Advanced battles, combat and tactics

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LilJur

Recruit
This is not one suggestion but more a group of suggestions to improve one of the most important aspects of the game: battles.

To be honest, after years of waiting, I am slightly disappointed with the game.
Yes, a lot of features have been added and I understand it is in EA. But to be honest, it feels like a heavily modded Warband and not a Mount & Blade 2. Nothing more. Even though there is 10 years between the two games, at it's core the games feel the same.
This is mostly because of the combat.

The main issues with combat:
- Formations barely have any benefits (or drawbacks)
For example, a shieldwall helps your troops to block incoming arrows. But that's it. A shieldwall was a feared and effective defense/weapon. It was difficult to break through and could stop entire armies. Which is not the case in Bannerlord. Besides blocking arrows, there is no benefit to pick a shield wall over ranks.

- Commanding troops barely improved upon Warband
Basically, you have more formations and a different menu. That's it.

- AI all use the same tactics each time
Either go all-out and attack straight on when outnumbering or stay at their starting point (often in a circle)

- The two sides just 'merge' when clashing
Someone who fights with a spear, shouldn't be 20cm away from the front line but should try to keep the enemy at the tip of their spear

- The one with the high level troops wins

Basically, the combat is on every level the same as it was 10 years ago. In 2020, I'd expect a game like this to be more than just hacking and slashing with the strongest troops.

What I think would bring the combat and tactics to 2020:
Advanced tactics:

- It would be nice if you could go more in depth with commanding, instead of just telling them to 'charge' or 'follow me'. I want to be able to use my cavalry against their cavalry without having them run in the enemies ranks. Or I want them to flank around and go for their archers. Or have my horse archers circle around the enemy while shooting them. Or have my infantry throw their javelins before the two lines clash, not during.
- Some form of pre-battle deployment would be nice. Armies don't just go "Oh hey, look, enemies. Let's attack". They take some time to organize their ranks. Right now, the cavalry of the enemy has often reached my ranks by the time my army is deployed.

Better use of formations:
- When using shieldwall, the enemy shouldn't be able to just 'walk' through my line. And my troops should try to keep the 'wall' closed as much as possible. When they slash, they open up their shield which makes them vulnerable. You don't do that in a shield wall! You keep you'r shield to the front and stab.
- AI should do everything in their power to stay in formation, even when clashing. Cavalry should stay in wedge when they charge, a shieldwall should keep cohesion when walking,...
- Formations should have it's uses and drawbacks. A shieldwall should move slower and vulnerable to attacks from the side but hard to break, a wedge should be able to penetrate the lines (not in the way it currently does).

Better physics, response to battle and cohesion
- If you charge with cavalry, the enemies will slightly stagger and the horses will stop right after striking the ranks. That's not how horses and cavalry charges work! If you get hit by a horse at charging speed, even with a shield, you will likely fall to the ground. And while the horse will lose momentum, it won't be stopped by two simple rows of infantry. Horsemen should be feared. And they aren't at the moment. Same as horsemen should fear spears, which I am not afraid of at the moment.
- There should be some space between clashing ranks... Melee weapons like swords and spears aren't effective if you're hugging the enemy...

Different tactics depending on culture
At the moment, all factions behave largely the same in battle. They'll either charge with everything they have of stay put (and sometimes sent cavalry out) to defend.
These are supposed to be different cultures, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. A factions who specializes in cavalry, should have mostly cavalry and use them (the Aserai in my game rarely have more than 15 horses in their army). A faction who specialized in ambushes and longbow men should try to surround their enemy with archers. A faction with brute warriors, should go full frontal. I want to be able to feel that I'm fighting a different faction, not just see it by their troops.

And in general I just think the AI is lacking
Example 1: When forming a shieldwall, for some reason the AI think it's a good idea to put troops without a shield on the first rank and troops with shield on second rank.
Example 2: When defending in a circle, the enemy will just stand. I can just put my horse in the middle and no one will attack me until I get within range.

I know there will be limits to what is possible. And I'm not trying to turn this into a first person Total War. But I do think the combat does not stand up to today's standards and has much more potential.
 

burger1113

Recruit
Technically 12 years, since the original came out in 2008.
I do agree that it feels strikingly similar, even if it is in EA.
The lack of cohesion and solidity in formations is definitely a downer.
Having the troops "advance" in formation is nice, but it doesn't seem to keep different groups in the same distance and keeping them as a group.
I would also like to be able to make groups attack and advance toward a specific enemy group, instead of going to a spot where the enemy wouldn't be by the time they get there.
The command cursor/flag that appear with the "attack" function should snap to enemy groups when near enemy group's center, making them march towards them specifically until they eliminate the target.
 

kreamy

Sergeant
This is not one suggestion but more a group of suggestions to improve one of the most important aspects of the game: battles.

To be honest, after years of waiting, I am slightly disappointed with the game.
Yes, a lot of features have been added and I understand it is in EA. But to be honest, it feels like a heavily modded Warband and not a Mount & Blade 2. Nothing more. Even though there is 10 years between the two games, at it's core the games feel the same.
This is mostly because of the combat.

The main issues with combat:
- Formations barely have any benefits (or drawbacks)
For example, a shieldwall helps your troops to block incoming arrows. But that's it. A shieldwall was a feared and effective defense/weapon. It was difficult to break through and could stop entire armies. Which is not the case in Bannerlord. Besides blocking arrows, there is no benefit to pick a shield wall over ranks.

- Commanding troops barely improved upon Warband
Basically, you have more formations and a different menu. That's it.

- AI all use the same tactics each time
Either go all-out and attack straight on when outnumbering or stay at their starting point (often in a circle)

- The two sides just 'merge' when clashing
Someone who fights with a spear, shouldn't be 20cm away from the front line but should try to keep the enemy at the tip of their spear

- The one with the high level troops wins

Basically, the combat is on every level the same as it was 10 years ago. In 2020, I'd expect a game like this to be more than just hacking and slashing with the strongest troops.

What I think would bring the combat and tactics to 2020:
Advanced tactics:

- It would be nice if you could go more in depth with commanding, instead of just telling them to 'charge' or 'follow me'. I want to be able to use my cavalry against their cavalry without having them run in the enemies ranks. Or I want them to flank around and go for their archers. Or have my horse archers circle around the enemy while shooting them. Or have my infantry throw their javelins before the two lines clash, not during.
- Some form of pre-battle deployment would be nice. Armies don't just go "Oh hey, look, enemies. Let's attack". They take some time to organize their ranks. Right now, the cavalry of the enemy has often reached my ranks by the time my army is deployed.

Better use of formations:
- When using shieldwall, the enemy shouldn't be able to just 'walk' through my line. And my troops should try to keep the 'wall' closed as much as possible. When they slash, they open up their shield which makes them vulnerable. You don't do that in a shield wall! You keep you'r shield to the front and stab.
- AI should do everything in their power to stay in formation, even when clashing. Cavalry should stay in wedge when they charge, a shieldwall should keep cohesion when walking,...
- Formations should have it's uses and drawbacks. A shieldwall should move slower and vulnerable to attacks from the side but hard to break, a wedge should be able to penetrate the lines (not in the way it currently does).

Better physics, response to battle and cohesion
- If you charge with cavalry, the enemies will slightly stagger and the horses will stop right after striking the ranks. That's not how horses and cavalry charges work! If you get hit by a horse at charging speed, even with a shield, you will likely fall to the ground. And while the horse will lose momentum, it won't be stopped by two simple rows of infantry. Horsemen should be feared. And they aren't at the moment. Same as horsemen should fear spears, which I am not afraid of at the moment.
- There should be some space between clashing ranks... Melee weapons like swords and spears aren't effective if you're hugging the enemy...

Different tactics depending on culture
At the moment, all factions behave largely the same in battle. They'll either charge with everything they have of stay put (and sometimes sent cavalry out) to defend.
These are supposed to be different cultures, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. A factions who specializes in cavalry, should have mostly cavalry and use them (the Aserai in my game rarely have more than 15 horses in their army). A faction who specialized in ambushes and longbow men should try to surround their enemy with archers. A faction with brute warriors, should go full frontal. I want to be able to feel that I'm fighting a different faction, not just see it by their troops.

And in general I just think the AI is lacking
Example 1: When forming a shieldwall, for some reason the AI think it's a good idea to put troops without a shield on the first rank and troops with shield on second rank.
Example 2: When defending in a circle, the enemy will just stand. I can just put my horse in the middle and no one will attack me until I get within range.

I know there will be limits to what is possible. And I'm not trying to turn this into a first person Total War. But I do think the combat does not stand up to today's standards and has much more potential.

See my thread about something similar, I think you will agree. Post to support in thread so we can get this changed.
 

Vissy

Baron
WBNW
Different tactics depending on culture
At the moment, all factions behave largely the same in battle. They'll either charge with everything they have of stay put (and sometimes sent cavalry out) to defend.
These are supposed to be different cultures, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. A factions who specializes in cavalry, should have mostly cavalry and use them (the Aserai in my game rarely have more than 15 horses in their army). A faction who specialized in ambushes and longbow men should try to surround their enemy with archers. A faction with brute warriors, should go full frontal. I want to be able to feel that I'm fighting a different faction, not just see it by their troops.

this especially would add so much variety to the battles just on its own.
 
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