Enemy forces overwhelming (I think that’s a status effect, so as to avoid confusion – outnumbering) you is not a disadvantage, it’s far worse; it’s hopeless at times.
That depends on what enemy you face and what is level and equipment of your company. Being outnumbered by bunch of thugs at the beginning of the game is not the same thing as being outnumbered by them in the later stages of the game.
Remember, you can always back out of the fight, most of the time even without getting your men injured. Evaluate your enemy at the start of the combat and if you thing he’s too strong, retreat. You aren’t expected to win every fight.
I don’t think my choices in tactical positioning do anything other than some hits to the opponent forces, which most likely miss either way.
Positioning is important. Terrain can play huge role, unless you fight on a open plain. It’s however up to you to use it. How you place your brothers is also important.
I can not even use the axeman (who, now, is my spearman) properly, whose sole purpose is to break down shields. Instead, he misses 6 out of 8 attacks.
Breaking down shields is mostly waste of time. It’s common beginners mistake. You are wasting your turn and enemy will hit harder because 1H weapon held in both hands have 25% damage bonus. There are situations when it’s viable tactics but generally you want to reliably hit them over their shields. At the beginning of the game when your brothers have low melee skill, use flails. They ignore shield.
That starting 2H axe is a death trap. Change it to 1H+shield as soon as you can afford to. 2H weapons are very good and you’ll be fielding lot of them later in the game, but they require high skills and heavy armor to work.
Random terrain is a huge turn off for me. Your allied forces are spawned in god-knows-where, but the enemy forces have the benefits of deploying properly, as you’d expect how two parties would engage.
Allies will always deploy alongside of you when they are reinforcing you (you have engaged enemy first). When you reinforce them (they engaged first) then they spawn on one of the sides of the map depending how many parties are involved.
Defending and then counter-attacking is useful. And then there’s times where this one enemy dodges all three attacks. (On ground terrain).
And then there’s times when this one brother of your dodges all three attacks. Success in attacks depends on your skill, enemy skill, equipment and a random factor.
I can’t feel the enemy morale breaking even when there’s a few of them left. Those engaged in combat will not try to flee
Morale does not depend on how many of them are left. However intelligent enemies (humans, goblins, orcs…) will usually try to flee when there are only one or two left.
Certain events force morale check on a character (AI or yours). Getting damaging hits and receiving injuries, seeing allies get killed or fleeing and few other things (making one enemy flee can cause chain rout). However characters with high resolve have better chance to resist these checks and maintain morale. Different types of enemies have different resolve and some (undead) are completely fear resistant and will newer break and flee.
instead acting aggressively and attacking your weakest warrior.
Finally game with decent AI.
That’s it so far. I am not used to challenging games as I don’t play them, however I purposely turned on the easiest difficulty for that reason. I can’t walk away without casualties if I don’t outnumber the enemy by at least 1-2 men. I’m really desperate when they actually have more numbers. This is more of a “How can I actually make the game fun and not frustrating” like thread.
Check some let’s plays for inspiration on how to play at the beginning of the game. Here is short let’s play made by the developers which is sort of a tutorial. It’s bit old and does not include all DLCs and patches but is still generally valid as far as gameplay stile is concerned: