The swordsman is a Heavy Infantry unit available from the Barracks.


The swordsman is the most powerful melee unit in Stronghold. They have a very powerful attack and wear durable metal armor.

They make short work of almost all the units they encounter, even armored troops in close range. Capable of absorbing huge numbers of projectiles (crossbow bolts, in huge numbers), the swordsman can strike down ranged enemies without taking too much damage in open fields. Archers and especially crossbowmen take them out fairly easy when atop of a wall.

They can also destroy buildings and siege equipment with a few swings.

Their main weakness is that they are also the slowest unit in the game. Men-at-arms are units that can easily outmaneuver and/ or distract them while crossbowmen or fire ballistae take them down. Stones launched from magonels, catapults, or trebuchets can also soften up squads of swordsmen.


The best use of swordsmen is to protect the head-keep/ headquarters, especially when you leave your castle with your Lord or to protect the estates close to your head-keep, due to their slow movement.

To protect estates farther away, you better use knights at the cost of relatively lesser durability atop the keep than swordsmen (if you have enough honor, you can still summon new horses to regain an extra health bar).

Swordsmen make up the bulk of an army. Their high defense allows them to soak up a lot of damage before succumbing and repel enemies from the walls, and their high attack allows them to easily punch through enemy units and fortifications.

As with other troops, swordsmen operate best in numbers, diverting enemy fire and covering a larger area to work on. Offensively, the best thing to do is to first decimate the archers or crossbowmen at the top of the keep to silence the enemy lord in one blow.

In short: with some preparation, they are slow but deadly troops as long that they have a strong, stable industry that can back them up.

Game differencesEdit

Stronghold 2:

  • Swordsmen gain a speed boost and they move even faster in formation. They can even fill in moats.


For the quotes of the swordsman, see: Quotes:Swordsman.

Weaknesses Edit

  • They really are between a rock and a hard place if it comes to moats, that stop them blankly and fires: lightened pitch ditches, in which they get easily burned due to their abysmal speed.
  • Agile troops, like: men-at-arms (Stronghold Legends), Arabian archer (Crusader, Crusader 2, Stronghold 2) dispose of them efficiently and more often than not: unscathed.
  • It takes several hundreds of archer arrows to kill a swordsman, making this character very strong against them... in theory. But if they get attacked from a distance, with water or a river the swordmen are sitting ducks.
  • Although the swordsmen are effective against all units, they aren't against knights.
  • Stronghold Legends: stake hurlers from the evil faction make short work of them, even in great numbers!

Trivia Edit

  • The swordsman's armour (in Stronghold 2) suggests he is modeled after a 12th to 13th century fighter. This was during the latter time of the Crusades, where chainmail was widely in use but some plate armour was available. The swordsman wears a great helm (or pot helmet), breastplate, greaves and cuisses. It is seen that he wears a drape of mail over his shoulders, known as the coif (layer of mail covering the head).


Stronghold Crusader Units
Barracks ArcherSpearmanMacemanCrossbowmanPikemanSwordsmanKnight
Mercenary Post Arabian BowmanSlaveSlingerAssassinHorse ArcherArabian SwordsmanFire Thrower
Engineer's Guild &
Tunneler's Guild
Portable ShieldCatapultFire BallistaTrebuchetBattering RamSiege Tower
Related Articles PeasantWeaponsHorse
Stronghold 2 Units
Barracks Armed PeasantArcherSpearmanMacemanCrossbowmanPikemanSwordsmanKnight
Mercenary Post Pictish Boat WarriorOutlawHobilarAssassinHorse ArcherAxe ThrowerBerserkerThief
Monastery Warrior monkFighting monk
Engineer's Guild &
Tunneler's Guild
EngineerLaddermanCatapultFire Ballista
MantletCatBurning CartTrebuchetBattering RamSiege Tower
Tower MangonelTower Ballista
Related Articles PeasantWeaponsHorse