Unlike other melee units, Pikemen are fairly cheap to train, and have a small ranged attack, thus making them highly dangerous when well-supported. These can best be described as the conscript component of most Western armies, being bodies of men armed with the long pike. While they are slow and especially vulnerable against missile units, they are nevertheless idea as a counter-cavalry unit, using the long reach of their weapons to protect Musketeers from cavalry. Alternatively, you can easily steamroll them with your Pikemen, using "Swiss-style" tactics of marching the Pikemen forward and into the enemy.
Just remember that Pikemen are very vulnerable if pitted against other infantry classes, so never send them into battle unless they are supported by rolling fire from your own men, ie with Musketeers or Cannon. Additionally, because they are slow, they can also be easily flanked by other melee infantry classes (most notably Swordsmen) or get torn apart if facing Cannon. Thus, Pikemen should always be well-supported with their own Musketeers and cavalry in support. All told, Pikemen are great if used against melee cav-heavy civilisations — against Western factions armed with powerful missile units, they are fairly useless and should not be relied on except as a last resort.
Strong melee unit that is specialised in taking out cavalry and units with minimum range.
- Use pikemen to counter enemy cavalry especially as picket units for artillery, but watch out for ranged units such as Musketeers.