Formation system need a rework: infantry just can't fight properly

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Crowquills

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So far been using shield wall just to counter archer fire and to HOLD THE ENEMY LINE when infantry closes in. The best way to fight a line is often to envelope the enemy line. Mostly though just telling unit to follow sergeants after positioning them works best also because they react dynamically to the battle. So far though I must concur that shield wall is a complete failure for anything other than VS archery fire and to distract an enemy infantry line that is charging or to block cavalry from wrecking your lines. For offensive purposes, its definitely weaker than anything else you can do. But like I said, after positioning, telling them to follow sergeants works great or just charging after the enemy is pounding on the shields. Could definitely use some better work cause the video that started this thread is spot on with what is wrong with spears/combat lines in this game.
 

Crowquills

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Shield wall formation seems to work well when you have other infantry lines to flank the enemy.

Also I feel like they are pushed to have battle large or small, to complete in under 5 minutes. This shouldnt be the case when 500vs500. Obviously when there are a ton of recruits, one side is easily routed. But reality is that these fights should easily last up to 30minutes. The cluster **** is real and I dont see how it could be fixed. (when talking about the blob lines melting into each other)
 

SerHamlet

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Shield wall formation seems to work well when you have other infantry lines to flank the enemy.
Nah, that’s an illusion: the “tank” infantry line works better if not in shieldwall. In addition to the block attack problem, the change in combat also make them suffer:

1. Now even with shield, block has direction;
2. In shieldwall, units lower their aggressiveness and tend to block instead of attacking;
=>
Result:
When confronted by a blob of aggressive opponents, units in shieldwall always attempt to block but since there are so many attack from different directions (especially when enemies wield short weapons, I.e. imperial archers in melee), they just can’t defend, always stun by little damages and gradually be cut/smashed to death.

(Lately I wasted tons of time closely watching how melee works in custom battle, and finally understood why imperial veteran infantry lose to imperial archers in 400v400)

However, there are mods I found that help improve game experience a lot: (I don’t like the way range units are so OP)

1. custom damage: where you can increase efficiency of armor, so that heavy infantry & Cavalry won’t be a joke any more;

2. Deadly horse charge: 5 times charge damage is just about the sweet point: a decent rear charge of cavalry is decisive.
(Although I wish the author can add the “knock away” feature as in multiplayer)
 

Crowquills

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Shield wall formation blocking cavalry for archers on hill


Long charging infantry line engulfing enemy square formation


Circle formation conquering overwhelming numbers

Dont need no mods but thx. I do agree with the spear problem issued by the OP though. As you can tell, the enemy with spears charging us in the last video never stood a chance.

The problem I have is that the fights end too quick. I would prefer the combat be more like this:

^^This is epic^^
 

stevehoos

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Shield wall formation blocking cavalry for archers on hill


Long charging infantry line engulfing enemy square formation


Circle formation conquering overwhelming numbers

Dont need no mods but thx. I do agree with the spear problem issued by the OP though. As you can tell, the enemy with spears charging us in the last video never stood a chance.

The problem I have is that the fights end too quick. I would prefer the combat be more like this:

^^This is epic^^
Amen!!! Viking Conquest is a much better game at this point in every way.
 

Crowquills

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Outnumbered (345 vs 44:cool: and Out-horsed (37 vs 9:cool:, archer sacrifice (by accident), this 6-man deep shield wall held the hill!


I had previously tried this fight with square formation on infantry and I got slaughtered by their cavalry. Changing to 6 man deep shield wall stopped them dead in their tracks. Hills are definitely horse killers.
 

GitiUsir

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Formations in late Warband were killing machines because weapon attacks bypassed friendly bodies. No friendly body blocked another friendly weapon ever. In this situation, the more tightly packed they are the better. It was a cheap trick.

In computer games the easiest AI to code is to select a target and close the distance regardless of the situation. Conversely, the smart AI would be cautious and defensive, holding their ground and maneuvering, simulating survival instincts instead of suicidal fanatics. I hardly ever played a game with this AI.
 

SerHamlet

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I hardly ever played a game with this AI.
This kind of good AI is really hard to code, especially when it comes to M&B: the computational efficiency matters more than other games.

That is part of the reasons why I am quite frustrated: I don’t know if there’s a way to ideally fix the problem. Hope TW can bring a miracle. :sad:
 

SerHamlet

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I don’t get it: are you trying to convince me that shieldwall works just fine as it is now?

If so, I recommend you try some custom battles to closely see how infantry fight in shieldwall. It may be useful in certain situations, but the way shieldwall functions is far away from what it should be. As I mentioned before, units in shieldwall just can’t melee properly (especially against other infantry). I don’t mind that shieldwall may not have the same killing efficiency as other formation, but pls make them more resilient. The main problem now with shieldwall is that they are neither good in kill nor in survive.

Also, shield wall on plain can’t stop cavalry at all: cavalry can easily swim through the “wall”. What I would like is: cavalry can’t easily break through shieldwall, but can efficiently disrupt other loose formation. In totalwar, CA solved this with a rather simple method, add mass to units in shieldwall. I don’t think it’s a applicable in bannerlord, but similar can be achieved if charge mechanic is overhauled. But I guess that’s another story to tell.

Back to what you tried. I suspect the reason why square didn’t work, is that there’s not enough room on the hill for the square, and those infantry exposed on the plain got slaughtered then the rest rout. That’s what cavalry do all the time against infantry on plain. In custom battle, cavalry can easily beat infantry with few losses; while interestingly and surprisingly, with delegate command, imperial heavy horsemen suffer from severe damage against imperial archers on 200v200 / 400v400. (You can definitely do much better if you command them to follow you and cycle charge, but heavy horsemen suffer in melee with light armored archers is stupid)
 

enemy_man

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The problem I have is that the fights end too quick. I would prefer the combat be more like this:

^^This is epic^^
Viking Conquest did a good job with the infantry combat. A bit janky perhaps but thats understandable with the Warband engine. I did some testing a few days ago comparing Viking Conquest infantry formations with Bannerlord and the difference is staggering. A 50v50 battle in Viking Conquest can last longer and feel more epic than a 500v500 battle in Bannerlord.
 

SerHamlet

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I did some testing a few days ago comparing Viking Conquest infantry formations with Bannerlord and the difference is staggering.
Indeed, in 1.1.0 beta, when a unit get hit once, he’s doomed to be combo to death. Armor protection is so pathetic that almost any hit result in staggering.
 

enemy_man

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Indeed, in 1.1.0 beta, when a unit get hit once, he’s doomed to be combo to death. Armor protection is so pathetic that almost any hit result in staggering.
Well what I meant was the difference between the two are "staggering" as in "shocking". But you have a point as well since the AI stopped blocking attacks in 1.1.0. Hopefully that is just a bug that will be fixed soon.
 

BugFeedbackbot

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I sent like 40 Infantry units against looters in a width restricted area to fight. (bridge)
My far superior infantry couldnt get a single kill until I pulled them off the bridge.

It was a mix of Vlandian swordsman, vlandian infantry, vlandian recruit and footman on my side of the army. They had the shieldwall formation activated.
 

SerHamlet

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Well what I meant was the difference between the two are "staggering" as in "shocking". But you have a point as well since the AI stopped blocking attacks in 1.1.0. Hopefully that is just a bug that will be fixed soon.
Lol, I played Doom eternal before bannerlord launch, so the first thing I think about upon seeing ‘staggering’ is a demon immobilized.
 

Yormund

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The problem I have is that the fights end too quick. I would prefer the combat be more like this:
+1. My gripe with the current battles is they seem to be fast-forward timelapse rather than protracted melee.

I found that help improve game experience a lot: (I don’t like the way range units are so OP)

1. custom damage: where you can increase efficiency of armor, so that heavy infantry & Cavalry won’t be a joke any more;

2. Deadly horse charge: 5 times charge damage is just about the sweet point: a decent rear charge of cavalry is decisive.
(Although I wish the author can add the “knock away” feature as in multiplayer)
Does that help with the speed of combat though? Also, isn't cavalry a bit OP anyway in the current meta?
 

SerHamlet

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Does that help with the speed of combat though? Also, isn't cavalry a bit OP anyway in the current meta?
Increase armor efficiency certainly slows down combat pace a bit ( not by much tho).

Cavalry is good, but their kill-efficiency isn’t comparable with their price (highest wage, need horse/warhorse to upgrade). Lead a bunch of Valandian knights through enemy archer line, you would anticipate a massacre, but actually there’s only few kills upon first contact. Calvary AI is still quite dope even with minor upgrade in beta.
 

Crowquills

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I don’t get it: are you trying to convince me that shieldwall works just fine as it is now?

If so, I recommend you try some custom battles to closely see how infantry fight in shieldwall. It may be useful in certain situations, but the way shieldwall functions is far away from what it should be. As I mentioned before, units in shieldwall just can’t melee properly (especially against other infantry). I don’t mind that shieldwall may not have the same killing efficiency as other formation, but pls make them more resilient. The main problem now with shieldwall is that they are neither good in kill nor in survive.

Also, shield wall on plain can’t stop cavalry at all: cavalry can easily swim through the “wall”. What I would like is: cavalry can’t easily break through shieldwall, but can efficiently disrupt other loose formation. In totalwar, CA solved this with a rather simple method, add mass to units in shieldwall. I don’t think it’s a applicable in bannerlord, but similar can be achieved if charge mechanic is overhauled. But I guess that’s another story to tell.

Back to what you tried. I suspect the reason why square didn’t work, is that there’s not enough room on the hill for the square, and those infantry exposed on the plain got slaughtered then the rest rout. That’s what cavalry do all the time against infantry on plain. In custom battle, cavalry can easily beat infantry with few losses; while interestingly and surprisingly, with delegate command, imperial heavy horsemen suffer from severe damage against imperial archers on 200v200 / 400v400. (You can definitely do much better if you command them to follow you and cycle charge, but heavy horsemen suffer in melee with light armored archers is stupid)
I'm saying that its doing exactly what its intended to do. Be a meat shield.
Shield wall on a plain is suicide against cavalry. The only effective mesure against cavalry is a 6+ man deep line and expect heavy casualties as that is exactly how it should be. Especially when using unarmored units like I did. A great advantage of Battanians is that I always pick the skirmishers and they are hella effective when the calvary pull out of the shield wall nice and slow and take ranged throwing weapons to their spines but I need to give the order to CHARGE or they continue to hold their shields up and do nothing.

Look at another video I did to show the effectiveness of shield wall and keep in mind this is e1.1.0.225190.
In this video I shield wall 12 man deep and wait till the entire enemy line tries to engulf my shield wall. Then my calvary comes in behind them and completely OBLITERATES them. After that its chaos at victory rock but the enemy is already ruined from the cavalry shock and its just a matter of killing as many knights as possible while the hill formation FORCES the archers to push forward and get screwed by my calv.

I sent like 40 Infantry units against looters in a width restricted area to fight. (bridge)
My far superior infantry couldnt get a single kill until I pulled them off the bridge.

It was a mix of Vlandian swordsman, vlandian infantry, vlandian recruit and footman on my side of the army. They had the shieldwall formation activated.
That is precisely my point about shield wall. It isnt an offensive approach to battle. Its meant to be a meat shield to HOLD THE ENEMY FORMATION afaik. Making the units charge ones you move your chess pieces into position is KEY to using shield wall properly. Any changes to it are still welcome. I have no gripes about it being more offensive. But for me currently, its working fine imho. Although, like I previously stated, Viking conquest is the perfect example of how a shield wall SHOULD work. It shouldnt be simply a meat shield. It should be a very intimidating line of defense and should be the best formation at HOLDING GROUND locations.

We definitely need it to work better with spears. Or some kind of pike formation equivalent with spear porcupine forward facing death wall. That is another issue I dont like about shield wall. The lack of "porcupiness".
 
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Crowquills

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Viking Conquest did a good job with the infantry combat. A bit janky perhaps but thats understandable with the Warband engine. I did some testing a few days ago comparing Viking Conquest infantry formations with Bannerlord and the difference is staggering. A 50v50 battle in Viking Conquest can last longer and feel more epic than a 500v500 battle in Bannerlord.
That is something that should be corrected... is there some kind of law against us having fun in 1 battle for 15minutes?!?! All 500vs500 fights I do are over in under 5 minutes. I'm sourly convinced that they are mandated to have fights finish in 5minutes no matter how large. THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE!
:cry: