So, you’ve joined a faction but found that everyone doesn’t share the same thirst for blood as you? Are your fellow lords and ladies taking it easy in terms of war efforts? Well fear not! The player also has the ability to lead army campaigns in Mount and Blade: Bannerlord! This guide will show you everything you need to know about assembling armies in Mount and Blade: Bannerlord and keeping them well-maintained too!
How is Creating an Army Different From Your Party?
In Bannerlord the player has a group of troops called a ‘party’. All of the troops you’ve recruited and personally pay for are part of you personal party. This doesn’t just apply to the player though! All of the lords and ladies of Mount and Blade control their own parties as you can see on the map. When you form an army you are calling forth these armies to follow you and fight alongside you.
Forming an army can be a great idea if you don’t personally have the size to take on your chosen enemies, or if you just want to quickly try to siege a town. It’s always recommended to form an army with as much power as possible before taking over a settlement as not only will you have more manpower to back you up, you will reduce losses in your personal party as well. Build up a party whenever you have a campaign in mind for your faction!
How to Assemble an Army
Before you can assemble an army you will have to make sure that you are apart of a faction. This can either be your own kingdom, or one of the existing ones within Bannerlord. Now that you are apart of a kingdom, you can start your own army by opening the Army Management screen. To do this, select the button on the bottom right of the screen with the three flags. With this screen open, you can see all of the parties apart of your kingdom. You can only call parties to your army that are not currently in another lords army. Every party that is available to call is going to be outlined in gold. The darker ones are currently unavailable.
One thing to keep in mind when you are creating an army is that every lord you call to join the army will cost you clan Influence. You can see the individual cost of each party under the Cost column on the left screen. You can see the total cost of all the parties you are trying to invite at the bottom of this menu. Pick your parties wisely. You can sort the lord’s parties by cost by clicking the Cost button on the top left side.
Waiting For them to Join
The lords that you call to your army will not be instantly teleported to your location. They will receive the message that they need to come and join you and will immediately start moving toward you position. You do not need to stay in the same location, the AI will know where you party is at all times and always move towards you. You can see how long it will take each party to reach your party in the Distance column of the Army Management screen. When the army is moving toward you, they will have a boot symbol over their portrait back on the map screen.
Keep in mind the distance the party is away from you if you need troops quickly. If you’re planning a quick castle defense it may be better for you to pick the closest parties to your location rather than the strongest.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Forming an Army
There are many advantages of forming armies in Mount and Blade: Bannerlord. The most obvious one is the ability to manage and fight with a large number of troops. When you are in battle with your enemy you can muster up a large force and break through any defense (so long as you have the influence to keep the army going). Leading an army will also give you leadership experience at an increased rate. The larger the army, the more experience you can get. Even better if some of the parties have run out of food. If a lord has run out of food to feed their army they will take food from your personal inventory. This will also give you a large amount of leadership experience and also influence every day it happens.
Assembling and forming an army isn’t all good however. As aforementioned it can become quite costly to lead an army. If any party in the army runs out of food, they will take food directly from you personal inventory until you move to a town where they can buy your own. This can lead to your party running out of food and taking a huge morale increase. Important if you’re concerned about keeping your party speed as fast as possible.
Armies also cost a lot of influence to maintain. Not only do you have the upfront cost of recruiting each lord to the army to follow you, you will have to continue to pay them to stay in the army too. This mechanic is called Army Cohesion and is something you will have to keep in mind however large your army.
Army Cohesion Dropping and How to Increase Cohesion
Army cohesion is essentially a value that keeps your army formed together. This is a value which goes from 1 to 100. This level will start at 100 and eventually drop every day until it reaches 0. When the army cohesion level reaches 0 the army will be immediately disbanded and all of the lords will return to whatever duties they wish. You can spend influence to keep they level above zero whenever you wish. The influence cost and loss will depend on how large our army is.
Army cohesion will drop at a specific rate at the end of every day. The cohesion will always drop by 2 points every day on the scale. It will drop by another 1 for each party you have in the army. For example in my army above I have 5 extra partys in the army (excluding myself) so the army cohesion will fall another 5 points every day for a total of 7.
How to Increase Army Cohesion in Bannerlord
To increase your army cohesion level in Bannerlord, first open up the Army Management panel by clicking the icon with the 3 flags in the lower right corner on the map screen. In this menu if you have an active army, you will see an army cohesion level at the top right. To increase your army cohesion, click on the button labelled +10. Every time you raise the army cohesion by 10 it will cost you influence points. The exact cost depends on the size and power of the army. This cost is displayed to the right of the +10 button. In the image above you can see that it will cost me 15 extra influence instantly to raise my army cohesion by 10 points.
Calling and leading armies will be very important when playing through Bannerlord. It is almost essential for taking early castles and towns. In fact with the party size limits you’ll have early on, it will be incredibly hard to take any town at all by yourself. Call some lords to your aid and take those castle together in an army! If you don’t have any lords at your disposal, you can always promote your companions into full lords!