Spear Bracing (1.6.2)

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Terco_Viejo

Spanish Gifquisition
Grandmaster Knight
Another thing that does not convince me of this raw implementation is the "predisposition" of the agent; let me explain.

A cavalry charge is no mean feat, it's violent and dangerous. Well, the agents of the rear lines seem that instead of receiving an onslaught of horses they are going to receive a pizza of peperoni in the porch of their house.

KxO6r.jpg

The first two rows (red) I like the layout. The third and fourth should hold an overhead thrust position until they make contact with the charge (which should be in yellow). The rest of the ranks should hold a lower thrust position (always yellow, not passive blue).



A line formation, all agents should point their pikes forward (schiltron style).A dense square formation (Tercios pike squadron style), the agents deep inside the square could be more relaxed.
bannockburn-pikes.jpg
FIE56UR4URA3NHTGJIFKXK6OFM.jpg


It is because of these inconsistencies, that I will always advocate for the implementation of a button/command that forces an action that subordinates the AI by a decision made by the user... exactly like the bracing mods we have in Warband.

2016-01-25_00008.jpg


The performance achieved by @bestmods168 is much closer to optimal behaviour than the official implementation by Taleworlds itself.

 
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five bucks

Squire
My main problem with cavalry is how it just flows through tight ranks like water... no weight to it all. They need to make it so that men have weight to them, and horses can't just run straight through a dozen men unhindered, kinda like how it was in Warband.
It's obviously not perfect, but the problem goes the other way as well. Horses don't get the knockdown impact that they should.
With the current implementation of spear bracing, when a 500kg horse running at 40km/h hits a guy with a braced spear, he just slides around on the ground. Instead, he should be knocked down.
What I'm proposing is that the charge damage is significant and devastating, but the horses lose the ability to plow through men after a few ranks thus encouraging emphasis on the charge more than having your cavalry stuck in the thick of it.
As it stands right now, horses do kind of do that. Melee cavalry tends to get bogged down and seriously slowed a few ranks of enemies in.
But it also doesn't seem realistic how little impact the initial charge does.
So maybe the best course of action is to increase the initial knockback imparted from the horse to the man, but also increase the slowing effect of the man on the horse.
Cavalry is not "underpowered" by any means; indeed, they are overpowered, despite their problems like terrible AI.
Even if you don't consider AI bugs that make them unable to execute their main means of attack a balance question - which is a reasonable stance, to be fair - regardless, the weak armor which is highly susceptible to ranged attacks, makes melee cavalry definitely underpowered right now relative to ranged infantry and ranged cavalry.
The mods that buff horse charge damage make cav so overpowered because it's impossible to counter it, but at least now we have spear bracing.
Cavalry, especially heavy cavalry, should favor charge tactics while nerfing their ability to fight toe to toe against infantry.
I agree that there need to be ways for infantry to resist cavalry, but I think it would be most realistic and tactically interesting if infantry have differing levels of effectiveness against cavalry depending on the equipment they have.

A block of pike-using infantry vs. charging cavalry (of the same tier), should result in a lot of knocked down and battered pikemen, but a lot of dead or seriously injured horses and horsemen.
A block of large shield-equipped infantry vs. charging cavalry should result in a roughly even fight. The large shield provides protection against the couched lance charge, the first rank or so gets knocked down, and the cavalry get bogged down in the block and pull out their sidearms to fight.
A block of 2h axe/sword/falx/glaive-equipped infantry vs. charging cavalry should result in a lot of dead or seriously injured infantry. With no large shield or pike to protect against the couched lance charge, the infantry are fully vulnerable to high damage.
A cavalry charge should absolutely cause a massive amount of death and completely screw up the Infantry formation and morale, but without being able to just slide around inside or past them.
Agreed.
 
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As it stands right now, horses do kind of do that. Melee cavalry tends to get bogged down and seriously slowed a few ranks of enemies in.
But it also doesn't seem realistic how little impact the initial charge does.
So maybe the best course of action is to increase the initial knockback imparted from the horse to the man, but also increase the slowing effect of the man on the horse.
Unless this was changed, I was under the impression that cavalry and/or the physics still look like this:
Which I think looks absolutely ridiculous.
Even if you don't consider AI bugs that make them unable to execute their main means of attack a balance question - which is a reasonable stance, to be fair - regardless, the weak armor which is highly susceptible to ranged attacks, makes melee cavalry definitely underpowered right now relative to ranged infantry and ranged cavalry.
Usually, cavalry in M&B is overpowered. But I'll take your word for it, I haven't been playing. I'd prefer not only having devastating charge damage but also accuracy and effectiveness with their main attacks. I feel that buffing their offensive ability in both ways to make them devastating, while also making them get bogged down in tight ranks, and have counters to cavalry like spearmen and pikemen, makes the most sense and is the most realistic premise. An armored horse with an armored man on top charging directly into you will probably be the end for you, but it's not like he can do that indefinitely in a crowd. William the Bastard's mailed horsemen were unable to decisively break the Saxon shield wall, they did not flow straight through to the other side, harming nobody in the process like in that clip. The fact that it can be like that in Bannerlord irks me.
I agree that there need to be ways for infantry to resist cavalry, but I think it would be most realistic and tactically interesting if infantry have differing levels of effectiveness against cavalry depending on the equipment they have.

A block of pike-using infantry vs. charging cavalry (of the same tier), should result in a lot of knocked down and battered pikemen, but a lot of dead or seriously injured horses and horsemen.
A block of large shield-equipped infantry vs. charging cavalry should result in a roughly even fight. The large shield provides protection against the couched lance charge, the first rank or so gets knocked down, and the cavalry get bogged down in the block and pull out their sidearms to fight.
A block of 2h axe/sword/falx/glaive-equipped infantry vs. charging cavalry should result in a lot of dead or seriously injured infantry. With no large shield or pike to protect against the couched lance charge, the infantry are fully vulnerable to high damage.
Agree with all of this.
 

anoddhermit

Sergeant
Unless this was changed, I was under the impression that cavalry and/or the physics still look like this:
Which I think looks absolutely ridiculous.
I've been testing infantry vs. cav. Take a balanced Infantry group vs. equivalent tier cav who simply charge and this is what happens -

This is using only circle formation and charge. The trick I find is to charge so that the circle closes on the cav as they break through the close side of the circle, so that they meet the far side of the circle at a slow speed and get murdered.

Certain units/weapons perform way better though.

Pikes are still terrible as you can see.
Spearmen are slightly better but really bad still.
2handers do really well generally
Swinging polearms it depends - the Falxmen performed worse in my tests but Voulgiers and Menavlions wrecked.
1handers it also depends, of course vs. cav short weapons aren't great so you can see the Sergeants w/short maces doing pretty bad.

Edit: some tests using only shield units Vs. Cataphracts:

Darkhans were murderbots
Imperial Legionarys won handily.
Sturgia failed w/Axemen, does okay with Spearmen.
Aserai failed.
Vlandia failed.
Battanians were completely helpless.
 
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Antaeus

Sergeant at Arms
Swinging polearms it depends - the Falxmen performed worse in my tests but Voulgiers and Menavlions wrecked.

In game, I've definitely noticed since 1.6.2 that imperial Menavlion troops are getting a lot more kills against cavalry. I'm not sure what specifically has led to this, or whether it is actually a thing or just coincidence. But I've seen them stop a few large cavalry charges that should have mowed through them.

Of course, in-game it is unusual to see enough of the same units all together like you do in tests - you tend to see mixed blobs of all levels - so a Kuzait infantry force might be made up of 20% Darkans and 40% recruits - a good commander would take note of the makeup and deploy their cavalry accordingly, and certainly a good commander would never just hit F1-F3 and let them run. Instead they might approach frontally with infantry, and guide their cavalry wide around the flanks - before timing a charge for the moment the infantry engage. Although it might be worth the risk to launch a frontal charge against a force that only contains 20% polearms...

I also find that forcing an enemy to circle up by hovering superior cavalry to be an effective way to focus missile fire on them - in this situation - as in the real world, the threat of cavalry can sometimes outweigh their actual use.
 

mujadaddy

Regular
WB
Not bad, but after charge pikemen still got wrecked in melee by that cavalry.
And some 2 handers can do against cavalry far far better.
Honestly, Pikes *SHOULD* get wrecked _in melee_ by cavalry, because their poles are too long. Getting close enough should be the challenge. (Yeah, I know we're not there yet)
 
Unless this was changed, I was under the impression that cavalry and/or the physics still look like this:
Which I think looks absolutely ridiculous.

Usually, cavalry in M&B is overpowered. But I'll take your word for it, I haven't been playing. I'd prefer not only having devastating charge damage but also accuracy and effectiveness with their main attacks. I feel that buffing their offensive ability in both ways to make them devastating, while also making them get bogged down in tight ranks, and have counters to cavalry like spearmen and pikemen, makes the most sense and is the most realistic premise. An armored horse with an armored man on top charging directly into you will probably be the end for you, but it's not like he can do that indefinitely in a crowd. William the Bastard's mailed horsemen were unable to decisively break the Saxon shield wall, they did not flow straight through to the other side, harming nobody in the process like in that clip. The fact that it can be like that in Bannerlord irks me.

Agree with all of this.
Totally agree on the physics. I think it is 2 layer problem though.
If physics were fixed in a sense that cav in the middle or rear of the formation can no longer push through the front of formation that was stopped by lets say pikemen. Its going to again result in super gamey experience because IRL horses would not be instantly stopped by bracing, most of them would continue at least in some way for at least few metres even after fatal injury. So they would still crash into the formation.
Pikewall should primarely prevent horses from charging frontally, if they charge it sohuld result in huge loses on both sides. Right now game can manage to either stop horses perfectly by rearing them up or killing them (and removing their body physics) upon contact with the spear tip (which is super gamey) or they flow through their own formation like water which is also super gamey. It would make more sense if rider / horse was organically reacting to speed of the horse in front of him (so if horseman in front slows, he will slow down too because it is unnatural for both animal and people to intentionally crash into each other at full speed - unless you are horny ram or Pachycephalosaurus).
 

Penn

Regular
There is nothing wrong with cavalry being OP if it is then balanced by factors outside of the battlefield. Cost, availability, upkeep etc.
But it would have to be done well, unlike in both Warband and BL where you can prance around with nothing but top tier troops after a while because money is never an issue.

Could balance it so that cavalry takes up 2 or even 3 spaces in your party. So if you have a party limit of 100 you can field 100 infantry/archers but only 50 cavalry. If you get what I mean
 

mujadaddy

Regular
WB
Could balance it so that cavalry takes up 2 or even 3 spaces in your party. So if you have a party limit of 100 you can field 100 infantry/archers but only 50 cavalry. If you get what I mean
Yeah, there is no balance there. I've suggested them taking more food; more slots is also a fairly good idea! That would translate to, roughly, "I can roll with 120 footmen or 40 cavalry" and THAT is an interesting choice!
 

The other rows besides the first two should have a better behavior.
Many troops in the first two rows often aim at wrong target and turn to the side in the last moment right before the horse impact (this mostly happens with unevenly ditributed horses in the enemy formation). Also AI cant really aim with long spears / pikes because they aim too high instead at the horse so they often fail at actually stopping the charge, player can aim properly no problem, so its not problem of the animation itself.
 
Totally agree on the physics. I think it is 2 layer problem though.
If physics were fixed in a sense that cav in the middle or rear of the formation can no longer push through the front of formation that was stopped by lets say pikemen. Its going to again result in super gamey experience because IRL horses would not be instantly stopped by bracing, most of them would continue at least in some way for at least few metres even after fatal injury. So they would still crash into the formation.
Pikewall should primarely prevent horses from charging frontally, if they charge it sohuld result in huge loses on both sides. Right now game can manage to either stop horses perfectly by rearing them up or killing them (and removing their body physics) upon contact with the spear tip (which is super gamey) or they flow through their own formation like water which is also super gamey. It would make more sense if rider / horse was organically reacting to speed of the horse in front of him (so if horseman in front slows, he will slow down too because it is unnatural for both animal and people to intentionally crash into each other at full speed - unless you are horny ram or Pachycephalosaurus).
I agree with these points, although to me it's not as huge of a deal as the physics surrounding basic collision and basic horse interaction with soldier models. Regardless the pikemen need to still take massive casualties. Like, I think It's incredibly ridiculous how at the beginning of this video, the pike line is completely mowed and trampled over, and only two of them died. All of those pikemen should've been dead.
I think the game that did cavalry charges the best still to this day is the original Rome Total War. Yeah it's old as sin but the sheer impact and overall realism of the look still triumph over the flaccidity of cavalry charges in the newer Total Wars (and Bannerlord) at least in my opinion.
The first two ranks are completely obliterated, and I remember about 30-50 of the Romans dying in that initial impact alone. That would never happen in Bannerlord's current state. It looks like the cataphracts are actually smashing into the formation, not just slithering through to the other side.

It's laughable by comparison:
 

Penn

Regular
Yeah, there is no balance there. I've suggested them taking more food; more slots is also a fairly good idea! That would translate to, roughly, "I can roll with 120 footmen or 40 cavalry" and THAT is an interesting choice!

Yeah! Would really add something. And Steward perk would be really useful to make your party larger to fit more horses.
 

vonbalt

Sergeant Knight
WBNWVCM&B
Yeah! Would really add something. And Steward perk would be really useful to make your party larger to fit more horses.
that would be great, it would also have the perfect cultural trait for khuzait (decrease cavalry food consumption)
 
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