I think you might be right there. The word realistic makes me think of the real-world suits of armour that basically made people invincible on the battlefield, whereas the intention in the game is to show that it is a high difficulty level.
Now, I know some of you want heavier armour to provide a lot more protection than it currently does, but I feel that is a different debate entirely. My question here is do you think changing the word realistic to something else would be preferable?
I very strongly think so - because the game does claim to have a degree of historical accuracy.
Generally speaking in modded games where armor is buffed:
- Battles tend to last a few minutes longer because both sides have armor - I personally like the pacing. One thing I noticed from Total War is that the best mods (I played Darthmod for Shogun 2 and Third Age Total War for Medieval 2) tended to slow down the pace of battles so the game was not just 2 blobs, but required more strategy.
- Because the pace of battle is more realistic, your quality of leadership as a commander and the orders you give have a bigger impact.
- Getting higher tier troops is far more important - the difference in power between a recruit and a tier 5/6 is much bigger because of the effects of armor
- Lords are harder to kill and cannot be "sniped" the way they can be in the current game
- Blunt weapons become a lot more important because of higher tier enemies
- Archers become more realistic - right now in the base game they are incredibly powerful and I tend to spam archers - often 2:1 archer to melee. In more realistic mods, a balanced force is a better composition.
- Balance wise, the complaints about the Khuzait being overpowered are less prominent - in field battles their main advantage is that horse archers are extremely deadly against armor
In fights, it means that if you are engaged in combat, you can "recover" from a mistake, versus in the base game, it will take out a lot of your hp or outright kill you.
My recommendation would be for the developers to reach out to the modders of mods like Realistic Battle Mods and collaborate - I'm sure they would be willing to help.