Spear foot combat : current state

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Ervald

Recruit
What you are asking for is either one of two things:

1) Aa overall buff to spears
2) A buff to spears when the player uses them as a primary weapon, but AI is unchanged

Both of these approaches have large problems.
As far as 1) is concerned, spears already play a critical anti-cavalry role from large sweeping battles, to small skirmishes. In addition, they have very long range; are excellent when mounted; and have a large momentum modifier that scales with athletics into late game. Sure, they may not be equal to an 2h axe or 2h sword in terms of raw foot infantry kill count or damage, but nothing comes close to a good spear when used on horseback or against mounted troops.Just like a 1h + shield may never equal a 2h weapon in terms of damage or kills (nor should it) but having a shield gives you far more defense and that versatility can and often will save your life. All weapon types have a niche, and the spear not only fills its niche extremely well, but it also goes above-and-beyond by also being a decent late game foot soldier weapon. No overall buffs are needed.

2) As for changing the weapon to work differently when the player uses it? No other weapon does that, and I don't see why one should get special treatment.

I never thought I'd actually see people who were axe fanboys, or sword fanboys, or spear fanboys, but I was ignorant. They do exist, and they are right here in this thread. It's amazing, and also a little disturbing.
Actually while I do agree that both those things could bring balance issues, I don't agree with fact that it has to be either of those.

Any buff to the base damage could decrease momentum damage too, so the weapon is just more effectice at lower speeds, but not more efficient against, or on a charging horse.

Moreover, changes like increasing attack speed don't actually make spears any more efficient to counter cavalry, it could even make timing harder if you don't spear brace.

In term of raw damage they are not even close to one handed weapons, in "late game" with a polearm skill in the 400's, you still hit a lot slower, and deal a lot less damage than you would with a single overhead one-handed attack.

Spears being bad at close range is not necessarily a bad thing, but at longer ranges (wich are impossible to maintain unless you have a lot more athletics than your ennemy), it's still very easy to block and not even really punishing when it hits.

And currently there is nothing stopping you from bringing an other weapon along with your spear, you just loose one slot.
That would be the biggest difference, not being forced to bring a secondary weapon along with your spears to deal effectively with everything but cavalry.

And on AI, you're not quite right, the AI with spears is actually really bad against cavalry in the vanilla game, swordsmen are much better (there are tons of tests for that), spear brace is really effective however, but not all spears can brace (T5 sturgians spearmen can't).
And on top of it, they are always packing a sword along with the spear, and will automatically swap for it in melee combat.

We don't have to be spear fanboys to regret that, if you just try to go full spear on foot (not swingable) you will instantly notice that it's not as effective as basically everything else.
The game gave us an option, we tried it and are disappointed because it doesn't work that well, and that's not only not realistic, but it also doesn't bring anything to the game.

The AI actually fighting with spears would be fun to deal with, and probably more interesting to play than if they are just anti-cavalery infantry, and fight like everything else against foot troops.
And for the players, it brings an other way to play, nothing wrong with that to me.


Just noticed five bucks basically said the same things than I just did, but better.
You got the idea, spears are almost only anti-cav weapons currently, that works only for braceable spears on AI, and the player basically have to use spears with 4 attacks directions if he actually wants to be effective (so two handed weapon style polearms and not spears).
 
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Mastigos

Recruit
You're correct when you say that spears could have higher damage but scale less with momentum; however, unless that change resulted in worse anti-cav effectiveness, it would be a buff. And if it's a buff, we're back to my first point.
Reducing spears effectiveness against cavalry is helping to strip the spears from its niche and saps its identity.

I have done my own completely fair, carefully balanced tests and I can say with 100% certainty that at the time of those tests, spears absolutely (and consistently) challenged horsemen more than swords.
 

Ervald

Recruit
You're correct when you say that spears could have higher damage but scale less with momentum; however, unless that change resulted in worse anti-cav effectiveness, it would be a buff. And if it's a buff, we're back to my first point.
Reducing spears effectiveness against cavalry is helping to strip the spears from its niche and saps its identity.

I have done my own completely fair, carefully balanced tests and I can say with 100% certainty that at the time of those tests, spears absolutely (and consistently) challenged horsemen more than swords.
You're right, but an overall buff to spears, along with forcing units with spears to actually use them in melee combat, could even be a nerf for the AI, the idea being that improving spears against footmen would not have any effect on all the units that already switch to swords automatically after the initial impact and against other foot soldiers.

In multiplayer that's the same idea, every spear class does get a one handed weapon to switch to, remove that weapon, and you can buff the spear without buffing the class, because you make it more specialized.

In solo you indeed give the player one more free slot to bring something else, since a secondary weapon (more like primary actually) would not be required anymore.
In the other hand you also encourage him to focus on the polearm skills, wich would make him more specialized, and probably less efficient in some scenarios.
You basically make going all-in on thrusting spears a viable choice, not the superior choice in every situation if it's finely-tuned (and to me it quite is in RBM).

Not to mention the very important fact that polearm skills already work with swingable polearms, and that they are really effective currently, so it's not even like you give the player more strenght overall, just the possibility to pick a thrusting only spear instead and to still be effective.


And unless a new update changed things, your tests results are what they are because spear troops automatically brace before impact, as long as their weapon can brace, wich is not the case for every units, and those who don't are the weak ones against cavalry currently
Typically sturgians heavy spearmen are an example, and those got a big armor buff in the most recent patch actually (making them the more defensive choice) because they were badly performing as a counter cavalry unit.
 
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mujadaddy

Regular
WB
I've taken to riding with long glaive + shield: all the stabby, some defense, and just put the shield away if you find yourself in a crowd.
 

Ervald

Recruit
I've taken to riding with long glaive + shield: all the stabby, some defense, and just put the shield away if you find yourself in a crowd.
I feel like that's the best combo, you keep the range and defense from the shield as well as the anti-cav utility, and you can go berserk if needed when in the safety of your army, it's very similar to the gameplay of a bastard sword.

You won't be thrusting that often in melee though, the damages feel really low compared to an overhead or left/right strike.
 

KingEroc1st

Veteran
I've taken to riding with long glaive + shield: all the stabby, some defense, and just put the shield away if you find yourself in a crowd.
my favorite crafted weapon is a couchable long glaive with hooks. and with legendary smithing you can get a +(5-10) on that swing speed it will be beast
 

five bucks

Knight at Arms
You're correct when you say that spears could have higher damage but scale less with momentum; however, unless that change resulted in worse anti-cav effectiveness, it would be a buff. And if it's a buff, we're back to my first point.
Your first point has been debunked in the post I made on page 1 though.
 

geala

Sergeant at Arms
Spears are in a bad state in vanilla, as said by several in this thread and elsewhere. It's however also a general problem of thrusting in this game. As I'm using Spear Rework mod which greatly improves spears and makes them viable weapons, I'm currently more concerned by the bad performance of thrusting with swords. Eagle Rising mod shows that thrusting can be effective, a mod with similar chnages for sword thrusts for the normal game would be nice.
 

mujadaddy

Regular
WB
I feel like that's the best combo, you keep the range and defense from the shield as well as the anti-cav utility, and you can go berserk if needed when in the safety of your army, it's very similar to the gameplay of a bastard sword.

You won't be thrusting that often in melee though, the damages feel really low compared to an overhead or left/right strike.
Yeah, once you're not fake-couching, the shield goes away. I did Long Glaive/Shield/Glaive/Harpoons once, that was nice.
 
How is it so hard to just copy what Viking Conquest did? Their spears were the bomb, and they didn't stop swords and axes from being great to use as well.
 

Ted Striker

Veteran
Not when there's 50 spears pointing your way. People don't work that way.
Oh I'm thinking more those tournaments when it's spear vs spear on foot and nobody can land an effective hit unless you cheese it by running away, swinging and turning with the mouse to hit.
 

Ervald

Recruit
How is it so hard to just copy what Viking Conquest did? Their spears were the bomb, and they didn't stop swords and axes from being great to use as well.

I have not played Viking Conquest for a while but I remember spears being quite good, iirc the main differences were a much better attack speed and a high overhead attack angle.

The attack speed we have in vanilla Bannerlord is so low, that you can basically spam any other weapon against a spear without giving any space for a counter attack.
The higher angle made it so that we could eventually do a clean full thrust at shorter ranges if needed, and I also feel like, but I'm not sure, it's really been a while : shields hitboxes seemed much more fair against spears, you could hit an enemy from the side without having his shield blocking the strike all the way from his front.

I also felt like the low stab was made for range, and high one for close combat.
In Bannerlord I always go for overhead thrusts if I know it won't get parried, overhead attacks seem to have a slightly better range and are easier to aim to me.
In VC both attacks seemed to have distinct purposes outside of being harder to parry.
 

Norvell9

Recruit
I think the spears in Realistic Battle Mod are perfect,that's how spears should be.For vanilla?I think I would try to avoid them if I have better choices.
 
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