Shield Walls, Squares and Circles being more effective and realistic looking - Guard and Block Suggestions and Instructions for Unit Formations.

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Spyware

Regular
Bannerlord's cinematic intro depicts a proper shield wall like so.

qs4hkUV.png


The current Bannerlord Shield Wall by the Singleplayer AI is more akin to...

rntn2lhr1js61.png


Lots of exposed heads and legs, vulnerable to incoming fire.

But in Singleplayer, a shield wall of the more effective and realistic caliber can only be done by players who work as a team because they can manipulate their stances, guards and blocks to effectively cover each other. However, this is rare and I don't even think many clans talk about proper guards in formation fighting, instead they just tell them to block in a group without knowing the proper disciplined formula to make the most effective shield wall and you see lots of gaps in untrained groups in clan battles.

My solution to this is to give each rank a better stance when ordered in formation such as shield wall, square or circle. My formula is:

Code:
FRONT RANK - CROUCH. LOW GUARD(bottom block). SLIGHT ANGLE HIGH VIEW(look slightly upwards).
SECOND RANK - STAND. HIGH GUARD(up block). PARALLEL VIEW(look straight ahead).

To demonstrate how this would look, I played in Custom Battle to show how it would compare with AI unit formations in effect.
ShieldWallFormation0.png


In here, a crouched player offers greater personal protection and protection for their allies to their rear with their slightly high angled view. It is far more difficult to shoot the legs and the only viable way of damaging is indirect fire. Already, without changing the guard or stance of the other units, we can see the increased survivability or combat effectiveness of this unit formation by simply changing the way the front rank forms up.

The second rank however needs a different guard and view to be more effective as a team and a unit - but in doing so sacrifices personal protection if the person in front of them does not comply with the suggested technique.
ShieldWallFormation1.png

A high guard and parallel view provides excellent cover in close order but in doing so leaves a lot of trust to the front rank's position and stance.

In my opinion, these small changes would definitely create more effective shield walls and unit formations in the game.
 

Piconi

Fashionista
Section Moderator
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
There is nothing new and original i can say about this, or formations in general, other than to voice my support once again and say i agree with this, and that formations should be looked into with a bit more depth.
@Terco_Viejo may also find this interesting and may even share some links and vids to strenghten this topic :smile:
 

Terco_Viejo

Spanish Gifquisition
Grandmaster Knight
Interesting thread that puts the spotlight upon the formation issue again. I'm glad to see recurring topics like this coming back from the dark and dusty depths of the back shelf; I did my bit in the The tactical way: beyond the melee cluster thread as well.

That said, Taleworlds seems to be a long way from the conceptual/design line where bot/agent formations fight cohesively and subordinate to the formation type.

We can fill pages here... we have filled pages in the past bringing up historical references, warband mods and other discussion material; however it is all futile until Taleworlds understands that the melee blob is no fun and that the player needs more tactical tools.

I mean "cohesion" of attack, defence and movement like the formations found in reference RTS games like i.e. the Total War series... something similar to this I shared some time ago:


Once again, the ball was always in Taleworlds' court but I'm not going to hold my breath; at the end of the day this studio has been too conservative in some aspects that present a certain level of complexity for the user.

Sorry for the pessimistic tone but that's the way it is 😌 🎻 .
 
at the end of the day this studio has been too conservative in some aspects that present a certain level of complexity for the user.
I'd love longer battles, formations and tactics, but I agree. BL's been designed for short bloody battles. I presume TW believes players have a short attention span. They may even be right for a large section of their customers.
 

Nodice83

Knight
WBWF&SNWVC
I agree that formations and individuals in those formations require more cohesion and effectiveness.

+1

I mean "cohesion" of attack, defence and movement like the formations found in reference RTS games like i.e. the Total War series... something similar to this I shared some time ago:

Out of curiosity... in the first movie you shared Roman soldiers wield pila in the 'tortoise'/'shield wall' formations. I know it is out of context and solely to reflect cohesion but... They have not historically used them when closely clashed with enemy, correct? It is a jav-like (one time) throwing weapon, right?
 
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Spyware

Regular
Interesting thread that puts the spotlight upon the formation issue again. I'm glad to see recurring topics like this coming back from the dark and dusty depths of the back shelf; I did my bit in the The tactical way: beyond the melee cluster thread as well.

That said, Taleworlds seems to be a long way from the conceptual/design line where bot/agent formations fight cohesively and subordinate to the formation type.

We can fill pages here... we have filled pages in the past bringing up historical references, warband mods and other discussion material; however it is all futile until Taleworlds understands that the melee blob is no fun and that the player needs more tactical tools.

I mean "cohesion" of attack, defence and movement like the formations found in reference RTS games like i.e. the Total War series... something similar to this I shared some time ago:

Sorry for the pessimistic tone but that's the way it is 😌 🎻 .
Uh... Dude... I just thought that improving the shield formations could be done by simply changing AI's stances. Most of the benefits of my suggestion can be done by simply making the front line crouch lol. Not reall a take on the whole shortcomings of Bannerlord AI which I without a doubt know will improve anyway along the line, but I guess you bumped my thread, so I will help spread your point.

Yes you are right. Upboat and ten million drachmas for this man and his thread.
 

Terco_Viejo

Spanish Gifquisition
Grandmaster Knight
I'd love longer battles, formations and tactics, but I agree. BL's been designed for short bloody battles. I presume TW believes players have a short attention span. They may even be right for a large section of their customers.
giphy.gif

New times, I guess. 😌 🎻

I agree that formations and individuals in those formations require more cohesion and effectiveness.

+1



Out of curiosity... in the first movie you shared Roman soldiers wield pila in the 'tortoise'/'shield wall' formations. I know it is out of context and solely to reflect cohesion but... They have not historically used them when closely clashed with enemy, correct? It is a jav-like (one time) throwing weapon, right?
Yes, the throws preceded the collision with an enemy formation... to disable shields... you know. As for the testudo, anti missile formations (both to attack walls in sieges and to protect against enemy fire in the open field) also allowed throws if the ranks were opened (loose) at the right moment and closed again.

The OP would be suggesting a Byzantine-late Roman Phoulkon style formation, which differs somewhat from the early Roman one.

Uh... Dude... I just thought that improving the shield formations could be done by simply changing AI's stances. Most of the benefits of my suggestion can be done by simply making the front line crouch lol. Not reall a take on the whole shortcomings of Bannerlord AI which I without a doubt know will improve anyway along the line, but I guess you bumped my thread, so I will help spread your point.

Yes you are right. Upboat and ten million drachmas for this man and his thread.

It really is a feasible behavioural change; the problem is that this behaviour is hardcoded and only Taleworlds can modify it.

I was not the first and you will not be the last to talk about formations, it is indeed a recurring theme. There are countless interesting formations that would delight fans of "more tactical" experiences. However, once again the problem is not what kind of formation, but rather what Taleworlds understands by formation. Right now the existing formations are simply useless because when you order them to charge, they disengage and result in large blobs of agents.

Cohesive formations attacking, defending and moving as a bloc as a single entity + tools for the user to decide which formation to attack (melee-projectiles); that's the dream Bannerlord for many.
 

Spyware

Regular
It really is a feasible behavioural change; the problem is that this behaviour is hardcoded and only Taleworlds can modify it.

I was not the first and you will not be the last to talk about formations, it is indeed a recurring theme. There are countless interesting formations that would delight fans of "more tactical" experiences. However, once again the problem is not what kind of formation, but rather what Taleworlds understands by formation. Right now the existing formations are simply useless because when you order them to charge, they disengage and result in large blobs of agents.

Cohesive formations attacking, defending and moving as a bloc as a single entity + tools for the user to decide which formation to attack (melee-projectiles); that's the dream Bannerlord for many.
Though I believe it is important to not be complacent so as to keep the developers on their toes by making consistent suggestions on the shortcomings of the game, I'm also understanding that this department is not the only thing Bannerlord has shortcomings in as the game is still really half-baked but it has so much potential. Which is why I made a small feasible suggestion of simply making a frontliner crouch while looking slightly upwards in the bottom block stance - small things that can easily be done and may serve as a satisfactory stopgap until the devs can get to the rest of the AI - probably revamping the whole thing anyway.

In your opinion, do you think Battlefield AI should be a priority in its current state? I personally think there are far other pressing matters in the game as the current battlefield AI is satisfactory for "early access" in my opinion.
 

Terco_Viejo

Spanish Gifquisition
Grandmaster Knight
[...] In your opinion, do you think Battlefield AI should be a priority in its current state? I personally think there are far other pressing matters in the game as the current battlefield AI is satisfactory for "early access" in my opinion.
Well... the game relies about 75% on battles; I think that both combat system and AI should be part of the most pressing priorities... 😌
 

dannazgu

Sergeant at Arms
I'd love longer battles, formations and tactics, but I agree. BL's been designed for short bloody battles. I presume TW believes players have a short attention span. They may even be right for a large section of their customers.
People are getting dumber and lazier by generation, they think 3 mins are lasting eternity for doing anything, it seems so everything needs to be easy and have explanations everywhere.

This game would benefit a lot of longer battles, strategies that would force the player break a sweat on some battles dreading the losses. AI should be smarter, the OP is so right wanting this to be implemented.
 

Spyware

Regular
People are getting dumber and lazier by generation, they think 3 mins are lasting eternity for doing anything, it seems so everything needs to be easy and have explanations everywhere.

This game would benefit a lot of longer battles, strategies that would force the player break a sweat on some battles dreading the losses. AI should be smarter, the OP is so right wanting this to be implemented.
Actually, now that I think about it. If we were to make battles longer, that would have a severe impact on the game as we'd have to drastically reduce the amount of WHEN battles happen to compensate for this. The amount of fighting in with the armies in the game is astronomical. I mean I'm all for battles having more impact but the rate of which they happen + longer battles would make the game more grindy and would cheapen the experience.
 
Actually, now that I think about it. If we were to make battles longer, that would have a severe impact on the game as we'd have to drastically reduce the amount of WHEN battles happen to compensate for this. The amount of fighting in with the armies in the game is astronomical. I mean I'm all for battles having more impact but the rate of which they happen + longer battles would make the game more grindy and would cheapen the experience.
I presume TW included auto-calc battles for similar reasons. I didn't use them in Warband/WFaS and I don't use them in BL. Battles will still be quick if you order your troops to charge, when they massively outnumber the enemy. I want tactics and longer battles when I'm outnumbered and worried.
 
Actually, now that I think about it. If we were to make battles longer, that would have a severe impact on the game as we'd have to drastically reduce the amount of WHEN battles happen to compensate for this. The amount of fighting in with the armies in the game is astronomical. I mean I'm all for battles having more impact but the rate of which they happen + longer battles would make the game more grindy and would cheapen the experience.
That's a very good point. So if you change the armor formulas in Bannerlord (to get longer tactical battles), you'll need to rebalance the strategic rates of reinforcement and all kinds of stuff that causes frequent battles. That also adds months of beta testing by the general public, to get feedback.
Of course, Taleworlds won't do it, but serious mods made for serious players should.
 

Spyware

Regular
That's a very good point. So if you change the armor formulas in Bannerlord (to get longer tactical battles), you'll need to rebalance the strategic rates of reinforcement and all kinds of stuff that causes frequent battles. That also adds months of beta testing by the general public, to get feedback.
Of course, Taleworlds won't do it, but serious mods made for serious players should.
I mean come on, Warband wasn't a great game by itself ya'll gotta admit.
 
I mean come on, Warband wasn't a great game by itself ya'll gotta admit.
IMO Warband was a great game for its era, but that time has passed unless you're dedicated to classless MP. I'll be most interested to see how TW implement their terrain battle system. In theory, choosing your direction of travel on the campaign map should influence where you appear on the related battle map, controlling the tactical options available to both sides. I hope it also includes a rethink on reinforcement spawn locations and group sizes. Coupled with prebattle order deployment, the terrain battle system should make battles more interesting. However, I think @MadVader is right, I can't see TW reworking battle tactics this late in development, especially as it probably only appeals to a limited audience. I'd love to see the different ranks of a shieldwall act intelligently, however that probably would involve lots of additional agent checks that would degrade fps on minimum spec pcs.
 
I mean come on, Warband wasn't a great game by itself ya'll gotta admit.
Warband had better battles where armor made sense and tactics was a thing.
Instead of the action sidegrade that battles received in Bannerlord, they should be fully upgraded by Bannerlord mods, so they'll feel more realistic and give the player more ways (and time) to apply his skills as a commander. This is not for everyone, but for the more demanding gamers, i.e. the core fans.
 

AxiosXiphos

Sergeant Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Warband had better battles where armor made sense and tactics was a thing.
Instead of the action sidegrade that battles received in Bannerlord, they should be fully upgraded by Bannerlord mods, so they'll feel more realistic and give the player more ways (and time) to apply his skills as a commander. This is not for everyone, but for the more demanding gamers, i.e. the core fans.
Unless you were a big fan of battles ending after K.O....Warband battles consisted of little more then gathering 50 Swadian Knights and stomping every army into the ground with 0 casualties.

Primitive formations. No directional commands. Little battle A.I. warband tactics were either pressing f1-f3. Or just pressing f1 if you had lots of archers.

I think this is some serious rose tinted glasses...
 
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I think this is some serious rose tinted glasses...
If only there were mods addressing those issues. But the core vanilla battle mechanisms were a healthy foundation for such mods, which you can't say for the two blobs melting each other while the troop tier and gear don't matter much.
 
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