Outfitting companions

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Torvald77

Recruit
So I've been reading the wiki, and a lot of what I see seems hopelessly out of touch.

(EDIT: Here was a link to the Heroes section of the wiki, but I'm a forum noob so I can't post links.)

Whoever wrote this wants 75% of their heroes running around on foot with crossbows. Oh, except Baheshtur is supposed to get a bow and a two-hander, because that's TOTALLY not going to end with him just riding around in circles for a minute before blundering into a crowd and getting butchered with no shield.

It's like they're writing in a world where the AI isn't mostly incompetent.

I pretty much equip every hero the same way: Heaviest armor and shield possible, one-handed weapon, riding a charger. Period. No giving them bows so they can be subjected to the idiot horse archer AI, no giving them lances so that I can babysit them all over the battlefield hoping they actually bother to couch it, etcetera. Those duties are for faceless grunts whose gear I can't control.

Hell I tried giving them all throwing knives once, thinking that even a weak ranged attack might be better than nothing during prolonged cavalry chases. That ended with everyone forgetting to hold their shields up while they rode around in circles like morons throwing knives at absolutely everything in sight.
 

Honved

Knight
Funny, but I've been equipping most of my mounted Companions (they're ALL mounted) with bow and 1h sword or mace, and they seem to shoot on approach (or following me) and then switch to sword and shield in time for melee combat.  I generally turn them loose on "charge" at some point, and follow a short distance behind, using a bow to "pick the fleas" off their horses, as the poor ground-pounders turn their shields away from me.  I don't care about the sorry "horse archer" AI, because the mounted troops do well enough when they impact an infantry line, and because I adjust my own actions to take advantage of it.

Switching between lance and sword seems to be problematical, and a lance and bow combo won't work in melee.  I don't see any advantage to an expensive shield, because I rarely ever see a more basic one break in the hands of a companion.
 

Oskatat

Squire
M&B
Any companion I have that naturally has ranged skills goes on foot and shoots (or throws), usually with a pole or 2h, the rest go on horseback with 1h and shield(s). Horse archer AI doesn't really act like horse archers. The bow is a benefit, not the main weapon.
 

Honved

Knight
A companion or player character has 4 weapon slots.  That's enough for a 1h weapon, shield, bow, and ammo.  My own character may forego the shield in favor of a lance against certain opponents.  My mounted troops can be set on "follow" to make a few firing passes beside and behind an enemy formation, while the foot troops close, and then I release them to charge in from behind once the ammo starts getting low, and any enemy archers behind the lines are gone.

To me, bow and blade are equally important, and I'll use whatever works under the circumstances.  I may use a small number of companions or NPC cavalry for lancers, to shatter a foot formation just before or after my infantry engages, but I regard them as "fire and forget" torpedoes.  Most of them live to make multiple passes.
 
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