Findings on Shield Infantry vs. Archers after tests

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anoddhermit

Sergeant
The greatest average survivability award goes to the Aserai Veteran Infantryman and the Sturgian Heavy Axeman. Legionary was third.

Against foot archers, things were more equal with the Vlandian Sergeant doing much better - it performed awful vs. Horse Archers.

The worst average survivability award goes to the Battanian Wildling, then the Oathsworn.

There is a substantial difference between survivability in Fire and Hold Fire modes vs. Horse Archers, seemingly because when not using throwing weapons infantry break formation more against them. (They also messed with archer formations, currently horse archers are extra overpowered due to the AI of other troops not knowing what to do about them and just shuffling around like confused drunks.)

Leg armor really matters. The best shields only allow foot shots from the front in shield wall. Wildlings seem to be made of paper vs archers due to low leg armor.

Shield protection is mostly equal for Aserai, Sturgia, Vlandia and Imperial - allowing only leg shots through in shield wall/square.

Battania and Khuzait's shields allowed head shots in shield wall/square. Highland shields are held at an odd angle that just looks foolish for protection's sake. The Battanian Mounted Skirmisher actually has a better (round) shield and higher leg armor than the Battanian shield infantry, and it fares better against archers as a dismounted infantry unit.

Overall this didn't change that the Legionary is the all-around best Shield Infantry unit, as it does the best in infantry vs. infantry with its blunt weapon advantage, and in more chaotic situations the sheer armor factor is significant. However, as a purely defensive formation infantry, the Aserai Veterean Infantryman did better than I thought. They also got the second most kills with throwing weapons, after the Wildling which was the only redeeming feature of that troop.
 
what tests? in order for the results you find to have any meaning, you must have proper parameters set up and run it multiple times from both sides. can you detail the exact tests you did? their procedures? and what are the measurements you took?
 

Antaeus

Sergeant at Arms
what tests? in order for the results you find to have any meaning, you must have proper parameters set up and run it multiple times from both sides. can you detail the exact tests you did? their procedures? and what are the measurements you took?
Not to mention that tests of individual units are irrelevant in real world scenarios where the majority of forces that parties field are mixed.
 
Dont forget to test melee units vs heavy crossbows. I will hint that units with worst arm armor will die the fastest (because shield penetration cause 40% of the damage to hit the hand).
 

anoddhermit

Sergeant
what tests? in order for the results you find to have any meaning, you must have proper parameters set up and run it multiple times from both sides. can you detail the exact tests you did? their procedures? and what are the measurements you took?

Open field, made sure to get same spawn locations.

Put 199 infantry in square or shield wall, and then another test with hold fire on top of that.

Then 199 archers/horse archers I gave the AI just do the same thing every time - run up and form a line and fire, or circle and fire.

Kept track of death numbers over a 2 or 2m 30s period of taking fire. (Too long and routs skew things)

Ran 2x each, not enough variation in results(usually only 1-5 more or less deaths across 200men) to need more since this is a video game not medical science lol.

I then also simply fired on the troops with the Temun leader in different locations and found consistently that some troops take more damage to their legs, and fired in consistent patterns - aiming and firing up/down left/right in tiny increments on the shield to find some units have better shield coverage. This was consistent with their performance against archers, with a few minor exceptions - the Aserai have lower leg armor than I expected but their overall armor and great shield coverage seem to make up for it.

Not to mention that tests of individual units are irrelevant in real world scenarios where the majority of forces that parties field are mixed.

It's not irrelevant in "real world" scenarios that some units take more headshots, more foot damage, etc.

The results were about testing one specific thing - how durable units are vs. archer units. And some are clearly more durable, and that will apply to battles vs. mixed forces just as well. Some units may do better against infantry, but I primarily use infantry as archer sponges so wanted to see what worked best there.

You can verify this yourself easily in custom battles easily, or in a game using console commands. It's also quite noticeable in game that some units are more durable and you can of course check raw stats and armor values and see they're in line with what I found by testing. The testing really just highlighted things you can find out other ways.

Dont forget to test melee units vs heavy crossbows. I will hint that units with worst arm armor will die the fastest (because shield penetration cause 40% of the damage to hit the hand).

I considered this, but it's largely the same winners and losers for leg as it is for arm. I'm quite sure the Battanians would still get rolled.
 

LyonExodus

Recruit
That's some very good info bud, well done.


I myself tested units a few patches back, there should be a thread somewhere in the forums listing all of the results and some of my assumptions. You may find some similar numbers there.

Also to who says that this tests are irrelevant i want to say they are really not, knowing what units excel and are weak at is essential knowledge to get the most out of your army and give you a good understanding on when a not so common tactic may work.
 

eddiemccandless

Knight at Arms
WBNWVC
Leg armor really matters. The best shields only allow foot shots from the front in shield wall. Wildlings seem to be made of paper vs archers due to low leg armor.

I appreciate the work but I find that you are jumping to conclusions here. I am willing to bet that if you modded the heaviest leg armor on Wildlings and repeated the tests you would have similar results.
 

LyonExodus

Recruit
I appreciate the work but I find that you are jumping to conclusions here. I am willing to bet that if you modded the heaviest leg armor on Wildlings and repeated the tests you would have similar results.
i don't think he is jumping to conclusions.

His explanation as to why the Wildlings performed so bad was not only due to the low leg armor but also the poor shield design, that was causing headshots the same way the Khuzait ones were. only reason that saved the Khuzaits is that they get some good armor overall, while if i recall correctly the Wildling doesn't even get good helmets with the base template having 25, yes, 25 head armor...

That's a valid and logical conclusion in my opinion.

Also Wildlings are just very poor by design, only upside they have are the throwables, a thing that is very rarely needed for infantry and usually gets them killed more then it helps.

I find Javs useful only to break down defensive formations to not waste arrows, even in that case they are a bit unefficent, I feel like they should have a little pierce effect or something.

This is the part i am referring to:
Battania and Khuzait's shields allowed head shots in shield wall/square. Highland shields are held at an odd angle that just looks foolish for protection's sake. The Battanian Mounted Skirmisher actually has a better (round) shield and higher leg armor than the Battanian shield infantry, and it fares better against archers as a dismounted infantry unit.
 

eddiemccandless

Knight at Arms
WBNWVC
i don't think he is jumping to conclusions.

His explanation as to why the Wildlings performed so bad was not only due to the low leg armor but also the poor shield design, that was causing headshots the same way the Khuzait ones were. only reason that saved the Khuzaits is that they get some good armor overall, while if i recall correctly the Wildling doesn't even get good helmets with the base template having 25, yes, 25 head armor...

That's a valid and logical conclusion in my opinion.

Also Wildlings are just very poor by design, only upside they have are the throwables, a thing that is very rarely needed for infantry and usually gets them killed more then it helps.

I find Javs useful only to break down defensive formations to not waste arrows, even in that case they are a bit unefficent, I feel like they should have a little pierce effect or something.

This is the part i am referring to:
The shield part I agree with. What I disagree is the bit about armor being essential. Armor is almost irrelevant in this game, and I would argue that the shield is the reason why they are doing so poorly.

Now of course unless the test I mentioned is done, my guess is as good as anyone else. My point is that one can't come to the conclusion that "leg armor is essential" just from those tests. There's too many other confounding factors to be able to say that for sure.
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
Armor doesn't do what it did in Warband but it is frequently enough to take a troop from being two shot by arrows to requiring three. That's enough, spread across a whole formation, to be easily noticeable.
 
last time i ran the tests, all i did was stand the shield troops in shield wall formation. let the archers shoot till they ran out of arrows and charged in one at a time. i lost about 1/3 of my men to wipe all archers. except the battanians with their 2h op
 

LyonExodus

Recruit
well in this case ,where is as his units stay passive and get shot, armor can indeed be the difference, i would say that the head armor being only 25 for the wildling makes more of a difference than the leg.

At this point it would make more sense to prove or disprove your theory to just give them a better shield that can protect the head, in that case if they still feel like paper we can conclude the leg armor was indeed playing a major role.

Still despite the result the conclusion still stands. WIldlings add another weakness to their arsenal, and there's little we can do about it other than show results and foreword them to the dev team.
 
When I extensively tested game during early development of RBM we found that generally any kindd of weakest link on upper part of the body is bad in melee combat (good overal armor but no gloves? prepare for some instakills). In case of ranged it was anything that was sticking out from the shield (we removed magic forcefield on shields) so helmets, legs, right hands, shoulders and hands in general if there is shield piercing effect. In case of cavalry legs are obviously important when they are in melee, when infantry is attacked by cavalry head, shoulder and chest armors are very important because thats where most of attack will end up.

So we generally equip troops with equally distributed armor + relativelly better helmet because that was the case historically. In case of militia which are major parts of defensive armies during sieges, you can get away with weaker lower part of the body and better upper part since they legs are protected by walls. Also I found out that bow shields (not a thing in vanilla) work really well on archers on walls, especially for archers with relativelly weak armor, that alone is kind of result of historical "experiment". Make simulation well enough and you will get organic gameplay out of it with similiar rules to the historical ones (no need for artificial gamey rules).
 

CrazyElf

Veteran
When I extensively tested game during early development of RBM we found that generally any kindd of weakest link on upper part of the body is bad in melee combat (good overal armor but no gloves? prepare for some instakills). In case of ranged it was anything that was sticking out from the shield (we removed magic forcefield on shields) so helmets, legs, right hands, shoulders and hands in general if there is shield piercing effect. In case of cavalry legs are obviously important when they are in melee, when infantry is attacked by cavalry head, shoulder and chest armors are very important because thats where most of attack will end up.


It may sound counterintuitive, but in that case, it may be worth sacrificing torso armor for everything else for shielded units.

Good gloves, boots, and helmets should take precedence over other armor.
 
Until they go into melee, remember that when you dont hold shield block, your shield does not exist vs melee attacks. Also in vanilla shoulder armor comes from body armor value on armor pieces and both upper and lower arms take armor from arm (or hand?) value on armor pieces. Gloves and boots on their own have very low armor in vanilla, so you need the chest piece anyway.
 
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