Mount & Blade 2

[Warband] Unpopular Opinions

After spending a lot of time playing Warband, not only in Native but in other mods that don't deviate too much from Native (Nova Aetas, Diplomacy, Age of Calradia Enhanced, etc.), I have a few unpopular opinions after nearly a thousand hours of gameplay.

1) Sarranid Mamlukes are superior to Swadian Knights

I've spent a lot of time playing as Swadia, just because I like the concept of massive horse charges with lances piercing out, and the thousands upon thousands of Vaegir Archers and Khergit Horsemen who have fallen at the whims of the horde of Swadian cavalry. However, a few months ago I decided to give the Sarranids a try (they were the only faction I hadn't played up to that point), and the Mamlukes are actually beginning to put the Knights to shame in a few important ways.

  • The first thing that struck me was their performance in sieges. Warband's AI mechanics are a bit odd, and during offensive sieges Swadian Knights will tend to maintain access to their lances and shields rather than a shorter melee weapon. After a long period of time they could break through but still take significant casualties. The Sarranid Mamlukes, on the other hand, have the blunt, short-reach melee weapons that kill defenses a lot more smoothly, and I've noticed consistently less casualties as a result.
  • Another major bonus that the Sarranids seemed to show was early-game economy gain. In one of the Steam guides posted when I first started playing, I learned that two of the biggest ways of getting money fast were raids and selling prisoners with Ransom Brokers, but a lot of times it was hard to get wounded prisoners with the Swadians; their recruits often had either crossbows or solid objects, and the only way to guarantee unconscious enemies was with rocks and clubs. The Sarranids, however, seemed to have more consistent blunt damage, especially with the Mamlukes who were often times a lot more difficult to kill even when outnumbered several-to-one.
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There's a few other mild bonuses there but I figure I'll leave it at that.

2) Khergits are the only unique combative faction in the base game.

Now, there's a good reason I say this, and I'm not dissing the abilities of other factions who may be more efficient at killing their opponents. What I am saying is the Khergits don't get the luxury of efficiency…unless you micromanage your armies. The horse archers are on incredibly weak steppe horses and similar, which can easily be taken down by Rhodok spearmen or Nordic heavy infantry, so a full frontal charge is a luxury that the Khergits don't get. I often found myself having to say "Follow me!" in order to lessen the casualties taken in my own armies. I feel that this, on top of the fact that Khergits possess high accuracy points in the higher tiers, points to a notion that they are most unique faction in the game.

There's a few more I'd like to point out but I'm quite tired. I might make a list at another point in time. If any of y'all wanna make some retorts I'm excited for the discussion!


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