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When I first started playing the game, I thought the lance ruled all, but the more I play it the less value I put to it. One of the shortcomings of the lance is that it only works really well when you are on a horse going full forward and then only in a small area immediately in front of your charging steed. If you ever get dismounted and desperately try to fend off multiple attackers with a lance, you will become acutely aware of a couple of its shortcomings. One being that it is slow and two that it doesn’t do much damage unless it’s going +20 mph fast.

Well, we'll just have to agree to disagree then :)

My preferred weapons load is a lance or similar and shield, arrows and bow. Now, obviously this isn't ideal if you're unhorsed - so try not to be. But it's quite possible to survive and prosper on foot. I tend to pick up the first one handed weapon I see lying around in those cases, but a bow and arrow can do a good job up close until you can find a sword. It's also possible to do some damage with the lance, but obviously not easy. If you have some sort of spear, or double ended lance or something it's more effective than an actual lance which I don't tend to use., because despite the extra reach it is, as you say, unwieldy. By the time I'm unhorsed I've normally destroyed any cohesion the enemy troops have anyway and my cavalry is running amok so I don't get mobbed.

When I'm forced to become stationary whilst still mounted a shield is essential - if you're surrounded by a mob of screaming peasants it's nice to be able to hide behind a big bit of metal whilst you get your horse moving again. It's also damned useful for when you're trying to get up and over castle walls under fire.

I guess that's the beauty of this game. Different strokes for different folks. You could play as a simple trader if you liked (though you'd still need to fight off bandits), or you can be an infantryman, an archer or a lancer - all of them can work if you go about things the right way. I just find cavalry to be the quickest and easiest way to inflict some serious hurt.

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