Mount and Blade is a unique game, putting the player in the shoes of a adventure seeker in the land of Caldaria, who may rise up to become a vassal of one of the five nations in the land and lead them to glory.
The following guide is supposed to be used with the basic “Native” mode of the game, however modifications do not warp them greatly so it might be used to a certain degree with any of the many mods out there.
Character System in Mount and Blade
The main character sheet is divided into three sections – Four Attributes, the Skills they govern and Weapon Proficiencies.
- Each Attribute affects a certain group of skills, those are displayed when the mouse cursor is moved over them. Each three points in the attribute allow to take one skill point. It is generally most reasonable to focus on one or two attributes. Taking Intelligence as one of them for the main character is usually a very good idea, however party members do add their own skills into the teams pool provided they are not wounded.
- Skills add to the various tasks the player may perform on the game map, increasing output, or directly influence combat abilities. The maximum base value of any skill is 10, but these can be increased by the various pieces of equipment and books the player can buy in taverns and shops. Most books however require a base amount of intelligence to read (usually not over 12).
- Weapon proficiencies are directly related to combat, they influence the damage caused by the weapons, aside of their basic damage values and the skills the player uses.
Quests in Mount and Blade
There are three sources of quests in the game, each increase the influence the player has with the quest giver. Higher influence with cities and villages means that the player will be more likely to find more recruits in them and get more taxes if they are his own lands. Influence with lords means they will support his candidacy for war marshal if they are servants of the same lord and more likely to follow the players requests during campaigns
- Village Elders reside in each of the smaller villages the player can visit. Those quests usually entail getting supplies or cattle for the village, or helping the locals train a militia for a impending bandit attack, which culminates with a battle with the raiders.
- Trade Guild Leaders reside in each of the major cities in the game and offer trade related quests or collecting dues from other people. They tend to always have a new quest for the player.
- Lords offer a variety of tasks, including training some of their troops to a set level, tracking a bandit and bringing him to justice, collecting dues from another lord or taking taxes. Their quests usually offer the most variety and completing those will also affect friendship of their respective nation.
Troops in Mount and Blade
Each village offers recruit of the culture it belongs to. Starting with a form of peasants, as the player wins combat with them in his party, they will gain experience and will be evolved to higher tiers. Most troop types can be upgraded to two different types, ultimately each culture has about six top-tier troop types.
It is also possible to hire mercenaries in taverns of the major cities, those are usually better then the basic peasants and also can be upgraded, however their top-tier levels are usually weaker then the top levels of the peasants.
Finally, heroes are a special type of “troop” that advances in levels as the main character does, they can also use equipment. They do have a mind of their own however and will respond to the players actions and to each other in one way or another, up to leaving the party completely.
Combat in Mount and Blade
Combat in Mount and Blade is a relatively straightforward affair. The player can issue simple commands to his troops and select basic troop-types. The maximum number of troops per battlefield is 100, however if there are more troops in either army, they will be put in as “reinforcements”, up to two additional waves except for sieges. If either army still isn’t decimated after the waves, it will restart and continue on a new battleground.
- While engaging small groups of infantry enemies like the basic bandit types without a party, dancing around the group on a horse and focusing on the archers is a good strategy. Care is required though, as the horse may be shot or hit from under the player.
- As an attacker during sieges, setting the archers back to wait under the walls until the first wave of defenders is dispatched, them moving them in while additional waves charge up the walls. Unless strong archer resistance is encountered, staying up on the walls is usually the best course of action.
- Some siege maps include a siege tower that will need to be moved to the wall. If that is the case, the player should focus on the six “carriers” of the tower. If nobody is around it, it will stop in its tracks.
- Death is not possible. If the player is defeated, his troops will continue to fight for him, but a skip option is possible. If his army is defeated, he will be taken prisoner and break out a few days later. His party will be broken and all of its members will need to be found again.
This concludes the basic overview of the game and gives some idea into the rich world of Caldaria. Of course, modifications add to these, but as mentioned before, the “skeleton” of the game remains the same. Good luck!