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Made in vn
Regular Dakkanaut




Using Warhammer Fantasy models for illustration.

This is a High Elf Spearman.


This is an Empire Halberdier.


And this is a Grey Knight Terminator with Halberd.


So why is the Grey Knight's weapon called Halberd instead of Spear?
   
Made in gb
Chalice-Wielding Sanguinary High Priest





Stevenage, UK

To answer this we need to look at what defines the weapons beyond GW's other existing versions.
The distinction is actually quite simple - it's that spike on the inside that makes it a halberd. Halberds vary greatly in appearance but having an extra spike or two (or six!) is the constant.

"Hard pressed on my right. My centre is yielding. Impossible to manoeuvre. Situation excellent. I am attacking." - General Ferdinand Foch  
   
Made in gb
Been Around the Block




The actual minis are more halberd like than that drawing.

They’re single-edged slashing weapons though whereas true spears are stabbing weapons which tend to be dual edged or just spikes.

That said, there’s not a lot of difference in shape between the NFH and say an Eldar power spear and polearms in general are a bit of a continuum with a various names for only slightly different things.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/09/24 09:21:59


 
   
Made in gb
Instigating Incubi




The dark behind the eyes.

I'd call them 'glaives', but you chaps can please yourselves.

Akiasura wrote:
I hate to sound like a serial killer, but I'll be reaching for my friend occam's razor yet again.
 Andilus Greatsword wrote:

"Prepare to open fire at that towering Wraithknight!"
"ARE YOU DAFT MAN!?! YOU MIGHT HIT THE MEN WHO COME UP TO ITS ANKLES!!!"



 insaniak wrote:

You're not. If you're worried about your opponent using 'fake' rules, you're having fun the wrong way. This hobby isn't about rules. It's about buying Citadel miniatures.

Please report to your nearest GW store for attitude readjustment. Take your wallet.
 
   
Made in gb
Wrathful Warlord Titan Commander






London

If that's the case why are Guardian Spears not Halberds?
   
Made in gb
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






Halberds are combination weapons at heart.

They can be used to slash/chop due to the single edged blade. They can also thrust due to the pointed tip. The spike on the back, historically, could be used to unhorse cavalry.


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Made in gb
Chalice-Wielding Sanguinary High Priest





Stevenage, UK

Practical answer - because the spike is on the bolter part of the weapon, not the head.
Facetious answer - GW design team phoned it in that day.

"Hard pressed on my right. My centre is yielding. Impossible to manoeuvre. Situation excellent. I am attacking." - General Ferdinand Foch  
   
Made in us
Stubborn Dark Angels Veteran Sergeant





The main difference between halberd and a spear is that halberd is both a slashing and thrusting weapon whereas spear is GENERALLY a thrusting weapon. There are some historic accounts where a spear was fashioned with a blade that seems suitable for slashing applications, but that's the general classification.

Pikes and Lances are specific types of spears.

   
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 skchsan wrote:
Pikes and Lances are specific types of spears.


...and, in one case, of fish as well.

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 Super Ready wrote:
Practical answer - because the spike is on the bolter part of the weapon, not the head.
Facetious answer - GW design team phoned it in that day.


The past is silently judging you


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Been Around the Block




Well that one really looks like more of a voulge (edit: or even a bardiche) than a halberd.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/09/24 16:10:29


 
   
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Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






It was the 80’s. It was pretty wild!

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Preacher of the Emperor




Tacoma, WA, USA

bibotot wrote:
Spoiler:
Using Warhammer Fantasy models for illustration.

This is a High Elf Spearman.


This is an Empire Halberdier.


And this is a Grey Knight Terminator with Halberd.


So why is the Grey Knight's weapon called Halberd instead of Spear?
Because in the dark future of the 41st Millennium, weapon names have drifted from their 1st and 2nd Millennium definitions.
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




 vipoid wrote:
I'd call them 'glaives', but you chaps can please yourselves.


Seconded. Along with most of the aeldari polearms.

Honestly, my guess is that they just thought "halberd" sounded more "knightly" and went with the grey knight naming aesthetic better.
   
Made in pl
Longtime Dakkanaut




That is stronge, because they were the footmans or town militia type of a weapon. If GW wanted to give GK something that looks knightly weapon inspired, then they should have gone with a Poleax. That was a sofisticated high cost, knightly weapon.

It does have one down side. To look proper it can not be comicaly over sized, and GW loves to go after the over sized weapons in their design.

If you have to kill, then kill in the best manner. If you slaughter, then slaughter in the best manner. Let one of you sharpen his knife so his animal feels no pain. 
   
Made in gb
Wise Ethereal with Bodyguard







Hah... when a poor munchkin has the pointy stick it's a spear. When a knight holds the same pointy thing it's a lance. Class struggle is real, even in weapon naming conventions.

Please excuse any spelling errors. I use a tablet frequently and software keyboards are a pain!

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Made in gb
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If we're going to talk silly polearm names, there's really only one suitable source...

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The dark behind the eyes.

Karol wrote:
That is stronge, because they were the footmans or town militia type of a weapon. If GW wanted to give GK something that looks knightly weapon inspired, then they should have gone with a Poleax. That was a sofisticated high cost, knightly weapon.


Eh, I don't think poleaxes were any more knightly than halberds. Certainly both were used by knights.

As for militias, I think you'll find most would have just used spears. Halberds came to prominence more as weapons of organised armies. Amusingly, though, their design was gradually refined to make them more effective against knights.

Akiasura wrote:
I hate to sound like a serial killer, but I'll be reaching for my friend occam's razor yet again.
 Andilus Greatsword wrote:

"Prepare to open fire at that towering Wraithknight!"
"ARE YOU DAFT MAN!?! YOU MIGHT HIT THE MEN WHO COME UP TO ITS ANKLES!!!"



 insaniak wrote:

You're not. If you're worried about your opponent using 'fake' rules, you're having fun the wrong way. This hobby isn't about rules. It's about buying Citadel miniatures.

Please report to your nearest GW store for attitude readjustment. Take your wallet.
 
   
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Port Carmine

 vipoid wrote:
Karol wrote:
That is stronge, because they were the footmans or town militia type of a weapon. If GW wanted to give GK something that looks knightly weapon inspired, then they should have gone with a Poleax. That was a sofisticated high cost, knightly weapon.


Eh, I don't think poleaxes were any more knightly than halberds. Certainly both were used by knights.
.


Pollaxes were definitely higher status weapons for individual armoured combat. Halberds on the other hand were longer, and used enmasse by regular soldiers.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2020/09/25 13:54:19


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as others has said, a spear is a mainly thrusting weapon, whereas halberds and similar polearms (which have a bewildering variety of names taken form multiple different times and places with broad definitions that have significant overlap*) were intended to be used for cutting as well as thrusting. the Grey knight weapon shown in the OP is basically a falchion on a stick, and can be used to cut, thrust, chop, hook (with the spike) and other moves, many of which cannot really be done with a spear, hence they went with halberd. It could be called something else if they wanted to, i'd have gone for "glaive" myself, but the previous comments on this thread show its pretty much a matter of taste which label you give the thing.




* A quick analogy is with the word "rifle", that can be used to describe a muzzle loading rifle using blackpowder and firing a lead ball, a bolt action rile using smokeless powder firing a high calibre, copper jacketed, pointed bullet, a full-automatic weapon firing intermediate calibre rounds with armour piercing bullets, or even battleship main guns crewed by hundreds of men, firing high-explosive shells that weigh a literal tonne, and have a barrel big enough to climb down. All of those weapons can be accurately called a "rifle", even though they are all very different, and someone looking back form many hundreds of years might be confused as to the apparent differences between two men armed with "rifles", because the same word is used to refer to very different weapons.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/09/25 14:04:21


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Across the Rubicon

In the grim darkness of the far future halberd as become a synonym for any polearm.

Much like D&D. Though, I can't say I miss the 20 different kinds of polearms in the AD&D 2nd edition Player's Handbook.

   
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Regular Dakkanaut





I blame Gygaxs’ pole arm fetish from D&D. Keeps leaking out all over the place.
   
Made in pl
Longtime Dakkanaut




 vipoid wrote:
Karol wrote:
That is stronge, because they were the footmans or town militia type of a weapon. If GW wanted to give GK something that looks knightly weapon inspired, then they should have gone with a Poleax. That was a sofisticated high cost, knightly weapon.


Eh, I don't think poleaxes were any more knightly than halberds. Certainly both were used by knights.

As for militias, I think you'll find most would have just used spears. Halberds came to prominence more as weapons of organised armies. Amusingly, though, their design was gradually refined to make them more effective against knights.


To make a halabard or a bardiche, you could take a run of the mill blacksmith that makes plows, axs etc. It is easy to make to with a sheet of metal and a few tools. Poles axs on the other hand were weapons of war that required a lot more work to do, and there for costed more to make. Could you hire or just have common troops with them? of course. you can put them in full plate armour too. But with very few exeptions, like for example the pope, you would not have enough money to do it.

You wouldn't find many knights swinings halabards, comparing to the foot men or men at arms. And vice versa you wouldn't find many pole ax armored levy troops or men-at-arms. Maybe durning the italian/french wars.

If you have to kill, then kill in the best manner. If you slaughter, then slaughter in the best manner. Let one of you sharpen his knife so his animal feels no pain. 
   
Made in gb
Instigating Incubi




The dark behind the eyes.

 harlokin wrote:
 vipoid wrote:
Karol wrote:
That is stronge, because they were the footmans or town militia type of a weapon. If GW wanted to give GK something that looks knightly weapon inspired, then they should have gone with a Poleax. That was a sofisticated high cost, knightly weapon.


Eh, I don't think poleaxes were any more knightly than halberds. Certainly both were used by knights.
.


Pollaxes were definitely higher status weapons for individual armoured combat. Halberds on the other hand were longer, and used enmasse by regular soldiers.


I have to assume you're talking about a specific period for this? Because the differences between polearms tend to be far less substantial than a lot of people seem to think. I mean, I know we try and categorise them now, but historically there was no worldwide agreement that all weapons fitting a specific description would be labelled 'halberds'.

By and large, this was long before the era of mass-production and standardisation. So a lot of regions will have featured both variations between the "same" weapon, and also different colloquial names for the same or similar weapons. I think you'll find that for a lot of history, "poleaxe" and "halberd" will have been used largely interchangeably. Especially since the other aspect is that weapons didn't stay the same. The precise shape of different weapons was always being adjusted for one reason or another. For example, two of the distinguishing features of the halberd (the longer spear and the hook) evolved over time, in order to make the weapon more effective against spearmen and mounted knights (prior to this, I think you'd have seriously struggled to distinguish a halberd from a poleaxe).

However, if you're referring specifically to later periods, when weapons had become more standardised, then I believe you're right in that knights would be more likely to use poleaxes than halberds.

Akiasura wrote:
I hate to sound like a serial killer, but I'll be reaching for my friend occam's razor yet again.
 Andilus Greatsword wrote:

"Prepare to open fire at that towering Wraithknight!"
"ARE YOU DAFT MAN!?! YOU MIGHT HIT THE MEN WHO COME UP TO ITS ANKLES!!!"



 insaniak wrote:

You're not. If you're worried about your opponent using 'fake' rules, you're having fun the wrong way. This hobby isn't about rules. It's about buying Citadel miniatures.

Please report to your nearest GW store for attitude readjustment. Take your wallet.
 
   
Made in pl
Longtime Dakkanaut




xerxeskingofking wrote:
as others has said, a spear is a mainly thrusting weapon, whereas halberds and similar polearms (which have a bewildering variety of names taken form multiple different times and places with broad definitions that have significant overlap*) were intended to be used for cutting as well as thrusting. the Grey knight weapon shown in the OP is basically a falchion on a stick, and can be used to cut, thrust, chop, hook (with the spike) and other moves, many of which cannot really be done with a spear, hence they went with halberd. It could be called something else if they wanted to, i'd have gone for "glaive" myself, but the previous comments on this thread show its pretty much a matter of taste which label you give the thing.


Funny enough their weapons are much closer to turkish/persian styled glaives, in their non court version of the weapon. Or at worse a partisan some fool started smacking some heavy armoured troops.

I wish GK had more weapons like the Guan Yu one. That would be awesome. It would be nice, for me, if w40k had more cool history inspired weapons instead of pointy bars of steel, we have.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
I have to assume you're talking about a specific period for this? Because the differences between polearms tend to be far less substantial than a lot of people seem to think. I mean, I know we try and categorise them now, but historically there was no worldwide agreement that all weapons fitting a specific description would be labelled 'halberds'.

While this is true, and often has funny results when ancients named something just a sword or called a hanger something else we call a hanger today. And stuff like a rapier is a blight on history, considering how different the swords were in different countries in europe. But in the halabards and pole ax debacle, any armory list you will find from ancient times will have them as separate options. Pole Axs were high class expensive weapons, they were not mass produced . It was realy hard to destroy a halabard. Most damage was just a shaft change or somet strikes with a hammer. Pole axs had rondels, winglets and were assembled out of many parts. mainly to avoid something like the shaft being broken by blows from other weapons, but also because it was a multi tool.

Halabards, outside of fencing schools, were simple draw and cut or thrust weapons. Pole axs were a lot more complicated in use, because they gave more options.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/09/25 16:09:52


If you have to kill, then kill in the best manner. If you slaughter, then slaughter in the best manner. Let one of you sharpen his knife so his animal feels no pain. 
   
Made in gb
Instigating Incubi




The dark behind the eyes.

Karol wrote:
xerxeskingofking wrote:
as others has said, a spear is a mainly thrusting weapon, whereas halberds and similar polearms (which have a bewildering variety of names taken form multiple different times and places with broad definitions that have significant overlap*) were intended to be used for cutting as well as thrusting. the Grey knight weapon shown in the OP is basically a falchion on a stick, and can be used to cut, thrust, chop, hook (with the spike) and other moves, many of which cannot really be done with a spear, hence they went with halberd. It could be called something else if they wanted to, i'd have gone for "glaive" myself, but the previous comments on this thread show its pretty much a matter of taste which label you give the thing.


Funny enough their weapons are much closer to turkish/persian styled glaives, in their non court version of the weapon. Or at worse a partisan some fool started smacking some heavy armoured troops.

I wish GK had more weapons like the Guan Yu one. That would be awesome. It would be nice, for me, if w40k had more cool history inspired weapons instead of pointy bars of steel, we have.


I wouldn't necessarily mind 40k taking inspiration from some of the more exotic-looking weapons from history, except that I just know every Necron HQ will end up armed with a Khopesh.

I mean, I quite liked it when Power Weapons, Force Weapons etc. didn't distinguish between different shapes. That way, you could arm the model with whatever melee weapon you wanted and it wouldn't matter in terms of rules.

Incidentally, if 40k does go the historical weapons route, perhaps it could also learn that swords (with the exception of greatswords) are sidearms. So regardless of whether a knight is wielding a halberd, a poleaxe, or a zweihänder as his main weapon, he should still have a sword as a backup weapon.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/09/25 16:16:37


Akiasura wrote:
I hate to sound like a serial killer, but I'll be reaching for my friend occam's razor yet again.
 Andilus Greatsword wrote:

"Prepare to open fire at that towering Wraithknight!"
"ARE YOU DAFT MAN!?! YOU MIGHT HIT THE MEN WHO COME UP TO ITS ANKLES!!!"



 insaniak wrote:

You're not. If you're worried about your opponent using 'fake' rules, you're having fun the wrong way. This hobby isn't about rules. It's about buying Citadel miniatures.

Please report to your nearest GW store for attitude readjustment. Take your wallet.
 
   
Made in fr
Trazyn's Museum Curator





on the forum. Obviously

Because people don't know that Halberds are not synonomous with polearm.

A halberd is a type of polearm, but not all polearms are halberds.

You see it in dark souls as well, where they call a weapon that is clearly a glaive a halberd (Black Knight Halberd)

What the Grey Knight has is a glaive. Its not a spear because it has a long blade rather than just a piercing head.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/09/25 18:42:07


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Ah yes the Nemesis Force Choppy Pointy Death Stabber, good weapon

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/09/25 17:20:43


   
Made in fr
Trazyn's Museum Curator





on the forum. Obviously

 Flinty wrote:
Hah... when a poor munchkin has the pointy stick it's a spear. When a knight holds the same pointy thing it's a lance. Class struggle is real, even in weapon naming conventions.


Um..not really? Lances are designed to break apart, have a conical shape and be used on horseback. Spears are not. They're a specialized weapon with a different form and function.
Lances are only the same as spears if you're French.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/09/25 18:56:04


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There is a distinction between halberds and poleaxes, in that a halberd is more of an infantry support weapon used in formations against various foes. A poleaxe is a melee weapon used mostly by dismounted knights. However, the techniques employed by each weapon are rather similar.

The original Witch Hunters codex had the option to attach a sarissa to a bolter to make it more effective during melee which I always found amusing, because a sarissa is a 4 meter+ pike. Personally, I'd find that rather cumbersome on the end of my bolter.
   
 
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