Honestly, I find flat stat increases in weapon tiers to be very dull. I think the game is at its best when upgrading to the next tier of weapon is not just a financial decision, but a tactical one as well. Take the Warbrand/Greatsword for example. The Greatsword deals a lot more damage than the Warbrand, but it isn’t better in every way, in all circumstances, because the Warbrand’s Slash ability takes fewer AP than the Greatsword’s Diagonal Strike (I think that’s what the skills are called). The two weapons have very similar utility, but I personally find that the Warbrand’s ability to attack twice makes it more useful than the Greatsword against low-to-mid-tier enemies.
I’d also like to mention the decision between arming a Brother with a Greatsword vs a Greataxe. They aren’t different weapon-tiers of course, but they serve a similar function. Stat-wise they’re fairly similar, but their abilities are different, and so that is what you end up having to consider when deciding between the two. The Greataxe has a greater total damage potential, for example, because it has an ability that lets it attack up to six different targets at once! That ability, however, is really only useful when the Brother is not standing next to any of his allies. This means that in order to use the Greataxe to full effect you need to either have a loose formation, or the Greataxe-wielding Brother must be outside of your formation. The Greatsword, on the other hand, can mesh very easily into a shield-wall. Its abilities don’t have quite the AoE potential of the Greataxe, but they are easier to use without endangering your Battle Brothers. The abilities of these two weapons completely change their role in the game.
I think it’s important to consider the abilities of a weapon, and how they might be different from what’s already in the game. Adding a weapon that fills the exact same role as a weapon that’s already in the game adds less to the game than adding a weapon that fills a different, even if only slightly, role. Having said all that: here are my thoughts on some of the weapons that have been suggested in this thread, and some suggestions of my own.
I like the idea of a Pole-Hammer that can destroy armour from behind the shield-wall. I think a range 2 spearwall ability might be a bit too much though. The two range 2 weapons in the game now (ignoring the Pitchfork, which is Baby’s First Polearm) have weapon abilities that are centered around positioning enemies, and in that regard they compliment one another. Pike Pushes, Bill Pulls. The Pole-Hammer could itself pair up with a Pole-Axe, where one can Destroy Armour, while the other can Sunder Shields.
I’m not entirely sure that I see the point of a “Bastard Sword”. Do you intend to use the Quick Hands ability to take your shield off before you attack, and then put it back on? The way I see it the weapon would have no real in-game purpose of its own outside of some very gamey exploits. Also, and I may be wrong, I imagine it might be a bit more work programming wise than most of the other suggestions, with rather little to show for it. If the idea is that it is a Warbrand that can be wielded with a shield then that’s pretty much already possible to do. Get Quick Hands and Bags and Belts on a Brother and Presto! You have, functionally, your Bastard Sword.
I actually like the idea of “Claws” quite a bit. I think something like a Cestus might be more appropriate though, and I don’t imagine them being something you’d buy in a shop. I think they would make very interesting weapons for an Orc Berserker though. Especially if you took some inspiration from some of the ones used by roman gladiators… those things were wicked.
I could honestly take or leave guns. I think people have a good point with Battle Brothers not really taking place in a time period where they would be common, although I’m no stickler for sticking to history in fiction, but hand cannons existed in China in the 11th century, so it isn’t totally out of place (in a cosmological sense :P). Personally, I wouldn’t mind a bit seeing a hugely expensive hand cannon appear in a port city every once in awhile. The description of the harbour building does describe it as dealing with “foreign merchants” after all. A hand cannon could be made sufficiently distinct from a crossbow to be interesting. Make it less accurate and take a full 9 AP to load, but deal greater damage and force a morale check on a hit. Boom!
More interesting than the addition of a hand canon, however, and I’d hope less distressing to historical purists, would be some manner of hand grenade. The Byzantines knew how to stick naptha in a pot and throw it, after all. I’d imagine they’d be built similarly to the nets: one use only. I’d imagine they’d only be available from a city with some manner of alchemist (so a new building type) or, and this I think could be clever, from goblins. Goblins with firebombs would be terrifying, but being able to loot those firebombs yourself if you could kill the gobbos before they could throw them would be a very nice reward. As for what they would do, well the game does currently lack any kind of ranged AoE.
I like the idea of having a Pavise, or a roman-style tower shield in the game, but I don’t think their stats should be quite as high as what people have suggested. Honestly, I think that a roman shield would have stats comparable to the current kite shield, but have an improved version of the Shield-Wall ability. I think the best (or at least most interesting) way to implement a Pavise wouldn’t be as a shield, but rather as a deployable item like the wardog. That would let your crossbowmen (who were great fans of the pavise shields) carry them around and then plop them down as cover. A pavise could basically function as an immobile unit with a high resistance to ranged attacks, but that gets swatted aside easily in melee. It would provide the user with as much cover as hiding behind a Brother, without forcing a Brother to soak arrows for your crossbowman.
The idea of a longbow is neat, but it really shouldn’t be any better against armour than any other bow. The armour-piercing was the work of the arrowheads the English used, not the bows. What was special about the longbow was its range! I think that, if implemented, a longbow would be best represented by increasing the range of the current hunting bow, while keeping the same (or similar) decrease in accuracy over range. The kind of engagements we play in Battle Brothers aren’t really all that suited for the kind of tactics that longbowmen used. Still, I think that having a bow that had a greater range would be interesting, particularly when compared with crossbows that add more power at a reduced range.
Slings are a very cool suggestion too, and I think that the greatest strength of a sling would let it remain useful throughout the game: you can find ammunition for a sling anywhere. Sure, you could get specific ammunition for your sling. Heavy lead bullets were much better than a stone off the ground, but the stone would still work. Damage adjustments and all that aside, I think the best way to differentiate a sling from a bow mechanically would be to have the sling be able to fire (with a penalty to range and damage perhaps) even without ammunition. Slings would be aces against the Undead.
More than anything else, I would like to see more weapons in the hands of other factions. I really like the feeling you get when you loot a goblin overseers crossbow. The ancient looking weapons that the skeletons in some of the mock ups (rather than in the game) look super cool. One of those skeletons looks like its brandishing a falx! Mechanically that would probably just be a bastardization between the Warbrand and the Cleaver, but still! Two handed cleaver would be awesome.
TL;DR: Weapons’ abilities are far more interesting than their stats, and suggestions should consider that. I want to loot cool stuff from enemies far more than I want to buy stuff from shops.