Weapons can come in a variety of different forms, each with their own styles, benefits, and disadvantages. They cover all kinds off attacks to bash, stab, and cut your opponent. Most weapons are governed by your Weapon Proficiencies, the player's ability to use specific weapons, which may be personally increased when you level up, and will also automatically improve through use.
Melee weapons Edit
Axes, swords, polearms, fists, and some thrown weapons can be used in hand-to-hand combat. Weapons such as the shorter axes are more effective against shields and more capable in close quarters, where as a polearm is (often) near useless in close combat. From horseback, the lance dominates when couched, which delivers the most damage to be found in the game. To be an effective hand-to-hand warrior, the player must have a high level of Strength and skills in Power Strike, Shield, Athletics and (optionally) Weapon Master with high weapon proficiencies in any of the Melee Weapons that the proficiency applies to.
One-handed weapons Edit
One-handed weapons are relatively light weapons designed for use with a shield. They do less damage compared to two-handed weapons, but they are faster and give you the advantages of having a shield, which include being better able to defend against ranged attacks (such as thrown objects and arrows) and being better able to defend yourself if your horse is killed.
Two-handed weapons Edit
Two-handed weapons are varieties of hard-hitting weapons like large axes, swords, and hammers. They can deal more damage per-hit than their one-handed counterparts, but you cannot use a shield with them and they generally attack more slowly. These weapons have a greater reach than one-handed weapons on average.
One-handed/Two-handed weapons Edit
There are only a few weapons that can be wielded as two-hand/one-handed weapons. To switch between one and two handed, you have to equip/unequip your shield. Using such a weapon will allow you to choose lesser damage and good defense or good damage and lesser defense. Any one/two handed weapon will deal more damage and swing faster when used with both hands. Note that when on horseback, such weapons are always used with one hand, so there's no advantage to putting away your shield aside from changing the weapon proficiency that the weapon will benefit from.
Polearms are weapons like staves, spears, and pikes. Generally polearms have a higher weapon reach than other melee weapons, although some can be tricky to use effectively without a horse because once an enemy closes distance many polearms become nearly useless. A horse is thus essential for maintaining distance (there are some exceptions to this, notably the shortened spear and quarterstaff, which can often be used effectively in close-combat on foot).
Polearms have the unique ability to stop a charging horse in its tracks when thrust forward by foot soldiers. While the damage is often negated due to the horse being too close to the wielder by the time the attack is performed, this is an effective way of stopping the occasional lone horseman and allowing teammates in multiplayer or infantry in single player mode to mob the temporarily immobile foe.
Some polearms can't be used with a shield due to their large size or due to the need to balance the weapon.
Polearms can be used to strike the enemy using a 'couched' technique. This can be done when on a horse and moving at a fairly high speed. The polearm will automatically go into "couching position" when the speed of the horse is sufficient, and when it hits an enemy, it will inflict a great deal of damage.
Polearm/Two-handed weapons Edit
There are only a few Polearm/Two-handed weapons (column Other) available. These long axes will all have a lower weapon speed and lose their ability to thrust while used as two-handed weapons along with getting the "Unbalanced" status, though the change in stance will slightly increase the reach of the weapon as well as allow them to be swung from horseback.
Ranged weapons Edit
Ranged Weapons are the alternative to hand-to-hand combat. They are very useful in most situations, but are difficult to handle effectively against enemies that manage to get in close. The Weapon proficiencies are archery, crossbow and throw. It contains the skills Power Draw and Horse Archery (if desired, allowing mounted ranged combat, a lethal combination). Weapons include the various bows, crossbows and thrown weapons. The only drawback to ranged weapons is that launchers such as bows and crossbows require that ammunition is equipped in one weapon slot, reducing the number of weapons the player can equip. Bows use arrows and so the player must have at least one quiver of arrows and these are not unlimited in battle. After a battle the arrow stocks will be replaced (returning to your inventory in a battle also replaces your ammo). One way to avoid running out is to equip many quivers (up to 3), but of course there are drawbacks to this. The recommended weapon combination for a ranged unit is a bow, two quivers, and a two-handed sword or axe.
Bows are best used by characters who are more specialized towards ranged damage. At first glance, a bow would appear to deal less damage than a crossbow. However, the damage a bow can deal is greatly increased by each level of the Power Draw skill. A character with a Power Draw skill of 7 will deal almost twice as much damage as the bow implies. Potentially, a mundane bow can be much more powerful than some more expensive crossbows, in addition to its faster firing rate. Reaching the level necessary to achieve this can take a long time, but attaining a high skill plus knowledge of arrow trajectory makes the bow a devastating weapon if used by a skilled warrior.
Arrows are the ammo for bows and it is possible to equip more than one quiver of arrows at a time for a larger arrow pool. Each kind of arrows has a damage bonus/penalty and a set number for each stack.
Crossbows are meant to be used by characters who are not specialized in Archery. They also are far more appropriate for ranged characters who prefer sniping the enemy to hit-and-run archery. Crossbows have a good starting precision even without high proficiencies, which can allow characters greater hit rates than even the most accurate archer and they have only Strength as requirement. However, they are very slow to reload, needing two or three times longer than the bow (improves with proficiency), they have a stronger arc, and only the lighter crossbows can be reloaded while on horseback.
Since the damage is not augmented by any attributes, a crossbow user can expect to spend much more money in order to have a higher damage weapon than a bow user would have to spend to deal the same damage per shot. It is advisable not to put points in Crossbows for your character unless you plan to use them regularly.
Thrown Weapons Edit
Thrown weapons lack the range of bows and crossbows, bolts and arrows, but can deal an decent amount of damage if the user has enough points in the Power Throw skill. They are generally useful to melee-oriented characters or to those who have a spare slot in their equipment screen. Spear and axe type throwing weapons can also be used in melee. Some throwing weapons such as throwing axes have extra damage against shields similar to the melee variant of axe.When player has high enough proficiency and high Power Throw skill, the throwing weapons outperform bows and crossbows in accuracy.