Let's talk about the spears.

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Sodal

Recruit
Hello everyone!

I want to start by saying that I love Bannerlord and Mount and Blade franchise as a whole. I played all variations of the game over the years.

Only one single thing in this game makes me unhappy: underutilization of most important weapon on a battlefield – the spear, both in Campaign and multiplayer mode. I’m mostly going to talk about multiplayer. But in single player it seems even more useless. Everyone can relate to having to fight in arena with a spear. So…

Spear feels like quasi-cavalry counter instrument only. And even in that role it seems lacking. In skirmish against competent horseman its basically 50-50 who gets a hit. But against infantry – its completely useless. Spear is the only type of weapon which has no use outside of a specific narrow niche.

Let’s take for example projectiles: crossbows, bows and javelins work both against cavalry and infantry, the only counter to projectiles is shields, but shields don’t make projectiles completely useless.

Two-handed weapons work perfectly against infantry as well as cavalry, but get slightly countered by projectiles, but projectiles don’t make 2h weapons completely useless.

Even though maces and axes have a purpose – to counter armor and shields respectively, but they still deal significant amounts of damage to unarmored opponents. Swords are created to be nimble and fast, but they still can defeat armored enemy.

Only spears don’t have any secondary use outside cavalry countering. In Deathmatch if you seem someone armed with spear you just go on him without even consideration for a defense, because you know that spear is slow and in 9 out of 10 hits it just bounces off. If you armed with a spear in skirmish team fight to counter cavalry, enemy infantry would just tunnel you and you don’t even have an option for counter attacks, because spear is just useless.

It sucks because it wasn’t always that way. In Warband spears were capable weapon, in WFaS spears and pikes work great against other infantry and in Napoleonic wars the bayonet (which is basically a spear) is a main melee weapon.

I’m asking developers to reconsider the role of a spear on a battlefield and give it some love and make it capable weapon as it should be. Make 2H spears stab faster with less range restrictions.
 

vonbalt

Sergeant Knight
WBNWVCM&B
I've lost my hope of TW ever fixing spears, it's the same mechanics since M&B classic and they seem happy to let the main weapon of warfare in all of human history before gunpowder to be just an anti-cavalry weapon.

Atleast we can count on mods to (yet again) fix these problems, RBM improved spears so damn much that it became my favorite mainweapon and honestly, give me massed spearmen over any other troop type anyday with that mod, it's amazing what a solid shieldwall full of pointy spears can do.
 

Sodal

Recruit
I've lost my hope of TW ever fixing spears, it's the same mechanics since M&B classic and they seem happy to let the main weapon of warfare in all of human history before gunpowder to be just an anti-cavalry weapon.

Atleast we can count on mods to (yet again) fix these problems, RBM improved spears so damn much that it became my favorite mainweapon and honestly, give me massed spearmen over any other troop type anyday with that mod, it's amazing what a solid shieldwall full of pointy spears can do.
The've done it before. I don't see why wouldn't they change in again if the community feedback is there.
 

Ser Jon

Squire
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
My favorite type of weaponry is the polearm, and it disappoints me to no end just how terrible they are in Bannerlord. The most versatile and powerful weaponry in post-classical and it's just always neglected in every game that has them. I've given up hope on TW fixing it.
 

Tork789

Knight at Arms
WBNWWF&SM&BVC
Despite what some bald youtubers might tell you, spear isn't the ultimate greatest weapon of all time and it's length WAS a disadvantage when an enemy was able to get past the spear point, which is exactly what you see in the game, albeit in an exaggerated manner, but it makes complete sense from both realism and gameplay point of view. I've already explained why it makes sense from the realism point of view, gameplay-wise it makes sense because if we make spears as useful in melee as other weapons, what purpose would other weapons serve then? They would become useless, and why would you do that?

The game has a lot of problems, but not representing your long shaft fetish isn't one of them.
 

Antaeus

Sergeant at Arms
The wat to fix spears in bannerlord is easy: Make them swing!
Yep...

There's a broad leaf spear that is the perfect example of how this should work... it has more damage as a spear, but gives mostly blunt damage when swung - like a staff - a smaller amount of damage than a dedicated swinging blade, but enough to give it great utility - especially early game before you're married or can afford a good glaive.
 

nereid

Sergeant
Despite what some bald youtubers might tell you, spear isn't the ultimate greatest weapon of all time and it's length WAS a disadvantage when an enemy was able to get past the spear point, which is exactly what you see in the game, albeit in an exaggerated manner, but it makes complete sense from both realism and gameplay point of view. I've already explained why it makes sense from the realism point of view, gameplay-wise it makes sense because if we make spears as useful in melee as other weapons, what purpose would other weapons serve then? They would become useless, and why would you do that?

The game has a lot of problems, but not representing your long shaft fetish isn't one of them.
The point that is missing is simply fear. The AI, either horse or man, will simply charge into a spear wall. The historic shield wall worked because usually the warriors were afraid to get skewered if they simply rushed into a throng of enemies pointing spears in your direction.

I do not really have solution for this. Horses could shy away and try to stop in front of a shield wall or multiple people with spears. But how to accomplish the same mechanism for humans is quite another matter.
 

Tork789

Knight at Arms
WBNWWF&SM&BVC
The point that is missing is simply fear. The AI, either horse or man, will simply charge into a spear wall. The historic shield wall worked because usually the warriors were afraid to get skewered if they simply rushed into a throng of enemies pointing spears in your direction.

I do not really have solution for this. Horses could shy away and try to stop in front of a shield wall or multiple people with spears. But how to accomplish the same mechanism for humans is quite another matter.
Horses were trained NOT to shy away from anything, otherwise we wouldn't see the devastating results of horses plunging straight into solid and often also sharp objects like happened many time throughout history, like during Hussite Wars, Hundred Years war, Swiss-Habsburg wars, Scottish-English wars, etc.

As for the fear element, it's removed due to the shield being 100% successul at blocking everything that comes at it. If there was a way to reach under or over the shield, the players would be more hesitant at charging at spears, but that would create a lot more problems than it would solve, and frankly spears not being even better than they currently are isn't a problem in my eyes. They have a perfect niche of serving as anti-cavalry weapons and imo it's good enough.
 

nereid

Sergeant
Horses were trained NOT to shy away from anything, otherwise we wouldn't see the devastating results of horses plunging straight into solid and often also sharp objects like happened many time throughout history, like during Hussite Wars, Hundred Years war, Swiss-Habsburg wars, Scottish-English wars, etc.

As for the fear element, it's removed due to the shield being 100% successul at blocking everything that comes at it. If there was a way to reach under or over the shield, the players would be more hesitant at charging at spears, but that would create a lot more problems than it would solve, and frankly spears not being even better than they currently are isn't a problem in my eyes. They have a perfect niche of serving as anti-cavalry weapons and imo it's good enough.
You're right, but what should be improved is the way how AI uses polearms in general.
 

Sodal

Recruit
Despite what some bald youtubers might tell you, spear isn't the ultimate greatest weapon of all time and it's length WAS a disadvantage when an enemy was able to get past the spear point, which is exactly what you see in the game, albeit in an exaggerated manner, but it makes complete sense from both realism and gameplay point of view. I've already explained why it makes sense from the realism point of view, gameplay-wise it makes sense because if we make spears as useful in melee as other weapons, what purpose would other weapons serve then? They would become useless, and why would you do that?

The game has a lot of problems, but not representing your long shaft fetish isn't one of them.
You completely right. In real life there was almost no use for other weapons except spears. Greek hoplites very rarely carried xipos, most of them just used spears.
Yes, spear might have disadvantage when you get past the point, but you wont get past the point because you gonna get stabed two times before you even be able to respond.

From ancient world - Greeks, Macedonians, Persians, Romans (as pilum), to medieval ages: vikings, normans, rus, mongols, chinese, japanese - everyone used spears as a main weapon, both in one-on-one combat and in battles. In Scandinavia for every 2 found swords they found 6 axes and 15 spear points.

Spear is called Queen of the battlefield for a reason.
 
What they can do to fix it, is make all spears swing and add a weapon mod (x) where you hold the spear closer to the pointy end for close combat.
That's how historically spear wielders done it when an enemy got close
main-qimg-0f02ffdd3d509d7530209df87d93e226
 

Sodal

Recruit
What they can do to fix it, is make all spears swing and add a weapon mod (x) where you hold the spear closer to the pointy end for close combat.
That's how historically spear wielders done it when an enemy got close
main-qimg-0f02ffdd3d509d7530209df87d93e226
While i agree that spears possibly should have alternate mode I don't understand what is this JPEG for. Saying "just grab a spear, bro" is like saying "just dodge a bullet, bro". Its a same as people imagining martial arts to be, they think its like Aikido when you just grabbing your opponent and throwing him easily, when in real life you just getting hit with a jab and overhand and get KOd.
 
While i agree that spears possibly should have alternate mode I don't understand what is this JPEG for. Saying "just grab a spear, bro" is like saying "just dodge a bullet, bro".
What? how is that similar to dodging a bullet?
The image was to clarify what i meant and where soldiers would be grabbing the spear from.
 

Sodal

Recruit
What? how is that similar to dodging a bullet?
The image was to clarify what i meant and where soldiers would be grabbing the spear from.
I thought your JPEG was to illustrate how easy it is to grab a spear in a fight. Your opponent's spear, i mean.
 
I thought your JPEG was to illustrate how easy it is to grab a spear in a fight. Your opponent's spear, i mean.
Oh no lol
I meant the spear mode would switch where the spear is grabbed from, if the enemy is in the face of your spearman, they would grab the spear in that manner and use it as a dagger.
 

Tork789

Knight at Arms
WBNWWF&SM&BVC
Yes, spear might have disadvantage when you get past the point, but you wont get past the point because you gonna get stabed two times before you even be able to respond.
Tell that to romans, that famously defeated your beloved spear-loving greeks. And you've provided an argument against yourself without knowing it: the spears worked for phalanx exactly because of the formation, once the romans were able to break the formation it dissolved into a melee where swords are superior.

Spear is called Queen of the battlefield for a reason.
Who calls/called it that? Here's an actual quote from someone with battle experience:
I am the sword, deadly against all weapons. Neither spear, nor poleaxe, nor dagger can prevail against me. I can be used at long range or close range, or I can be held in the half sword grip and move to the Narrow Game. I can be used to take away the opponent’s sword, or move to grapple. My skill lies in breaking and binding. I am also skilled in covering and striking, with which I seek always to finish the fight. I will crush anyone who opposes me. I am of royal blood. I dispense justice, advance the cause of good and destroy evil. To those who learn my crossings I will grant great fame and renown in the art of armed fighting.

Fiore Furlano de’i Liberi de Cividale d’Austria
 

five bucks

Squire
Despite what some bald youtubers might tell you, spear isn't the ultimate greatest weapon of all time and it's length WAS a disadvantage when an enemy was able to get past the spear point, which is exactly what you see in the game, albeit in an exaggerated manner, but it makes complete sense from both realism and gameplay point of view.
I agree heartily with all of this.
I've already explained why it makes sense from the realism point of view, gameplay-wise it makes sense because if we make spears as useful in melee as other weapons, what purpose would other weapons serve then? They would become useless, and why would you do that?
This I take issue with, because it has faulty logic: "any buff to spears will make them just as useful in melee as other weapons."

You can buff spears on a case-by-case basis.
Short spears should not be braceable, but just as useful as other melee weapons.
Medium spears should be braceable (but not amazing at that due to shorter length), and slightly worse in general combat than other melee weapons, doing normal damage at long range, worse damage at close range, and attacking at normal-ish speed.
Long 2-handed pikes that are braceable, and can outrange cavalry lances, should be as weak in melee as they are now.

Currently medium spears do garbage damage at both long and short range, and are really slow. They don't need to be that weak just because they can deal with cavalry. There is room to buff them and other weapons would definitely still have a purpose.
 
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