list is that they were never released with them. RH was to get you by with your old army until it got a proper list. I guess if they ever redo our army, hobbos with spears will feature.


Halberds in movies/plays are mostly seen being used by the guards of the rulers/cities/castle.

DE Black Guard

HE Phoenix Guard

Chaos warriors/ Chosen

Saurus Temple Guards


Empire Halberdiers

These troops are all “guards”.


I would say these weapons are quite "halberd like"! :o

... and the guys are definitively Orks! ;P


Rugluds armoured orcs with Uludo the champion but no "ruglud" are very nice old models. Am partial to the scottish style Lochabre Axe, again a polearm weapon aimed at unhorsing cavalry. With us though our elite are the CD's, but Hobbo's with them would be nice addition.