How does armor penetration on weapons actually work?

I used to think that the “armor penetration” on weapons would allow them to deal damage to armored enemies with non-headshot light attacks, while weapons without that trait would bounce off under the same circumstances. However, I have noticed some inconsistencies, and I was hoping you could help me to clear these up.

  • Halberd: has armor penetration, does damage through armor on every attack
  • Billhook, Axe and Sword: have armor penetration, only deal damage through armor on some attacks
  • Hunting Spear: doesnt have armor penetration, deals damage through armor with all attacks
  • Executioner´s Sword: doesnt have armor penetration, does not deal damage through armor with any attacks

So, whats up with that? Why is armor penetration so inconsistent? Why do some weapons with that trait only do so partially, and why do some weapons that dont have that trait still do that? How do things change when hyper armor (like on Chaos Warriors) gets involved? Can somebody clear that up for me?

Also, do critical strikes always do damage through armor or am I misreading that?

The three tags given to weapons are only advisory in substance. Many are outdated or arguably wrong to begin with.
How it really works is that any single attack of any weapon has a separate value of dmg for every armour class (unarmoured, armoured, berserker, super armour, monster).
Search for the spreadsheet.
Note some enemies have different armour classes for certain body parts. Like Maulers are unarmoured but the head is armoured.

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That is relly confusing. So there isnt a good way to find out the basics of how my weapons work apart from spreadsheets?

No, there is one other solution, i’m very aware that using the spreadsheet is not for everybody (leaving it here if you want to have a go on it, it’s in my bookmarks :stuck_out_tongue: You need a google account, create a copy of the original so you can work on it in your google spreadsheets).

The sanctioned mod Armoury shows you (amongst other things) if your attacks can damage through armour and super armour. Very neat in-game option.
If you need more help regarding that or other mods, feel free to pm me.


The beak point calculator is an option. Never used it dough.

Now that I’m not on My Phone:

The dmg sheet is not updated yet (given they didn’t quit):

Very incomplete info but sure better than nothing I guess.

I believe it has armor pen on push-attack

The spear is a bit of a special case imo. It is dreadfully overpowered at the moment, and I am expecting it to lose some AP at some point. Right now there is no reason to use the halberd since the spear does everything better.

I’ve always seen the weapon descriptions “armor piercing, headshot damage, etc” as suggested roles the weapon can fill than anything else. They are just there to describe how the weapon is meant to be used rather than describing an exact stat.

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Only a few of the weapons you listed as examples actually have “Armor Piercing” as a trait. Like Halberd and Axe.
The tag is more of a description for what the weapon is useful for. Yes light attacks will do damage on armor with that tag.

A lot of weapons will do damage on light attacks, but not as much compared to others. That’s why they don’t have that tag. And all weapons will do damage on charged attacks. If they didn’t, then this game would be much harder and insane wouldn’t it if you couldn’t kill certain units in melee?

How the attack swings matters too. If it’s a wide swipe then don’t expect it to do much armor damage. It’s for clearing hordes of unarmored enemies. Stabs and downward head-hitting swipes do high damage against anything.
You just have to practice against the training dolls to get used to a weapon’s combos and what deals the most damage the fastest.

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2h hammer has “shield breaking” yet you can spam attacks vs shielded Stormvermin all day long without ever breaking his guard. Now that’s a good joke :slight_smile:

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Yep a case of a strange tip. Maybe they want to imply that it hits so that all breakable shields get actually destroyed fast but being awful against the only real shielded threat in the game makes it a bit of a joke.
Is it really impossible to break it alone dough? No combo? (I’m the guy that loves the rapier)

Well, you can spam pushes, it works, but with awfully slow attacks it is risky I think it used to take 6 light attacks to break block. But this is pretty much a rare scenario when you can take 6 uninterrupted swings (8 actually, you have to kill it) and stormvermin like to work in groups, especially when you’re solo clutching :stuck_out_tongue: . I’ll have to try it myself With rapier you can get Creative. Pistol shot while closing distance, 2 light slashes and done :slight_smile:

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Hey mate, the links you provided are all out of date (and are so for a long time).
The damage spreadsheet was last updated with this version (i believe, was the last activity of the user on this forum) : Damage Spreadsheet (for 1.4.1)
My link is the updated version of your first link, the creator u/OrangeChris on reddit makes a new post with an updated version if it gets archived. It is the same breakpoint calculator (only out of date).
As you are familiar with it, it is not only for breakpoints, but also for raw damage data, rounded and unrounded damage.



Almost all melee weapons do the same damage against super armor compared to regular armor with the exception of 2h hammer.

The damage values are wildly inaccurate though

Nothing breaks shielded stormvermin’s shields, There’s 3 attacks off the top of my head that can ignore it though: flail (push attack, l3 & l4, and flaming flails c1), Handgun and bolt staff’s full charge shot.

Elf S&D push attack ignores shields as well. Push attack followed up with the heavy stab will kill them on Legend with the right %.


Oh right, I don’t remember them all because they all still sound like they’re hitting a shield and not armor.

I wrote “guard” not shield and that was exactly what I’ve meant. 2h hammer heavy does nothing, 2h hammer light is extremely ineffective.

Yes, they are somehow set at about 150 heropower (i don’t know why), but it atleast shows you if they can and in comparison to other weapons if it’s just some dmg or a bit more than that.
It’s easier to access while in game so you don’t have to alt+tab out of the game all the time and use the spreadsheet, that’s why i mentioned it.

Also Sword and board push attack stab can do it (not the heavy stab though).

There are at least two: it’s fun and it’s working

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