'Old Captain' is the best troop of the game in terms of stats, weapons, armour and recruitment.
stats: He's one of the only five 31-level units and with the amazing 380 weapon proficiency in all weapon types (included also, for some reason, weapons that he does not use, like slings).
weapons: Good quality regular sword and shield. Very effective in close quarters combat like sieges, naval battles and in shield-wall fighting. Also, the shield provides a good amount of protection against projectiles.
armour: Always comes with mail shirt and helm like the other 31-lvl troops. Yes, the Huskarl's and the Thegn's armour is little bit better but still Old Captain's armour is a good armour.
recruitment: Old Captain is the 5th tier of the common farmer troop-tree but he is not available through upgrading the Veteran for some reason. He is available to be hired in mead halls for little more than a thousand. So, you can for far more easily have a high amount of Old Captains than any other 31-lvl troop.
So, why people (including also, me) do not use Old Captains??
Because is a cavalry unit….
In 9th century, infanrty was the backbone of most of the armies and except archers, all types of infantry were equipped with spears or javelins and shields. So, a straight charge into enemy lines was a suicide but if you had cataphracts.In Northern Europe heavy shock cavalry made its steps in 11th century. So, in VC, cavalry has the role of flanking, persuing, distracting and catching archers (no javelin skirmishers!!!) and there is no reason to waste a ton of peningas on hiring and upkeeping heavy melee cavalry and lose it to irish skirmishers when you can just recruit lots frisian horsemen from villages.
So… what I want to say on this post? Old Captains must be infantry like the rest of their troop-tree and the other four 31-lvl units. Putting Old Captains to infantry squad does not help so much because they will spawn in the rear of your shield wall and they will take too much valuable time until they dismount. Personally, I have Morgh's editor and I edited the Old Captain by unchecking the 'mounted' option making them to appear without horses!
Results: I got a valuable unit at the cost of less than 600 peningas (yes, you pay around 450 peningas just a the horse which is gonna be abandoned from the start of the battle or it's gonna died to a random javelin. I started to hire them and not just ignore them as I did before. I think it's a shame to have a 31-lvl unit so easily available and almost no one uses it because the f2+f6 (dismount) is a bit of a mess inside the shield-wall.
I really recommend you to edit Old Captains like I did. You are going to avoid the really very annoying situation of dismounting during the battle.
I also edited the troops file to make Old Captains available through upgrade, the result is quite balanced and I did not expected that. I have more than fourty Veterans, 10 Old Captains and just one of them was from and upgraded Veteran and at the cost of around 1350 peningas. Hiring two Old Captains with no horses costs less than upgrade one from Veteran. Also, takes really long time like all other 5-tier units. So, I found it balanced and vanilla friendly.
I don't know the reason why the developers did not allow Veterans to be upgraded into Old Captains. I know that the developers did not want players to have a large amount of 5-tier troops but upgrading a Veteran to Old Captain takes so much time and money that the player already has a large amount of 5-tier troops including hired Old Captains. Especially, if the player has a negative-rep character, the time that will upgrade a Veteran to Captain, he/she will have more than one hundred 5-tier troops from Sviar vikingarnir, bandit leaders, ship captains, Danish vikingarnir, Northmarth vikingarnir, slaver chiefs, recruited prisoners and hired (for free most of the times!!!) masterless men. So, there is no reason that Veteran does not becomes Old Captain.
Ship Captain is a 5th tier unit of the sea raider troop-tree. Vikingr is a 3rd tier unit of the same troop-tree. The developers did not made a 4-tier unit. Something like "Veteran Vikingr". So, makes sense that Vikingr does not becomes Ship Captain. Danish Elite Viningr, Northmathr Vikingr and Svear Elite Vikingr are all 5-tier troops and have same and some times better stats than Ship Captains and there are not part of the sea raider troop-tree. In case of Old Captain, there is no such a thing. There is a complete troop-tree from tier-0 to tier-5.
Slave — Farmer/Peasant — Watchman — Spearman — Veteran — Old Captain
I'm vanilla player, I don't like VC mods. Balance mod balances all things so much that the game loses its uniqueness. Like radious in total war, all factions become equal etc, etc. Blood Eagle mod is very buggy unfortunately and is very unbalanced. For example, you can make more than 100.000 peningas in a week in very early game just by farming fishing boats. Each boat in this mod can be selled for seven-eight grand and almost is guaranteed that you will capture the boat after the battle. So, as "Vanilla Expanded" I recommend you to edit and play Old Captains as an infantry unit as should be. Think about it! He is an old captain… Captain of what? Of the nonexistent heavy melee cavalry? No, he's an old captain of spearmen and veterans and he served as a mercenary for many years. Yes, as an officer and a rich man wants to travel on a horseback but only this. In many real-life cases and almost in all cases of this period and region of the world, officers traveled on horseback but dismount to fight.
My fellow players, please let me know your thoughts and correct my mistakes on writing English.
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More about Mount & Blade 2Post: "Viking Conquest: Old Captain" specifically for the game Mount & Blade 2. Other useful information about this game:
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