im still trying to figure out why i should be breaking shields instead of dealing damage.
A new recruit (who doesn’t need to deal that much damage to get to the next level-up) can smash shields from a safer distance while more experienced fighters (who need to deal lots of damage to get to their next level-up) will have a much better hit chance and will therefore be able to wield more destructive weapons. If they happen to miss or fail to finish of their foes, the longaxe-wielders get a chance to finish them off on ensuing turns. Or: level-11 veterans who no longer gain experience points can smash the shields and the ones who are still gaining can grab the glory (but the veterans with their high skills can still do a lot of damage as and when required). Or: if you have good enough defences and the tier-2 utility perks that reduce/replenish max fatigue, it’s not all that fatiguing to smash shields and then patiently work away at your enemies’ armour and hit points over many turns. The cumulative damage is the same.