Bannerlord Couched Lance: How to Master This Powerful Attack Technique

Last updated on March 31, 2024

Learn how to master the couched lance technique in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord for a devastating cavalry charge.

Key takeaways:

  • Automatic Positioning: The game sets the lance in the optimal position.
  • Momentum-Based Damage: Faster horse speed means more damage.
  • Timing and Control: Activate couch just before impact and steer accurately.
  • Cooldown Period: Strategic planning needed after each use.
  • Armament and Skills Influence: Specific lances and skills affect effectiveness.

Table of Contents

Understanding the Mechanism of a Couched Lance in Bannerlord

In Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, the couched lance is a devastating cavalry technique. Unlike thrusting with the lance, couching involves tucking the lance under the arm and relying on the momentum of the horse to drive the lance into the target. This method transforms the rider’s speed into raw impact power, often capable of unseating opponents or penetrating heavy armor.

Key points of the couched lance mechanism include:

  • Automatic Positioning: Once activated, the game automatically sets the lance in the optimal position for impact.
  • Momentum-Based Damage: The faster the horse is moving, the more damage the couched lance will inflict upon contact with the enemy.
  • Timing and Control: The rider must time the activation of the couch just before impact and steer the horse accurately to hit the target.
  • Cooldown Period: After use, there’s a short period where the lance cannot be couched again, requiring strategic planning.
  • Armament and Skills Influence: Specific lances are designed for couching, and character skills may enhance the effectiveness or reduce the cooldown.

Understanding these facets ensures that players can effectively integrate the couched lance into their cavalry tactics for maximum battlefield efficiency.

Historical Background of the Couched Lance Technique

The technique dates back to the Middle Ages, when heavy cavalry dominated European battlefields. Knights would secure lances under their arms for stability, turning both horse and rider into a unified projectile. This method contrasted with earlier practices where lances were merely thrown or held loosely for jabs. The couching method allowed for more forceful and direct impact against enemy lines.

As plate armor developed, the couched lance became an effective tool to puncture through the defenses of opposing mounted units or infantry. Its usage peaked during the 12th and 13th centuries, with the lance rest, a small bracket mounted on the armor, being introduced for added support.

The practice was refined through jousting tournaments, which emulated the conditions of warfare and allowed knights to hone their skills. Despite its effectiveness, the rise of infantry tactics and firearms in the late medieval period led to the decline of the couched lance’s prominence.

In “Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord,” the couched lance mechanic reflects the historical use of momentum and timing, requiring players to master the technique for maximum combat effectiveness.

Tactical Advantages of Using a Couched Lance

The couched lance technique in “Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord” offers several advantages on the battlefield. Firstly, it provides increased damage potential. When a lance is couched, it benefits from the combined speed of the horse and wielder, delivering far more devastating blows than a lance used in a regular thrust. Secondly, there’s an automatic hit feature: while couching, aiming is not as crucial, the game helps guide the lance to the target, which is essential in the heat of fast-paced cavalry combat.

Another benefit is the safety factor. By keeping the lance at a distance and charging at full speed, players minimize the risk of direct confrontation and melee combat where the rider is more vulnerable. Additionally, couching a lance has a psychological impact on both AI and real opponents; the sight of an oncoming cavalryman in a full charge can be intimidating, often breaking enemy lines or causing them to scatter.

Effective use of a couched lance also requires mastering the timing. Couching just before impact maximizes damage and helps to prevent the enemy from blocking or dodging the attack. Couched lances, when used in coordination with the cavalry unit, can become a defining force in open-field battles, disrupting enemy formations and creating openings for allied troops.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Couch a Lance

1. Equip your character with a lance marked as ‘couchable’ in the equipment screen; this is crucial as not all lances can be couched.

2. Mount your horse, ensuring it has reached a sufficient speed – only then will the couching option become available.

3. Press the designated ‘couch lance’ button once you’re at full gallop. Note that the button varies depending on your gaming platform: check your control settings for the exact key or button.

4. Keep your horse on a straight path as the lance locks into its couched position, pointing horizontally forward.

5. Maneuver towards your target, maintaining your steed’s speed to ensure maximum impact upon striking.

6. Aim carefully and release your lance at the right moment as you approach the enemy; the lance will automatically deal damage without requiring an additional button press.

7. After impact, be ready to withdraw the lance and prepare for subsequent actions, such as manual attacking or another couched lance charge, as there is a brief cooldown before you can couch your lance again.

Combat Scenarios and Best Practices for Couching a Lance

Employing a couched lance effectively requires not only skill but also an understanding of the battlefield context. Here are some insights into optimizing this technique in various combat scenarios:

  • Charge Timing: Begin your lance charge from a suitable distance to build up enough speed for maximum impact, preferably when the enemy is engaged and less likely to dodge.
  • Target Selection: Focus on isolated targets or the flanks of enemy formations to avoid getting surrounded after the initial strike.
  • Maintain Momentum: After a successful hit, continue riding forward to prevent being caught stationary, which would leave you vulnerable to counterattacks.
  • Terrain Use: Utilize open plains for better maneuverability and to capitalize on the lance’s reach; avoid forested or uneven terrain that can disrupt your charge.
  • Companion Coordination: Work in tandem with other cavalry units to overwhelm enemy defenses, using the couched lance as the tip of the spear.
  • Practice Dismounted Combat: Be adept at fighting on foot for situations where you can’t rely on your mount, ensuring you’re not exclusively dependent on the couched lance.

By applying these best practices, you can maximize your combat effectiveness when wielding a couched lance.

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