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Battle overhaul

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ceprast

Recruit
Took a break at 1.5.6 and recently came back. Its nice to see it has improved a decent bit hope it keeps up.

Now that I said something nice time to tear into it. Battles get repetitive and boring as ****. This is because it still uses the same system from the original M&B where there was like a hundred dudes max in basically a skirmish. You could get away with **** then that just doesn't hold up now with thousand man battles. Battles basically just turn into blob fests and the best strategy is to basically just try and out blob the enemy, anything beyond rudimentary tactics is not possible here is a breakdown of why with some proposed fixes.

To start with before battles even begin the load order mechanic just does not work. Taking troops in their order from the screen just results unbalanced armies even if you take the trouble to try and recruit balanced forces, it also severely limits options since there is no way to organize your forces in any but the most basic categories. A new system is needed where the player can organize forces by division in the party screen, assign a commander to the division (and the player should be able to command a division too), and troop types need to be able to split into separate divisions (EG you can have 2 or more divs of legionnaires). When a battle starts where not all troops can spawn due to number limitations it should spawn all divisions then assign troops to those divisions in direct proportion to troops assigned to those divisions in party screen. When fighting with armies the troops from the army should be assigned in proportion by type to the players divisions, this should include the lords so that you don't get a lord on horseback charging ahead of a division of infantry and dying. Lords should also not usurp a players assigned commander of a division. There should also be a division that does not enter combat at all for any reason for non-combat companions or if you just want to reassign companions temporarily for a siege assault or something risky.

There needs to be a pause function and rts camera to give orders in. real time orders worked okay back when M&B first came out but it doesn't in battles with thousands of troops. Players can't do much beyond extremely basic orders as it is.

Armor needs to actually do something. A major limiting factor to using tactics is that proper troops die way too quickly. This is especially problematic on realistic settings because armor effectiveness does not scale properly with increased damage numbers. Armored troops should not be on par with unarmored troops, I recently had a battle where my Battanian recruits had the same KDR as the fully upgraded Battanian wildlings. This is just silly and also means there is basically no reason to fully upgrade troops.

Missile troops need to be changed, there needs to be a difference between Piercing ammo (bodkin/bolts) which should have reduced damage (from status quo) but good against armor. And Cutting Ammo (broadhead arrows/barbed arrows) which should have same damage but do cutting instead of piercing making them good against lightly armored troops. All damage should come from ammo, not weapon. The weapon should simply determine ROF and projectile speed. This will reduce overall ranged effectiveness which should help with archer spam, but for balance consideration shields may need to have reduced Area of effect for blocking.

Division cohesion on the battlefield. I have seen way to much scattering when giving attack or charge commands which completely destroys all cohesion, it is a real problem when you order an infantry division to charge then they all turn around and run after a single cav unit behind them while exposing their asses to archers. It also makes fighting Khuzait a nightmare basically impossible to control anything. all divisions need to have a reference point, a "guide-on" of sorts which all troops form themselves off of for its given formation. commands should be issued to the "guide-ons" and then the members behave in a manner to comply with the order to the best of its ability. The commander if assigned should be in the guide on position roughly front and center. There should be separate "formation charge/attack/retreat/skirmish" commands and "Pursue/flee" commands where formation is prioritized or not respectively. This also adds a possibility of moral and banner mechanics where a units distance from the guide on affects its morale possibly causing it to flee and a banner equipped troop that provides a moral boost to its division (mounted and unmounted versions, banner should take up the off hand slot). Loss of div commander should create a morale penalty which should be enough to cause low morale troops to flee making morale relevant. Also troops in certain formation should be spaced farther apart slightly so they can actually swing weapons, it is silly that loose formation is best for infantry in basically any scenario.

Spears need a rework, not just bracing they need to have collision with friendlies reduced so that they can actually be used in formations. Again it is silly that loose formation is the only way to get spears to work.

In sieges player divisions should be kept, when assigned to a piece of siege equipment all units simply do their best to comply. EG units assigned to ladders/towers will all do their best to place ladders and go up prioritizing melee over ranged. All units assigned to rams operate it prioritizing melee with ranged units providing cover fire. Units assigned to mantlets (and all units not otherwise engaged basically) prioritize protecting themselves and if equipped with range weapon use it.

Aesthetics, for gods sake hide the polearms and bows/xbows when not in use! and fix the female models for shoulder armor. It looks just silly, having a bunch of dudes running about with two meter poles on their backs not using them because they are ineffective anyway. And bows were never carried with string around a person like a sling, actually trying that is ridiculously painful and it also looks stupid as hell.

I realize there are many individual mods that do some of these things, but it would be nice to improve on the base game and not be reliant on mods. Also isn't critiquing what EA is for? To change things before launch. The game is pretty good overall, and I think some of this is only minor tweaking.
 
+1 agree with the entire post. If loose formation is the best for anything, than something is wrong. Tight formation should at least be a bonus against cavalry
 

madnessario

Squire
I agree with everything except the pause suggestion, I believe keeping everything real-time should be the goal. That said, in my opinion a "battle plan" before the start of the battle could be implemented (to accommodate your rts suggestion). This way you can specify, for example, your cavalry to advance on a flank and envelope the main formation/division when the two infantry lines meet. This adds both realism and depth to the way battles are fought but also keeps the player on its toe because the AI may counteract etc.
 

KingErecas

Recruit
I've found that the shield wall works amazingly well, as it should vs massive blobs. I only put archers on loose, as they'll normally skirmish. I often take my cavalry on a flank and rear charge. Works well. The AI seems to respond well. After the initial clash that I tend to win, they will sometimes regroup and choose a different strategy, ie, circle on a hill for example...

What is key, is that it depends on their commander. If you take out their leaders, you'll face a mindless mob that is easy, but slow time to destroy, but if they have a decent commander, the AI does some interesting things.

I didn't know that the troops deployed in order that you have in your party screen. So thank you OP for that tip!

If would be cool if you could order Cav to attack Archers or something, but I wouldn't want a pause button. It would ruin the immersion for me, and make it too easy.

That said, a fast forward button, or skip end of battle when it is clear you've won and are just mopping up would be great.

Armour seems to work well for me. :smile:
 

ceprast

Recruit
I agree with everything except the pause suggestion, I believe keeping everything real-time should be the goal. That said, in my opinion a "battle plan" before the start of the battle could be implemented (to accommodate your rts suggestion). This way you can specify, for example, your cavalry to advance on a flank and envelope the main formation/division when the two infantry lines meet. This adds both realism and depth to the way battles are fought but also keeps the player on its toe because the AI may counteract etc.
Thing is making a pause optional would be pretty easy and could satisfy everyone at once. I'm envisioning having much more control over many divisions which really isn't possible with current mechanic and UI in order to use much more complex tactics and strategies. Also hopefully as they continue to work on AI the enemy wont be so bad again making something like a pause function better.

As it is I can realistically use four divisions and that is without really controlling two of them. One of HA's which are simply set to skirmish and forgotten about, TW did well scripting their behavior you can reliably hit F1 F4 on them and they take care of themselves. I set archers on a hill as a support by fire (generally offset and to left because enemy shields are on their left) and generally just leave them. Then I have the Cav follow me, while the only division I really control is the infantry and that is just about timing their committal before I flank and charge with cav. Pretty standard hammer and anvil stuff that gets repetitive after a while. Add in that most factions have similar troops and almost every battle feels the same.

From what I've seen on youtube there really isn't a whole lot more variation and it works like 90% of the time, so there is little reason to do anything else.
 

Maximum997

Squire
Funny thing: 1 year ago i made same topic with exactly the same points....

You also forgot Reinforcment system. It is awful.
 
Took a break at 1.5.6 and recently came back. Its nice to see it has improved a decent bit hope it keeps up.

Now that I said something nice time to tear into it. Battles get repetitive and boring as ****. This is because it still uses the same system from the original M&B where there was like a hundred dudes max in basically a skirmish. You could get away with **** then that just doesn't hold up now with thousand man battles. Battles basically just turn into blob fests and the best strategy is to basically just try and out blob the enemy, anything beyond rudimentary tactics is not possible here is a breakdown of why with some proposed fixes.

To start with before battles even begin the load order mechanic just does not work. Taking troops in their order from the screen just results unbalanced armies even if you take the trouble to try and recruit balanced forces, it also severely limits options since there is no way to organize your forces in any but the most basic categories. A new system is needed where the player can organize forces by division in the party screen, assign a commander to the division (and the player should be able to command a division too), and troop types need to be able to split into separate divisions (EG you can have 2 or more divs of legionnaires). When a battle starts where not all troops can spawn due to number limitations it should spawn all divisions then assign troops to those divisions in direct proportion to troops assigned to those divisions in party screen. When fighting with armies the troops from the army should be assigned in proportion by type to the players divisions, this should include the lords so that you don't get a lord on horseback charging ahead of a division of infantry and dying. Lords should also not usurp a players assigned commander of a division. There should also be a division that does not enter combat at all for any reason for non-combat companions or if you just want to reassign companions temporarily for a siege assault or something risky.

Armor needs to actually do something. A major limiting factor to using tactics is that proper troops die way too quickly. This is especially problematic on realistic settings because armor effectiveness does not scale properly with increased damage numbers. Armored troops should not be on par with unarmored troops, I recently had a battle where my Battanian recruits had the same KDR as the fully upgraded Battanian wildlings. This is just silly and also means there is basically no reason to fully upgrade troops.

Missile troops need to be changed, there needs to be a difference between Piercing ammo (bodkin/bolts) which should have reduced damage (from status quo) but good against armor. And Cutting Ammo (broadhead arrows/barbed arrows) which should have same damage but do cutting instead of piercing making them good against lightly armored troops. All damage should come from ammo, not weapon. The weapon should simply determine ROF and projectile speed. This will reduce overall ranged effectiveness which should help with archer spam, but for balance consideration shields may need to have reduced Area of effect for blocking.

Division cohesion on the battlefield. I have seen way to much scattering when giving attack or charge commands which completely destroys all cohesion, it is a real problem when you order an infantry division to charge then they all turn around and run after a single cav unit behind them while exposing their asses to archers. It also makes fighting Khuzait a nightmare basically impossible to control anything. all divisions need to have a reference point, a "guide-on" of sorts which all troops form themselves off of for its given formation. commands should be issued to the "guide-ons" and then the members behave in a manner to comply with the order to the best of its ability. The commander if assigned should be in the guide on position roughly front and center. There should be separate "formation charge/attack/retreat/skirmish" commands and "Pursue/flee" commands where formation is prioritized or not respectively. This also adds a possibility of moral and banner mechanics where a units distance from the guide on affects its morale possibly causing it to flee and a banner equipped troop that provides a moral boost to its division (mounted and unmounted versions, banner should take up the off hand slot). Loss of div commander should create a morale penalty which should be enough to cause low morale troops to flee making morale relevant. Also troops in certain formation should be spaced farther apart slightly so they can actually swing weapons, it is silly that loose formation is best for infantry in basically any scenario.

Spears need a rework, not just bracing they need to have collision with friendlies reduced so that they can actually be used in formations. Again it is silly that loose formation is the only way to get spears to work.

In sieges player divisions should be kept, when assigned to a piece of siege equipment all units simply do their best to comply. EG units assigned to ladders/towers will all do their best to place ladders and go up prioritizing melee over ranged. All units assigned to rams operate it prioritizing melee with ranged units providing cover fire. Units assigned to mantlets (and all units not otherwise engaged basically) prioritize protecting themselves and if equipped with range weapon use it.

Aesthetics, for gods sake hide the polearms and bows/xbows when not in use! and fix the female models for shoulder armor. It looks just silly, having a bunch of dudes running about with two meter poles on their backs not using them because they are ineffective anyway. And bows were never carried with string around a person like a sling, actually trying that is ridiculously painful and it also looks stupid as hell.

I realize there are many individual mods that do some of these things, but it would be nice to improve on the base game and not be reliant on mods. Also isn't critiquing what EA is for? To change things before launch. The game is pretty good overall, and I think some of this is only minor tweaking.
Done.
There needs to be a pause function and rts camera to give orders in. real time orders worked okay back when M&B first came out but it doesn't in battles with thousands of troops. Players can't do much beyond extremely basic orders as it is.
And done.
 

ceprast

Recruit
RBM while good, and I have used it, does not do all those things. Division/party organization should be in base game anyway.
I'm no stranger to mods, I've used plenty but there are a lot of things that can be done that should not be dependent upon mods which can go out of date or get abandoned.
 
Given what I saw, we are going to be lucky if we get heavy infantry formation etc. That will be the largest extent of division/party organization. Reason is that the game uses kinda total war system of control but only with maximally 8 units. And if console rumors are true there is no way there are gonna be more than 8 formations (given limitations of controller and CPUs in consoles).
 
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