Does anyone else think spears are utterly useless?

Pancakelord333

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So I'm playing a new save on 1.0.6 on realistic, working my way up in the arena in Revyl and the final fight is a Spear and Shield duo.
I dropped my spear and shield [discarded in the top left of the screen] and proceeded to beat the spearman to death with my bare hands and came out on top.
He was wearing some decent gear and punches don't do much damage [see the blunt damage log in pink on the screenshot] - so he got got 2 stabs in on me (each taking about 1/3 of my health off), one on the neck area the other in the gut before I KOed him.

Now this is a weird case, sure, as I doubt anyone is going to go onto a battlefield just using their fists (Unarmed skill line when? lol), and you can get inside a spear's minimum stab range easily with fists, but it does illustrate what a weird state spears are in:
  • Polearms and Glaives are disgustingly strong, you can glide through a battlefield atop a horse decapitating scores of enemies - but they do poorly in enclosed areas like castle sieges.
  • Thrown weapons (and bows) can one-hit-kill in some cases whilst giving you the safety of distance and most can be flipped to use melee as a last resort
    • (though I've just discovered in the practice arena that you cannot use Throwing Axes as melee axes, too, for some odd reason?)
  • Lances, on a fast horse, when couching, deliver a blow so strong they can set off a small mushroom cloud on impact, and they let you mow down out-of-position infantry.
  • Most 1H and 2H blunt and blade weapons swing in a wide arc letting you guarantee a hit or can be thrusted in confined areas - and they can do a lot of damage with each swing. Just like spears they benefit from shields.
    • (2h Axes are particularly deadly, both on foot and horse - I havent seen many 2h maces/mauls at all yet? so cant comment on them).
But spears? I think i've died to a spear a handful of times in MP (on foot) and once in SP when I got swamped by militia whilst stuck in the unit-command menu.
  • They're really only deadly en masse - and it feels like their damage has been balanced so that they need to be used en masse too, unlike most other weapons - it can take more spear thrusts than I'd expect to kill sometimes, even against low-tier enemies, not sure why - this is probably (as I'm not a military historian) historically faithful...
  • but it feels crap to use the most precise non-distance weapon in the game and only score a "30" damage (If I miss with my thrust it's less forgiving than a sword whose arc will probably hit them anyway).
  • They have one of the longest "vulnerability windows", if you miss your thrust you are exposed for longer than most of the other weapons (even a polearm can horizontally thrash around if you screw things up)
  • And they seem to have a minimum stab radius, get close enough to a spear wielder and they just cannot seem to hit you at all. Maybe this is an AI issue, maybe its crap people on MP - so not 100% sure on this one, but it certainly feels like it.
I don't know if the game has a special critical multiplier system for damage, but I feel like landing a "headshot" with a spear thrust, should do way more damage than it currently does and would go some way to making them feel more rewarding to play with. If I stab a guy in the eye with a spear, which takes a little more skill/timing than with most other melee weapons, he shouldn't really be shrugging it off.

Anyone feel this way - or otherwise - about spears?

Edit:grammar

 
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gathomas88

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While on foot, I've one-shotted a charging horseman with a particularly well-timed spear thrust on at least one occasion (basically seemed to work like a reverse couched lance impact). But yeah, apart from that, they seem to be pretty weak.
 

manonskis

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Seems pretty realistic to me... Perhaps spears should be more effective when you hit - I'm not really sure how well the armor and damage system is working right now, but the supposed advantage of a spear is the piercing damage (better against armor). Most of the other points are pretty expected though. Spears are good on horseback, but pretty useless on foot once your enemy gets inside the range. It's hilarious that you beat the guy using your fists, I never thought of that and just stopped doing any tournaments in sturgia. Maybe you should be able to "choke up" on a spear and then use it in close range.
 

Mabons

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Spears are one of the best weapons in the game in multiplayer but in singleplayer your much better off just cutting down swathes of enemies with something else. If you want to make the more effective then sort of mimic the motion they do to allow more time for the spear to hit later in the animation for more damage.
 

Pancakelord333

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It's hilarious that you beat the guy using your fists, I never thought of that and just stopped doing any tournaments in sturgia.
You see the blood splatter by my dropped shield in the top left? that's where he stabbed me in the throat and I realised I needed to go all in on fists lol. Much more agile that way.
 

crewsk8200

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Spears are good for one thing mostly, and that's against cav. sturgians have a low class, easy to get spearman and if you put them in front, any cav charge is doomed to fail. Couple that with some good archers and there ya go
 

JulietPapaOscar

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That's because spears are meant to be used en masse, like you say, when the enemy makes a circle, or a shield wall with spears? A cav charge gets stopped dead in its tracks

One on one though? They're useless, there is a reason spear formations were exactly that...formations (the phalanx for example) a single soldier can't do much
 

Zsword

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Spears are good for one thing mostly, and that's against cav. sturgians have a low class, easy to get spearman and if you put them in front, any cav charge is doomed to fail. Couple that with some good archers and there ya go
Or to apply the sturgian strategy further: lethal thrown-arms behind.

But more on topic, barring the pathetic poke-fest in tournaments, I find spears are in a really good place personally. As someone who rides around with bow, a sword, and shield: I see a peasant with a pitch fork, I second guess trying to charge them with my horse. I see a rider with a lance out, the get the bow and wide treatment and generally priority: they're very dangerous to all units.

I saw the suggestion to be able to choke up on the spear, and that's a good idea, give them an alt style from pressing X to make them a little more viable at closer quarters.
 

Pancakelord333

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like you say, when the enemy makes a circle, or a shield wall with spears? A cav charge gets stopped dead in its tracks
Perhaps spears should be more effective when you hit - I'm not really sure how well the armor and damage system is working right now, but the supposed advantage of a spear is the piercing damage (better against armor)
These two together do make me wonder if penetrating damage is working right.
  • With an unarmored horse, I get shish-kebabed if the spearmen can thrust and hit me in time (A fast enough horse can sometimes go right through a formation of spears unimpeded... which doesnt feel right - though again that's probably more an AI thing) -
  • but with an armored horse... I dont fear spears, at all? The northern Ring barding or half-barding (i think its called) turns my horse into a battle tank, I've outright charged Azeri spearmen lines and their spears just bounce off. Maybe spears aren't working well vs armor?
    • Javelins - which are just flying spears - are nasty AF though, even against armored horses (presumably this is the force calculation adding damage).
I just feel like something isnt right with spears currently. but cant quite put my finger on it, be it damage, penetration stats or animation speed.
Choking a spear sounds like a euphemism. But I'm all for it too, if it helps alleviate some of the shortcomings.
 

Dearmad

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I agree, something isn't right.

They keep an enemy at bay, but in this game a successful strike with them doesn't stagger people back far enough. If it did, careful use of a spear could keep a single enemy away from you. If you screw up and they close, then fine you die. But the stagger back needs to be fixed.

Plus damage by it should be increased on a successful head strike.

spears beat swords

I'd really like to mod in a much greater stagger caused by spears on successful hits... but I'm at a loss right now as to where such stats would be located.
 

manonskis

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I agree, something isn't right.

They keep an enemy at bay, but in this game a successful strike with them doesn't stagger people back far enough. If it did, careful use of a spear could keep a single enemy away from you. If you screw up and they close, then fine you die. But the stagger back needs to be fixed.

spears beat swords
Someone send this video to the devs, stat
 

Pancakelord333

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but in this game a successful strike with them doesn't stagger people back far enough. If it did, careful use of a spear could keep a single enemy away from you. If you screw up and they close, then fine you die. But the stagger back needs to be fixed.
That's an interesting idea I wonder if it will be added eventually as there is a perk for polearms that does something like that (I have no clue if that perk is implemented yet) - not all spears count as polearms though, i've seen some listed as 2hand though that might be a bug.

I did think about that video too when writing this but it shows a lot of "shaft-parrying"(for lack of a better term) with the spear, which I don't think we can do in the game unfortunately.

Blocking with spears in Bannerlord is more like re-enacting the dance moves to Y.M.C.A lol.
 

HinSterkan

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You should be able, perhaps at a cost of movement speed (indicating a defensive stance), to hold up a shield with your left arm and thrust with a spear with your right arm simultaneously, and changing the angle of attack shouldn't drop your shield. This kind of unique flexibility would greatly increase the defensive and in some cases offensive capability of spears, as well as being realistic.

For now I've resorted to simply doing feints and side-sweeps into headshots whenever I'm unfortunate enough to be handed a spear in tournaments. Those spear duels are the worst right now.
 

Icaurs

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To everyone complaining about spears in tournaments, the solution is simple.

spear to the head, KICK, spear to the head again, block, kick, spear to the head, block, kick, spear to the head. its easy. you can also switch the kicks for shield bashes if you arent good at timing and aiming kicks, but shield bashes dont stun for as long as kicks so you might get your thrust blocked. I have done SO many tournaments in sturgia and the spear doesnt bother me at all in tournaments.

outside of tournaments i use a spear anyway so im used to the struggle of spear fighting anyway.

to anyone wanting to use a spear just for the sake of using a spear because they like spears like me, you can actually craft a spear at the smithy that is very short which makes the weapon not just bounce off people you stab it at, even if you are face to face. its effective vs infantry, can still be used to stop cav charges or just outright kill the rider (though due to its shorter length more timing and precision is needed), it can be used on horseback again with more timing and shorter distance to hit people with it. i use this spear as my primary weapon
 

Kangamangus

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To everyone complaining about spears in tournaments, the solution is simple.

spear to the head, KICK, spear to the head again, block, kick, spear to the head, block, kick, spear to the head. its easy. you can also switch the kicks for shield bashes if you arent good at timing and aiming kicks, but shield bashes dont stun for as long as kicks so you might get your thrust blocked. I have done SO many tournaments in sturgia and the spear doesnt bother me at all in tournaments.

outside of tournaments i use a spear anyway so im used to the struggle of spear fighting anyway.

to anyone wanting to use a spear just for the sake of using a spear because they like spears like me, you can actually craft a spear at the smithy that is very short which makes the weapon not just bounce off people you stab it at, even if you are face to face. its effective vs infantry, can still be used to stop cav charges or just outright kill the rider (though due to its shorter length more timing and precision is needed), it can be used on horseback again with more timing and shorter distance to hit people with it. i use this spear as my primary weapon
Good to know.


...and yeah, I was just gonna look for that link. Glad to see it's already been posted.

The ever developing trend in warfare is to increase the effective range of weaponry.
 

Dearmad

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To everyone complaining about spears in tournaments, the solution is simple.

spear to the head, KICK, spear to the head again, block, kick, spear to the head, block, kick, spear to the head. its easy. you can also switch the kicks for shield bashes if you arent good at timing and aiming kicks, but shield bashes dont stun for as long as kicks so you might get your thrust blocked. I have done SO many tournaments in sturgia and the spear doesnt bother me at all in tournaments.

outside of tournaments i use a spear anyway so im used to the struggle of spear fighting anyway.

to anyone wanting to use a spear just for the sake of using a spear because they like spears like me, you can actually craft a spear at the smithy that is very short which makes the weapon not just bounce off people you stab it at, even if you are face to face. its effective vs infantry, can still be used to stop cav charges or just outright kill the rider (though due to its shorter length more timing and precision is needed), it can be used on horseback again with more timing and shorter distance to hit people with it. i use this spear as my primary weapon
Depressing it has to be made short though...
 

AnandaShanti

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Spears: They're good against horses, as many have said and also for mounted vrs mounted. They're bad at infantry vrs infantry and very bad at mounted spear trying to attack spear infantry. However the AI units are still not that good with them against horses. However the Glaive is the best ****ing mounted melee weapon in the game and it's fine on foot too. The long glaive can even be couched.
 

ChaosDragonBorn

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Spears: They're good against horses, as many have said and also for mounted vrs mounted. They're bad at infantry vrs infantry and very bad at mounted spear trying to attack spear infantry. However the AI units are still not that good with them against horses. However the Glaive is the best ****ing mounted melee weapon in the game and it's fine on foot too. The long glaive can even be couched.
I've seen AI use spears very effectively. They piss me off lol