So, you want to be ruler of all Calradia? Then perhaps this page isn't for you. However, if you need guidance on how to start off the game, then this is the place.
See main article Character Creation
Character creation is important, as it governs your abilities in the starting game. Invest points in intelligence and strength, to boost skill points and combat effectiveness respectively. Charisma and most of all agility can wait for later, as agility's speed boost is negligible and charisma's skills are useless beyond leadership (trade is something you can get off Marnid or Ymira, and Prisoner managment you likely won't need past level 3 or 4 even in late game). Surgery is something you will likely want, as you do not want your valuable troops dying when Bunduk is off on a right to rule mission.
A note to players new to Mount and Blade, it is advised you don't take the Khergits or Sarranids as your starting town, since the bandits they have are mounted. In Floris, it might be a good idea to take the Swadians or Nords. The first thing you should do is take the opening merchant quest. This is a given, however some players may not appreciate the benefits this mission does for your starting situation over the time it takes to complete it. This is fine, however you will be in a much better position if you take the time to complete it. After the quest is completed, leave the town and recruit at least 25 more peasants. After this is completed, you will want to go to the nearest town and buy a few food items. Morale isn't as important at the start of the game as in the late game, but troops deserting are still troops deserting.
A good skill to invest in at this time is leadership, if you did not boost it during character creation. Otherwise, weapon master and other personal attributes are good to invest in in early game. Don't worry, you can use companions for most of the party skills. Make sure you boost proficiencies in weapons you find most comfortable using.
Remember, these count for your companions as well.
- Long, counter cavalry lance. Think above 200 range.
- High HP shield (possibly with a large diametre) for defence against missiles and ground work. Ideal would be Mamluk Round Shield
- One/two handed weapon with a piercing swing for use against armoured opponents whilst on horseback. Try Large Morningstar.
- One/two handed sword with a thrust and swing, for general purpose use. Try Crusader/English Longswords.
- Go for high damage, neglecting speed. Unbalanced weapons do not matter. Don't bother using a shield on the ground, unless you are facing Nord infantry or archers.
- You will need a horse with high armour and health, neglecting speed and manuveurability. Charge is a given.
- You need serious armour. Think plate, or better. Prioritise body and leg. Tournaments are a good source of Reinforced Heraldric Mail. Rememeber, once you're on the ground, you need to be able to kill as many men as possible, not run away.
- A high draw-speed bow. The type elite Khergit cavalry use.
- A shield with high HP for your last stand. Diametre doesn't matter.
- One-handed, high speed, swinging sword. Try Senlac, Angle or Knight.
- The best arrows in the land. Barbed, bodkin, khergit.
- Speed. speed. speed.
- You will need a horse with high speed and manuverability, neglecting armour and health.
- Light armour for a quick getaway if you're dehorsed.
- Massive, two handed sword. Think Danish Greatsword or Zweihandler. This is good for one-on-one.
- A shield. Large diametre. Rhodok or Nord.
- One hander of some sort for when you use your shield.
- A long spear for anti-cavalry. You can brace it against charging enemies. The spear gets a flat boost against horses, so make sure you use it as such.
- You are a heavy infantry. Slowness is not a problem. Your two-handed weapon is best for one-on-one. If you get swamped, move towards friendlies whilst brandishing your shield and one-handed weapon.
- You must focus on taking out enemy infantry and heavy cavalry. Archers and cavalry are best for taking out anything else. You can always mop up though.
- Heavy armour. Prioritise head and body.
- Move with the pack. If there is no pack, then always attempt to take on the enemy one at a time.
- Throwing weapon of some sort to take out advancing troops.
- Shield. High HP. For when you move in for the kill against missile troops.
- One handed weapon. High speed.
- If you're daring, a dagger. If not, a low range, high speed spear.
- Your shield is great for bashing the heavy infantry down after a block. Then, have at them with your sword. Rinse and repeat.
- The throwing weapon is useless against archers, but perfect for headshots on those pesky heavy infantry. If there's no shield, go for it.
- One-on-one heavy infantry. Swarm when possible. Retreat as often as you need to. Contrast heavy infantry, which can Rambo everything.
- Mail, or if you're desperate, leather. Don't go for anything that encumbers you too much.
- A crossbow or bow respectively. Don't worry about speed, go for power.
- Bolts or arrows respectively. Get the best.
- Pavise for a crossbowman, shield for an archer. Pavises are deployable to defend from missiles.
- A melee weapon of any sort. Be creative.
- If anything attacks you melee, swarm with your ranged buddies. Never attempt one-on-one or charging.
- The pavise is important if you are a crossbowman. Enemy projectiles are dangerous if they headshot you.
- Light armour. Concerntrate mostly on head pieces.
- Headshots, headshots, headshots. Be ambitious, but dont take gambles. Go for the guys without shields, and aim for the legs if they do have a shield.
Financing your Exploits
See main article Building Your Finances
Denars are important for all stages of the game. Tournaments (especially in early game), loot and fief income are all important for upkeeping your campaigns. A good route to go for is buying land after a good snag from some bandits, or vassalising yourself to a king. Don't worry, you shouldn't get chased if you keep your pathfinding up and party size down. You might even get some pricey goods from looting a village. Tournaments are a safe, easy way of gaining renown and denars if you place your bets right.
Building your Army
See main article Building Your Army
Unless you plan to role play a merchant, you will need a serious army to get around in Mount and Blade. In theory, there are two types of army- quantity based and quality-based. Quantity based armies are full of peasants, and cheap mercanaries. It is crucial that if you plan to auto-calculate your armies, you have superior numbers (Mount and Blade auto-calc battles are based on numbers, not skill). Quality based armies are best for battling manually, because you take less losses than auto-calculated battles and you will end up killing more of their men. However, you will find that middle and late game it is better to have a quality mid sized army (akin to the lords'), if you can afford it. See the main article (linked above) for more information.