5- I agree mid game items tend to be used and then gone quite quickly, I loot that gear from my foes, ally a village with good stock, and sell items to get high-end stuff way-before my enemies roll out with similar gear. Which is a shame as I like the idea of motley archers and rusty mailed melee troops, but value of veteran troops exceed the costs of quality armour, especially with high recruitment costs. To keep mid-game going I’d need to maintain a numerical advantage for longer, get better men for my money, have men quit of their own accord, fight weaker less profitable enemies.
6-8- I definitely think that two handed weapons are powerful enough, especially if you count billhooks. Against goblins shields are much more valuable due to their reliance on ranged attacks, so I’ll forgo 2 handers in that case, but against orks, you really need a shielded frontline with crossbow support able to transition to the billhook (to keep your glass cannons out of range). Against the undead(++), plebs and wolfmen, it’s good to have two well armoured guys dealing sweeping AOE to the sides of your shielded front or pike&ranged middle.
However with that said I do think that there needs to be a parry system (which there isn’t ?I think?), where if the shield isn’t present the weapon becomes the primary means of defence of which some weapons are better than others.
I would suggest that first the defender simply try to avoid the blow using dodge…
Should that fail the chance of blocking a blow should be: Melee Defence = Melee Defence + (Melee Weapon Defence -Incoming Weapon Evasion)
Should that succeed the blow is blocked and damage is inflicted to the defenders weapon: Inflicted Damage = Inflicted Damage / ((dodge/x)+(Melee Defence/y))
-X Overall I agree with most of what you’re suggesting, BB is by large one of my favorite games at the moment, each update has had me very excited.