I’ve devoted tens of hours to Mount & Blade: Warband and I have gotten the hang of building up the early army to survive the world of Calradia. This is a guide only for the Warband version and not any of the expansions or the original Mount & Blade. But, some of these tips can be used on the other versions.
Don’t be Afraid to Fail
You are going to fail. From quests that can fail if a lord gets captured. To simply from being overrun by another army. It’s going to happen but it is easy to bounce back from losing your forces. As long as you have some money and decent skills you can rebuild and advance to a bigger better army. From failure, you get an idea of what you need to progress. Have an army but bigger forces keep beating you, invest in pathfinding. Losing soldiers due to lack of money invest in the leadership stat to reduce the cost.
Butter Up Those Villages
By completing quests for the village Elders you can increase your standing with that village’s people. Once your relationship gets to 10, there is a chance of recruiting a higher-level unit. And you get access to one more unit for every 10 relations. However, don’t do this to all villages, make sure at least one village is kept to under 10, just so that you are guaranteed, low-rank cheap soldiers.
Train Those Soldiers
Once you have a force of at least 20 soldiers, you need to level them up to become a formidable force. The easiest way to do this is to fight bandits. If you can find a bandit lair, hang around and attack the bandits. They will provide easy levels and shouldn’t be any more powerful than your current force. Make sure to take all their loot and sell it at the nearest Town. Training soldiers you have acquired from towns will be far cheaper and better stats than the mercenaries that you can recruit for a pretty price.
Forget Morals, Focus on Morale
You need to keep your soldiers happy. Don’t and they will ditch you which can be expensive if you’ve invested time into developing those soldiers from green to specialised units. There are two reasons your morale can be crashing. Either you have no food or you have no money to pay them.
If you’ve got enough money, locate the nearest village and buy food from there. Try and buy food that won’t go off such as grain. Food that goes off do have higher morale boosts but can be frustrating if you are in the middle of nowhere and they go off. To boost morale even higher, and if you can afford it, buy both perishables and staples.
If you haven’t got enough money to fund your party, I would recommend going into battle with any one of your enemies. If you have low-level soldiers, worst case scenario you lose them all but gain experience via defeating enemies. Best case you get a load of loot that can be sold to fund your army with an added bonus of experience for the whole party.
Invest in Industries
By exploring the streets of the city you can locate the Guild Master. Take on any quests he gives you to boost your standing with that city. It should also net you a pretty payday as well. But, the real profit comes from establishing a relationship high enough so you can buy plots of land to use for industries. These range from bakeries to breweries and various other medieval industries.
This will give you a passive income every week, which can fund your army or provide a boost should you get captured. Do note however if the economy is poor, the business won’t be able to sell their goods and so you may lose out. The best way to counter this is to have a range of industries all across the map. But that will take a lot of time and money.
Pick a Side
Now, this final point I wouldn’t recommend until you have a sizable army and a high-level character. As you know, there are many factions that are vying for power. By approaching the faction leader you can swear allegiance to him and his faction. Immediately you will receive a bonus to relations with that faction but you will also find you will have more enemies. This means a lot more opportunities for ambushing enemy factions and stealing their loot. You will also get a small maintenance fee which is paid to help maintain your army.
I find that if I do this too early, I keep getting wiped out by the enemy factions and if I get stuck in their lands I never get back to a safe haven before quitting.
Mount & Blade: Warband That’s All…
So these were just a few tips to get you started playing Mount & Blade: Warband. I will be providing a more advanced guide in the future once I’ve managed to build up my army to a sustainable point. Good luck and may your armies grow and your enemies crumble.
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