Mount & Blade 2

Some slightly to very cheesy strats for leveling athletics and throwing (e1.5.8)

Step 1: get clan tier 1

Step 2: find a faction that is at war and hire as a mercenary

Step 3: get in a defensive siege

Step 4: hopefully the AI defender builds a mangonel -> use the mangonel to shoot the approaching
clumped enemy forces

Step 5: get athletics xp for kills on foot(while operating the mangonel) and throwing xp for kills with
the mangonel

Beeing a mercenary:

The money you get for beeing a mercenary depends on how hard the faction who's hireing you is winning or loosing its war. More money the harder they loose. The money is only dependent on the time of hire, so if an additional faction declares war on the faction paying you, you can cancel your contract by going to the clan tab and press leave kingdom, and then immediately rehire for more pay.

Getting in a defensive siege:

Obtain high campaign map movement speed by beeing on a horse and not overburdend or having prisoners. If you have footsoldiers you can speed up your party if you put horses in your inventory that are not pack animals. The footsoldiers will use the horses to be faster on the map. They might need the appropriate riding skill to ride them tho. Battanian Ponys are usually cheap in Seonon and Car Banseth, and need only 10 Riding. Ride in the enemy territory and look for armies. Ride close enough to the enemy army to see what its up to by hovering your mouse over it. If it say "besieging (Place)", then go there and wait. The bigger the enemy army the greater the chance they will arrive to siege and attack, and not be deterred by allied armies.

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Fighting in the siege:

Unfortunately you can not control if the AI builds ballistas or mangonels. If you get a mangonel build, you can place it in the preparation screen by clicking on it, clicking on the X, then clicking on another location and choosing it. Firing the mangonel is tricky because you have no sights and have to guess where you're aiming at, it takes some getting used to. You can controll the range by W and S, the is a red part on the Mangonell with an indicator. You can get 10+ kills per shot and a lot of xp. If the AI builds a ballista, you can try using it but it is much slower to get kills with and levels Bow instead of throwing, but should be worth early on to get a some Bow levels fast.

The Siege Cheese:

You can cheese the sieges by retreating. Shoot them while they are approaching the walls, then retreat by pressing Tab and retreating. Then attack again, and the enemies troops will remain dead while they have to walk up to the walls again. You can probably get to level 100 throwning/athletics in one big siege. Invest your Focus and Attribute Points after every retreat. Save the game after every retreat, in case you get hit by arrows and get to low to fight.

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Lesser Cheese: avoid capture

If you are loosing and in danger of beeing captured, retreat and open the clan screen and end your merc contract by clicking leave kingdom. Now you are not longer at war. This also works if captured, or for getting out of a besieged city.

Helpful stuff:

You can retreat selected troops from battle by using F1 -> F7. This way you can be in a battle without loosing your own troops, as they like to get on the walls and get killed despite beeing ordered not to. You can get one Attribute Point to both Endurance and Control from Smithing and Athletics, and a Focus Point to throwing from Athletics. It might be worth to level Smithing, and only invest 8 Attribute Points into Endurance/Control and 4 Focus Points in Throwing, and get the rest from the perks, as you get only one Attribute Point every 4 levelups.

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