The acquisition of firearms made the Iroquois even more formidable adversaries. They became highly skilled in the use of these weapons, displaying an accuracy of fire that amazed and confounded the Europeans. The Iroquois also made revolutionary changes in their combat methods as a consequence of their use of firearms. They abandoned the traditional massed formations (employing disciplined formations of warriors who fought behind a protective wall of shields) in favour of dispersed units of musketeers. The Iroquois began to employ the tactics of ambush, exploiting their superior mobility and woodcraft. Iroquois forces were highly mobile, as their use of war canoes allowed them to utilize the extensive network of rivers to move and deploy rapidly.

The Iroquois style of warfare was so effective that the French in Canada soon emulated it. Canadians developed their skills in canoeing and woodcraft and mastered traditional Native weapons, especially the tomahawk and throwing-axe. They also adopted elements of Native dress, including moccasins and mitasses (buckskin leggings).


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