Shields are a type of Armor held in the hand that can block ranged and melee attacks, unlike blocking with a weapon which can only block melee from the correct angle. Shields can be used with One-handed weapons, Thrown weapons and most Polearms.
Shields block melee attacks in a 90 degree arc in front of you, (meaning that the attack can hit the front or rim of the shield) though when an attack is ranged, the projectile has to actually hit the shield. This should be kept in mind when advancing, especially while in first-person view, since angling the shield down to look past it presents your head to incoming projectiles. When slung over your back, they can still block ranged attacks coming from the rear. This does not damage the durability of the shield, unlike when it is wielded. Kicks will always stun a block regardless of the shield skill of the user or shield that is used. Only Board Shields cannot be used on horseback, though they usually have one of the highest durability ratings and size and are preferable if the player only fights on foot.
Different shields have widely differing stats, so you should choose the one that fits your playing style best.
Here's an explanation of what these stats mean:
- Name: This is the name of the shield. Modifiers of the shield indicate its strength. Thick and Reinforced ones are stronger, but avoid shields with the negative prefixes, Cracked or Battered.
- Shield Durability: This is the "health" of the shield; it determines how much damage it can take before it breaks. If it runs out, the shield will be dropped and can no longer be used for the remainder of the battle. The quality of a shield can deteriorate if it breaks.
- Sell Price: The selling price for the item. Like all other non-trade goods, this value will almost always be lower than the purchase value.
- Weight: This affects your overall encumbrance. The higher it is, the slower you move. Watch out for your encumbrance if you want to move fast on foot.
- Resistance: This is the damage subtracted from every hit the shield takes (the shield's armor). For example, a 0 Resistance shield hit by a blade will take 20 damage, which will drain its Durability; instead, a 10 Resistance shield hit by the same blade will take only 10 damage (20 minus 10). Resistance also factors against a successful guard crush. This parameter can be quite important for a shield. Weapons with the "bonus against shields" trait ignore this value as well as dealing double damage to shields. Ranged weapons with sufficient damage and missile speed can penetrate shields that have a low resistance. This damage is always reduced, however a hard enough hitting attack will still stagger you and force you to lower your shield. Shields can completely neutralize damage when held if the damage, modified by the shield skill, is low enough compared to its resistance.
- Size: This determines how much of your body is covered by your shield. For example, a 79 Size shield will cover only the upper part of your body, leaving the legs and the head exposed; instead, a 85x143 size shield will cover your whole body, leaving you vulnerable only from the back. Angling the shield up or down will change its coverage of either your feet or your head, be careful when looking down from high positions when there are enemy archers at the same elevation.
- Speed Rating: This affects how quickly you can block with your shield. Higher numbers are obviously better, especially when the character's Shield skill is low or non-existent.
The durability and resistance stats seem to be inversely proportional. Nordic Shields and Heater Shields have higher durability but low resistance, while shields designed to be used mounted are the opposite. Only cumbersome shields like the Huscarl's Round Shield, Board Shield and Steel Shield are exceptions, but these shields balance their greater protection with reduced speed and increased weight.
Shield and Shield skill
Note that use of a shield is heavily affected by the shield skill. Higher skill means higher shield resistance, speed and coverage. With high skill spent on it, you can expect your Steel Shield to be moved as fast as wooden ones and catch projectiles out of coverage as if it were a missile magnet.
The following Modifiers are available on all shields:
Note that words not listed here (Plain, Old, Heavy, etc.), are not modifiers, but part of the actual names of some shields.
If your shield were to be broken, the game may display the message Shield Deformed. If this happens, it means that your shield lost its good trait, or earned a bad trait. Unlike horses which heal back, shields don't; if your board shield became "Battered", there's no way to fix it. So manage your shield well; if your shield has taken heavy damage, it is better to throw your shield around to your back and block with your weapon (if you can) rather than damage a rather expensive shield such as a steel shield, unless of course it's a pick up weapon from the field.
You can never in any way destroy an allied troop's shield.
List of Shields
The following table contains all shields available in Warband.
|Hide Covered Round Shield
|Leather Covered Round Shield
|Old Round Shield
|Plain Round Shield
|Heavy Round Shield
|Huscarl's Round Shield
|Plain Cavalry Shield
|Round Cavalry Shield
|Elite Cavalry Shield
|Old Heater Shield
|Plain Heater Shield
|Heavy Heater Shield
|Horseman's Heater Shield
|Knightly Heater Shield
|Fur Covered Shield
|Old Kite Shield
|Plain Kite Shield
|Heavy Kite Shield
|Horseman's Kite Shield
|Knightly Kite Shield
|Old Board Shield
||280||3.5||4||85x143||89||60||Cannot be used on horseback|
|Plain Board Shield
||360||4.0||8||85x143||85||114||Cannot be used on horseback|
||430||4.5||10||85x143||81||210||Cannot be used on horseback|
|Heavy Board Shield
||550||5.0||14||85x143||78||370||Cannot be used on horseback|
|Plate Covered Round Shield
|Melee weapons — One-handed weapons (WF&S) • Two-handed weapons|
Two-handed/One-handed weapons • Polearms (WF&S) • Polearm/Two-handed weapons
Ranged weapons — Bows (WF&S) • Crossbows • Thrown weapons • Firearms (WF&S)
Armor — Body Armor (WF&S) • Helmets (WF&S) • Gloves (WF&S)
Boots (WF&S) • Shields (WF&S)
Other — Horses • Arena Equipment