In a land torn asunder by incessant warfare, it is time to assemble your own band of hardened warriors and enter the fray. Lead your men into battle, expand your realm, and claim the ultimate prize: the throne of Calradia!
Hello guys. I reached my 100 troop size goal finally. 500 renown, honorable, rich, very veteran army. I need a damn war though! Running down packs of Sea Raiders and even Tournaments are doing very little for my renown. How do I get Ragnar to declare a wa...
This looks like a game I would enjoy, all the games and expansions are on sale, should I buy them all or is the Warband version so much better than the original that I would be better off just buying Warband and it's expansion?
Will playing the original ...
Mount and Blade: Warband is a tremendous medieval sandbox game.
The graphics are dated, there is no storyline, the kingdom management is obnoxious and I bounced off it several times before finally pushing through.
The combat is the most fun I've had in any melee-centric game, and after playing Warband I've not been able to return to games like Skyrim. In particular, the mounted combat (especially with a lance or polearm) is insanely fun. Warband nails the importance of momentum, and nothing in gaming can feel better than landing a couched lance on an enemy at full speed, instantly dismounting (if you aimed poorly) or killing them.
The tactical aspect is fun but not fleshed out. There were very few times when I ever had to change my standard battle plans. Find a slope, put your archers at the top and a thin line of infantry halfway up, then let your archers wreak havoc on the enemy while your infantry slows them down and prevents them from getting in range of the archers. If your army composition is different, then obviously you'll have to have a different tactic. In Vanilla Warband there are no open field battles you can't win with an adequate amount of Swadian knights immediately charging and demolishing anything that stand in their wake.
Sieges are fun but limited. Vanilla only has a couple of different types of maps, and they're almost always identical in terms of how the battles work. The ladders (or siege towers) create an extraordinarily narrow chokepoint at the entrance to the walls, meaning that if you are moderately decent at the combat, you can realistically hold off an army 4-5 times your size by standing at the top of the ladder and bopping the enemy heads one by one while your archers (preferably Rhodok crossbowmen) make pincushions out of the men climbing the ladder. Alternatively, you can just jump down the ladder and start hacking and slashing the backs of the men climbing the ladder, surrounded by the entire enemy army but basically unstoppable. Sieging castles requires a little more strategy, but not by much.
But the real reason why I've played so many hours of Warband is the modding scene. Warband mods are tremendous, Prophesy of Pendor is a light fantasy setting with significantly larger enemy armies, better balancing between unit types, and much stronger units in general. I've had battles against armies of over 7k enemies, they lasted hours but were extraordinarily rewarding. I highly recommend it. If you're interested in something closer to histical accuracy, Anno Domini 1257 offers a painstaking recreation of 13th century Europe. Brytenwalda offers a harsh (thoroughly researched) vision of Dark Ages Britain, The Last Days sets you in the Lord of the Rings' universe, and Gekokoju gives you Sengoku era Japan. If you want more of an enhanced Vanilla experience, Floris and Silverstag both offer tremendous reworks of balance, kingdom management, diplomacy, and more. And if you're a fan of D&D, Phantasy Calradia overhauls the Vanilla world to include your standard D&D races, weapons, and offers a tremendous spellcasting system as well. Each of the mods I mentioned could easily be played for hundreds of hours a piece before seeing all they have to offer, and I've just barely scratched the surface of the modding scene.
While Warband won't be dropping any jaws with its graphics and many of the mid-late game management systems are opaque, the combat an incredibly amount of fun and Warband offers a modder's playground that will have you hooked for years. Despite my general distaste for third person and melee combat, I would not hesitate to rank Warband as one of my favourite games of all time. I'd recommend it even if you refuse to mod, but when you install mods it becomes a truly amazing experience.