Beta e1.7.2 Troop & Equipment Changes

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ow would you limit ammo more than one quiver? That's how many most archers have.
Nope, most main faction archers in Bannerlord have two quivers (although Palatine guard lost them for a bit). I'd even recommend a smaller quiver of good-quality arrows to really drive the point home (so like 20-25 arrows). Enough for a well-timed ambush, not enough to exert supremacy over other archers, without picking up and shooting them back (but even doing that exposes them and reduces fire rate).

And this should certainly be fixed. Especially the pila not being thrown!!
Agree, primarily they do bugger all to shields atm and they often try and throw when they should prepare for melee instead.
And that's the thing, Bannerlord cultures are pastiches of an entire ethnicity's fighting styles and cultural traits all mushed into one.

If you were to mix all Celtic fighting styles into one, you would find a lot more javelins than bows, and a lot more infantry than cavalry. So by removing the melee cav and adding a second shock infantry, you represent all the different aspects of the Celts in their troop tree.

* Elite archers represent the South Welsh and Dal Raita, known for their bows. Being uncommon elite troops represents that most other Celts as a whole did not use bows often or at all, especially compared to all other cultures Bannerlord represents.
* Pikemen represent the North Welsh, known for their use of pike tactics before most of the rest of Britain.
* Javelin cavalry represent the Ancient Gaul cavalry, and the Irish and Scottish light hobelars.
* Shield infantry represent a method of fighting common enough for the Irish, Picts/Scots, Welsh and Gauls.
* The first shock infantry, Falxmen, represent the Ancient Celts.
* The second shock infantry, Gallowglasses, represent the Irish and Scots.
Celt isn't really an ethnicity, and fighting style is pretty dependent on time period, the particular tribe fighting and who they were fighting. Sure they used a lot of javelins but a lot of those were during a time period when they were more popular anyway, that's like saying the Vlandians should have javelins because they're based on a Germanic people and Germanic peoples typically threw spears. Battanians feel a lot more like Insular celts than their continental cousins, and mostly anachronistic Picts at that (they're even named as such in the game files). Falxes are also Dacian, not Celtic, although the two groups intermingled quite a bit apparently. Tbh I dislike the falx for aesthetic/immersion reasons but admit it is does sort of make sense with battanian reputation for two-handed swords and living next to heavily-armoured pseudo-Romans for longer than insular celts did.

The other cultures - at least the western ones - all seem a lot more congruent with a particular people (e.g. Franks, Rus, Byzantine Romans).

Also I don't see how an Elite troop with a bow represents that they didn't use bows much. The same is not true for Cataphracts, Banner Knights, Khan's Guard, Faris and Druzhina. All of those are troops those cultures are quite heavily associated with AND mostly represent some form of elite warrior caste. The equivalent in the Fianna or Teulu would likely be spear, shield and sword, not bowmen. Really they could of picked anything of your list for the elite caste just as easily as the bowman. I feel like they wanted to give them really strong archers because of the stories of the longbow's effectiveness during the Anglo-Norman invasions of Wales, and whelp they needed an elite unit anyways.
The Fians (Fianna) are a very strong Irish reference. The devblogs outright say the Irish are part of the source material
I mean that's for the wolfskins, but the Fianna influence for the Fians seems to be in name only and there's equivalents in Britain (Teulu) that fit the similar criteria as the Fianna. Yeah, but that gives off the impression of Scottish when mixed with the Picts, given the Irish origins of the Scots haha.

Having two lines of the same type is not redundant, but the best way to show a faction specialises in a certain type of warfare, because with two lines it means they end up with a lot more of that type of troop in their armies than other factions.

Look at Vlandia's two melee cavalry lines, Khuzaits' two ranged cavalry lines, and Sturgia's two shield infantry lines. All of these give the factions their strong identities, if Khuzaits only had one horse archer line and had infantry or something instead, they wouldn't feel like Khuzaits at all.

You can differentiate the Gallowglass and the Veteran Falxman by having the Falxman be lighter armoured, faster, with their much longer rhomphaia, carrying a backup shield and javelins, while the Gallowglass is much heavier armoured, slower, has a shorter but faster axe and uses throwing axes.

But if you still think that having two lines of the same troop type is redundant, then let me point out that's what having two lines of archers would be for Battania, too.
Yes, but all but one of those examples are because one is a noble troop. The sturgian shield lines are quite often moaned as one pathway being useless to upgrade to, depending on which they've nerfed or buffed recentely (like the heavy axeman having axes now rather than javelins). Even then, they're both meant to have different roles beyond their shields as one's a skirmisher and the other a spearman just they're both meant to be able to fight in the frontline too. It's more like the relationship between the Oathsworn and the wildling (and remember when the Wildling had a spear and the oathsworn had javelins? Zero reason to choose the one which didn't perform as well).

Having noble versions of a troop type bolsters that strong suit without making one redundant, provided elite troop availability is kept at a suitably low level, because the rarer base recruit is better in the role. Not all the cultures do this but it makes more sense than the fians when they do because they're cavalry, and they still have other cav to fill the role (although bucellari only have a sword for melee). I've tried shielded, lightly-armoured bowmen with Fians and in the words of Todd Howard "It just works". They don't have nearly the resilience or power of the fian, but allows the ranks to be padded without murdering everything in 300m.

As I said, I'm not against the 2 different shock troops but you'd have to be careful that they have different uses to avoid being redundant. I like the javelin and shield combo idea, and was going to use it for the fian infantry I was playing around with. I'd suggest maybe just remove the throwing axes from the gallowglass (to avoid basically being a sturgian axeman) and have them focus purely on melee (which their high armour would allow). Their placement in the troop tree would make more sense this way too. I'm against the rhompalia unless swinging polearms are fixed though. When I get time however, I'm definitely going to try implementing this and see how it plays.
And long polearm users need better AI.
I actually started a thread suggesting the animation should be changed to give them a better chance to hit and differentiate polearm from 2H a bit more in use than "slightly long and slower".
All of this sounds like a good alternative solution, but I don't think Taleworlds would ditch Fians outright now that they're probably the best known troop in the game.
Yeah, it's fairly fixed in the lore already and I imagine the meta players who roll around with armies of Fians would complain... reminds me of Age of Empires 2 lol. That's what mods are for I s'pose
I agree it is boring that you just sit Fians on a hill to win, which is why we should all campaign for arrow damage against armour to be fixed to something more sensible, e.g. 7-8 arrows to kill rather than 4-5 arrows to kill.
Pahaha just realised you're the same guy as on my Magic Shield thread
 

five bucks

Knight at Arms
I agree with pretty much all of your post, here are my only points of contention:
Celt isn't really an ethnicity
You're right in the sense the Greeks used it as a generalization for "everyone north of us who isn't Greek and we don't feel rude enough to call a barbarian", but you're wrong in the sense that Insular Celts are an ethnicity (a group that identifies with each other based on birth and shared attributes) and language group, who the Ancient Celts sort of get glommed onto.
Also I don't see how an Elite troop with a bow represents that they didn't use bows much.
The fact that it's their only troop with a bow represents that "Celts" didn't use bows much, but when they did, they were very good.
As I said, I'm not against the 2 different shock troops but you'd have to be careful that they have different uses to avoid being redundant. I like the javelin and shield combo idea, and was going to use it for the fian infantry I was playing around with. I'd suggest maybe just remove the throwing axes from the gallowglass (to avoid basically being a sturgian axeman) and have them focus purely on melee (which their high armour would allow).
Yeah, this is probably a better way of doing it.
I'm against the rhompalia unless swinging polearms are fixed though. When I get time however, I'm definitely going to try implementing this and see how it plays.
The problem is that swinging polearms *and* stabbing polearms both need to be fixed. With the underpoweredness of melee cavalry who can't hit their targets, and the crappiness of stabbing polearms both statistically and due to poor AI, there's little point to using any pikemen at all in the current state of Bannerlord. So I am happy that you would try it but simeltaneously I feel like enough of the game that needs to be fixed hasn't been fixed yet that it would give you the results I'd hope you would see.
I actually started a thread suggesting the animation should be changed to give them a better chance to hit and differentiate polearm from 2H a bit more in use than "slightly long and slower".
Good thread!
 
You're right in the sense the Greeks used it as a generalization for "everyone north of us who isn't Greek and we don't feel rude enough to call a barbarian", but you're wrong in the sense that Insular Celts are an ethnicity (a group that identifies with each other based on birth and shared attributes) and language group, who the Ancient Celts sort of get glommed onto.
TBF this is more of a nitpick...I meant Celt wasn't an ethnicity but rather a collection of ethnicities which were linked through related-languages and shared elements of culture/religion. Ancient Britons apparently didn't much see themselves as belonging to the greater Celtic-sphere, neither did invaders such as the Romans (although I believe they remarked on similarities with the Gallia Belgae, which makes sense). Of course it changed over time, especially after the Romans, Saxons, Danes and then Normans, but it shows that well before contact with the Romans that they were a separate people who then went on eventually to split again into Scottish, Welsh, English, etc.

The problem is that swinging polearms *and* stabbing polearms both need to be fixed. With the underpoweredness of melee cavalry who can't hit their targets, and the crappiness of stabbing polearms both statistically and due to poor AI, there's little point to using any pikemen at all in the current state of Bannerlord. So I am happy that you would try it but simeltaneously I feel like enough of the game that needs to be fixed hasn't been fixed yet that it would give you the results I'd hope you would see.
Yeah, true. Recently I charged into at least 100 strugian cavalry alone on horseback, with a dane axe, and clever turning and timed swings meant I killed dozens of them before they finally killed me... an axe on horseback is way more useful than a spear sometimes because the damage is so god damn low and the thrust so slow (tbf I rarely put points into that skill lol). Much easier to just clothesline the AI haha

Tbf I used to have shock troops/voulgiers just behind them, as the pikes can stop the cavalry charge but then they'll just walk right through the pikemen after without the voulgiers, hacking away. I'm playing with realistic battle AI mod and the pikeman are actually pretty good against cavalry, absolutely wrecking an equal number of charging banner knights, killing multiple riders and horses with the pike brace, then dogpiling the knights who fell.
 
Give Battania Crossbowmen, or hell give them slingers. Or give them longbowmen, I don't see why it has to make Battania feel too 'similar'. Especially if you get rid of their common horsemen anyway, with just that they end up standing out already.

I have said it before but I'll say it again. I think Warband's troop trees were dumb and overly encouraged that 'huscarls, knights, sharpshooters' mentality of army building.

Just because everyone gets common ranged troops doesn't mean they all end up feeling the same if you know how to vary each of them. Its as simple as just doing something like the Aserai are effectively the best but harder to train, the Sturgians being the best in melee, the Empire being the most heavily armoured, the Battanians being glass cannons and etc. Just like that, everyone is different.
 

five bucks

Knight at Arms
I have said it before but I'll say it again. I think Warband's troop trees were dumb and overly encouraged that 'huscarls, knights, sharpshooters' mentality of army building.
Only because huscarls ended at T6, and knights were just straight up OP, and there were only 3 branches.

My stance is that a halfway point between Bannerlord and Warband's approach is best.

You have all your troops be equally good (except the scarcer nobles) and have 6 branch endings so there's a good amount of choice.

But you also have 1 troop type per faction that they can't field at all, like Rhodoks not having cav or Khergits not having infantry (but not quite that drastic - rather than wiping out all mounted or all non mounted, instead not having melee cavalry but having ranged cavalry, etc). That creates a distinct weakness for each faction. And you have 1 troop type that

This makes every faction feel majorly distinct so it's not just a case of "oh everyone fields the same blend of shield infantry, shock infantry, ranged cavalry, melee cavalry and ranged infantry, but these factions are totally different because their guys have 14 less armour points but 10 more athletics skill which you can totally notice".

Instead it's drastic differences, like how Khuzait barely fields infantry but fields huge numbers of horse archers, giving them a strong identity. I want to expand that to every faction.
Give Battania Crossbowmen, or hell give them slingers. Or give them longbowmen, I don't see why it has to make Battania feel too 'similar'. Especially if you get rid of their common horsemen anyway, with just that they end up standing out already.

Just because everyone gets common ranged troops doesn't mean they all end up feeling the same if you know how to vary each of them. Its as simple as just doing something like the Aserai are effectively the best but harder to train, the Sturgians being the best in melee, the Empire being the most heavily armoured, the Battanians being glass cannons and etc. Just like that, everyone is different.
Those are minor differences that do not outweigh the fact that by taking cav and adding common bow, Battania would look extremely similar to Sturgia;

Battania has shield+1h, shield+1h, bow, 2h, jav cav, bow noble

Sturgia has shield+1h, shield+1h, bow, 2h, jav cav, shield+1h cav noble

Literally only one major difference in the troops the factions use.

When it could be genuinely quite different:

Battania has shield+1h, pike, 2h, 2h, jav cav, bow
 
Only because huscarls ended at T6, and knights were just straight up OP, and there were only 3 branches.

My stance is that a halfway point between Bannerlord and Warband's approach is best.

You have all your troops be equally good (except the scarcer nobles) and have 6 branch endings so there's a good amount of choice.

But you also have 1 troop type per faction that they can't field at all, like Rhodoks not having cav or Khergits not having infantry (but not quite that drastic - rather than wiping out all mounted or all non mounted, instead not having melee cavalry but having ranged cavalry, etc). That creates a distinct weakness for each faction. And you have 1 troop type that

This makes every faction feel majorly distinct so it's not just a case of "oh everyone fields the same blend of shield infantry, shock infantry, ranged cavalry, melee cavalry and ranged infantry, but these factions are totally different because their guys have 14 less armour points but 10 more athletics skill which you can totally notice".

Instead it's drastic differences, like how Khuzait barely fields infantry but fields huge numbers of horse archers, giving them a strong identity. I want to expand that to every faction.

Those are minor differences that do not outweigh the fact that by taking cav and adding common bow, Battania would look extremely similar to Sturgia;

Battania has shield+1h, shield+1h, bow, 2h, jav cav, bow noble

Sturgia has shield+1h, shield+1h, bow, 2h, jav cav, shield+1h cav noble

Literally only one major difference in the troops the factions use.

When it could be genuinely quite different:

Battania has shield+1h, pike, 2h, 2h, jav cav, bow
But you already take away one type of troop from Battania- melee cavalry. As far as I'm concerned, that's a fine enough difference.

I think you do a disservice to the amount of variation you can give to troops within a similar grouping. You can go WAY beyond the difference of 10 more skill and 14 less armour or whatever. If there's Battanian common archers, they ought to be straight up shirtless. That alone is enough to make them play noticeably different against say, Imperial Palatine Guards.

And I would change existing troops too just to make them all the more distinct. It would be less:
Battania has shield+1h, shield+1h, bow, 2h, jav cav, bow noble

Sturgia has shield+1h, shield+1h, bow, 2h, jav cav, shield+1h cav noble
and more
Battania has shield+pike, shield+jav, bow, glaive, dedicated jav cav, bow noble

Sturgia has shield+spear, shield+1h, bow, 2h, all-rounder cav, 2h cav noble
With this, I think the difference would be noticeable enough.
 

five bucks

Knight at Arms
Let me start off by saying that I have not seen anyone provide a good reason that Battania should specifically have regular archers.

So if there is no good reason, even minor reasons against it would be better. Such as:

* The Celtic inspiration - most Celts hardly used the bow at all, the South Welsh being the exception who were very good. When you think of Insular Celts as a whole, you probably think of a rabble of wildly charging infantry like in the movie Braveheart and in the writings of Tacticus; rather than thinking of hordes of bowmen. So Battania's current status of having one elite archer but no common bowmen well represents the historical pastiche of Celts they are meant to be.

* Giving Battania both a noble and regular archer would mean they would have the most archers in the game, and so foot archery would be their speciality. Making them foot archery specialists does not match their culture description, which says "they charge into battle with great axes and swords", and indicates they are shock infantry specialists.

* Following on from that point, the Aserai, who are based on the Arabs who highly valued archery skill, would be much better candidates for being the foot archery specialists of Bannerlord.

So all of this against the fact Battania does not need regular archers.
I think you do a disservice to the amount of variation you can give to troops within a similar grouping. You can go WAY beyond the difference of 10 more skill and 14 less armour or whatever. If there's Battanian common archers, they ought to be straight up shirtless. That alone is enough to make them play noticeably different against say, Imperial Palatine Guards.
And are you going to make them shirtless at all upgrade levels? Even Tier 5? Because then they lose a lot of progression.

The thing is that, even if Taleworlds fixed armour protection against arrows, there is no noticeable tactical variation in the way a player uses shirtless common archers versus armoured common archers. You would still be sitting them at the back shooting people. They would still be countered by shields. They would still be strong against shieldless units, and in sieges.

Whereas the major classifications of pike infantry, shield infantry, melee cavalry, ranged cavalry, ranged infantry and shock infantry are all used in different tactical ways by the player, they have very different strengths and weaknesses.

That's why merely changing equipment quality, but not equipment type, makes little noticeable difference and more importantly, almost no playstyle change.
And I would change existing troops too just to make them all the more distinct.
With this, I think the difference would be noticeable enough.
But with my suggestion you can do what you're suggesting and also make the troop types more distinct as well, maximising the uniqueness between factions and replayability of the game.

It doesn't have to merely be "enough", it can be better and as interesting as possible! Instead of the difference between Battania and Sturgia being as small as:

"my Battanian army's jav cav is good at ranged and bad at melee, your Sturgian army's jav cav is okay at both melee and ranged",

With my suggestion, it can be as big as:

"my Battanian army's jav cav is good at ranged and bad at melee, also we have way more shock infantry than any other faction, making our entire army play aggressively. your Sturgian army's jav cav is okay at both melee and ranged, also we have way more shield infantry than any other faction, making us the most likely army to advance in shield wall formation and deal well with archers."

Since still nobody has established a good reason, either in lore, gameplay or real life inspiration, why Battania "needs" regular archers, why should we not go for the maximum uniqueness possible?
 
Let me start off by saying that I have not seen anyone provide a good reason that Battania should specifically have regular archers.

So if there is no good reason, even minor reasons against it would be better. Such as:

* The Celtic inspiration - most Celts hardly used the bow at all, the South Welsh being the exception who were very good. When you think of Insular Celts as a whole, you probably think of a rabble of wildly charging infantry like in the movie Braveheart and in the writings of Tacticus; rather than thinking of hordes of bowmen. So Battania's current status of having one elite archer but no common bowmen well represents the historical pastiche of Celts they are meant to be.
But elite noble archers are not a Celtic thing either. Celtic nobility in general all favoured fighting as armoured cavalry, but we're not going to go there because 'uniqueness'.

I would not care to give them archers. Pictish styled crossbowmen though? Slingers? Those would be fun while also representing popular tropes of Celtic warfare.

* Giving Battania both a noble and regular archer would mean they would have the most archers in the game, and so foot archery would be their speciality. Making them foot archery specialists does not match their culture description, which says "they charge into battle with great axes and swords", and indicates they are shock infantry specialists.
Again, Battanians are frequently described as favouring both shock infantry and archery. Just because their character creation description doesn't mention archery doesn't mean everything else mentioned about them is invalid.

* Following on from that point, the Aserai, who are based on the Arabs who highly valued archery skill, would be much better candidates for being the foot archery specialists of Bannerlord.
Well it doesn't work that way in lore and even so I think pigeonholing them to just that is silly.

And are you going to make them shirtless at all upgrade levels? Even Tier 5? Because then they lose a lot of progression.
Frankly I would yes. Then again, I would probably give them different ways to show progression. Things like better skills, better bows, or hell just giving them a great axe at top tier is enough. Or even a helmet.

The thing is that, even if Taleworlds fixed armour protection against arrows, there is no noticeable tactical variation in the way a player uses shirtless common archers versus armoured common archers. You would still be sitting them at the back shooting people. They would still be countered by shields. They would still be strong against shieldless units, and in sieges.

Whereas the major classifications of pike infantry, shield infantry, melee cavalry, ranged cavalry, ranged infantry and shock infantry are all used in different tactical ways by the player, they have very different strengths and weaknesses.

That's why merely changing equipment quality, but not equipment type, makes little noticeable difference and more importantly, almost no playstyle change.
I can confidently tell you that you are wrong here. Having played around with my own modded troops, I found that my 'shirtless' archers were very strong against guys that can't hit them, with the added bonus of being capable of outrunning infantry. Against conventionally armoured archers, even seemingly inferior Sturgians, they actually lose. Even within the borked confines of TW mechanics, there is a noticeable difference.

And as a result boom- the archers already feel different and distinct despite being of the same class.

It doesn't have to merely be "enough", it can be better and as interesting as possible! Instead of the difference between Battania and Sturgia being as small as:

"my Battanian army's jav cav is good at ranged and bad at melee, your Sturgian army's jav cav is okay at both melee and ranged",

With my suggestion, it can be as big as:

"my Battanian army's jav cav is good at ranged and bad at melee, also we have way more shock infantry than any other faction, making our entire army play aggressively. your Sturgian army's jav cav is okay at both melee and ranged, also we have way more shield infantry than any other faction, making us the most likely army to advance in shield wall formation and deal well with archers."
Or you just made Battania the laughing stock of Calradia due to a general lack of shields, and because they don't have the archers to at least cover them nor enough cavalry to actually chase archers off, killing them becomes a matter of just spamming your kingdom's archers.

Giving them a bigger variety of troops is the real key to more variety- your approach leads to each kingdom's armies kind of doing the same thing.

Since still nobody has established a good reason, either in lore, gameplay or real life inspiration, why Battania "needs" regular archers, why should we not go for the maximum uniqueness possible?
Because subjective or not, people have already given their thoughts on this and you continually shoot them down as if they're wrong.
 

five bucks

Knight at Arms
But elite noble archers are not a Celtic thing either. Celtic nobility in general all favoured fighting as armoured cavalry, but we're not going to go there because 'uniqueness'.
Taleworlds flipflops on whether elite troops are actual nobility, or just nobility-adjacent second sons and whatnot. Like the perk that lets you upgrade bandits into elite troops. What we do know is that Battanian actual nobles all do fight on foot.

And yes, as you said, it's for the best that not every single faction has a mounted melee-capable troop for their noble. In my eyes, the first highest priority is that each faction vaguely resembles its real life counterpart, the very close second priority is ensuring every faction plays uniquely, and third priority is closely representing real life.
Pictish styled crossbowmen though? Slingers? Those would be fun while also representing popular tropes of Celtic warfare.
Unless I missed something, the Picts used crossbows solely for hunting, and there is no historical evidence that they used them for warfare. The most popular trope of Celtic ranged warfare is the javelin, and this is something that many of their troops use already.
Again, Battanians are frequently described as favouring both shock infantry and archery. Just because their character creation description doesn't mention archery doesn't mean everything else mentioned about them is invalid.
I'm not saying it's invalid, but my stance is that archery mentioned in those dev blogs is already covered by their elite noble archer, so there is no lore:gameplay disconnect there. Whereas their actual ingame culture description explicitly mentions "great axes" with no mention of archery, so clearly that's their specialty, and the problem is a lack of great axe troops.
Well it doesn't work that way in lore and even so I think pigeonholing them to just that is silly.
Khuzaits are pigeonholed to ranged cavalry, Vlandia are pigeonholed to melee cavalry, and Sturgia are pigeonholed to shield infantry and it works great for giving those factions a strong identity as well as nicely representing their real life inspirations.
Frankly I would yes. Then again, I would probably give them different ways to show progression. Things like better skills, better bows, or hell just giving them a great axe at top tier is enough. Or even a helmet.
If you consider realism relevant, I'm not sure how you plan to make up the gap between an armoured ranged unit and a totally armourless ranged unit on the biggest part of their body - by making T5 Battanian archers have literally perfect accuracy and one shot kills? Or by making all other archers in the game have garbage accuracy? All of these options are kinda dumb and we haven't even established why Battania needs these common archers so much in the first place!
I can confidently tell you that you are wrong here. Having played around with my own modded troops, I found that my 'shirtless' archers were very strong against guys that can't hit them, with the added bonus of being capable of outrunning infantry.
Like I said, you are still going to use them the same way tactically, sitting on a hill preferably behind infantry. Why would you want them to outrun infantry and delay the inevitable, rather than keep outputting damage? These guys aren't horse archers, they can't shoot while also fleeing at top speed.

Also, I have to ask: were you testing these troop trees with vanilla overpowered bow damage to armour, or did you test them with RBM or something?
Against conventionally armoured archers, even seemingly inferior Sturgians, they actually lose.
Well duh. But that doesn't change how you'll be using them either. Whereas you use shock troops VERY differently from bow troops.
Or you just made Battania the laughing stock of Calradia due to a general lack of shields, and because they don't have the archers to at least cover them nor enough cavalry to actually chase archers off, killing them becomes a matter of just spamming your kingdom's archers.
Every army that isn't made up of Khan's Guard or Fian Champions+Legionaries is currently the laughing stock of Calradia anyway, why would we bother making troop tree discussions for a game so imbalanced that only 1% of the troops are worth picking? Clearly any discussion needs to be based on the assumption that armour damage from arrows will be fixed; otherwise, there is no point having this discussion at all, and we may as well say "give Battania archers and also remove every shieldless troop from the game".

Why do you have shock troops at all? Because they are fantastic against shield infantry. But in the current sorry state of arrow damage to armour, they are entirely irrelevant because archers can output the same amount of damage against distracted shielded troops without getting blocked in melee.
Giving them a bigger variety of troops is the real key to more variety- your approach leads to each kingdom's armies kind of doing the same thing.
My approach has all the benefits of your approach and much more. Can you elaborate on what you mean by "each kingdom's armies kind of doing the same thing"?
Because subjective or not, people have already given their thoughts on this and you continually shoot them down as if they're wrong.
Providing arguments as to why they're wrong is not a bad thing. If you have an issue with my arguments, rebut them.
 

geala

Sergeant at Arms
Let me start off by saying that I have not seen anyone provide a good reason that Battania should specifically have regular archers.

So if there is no good reason, even minor reasons against it would be better. Such as:

* The Celtic inspiration - most Celts hardly used the bow at all, the South Welsh being the exception who were very good. When you think of Insular Celts as a whole, you probably think of a rabble of wildly charging infantry like in the movie Braveheart and in the writings of Tacticus; rather than thinking of hordes of bowmen. So Battania's current status of having one elite archer but no common bowmen well represents the historical pastiche of Celts they are meant to be.

* Giving Battania both a noble and regular archer would mean they would have the most archers in the game, and so foot archery would be their speciality. Making them foot archery specialists does not match their culture description, which says "they charge into battle with great axes and swords", and indicates they are shock infantry specialists.

* Following on from that point, the Aserai, who are based on the Arabs who highly valued archery skill, would be much better candidates for being the foot archery specialists of Bannerlord.

So all of this against the fact Battania does not need regular archers.

And are you going to make them shirtless at all upgrade levels? Even Tier 5? Because then they lose a lot of progression.

The thing is that, even if Taleworlds fixed armour protection against arrows, there is no noticeable tactical variation in the way a player uses shirtless common archers versus armoured common archers. You would still be sitting them at the back shooting people. They would still be countered by shields. They would still be strong against shieldless units, and in sieges.

Whereas the major classifications of pike infantry, shield infantry, melee cavalry, ranged cavalry, ranged infantry and shock infantry are all used in different tactical ways by the player, they have very different strengths and weaknesses.

That's why merely changing equipment quality, but not equipment type, makes little noticeable difference and more importantly, almost no playstyle change.

But with my suggestion you can do what you're suggesting and also make the troop types more distinct as well, maximising the uniqueness between factions and replayability of the game.

It doesn't have to merely be "enough", it can be better and as interesting as possible! Instead of the difference between Battania and Sturgia being as small as:

"my Battanian army's jav cav is good at ranged and bad at melee, your Sturgian army's jav cav is okay at both melee and ranged",

With my suggestion, it can be as big as:

"my Battanian army's jav cav is good at ranged and bad at melee, also we have way more shock infantry than any other faction, making our entire army play aggressively. your Sturgian army's jav cav is okay at both melee and ranged, also we have way more shield infantry than any other faction, making us the most likely army to advance in shield wall formation and deal well with archers."

Since still nobody has established a good reason, either in lore, gameplay or real life inspiration, why Battania "needs" regular archers, why should we not go for the maximum uniqueness possible?

It's hard to understand why you don't see that it is historically, socially and militarily quite impossible to have a nobility (wealthy, relatively few in number, bound by a honor code) using bows but the commoners not. There is no real world example for such a construction. The Welsh did not have a bow-using nobility, but it were common clan members/citizens who were armed with bows while the nobles fought with spear, sword and shield. Other known bow uses were by Irish kerns btw. I concur that the bow was not the typical Celtic weapon, that more being the spear, javalin and sling.

I have a long interest in Celtic military and the Battanians are a bad simulation of it, almost nothing fits. I'm sad that TWdid not use the opportunity to make at least one faction a bit different from the common clothing style (aka shirt/pants/boots), for example copying medieval Celtic habit to wear few pants (there are three armors/clothes without pants in the game, f.e. Battanian scale armor, but they stopped short). The naming is awful. Having f.e. Galloglass (armored professional soldiers in Ireland/western Scotland from the 13th c. AD onwards) or Fians (fianna was a kind of band of youths/young men who had to leave their families at about 14 or 15, also acting as soldiers sometimes if they did not actually plunder or hunt) is a similar naming joke than the empire minor clan hastati etc.

Ok, end of rant. Bannerlord is a fantasy game, so my "real world" arguments suck to a certain extent. Let's suppose there is a society with noble archers only in Calradia, deal with it. I see the effect on gameplay as follows: Noble units are usually good (or should be good, looking at the poor polearm wielding heavy cavalry who cannot hit the broad side of a barn ...), and Fians are really good. Archers per se in Bannerlord are very strong, through a combination of accuracy, speed shooting, unrealistic distances, distorted battlefield distances and dumbness of units in using the shields. They are (if high tier) also strong if armor damage reduction is fantastic. The player can profit the best from such units. Our noble archers are well armored, something not seen among real world bowmen (except they were in a chariot or on horse). If armor gets better, like many want, the advantages for the player accumulate even more. So there are the 100 : 0 losses player armies. Armor in my game is very effective and still archers rock, and I stay away by purpose to use Fians or armored horse archers to a greater extent, cause it's boring. The AI on the other hand does not profit that much from noble archers.

Therefore I would remove Fians from the game, give Battania normal archers (Irish kerns for example are known to have used bows besides javelins), keep javelins as a second armament, give them very few armor, bare legs and an armored elite shock infantry coupled with few cavalry.
 
Taleworlds flipflops on whether elite troops are actual nobility, or just nobility-adjacent second sons and whatnot. Like the perk that lets you upgrade bandits into elite troops. What we do know is that Battanian actual nobles all do fight on foot.

And yes, as you said, it's for the best that not every single faction has a mounted melee-capable troop for their noble. In my eyes, the first highest priority is that each faction vaguely resembles its real life counterpart, the very close second priority is ensuring every faction plays uniquely, and third priority is closely representing real life.

Unless I missed something, the Picts used crossbows solely for hunting, and there is no historical evidence that they used them for warfare. The most popular trope of Celtic ranged warfare is the javelin, and this is something that many of their troops use already.
This can be easily explained away by the fact that Battanians are not straight up Picts. And in Calradia, where you Battania is so close to the crossbow loving Vlandians, it would be easy to justify that rubbing onto Battania too, and adopting their weaponry to supplement their own.

I'm not saying it's invalid, but my stance is that archery mentioned in those dev blogs is already covered by their elite noble archer, so there is no lore:gameplay disconnect there. Whereas their actual ingame culture description explicitly mentions "great axes" with no mention of archery, so clearly that's their specialty, and the problem is a lack of great axe troops.
Or maybe... its the ingame culture description that's disconnected from what Battania actually is. Even if you don't completely see everything else as invalid, I think you put way too much stock in that ingame description.

Khuzaits are pigeonholed to ranged cavalry, Vlandia are pigeonholed to melee cavalry, and Sturgia are pigeonholed to shield infantry and it works great for giving those factions a strong identity as well as nicely representing their real life inspirations.
I frankly don't want the factions to be straight up that simple and one note, but I've said that before I think.

If you consider realism relevant, I'm not sure how you plan to make up the gap between an armoured ranged unit and a totally armourless ranged unit on the biggest part of their body - by making T5 Battanian archers have literally perfect accuracy and one shot kills? Or by making all other archers in the game have garbage accuracy? All of these options are kinda dumb and we haven't even established why Battania needs these common archers so much in the first place!
I made my Battanian archers above average in bow and athletics, well armed with longbows, and had a tendency towards greataxes for melee. Again, their overall setup made them great at bullying melee infantry, and by design they are supposed to suck at dealing with other archers unless you actually used longer range and speed to kite archers.

The result is an interesting and unique unit that doesn't solely exist to be the 'best' in their role, but rather interacts interestingly with other units.

Like I said, you are still going to use them the same way tactically, sitting on a hill preferably behind infantry. Why would you want them to outrun infantry and delay the inevitable, rather than keep outputting damage? These guys aren't horse archers, they can't shoot while also fleeing at top speed.
I was able to use them in a much more aggressive skirmishing fashion though. They can put out shots, run away quick, then turn and shoot some more. And considering Battania doesn't have horse archers, I didn't find them all together bad at using that way so long as you had cavalry to tie up enemy cavalry.

Also, I have to ask: were you testing these troop trees with vanilla overpowered bow damage to armour, or did you test them with RBM or something?
Both. In RBM their manoeuvrability is even more pronounced due to how slow shield infantry formations move.

Well duh. But that doesn't change how you'll be using them either. Whereas you use shock troops VERY differently from bow troops.
You will have to tell me how your proposed gallowglass is going to be any different to an Aserai Palace Guard then. If I recall correctly, they get heavy armour and an axe... and maybe some hand axes? If these guys are just going to be better or no different to Palace Guard, I do not see the point of them.

Every army that isn't made up of Khan's Guard or Fian Champions+Legionaries is currently the laughing stock of Calradia anyway, why would we bother making troop tree discussions for a game so imbalanced that only 1% of the troops are worth picking? Clearly any discussion needs to be based on the assumption that armour damage from arrows will be fixed; otherwise, there is no point having this discussion at all, and we may as well say "give Battania archers and also remove every shieldless troop from the game".
Because shock troops by nature will 100% take a beating from ranged troops. Armoured or not, the lack of shield is a disadvantage no matter how you slice it.

In the ideal world where armies are not made up of shieldless recruits and ranged damage is made reasonable, ranged troops will still have the advantage over shock troops, unless they find themselves in melee.

In that situation, an abnormal ratio of shock troops is going to make Battania kind of easy to bully. A lack of ranged volume, a lack of shields and a lack of cavalry is pretty bad against archery, and pretty bad for varied battles.

And lets be real here, no army in this period was running around with a large proportion of 2handed infantrymen at all, not even Celts.

My approach has all the benefits of your approach and much more. Can you elaborate on what you mean by "each kingdom's armies kind of doing the same thing"?
Narrowing down troop trees by nature limits the variety of ways an enemy army can approach a fight. This is fine to an extent when you limit for a modicum of uniqueness.

And sure, by limiting Battania to fewer options you do get a different experience to other cultures... but when you do fight Battanians repeatedly they're all going to feel the same.

No melee cav, no horse archers, few archers and a general lack of shields means the vast majority of the time you fight what amounts to melee infantry. They may be good at different things, but in the end they don't move so quick and require coming at you.

For me, that just translates to pelting them at range a lot and finishing what's left with ease.

Providing arguments as to why they're wrong is not a bad thing. If you have an issue with my arguments, rebut them.
We do, but you kind of just insist on your own idea of 'uniqueness'... even if there's other ways of achieving that. And again, I've said this but I think this sort of discussion is rather pointless since its not necessarily wrong, so much as its very subjective.
 

Terco_Viejo

Spanish Gifquisition
Grandmaster Knight
@five bucks @HalfMetalJacket I love to read you guys arguing about Battania troop tree... once again :lol:.
Big hug to both of you.

Fiann are an aberration

giphy.gif

had to say it... again.
 
Hello again, I've been editing Battania's troop tree to add in the Gallowglass shock trooper alongside the falxman and testing the results in custom battle.

The new unit is a 'Galloglaigh which is T5 upgrade option for the picked warrior, and I've deleted the spear cavalry line. I've balanced the tree in other regards, such as lighter armour for the wildling, low-tier axes for the raider unit, throwing axes for the T4 falx etc, but I'll focus mainly on the T5 Veteran falxmen that I was concerned about redundancy with.

Basically I've tried to distinguish the two shock lines by giving the Galloglaigh heavy armour, decent 2h skill, and the largest axes I could find; whereas the Vet Falxman is still light-medium armour with the Rhomphalia replaced by the normal falx (I tried to keep it but it was too terrible) and also given a single pack of woodland javelins, their skills were also tweaked to prioritise athletics so they'd be a fast unit. I did try to give them targes to make a true shock-skirmisher hybrid but it made them too close to the wildlings and the AI will use the falx one-handed if doing that.

My tests found that they did have seperate roles and while both viable shock troops, they were used in different ways which when used together, in two seperate formations, made for incredibly capable shock infantry. I should also mention these used the RBM AI module but not the Combat module, so as close to how I feel vanilla combat should be.

The Galloglaigh was slow but heavy, and would get slightly better K/D when against shielded infantry. They also performed better against archers and cavalry due to their high armour. They'll actually beat equal numbers of T5 cavalry when in a deep formation (used the Vanguard for test) but will take more casualties while doing so than anti-cav units such as the Oathsworn. They still are weak against archers but less so than other shock units due to their high armour allowing them to weather the storm a bit better. They're hard-countered by javelins however, the wildlings and Vet falxmen completely decimate them due to early casualties.

The Veteran Falxmen is a speedy boi with javelins, and were quite fun and Battanian-feeling to play with, as you could kite and harass with the javelins pretty well and then give the charge command. They're still good shock troops against shield formations and perform better against skirmisher units than the Galloglaigh due to being able to throw their own javelins to keep the enemy's shields raised, they will take more casualties in the melee however just due to their weaker armour. Interestingly, where they really shine is countering other shock troops, as the javelins really let them whittle down the enemy and their falxes give them good reach and power. They're hard countered by archers and melee cavalry though.

Using them together yielded the most efficient shock trooper strategy of any faction, as the Falxmen can reposition quickly, hit exposed targets with javelins or just wear down the shield wall for the Galloglaigh, whereas the Galloglaigh give the falxmen a solid foothold to retreat to.

You will have to tell me how your proposed gallowglass is going to be any different to an Aserai Palace Guard then. If I recall correctly, they get heavy armour and an axe... and maybe some hand axes? If these guys are just going to be better or no different to Palace Guard, I do not see the point of them.
You raise a good point. I tested the Galloglaigh against the Palace Guard and the Palace guard lost as their armour isn't actually that great. The Sturgian heroic linebreaker has better armour than the palace guard and also has throwing axes, so I would say the sturgian and aserai units actually are more similar to each other than the Galloglaigh I made. The Galloglaigh is much slower and better armoured, sort of like a juggernaut unit, and has zero ranged ability.

Alternatively, these Galloglaigh could easily replace the Fians with a little buffing, and swap out their place in the tree to give the common archers I've suggested above. I feel like a shield would be needed if making a noble infantry unit, but this could be paired up with javelins (I read that the Galloglaigh used throwing darts) or perhaps a back-up 1H sword to make them a shield-shock infantry hybrid. I made similar noble units (Housecarls) for a custom Anglo-Saxon culture and they were actually quite tough and fun to use, although the slow speed would really be needed to stop them steamrolling everything.

EDIT: Just tested a 300v300 battle (Battania v Sturgia) and let the AI take the reins (I was a formationless sergeant). Tried to keep the campaign availability of each troop type in mind when picking ratios (80%, 10%, 10% inf, archers, cav for Batts; then 60% 25%, 15% Sturgia). Battania narrowly won the battle with 34 left who were nearly all fians and mounted skirmishers. The Battanians charged in fairly quickly without too much bother from the sturgian archers, then met the Sturgian shield wall. It was decently even but the Battanian shock troopers and skirmishers made a big difference in the melee so the Battanians started to win out, routed the enemy infantry but were then met by heavy arrow fire and quite a few panicked and fled. The Fians then were able to mop up Sturgia's archers pretty quickly after that, who'd been harrassed quite well by the mounted skirmishers. The mounted skirmishers were actually a decent cavalry option for Battania here... having that second stack of javelins really helps, the only annoying thing is they quite like using the melee mode of the javelins rather than their swords.

EDIT #2: Tested against a Khuzait army that was mostly HA and cav. Letting the AI take the wheel resulted in a slaughter of the Battanians, as they just charged and by the time they had got to the enemy inf and finished them off, they didn't have the fians nor morale left to finish off the small number of khuzait foot archers. They took out half of the Khuzaits before being defeated though. Tried again but took command myself and it was the other way around, mostly holding up on a slight slope to protect the and unshielded troops. The mounted skirmishers could respond quite well to encroaching horse archers, although they kept trying to fight the Khuzait cav who they were not a match for; the shield inf could protect from the front against lancers and archers; the falx and Galloglaigh sat spread out behind the shieldwall to finish off slow cav, and would rotate to either flank to protect the fians from side attacks.

Quite different battles but both winnable with the same troop composition which was 80% infantry. Still quite important to keep those fians safe though. Lancer cav can definitely go though, as mounted skirmisher fits Battania's needs much better as a counter to horse archers and their infantry fills the anti-cav role much better.
 
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five bucks

Knight at Arms
This can be easily explained away by the fact that Battanians are not straight up Picts. And in Calradia, where you Battania is so close to the crossbow loving Vlandians, it would be easy to justify that rubbing onto Battania too, and adopting their weaponry to supplement their own.
I'm sure we can make up an explanation, but if we agree there weren't Celtic war crossbows, why do we need to?
Or maybe... its the ingame culture description that's disconnected from what Battania actually is. Even if you don't completely see everything else as invalid, I think you put way too much stock in that ingame description.
Okay, we could ignore the established lore of the game. But there is also a good gameplay reason - the game has no shock infantry specialist faction, Battania is the best candidate - and a good real life reason - Celts were the shock infantry specialists of real life.

So the established lore of the game is a minor good reason to make the change, and the two above are major good reasons to make the change.
I frankly don't want the factions to be straight up that simple and one note, but I've said that before I think.
If you really think it makes a faction one note to have two different branches of the same type, would you remove the Vlandian second cavalry line, the Khuzait second horse archer line, and the Sturgian second shield infantry line? And replace them with what?

I don't think it makes a faction "one note" at all, because they still have 4 other troop branches to choose from.
I gave them great axes. I was able to use them in a much more aggressive skirmishing fashion. They can put out shots, run away quick, then turn and shoot some more.
Ok, perhaps you can make them work as a hybrid melee range unit. I can't formulate any criticism of it without seeing for myself.
The result is an interesting and unique unit that doesn't solely exist to be the 'best' in their role, but rather interacts interestingly with other units.
Well you misunderstand me, I don't want units to be best in their role either. Except some T6 units, obviously.
You will have to tell me how your proposed gallowglass is going to be any different to an Aserai Palace Guard then. If I recall correctly, they get heavy armour and an axe... and maybe some hand axes? If these guys are just going to be better or no different to Palace Guard, I do not see the point of them.

Because in the proposal, Battania will have the following army structure:
Falx, greataxe, shield, pike, jav cav, bow
While Aserai will have this army structure:
Bow, javelins, shield, bow cav, greataxe, melee cav

Therefore the armies overall are very distinct, even if they have a single troop that acts similarly. Also, plenty of armies in Bannerlord have the same generic shield+spear guy.
Because shock troops by nature will 100% take a beating from ranged troops. Armoured or not, the lack of shield is a disadvantage no matter how you slice it. In the ideal world where ranged damage is made reasonable, ranged troops will still have the advantage over shock troops, unless they find themselves in melee.
You agree that ranged damage needs to be made reasonable. Right now, Bannerlord's archers can kill same tier armoured units in about 4-5 chest hits, meaning a group of shock troops charging at them will mostly die or be at very low health before they even get in melee range.

If that was increased to even 7-8 chest hits (when we know you could take upwards of 10 in real life!), then shock troops would get into melee range with 50% or more health, enough to have an even chance of winning the fight.
In that situation, an abnormal ratio of shock troops is going to make Battania kind of easy to bully. A lack of ranged volume, a lack of shields and a lack of cavalry is pretty bad against archery, and pretty bad for varied battles.
They will not be easy to bully at all, for the reason I mentioned above, and because their higher number of shock troops will make them able to absolutely murder their way through enemy factions' shielded troops.
And lets be real here, no army in this period was running around with a large proportion of 2handed infantrymen at all, not even Celts.
If we want to talk exact proportions then I don't think any army in Bannerlord would hold up. But the Gallowglass, well known for using two-handed axes, were a common sight in Irish and Scottish warbands. And the kern would use two-handed axes also.

The_Image_of_Irelande_-_plate02.jpg


Giraldis of Cambrensis wrote in the 1100s of the Irish great-axes which would lop their way through well-tempered armor.
At the Battle of Bannockburn, the Scots who faced the English wielded spears, pikes, axes, swords, and only had "a few" bowmen and some skirmishing cavalry.
At the Battle of the Standard, the Galwegian contingent of the Scottish army wielded no shield, only spears, javelins, and swords.
And seeing as Taleworlds wants to make Ancient Celts and even Dacians part of Battania's inspiration, see this, too:
AdamclisiMetope34.jpg

Personally I don't like the inclusion of the falx that much, but it's pretty iconic to Battania now. Anyway, the point of all this is to say that the Battanians having lots of lightly armed shock infantry is not drastically out of tune with how Celtic armies often looked.
And sure, by limiting Battania to fewer options you do get a different experience to other cultures... but when you do fight Battanians repeatedly they're all going to feel the same. No melee cav, no horse archers, few archers and a general lack of shields means the vast majority of the time you fight what amounts to melee infantry. They may be good at different things, but in the end they don't move so quick and require coming at you. For me, that just translates to pelting them at range a lot and finishing what's left with ease.
1: You say they have no melee cav and no horse archers. This is ignoring javelin cavalry, who fill roles of both horse archers and melee cav. My proposal would have Battanian jav cav start at T4 rather than T5 (in exchange for losing the dedicated melee cavalry).

2: The way the game stands currently, you don't face just "a few" archers in Battanian parties, archers comprise 15-25% of their parties (I just hopped around to check seven different Battanian parties) and are the best troops in every Battanian party.

3: They would still have smaller shields (targes) on the shock infantry line.

4: Party templates exist. Some lords will focus more on cavalry, and some will focus more on archers, or more on elite troops (which will also mean archers in this instance).

So they won't all feel the same. More importantly: If you are worried about Battanians all feeling the same, you should worry about every army in the game feeling the same even more! Giving Battania regular archers brings us one step closer to all the armies in the game feeling homogenized with roughly the same access to ranged infantry, ranged cavalry, shock infantry, shield infantry, and melee cavalry, which party templates can only do so much to fix. With my suggestion of giving different factions distinct strengths and weaknesses, every faction will feel significantly different to play against compared to other factions.

You don't spend the whole game in just one area, so troop trees should not be considered in a vacuum, but in the context of the whole game.
We dobut you kind of just insist on your own idea of 'uniqueness'... even if there's other ways of achieving that. And again, I've said this but I think this sort of discussion is rather pointless since its not necessarily wrong, so much as its very subjective.
This is an question of "which idea makes armies more different", though, which is something you can objectively measure.

Your suggestion: Army A and Army B have different equipment, but only 1-2 troop type differences, making for very similar armies overall.

My suggestion: Army A and Army B have different equipment, but 3-4 troop type differences, making for very different armies overall.
 

five bucks

Knight at Arms
Hello again, I've been editing Battania's troop tree to add in the Gallowglass shock trooper alongside the falxman and testing the results in custom battle.

The new unit is a 'Galloglaigh which is T5 upgrade option for the picked warrior, and I've deleted the spear cavalry line. I've balanced the tree in other regards, such as lighter armour for the wildling, low-tier axes for the raider unit, throwing axes for the T4 falx etc, but I'll focus mainly on the T5 Veteran falxmen that I was concerned about redundancy with.

Basically I've tried to distinguish the two shock lines by giving the Galloglaigh heavy armour, decent 2h skill, and the largest axes I could find; whereas the Vet Falxman is still light-medium armour with the Rhomphalia replaced by the normal falx (I tried to keep it but it was too terrible) and also given a single pack of woodland javelins, their skills were also tweaked to prioritise athletics so they'd be a fast unit. I did try to give them targes to make a true shock-skirmisher hybrid but it made them too close to the wildlings and the AI will use the falx one-handed if doing that.

My tests found that they did have seperate roles and while both viable shock troops, they were used in different ways which when used together, in two seperate formations, made for incredibly capable shock infantry. I should also mention these used the RBM AI module but not the Combat module, so as close to how I feel vanilla combat should be.

The Galloglaigh was slow but heavy, and would get slightly better K/D when against shielded infantry. They also performed better against archers and cavalry due to their high armour. They'll actually beat equal numbers of T5 cavalry when in a deep formation (used the Vanguard for test) but will take more casualties while doing so than anti-cav units such as the Oathsworn. They still are weak against archers but less so than other shock units due to their high armour allowing them to weather the storm a bit better. They're hard-countered by javelins however, the wildlings and Vet falxmen completely decimate them due to early casualties.

The Veteran Falxmen is a speedy boi with javelins, and were quite fun and Battanian-feeling to play with, as you could kite and harass with the javelins pretty well and then give the charge command. They're still good shock troops against shield formations and perform better against skirmisher units than the Galloglaigh due to being able to throw their own javelins to keep the enemy's shields raised, they will take more casualties in the melee however just due to their weaker armour. Interestingly, where they really shine is countering other shock troops, as the javelins really let them whittle down the enemy and their falxes give them good reach and power. They're hard countered by archers and melee cavalry though.

Using them together yielded the most efficient shock trooper strategy of any faction, as the Falxmen can reposition quickly, hit exposed targets with javelins or just wear down the shield wall for the Galloglaigh, whereas the Galloglaigh give the falxmen a solid foothold to retreat to.
This is really interesting! I'm very glad to see you actually tested the idea, it sounds quite fun to play.
 
I'm sure we can make up an explanation, but if we agree there weren't Celtic war crossbows, why do we need to?
Because I think its fun imagery and would not look any weirder than say, falxes do on 'celts'. And because I think Battania could use more ranged bulk, which you are against.

Okay, we could ignore the established lore of the game. But there is also a good gameplay reason - the game has no shock infantry specialist faction, Battania is the best candidate - and a good real life reason - Celts were the shock infantry specialists of real life.

So the established lore of the game is a minor good reason to make the change, and the two above are major good reasons to make the change.


If you really think it makes a faction one note to have two different branches of the same type, would you remove the Vlandian second cavalry line, the Khuzait second horse archer line, and the Sturgian second shield infantry line? And replace them with what?

I don't think it makes a faction "one note" at all, because they still have 4 other troop branches to choose from.
The Vlandians are varied up due to the presence of crossbowmen, pikemen and etc. Sturgians have skirmisher horsemen, shock troops and archers. They're not one note at all because they actually have variety.

Khuzaits are skirting the line, but they can't be helped.

Battanians without common archers and like one cavalry unit will make them feel one note.

Ok, perhaps you can make them work as a hybrid melee range unit. I can't formulate any criticism of it without seeing for myself.
I mean all archers in BL basically feel that way because their melee skills are so strong, but yeah. The dudes I designed feel like they can fight hard in melee, so long as they're not the ones actually being hit because of the whole 'shirtless' thing.

Well you misunderstand me, I don't want units to be best in their role either. Except some T6 units, obviously.


Because in the proposal, Battania will have the following army structure:
Falx, greataxe, shield, pike, jav cav, bow
While Aserai will have this army structure:
Bow, javelins, shield, bow cav, greataxe, melee cav

Therefore the armies overall are very distinct, even if they have a single troop that acts similarly. Also, plenty of armies in Bannerlord have the same generic shield+spear guy.
Each 'shield spear' lad in BL last I checked is a lot more unique than you give credit for though, even if not perfect.

And I don't want any troops to actually play similar. I want differences between every troop based on how their faction is characterised. So stuff like all Calradian troops being more heavily armoured than everyone else in their categories and Aserai being much more versatile is more fun to me.

You agree that ranged damage needs to be made reasonable. Right now, Bannerlord's archers can kill same tier armoured units in about 4-5 chest hits, meaning a group of shock troops charging at them will mostly die or be at very low health before they even get in melee range.

If that was increased to even 7-8 chest hits (when we know you could take upwards of 10 in real life!), then shock troops would get into melee range with 50% or more health, enough to have an even chance of winning the fight.
But I don't even really want shock troops themselves to be that strong. They shouldn't get hopelessly owned like they do, but at the same time I think archers ought to be a counter to them, second to horse archers. But I've said this before I think.

They will not be easy to bully at all, for the reason I mentioned above, and because their higher number of shock troops will make them able to absolutely murder their way through enemy factions' shielded troops.
I mean in the sense that you don't play that game at all, and just abuse Battanians with a ranged skirmishing force. Or hell just troops with javelins. That sort of thing would make Battania miserable.

If we want to talk exact proportions then I don't think any army in Bannerlord would hold up. But the Gallowglass, well known for using two-handed axes, were a common sight in Irish and Scottish warbands. And the kern would use two-handed axes also.

The_Image_of_Irelande_-_plate02.jpg


Giraldis of Cambrensis wrote in the 1100s of the Irish great-axes which would lop their way through well-tempered armor.
At the Battle of Bannockburn, the Scots who faced the English wielded spears, pikes, axes, swords, and only had "a few" bowmen and some skirmishing cavalry.
At the Battle of the Standard, the Galwegian contingent of the Scottish army wielded no shield, only spears, javelins, and swords.
And seeing as Taleworlds wants to make Ancient Celts and even Dacians part of Battania's inspiration, see this, too:
AdamclisiMetope34.jpg

Personally I don't like the inclusion of the falx that much, but it's pretty iconic to Battania now. Anyway, the point of all this is to say that the Battanians having lots of lightly armed shock infantry is not drastically out of tune with how Celtic armies often looked.
Intriguing I suppose.

1: You say they have no melee cav and no horse archers. This is ignoring javelin cavalry, who fill roles of both horse archers and melee cav. My proposal would have Battanian jav cav start at T4 rather than T5 (in exchange for losing the dedicated melee cavalry).

2: The way the game stands currently, you don't face just "a few" archers in Battanian parties, archers comprise 15-25% of their parties (I just hopped around to check seven different Battanian parties) and are the best troops in every Battanian party.

3: They would still have smaller shields (targes) on the shock infantry line.

4: Party templates exist. Some lords will focus more on cavalry, and some will focus more on archers, or more on elite troops (which will also mean archers in this instance).
1. Javelin cavalry are not a great substitute for both roles, but I suppose actually increasing the amount of them is not a bad idea.
2. Eh fair enough.
3. Maybe, but I think you would end up with troops running around with falxes and great axes as if they were bastard swords, which might not be the best idea.
4. Dunno about 1.8, but in the current stable game, party templates do not work that way. Lords all share the same template, and even if individual templates come into play, battle and recruitment options could make armies similar anyway.

So they won't all feel the same. More importantly: If you are worried about Battanians all feeling the same, you should worry about every army in the game feeling the same even more! Giving Battania regular archers brings us one step closer to all the armies in the game feeling homogenized with roughly the same access to ranged infantry, ranged cavalry, shock infantry, shield infantry, and melee cavalry, which party templates can only do so much to fix. With my suggestion of giving different factions distinct strengths and weaknesses, every faction will feel significantly different to play against compared to other factions.
Again, I don't see everyone having similar troop types to be a bad thing within reason. My idea of variety is what each troops within their categories do to stand out from their peers. And seeing your proposal for troops, I can't help but think that you don't care to vary them that much at all.

This is a hopeless argument. I don't care that much about armies having similar access to troops like you, however you don't really seem prioritise troops being unique from one another. We're just arguing past each other at this point.

In the end it doesn't matter. No matter what TW does, I mod vanilla troops and ultimately make what I like, which is cool by me.
 
This is really interesting! I'm very glad to see you actually tested the idea, it sounds quite fun to play.
It is good fun, I'm going to run a campaign using them and see how Battania fares in the auto-resolve and in-person battles. Interested to see how the AI will handle it. If that doesn't work then I might try repurposing them as a noble units and make the fians into the commoner archers I suggested early. Definitely gonna keep them around though, even if it's just as an extra mercenary unit (which would be fitting).

Because I think its fun imagery and would not look any weirder than say, falxes do on 'celts'. And because I think Battania could use more ranged bulk, which you are against.
Crossbows would be weirder than the falx, even I think that and I find the falx jarring on Gaels. The falx at least fits thematically, given Battania's relationship to the pseudo-roman empire, and makes sense with what we know about Battania's style of warfare (I'm also guessing it's the lower class choice for a two-handed sword, due to its complete absence amongst lords or fians). A crossbow would be at odds with their barbarian style and cultural malus to construction,

I agree that archer dilution could help with Battania either not having enough archers to effectively execute a strategy with them or having too many fians that they end up murdering anything in a 200m radius. I personally do not like the idea of them doubling up as shock troops however, and prefer them to only have one stack of arrows as otherwise there wouldn't really be any reason to run anything but 100% archers when doing a Battania run through, as the player can reasonably counter every other unit type (shielded = use axes, skirmish with arrows to flank or wear down shields if needed; shock = kite with arrows; cavalry = deep ranks and switch to axes to take the charge; HA = well just outshoot them with good positioning, although the light armour could present an issue with better horse archers, alas this is probably the unit type they're least likely to fight in West Calradia.
ou say they have no melee cav and no horse archers. This is ignoring javelin cavalry, who fill roles of both horse archers and melee cav. My proposal would have Battanian jav cav start at T4 rather than T5 (in exchange for losing the dedicated melee cavalry).
A lot of horse upgrade investment for a relatively weaker cavalry unit... although those Battanian ponies gotta be used somehow I suppose haha
But I don't even really want shock troops themselves to be that strong. They shouldn't get hopelessly owned like they do, but at the same time I think archers ought to be a counter to them, second to horse archers. But I've said this before I think.
Yeah I'd only be fine with a shock troop countering archers if it was a noble troop. Although the Galloglaigh I made, with equal numbers and spread out, will reach a line of Palatine guards over open terrain to get a few kills in before their morale finally breaks and they get shot in the back while running away.
I mean in the sense that you don't play that game at all, and just abuse Battanians with a ranged skirmishing force. Or hell just troops with javelins. That sort of thing would make Battania miserable.
Battania's got way too many throwing weapons to get bullied by javelins. The problem is the AI doesn't do well at dealing with archers due to not recognising the difference between infantry types (look above for an example of some lazy commanding against a 45% horse archer army using Battania's two shock units). Wildlings could be good counters to archers if you could goddamn seperate them from the Oathsworn in the new Order of Battle UI haha (I also boost their athletics and throwing, debuff 1H and give them medium armour to give them more identity), plus also Fians outshoot every other archer so you'd need to bring slightly more archers to deal with them.
1. Javelin cavalry are not a great substitute for both roles, but I suppose actually increasing the amount of them is not a bad idea.
The AI doesn't use them well, but they're actually a great multi-purpose unit when used right. Sure, they're not going to be perfect in either role but that wouldn't be balanced if they were and Battania has plenty of good options for countering cavalry in their infantry lines. I never really bothered upgrading to the Scout line in any of my Battanian playthrough because they were just a lackluster version of what other cultures have so the attrition rate was awful. Mounted skirmishers are needed mainly to harass enemy archers (foot and horse) which their shields, good longswords (no spears to compete with against most archers), moderate armour, and javelins (I give them two stacks coz c'mon that's just a Sturgian raider who left his spear at home otherwise) allow them to do. The potential's there, it just needs refining rather than bulking out with an inferior version of what everyone else has, and plus the two basic cav combo was messing with the Auto-resolve too.
Maybe, but I think you would end up with troops running around with falxes and great axes as if they were bastard swords, which might not be the best idea.
Yeah, they do, which made them play like inferior wildlings as the AI doesn't know to put the shield away for melee. Honestly, a 2H and a shield and a throwing weapon is a bit of an OP combo that I'd only want to see on noble units or lords. My last Battanian playthrough used a bastard sword, shield and two stacks of javelins... was ready for anything on foot or horseback.
Again, I don't see everyone having similar troop types to be a bad thing within reason. My idea of variety is what each troops within their categories do to stand out from their peers
I think I'm of a similar mind to you here; however, there is only so much you can do to differentiate them so having a logical gap or two is good thing. It'd be nice to see auxilliary units such as mercenaries filling the niche roles in their culture, as was common historically. I think this would honestly be great for gameplay and immersion because your culture will have a weak spot that will either require you to go to distant lands for recruitment or hire more expensive mercenaries.

Speaking of which, it'd be great if mercenaries were a bit more useful and less generic. Maybe we could see more Eletheroi lancers as mercenaries in Imperial towns, to fill their lack of medium/lancer cavalry; Vlandian crossbowmen in Battanian towns to bolster their ranged formations; Sturgian infantry for hire in Khuzait lands; pikemen in Aserai lands etc. Party templates could encourage particular lords to hire more mercenaries, and the prevalence of a particular mercenary in their faction's territory would naturally skew troop type composition for certain parties in a way which doesn't reduce their cultural identity, balances itself by increased recruitment and upkeep costs, and actually gives the mercenary troops a reason to exist.
 
Crossbows would be weirder than the falx, even I think that and I find the falx jarring on Gaels. The falx at least fits thematically, given Battania's relationship to the pseudo-roman empire, and makes sense with what we know about Battania's style of warfare (I'm also guessing it's the lower class choice for a two-handed sword, due to its complete absence amongst lords or fians). A crossbow would be at odds with their barbarian style and cultural malus to construction,
A crossbow would not be a terrible choice for an ambush though. Like bows, you can actually take time to pick your target and hide in cover. And while real life Picts did not seem to use crossbows for warfare, you can justify it in BL due to very close proximity of Vlandia and the Empire. Crossbows are going to absolutely come into their hands.

But mostly Pict crossbowman is an established historical trope that I just really enjoy. I just want Pictish Elite Skirmishers from Viking Conquest dammit

I agree that archer dilution could help with Battania either not having enough archers to effectively execute a strategy with them or having too many fians that they end up murdering anything in a 200m radius. I personally do not like the idea of them doubling up as shock troops however, and prefer them to only have one stack of arrows as otherwise there wouldn't really be any reason to run anything but 100% archers when doing a Battania run through, as the player can reasonably counter every other unit type (shielded = use axes, skirmish with arrows to flank or wear down shields if needed; shock = kite with arrows; cavalry = deep ranks and switch to axes to take the charge; HA = well just outshoot them with good positioning, although the light armour could present an issue with better horse archers, alas this is probably the unit type they're least likely to fight in West Calradia.
I just think that letting shock cavalry actually murder anything without a spear on charge would be the best way to solve it imo. They should not be allowed to survive being ran over by knights. At best, they could help kill them in a melee mire, but otherwise get actually hard countered by cavalry.

Battania's got way too many throwing weapons to get bullied by javelins. The problem is the AI doesn't do well at dealing with archers due to not recognising the difference between infantry types (look above for an example of some lazy commanding against a 45% horse archer army using Battania's two shock units). Wildlings could be good counters to archers if you could goddamn seperate them from the Oathsworn in the new Order of Battle UI haha (I also boost their athletics and throwing, debuff 1H and give them medium armour to give them more identity), plus also Fians outshoot every other archer so you'd need to bring slightly more archers to deal with them.
I mean regular ranged warfare alongside javelins. Sure, fians will outshoot everyone, but I don't see AI armies ever getting enough to make a serious difference. They will not kill your archers fast enough to kill off all the shieldless Battanian infantry, thinning them out a lot more than they could thin you out.

The AI doesn't use them well, but they're actually a great multi-purpose unit when used right. Sure, they're not going to be perfect in either role but that wouldn't be balanced if they were and Battania has plenty of good options for countering cavalry in their infantry lines. I never really bothered upgrading to the Scout line in any of my Battanian playthrough because they were just a lackluster version of what other cultures have so the attrition rate was awful. Mounted skirmishers are needed mainly to harass enemy archers (foot and horse) which their shields, good longswords (no spears to compete with against most archers), moderate armour, and javelins (I give them two stacks coz c'mon that's just a Sturgian raider who left his spear at home otherwise) allow them to do. The potential's there, it just needs refining rather than bulking out with an inferior version of what everyone else has, and plus the two basic cav combo was messing with the Auto-resolve too.
I don't mind them myself, I'm just saying that them alone being one of two non melee infantry troops in battania would result in rather... samey armies.

I think I'm of a similar mind to you here; however, there is only so much you can do to differentiate them so having a logical gap or two is good thing. It'd be nice to see auxilliary units such as mercenaries filling the niche roles in their culture, as was common historically. I think this would honestly be great for gameplay and immersion because your culture will have a weak spot that will either require you to go to distant lands for recruitment or hire more expensive mercenaries.
I think its not as hard as you might expect tbh. With just common ranged archers alone, you can get the following dynamic:

Aserai: Best at actual archery, but you only get them at t4 meaning you don't have very many of them. The best if not for Fian Champs.
Battania: Longbows and the potential to spawn with greataxes, but very lightly armoured. Fast glass cannons.
Empire: The most heavily armoured, but otherwise unimpressive. More well rounded than expected, and can outduel other archers.
Khuzait: Pure baseline foot archer that everyone else compares to.
Sturgia: Mediocre at range, but all carry shields, good melee weapons and have good melee skills. Worst 'archer'... but are very good infantry
Vlandia: The easiest to train and amass, and relatively versatile thanks to shields. I wish pavises worked like they did IRL.
 

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Sturgians have skirmisher horsemen, shock troops and archers. They're not one note at all because they actually have variety.
And Battania would have javelin cavalry, shield infantry, pikemen, and archers. So they also have variety.
And I don't want any troops to actually play similar. I want differences between every troop based on how their faction is characterised. So stuff like all Calradian troops being more heavily armoured than everyone else in their categories and Aserai being much more versatile is more fun to me.
I want the exact same thing as you, I just want it in addition to clearer weaknesses and strengths.
I mean in the sense that you don't play that game at all, and just abuse Battanians with a ranged skirmishing force. Or hell just troops with javelins. That sort of thing would make Battania miserable.
Well if it comes down to javelins Battania has plenty to answer back with! And if armour is buffed well, ranged skirmish strategies will not be abuse so much as a legitimate playstyle with merely good but not broken results, balanced by inaccuracy, ammo, and damage low enough that many of the shock troops should live long enough to be able to fight once the ammo runs out.

Plus Battania's shield troop line can absorb plenty of shots, and their jav cav can rush down the archers, and their noble troops can fire a volume of arrows comparable to that of all the enemy's non noble troops!
3. Maybe, but I think you would end up with troops running around with falxes and great axes as if they were bastard swords, which might not be the best idea.
You are potentially right there. FreeBeer pointed that out too.
4. Dunno about 1.8, but in the current stable game, party templates do not work that way. Lords all share the same template,
In 1.8 lords have noticeable preferences, for example quite recently I fought an Empire lord with almost no ranged infantry (despite his faction tree's high amount) but a very large number of horse archers (despite Empire only having one at T5).
and even if individual templates come into play, battle and recruitment options could make armies similar anyway.
I don't follow, sorry.
And seeing your proposal for troops, I can't help but think that you don't care to vary them that much at all. You don't seem to prioritise troops being different from each other.
I do, I just didn't go into the breakdown of every single troop's skills etc. because I was trying to tackle the bigger fish of variety instead of the smaller fish.

But I would agree with you that across the board I would like (using shield troops as an example) Sturgian shield troops to use the strongest shields, Empire shield troops to have the best armour, Battanian shield troops to be the fastest, Aserai shield troops to be all-rounders, Vlandian shield troops to have the best one handed skill, etc.
In the end it doesn't matter. No matter what TW does, I mod vanilla troops and ultimately make what I like, which is cool by me.
Yes, same here. My suggestions for how the official troop trees should be changed isn't even exactly how I would personally like it. My stance is just that the official game should be as varied as possible if Taleworlds wants to get the max mileage out of the work they put into it; and it especially shouldn't become less varied.
It is good fun, I'm going to run a campaign using them and see how Battania fares in the auto-resolve and in-person battles. Interested to see how the AI will handle it. If that doesn't work then I might try repurposing them as a noble units and make the fians into the commoner archers I suggested early. Definitely gonna keep them around though, even if it's just as an extra mercenary unit (which would be fitting).
Would certainly be appropriate for gallowglass to be mercenaries.
 
A crossbow would not be a terrible choice for an ambush though. Like bows, you can actually take time to pick your target and hide in cover. And while real life Picts did not seem to use crossbows for warfare, you can justify it in BL due to very close proximity of Vlandia and the Empire. Crossbows are going to absolutely come into their hands.

But mostly Pict crossbowman is an established historical trope that I just really enjoy. I just want Pictish Elite Skirmishers from Viking Conquest dammit
haha fair, but I'd still be against it because it just doesn't suit their flavour, and also the Battanians are meant to be proud and stubborn highlanders who won't deviate from the old ways... would be strange to me to then see them using the Vlandian/Imperial invention rather than the battanian longbow.
I just think that letting shock cavalry actually murder anything without a spear on charge would be the best way to solve it imo. They should not be allowed to survive being ran over by knights. At best, they could help kill them in a melee mire, but otherwise get actually hard countered by cavalry.
Yeah, mounted spearmen are pretty inaccurate sometimes and just don't have that punch. Although the English housecarls were famed for their ability to fend off the Norman cavalry at Hastings and Dyrrachium, although it seems they used their kite shields like pavises.
I mean regular ranged warfare alongside javelins. Sure, fians will outshoot everyone, but I don't see AI armies ever getting enough to make a serious difference. They will not kill your archers fast enough to kill off all the shieldless Battanian infantry, thinning them out a lot more than they could thin you out.
I mean the later version have had a few villages which churn out nothing but fians while others have zero. Some of the lords go to those villages and have loads of fians (normally the player aha) and then the other lords have none. It's easy enough as the player to manage, it's just the AI that manages it poorly due to not distinguishing between shock troops and shield troops - they're all just infantry to the AI.
I don't mind them myself, I'm just saying that them alone being one of two non melee infantry troops in battania would result in rather... samey armies.
Ahh I get what you mean but on the other hand it's not like the Khuzait have more than one melee infantry line, the Sturgians have more than one bowman, Vlandia has melee infantry and then basically hybrid melee infantry with the crossbowmen, then two types of melee cav. I find the fians being the only archer annoying because you can't base tactics around archers unless you have quite a few, and once you have that critical mass of fians, there's absolutely no point in bothering with tactics because the fians will just kill anything in the general vicinity. If ranged damage was nerfed slightly, so the fians' ability to charge into the melee was utilised more, then maybe it'd feel fun; as of now, it's just a game of collecting fians when playing Battania. Honestly it'd be good to be able to recruit militia units too, because then fians would have the rank-padding they need without overdoing it.

I think its not as hard as you might expect tbh. With just common ranged archers alone, you can get the following dynamic:

Aserai: Best at actual archery, but you only get them at t4 meaning you don't have very many of them. The best if not for Fian Champs.
Battania: Longbows and the potential to spawn with greataxes, but very lightly armoured. Fast glass cannons.
Empire: The most heavily armoured, but otherwise unimpressive. More well rounded than expected, and can outduel other archers.
Khuzait: Pure baseline foot archer that everyone else compares to.
Sturgia: Mediocre at range, but all carry shields, good melee weapons and have good melee skills. Worst 'archer'... but are very good infantry
Vlandia: The easiest to train and amass, and relatively versatile thanks to shields. I wish pavises worked like they did IRL.
It's a difficult balancing act of translating the concept into gameplay. For example, you have the same concept for the Aserai that Taleworlds had for the Fian and Battania - really good but not many. There's also the fact that they need to complement other troops in the tree well, for example, your proposed Sturgian archers make sense for Sturgia thematically but I'd much rather have a bow-line with more ammo as Sturgia's already got plenty of good shielded troops but needs the ranged support. I suggested a targe and sidearm for a Battanian common archer as I only wanted to give them a small stack of arrows (to fit the ambush theme and not amplify the already great Fians), and it made sense to balance their low ammunition and relatively light armour by giving them a little more melee survivability (so they function like a skirmisher), like the Wolfskins (honestly if Battanians could just recruit Wolfskins, I guess maybe some lords would and some wouldn't, it'd be a moot point). Sturgian archers would just become second-rate melee troops at the cost of sacrificing their ranged potential, which is something you were worried about with Battania, and honestly it'd be worse with Sturgia because they have less javelineers.

Also I agree about pavises, because they're only good for letting the enemy waste their ammo rn... they should remain upright when you drop them and then you can pick them back up when you want to move... shouldn't be too hard to teach the AI to drop it infront of them before they start shooting hopefully...

Well if it comes down to javelins Battania has plenty to answer back with! And if armour is buffed well, ranged skirmish strategies will not be abuse so much as a legitimate playstyle with merely good but not broken results, balanced by inaccuracy, ammo, and damage low enough that many of the shock troops should live long enough to be able to fight once the ammo runs out.

Plus Battania's shield troop line can absorb plenty of shots, and their jav cav can rush down the archers, and their noble troops can fire a volume of arrows comparable to that of all the enemy's non noble troops!
Tbf from my testing, I noticed that the AI simply just doesn't utilise the strengths of the new Battanian tree well, especially skirmisher and unshielded units. It'd be nice to see some culture specific tactics from the AI once the troop trees are all settled in. Would really give flavour of fighting a particular faction besides the troop types (not that any late-game army is anywhere near homogenous).
 
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