Vlandian Pikemen really need a buff

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Bluko88

Sergeant
So with 1.9 Vlandian Pikemen are a tad more useful since they can do fair amount of damage to cavalry on their initial charge when braced.

But that's about it. After that they just flounder around since cavalry typically scatters with some staying in melee, while others cycle charge. Even though Pikemen may pick up a few extra kills, they almost always get decimated by any decent cavalry. So that's a problem in itself, but spears/pikes are notoriously bad on foot. I am hoping we will see something done to make spears/pikes more viable on foot in the future.

That leaves Pikemen as a one trick pony - they are good at stopping initial cavalry charges and that's it. And while they may rack up some extra kills, the reality is any shield infantry in a relatively square shieldwall will do just as good a job stopping cavalry. And most shield infantry will do a much better killing the cavalry once stopped.


So really what are Pikemen good for? Besides their pike all they have is an underwhelming sword as a "sidearm". They are honestly such a bad T5 unit I think it's safe to say you should never recruit/upgrade to them. There's also the glaring issue in that they literally cannot defeat their predecessor Vlandian Billman in 1 vs 1. I mean what other unit in the game actually gets worse after an upgrade?

Here's what I propose to make Vlandian Pikeman a halfway decent shock troop
  • Give them some half way decent shoulder armor
    • The extra armor will also help them survive against cavalry, which they should hard counter
  • Give Pikemen a two handed sword
    • This allows them to be a fairly decent Shock Troop in melee combat
So here's what I did
  1. Gave two of the three sets Scale Shoulderguards, and the other set Reinforced Mail Shoulders
  2. Then I replaced their Arming Sword with a Tapered Two-Hander (They already have 130 Two-Handed versus 80 One-Handed so this works quite well)
NDmqpU6.png


jJTBEjm.png


That's it! My initial testing so far shows in a few 1 vs 1 with other units they are pretty balanced. Against Voulgiers they are pretty even and they don't really overpower any other shock troops. They do pretty well against shield infantry in melee, winning most fights, except against those with throwing weapons defending. While they can reach archer lines in a straight charge, they will not win due to sustained damaged. Unfortunately not real great against cavalry since they only ever use their pikes against them.

But the most important thing: they can beat Vlandian Billman! Can you believe it? They can actually beat the unit they upgrade from! [/end sarcasm]

Make this real easy on ya TW, here's the code just gotta copy/paste and test. Also if anyone else feels intrepid enough:

Code:
  <NPCCharacter id="vlandian_pikeman"
                default_group="Infantry"
                level="26"
                name="{=Si5ZCb1O}Vlandian Pikeman"
                occupation="Soldier"
                culture="Culture.vlandia">
    <face>
      <face_key_template value="BodyProperty.fighter_vlandia" />
    </face>
    <skills>
      <skill id="Athletics"
             value="130" />
      <skill id="Riding"
             value="60" />
      <skill id="OneHanded"
             value="80" />
      <skill id="TwoHanded"
             value="130" />
      <skill id="Polearm"
             value="130" />
      <skill id="Bow"
             value="20" />
      <skill id="Crossbow"
             value="60" />
      <skill id="Throwing"
             value="80" />
    </skills>
    <upgrade_targets></upgrade_targets>
    <Equipments>
      <EquipmentRoster>
        <equipment slot="Item0"
                   id="Item.fine_pike_t4" />
        <equipment slot="Item1"
                   id="Item.western_2hsword_t3" />
        <equipment slot="Body"
                   id="Item.plated_leather_coat" />
        <equipment slot="Leg"
                   id="Item.plated_strip_boots" />
        <equipment slot="Head"
                   id="Item.peaked_helmet_over_mail" />
        <equipment slot="Gloves"
                   id="Item.mail_mitten" />
        <equipment slot="Cape"
                   id="Item.scale_shoulder_armor" />
      </EquipmentRoster>
      <EquipmentRoster>
        <equipment slot="Item0"
                   id="Item.fine_pike_t4" />
        <equipment slot="Item1"
                   id="Item.western_2hsword_t3" />
        <equipment slot="Body"
                   id="Item.plated_leather_coat" />
        <equipment slot="Leg"
                   id="Item.plated_strip_boots" />
        <equipment slot="Head"
                   id="Item.peaked_helmet_over_mail" />
        <equipment slot="Gloves"
                   id="Item.mail_mitten" />
        <equipment slot="Cape"
                   id="Item.scale_shoulder_armor" />
      </EquipmentRoster>
      <EquipmentRoster>
        <equipment slot="Item0"
                   id="Item.fine_pike_t4" />
        <equipment slot="Item1"
                   id="Item.western_2hsword_t3" />
        <equipment slot="Body"
                   id="Item.plated_leather_coat" />
        <equipment slot="Leg"
                   id="Item.plated_strip_boots" />
        <equipment slot="Head"
                   id="Item.peaked_helmet_over_mail" />
        <equipment slot="Gloves"
                   id="Item.mail_mitten" />
        <equipment slot="Cape"
                   id="Item.chainmail_shoulder_armor" />
      </EquipmentRoster>
      <EquipmentSet id="vlandia_troop_civilian_template_t3"
                    civilian="true" />
    </Equipments>
  </NPCCharacter>
 
That helmet still suck tho.

Frankly speaking, I think pikemen just don't work as an 'elite' t5 unit. They should just be lower tier guys that eventually progress to voulges and bills. Cheap, very capable of stopping cavalry but ultimately replacable.
 

Brano

Sergeant at Arms
Pike as a weapon and consequently pikemen are anachronistic redundancy for the era TW tries to take inspiration from. I never hire them and if it was up to me I would completely remove them from the units tier list.
Polearms like bills, voulges and similar are pretty off era as well, but can be considered as acceptable compromise as they are good for melee and against horses.
 

BigFat

Sergeant
That helmet still suck tho.

Frankly speaking, I think pikemen just don't work as an 'elite' t5 unit. They should just be lower tier guys that eventually progress to voulges and bills. Cheap, very capable of stopping cavalry but ultimately replacable.
I think it would have worked better with the old upgrade system, have pikemen max at out tier 3. We see a lot more cavalry now since the beginning of EA so having a group of cheap pikemen could be handy but it's just not worth a t5 upgrade to them. Also a shame about the order of battle stuff, but if you could get them cheap and easily set them to their own unit you might be able to get decent use out of them micromanaged
 
That helmet still suck tho.

Frankly speaking, I think pikemen just don't work as an 'elite' t5 unit. They should just be lower tier guys that eventually progress to voulges and bills. Cheap, very capable of stopping cavalry but ultimately replacable.
Yes I would support this. A lower tier troop with a pike. As a dedicated charge defender. I would recruit them sooner then T5 pike units.

I don’t know how a shieldwall is formed with the combined information( haven’t played much since the introduction of OOB) but are pike units placed atleast a bit logical?

As a follow up question are the perks regarding knock back and head shots given to ai units? These perks where absolutely necessary for my trust polearm playthrough. I had to cheat to get these at the beginning to make it fun and viable.
 

anoddhermit

Sergeant at Arms
So really what are Pikemen good for? Besides their pike all they have is an underwhelming sword as a "sidearm". They are honestly such a bad T5 unit I think it's safe to say you should never recruit/upgrade to them. There's also the glaring issue in that they literally cannot defeat their predecessor Vlandian Billman in 1 vs 1. I mean what other unit in the game actually gets worse after an upgrade?

IMO the biggest downgrade in the game is Empire Peasant -> Empire Recruit.

It's a very similar problem though, the Empire Peasant gets a scythe and throwing stones and can overall defeat looters. Empire Recruits get a mix of weaker weapons that includes pitchforks, and no throwing weapons, and overall they will consistently lose to the same number of looters. So it's the same dynamic of going from a swinging polearm to a thrusting one and becoming useless, with the added insult(or just...more injury) to injury of losing throwing weapons that are actually kinda decent for a low tier troop.

I think some other Recruits are also downgrades from peasants but Empire is most noticeable for me. Of course, this is relatively minor since you can't recruit peasants and t5 balance is more important - but I've recently started a character that doesn't start with a bow for shooting packs of looters down for early renown and watching them cleave through recruits like butter was kinda odd.
 
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Pike as a weapon and consequently pikemen are anachronistic redundancy for the era TW tries to take inspiration from. I never hire them and if it was up to me I would completely remove them from the units tier list.
Polearms like bills, voulges and similar are pretty off era as well, but can be considered as acceptable compromise as they are good for melee and against horses.
I think the menavliaton could at least be justified. And weren't Brythonic Picts in the habit of very long spears?

But yeah, the Vlandian pike is rather out of place.
 

Brano

Sergeant at Arms
Menavlion as weapon is debated by historians as no one exactly knows what it was. Could be either long pike or as portrayed in game in polearm cathegory, with a reasonable size to use both in melee and against horses.
Don't know much about Picts but they usually associate for me with roman period in Britain.
Whole game concept of "lets get as much diversity as possible no matter what" is silly. We have a strech of celto-thracian-norman-turko-mongol-arabic wild mix of 5th to 13th century peoples.
In 11th century Europe one still had in fact kind of uniform military gear with its origins in late roman empire army spiced up by local cultural oddities.
 
I personally don't really care about the anachronistic nature of the pikes, since we have Battania and Aserai as factions and cultures that bend space-time quite heavily.

One question though, I thought that the Macedons (Macedonians?) had several meters long polearms held by multiple people in a line inside a phalanx formation, what makes the pike specifically anachronistic?

I actually like the original suggestion as long as the pikemen consistently lose to the voulgiers in combat.
 
I personally don't really care about the anachronistic nature of the pikes, since we have Battania and Aserai as factions and cultures that bend space-time quite heavily.

One question though, I thought that the Macedons (Macedonians?) had several meters long polearms held by multiple people in a line inside a phalanx formation, what makes the pike specifically anachronistic?

I actually like the original suggestion as long as the pikemen consistently lose to the voulgiers in combat.
Macedonians were ancient, so they don't count.
 
Macedonians were ancient, so they don't count.
Alright fair enough. I'm curious though, were pikes really not used between the classical period and late medieval/early modern periods? I'm genuinely asking, because it seems really weird to me that the simple technology of stabby on looong stick took so long to be reinvented/reinnovated considering that cavalry armies had been a thing for probably a millennium at that point.
 

Brano

Sergeant at Arms
Not much. In fact mainstay of armies in 9th-12th century were so called "loricati" from latin "armored ones" . In many frankish and saxon cronicles those were described as ones having obligation to carry spear, sword,shield,chainmail shirt,helmet and be on horse. Rest of the rubble, so called "clipati" or militia had whatever they could afford to grab from their garden house.
Pikemen as we know them are late medieval, early modern era units. Some historians call this period "infantry revolution" when heavy armored knights has been surpassed by gunpowder units + pikes.
 
Not much. In fact mainstay of armies in 9th-12th century were so called "loricati" from latin "armored ones" . In many frankish and saxon cronicles those were described as ones having obligation to carry spear, sword,shield,chainmail shirt,helmet and be on horse. Rest of the rubble, so called "clipati" or militia had whatever they could afford to grab from their garden house.
Pikemen as we know them are late medieval, early modern era units. Some historians call this period "infantry revolution" when heavy armored knights has been surpassed by gunpowder units + pikes.
Interesting, thank you!
 

Brano

Sergeant at Arms
There are some good videos on utube, just typ in "infantry revolution"
Btw Aserai are for me rather acceptable, representing islamic khalifats of first crusade era. What is more time-bending are Khuzaits > clearly 13th century Mongols. I'd rather have them represented by someone like Seljuk turks, Pechenegs or old Magyars.
 
There are some good videos on utube, just typ in "infantry revolution"
Btw Aserai are for me rather acceptable, representing islamic khalifats of first crusade era. What is more time-bending are Khuzaits > clearly 13th century Mongols. I'd rather have them represented by someone like Seljuk turks, Pechenegs or old Magyars.
Aserai supposedly is based on pre-islamic Arabia before 7th century, that's for some reason almost entirely based in Levant & North Africa (The Arab settlement happened after islam), has Mamlukes (Turkic & Circassian slave-warriors), a 10th century invention, has armors styled on early modern era Ottoman armors. I don't know why TW decided to place the Aserai lands in the Calradic equivalent of North Africa, that's their biggest problem in consistency imo.

Khuzaits are a weird mishmash of Gokturks (6th-8th century), maybe Khazars or Pre-Manzikert Seljuks due to their location in-game & Mongols (post 13th century) and has a helmet styled on 13th century Cuman-Kipchak helmet. Khuzaits most certainly have Turkic influences, they have primarily Turkic names and use the Turkic title of Beg and Turco-Mongolic title of Khan, tho yes, the Khuzaits are also a weird combination, but this is mainly due to the anachronism, since Turco-Mongolic culture(s) started existing after Genghis Khan iirc.

Vlandians are supposed to be Normans, idk much about the Normans but I would expect them to be more ...idk Nordic? They seem mostly medieval French to me. Do tell if they look similar or different to how the Normans looked.

Empire is Romans and Byzantines (so Romans & Romans), so, good enough I guess ? Even though they also probably suffer massively from anachronism.

Sturgia is based on the Kievan Rus, which I know nothing about.

Then there's Battania: Welsh, Scots and Irish (and Picts?) combined with Dacians, Thracians, Gauls (and Galateans?), all based on very different times and locations spanning from Ireland to Turkey. It can't be historically accurate even if they tried to. It's such a ridiculous mishmash that I wouldn't object if TW decided to add Elves to Battania.
 
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Back on topic I think Athletics buffing would be good too, it's not like pikemen were just some rabble, a majority were year-round professional mercenaries which is why I love they're in the Mercenary troop trees now. If they had better foot speed it'd be much better to maneuver them. Hell, even giving them more progression would be good. I'd love to see Noble trees go Tier 7 and regular trees go up to 6 one day...

As an aside, I think spears of any size should be able to be braced, Byzantines used the Menavlions as early as the 7th century in this anti-cavalry role, and more popularly from the 1000s onwards. They (the weapons) were traditionally 7 to 10 feet long. Those same troops carried axes, sabers and light shields too.
 
Back on topic I think Athletics buffing would be good too, it's not like pikemen were just some rabble, a majority were year-round professional mercenaries which is why I love they're in the Mercenary troop trees now. If they had better foot speed it'd be much better to maneuver them. Hell, even giving them more progression would be good. I'd love to see Noble trees go Tier 7 and regular trees go up to 6 one day...

As an aside, I think spears of any size should be able to be braced, Byzantines used the Menavlions as early as the 7th century in this anti-cavalry role, and more popularly from the 1000s onwards. They (the weapons) were traditionally 7 to 10 feet long. Those same troops carried axes, sabers and light shields too.
Is athletics useful at all for melee infantry? The only instance I can think of it being useful is shock infantry with very long weapons like the Rhomphaia and Menavlion trying to keep their distance by going back 2 steps. I'm not even sure if it's good for positioning in the battlefield since all troops in a formation seem to have similar move speeds to me.
 
Is athletics useful at all for melee infantry? The only instance I can think of it being useful is shock infantry with very long weapons like the Rhomphaia and Menavlion trying to keep their distance by going back 2 steps. I'm not even sure if it's good for positioning in the battlefield since all troops in a formation seem to have similar move speeds to me.
At higher levels it's noticeable - I think pretty much every troop hovers 90-130 which is why the player can backpedal faster than them at higher levels. It will unlock some of the extra perks though, and I think they'd need a high polearm skill or have a way to scale the attack speed bonus in relation to weapon length a little better.

My thought is more to get them into positions quicker but also to get them to turn. Maybe it's just me but whenever I use F7 to face a formation off they don't simply turn 180 they do some sort of counter-column **** to get reoriented
 

xdj1nn

Knight at Arms
WBWF&S
So with 1.9 Vlandian Pikemen are a tad more useful since they can do fair amount of damage to cavalry on their initial charge when braced.

But that's about it. After that they just flounder around since cavalry typically scatters with some staying in melee, while others cycle charge. Even though Pikemen may pick up a few extra kills, they almost always get decimated by any decent cavalry. So that's a problem in itself, but spears/pikes are notoriously bad on foot. I am hoping we will see something done to make spears/pikes more viable on foot in the future.

That leaves Pikemen as a one trick pony - they are good at stopping initial cavalry charges and that's it. And while they may rack up some extra kills, the reality is any shield infantry in a relatively square shieldwall will do just as good a job stopping cavalry. And most shield infantry will do a much better killing the cavalry once stopped.


So really what are Pikemen good for? Besides their pike all they have is an underwhelming sword as a "sidearm". They are honestly such a bad T5 unit I think it's safe to say you should never recruit/upgrade to them. There's also the glaring issue in that they literally cannot defeat their predecessor Vlandian Billman in 1 vs 1. I mean what other unit in the game actually gets worse after an upgrade?

Here's what I propose to make Vlandian Pikeman a halfway decent shock troop
  • Give them some half way decent shoulder armor
    • The extra armor will also help them survive against cavalry, which they should hard counter
  • Give Pikemen a two handed sword
    • This allows them to be a fairly decent Shock Troop in melee combat
So here's what I did
  1. Gave two of the three sets Scale Shoulderguards, and the other set Reinforced Mail Shoulders
  2. Then I replaced their Arming Sword with a Tapered Two-Hander (They already have 130 Two-Handed versus 80 One-Handed so this works quite well)
NDmqpU6.png


jJTBEjm.png


That's it! My initial testing so far shows in a few 1 vs 1 with other units they are pretty balanced. Against Voulgiers they are pretty even and they don't really overpower any other shock troops. They do pretty well against shield infantry in melee, winning most fights, except against those with throwing weapons defending. While they can reach archer lines in a straight charge, they will not win due to sustained damaged. Unfortunately not real great against cavalry since they only ever use their pikes against them.

But the most important thing: they can beat Vlandian Billman! Can you believe it? They can actually beat the unit they upgrade from! [/end sarcasm]

Make this real easy on ya TW, here's the code just gotta copy/paste and test. Also if anyone else feels intrepid enough:

Code:
  <NPCCharacter id="vlandian_pikeman"
                default_group="Infantry"
                level="26"
                name="{=Si5ZCb1O}Vlandian Pikeman"
                occupation="Soldier"
                culture="Culture.vlandia">
    <face>
      <face_key_template value="BodyProperty.fighter_vlandia" />
    </face>
    <skills>
      <skill id="Athletics"
             value="130" />
      <skill id="Riding"
             value="60" />
      <skill id="OneHanded"
             value="80" />
      <skill id="TwoHanded"
             value="130" />
      <skill id="Polearm"
             value="130" />
      <skill id="Bow"
             value="20" />
      <skill id="Crossbow"
             value="60" />
      <skill id="Throwing"
             value="80" />
    </skills>
    <upgrade_targets></upgrade_targets>
    <Equipments>
      <EquipmentRoster>
        <equipment slot="Item0"
                   id="Item.fine_pike_t4" />
        <equipment slot="Item1"
                   id="Item.western_2hsword_t3" />
        <equipment slot="Body"
                   id="Item.plated_leather_coat" />
        <equipment slot="Leg"
                   id="Item.plated_strip_boots" />
        <equipment slot="Head"
                   id="Item.peaked_helmet_over_mail" />
        <equipment slot="Gloves"
                   id="Item.mail_mitten" />
        <equipment slot="Cape"
                   id="Item.scale_shoulder_armor" />
      </EquipmentRoster>
      <EquipmentRoster>
        <equipment slot="Item0"
                   id="Item.fine_pike_t4" />
        <equipment slot="Item1"
                   id="Item.western_2hsword_t3" />
        <equipment slot="Body"
                   id="Item.plated_leather_coat" />
        <equipment slot="Leg"
                   id="Item.plated_strip_boots" />
        <equipment slot="Head"
                   id="Item.peaked_helmet_over_mail" />
        <equipment slot="Gloves"
                   id="Item.mail_mitten" />
        <equipment slot="Cape"
                   id="Item.scale_shoulder_armor" />
      </EquipmentRoster>
      <EquipmentRoster>
        <equipment slot="Item0"
                   id="Item.fine_pike_t4" />
        <equipment slot="Item1"
                   id="Item.western_2hsword_t3" />
        <equipment slot="Body"
                   id="Item.plated_leather_coat" />
        <equipment slot="Leg"
                   id="Item.plated_strip_boots" />
        <equipment slot="Head"
                   id="Item.peaked_helmet_over_mail" />
        <equipment slot="Gloves"
                   id="Item.mail_mitten" />
        <equipment slot="Cape"
                   id="Item.chainmail_shoulder_armor" />
      </EquipmentRoster>
      <EquipmentSet id="vlandia_troop_civilian_template_t3"
                    civilian="true" />
    </Equipments>
  </NPCCharacter>
I disagree, again... They must fix the AI & Formations first, than we'll see if the troops need further editing...
 

Bluko88

Sergeant
IMO the biggest downgrade in the game is Empire Peasant -> Empire Recruit.

It's a very similar problem though, the Empire Peasant gets a scythe and throwing stones and can overall defeat looters. Empire Recruits get a mix of weaker weapons that includes pitchforks, and no throwing weapons, and overall they will consistently lose to the same number of looters. So it's the same dynamic of going from a swinging polearm to a thrusting one and becoming useless, with the added insult(or just...more injury) to injury of losing throwing weapons that are actually kinda decent for a low tier troop.

I think some other Recruits are also downgrades from peasants but Empire is most noticeable for me. Of course, this is relatively minor since you can't recruit peasants and t5 balance is more important - but I've recently started a character that doesn't start with a bow for shooting packs of looters down for early renown and watching them cleave through recruits like butter was kinda odd.
Yeah Recruits in general are really frustrating, due to their lack of equipment.

Honestly I consider Recruits to be just Peasants, even though they are often worse! I legitimately avoid Recruits at all costs. It wouldn't be so bad if you could actually get them trained up in a relatively short period, but that's pretty difficult even with Perks.

Warband handled this a lot better. Even with a bunch of recruits in that game, with decent amount of Training skill you could get them to the mid-tiers fairly quick. But I guess in Bannerlord you're just supposed to stop and fight looters all the time, even though you can't create formation for just recruits anymore. And because recruits die so easily you lose about half of them anyway, so then you gotta get more recruits...

Everything is so blasted grindy and repetitive in this game it's ridiculous. It's unfortunate, but I really do feel the Devs are quite out of touch with how their game actually plays.

I disagree, again... They must fix the AI & Formations first, than we'll see if the troops need further editing...
Considering how long it has taken them to address spawns, armor, cavalry, etc. I don't think I want wait 2-3 years for their "fix" at this point

Honestly I'm almost positive they see no issues with spears currently. Not sure how that's possible since if you play in a couple practice fights in say an Imperial Arena, it's pretty effing obvious how gimped spears are.


Also my suggestion is a real simple fix for Pikemen ATM, not that hard to go back and give them a regular one-handed sword. Vlandian Pikemen as is are an utter waste. If they won't tweak them, then just remove them.

Well maybe with Mercenary Pikemen more folks will see how bad they are. Honestly all the new mercenaries in 1.9 are so **** performance wise and expensive, why anyone would recruit them is beyond me. Oh well great way to screw new players who won't know any better!
 
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