Mount&Blade Warband Catch-all

I wish there was a way to bitch and whine to the king, annoying the crap out of him until he gives me a fief.

When I started the Rhods were already at war with the Saranids. I level a bit, get a decent band of dudes together, and become a merc for the Rhods. Right at the Nid/Rho border there's a castle under siege and close to being taken by the Saranids. I go and garrison the castle and the next day they attack. I have about 40-something high tier dudz and they have... a LOT more.

I hold out against the first assault mainly by having my xbows sit on the back wall with the infantry covering the stairs in front of it, creating a massive kill zone between my men and theirs. I hold out, but loose over half my guys.

Two days later, the Rhods coming riding in with a huge ass host of 8+ lords from being, flanking them from around the mountain (was pretty sweet) and beating the sh*t out of every Saranid party they could get their hands on. After that, they raid a couple villages and the factions make peace

After I ask Gravish for vassalage, he grants it. I get a fief. A crappy little town, actually part of the castle I just held. Two days later, he and the other jerk-faced lords decide another lord deserves it more. I get no say in the matter and the fief, along with the large sum I just dumped into it for a mill, are gone.

Been boring ass peace since and no fief for me yet
Even after clearing like a billion bandit hideouts.

So I'm thinking there needs to be some changes within the Goodjer Empire. Dennars just won't cut it as a currency; how about 1 gold Elysium equals 100 Certi of silver? And I need titles for my vassals when they start flocking to my banner en masse. Coffee Grinder? Office Linebacker? Parisian Dandy? Being an emperor is harder than I thought it would be; good thing I made the fake wife my chief adviser.

Edit: All right, I suppose I owe all of you a little set-up in how the Goodjer Empire came to be. I started off wandering the lands of Calradia, looking for wrongs to set right, travel with a band of steel-tough adventurers, and seek out the best roast chicken of the lands (Hey, this is 1257; the Colonel's Original Recipe won't be invented for another 700 years). Eventually, after forming an army of some worth and having my exploits strike fear in the hearts of shirtless ruffians, I pledged my sword in vassalage to King Harlaus of Swadia, who at the time was in a throwdown with the Khergit Khanate.

War is never in short supply in Calradia, especially if your kingdom happens to be good at it. Well, Swadia started getting better at it with me around and it wasn't long before the Khergits ran for home because they were getting swarmed by the Sarranid Sultanate. Then came war with the Nords, the final result of which was about four castles taken by the Swadians. Then came war with the Khergits again, but not much came of that. Then came war with the Rhodoks and I launched a daring, single-handed blitzkrieg across their territory, taking multiple castles and the town of Yalen.

But, while all those wars were going on, something else was happening. Turns out Harlaus* has a bit of a god-complex and rewarded most of Swadia's conquests to himself, thus upsetting many of his lords (and admittedly yours truly). What ones he didn't award to himself were given to outsiders to Swadia like myself and two defectors from the Khergits and the Nords. Said Khergit was given control of Yalen and in a fit of pique I marched over to Veluca and took it.

While defending Veluca as I waited for Harlaus to make up his mind about who would get the town, a few bad things happened. First, my character's father-in-law and closest ally was kicked out of the kingdom for treason and went over to the Nords. Then, the Nords attacked again, taking the central city of Dhirim and reclaiming everything they had lost during the last war. And just as I received control of Veluca and was ready to strike at Jekala, war with the Rhodoks ended. Finally, while I was out grocery shopping for a feast, the Sarranids declared war on Swadia.

Boy, those Sarranids are vicious; you have to keep your head on a swivel lest a Mamluke goes for the couched lance attack that could take you out in one shot. Fighting between Swadia and the Sultanate was mainly confined to the area around Khergit territory now under Sarranid control. Then came the first mass exodus from Swadia. In the span of two minutes, five Swadian counts were either exiled or decided to defect; all of them now Sarranid emirs. During this "restructuring," I took Narra, another Sarranid conquest from the Khergits and was awarded control of it. That lasted about a day as a massive army came marching through before I could build up a garrison so I made a break back for Veluca.

It was then I realized that Swadia was a sinking ship and perhaps now was the time to strike out on my own. Clearly the lords of the realm favor winners; why else would the Sarranids be attracting so many converts while Swadia can't even hire a janitor? Of course, cutting ties with Harlaus would mean losing what fiefs I had left, so I concocted a plan. I emptied most of my garrison at Veluca (my Sarranid prisoners had been set free since peace had been declared by that point) and tracked down the king to turn in my pinkslip. I raided a group of farmers to piss off Swadia and then I besieged Veluca. There were only a few of my old troops still there, but it was a quick fight and the town became mine.

And thus, the Goodjer Empire was born. Had a few minor skirmishes with my former co-workers, but it's only a matter of time before Ol' King Hapless comes knocking on my door. When he does, he'll have about a hundred Rhodok sergeants waiting for him. May Stan have mercy on his soul.

* = After looking over the notes pages, it seems every king likes claiming new conquests for themselves over their vassals. It's any wonder why there isn't a revolt.

Hmm. I did not know that, Robear. That was informative.

Did you know that almost every military commander who ordered a charge of knights with lances disappears from the historical record shortly thereafter? That's how the historians noticed that the tactic failed. And after about 50 years, no one even tried it any more.

Robear wrote:

Did you know that almost every military commander who ordered a charge of knights with lances disappears from the historical record shortly thereafter? That's how the historians noticed that the tactic failed. And after about 50 years, no one even tried it any more.

I'd like sources on this. Not because I'm being snotty, but because I'm honestly interested.

So I finally got a fief, a damned nice one too. A town in fact (Shariz). Semi-interesting story behind it.

Alright, so I'm at like the 100th feast of the month or so and everybody's chillin' having a good time (I was jumping up and down in front of the lady I'm courting, which is pretty much the closest thing I've gotten to getting 'raunchy' with her). In the middle of the feast the Saranids declare war on us, EGADS! (I was pretty stoked). So this must've gotten the Rhods pretty pissed off beyond all belief because right off the bat like every freakin' lord under Gravish's arm start headed toward the border. One simply does NOT interrupt a feast of a bunch of armed dudes who look like HOBOs.

I of course go with them, scouting a bit ahead as I have Borcha with me acting as my tracking/pathfinding/spotting guy and significantly less men then them. I see about 4 Saranid lords (who have no idea of the ass-kicking about to come their way) and kite them a bit until my guys show up, who promptly kick their asses.

Our marshal immediately lays siege to Shariz and (outnumbering them about 8-1) we take it. A couple days later, I'm named lord. They were also nice enough to leave me a garrison of about 200 men to do with as I please. It also came with 5 villages as well, none of which I want (well maybe one but does anyone know if I can pawn them off on someone else? I really don't want to bother with them).

Also, it seems the Swadians have gotten themselves into some pretty deep sh*t. I was going to some town to buy some new boots and noticed that the Swadians no longer held anything east of Suno. Half of the old territory is now Vaegir and the other half is now Nord.

On second though, those annoying little villages are what are supporting my army and Shariz. I think I'll keep them.

FedoraMcQuaid wrote:

On second though, those annoying little villages are what are supporting my army and Shariz. I think I'll keep them.

Villages and towns are the way to go. Castles are just moneypits.

Yeah, the only problem is they're like right at the Saranid border and I'm too lazy/don't have the troops to protect them. 3 of them were already raided (and I had to go bail out our marshal because he decided to go wonder around and got jumped by 3 lords.

I am loving the Morningstar vs Saranids too, I use it mounted and just destroy those stinking Mamalukes.

Best advice I can give is to focus on cavalry so you're lighter on your feet (true, you're a Rhodok, but you have easy access to Sarranids) and dump your infantry into your town once they're at max level, so if the town gets besieged you at least have some time to swoop in and fight the attackers off.

I've been going all infantry (with some crossbows too of course).

I can usually get their cav out of the way early. What I do is have my guys for a nice, tight formation with some xbows in the back as well. Then I ride ahead and harrass the infantry with my Warspear jabbing until the cav starts to chase me, I then lead them right into my guys who procede to tear their sh*t up. Once the infantry hit they can't even come close to breaking my formation down (especially with me riding around and morningstaring them in the backs) and stragglers that might disrupt get shot down. When reinforcements come, they aren't nearly as organized and quickly get taken down as I advance my troops.

Yeah, I could go cav to go and quickly push the raiders back, but I could do that with my infantry. I am just lazy.

High-end cavalry in M&B (despite Robear's historical evidence) can eviscerate an opponent, which is why I usually go Swadian in that regard. You can't go wrong using them out in the field to fend off even against superior numbers of enemies. Off the horse, though, cavalry doesn't cut it versus Nord Huscarls and Rhodok Sergeants, which is why they're the troop of choice for launching and defending against sieges. As for archers, you're best bet is Swadian or Rhodok Sharpshooters. True, crossbowmen can't fire as fast as conventional archers, but they more than make up for it in terms of accuracy and thus damage dealt. It's like the difference between snipers and machinegunners; faster isn't necessarily better. Long story short, if you don't need them with you, keep your top level infantry and archers in your garrison, but keep the lower level ones around so you can eventually upgrade them. Sergeants and sharpshooters can't level up anymore and are a bigger drain on your dennars per week if you keep them in your army as opposed to garrisoning them.

Slowly but surely, the Goodjer Empire is expanding. After attempts to persuade lords to defect to my banner failed, I elected to attack Ergellon Castle (originally Rhodok, held by Swadia) and took it. I rewarded it to Matheld, making her my first vassal and gave her the associated village. Later, I conquered Grunwalder Castle and gave it to Bunduk, but seeing how he's a commoner, it's ticked off every other lord, including Matheld. Something to keep an eye on in the future. Now I'm really paying attention to character's backstories, though I hope at some point lords will start signing up when they realize life's sweet under the rule of the emperor.

I'd like sources on this. Not because I'm being snotty, but because I'm honestly interested.

I'll see if I can find this. It's been 25 years since I wrote that paper.

Edit - So, looking around, the use of heavy plate started with chest pieces and other reinforcing armor in the 13th century, with full plate around the 14th century (European of course). So there's just that period of about 50 or so years when the combo of heavy armor and lances would have been feasible on it's own, overwhelming just about anything in it's path. After that, the response of using massed bowmen or well led infantry meant that unsupported heavy cavalry would go down to defeat, and thus that cavalry became part of a combined arms force.

The other problem with cavalry made up of the nobility is it's tendency to lose discipline in a charge and not hit the enemy line in a uniform way. That was it's own problem.

The classical massed charge with lances couched didn't show up until after about 1100. See "Chivalry" by Maurice Keen for more info. The trend towards heavier armor followed closely, since a knight hitting a line at speed needed more than just one layer of chain and a gambeson to protect himself from injury. That in turn made equipage far more expensive, which reduced the number of heavy knights available, and made it more likely that they would be trained for individual valor but not usually working in disciplined units like the earlier knights of the Crusades. So you can sort of see how the overconfidence and heavy armor led to more ill-advised actions at times.

Heavy knights went down to defeat in such battles as Crecy, Agincourt, Bannockburn and many other large engagements. (It was 1449 before English longbowmen were over-run by cavalry, at Patay, having caught the English archers with an unprepared position and no supporting infantry.) Bannockburn was typical. The Scots maneuvered the English into boggy terrain, and thus could predict where cavalry could be used. They had trained "schiltroms" of spear-armed infantry in close-order drill and positioned them to receive the charges of the English:

Gloucester, eager to lead the charge without the interference of Hereford, spurred his horse forward without taking the time to don his brightly coloured surcoat bearing his coat of arms. Without this he was just another mailed, armored rider and many of the knights didn't recognise him at first. As such the charge he led was not as compact and cohesive as it should have been. It was still a terrible sight to behold and was powerfully heavy with the weight of iron suddenly propelled forward. The knights raced on, faceles men in iron helms, their lances lowered and their great warhorses pounding the earth with their iron-shod hooves. They crashed into Edward Bruce's division and, though Gloucester was plucked from his saddle impaled by a Scottish spear, the fury of the charge caused the schilltron to bend - but not break. The English knights were not lacking in courage and they drove their mounts onto the spears. Horses and riders fell with broken spears in their breasts, but some broke into the schilltron and flayed around with mace, battleaxe and sword, cleaving skulls, limbs and shoulders until they were dragged from their horses, their helmets pulled back and their unprotected throats cut

That's what happened to heavy knights used as independent shock forces rather than in support of infantry and archers. Note that when you look at knights in the 10th-12th century, you're actually looking at men in chain mail who fought with sword and shield, or spear, or other weapons from horseback but also on foot, and typically in concert with infantry and archers (as at Hastings and Muret) where the cavalry charge was applied with discipline and cunning and at a time and place where it would be decisive. Later, more heavily armored troops tempted poor commanders and even the knights themselves to attack en masse foolishly, without support and scattered, and that's the period that most people would think of.

Once the full armor came in and was countered, cavalry began to lighten again, and went back to spear and sword as primary weapons, with pursuit and harrassment and intelligence as their primary role until perhaps the Napoleonic Wars, where massed charges returned to common and decisive use, but those were not knights by any stretch of the imagination.

You might find "A History of Warfare" by John Keegan interesting if this topic intrigues you. He traces the development of tactics over time in an interesting and insightful way.

Robear wrote:
I'd like sources on this. Not because I'm being snotty, but because I'm honestly interested.

I'll see if I can find this. It's been 25 years since I wrote that paper.

Good stuff was said.

I'm putting A History of Warfare on my wishlist (ie. placeholder) but I just ordered Chivalry. It was merely a matter of whose writing I preferred. So, Chivalry and Bishop's "The Middle Ages" are getting sent to me from Amazon. Thanks, Robear.

@Rat Boy Every time you write "Goodjer Empire" I laugh at the absurdity of the name. Love it.

Unlimited bodies is so damned awesome.

garion333 wrote:
Robear wrote:
I'd like sources on this. Not because I'm being snotty, but because I'm honestly interested.

I'll see if I can find this. It's been 25 years since I wrote that paper.

Good stuff was said.

I'm putting A History of Warfare on my wishlist (ie. placeholder) but I just ordered Chivalry. It was merely a matter of whose writing I preferred. So, Chivalry and Bishop's "The Middle Ages" are getting sent to me from Amazon. Thanks, Robear.

@Rat Boy Every time you write "Goodjer Empire" I laugh at the absurdity of the name. Love it.

Keegan's A History of Warfare is an excellent overview, and it's bibliography is invaluable.

garion333 wrote:

@Rat Boy Every time you write "Goodjer Empire" I laugh at the absurdity of the name. Love it.

Well, you won't have to worry about that, since the empire collapsed completely. The Rhodoks came storming in and took every fief I had. My armies are gone, I'm broke, and my vassals have taken off for greener pastures. What a waste.

Rat Boy wrote:
garion333 wrote:

@Rat Boy Every time you write "Goodjer Empire" I laugh at the absurdity of the name. Love it.

Well, you won't have to worry about that, since the empire collapsed completely. The Rhodoks came storming in and took every fief I had. My armies are gone, I'm broke, and my vassals have taken off for greener pastures. What a waste.

Apparently you were on the receiving end of "what is best in life", Conan style.

I haven't read much of this thread, so forgive the skimming, I'm on my phone at work. Is there a way for me to benchmark this? I'm a huge fan of the first, and it ran silky smooth on my laptop, but I'm concerned Warband won't.

Edit: I can probably just demo it like the old game, yeah? Should have thought of that. -_-

Blind_Evil wrote:

I haven't read much of this thread, so forgive the skimming, I'm on my phone at work. Is there a way for me to benchmark this? I'm a huge fan of the first, and it ran silky smooth on my laptop, but I'm concerned Warband won't.

Edit: I can probably just demo it like the old game, yeah? Should have thought of that. -_-

You should probably be okay. The graphics haven't improved that much and you don't need to turn on HDR and such.

Nevin73 wrote:

Apparently you were on the receiving end of "what is best in life", Conan style.

I must admit I laughed long and hard.

Well, fortunately I had an old save from before I seized Veluca, so I reloaded it. Remembering how I waged by insurrection against Swadia from the original M&B, I decided this time to hold off on conquering anything and rally support to my banner. Sure enough, I talked one count (Grainwad) who I had 50+ relations with into joining my cause and not too long later, King Hapless kicked out two of his counts who used to be Khergits and they took refuge at at Grainwad's castle. But then...the Nords declared war on my kingdom (went with a kingdom and made myself a king; less pretentious than empire and emperor) and sent a huge army to Grainwad's village. But, since I had a large army myself and a whole mess of villagers on my side, I fought them off.

In this iteration, the Nords haven't gotten as powerful as they did in the other one and thus are vulnerable. Furthermore, I have good relations with several Nord lords (including my father-in-law) and if I can strengthen those relations by my so-called "Catch & Release" program, I may be able to grab a lot of Nord territory without having to do a lot of conquering.

OK, I'm stuck. Despite starting with the easiest character (Male Noble), I'm getting nowhere. I can't take the kidnapper's hideout. Even if I build up to a maximum force of 38, somebody always seems to spank me until I'm wandering around, just me with no cash.

Can someone post a few "starter tips" to get me on the right path?

The Swadians are getting close to being totally eliminated now, they only have one town left and maybe two or three castles. I feel like I should intervene just because I hate it when a faction gets wiped out, things get that much more boring. More factions, more fun!

Maybe while campaigning against the Saranids I'll "accidentally" attack a Khergit caravan and then "mistakenly" seige a Khergit castle instead of a 'nid one.

Moggy wrote:

OK, I'm stuck. Despite starting with the easiest character (Male Noble), I'm getting nowhere. I can't take the kidnapper's hideout. Even if I build up to a maximum force of 38, somebody always seems to spank me until I'm wandering around, just me with no cash.

Can someone post a few "starter tips" to get me on the right path?

Don't be afraid of the Sarranids. Stay well away from the Tyranids.

*ahem*

It sounds like any starter tips I'd have for you wouldn't even get you as far as you're getting on your own, so I'm afraid I can't be of service.

I've got a Romeo and Juliet romance going on at the moment. for the first 70 days or so I was trading, bandit hunting and doing small time quests. I had positive relations with most factions and neutral with the rest. I got invited to a Khergit feast after a tournament win, and began wooing one of the eligible ladies. After talking with a minstrel I found out that she was a romantic at heart and was likely to cause her family some trouble.

After increasing my renown the Swadians offered me vassalage which I accepted. They were at war with the Khergits putting me and my love on opposite sides of the war. After receiving a letter from my love I braved the war torn land sneaking into Tulga to meet her. I asked her to elope, and she rejected me, stating that she would if I had my own castle or town.

Guess I better get on that then.

Moggy wrote:

OK, I'm stuck. Despite starting with the easiest character (Male Noble), I'm getting nowhere. I can't take the kidnapper's hideout. Even if I build up to a maximum force of 38, somebody always seems to spank me until I'm wandering around, just me with no cash.

Can someone post a few "starter tips" to get me on the right path?

Do you mean the kidnapper's hideout given to you by the Merchant at the very beginning of the game? If so, if you're having trouble with 38 recruits, then perhaps you should head to the training ground and do everything the trainer offers you. The kidnapper's hideout shouldn't present a problem with a group of 38, so perhaps your fighting skills (you, not the character) need a bit of practice.

OK, I'm stuck. Despite starting with the easiest character (Male Noble), I'm getting nowhere. I can't take the kidnapper's hideout. Even if I build up to a maximum force of 38, somebody always seems to spank me until I'm wandering around, just me with no cash.

Can someone post a few "starter tips" to get me on the right path?

First - take every opportunity to practice combat. Get a few weapons you are comfortable with and then the next time your character tanks, start over and focus on those.

Buy a few extra horses when you get a chance and leave them in your inventory, that will speed you up. Chase bandits around for cash, renown and experience. Maybe knock over a few trade convoys if you don't mind pissing off their kingdom, lots of money to be had in that (but it messes up your honor).

Save every time you add troops or complete something, so if you fail in the next thing you can drop back and try something else.

Turn the damage levels to yourself and your allies down until you are comfortable, then as you get better put them back to normal over time.

Check villages for quests and do them. After you get some renown, start hitting the castles near villages that like you and talk to the lords about work. Eventually one will offer you a mercenary position. Swear to the country and then start hitting up lords for more work.

If you have to steal food from villages early on, do it in a country you don't like.

Restart at will. Fight in every tournament you find.

garion333 wrote:
Moggy wrote:

OK, I'm stuck. Despite starting with the easiest character (Male Noble), I'm getting nowhere. I can't take the kidnapper's hideout. Even if I build up to a maximum force of 38, somebody always seems to spank me until I'm wandering around, just me with no cash.

Can someone post a few "starter tips" to get me on the right path?

Do you mean the kidnapper's hideout given to you by the Merchant at the very beginning of the game? If so, if you're having trouble with 38 recruits, then perhaps you should head to the training ground and do everything the trainer offers you. The kidnapper's hideout shouldn't present a problem with a group of 38, so perhaps your fighting skills (you, not the character) need a bit of practice. ;)

Well, part of the problem seems to be that I can only take a few men with me. I should probably train up my men so that they're better equipped before going in.

My fighting skills are improving. The Melee in the arena helps with this. I wish there was some way to a) pick my weapon - getting a bow and arrow sucks! and b) stop getting ganged up on.

I am slowly getting the hang of it. Last night I learnt the joys of being a mercenary. Not only was I getting my salary bill getting paid, we were making bank raiding villages. So I was doing quite well, making money, equipping up while leveling my men, when the king of the nation I was raiding jumped me with 200+ men. He was faster than me, so no escaping. All men dead or captured and me dumped all the way on the other side of his nation with very little.

*sigh*

I think I need a little help with the battles. When I outnumber looters 2-to-1, I *should* be able to scrape a victory together and yet can't.

If you are getting ganged up on remember your kick key, it's your best friend in these situations.
Remember: Kick one, block one, slash one, repeat

Never be afraid to jump in the fighting and get your hands dirty. If you see a back, stab it!