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Thread: Early spearmen unit

  1. #1
    Member Member TheViking's Avatar
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    What are they good for they cant stop anything, they cant hold their ground, they always are losing or losing badley, they cant even fight well against any cav at all. I even had a spearunit get slaughterd by a peasant unit both v2, the spearunit had 80 men and ran when there were 20 left, the peasantunit had 100 and was 80 when the spears ran.

    So why are they in the game, and is there any good use for them?
    There I see my father.
    There I see my mother, my sisters and brothers.
    There I see my line of ancestors back to the beginning.
    They call on me and ask me to take my place with them in the halls of Valhalla where the brave may live forever.

    TheViking a.k.a AggonyViking a.k.a FearTheViking a.k.a WildboarViking

  2. #2

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    I've had a totally different experience with early spearmen. Sure their not great, but they are your earliest anti-cav unit. I've had lowly old spearman waste royal knights before it's just a matter of making them face you head on. Once flanked spearmen are worthless though.

  3. #3

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    Try setting them to " Engage at will " It decreses their Defensebonus but increases their Meele bonus. Works well vs. early Cav and peasants



    You may not want to abuse the system, but the system is abusing you

  4. #4
    Corporate Hippie Member rasoforos's Avatar
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    huh? i never had problems with early spearmen. they seem to be doing their job ok. maybe you are not positioning them properly or leave their sides of flanks exposed to attacks.
    Αξιζει φιλε να πεθανεις για ενα ονειρο, κι ας ειναι η φωτια του να σε καψει.

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  5. #5

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    personally i'd leave them on 'hold formation' against cavalry, much less likely to break and run then. and they should eat peasants regardless.

  6. #6
    Cybernetic Samurai Member TenkiSoratoti's Avatar
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    At high honour they are good at holding the flank.
    "The good fighters of the old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat and then waited for an opportunity to defeat the enemy." - Sun Tzu

  7. #7
    Member Member TheViking's Avatar
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    i dont know why i keep producing them.
    Now i had 1 unit of early Spears charging a hobilar unit with support from another spearunit attack from the rear.

    My units 2V the hobilar 2V.

    The hobilar killed half my units winning easily all the time. Then i killed the enemys gen and the hobilars kept on killing them till i got a step cav to flank that unit, and then they ran.

    after the fight those 2 units of mine only had 74 men together.
    There I see my father.
    There I see my mother, my sisters and brothers.
    There I see my line of ancestors back to the beginning.
    They call on me and ask me to take my place with them in the halls of Valhalla where the brave may live forever.

    TheViking a.k.a AggonyViking a.k.a FearTheViking a.k.a WildboarViking

  8. #8

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    I agree with Jaret, you should set them to engage at will, otherwise only individual spearmen that are close to the horsies fight. I'd like to clarify though about decreasing dfense&increasing offense. Engage at will is actually the basic stat(as seen in F1 window). Since default is hold formation for spearmen (which adds +2 defence,-2 melee), going back to engage at will reduce the defence & increase melee back to its original stat.

    --Bosdur a.k.a UgliRaichu--

  9. #9
    Humanist Senior Member A.Saturnus's Avatar
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    Engage is usefull when the enemy has a shorter line because in formation, most spearmen will do nothing (you even get "standing" sometimes). I usually let them take the charge and then engage so the enemy gets surrounded. Spearmen should stop charges from most light cav and they can even hold out against knights for a while so you can flank them with own cav.

  10. #10

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    Nein My earliest spearmen units have survived well into
    the late 14th century in my campaign, and most of them have
    maximum valor...they are far from "useless"
    Gonna give 'em some hell
    - JSBX, 1998

  11. #11
    Member Member Knight_Yellow's Avatar
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    Why use spearmen when u can build militia who r well better at everything in my experience although my usual core inf now is higland clansmen as they r ard as nails and cut up horses pretty quik compared to other inf (even spears).

    British Army: be the best

  12. #12
    AKA Leif 3000 TURBO Senior Member Leet Eriksson's Avatar
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    the byzantines are pretty bad at the spear department..they have only early spearmen(this can be solved by taking over siwtzerland though),but what i find useful is their kataphraktoi,always have some kataphraktoi with yer spears and always flank heavy units and run over broken MAA and archers.
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  13. #13
    King of the Potato People. Senior Member Sir Chauncy's Avatar
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    I agree, I think that the spearmen units are useless. Whenever I have used them or for that matter the Feudal Sargents unit they always are either losing or lossing badly, even against units they are supposed to excel against, like Cav. I had a moment when I sandwiched a unit of Lithuanian Cav Between two units of Spears: One Feudal and one normal, they both had Valour 1 against a green unit of this cav. They got hammered and the Fuedals were fighting downhill. I know that things have been made different in the patch about Cav and Spears but this surely isn't right is it?
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  14. #14
    Member Member chilliwilli's Avatar
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    Got to love those Nubian spearmen .
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  15. #15
    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
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    I honestly don't know what you people are talking about. For the price, I find spearmen to be a reliable, dependable defensive unit.

    Naturally, they aren't going to hold up to a charge of gothic knights for long- but they'd be completely unbalanced if they did. Its also foolish to expect them to be much good at melee, in my opinion at least. Their main use is to stop and hold calvary without breaking before you can bring in support from the flank or rear.
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  16. #16
    Member Member Saki's Avatar
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    Generally spear units are poor attackers.There main objective is to defend and hold other untis in place.Since most of us use spears in the default hold formation, this makes them even less effective as attackers.Most people know the rule of thumb with spears but as with all rules there are exceptions.There are so many different factors that effect unit performance.

    Having your gerneral near your unti will give a morale bonus.

    Just moving a unit near an enemy flank can cause a morale drop of the enemy.

    Charging your cavalry by an enemy unit but not engaging can be quite effective in breaking low morale troops and still leaves you in full control of the cav.

    Deep formations are good at recieving charges or an attack,but if you are doing the attacking it night be better to stretch the unit out a bit so it can wrap around the enemy in engage at will mode.

    If the troops you are fighting have no where to retreat they will fight all the harder.

    Early spear units dont hold formation to well so if they start to break up in the mellee you might consider putting them in engage at will.If they have lost alot of men tho you dont want to be giving them to many orders while in mellee.cathch 22.

  17. #17
    Member Member TheViking's Avatar
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    Ill see if i have a pic, if not ill see if i can get one and post it in here
    There I see my father.
    There I see my mother, my sisters and brothers.
    There I see my line of ancestors back to the beginning.
    They call on me and ask me to take my place with them in the halls of Valhalla where the brave may live forever.

    TheViking a.k.a AggonyViking a.k.a FearTheViking a.k.a WildboarViking

  18. #18
    Member Member Postino's Avatar
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    they are there so you can give them valor 4 in MP and suprise the crap out of the other guy when his unit flees from them.

    oops, i shouldnt have said that
    Standing up for the rights of gay spies everywhere.

  19. #19
    Member Member hoom's Avatar
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    Having spearmen is better than not having spearmen unless you have something better than spearmen available. In early for a lot of factions, there isn't anything better available.

    Its always a great feeling to actually survive a battle where your entire army is wavering to an enemy charge at some point...
    maybe those guys should be doing something more useful...

  20. #20
    Member Member Musashi's Avatar
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    Bah. I build militia instead of spearmen. Faster to get them, they're just as good at defending, and as a bonus do more damage in the process. The only area they are weaker in than spearmen is they're more vulnerable to arrows.

    -Musashi
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  21. #21
    Magister Vitae Senior Member Kraxis's Avatar
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    Saki has got it right.

    Spearmen are not supposed to win battles on their own. They are great at holding enemies, and should as such be deployed like that.
    Let the Spearmen take the brunt of the enemy charge and use other units to flank or attack into gaps. In very early games you can win spectacular battles by using Spearmen and Urban Militia and a 1:1 ratio.
    Naturally I try to get onto better spears quickly but the Spearmen has never let me down (as I consider them as Peasants with shields and spears).

    Urban Militia alone is a dangerous path to take, they suffer heavily to not only ranged enemies (as you said Musashi) but they suffer greatly from charges of any kind and cav charges in particular.
    Spearmen have a basic defense of 1 to the front (-1 to the rear) while the Urban Militia have 0 and generally the Spearmen are in Hold Formation getting a frontal defense of 3, further the Spearmen have a major advantage in numbers, and don't forget the rankbonus of 2 def if your spears are in three ranks. Lastly mounted charges are nullified (there is not added any chargebonus to the attackvalue of the cav unit if it hits spears frontally).
    All this makes Spearmen very good defenders but very bad attackers in Early games.

    I never expect my spearmen to win any single fight, but I expect them to hold on long enough for me to send help, and as said I have never been let down. Sure enough I don't make it always, but then it has either been a vastly unbalanced fight or simply too late in the timeperiod for them to have a chance.



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  22. #22
    Member Member Exile's Avatar
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    I use spearmen to good effect early in the game. As a side note - i fought a battle yesterday where I bribed one nuetral peasent army but the other did not accept the bribe. My general had 4 stars vs. the other general's 2 stars. They had one unit of spearmen which I charged from uphill with peasants, then flanked and attacked from the rear with three other peasant units. The enemy spearmen made good account of themselves and held against all 4 of my peasant units, even inflicted heavy losses on my rabble. At last the enemy spearmen broke, but only after I killed their peasent general with my hobilars. I'd say even with the inferior general, those spearmen were worth 4+ peasent units. This doesn't take into account their advantage vs calvary and superior resistance to archers becuase neither was a factor in that battle.

    Early in the game, for the money, spearmen are a good unit IMO.
    - All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke

  23. #23
    Member Member desdichado's Avatar
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    they are not spectacular but they do the job adequately although I upgrade to fuedal sarges asap.

    Still have defeated 5+ units of royal knights with spearman and urban milita - not one unit routed and losses were only moderate (generals were about even - pretty low*). Could have been prepatch - can't remember.

    Would not even consider only milita seargents in my army - arows hurt them too much and cavalry can wipe them with their charge.

    I continue using Feudal seargants long after I get chiv sarges as I find them reliable and have better morale anyway

  24. #24
    Magister Vitae Senior Member Kraxis's Avatar
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    It wasn't even Militia Sergeants... only Urban Militia (note the speed with which you are supposed to get them).

    Spearmen prepatch defeated even Lancers with great ease, and that was very strange. Now they are more like they are supposed to, lasting forever but will lose eventually.
    You may not care about war, but war cares about you!


  25. #25
    Senior Member Senior Member econ21's Avatar
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    Kraxis - good point about the patch. Reading this thread, I was beginning to think I was the only one with a memory. Before the patch, everyone was saying MTW was too boring and arguably unhistorical, because vanilla spearmen ruled. Now they do seem much better positioned, as a stop gap before you up-tech to superior troops. I still sometimes play them as if it were pre-patch and am appalled at the results.
    PS: Anyone know what the patch did to spearmen? I know it gave cav a better "pushback" effect. But did it also boost swords etc vs spears?




  26. #26
    BLEEEE! Senior Member Daveybaby's Avatar
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    I agree, spearmen got reamed in the patch (and rightly so). Now, like any unit, they are not a solution in themselves but form an essential part of a balanced force.

    If they dont work for you in *any* circumstances then youre just not using them right.

  27. #27
    Magister Vitae Senior Member Kraxis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Simon Appleton @ Dec. 16 2002,07:51)]PS: Anyone know what the patch did to spearmen? I know it gave cav a better "pushback" effect. But did it also boost swords etc vs spears?
    I heard that swordunits get a +1 to attack against spears. That is to even the fight of MAA fighting the same sears.
    You may not care about war, but war cares about you!


  28. #28
    Cybernetic Samurai Member TenkiSoratoti's Avatar
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    Spears essential against good players on fnkas to protect against rear attack cav charges and flnking movements.
    "The good fighters of the old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat and then waited for an opportunity to defeat the enemy." - Sun Tzu

  29. #29
    Member Member TheViking's Avatar
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    now i really know they arnt any good no matter what anyone else say.

    I dont use them wrong couse it doesnt matter what i do they always lose or lose badly, even if its downhill, from flank or rear attack, if they are supported by any other unit, against light cav and even if the spears have higher valor in all these situations they lose.

    Anyway, in my last battle i fought, the enemy come charging downhill with a spearunit, he was going to hit my flank, the only thing i had free was a mounted serg, unit.

    I thout i should see if the ai also would get killed killed if i attacked him with my cav unit.

    i lost 4 men in my unit. The spears hold their spot till it was down to 28 men and then they ran. The valor of both units was 2.

    The spearunit should have won easily
    There I see my father.
    There I see my mother, my sisters and brothers.
    There I see my line of ancestors back to the beginning.
    They call on me and ask me to take my place with them in the halls of Valhalla where the brave may live forever.

    TheViking a.k.a AggonyViking a.k.a FearTheViking a.k.a WildboarViking

  30. #30

    Thumbs up

    Just today I had four units of spearmen kill two units of knights templar (which interestingly appeared in a stack of islamic rebels in palestine). These were valor zero spearmen brought up to valor two by the general. I was on a hill. I took their charge with one group then flanked with the other group on engage at will.

    In that battle, i had 5 units of basic archers, 2 units of royal knights, 9 units of basic spearmen. I routed 3000 turcoman foot, knights hospitalars naptha throwers murabatim infantry and peasants. Only one of my spearmen went below 65 men in strength. None wavered. And my general was crack brain. (-2 morale.)I didn't use any special strategy, I just camped on a hill and relied on the strength of my spearmen and proper flanking.

    I find spearmen the best early unit for most catholic factions, until I can build feudal sergeants.




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