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In Mount and Blade Warband, A shield, when not held in hand, is worn on the back. Does this have any benefits, or is it purely cosmetic?

I may have seen something like "Arrow hit shield on back", but in the middle of a battle, I may have merged two sentences together.

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It happened to me once, so it probably did hit your shield on the back. – Joe the Person Aug 19 '11 at 17:59
Ive noticed that hitting an NPC on the shield will still do damage, but I have seen my own shield block while on my back(possibly a glitch, since it usually doesn't show arrows if they do hit shield) – Domocus Aug 19 '11 at 18:45
up vote 7 down vote accepted

A shield worn on the back will protect you from missile fire, but not melee attacks. This does not apply to NPCs. I know this from experience and it is also stated on this wiki.

Usefulness of shields

Note that the shield worn on the character's back in the pic most likely caught the arrows while he was holding it.

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IT'S AN ​​​​​​​​​​​​EAGLE – Nick T Aug 19 '11 at 21:20
What I do know, is that it's difficult to shoot fleeing enemies in the back when they have a huge shield hanging on it... – Svish May 7 '12 at 13:34

Having a shield on your back doesn't or barely helps when an enemy shoots an arrow or bolt at your back. If someone slashes you with their sword, the shield has no effect i. e. Doesn't help at all (as stated above)

Overall, if you have a good shield, but it's on your back, give it to one of your heroes instead of being selfish.

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Fun fact: You can equip two shields. You can hold one and the other will still be on your back. Consider this when moving up a ladder during a siege when you have archers to the left and right of you. You can turn to face one side with your shield up and have your shielded back facing the other.

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