Mount and Blade: Warband has a spectacular addition to the combat of the first.
This doesn’t seem like a huge deal at first, but when you’re locked blade to blade in close combat, it can give you the space you need to swing a bigger weapon, or get a good thrust.
Or you could be like me and accidentally drop your two handed sword in the last round of a tournament facing an opponent on horseback with a lance. Which sounds like a recipe for disaster, of course. But it wasn’t.
I got off my horse, let him run into a corner, and buddy, I kicked that horse hard. I kicked and kicked until it buckled as my foe launched thrust after thrust, unable to hit me. He hit the ground and started dodging, using his superior speed as best he could, but I wouldn’t give him a target. He’d wind up, and I’d step to the inside, around the lance, and I’d fucking KICK.
I kicked him into a corner of the arena, mercilessly delivering boot after boot to the nethers.
It was a drawn out battle, and he landed a few true strikes between the weak blunt taps at face to face range, but was almost completely unable to use his weapon.
If Mount and Blade: Warband had a crowd, it would have been cheering. Women would have been throwing handkerchiefs and, dare I say it, entire corsets at me.
Wercheg would have erected a bronze statue in my honor. It would show me in mid-kick, steel booted foot in the air. My opponent’s face was hidden by his helmet, but his eyes would show terror and pain, a confusion as to how he started in this noblest of tournaments and ended up in a world without dignity. His spear would be thrust outward, under my arm, effectively harmless. His shield facing down, but unable to lower enough to protect him.
It would be inscribed as such.
“HERE STANDS MONUMENT TO THE GREAT ACHIEVEMENTS OF SLASH OF CALADRIA, WHO FELL KING RAGNAR IN THE FINAL ROUND OF THE GRAND TOURNAMENT OF WERCHEG WITH NAUGHT BUT THE SOLES OF HIS FEET AND THE ENDLESS DETERMINATION OF THE HEROES OF LORE. FROM NOW UNTIL THE END OF TIME SHALL HIS EXPLOITS BE KNOWN, UNTIL THE LORD GOD DOES END THE WORLD SHALL CODPIECES WITHER AND FOLD MERELY BY HIS PRESENCE.”