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What am I doing wrong? I even cheated to give myself a full set of plate armor and I'm still getting one-shotted by every brigand who can be bothered to look my way.

EDIT: I'm talking about Warband. I really wish they wouldn't place entire series under a single forum.
Post edited June 24, 2021 by Offic3rHotpants
This question / problem has been solved by Themkenimage
You are very weak in the beginning and should run away from most fights. High map speed is very useful.

What I do in the beginning:
First and foremost: Invest the beginning points wisely and immediately train yourself so the combat skills you will need straight away are over 35.
Having a horse from the beginning or very soon will even the odds a bit. Combined with a ranged weapon and a fast melee weapon (to counter my low level slowness and high RL age) I have no big problems taking out five of the lowest bandits but ten high level ridden enemies will usually pawn me.
There are loads of combat tips here
The arena is your friend in the beginning and so is practise. It is amazing how much difference five thousand hours of gameplay does to your real life skill with the mouse and keyboard.
Do not let their melee weapons hit you and keep moving around so their ranged weapons have a hard time doing so.
Experiment a bit what stype suits you. Personally I rely little on blocking and mainly on dash in, hit and dash out. Many swear by the lance and it is powerful even at low levels if you have a horse faster than the slowest overaged, limping packhorse. I just find it hard to hit with but having picked up a lance on the battlefield early in games I have changed the tide one a few battles.
Even late game enemies will pwn you if you're not careful.
That's why you build up an entire army to protect you and use them to do the fighting.

When I started I used ranged weapons mostly to keep myself from harm.
Practice those headshots!
Once you get a horse and decent armor, pitched battles become quite easy, you can skewer enemies by lancing them.

Sieges are a different story and require that the place you siege has very little defenders because others have sieged it before or the defending army just left for some reason (you can actually bribe villages to do distractions).
Defending from a siege you will want to prevent, just get the enemy in open terrain so you can use your horse.
Thanks for the advice. Hopefully I'll be able to get a bit deeper in. Suspect I'll need to start a new game, though; I started as a commoner.