So I entered my first tournament. Fights are from horse and with lances. Yet most of the hits I land are rewared with a disappointing zero points damage. I am confused on how to fight properly.
The damage potential of the lance is all dependent on the speed of the horse the faster you go and hit an enemy the more damage you do. Since the lances in a tournament are also practice lances their damage potential is rather low.
There are 2 ways to deal damage with the lance, you can either couch the lance (Keep running with your horse and suddenly you will see the lance level horizontally.) All you need to do then is hit the person.
The other way to deal damage is to click and hold and when close to an enemy thrust the lance and hit them. This together with the speed of your horse will increase your damage.
Now the first way isn't really possible since the arena is rather small, and couching the lance takes time.
So you are going to have to try and thrust the lance against enemies, at a high speed to do a good amount of damage. My tactic in this is I keep running circles with my horse keeping my lance in a thrust position, get some speed and then go straight for an enemy and hope you hit him.
The problem with lances is that you need to build up lots of momentum to put in a big hit. Because they are so big and unwieldy, trying to poke someone with a lance up close is equivalent of trying to tap someone with a 2x4 from inches away. You can't get that hunk of wood up to a fast enough speed to do any damage (especially to someone wearing armor).
When you do attack someone, there'll be a message at the lower left usually telling you your bonus (or in this case) penalty damage from movement speed. Basically, the faster you and your horse are moving when you connect with the lance the more damage you deal.
To do even more damage, you can couch your lance (think jousting) once you build up enough forward momentum. To do so, you press the 'x' button(you can change the button to couch lances in settings) when you are moving fast enough. Hitting a target with a couched lance at full gallop can do massive damage (I've done over 200 with it).
In short, put some distance between you and your target so you can build up some momentum before striking. Also, even though this is a cheap tactic, aiming for the horse is often much easier than aiming for the person, especially since he'll then be on foot so its much easier to hit him with a couched lance later on. Finally, if you can't cause any separation, then its time to pull out a sword (or pick one up from a fallen combatant) for some close up work.
Finally, building up momentum before striking works with every weapon, but its critical with lances as they take a severe damage penalty at slow movement speeds.