I must note we have come to agreement about the historical aspect, but I have to ask: Can formations even be implemented in game (regarding A.I.) to represent with what has been concluded?
The alternative method is preferable, arming all shieldwall units with spears, as it requires nothing that ought to change from what currently is the case.
In that case, a couple of factors we have to take into account.
Shield wall push?
By doing the alternative method, we negate this aspect. Spearmen are static; yes, they don't let anyone pass, but they don't engange in any way like sword/axe.
Sword > Spear
If the enemy deploy a wall of spears, my first instinct is to promptly send forth my swordsmen for a hacking job; I will most certinly take home the enemy banner.
Secondly, I want to look into what it's like for the player. A suggestion.
What if the player is LOI, not the A.I..
Range, Infantry and Cav... Ops, they don't have mounts. Is there something we can do with their stats to better represent their armies?
A sturdy shieldwall. Preferable a support role.
Mitigate the stats of potential of merc. cavalry.
Exception to the standard spearmen:
What if the spearmen hold their weapons like the Byzantine heavy spearmen (pikemen)? Would that might give them some advantage?
In veneration of the CBUR, what I'm thinking of when it comes to an ideal support unit is close to what is described as the Contarati unit,:
That last picture emulate well what is the point.
They suppor whoever is right infront of them (Tuathanachs, Uachdaran or Gaisgeach).
They are able to advance forward like a scottish pikeformation (vanilla pikes, they are deadly).
"Those 3 m. spears are way too long. "
Counter-cons: 2/3 or 1/2 of the spear length of the Contarati will be better the shieldwall.
"Those spearmen stand too loose."
Counter-cons: I agree, perhaps make them even tigther in formations. Tighter formation means better conistency AND further spearlenght.
These spears already are pretty long compared to Vanilla, and should act better for the player if he chooses to make them a supporter unit.
If variables (campaign/battle stats) make some formations favorable to the LOI player, then the player himself might choose to fight differently, I think.