now the strength and efficiency of a NPC is based on its armor, its healthpoints and his weapons. ofcourse these things play a part in real life combat, but not as big as just being skilled with the blades! for example: the Rohirrim dont have that much of an OP armor, so they just lose alot of troops due to that. on the other hand the Rohirrim are very skilled with their weapons. so I suggest "block". this just means a NPC should have the chance to do the same as the player when you right click with a sword. this wont reduce the damage, it will have a chance of completely blocking the enemy's attack.
troop's skills are scaled from 1 to 10.
lvl.1 = 10% chance of block, 2=15% 3=20% 4=25% 5=30% 6=40% 7=45% 8=50% 9=55% 10=70%
example: trolls have 1 (ha! too slow) villagers mostly have 1 or 2, gundabad orcs 4, Rohirrim/elves 6, all ranger variants and all uruks lvl 7 elf warriors/swan knights/all leader variants (lords, chieftains, captains, marshals, etc.) 9 and 10 is for cannon characters whenever they come.
EDIT: polearms are heavier and harder to defend with, so 50% decrease of chance of block with those. (means the units wont have 30% chance but 15%, not -20%)
-20% decrease for hammers and daggers. (will lower 45% to 25%)
also attacking with a hammer will be -10% block chance for the opponent (so if you hit a lvl 3 skilled unit with a hammer, he will not have 20% chance but 10%)
attacking from a mounted unit will decrease the opponents chance of block with 50% (wont mean lvl 9 has 5% chance of blocking, but lvl 5 has 15% instead of 30%) (concerning attacking from mounted units, see my thread about charging with cavalry in the endorsed suggestions forum)
I hope you find this suggestion more realistic, to change the fact that you dont need to have bulky armor to be good. tell me what you think about it!