Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord

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How to Conquer Calradia (Without executing nobles or smithing)
By Bron W. Bones
(Semi-outdated) This guide will aid you into conquering all of Calradia, without having to cut off any noble's head.
The first time I tried to conquer Calradia, I didn't want to kill any nobles like I read on the developer blogs. I wanted to be a good person. So when I got into the game, I joined a kingdom with the goal of conquering the known world. But then I ran into a problem, their are so many enemies, and few allies. So I got frustrated and started by executing army commanders, then clan leader, then I murdered every one I captured. Somehow I felt guilty for executing imaginary characters, so I read and watched multiple guides concerning this game and formulated a route to world conquest without execution and smithing. I tested my guide 3 times with success (Counting the play-through in this guide). So put away your executioner's axe, its time to be a good person for once. This guide will inform you on how to conquer Calradia without executing nobles or gaining money by smithing. I swear that there will not be exploitation or cheating involved in this guide. To show that my guide works, I have started a new game to show you that what I'm writing actually works. This guide in conquering Calradia will be covering how to start, life as a mercenary, starting your kingdom, and the endgame.
Disclaimer: It may take you multiple tries to successfully do my guide if you're inexperienced with the game.
Starting out

First we will be covering what your character stats will look like. When selecting your character's skills focus on following skills. The most important stats are "Trading" (125 skill for renown and money early game), "Roguery" (for money middle to late game), "Charm" (for relationship gains and persuading nobles), "Steward" (for a large force), "Athletics" (75 skill for persuading nobles), "Tactics" (for the many sieges and battles ahead), Leadership (at least 25 skill for faster recruiting but I would recommend you go higher), and finally "Bow" or "Crossbow" (for improved ranged troops for battles and sieges).
Your Starting stats should look roughly like this

The list below will show you skills you'll need to train when starting out in order of importance, as well as how to train them fast. (Skills not mentioned will not be necessary to train at this stage)

Trading- What I did was just sell Desert and Aserai horses to west and North western towns, then I would sell furs I pick up in the town Ostican and sell them south. If you think you can find a better route I would recommend reading "The Silk Road" guide by Steam user One classy Camel. Either way you must get to 125 in skill to get the perk "Artisan community," which gives you 1 renown for every profitable shop you own. I would also recommend "Appraiser" and "Market dealer" for help in the endgame. When starting, put every focus point you get into the Trade skill.
Charm- While you're trading, do quest for villages and towns with your culture. Villages bond to castles will almost always produce noble troops and are the only villages that produce them- if you're going for all noble troops. This will set you up for middle to late game. Get the perks "Diplomacy", "Show Your Scars", "Forgivable Grievances", and "Young and Respectful" if you're a man, and "In Bloom" if you're a lady. Make sure you have at least 4 focus points in charm. This skill is not important to train at this stage.

Athletics- The best way to train early is with tournaments and looters. Just run at the your enemy and hit him while he's charging. If you want a more In-depth guide read the "In-depth Guide to Powerleveling Athletics and Wrecking Cavalry" by Steam user Big Boxs. You HAVE to get the perk "Having Going" for recuriting lords, "Fury" is also recommended. You need at least 3 focus points in Athletics. You do not need to get to 75 skill at this stage just get the focus points.

Roguery- Put all your remaining focus points into roguery.

Now its actually time to start our pious conquest of Calradia! The first step is simple, trade until you get 125 skill in trade to get the perk "Artisan community". Put yourself as quartermaster via the clan menu. Start by gathering at least 20 followers. Keep a look out for bandits, but just pay the bandits off if you get caught at this stage. Do any tournaments while searching for troops and sell the prize if you win (Do not place bets). If you struggle with fighting just do random quests.

Once you have at least 2000 Denars make your way south to the town Askar, buy a few desert horses until you only have 200-300 Denars left. Afterward sell them to a Vladian town for at least over 280 Denars a horse (ex. Marunath, Sargot, Jaculan, Gelend, Rovalt, and sometimes Lageta and Ortysia). Make sure you have 5 focus points in trading. After that, go back to Askar and buy more horses and sell them. Do this over and over again. When you have 20,000 Denars buy some Aserai horses. When Desert horses start to be worth over 200 Denars per horse, do some quests in villages related to your culture until Desert horses go down in value (This will help with recuriting and leveling up your charm skill). When you hit 60,000 Denars buy a work shop. I usually buy a Silversmith in Sanala; but if you think you know better try your own spots for workshops. When you achieved 125 skill in trade you should have around 60,000-100,000 Denars; which will help you with the next step. Do quest for villages (with your culture) as you wait for your renown to climb. When you reach clan tier one buy another workshop that is profitable. Good towns for silversmiths include Ostican, Diathma, Ostysia, Chaikand, Lycaron, and Car Banseth. By the way, if you have a lot of horses it could slow you down. Get a reasonable amount of horses until you travel about 4 in speed (click the arrow in the bottom right corner), or get more men. Do more village quests and tournaments until you are in clan tier 2, which is where this step ends

At this point you should have the perk "Artisan community", clan tier 2, 60,000-100,000 Denars, at least 60 men, 4 focus points in charm, 3 focus points in athletics, and own any 3 workshops that are profitable.
Your skills should roughly look like this.
If you meet the requirements, its time to become a mercenary.
Life as a mercenary (Skills)
After preparations from the 1st step, you should be ready to participate in battles. Just as a heads up, this guide will not require you to become a vassal to any kingdom. The following list below will inform you of skills you'll need to be training during this stage and the fastest way to train them (In order of importance).

Steward- This is very important trait to a aspiring emperor/empress like you. Make sure you place 5 focus points in Steward. About 200 skill in this area is a comfortable spot as you'll have significant boost to your party limit. At the end of this step you should have around 200 high tier able fighting men. The best way to improve this skill is to just have diverse food, so you can train this while training other skills. Buy at least 50 of each food in a town and watch the steward skill rise (Buy mules to increase carrying capacity).

Athletics- It is crucial that you get to 75 skill in Athletics to get the perk "Having Going". This perk will give you a good boost in persuading clan leaders to join your kingdom in the next step. The fastest way to train this perk is to buy a long spear or pike, than run than jump and attack a horsemen that is charging at you. Read the guide by Steam user Big Boxs if you want more information. Otherwise just attack people on foot.
Roguery- You need all 5 focus points for this skill because it will be your primary source of money for this step and the future. The best way to level this up is to stage a prison break. Look up on the encyclopedia (n) for factions, then survey which factions are fighting which. Then you can search where lords are imprisoned via the hero section. It cost around 2000 denars depending on the political status of the lord to do this action, so I would recommend you have around 90,000 denars. This is also a good way to level up charm because you gain around 20 relation with the clan the lord belongs, as a result you will gain you a fair bit of charm skill upon a successful breakout. Buy better civilian clothes and weapons to aid in prison breaks. By the way, even if you fail to break someone out of prison you still get a lot of experience in roguery. Plus, if you're not at war with the faction that imprisoned the person you tried to break out, the guards will let you out within one day without punishment. You can also just ransom captives when you defeat an army in battle for roguery experience. Get Roguery as high as you can, reach for around 200 or higher.

Charm- This skill is important because it will aid in relation gains and persuasion. Its really easy to level up if you have high tier troops and a large army. Once you defeated a party, release any lords you've captured. About 150+ skill should be fine; As a extra tip, if you help villages that are being raided it increases relation with all notables in the village, which is very useful for recruiting high tier recruits.

Leadership- This has to be only 25 at this stage to get the perk "Combat Tips", which will give you plus 1 recruitment slot for villages and towns with your culture. This will be extremely helpful for replenishing high tier troops when they are killed in battle. The way to train this without leading a army is to recruit troops and maintain high moral (with repetitive victories). So when you have a good number of high tier troops, chase down lords that are weaker than you and defeat them to gain moral. This skill will slowly increase overtime without you noticing if you are successful at this stage. Make sure you have 2-3 focus points in this skill.

Bow or Crossbow- Just shoot enemies with your bow or crossbow. The more damage you do, the more experience you'll get. This Skill is useful for the many battles ahead. The more experienced your ranged troops are, the better a siege or battle will be in your favor as ranged troops are good killers. To level up this skill you should join a huge battle and snipe at the enemies' infantry. Try to level this skill every battle. Also, choose every perk that increases the effectiveness of your ranged troops; which is the whole point of leveling up this skill. 75 skill level in what ever ranged skill you choose is decent. Make sure you have at least 3 focus points in this area.

Tactics- Good for the many battles and sieges up ahead. It is important to have this skill at least 100 skill or more. All you need to do is win battles and this skill will naturally rise. You can also train this by sacrificing troops but you should not do that in this step as you'll need high ranking troops in the next steps. 3-5 focus points in this skill will be good.
Life as a Mercenary (Acutal work)
Now lets get to the actual work. Your first job will be to find a medic, look on the Encyclopedia (n) for heros with a good medicine skill (Good examples are "the Healer" or "the Scholar"). This is so you can have a better chance of experienced troops to get wounded instead of killed. Make sure your medic is safe from harm by moving him/her to the archers formation so they don't get killed themselves. Next you will need to sign a mercenary contract with the faction of your culture. If they're not at war with anyone, just do village quest. Or better yet, stage prison breaks with factions that are at war to increase roguery. Once you've signed a mercenary contract with a local lord, your first job will be to recruit more men, preferably noble troops or high ranking troops (Make sure you have a good number of archers for your first siege in the next step). Once you hit the limit buy diverse food to increase your steward skill, do this now so you can assemble a larger force. Once you have done that lets get to our first real battles. Look for village raids or sieges by enemy forces, as friendly lords will most likely answer the peasants' pleas. Join battles mostly in your favor so you don't lose many warriors. If you're feeling lucky, patrol around the enemy border for weaker lords that had a bad day. Chase them and destroy them (Remember what I said above when explaining the charm skill in the section above). If you find yourself in a bad spot, just leave the kingdom in the middle of the battle via the clan menu. Since you're a mercenary, you'll have no repercussions for leaving your kingdom for both belligerents in the war (If the game won't let you leave the conversation screen, join their kingdom then immediately leave their kingdom). Sell the enemies' equipment and the captives for money. Make sure you're also training the above mentioned skills.

You'll soon realize that you're already clan tier 4 (Make sure you're buying more workshops). Its time to get more risky. Try not to lose a battle and get captured at this stage. Once you're confident in your men and finances (If you're losing money because of high tier troops that is okay, it means you're doing good!), its time to join other factions for future lords in your kingdom. When the faction you have a mercenary contract with makes peace, you need to make sure you have reached the limit of men and have around 100,000-200,000 denars. Now join other factions near your culture's faction that are at war and make sure you're doing the same things as the previous paragraph as well as training skills. Join your culture's faction again if you lose a lot of men in battles and replenish your troops. Make sure you're selling the spoils of war to make a profit.

When are at clan tier 5 get a spouse. The best way to do this is to gain sufficient relation with a faction leader or clan leader who has a lot of money via the clan section in encyclopedia. Next, ask that faction leader that you want to form an alliance through marriage. Offer your hand, then they will offer you a suitable spouse. Make sure she or he is skilled enough to be useful in war (it’s not necessary that your spouse is skilled but it’s preferable). Afterward, you’ll see a trading screen, click on their money (left hand corner) and take as many until the deal is barely accepted by the faction leader (the middle bar has to be completely green). Done, now you have a large sum of money and a spouse. Get some heirs just in case you die.

I would like to remind you that you're increasing relation with other lords by breaking them out of prison or setting them free. Once you have about 180 high ranking troops try taking on armies of about 300 men or higher, it will give you more loot. Make sure you're jumping around from faction to faction quickly, as if a other faction declares war with the faction you're in, your workshop you have in enemy towns will be deleted (If you join factions that already is at war your workshops won't get seized even in enemy towns). Done, now you have a huge sum of money and a spouse.

Keep fighting other factions and increasing your skills and money until you're at clan tier 5-6, and have 1.2 million denars. This may seem impossible, but I assure you it will be worth it. The final thing you need is a engineer. Like how you found a medic, look at the hero menu in the Encyclopedia to find a engineer (Ex. "the Engineer" and "the Scholar"). Like your medic, the Engineer must be safe from harm. The Engineer needs to be the party's Engineer using the clan menu. If you want to you can go the extra mile and get 2 million denars to buy high tier gear, but its not necessary.

You should be ready to start the next step if you have a spouse and a heir(s), clan tier 5 or 6, about 1.2 million denars, a engineer and a medic, over or equal to 200 able high tier fighting men (As well as a decent amount of Archers), and the minimum skill levels listed in the previous chapter.
Your skills should look sort of like the above photo
If you meet the above requirements, its time to take create your kingdom.
Creating your kingdom (Preparations)
Now we start the hard stuff. At this point you should be fully prepared to start your own kingdom from the advice mentioned in the previous chapters. The only skills that are necessary to train are tactics and leadership. Put 5 focus points in both skills and let them rise throughout your conquest.

Lets get right into it, first you need 3 companions that have trades similar to a lord (ex. high tactic and leadership). Look on the games Encyclopedia for good companions. If you're doing the campaign you can just use your brothers and sister.
A good example of a good lord-like companion.

Once you have 3 companions, you need them to raise a warband themselves. Go to a town and recruit all the troops. Afterward, create another army via the party menu using the clan tab and give them the troops you recruited. Protect each vassal for a little while until they have about 20+ men.

Next, you need to wait a few in-game days until each party has a significant force. In the meantime, you need to plot where you shall start your conquest. I strongly recommend you start in the far west no matter what culture you are. The reason for this is because you do not want to be at war on multiple fronts to avoid your battle lines being stretched. Also you’ll have the strength of two kingdoms (Vlandia and Battania) without being outflanked by Aseai and Sturgian armies. Scout out a good castle or settlement that has lower than 300 men. I would prefer you try to take a settlement in which the lord who owns the settlement is his/her only fief. Keep in mind where you have the most friends when selecting a good staging point for your conquest. Once you found a good castle to siege, wait until the faction that your about to start a war with is distracted with another war. Also make sure you have 500+ food.

When you've done all the things mention above its time to start conquering. First, attack a local peasant party or a local lord (If you want to be a good guy attack the party and while in the battle retreat immediately). When the faction is hostile to you, go to the settlement you wanted to take and besiege it (Make sure you have a engineer). Once you have finished setting up camp attack the settlement without any siege engines. The best way to siege your first settlement is to take manual control of your units. Command your infantry to form a shield wall in-front of both 2 ladders and put your ranged troops in loose formation behind both infantry formations, as well as out of the way of enemy ranged siege assets. Do this until your ranged troops are out of ammo or they can't shoot at anyone anymore, then send the rest of your men to kill the stragglers. If you have a ranged weapon yourself you should snipe some of the enemy range troops that are harassing your men.
Once you conquered the settlement, assign a governor to the settlement you captured (don't use a person who already has a party themselves). Next, talk to the governor to form your kingdom. Choose what ever culture you want. Afterward you need to select polices. The following list below will show you polices you must have in order of importance.

Noble Retinues- Gives clan tier 5+ clan leaders 40 more to their party limit. This will be useful as you can make a mini army yourself; As well as having bigger armies in general.

Senate- Gives you 0.5 influence, very useful.

Tribunes of the People- Gives 1 loyalty to any town. Will be useful when your kingdom is big and your towns won't revolt every few days. The 5% off tax won't be a big problem

Trial By Jury- Gives more Loyalty so you don't have to go back and conquer your cities again. The -1 influence won't be a problem since you have +3 influence for being a king.

Bailiffs- More security and a +1 influence to any town. The 5% tax cut won't be a big problem to you.

Forgiveness of Debts- A 2+ loyalty bonus. This combined with the other polices will make revolts impossible. A small cut to production won't be a problem once you have multiple cites reaping profits.

Hunting rights- More food.

Castle Charters- Makes upgrading castle walls much faster.

Royal guard- Gives you 60 more to your party limit, making you have about 300+ men in your party. However, it will be hard to maintain a force this large so this policy is optional.
The importance of Noble Retinues

You should have all these policies by the end of this step. But don’t enact them too soon when every influence point is important, and don’t enact them too late when enacting policies cost a lot of influence. Start enacting policies when you have 3+ clans under your banner. (If you don't like these polices you can change them when you conquer all of Calradia)

Once you've created a kingdom, assemble a army with your companions or family that have parties of their own. While your vassals are coming toward you recruit some able fighting men and add them to your newly conquered settlement. Afterward, attack some wandering nobles to gain influence, as your first act as lord of Calradia will be to make peace with the faction your at war with. Grind to 100 influence to make peace. If they send an army to eliminate you, destroy them with the army you assembled. However, if the enemy army significantly out numbers you, either wait for the castle garrison to whittle them down than engage, or repeat any of the above steps to try again. At this point you should be releasing any lord regardless of their political status. Defeat enemy armies and lords until you reach 100 influence.
Once you're at peace, you'll now need to get clans into your faction. Look on the game's encyclopedia (n) for "Kingdoms". Look for the faction that you founded your kingdom in and click their clans. The best way to recruit clans into your faction is to convince clan leaders with no land and like you, as they will be cheapest and easiest to convince. Once you have found your clan leader of choosing, find them via the Encyclopedia. If they're in an army they won't want to discuss betraying their king. Anyway, once you try to convince them pick the option with the best chance of success. If you're successful, pay them the money since you should have about 1 million denars. This should cost 1 denar to 500,000 denars depending on your relationships with them. So keep that in mind when convincing other clans to join your kingdom. If they are stubborn and won't join your kingdom, try others with no land, also try other clan leaders from other factions if you still don't have any clans. If you still have no luck, hire a mercenary company.

You should have at least 1 clan in your kingdom by now. When you have the clan with you, wait until the faction you're near is at war, then raise a army with every lord you have and declare war. Try targeting fiefs near you that the clan who is controlling the fief is his/her only fief so you can convince them to join you as well. Conquer land until you lose a significant number of your armies troops or the faction your at war with makes peace.
Creating your Kingdom (Expansion)
I suppose its time to tell you how to siege a settlement effectively. Once in the bombardment phase, you need start building your ranged siege engines. What ever the enemy is building, you need build one tier up (If enemy is building Ballistas build Ognars, if enemy is building Ognars build Trebuchets). Put your siege assets into reserve once they're built. When you have all 4 slot filled deploy all of them, then start building siege ladders and a battering ram. If your siege engines get destroyed, cancel building siege ladders and a ram, and build your siege assets again until all enemy ranged siege assets are neutralized. Once all enemy ranged engines are destroyed and the siege ladders and the battering ram are built, its time to attack.

A good siege situation
When you're attacking do the same strategy as explained in your first siege, but this time wait until the siege towers are almost deployed, then deploy your ranged troops (Do not take manual control of the Infantry this time). Also deploy your ranged troops in front of the castle gate when the battering ram is almost deployed. After your infantrymen have fought with the enemy for some time, tell your archers to charge so they can shoot the enemy garrison on their walls.

Your first goal is to subjugate the faction you took your first settlement from. Keep capturing settlements, fighting armies and selling loot to gain more money to being more nobles in your kingdom. In times of peace you should try to persuade more clans to join your kingdom and replenishing your troops. Put your war strategy in defense initially, as you'll be weaker than other factions. When in times of crisis it should be easy to make peace because it will be less influence to overwrite the council. Keep declaring war, taking a few settlements and making peace by overwriting the council. Remember, you will be the spear head in most wars. You will be responsible for capturing the most defended settlements, and the armies that tries to break your sieges. If you need money, declare war with a big faction and wait until their armies try to take your settlements, defeat them in battle and sell their loot. Do that until you have a comfortable amount of money. By the end of this section, make sure you have at least 2 towns with about 5000+ prosperity so you're not always in the hole with your highly trained army. In the clan tab, go to parties and make sure your garrisons wages are not too high. Set their wages to About 1000 denars.

By the way, the amount of money a clan is willing to pay to join you is heavily based on their relationship with you. It also depends on their strength (Amount of troops), money, and settlements. Look for kingdoms that lost a lot of their fiefs, recruit their clans that loss all their fiefs to recruit them. I would also prefer you to pair clans with settlements with the same culture to minimize the risk of rebellions; if possible. Also if you're planning on adding a specific clan to your kingdom and want him to start out with a good fief, you can hold on to settlements. Then when you get the clan to join you, you can give him said settlement using the "Fief" tab in the Kingdom menu. If a lord is not willing to join you even though he/she has no fiefs, wait for the person to die or regains and loses a fief, then try again (This applies only if the person gives you no chance of persuading them; they talk about how they are happy with their current liege)

When you almost subjugated the kingdom you're nearest too, conquer other factions. You should be powerful enough to take stronger factions head on without help from other factions. Keep conquering fiefs and adding more clans until you subjugated about 3 kingdoms and have close to 20+ clans. If your council takes to long to declare war or your faction doesn't want to attack the faction you need to, then just attack a local lord of the faction you want war with to start a conflict (it will only hurt the relation with the lord you attacked and the leader of his/her faction).

You'll know when you're in the endgame once three or more faction are at war with you at once. You should be ready for endgame when you have 20+ clans, conquered 3 factions worth of fiefs, and 5 focus points in tactics and leadership.
Endgame (Battle Strategy)

"The rest of Calradia ain't gonna let this conquest go unanswered. It's gonna get bloody."

Warning! This part in the game is really frustrating and stressful. I would recommend you to take a break every time you feel upset during your play-through. So I advise you to respect the game. Be patient. Focus.

As your Empire grows so does your list of enemies. In this case almost everyone is your enemy. It is perfectly normal to be at war with everyone in this section. So, to stomp this coalition of enemies we need a plan. The following list below will show you your greatest enemies and how to defeat them in battle.

But before we highlight the strengths and weakness of each faction we should discuss the purpose of common troops in this game for you to understand their role on the battlefield.

Infantry- Their main purpose is to hold the line while other troops flank or destroy the enemy. The lighter infantry are, the more it has to rely on other formations. Infantry is useless when flanked while engaging another formation.

Archers or crossbowmen- The main killers of most forces, they are good at laying waste to enemy troops if put in a adventitious position. However, ranged troops are bad in direct confrontation with enemies.

Cavalry- Their are many purposes for cavalry since they are the fastest troop on the medieval battle field. Their main goal is to counter the enemy cavalry, then to flank the enemy. Heavier cavalry can also break up formations by charging into them so other troops have a advantage during the confusion. Lighter cavalry are good at chasing down fleeing enemies. But cavalry can be easily killed in tight formations and when the enemy has a terrain advantage.

Horse Archers- These troops are good at distracting and flanking then killing enemies. They're useless when their speed and maneuverability are taken away.

It is useful to have the information above to defeat the factions listed below.

Aserai- Most likely your number one enemy in this step. Being the most economically strong faction in the game, they will mostly send large army with significant quality troops to obliterate you. Even if you have them on the ropes the Aserai's settlements are very hard to capture due to their abundant garrisons and militias because of their prosperity. You will be quickly overwhelmed by their armies while you siege their settlements. During land battles, the Aserai shine when they have a good distance from you due to their good archers. Luckily, their main weakness is their armor. As a result, their infantry will not good at their job and will have to rely on other to troops to flank you or to whittle your troops down. The best way to break their armies is have to have high tier troops, especially noble troops that will make quick work of their adversaries due to their superior equipment. Good ranged troops are also useful because they will shred through the Aserai's troops weak armor.

Khuzait- This faction is the master of land combat due to their troops swiftness. It is almost impossible to outmaneuver this faction in battle. When in battle, they will send their horse archers to harass your force. Then when you're directly fighting them, they will distract you with their cavalry and horse archers while their infantry charge in during the confusion. My advice to you is to avoid conventional combat. Wait until you significant outnumber the Khuzaits to engage them in battle. But their main weakness is you choosing were you are both going to battle. Use terrain to your advantage in any engagement using rivers, mountains, and hills. Battles in villages and settlements are a huge weakness of the Khuzaits, as their main tactic of outmaneuvering their enemy is limited. So use anything that hinders the Khuzait's maneuverability to easily defeat them in battle.
Vlandia- This faction is a military powerhouse. They have few weakness as they have well rounded troops. When in battle, the Vlandians will try to make you come to them using their many crossbowmen. Then they will send in their cavalry to break up your lines while their infantry charge in. I would advise against attacking them on their terms because the Vlandians are masters of defense due to their crossbowmen and heavy armor. Stay away from tight areas with the Vlandians. But their major weakness is that most troops have heavy armor making them slower then other faction's troops. This means you can outflank them easily if in a open plain. You can also limit their cavalry effectiveness using terrain to hinder their superior cavalry. Rather you should be on the defense by drawing them out with horse archers or ranged troops. Overall, to defeat the Vlandias you'll have to do battle with them on your terms.

Battania- In my opinion they're not that bad as anyone might think you believe. Be prepared to fight a lot of armies while you siege settlements because they occupy a dense zone. When in a engagement with the Battanians, they'll try to quickly overwhelm you with their many infantry to try to catch you off guard. Since they have some of the best weapons in the game they will most likely cleave through your lines. They shine when on the attack so you should try to put them on the defense. They have weaker armor and small shields so elite ranged troops will tear through them. And since their only ranged troops are noble troops which means they will be scarce, your archers should have no problem. In addition, they have weak cavalry. So if you have superior cavalry, you can flank their infantry and slaughter them. In summary, use ranged troops and cavalry to easily destroy them.

Empire factions- Being the most war torn faction in the game they should be easy to deal with when they're war locked with you. In battle, the empire will shower you with arrows while they attack with their infantry. The Empire's major advantage is that they have superior equipment then any other faction in the game. But since they are always in a war with another faction they mostly have low tier troops. But in major battles their cavalry is something to be feared, so having a terrain advantage is always useful against them. So to defeat the Empires, mirror what they're doing on the battlefield, and make sure you're flanks are secure.

Sturgians- The Sturgians mostly rely on their infantry that can equal or overpower the Legionaries themselves. So I recommend not engaging their infantry until they're distracted or have been worn down. In battle, they will shower you with javelins and arrows, then charge with their infantry and shock cavalry. Similarly to the Battanians, well placed ranged troops will quickly turn the battle in your favor since their archers are not on par with other factions. In addition to their ranged disadvantage they generally have smaller armies so you can easily outflank them. Generally, any anti-infantry tactic will make short work of Sturgian armies.

Overall, it is good to have the terrain advantage in every battle. It will also be helpful to stay near your spawn-point in battle because it will take enemy reinforcement much longer to get to the front line than your reinforcements. It should also be noted that in most cases you should only attack the enemy when you have a significant advantage.

Now that you know the best strategy to defeat every faction in battle, we need to know how to win the war.
Endgame (War strategy)
"I have a strategy to win. And my strategies always work, eventually."

You know how to win the battle, but we need to win the war. Remember, it is okay to be at war with every faction while you're in the end game. It should also be noted that in the few times you have peace you should recruit for more clans so you can overwhelm all the remaining factions.

The first thing you should do is stock up for a lengthy campaign. Replenish your troops when you run low and keep a eye on your food supply. Then put your war stance for every faction on defensive to buy time. Once you finished preparations, travel to a faction that is at war with you (Preferably factions on your flanks like the Aserai or Sturgians) and focus on conquering them. Assemble an armies at least 1000 strong and completely focus on destroying that single faction regardless of what any other factions are doing. Doing this will result in your vassals having a better time combating other aggressors as they are not distracted by the faction's armies you're focusing on destroying. Make sure you're capturing every settlement near the front line to avoid the enemy having a staging point for a counter offensive. When you've conquered every settlement of that faction wait a few in game days to see if their is a army still around. Afterward, move onto the next faction and focus on them. Make sure your keeping up with your men and food supply. If your newly conquered territory is under attack by a bigger faction, it is okay as long as the faction that you just destroyed doesn't come back.

The empire factions are a little tricky to conquer as they have many vassals and settlements in the middle of the map. What I did was set my battle stance on the empire factions to balanced. Then I captured only towns while my other armies captured the castles. As a result this made conquering the middle factions go way faster. Also, remember that you will be responsible for capturing settlements with huge garrisons (600+) as your vassals can not make armies that big or have the tactics to siege them. But remember the besieging strategy from the last step. It is also helpful to focus on already weak factions to forbid them from marshaling fresh armies.

Though you may see that peace is impossible with the last factions, it is still possible. After a long time of fighting, regardless of who is winning, both factions will want peace. I would take any peace offer thrown around so your armies can have a better time attacking and defending from other factions. Try to push peace offers when the council is at least 30% in favor of peace (regardless of the offer). But I would try to avoid peace when it is a faction that you already defeated. This is so they don't muster fresh troops and become an annoyance again. But if you have no choice it will be okay.
After a while, you will realize that their is one kingdom left on the map. But it may be rather large, and they might of picked up new clans on its own as well. So to defeat this last bastion of hope, put your battle stance on them to aggressive. Then make sure your flanks are secure on the map so you've got them surrounded. Afterward take their key settlements, like their capital or high prospering towns. This last part should be really easy because that last faction should be starving and lacking manpower.

Take every castle and town in the game. Remember the strategies from the last section and this section. You are finish when every town and castle is under your kingdom's control.
In conclusion, this guide covered how to conquer the whole of Calradia without smithing or executing nobles. In summary, start out by getting the "Artisan Community" perk, then be a mercenary and get 1.2 million denars (as well as train any skills mentioned), afterward you need to found a kingdom then expand to 3 kingdom worth of fief, finally you need to conquer all other factions by using superior tactics. When you conquer all of Calradia you can do what ever you want! I guess the overall theme in Bannerlord is that all it takes to change the world is the will of one man, and a river of blood.
The first picture in the section "Endgame (War strategy)" is from the game "Rome II: Total war". All other pictures that are not from gameplay are from "Mount & Blade II Bannerlord".
This section was added as of 8-26-21. I would like to say thank you to everyone who liked, favorited, and took the time to read my guide. It's been a pleasure seeing the positive feedback and the overwhelming support from people like you. So if you're reading this last section, I hope you'll have a good day, and a fun play-through. Sincerely, Bron W. Bones :)
Apothecary Faus4us Oct 30, 2023 @ 6:40pm 
You felt bad about killing imaginary fictional characters was your first mistake
PUNISHER Aug 19, 2022 @ 7:32am 
or,just dont join any group or alliances,grind killing looters/searaiders/etc/bet on tournaments and trade every thing you can make a profit on,buy as manny buisness as poss,they wont get shut down cos your fully independent,earn about 20mill ducs&more in few ingame,weeks and totally crush the world...but i like your idear also,thats the best part of this&original M&B game,you can create your own way of getting the world under your feet
ZeroRadium Apr 17, 2022 @ 9:25pm 
Thank you for the advice. I wish I didn't have to wait so long to attack. I am clan level 4 with around 800k and 145 units. They are all elite. Even with a war going on, the second I try to take a castle from them they sent a 350 army to me and wiped me out. My dude is already 30. Its gonna take another 30 hours to grind up to clan level 5-6 where I can make armies big enough to wipe them out.
Bron W. Bones  [author] Apr 17, 2022 @ 8:53pm 
ZeroRadium, it is possible to start your Kingdom with the Aserai first. However, the Aserai's castle are difficult to besiege because of their numerous garrisons and tricky designs of their castle layouts. As for advice, wait until they're distracted with a war before conquering their settlements. I recommend starting with their castles close to the empire's border; then you can make your way into their territory from there. To deal with their numbers, you will find it useful to wage quick wars with them to avoid your army getting destroyed- declare war with them, take 1-3 settlements, make peace, repeat. But, the strategy will require you to manage your influence cautiously. Also, if your calvary/ infantry focused, try to close the distance with them in land battles; the more you wait, the more they will whittle down your forces. If you have high tier archer units (like battanian, Aserai, or Khuzate archers), you'll have almost no problem with them. Good luck ZeroRadium.
ZeroRadium Apr 17, 2022 @ 4:35pm 
Do you think its possible to start with the Aserai first? I have good relations with the southern empire and the western empire.
oxiclean Apr 16, 2022 @ 9:15pm 
honestly, every bannerlord game I grind smithing with no shame. this is the way.
[CSF] Tman Jan 18, 2022 @ 9:17am 
Step 1: Get a horse
Step 2: Get a menavlion(or any polearm you can swing with)
Step 3: Use the horse to go fast enough to hit a noble in the head so hard with the menavlion that it kills him instantly
Step 4: Profit
Bron W. Bones  [author] Jan 13, 2022 @ 4:33pm 
Ayadori, if the faction that is trying to take your settlement is in another war, you can just wait until the army is far away and try again. However, if their only target is you, you need go back a step and regain your lost money and troops (at least until that faction is distracted again). Alternately, you could try to take them on, but you need to have noble or high quality troops to have the best chance. Also, you have to have favorable terrain and maximize that factions weaknesses. If you have superior archers you could win easily, just put them on a hill and watch them die. Otherwise, you need to cover your units with hills and trees until the enemy gets close and sound the charge. Good luck ayadori.
encourage Jan 13, 2022 @ 3:09pm 
lilbeefer, put one of ur companions on the post of governor and talk to him(offer him to create a kingdom in dialogue)
lilbeefer Jan 13, 2022 @ 8:15am 
Hey bron
I successfully sieged and took over a city/settlement, but at no point did I get the option to start a kingdom, even under my clan menu. Am I missing something dumb?