So far we have looked at the multiplayer side of the game and discussed weaponry, armour and horses. Now it is time to turn our eyes towards the throne. One of the most exciting new developments in Mount & Blade: Warband is the ability to strike out on your own. You can now carve out your own kingdom and make your companions into vassals by granting them lands.
It was technically possible to create your own rebel kingdom in the original Mount & Blade but it was never really intended to be played that way. In Warband there is an all new political system which allows you to engage in political intrigue, build up your right to rule, marry, create vassals and persuade lords to defect.
In order to get into a position where you can strike out on your own you’ll need to develop your character, whip your army into shape and work on building some relationships. If you want to be recognised as a King your plan should be slow and methodical or you’ll be crushed as rebel scum.
In the Beginning
You’ll kick off the game as a lone adventurer and the start you get in Calradia will depend on what options you decided to select when Creating your Mount & Blade Character.
In Warband you are given a mission to help you get started. This is a good gentle introduction and for the early part of the game you should take on missions for city guilds and lords to build up some cash and experience. You should also attack small groups of bandits. Don’t take on deserters though, because they tend to be very well equipped, and at the start of the game you won’t be. You can also build up some skills and make a little cash by fighting in the arenas in the cities.
As you get tougher and start to make some money you can upgrade your gear. As well as upgrading your own armour and weapons make sure you remember to kit out your companions.
Train Up and Recruit
Your main focus should be to build up your character and your party. You’ll want to recruit companions from the taverns and hire raw recruits at villages. Training up raw recruits is much cheaper than hiring the finished article in a tavern so avoid the groups of mercenaries. The individual companion characters, on the other hand, are an essential part of your force so seek them out. If you hire all of them you’ll find that they argue so try to select a balanced group and eject troublemakers.
This Mount & Blade Guide to Recruiting and Commanding an Army is still valid for Warband.
You don’t strictly need to become a vassal but it would be very tough to go straight from adventurer to King. Decide which of the factions you’d like to be a part of and concentrate on doing missions for them (particularly for the King of your chosen faction). You need to Build up your Renown and eventually as it grows the factions will attempt to sign you up. Alternatively you can build your renown up and then go direct to the King and ask to join his faction.
Money makes the world go round and you need a decent bankroll to succeed in Calradia. If you build up debts it will have a negative effect on your standing and your party morale will dip. You will make some money from any possessions you have. The King of your chosen faction will generally grant you a small village as an introduction and if you take castles and cities thereafter he may award you more lands. The tax income is now delivered directly to you but you’ll need to build mills and protect your possessions in order to make them profitable.
The most lucrative way to spend your time is to travel around taking part in tournaments. We’ll discuss the other benefits later but if you make sure to bet on yourself, the maximum 100 for each round, then you’ll come away with a tidy sum (usually just under 4,000) assuming you win.
You can also take on various missions to make cash and of course you’ll get loot (which can be sold) every time you defeat an enemy force.
You need to build up your honor rating and keep your controversy low to make friends. It will come in very handy later if you have some lords onside. It is possible to persuade lords to join your faction and support you as king. You’ll need to build strong friendships if you want to do this. You’ll also want to avoid war with everyone when you do declare your new faction, so being friendly with at least one faction is a very good idea.
You’ll increase your chances of success by planning ahead carefully. Think about what territory you might want to claim when you first strike out. Try to choose somewhere next to the faction you are friendly with so that you don’t get attacked from all sides. This may also have the side benefit of giving you some protection, especially if they are engaged in a war with your enemy.
It will also be easier to take border castles because they will probably have been fought over before. This means they are the most likely to be poorly defended. Scope out the area and scout thoroughly before you actually attack.
The act of setting up your faction in Mount and Blade: Warband is actually very simple. All you need to do is attack and take a castle or city without being tied to a faction. Renounce your oath to the faction you’re with, bear in mind that you will lose your lands. Now attack a new city or castle and when you take it you’ll get the chance to set up your new faction. You can choose a name and a banner.
The hard part is holding on to your new found empire. You can drastically improve your chances in this regard by paying attention to a rating that we’ll discuss in the next part of this guide – Right to Rule.
This post is part of the series: Mount & Blade: Warband Guide
A five part guide to the new Mount & Blade: Warband.