Weapon Balance: Shields and Throwing Weapons

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It would be a good thing when armor would come in flavors itself and doubling effectiveness versus certain sources:
E.g: Plate would be good versus thrust and offer a bit more piercing resistance - at least it should offer excellent protection versus primitive stuff like thrown rocks and weak blunt (clang!). It would be weak versus high damage blunt or cut as it tends to deform
Mail would be great versus cut, but weak versus pierce and thrust
Padded would be good versus blunt and slash but weak versus thrust and pierce types.

Let us think the armor would do a full-scale reduction meaning 30 armor means -30 dmg deduced from hit. Maybe let through a minimum damage of 10% of the original hit. The program should be able to cope with it as it checks the area hit. If resistant versus this damage type, add+50%, if weak deduce -50%. This is just a primitive assumption and model but will give some troops more staying power and will make swarm tactics with light troops more efficient or at least important.
Furthermore, I wonder, whether we should be able to equip our troops ourselves as we already do with horses upon levelling. If we are to buy the weapons and armor ourselves for upgrading troops instead of paying a flat tiny sum of gold we could go the following model instead:

Imagine you recruit a X recruit that comes with his own equipment. Let's take a Vlandian Recruit for instance. Upon leveling we need to have the following items in inventory to make it work:
- for infantry branch we need a level 1 shield, a level 1 SH weapon, a level 1 head armor and some cloth armor.
- for the levy crossbowman we would need similar armor, no shield, a light X-bow and 2x bolts and a lvl 1 SH weapon
Wage would raise from 1 gold per day to 2 gold per day as for the assumption unit tier/level (for companions) equals gold costs per day. So it might become a bit easier to maintain an army, but raising it to higher levels will become harder so we eliminate the spamming of high quality troops as equipment is limited. Loot will become more important as it offers higher quality gear and not just another gold token for paying your army. Carpenters, Tanners and ironmongers will become more important as they supply the towns with needed weapons. Also persuading prisoners to join your forces will be a good thing to get higher-tier units without the need of buying their equipment. It happens slowly currently which is fine.
Yes, this is micromanagement, but meaningful micromanagement as you will really look what you will do. Imagine going to war with a Vlandian warband - you gain enough XP but are in empire lands. Problem: you might not get the proper equipment to level up your troops in the field but need to return to Vlandia to buy the correct stuff. Or you recruit auxilliar units from the empire or have them ready before campaigning. It changes the way, armies are built and gives trade a bit more muscles on its bones. Of course, silly prices like 30.000 gold for a bow must go now. Equipping the player should not be ridiculously expensive. The problem is: is there enough of the high level gear he wants to buy? Maybe only available in certain cities and not when a lord recently has bought the market empty because he upgraded his army. Maybe we should be able to order stuff at a smithy so he can tell us: your weapons and armor will be ready in 6 days - you can get retrieve them once you visit the city again.
For us it is just pay X gold and occasionally have a horse/war horse present.

I guess I should think again about this idea and make a suggestion thread about this. This might improve trade and campaigning a lot and give smithing a good reason to exist (what you don't have sturgian axes? Gimme your mallet and let me at the anvil, will ya?).

For peasant units I would offer the following mechanism:
- they are non-combattants and cannot be used in offensive battles but will form their own group when defending. They cost 1 gold per day and can be used to handle 5 animals of any type but use a slot in your army versus troop count.
- they can be upgraded to either their culture specific recruit or to a mercenary recruit with slightly different armament/stats which will result in merc style troops ending in merc cav, hired blades and hired crossbows
That way peasants are somewhat useful as they resemble camp followers increasing the number of horses, mules and other animals without danger of being killed in offensive battles.
 

Tajl

Squire
As my realistic-loving half agrees with you, my developer rest yells: No.
Realistic approach to the armor simulation, or just making armored troops hard to kill would be harmful for the balance of the game, since mostly T3 units already have mail or something like that, with armored plating on almost every tier above. Obtaining them in the manner as it is done now would make weak factions completely irrelevant during wars, as one well trained party of 80 would take literal seas of recruits on the chest with not much loses. Even strong factions, after one major defeat would have little to no chances against the enemy who slaughtered them before.
Yes, from the historic point of view, it would be accurate, but not for game balance with current mechanics. Maybe in future there will be mod that would accurately portrait such disproportions, but for now it just is not applicable.
Now trained party of 80 archers can kill any army without taking practically any casualties. May take some cheese depending on enemy army, but I don't think it is any better situation that it would be if armors would work like they historically did and armored troops would be able to kill any peasant army.
 

Askorti

Sergeant Knight at Arms
WB
As my realistic-loving half agrees with you, my developer rest yells: No.
Realistic approach to the armor simulation, or just making armored troops hard to kill would be harmful for the balance of the game, since mostly T3 units already have mail or something like that, with armored plating on almost every tier above. Obtaining them in the manner as it is done now would make weak factions completely irrelevant during wars, as one well trained party of 80 would take literal seas of recruits on the chest with not much loses. Even strong factions, after one major defeat would have little to no chances against the enemy who slaughtered them before.
Yes, from the historic point of view, it would be accurate, but not for game balance with current mechanics. Maybe in future there will be mod that would accurately portrait such disproportions, but for now it just is not applicable.
Well, that's another issue that needs tackling then, make it so that most lords, even soon after being defeated, dont have parties composed 80% of recruits.
Because even without the armor meaning much they still get slaughtered one way or another.
So yes, making armor stronger would make this problem even more visible, but that only means that it needs to be fixed, rather than "not exacerbated".
 
But...isn't that how it 'should' be? Go home, lick wounds and retrain? Instead come back with decent army and raid my stuff? Casualty numbers in war should make the AI consider peace if getting beaten. Ofc they only get recruits, but so do we if we have very bad luck. I don't think, armor is a bad thing per se and a crack squad of heavy infantry can and should be able to cut through a blob of peasants. The more I think about it, having 'too much' high tier troops is the problem here. A thing we players do often and wonder why lord's armies splat at our elite commandos. Which requires the AI to cheat...which infuriates players. Dog chases it's tail doesn't it?

Take the Khuzait's noble son - comes with horse included. Have two battles where he manages to kill someone (bleed him) and get a quanqli for what? 25 gold? 50 gold? BUT: equipment worth several hundreds out of thin air: Saddle, armor, sidearm, bow - just go and buy that stuff yourself.
Next tier we need a war horse. Luckily, steppe warhorses are dirt cheap. So again we end up with our troops progressing rather quickly to T4, the torguud for another 50 gold and a horse and we get decent stuff for that and better stats. For that ridiculous sum of gold and evrything comes out of thin air. Not even a caravan needed. We are unable to buy decent stuff because the player pays a multitude of gold for those items and needs to visit a city, but Qanqli to Torguud? Sure, that's a horse and 50 or 100 gold - DEAL! Then it is rather wait and pay 100 to get Keshik and another 100 to get Khan Guard. So the investment we have done is hiring cost of 200, a war horse and about 500 gold for a T6 troop and we can spam them. We plunder warhorses or have enough change money for them. Upgrades are paid from same change money - we just need to deal with the upkeep which is some kind of struggle. But when the components to upgrade were somewhat limited, many troops would simply stop at T3 because it would be a fuss to have everyone elite. I would have rather promote 2 out of 6 or 8 Noble sons up to Khan Guard and keep the rest at Qanqli level and same would be true for other troop types as well. Which would be funny as it eliminates a bit the discussions on why caravans and shops do so few money.
And Qanqli and Noble Sons can die rather quickly while only a few Khan Guards are a power projection, true but in that numbers are an asset easily lost if feces hits the fan. We would depend on lots of reliable T2 and T3 troops with us raising a few to higher tiers because we like to have our own bodyguard or have a small detachment for heavier tasks. And since there would be fewer elite troops in the game, the few there are are meaningful and should be a force to be reckoned with and yes, this means that armor should protect them properly but they still will succumb to being swarmed with hits.

If this would work, then we would not need to balance armor versus shield versus thrown and what not - or the need does not arise that quickly. Shields need to be breakable (even more true for lower quality ones), thrown should be deadly again and armor should matter. Balance could come out of army composition.
 
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But...isn't that how it 'should' be? Go home, lick wounds and retrain? Instead come back with decent army and raid my stuff? Casualty numbers in war should make the AI consider peace if getting beaten. Ofc they only get recruits, but so do we if we have very bad luck. I don't think, armor is a bad thing per se and a crack squad of heavy infantry can and should be able to cut through a blob of peasants. The more I think about it, having 'too much' high tier troops is the problem here. A thing we players do often and wonder why lord's armies splat at our elite commandos. Which requires the AI to cheat...which infuriates players. Dog chases it's tail doesn't it?

Take the Khuzait's noble son - comes with horse included. Have two battles where he manages to kill someone (bleed him) and get a quanqli for what? 25 gold? 50 gold? BUT: equipment worth several hundreds out of thin air: Saddle, armor, sidearm, bow - just go and buy that stuff yourself.
Next tier we need a war horse. Luckily, steppe warhorses are dirt cheap. So again we end up with our troops progressing rather quickly to T4, the torguud for another 50 gold and a horse and we get decent stuff for that and better stats. For that ridiculous sum of gold and evrything comes out of thin air. Not even a caravan needed. We are unable to buy decent stuff because the player pays a multitude of gold for those items and needs to visit a city, but Qanqli to Torguud? Sure, that's a horse and 50 or 100 gold - DEAL! Then it is rather wait and pay 100 to get Keshik and another 100 to get Khan Guard. So the investment we have done is hiring cost of 200, a war horse and about 500 gold for a T6 troop and we can spam them. We plunder warhorses or have enough change money for them. Upgrades are paid from same change money - we just need to deal with the upkeep which is some kind of struggle. But when the components to upgrade were somewhat limited, many troops would simply stop at T3 because it would be a fuss to have everyone elite. I would have rather promote 2 out of 6 or 8 Noble sons up to Khan Guard and keep the rest at Qanqli level and same would be true for other troop types as well. Which would be funny as it eliminates a bit the discussions on why caravans and shops do so few money.
And Qanqli and Noble Sons can die rather quickly while only a few Khan Guards are a power projection, true but in that numbers are an asset easily lost if feces hits the fan. We would depend on lots of reliable T2 and T3 troops with us raising a few to higher tiers because we like to have our own bodyguard or have a small detachment for heavier tasks. And since there would be fewer elite troops in the game, the few there are are meaningful and should be a force to be reckoned with and yes, this means that armor should protect them properly but they still will succumb to being swarmed with hits.

If this would work, then we would not need to balance armor versus shield versus thrown and what not - or the need does not arise that quickly. Shields need to be breakable (even more true for lower quality ones), thrown should be deadly again and armor should matter. Balance could come out of army composition.
That is one thought-out opinion. I would like that, from my perspective, but take other, less experienced players into consideraction - You buy the game, you play it, fight and everything, and you want to have good army. You upgrade your troops for some money, then T4 comes and you have to pay 10k gold (at least) per one upgraded head. Wouldn't it be discouraging from any progress? I mean, yeah, forcing player to grind 10k is maybe fuel for someone's engine, but standard player will be struggling a lot I guess, not mentioning later upkeeping whole kingdom.
It is not I don't like your idea, I like it a lot, but we have to remember that it is a commercial product and it has to sell and play well, especially that base experience is only gateway to modded experience. If a player is not discouraged from playing, he wants more, he gets mods. And modding player are maybe 30-40% of total, rest enjoys vanilla, and TW needs to focus on those (remembering of modders, as we can see by modularity of game).

I suppose I will involve myself into some king of modding of game this way, but for now I have bannerlord broken and new job on the horizon, so I have to postpone these plans.

Well, that's another issue that needs tackling then, make it so that most lords, even soon after being defeated, dont have parties composed 80% of recruits.
Because even without the armor meaning much they still get slaughtered one way or another.
So yes, making armor stronger would make this problem even more visible, but that only means that it needs to be fixed, rather than "not exacerbated".
Issue is that wars in BL are too fast for "fall back and recover", sieges last days, and there is major battle every 3-5 days. It has to be fast. Partial fix to the issue is my proposed "usefulisation" of castles, discussed here. I am still hesitant to make such disproportions, especially from the TW POV.
 

Askorti

Sergeant Knight at Arms
WB
Issue is that wars in BL are too fast for "fall back and recover", sieges last days, and there is major battle every 3-5 days. It has to be fast. Partial fix to the issue is my proposed "usefulisation" of castles, discussed here. I am still hesitant to make such disproportions, especially from the TW POV.
IMO the real problem is that unlike in real life, battles in Bannerlord are almost always a complete wipe for the losing side. Meanwhile historically the majority of the losing side would survive the battle and either retreat or get captured, but they could come back to fight another day. Meanwhile in BL the losing side gets pretty much eradicated, and the prisoners get turned either into troops for the enemy, or a trade good to be spirited away.
 
IMO the real problem is that unlike in real life, battles in Bannerlord are almost always a complete wipe for the losing side. Meanwhile historically the majority of the losing side would survive the battle and either retreat or get captured, but they could come back to fight another day. Meanwhile in BL the losing side gets pretty much eradicated, and the prisoners get turned either into troops for the enemy, or a trade good to be spirited away.
Yeah, I agree, I even brought up similar argument in other thread. But for bannerlord this is not applicable I guess, as in fight 10 looters vs 14 recruits one side would flee after death 2-4 members of each side, making early fights incredibly short, but also unsatisfying, and troops would be useless, forcing player to go Thanos' way and do everything himself. In large battles yes, that would be neat, but only if the fight would be longer, less deadly and more tactical than all>>charge. But this also would harm player participation in the game and long long duels with individual enemies may feel like massive grind, and may discourage people who play for sword swinging part of the game. I say may, because I do not know everything and I just loudly speculate.
From the other hand, it would be more rewarding to assemble decent army and lead them to victory, in a tactical sense. Also would improve survivability of kingdoms, and reduce snowballing (maybe with a bit of khuz armour nerf). But this is specific and I guess that mods will be our salvation.

It is just hard to treat every soldier as individual AND a unit at the same time, managing morale depending on the situation on the battlefield, because how you determine that army is being flanked? You don't know if the player will issue a cav charge or other relieving order, or if this is a part of a battle plan to trap the enemy. You can't determine that in-game unless you have whole plan presented before, and that kills versatility of a player and adaptiveness of his action. This is hard topic to implement, guess this is why we don't see many games like M&B.
 
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