Spears should be viable melee weapons

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I have not read all posts but I believe that not many ppl realize fact that sword was also the weapon of higher social status (it was much much costly in comparison to spear especially swords of better quality) for quite long while spear was kind of opposite from that angel of view though ofc it is not the same as it´s usefulness in battle. I would compare those weapons to expensive and cheap cars of today - which one is better is not that obvious from economic view for example expensive SUVs are luxury worth of few cheaper cars with high fuel consumption but from social status angle of view there is no question what car has more impact.
 
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Kaozak

Recruit
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.

The main reason games use the rock-paper-scissor approach isn't because it works better, but because it's generally easier to implement than any sort of realistic battle logic. No need for clever tactics, when you have swords and the enemy has spears. :razz:

The rock-paper-scissor element at the moment does the opposite of "balancing". Spearmen are worthless, as even cavalry beats spearmen at the moment. Cav is simply unstoppable. Massing either cav or archers is just the way at the moment to win every battle, as archer sidearm weapons are as good as any infantry weapon, since almost no one uses any main weapons. As for infantry: the only use at the moment are shield + sword/axe/mace units, as they are basically only for blocking arrows / distracting enemies and shield + spear units just die too easily.

Basically the history teaches us, that weaponry reflects the armor usage, and vice versa. When someone wears poor armor, they will probably want a shield and a onehanded weapon. If a someone wears good armor, they will probably want a better weapon to be more effective on the offense.

If your opponent wears mail or thick linen armor, you want something that can penetrate that. And you will have difficulties doing that with slashing. To defeat those types of armor, you would either go for unprotected places, or use a piercing weapon (which are highly effective against those types of armor) or a blunt weapon. Since spears are much easier to use and much more effective in general, spears were the main choice of weapon in that period of time.

The true balance element that games should try to implement is: archers-cavalry-infantry. Archers beat anything while well protected. Cavalry beats anything unprotected (unprotected archers or flanks of infantry) while infantry beats cavalry and archers in a head on fight. A full cav party should be easily taken care of by a mix of infantry / archers. And friendly fire should definitely be a thing for any ranged combat.

And as for melee combat: weaponry should match armor usage, nothing else should be considered for "balancing" reasons. Any rebalancing just completly messes up how battles work, as they aren't 1vs1. A spearwall should beat most infantry compositions charging head on, which it absolutly doesn't at the moment. You can easily run down a spearwall with a bunch of archers in melee with their onehanded swords and no shield.

And while horse archers were one of the most effective type of warfare, they weren't in the way games portrait them, as you would attack and retreat with a horse archer army, and not attack and fight to the death, like in Bannerlord. Currently I'm thinking about removing horse archers entirely from the game, as they completely mess up the AI, as 5 horse archers can completely turn around an army and distract all archers, while the foot archers destroy the army from behind.
 

Monkey

Regular
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Currently I'm thinking about removing horse archers entirely from the game, as they completely mess up the AI, as 5 horse archers can completely turn around an army and distract all archers, while the foot archers destroy the army from behind.
Are you a TaleWorlds game designer or developer or something?
 
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.
Thats about the best idea ive heard for introducing proper pike lines in the game. Hold left click and ur spear becomes a threat to incoming horses or riders or extremely fast infantry i guess lol.
 

hruza

Knight at Arms
I totally agree with everything you are saying, but try out the mendo it works great with a shield.

Was giving Imperial medo a try a little as you suggested and it seems that it makes spear combat much better. Very nice little weapon. I was also playing around with pila, which have even shorter range, but that's basically size of a longer sword.

Still, I think that lower tier and longer spears should be viable weapons as well, just like sword or axes are. Moreover it also seems to confirm my suspicion, that it's "effective distance" mechanic that hurts spears the most.

In any case thanks for advice, I am giving my companions mendo to level their spear skill in foot fights and they seems to do well with it too.
 

Shik

Baron
M&BWBWF&S
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.
Javelins get a 9x damage multiplier in the code that calculates weapon stats. You can use harmony patches to correct this behavior to offset buffing the spear crafting pieces. There's some mods out there that already do this.
 

GitiUsir

Sergeant
WB
While I agree with your sentiments poleaxes were used by knights and men at arms as specialized foot combat weapons against other plate armored opponents, 2 handed axes were used in the early Middle Ages by elite soldiers to break up shield walls and bill hooks like helberds were all purpose polearms. None of them were specialized anti cavalry usages, in two cases the specialization was for something else entirely. The usage of halberds and bills filled a role more complex than anti cavalry, that is the reason they were blades with spikes and points aka three different ways to use them.

But the main issue is that the spear was the ultimate weapon of war because it was not a melee weapon, it was a formation weapon. Warfare is rarely a duel so for most of the soldiers it is better it never comes to actual melee, they like formation weapons, makes them feel safe and allows them to fight cowardly and to run away bravely. Most common soldiers prefered that to all the guts and honor of warrior classes.

I agree with this idea even if what Hruza said about weapon of war versus weapon for every day use makes sense. But a formation is not to fight cowardly and run away bravely, it's to fight with brains. When you are alone facing several opponents what do they do? They try to flank and attack when you are looking the other way. What do you do? You walk away backpedalling. It's a natural behaviour in animals too. When you are in a formation you don't need to do it. If someone enters your combat distance he has to face at least 3 possible attacks, you and your 2 mates left and right. If he attacks you he is vulnerable to attacks from his 2 sides. If he wants to attack the flank of my mate he risks being hit by me.

Now in war it's always better to fight offensively because it gives initiative and control and formations can act offensively too but that's another subject. The point is it's different to fight individually than in formation. You can't code the same AI for bots when fighting in the arena than in a formation. If a formation is holding a position it's mostly a deterrent effect, both for cavalry and others because it's going to hurt. If melee happens nevertheless, first enemies must deal with the spear range, if they press on with shorter weapons then first line will switch to shorter weapons too. Romans for instance carried their swords on their right side, to draw them quickly even if there was barely space to do it. They carried a short sword and a stabbing knife on top of the pilum = spear. Pikemen and spearmen from later eras did the same.

In the game bots (in formations other than shield wall mainly), they break the formation to attack and retreat when enemies enter range. This is stupid because it defeats the main purpose of formations, to support each other. They don't care about deterrent effects either because it's not coded, and they always go for face hugging which makes spears useless unless used by player in a hit and run fashion.
 
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Javelins get a 9x damage multiplier in the code that calculates weapon stats. You can use harmony patches to correct this behavior to offset buffing the spear crafting pieces. There's some mods out there that already do this.

I stumbled onto another solution as I wanted to increase the speed of spear thrusts. Reducing the weight of all spear blades not only increased spear speed and handling but also decreased javelin damage.
 
Thats about the best idea ive heard for introducing proper pike lines in the game. Hold left click and ur spear becomes a threat to incoming horses or riders or extremely fast infantry i guess lol.

Left click or right click (with a shield), the spear is still pointing forward.
 
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