Spears should be viable melee weapons

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Kaozak

Recruit
Since I made my initial post on the wrong forum, here a thread for the balancing on single player.

In my opinion, spears currently are far to weak. You can basically only use them, when you're on a horse, or when fighting a horse. When on foot against infantry, it basically deals no damage, while it's difficult to land a hit.

I think it's quite ridiculous, that one handed swords deal a lot more stab damage than two handed spears. Regarding how difficult it is to land a decent hit with a spear, and how effective they should be, I think most spears should deal somewhere around 50 - 80 pierce damage, instead of the 15 - 30 they currently have.

I've experimented quite a bit with spears since I made my original post, and they are even worse than I thought. The AI simply doesn't know how to use spears. The only way the AI is able to use spears is by heavy modding. I've wrote a mod that doubles all thrust damage of spears, and gives a 1.25 bonus to other thrust damage (weapons with swing and thrust). In addition to that, I've removed "sidearm" weapons, since the AI would rather use throwing weapons or daggers than any spear in melee. The AI only equips spears when fighting cavalry, but they are just really bad at fighting cavalry. Full cav army is simply still unbeatable, like in Warband.

That alone however doesn't really improve the spears quite enough. Spearmen will still lose 100% of the time against cavalry and barely manages against infantry with swords, like archers. Combined with a couple of other mods, that reduce minimum range, spear hitboxes and friendly hits, the spearmen are then able to deal some damage and even win against cavalry.

In my opinion spears should deal similar damage as other two handed weapons (swords and polearms).
 

King Yngvar

Squire
WBVC
Agree. I've increased damage factors for spears myself as well, the only problem is that it is in crafting pieces and the same spear blades used by the spears are used by javelins so they become one hit kills no matter what armor they are up against. In addition, cavalry also uses spears with the same spear blades and they get a speed bonus and become even more deadly. We need the spear to be a physical object not something that only works when you release left click. Static spear damage, multiplied by the speed of the incoming enemy. Sort of like a reversed couched lance damage.
 

Askey

Veteran
Is there no way of making the spears deal more damage to cav in particular? That is what is currently needed. You should be able to stab the horse a couple of times to down it - especially if its traveling at speed.
 
Is there no way of making the spears deal more damage to cav in particular? That is what is currently needed. You should be able to stab the horse a couple of times to down it - especially if its traveling at speed.
From my experience hitting horses with spears seems to be the only thing that works, or the human on the horse. Usually a one shot if they're at top speed.
 

SavatageRoyo

Recruit
I can only assume the low damage for spears is to have some similarity with multiplayer. Probably not balanced if you would have high damage on spears there.

That being said the damage model is a bit odd currently. Any high-end slashing weapon be it a sword, a axe a two-handed sword can kill many top tier unit types with one hit. Unit types which supposedly wear any kind of mail or lamellar armor.
Thrusts does comparatively little damage even with top tier weapons, thrusts would and should be the most deadly and effective way against mail and lamellar.
There is no good reason why a good thrusting weapon like a spear shouldn`t one-shot enemys wearing mail when slashing weapons which don`t work that great against mail can. oO
 

Kaozak

Recruit
Agree. I've increased damage factors for spears myself as well, the only problem is that it is in crafting pieces and the same spear blades used by the spears are used by javelins so they become one hit kills no matter what armor they are up against. In addition, cavalry also uses spears with the same spear blades and they get a speed bonus and become even more deadly.

I don't really see a problem with those two side effects. If charging cavalry hits you with a spear, you just should be dead. Same for throwing spears hitting you almost anywhere on a somewhat decent throw. Both are too weak in my opinion. On vanilla it's far more efficient to use any swing weapon on horse, than to use spears.

The problem with horses at the moment is still, that there is basically nothing that counters them. Spearmen don't know how to use spears against cavalry (neither moving nor still standing) and most of the time the cav just slowly stumbles through multiple lines of spearmen and then runs off again. The other potential counter are ranged attacks, but the AI fires too accurate, which leads to entire volleys missing because the cav slightly moved.
 
due to non-couching for infantry long spears, the worst kind of spear currently is stationary in such circumstances.

with current mechanics as spear infantry, movement speed and reach is your biggest advantage. Im not talking fine steel menavlions doing 250+ cut damage, but spears in two handed mode.

For some reason, using spear two handed gives a great amount of athletics, compared to one-handed weapons or even spear + shield.
when you have spearmen, you need to be on the move on the attack, there is no absorbing of charge through couched spear or pike.

With this approach, youll need to keep distance and using your high speed from very light/no armor to beat the stuff out of enemies. Once you level athletics past 100, youll see how stronk it really gets. Yes, thrusting spears are not weak on foot. They are weak when you are slow due to lack of athletics and heavy armor. Stationary is even worse. There is no bracing mechanic to make your speartip do damage when not thrusting, so speed is all there is to it and all infantry combat.

Javelins for whatever reason penetrate all helmets regardless of them being actual plated helmets that should favor deflection with blunt damage.
And javelins make for great melee spears once you have the last one left. And throw away empty bags.

Weight of your equipment is crucial and if you wish to upgrade your infantry skills fastest, do 15 round of radagos hideout without killing the raiders. If you dont have a mace, you take your brothers mace. And spear you might have anyway, at first your spear thrust with 2 hands wont kill a raider, later on, yes, so dont thrust in their face, just do damage, switch to your brothers club, to just knock them out. Youll level athletics, 1 hand and polearms well this way.
 

Sigismund

Recruit
As it's been suggesting long before and here again foot soldiers ought to be able to brace their spear to maintain a hitbox with the spear. The spear requires too much precise timing to hit at the apex of it's thrust with its very small and short lived hitbox for a weapon that's so slow. I've trying using the cataphract lance on horseback and there's really no reason to use it over any sword.
 

hruza

Knight at Arms
The AI simply doesn't know how to use spears. The only way the AI is able to use spears is by heavy modding.

AI actually does well with spears in battles. As long as spears are of a relatively short variety (obviously against cavalry longer ones are better). Simple example to see that are fights where you train your recruits against looters. Those with pitchforks are always the most dangerous ones and I always try to kill them before they can engage my recruits. Pitchfork is basically short spear in the game mechanics.

Problem with spears is that they deal little damage. In theory they should be good against armor as they deal piercing damage, in practice t4-5 axe or sabre with 60-70 cut damage will far outperform t4-5 spear with 35 piercing even against heavy armor.

On top of that comes the fact that it's difficult for a player to keep optimal distance when landing hits and lackluster damage that spears have is further reduced to minimum. It's more of an issue for a player since AI knows how to maintain optimal distance better.

As for fighting with spear, it's actually not all that difficult to land hits, spears just need some practice to get used to. You just need to use shorter spear for foot fighting. It's really the damage output that leaves spears disappointing at the end.
 

Monkey

Regular
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Agree. I've increased damage factors for spears myself as well, the only problem is that it is in crafting pieces and the same spear blades used by the spears are used by javelins so they become one hit kills no matter what armor they are up against. In addition, cavalry also uses spears with the same spear blades and they get a speed bonus and become even more deadly. We need the spear to be a physical object not something that only works when you release left click. Static spear damage, multiplied by the speed of the incoming enemy. Sort of like a reversed couched lance damage.
Wasn't readying of spears against charging cavalry a thing? In that case didn't spear infantry formations plant their spears in the ground with the help of their feet, point them towards charging cavalry and just hold firmly, waiting for the enemy to either back up or throw itself against the speartips? As described above I also think there should be a way for spear infantry to stop walking and "X" in order to ready spears forward and hold them firmly against charging enemies. Once "ready" spears could be aimed left or right, but no walking could take place unless spears are unreadied. While ready, spears would damage on enemy contact in the presence of considerable relative speed. That would be a huge change for the better and add so much to the game's tactical complexity.
 

hruza

Knight at Arms
Wasn't readying of spears against charging cavalry a thing? In that case didn't spear infantry formations plant their spears in the ground with the help of their feet, point them towards charging cavalry and just hold firmly, waiting for the enemy to either back up or throw itself against the speartips?

That depends on the "spear". It was generally done with pikes. Unlike what video games like Total War makes you believe, "spear" wasn't universal anti-cavalry weapon. Things like "spears are anti cavalry, swords are anti infantry" are nothing but invented nonsense. Specialized anti cavalry weapons were things like 2H axes, billhooks and poleaxes.

Anti cavalry weapon:

Bayeux-Tapestry.gif


battle-scene-Bayeux-Tapestry.jpg
 

hruza

Knight at Arms
you gotta make it like that though or you wont have fun gameplay

Not really. Medieval combat was lot of fun as it was (given you were not directly involved ..and often even if you were as popularity of tournaments shows) without these invented pseudo-rules. And fact that medieval combat games are so popular just confirms that. If players wanted invented combat, they would go play fantasy or sci-fi games.
 

Monkey

Regular
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Things like "spears are anti cavalry, swords are anti infantry" are nothing but invented nonsense.
you gotta make it like that though or you wont have fun gameplay
In regards to that, I think the rock-paper-scissors element (cavalry-spears-swords), though not very realistic or true to history as @hruza has interestingly pointed out, is essential and needs to be there IMO because of how much it adds to the complexity of tactics and allows for a party composition game beyond mass heavy cavalry.

EDIT: You do have a point where medieval combat and warfare is fun on its own without added fictional elements, but without a rock-paper-scissors element the party composition game would be simplified to the point of everybody having the same goal of massing the same "best" troop.
 
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Caps

Knight at Arms
WBWF&SNWVC
Not really. Medieval combat was lot of fun as it was (given you were not directly involved ..and often even if you were as popularity of tournaments shows) without these invented pseudo-rules. And fact that medieval combat games are so popular just confirms that. If players wanted invented combat, they would go play fantasy or sci-fi games.
sounds like someone had quite alot of fun 1000 years ago (just make ur own mod with a spear that has a high weapon handling stat)
 
I think something worth exploring is the potential for polearms to just snap in a battle. Although the polearm is the main weapon of many soldiers, there is a reason why sidearms existed.

Making it a physical object would help too. Pointed out, its should be bothersome to get past. But maybe once you either strike it or get past the tip, the spear itself should become more awkward unless you re-establish range.
 

hruza

Knight at Arms
sounds like someone had quite alot of fun 1000 years ago (just make ur own mod with a spear that has a high weapon handling stat)

I do agree that spears would need bit more love and some adjustments, but as a viable infantry on infantry weapon, not as a specialized anti-cavalry one (although making it better anti infantry weapon would make it more effective against cavalry too of course).
 
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