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I was recently underwhelmed with the Rear Shield Defense when choosing the Two Handed Melee option on certain units and decided to do some testing to see how good it actually is. Found out it's not very good at deflecting missiles from the rear, and here's why:
In the example I'll use Guards of Troy. They have a 75% missile block chance and also have the ability to switch to Two Handed Melee. When switching to Two Handed Melee they get the Rear Shield Defense trait which states that the unit can protect itself from missiles shot from behind. This is TRUE, but it is significantly less than the 75% that the front shield gets.
The reason it's a lot less is because when switching to the Two Handed Melee stance the unit loses 60 missile block chance right off the bat. At first I thought this was only the front facing missile block chance, but it seems to also apply to the rear. There is also a row in the database that gives Rear Shield Defense a 0.8 multiplier for effectiveness (in KV_Rules Table) which brings it down even further. Basically, when Guards of Troy enable the Two Handed Melee stance they lose 60 Missile Block Chance bringing it to 15% (front and back), which is further reduced by a multiple of 0.8 to bring the Rear Shield Defense down to a whopping 12%...
I tested this by making a quick mod that increased the modifier from 0.8 to 2.0, removing the -60 Missile Block Chance from the Two Handed Melee stance, and giving them a 50% block shield. What I found in that case was that Guards of Troy were completely immune from missile fire from the rear! Since I had removed the reduction they still had 50% block chance, which was modified by 2.0 to come to 100 block chance from the rear. The front missile fire still did normal damage, which seemed in line with a 50% block chance.
Maybe this is by design? But it feels very underwhelming when units with a 75% shield block chance get reduced to 12% rear block chance when enabling the Two Handed Melee stance. Seems like the front and back should have two separate modifiers instead of sharing a Missile Block Chance. Either that or the Rear Shield Defense multiple should actually be increased, but even at 2.0 it would still seem underwhelming.