Balkon's Weapon Mod is one of those mods you try once and can't live without it anymore. It adds a variety of weapons to Minecraft, each with it's advantages and disadvantages. There are melee weapons and guns, but they are all well balanced and easy to make. Let's go over each one and see how they work.
Firstly we have the warhammers, halberds and battleaxes. Now I've grouped them since they are all simple melee only weapons that act much like swords. Left click hits, right click blocks. They all have a bigger knockback and damage than a sword, but also require more resources. The recipes are fairly straightforward, which is one of the things I really like about this mod.
There are also the throwable weapons - the spear, knife and javelin. The spear is extremely useful, as it can be thrown and then picked up even if it hits the mob (unlike arrows), however that's also it's main weakness since you have to pick it up to use it again. The knife works similarly, but deals less damage, which makes it inferior to the spear since the spear requires only one more stick to craft. The knife does however fit in the 2×2 crafting grid so it's useful if you don't have a craftbench nearby. Both of these can also be used for melee.
Then there's the javelin, which is crafted like a spear, but with flint at the top. It deals a bit more damage than arrows, and doesn't require a bow to be fired, but it does have shorter range. It's really useless in practice, since if you're close enough to use it, you'll much rather use a regular melee weapon, but hey, it doesn't hurt the mod.
The mod also adds dynamite, which is a cheaper, a bit less powerful version of TNT. You throw it by right clicking and holding down for a second. It's very useful and is likely to replace TNT in most situations since it's cheaper and quicker.
Among this sea of weapons are the flail and the fire rod. These are different than other weapons. The flail is particularly interesting since it works similarly to a fishing rod. Just for killing stuff. You right click to release the wrecking ball and then move the camera around to wave it around. It does a ton of damage, even one hit killing passive mobs, and is fairly effective in crowds of enemies. The fire rod has one use, and when it hits the mob it sets it on fire. It will not set blocks on fire, so it's useful for pig hunting in forests as the big then drops cooked porkchops.
Now we're at the good stuff. The guns. Adding guns to Minecraft has been requested many times, but was often implemented in a way that really made the game unbalanced, however you can rest assured they work in this mod, and are balanced well. Firstly there's the musket. It doesn't require a lot of materials to produce (some iron, wood and flint), but it requires the quite expensive bullets. It also reloads after every shot, which takes a couple of seconds, which is worth the huge damage it deals. This thing is able to one shot almost anything in the game. You can also add a bayonet on it using an iron knife.
As you can see in the picture above, there is recoil, which can be quite disorienting in a crowd of mobs. There's also a blunderbuss, which is the same thing as a musket with a bit different recipe, but shoots 10 bullets at once. The bullets are different (translate: a bit cheaper) than those of the musket, and are therefore less powerful.
Sick and tired of your old bow? Get yourself a fancy new crossbow. Or don't, cause it's the most disappointing part of the mod. It's expensive to make, and so are the bullets, takes a whole lot to reload, which has to be done after every shot and deals a bit more than a regular arrow. The only real advantage is that the bolt goes in a straight line. I'd much rather use the blow gun, also added by the mod. It also requires ammo, but those are cheaper, it reloads faster and poisons the target. Granted, the damage isn't that great, but the poison should make up for it.
I don't hate sheep, they just happened to be around when I was taking pictures for the article. XD
The final thing this mod adds is the cannon. If you like firepower, you probably just said “hell yes”, and you were right to do so. This baby eats a lot of resources to make and supply with ammo (and gunpowder with every shot), but boy is the destruction worth it! With a mounted cannon and half a stack of gunpowder and cannonballs you can wreck havoc upon a world until there's nothing left but a giant hole.
You'll surely love this mod if you install it. It adds a lot of weapons, none of which unbalance the game, it provides HD textures (seen in pictures) if you're into HD packs (this one is Sphax's Pure BD Craft). It requires MC Forge and ModLoader, but doesn't overwrite any core files itself. It's a mod that works well and looks good, and, except for the useless crossbow, I have no complaints on it.
Go download it now.