Factions FAQ

Created by Black Apex
Date: 5/16/09
Version 1.00

This guide may be used on any other site, in part or full as long as nothing
in the guide is changed or altered in any way, shape or form, and the work is 
credited to Kennard Tindal. Thank you.

This guide is for the Mount and Blade version 1.011

Mount and Blade is a dynamic game filled with many different kingdoms fighting 
for control of the land. This guide is designed to give an in depth look into 
the different factions, with combat recommendations and general information 
about the factions. This is not a full guide to the game, just a supplement.

This guide is also not meant to incorporate any of the mods of Mount and 
Blade, just the original game.

A. Introduction
B. Nords
C. Swadians
D. Rhodocks
E. Vaegirs
F. Khergit Khanate

************
Introduction
************

During most peoples journeys in Mount and Blade, there comes a time when every 
young man or woman chooses to bend knee and pledge service to a King. 
But how do you decide what is the right fit for you? Luckily there is only 
5 choices, 5 factions, each with different fighting styles and different feels
to them.

Or maybe you want to know where the easiest prey is for your campaign, who 
to fight on horse and who to assault in their castles. Read on if you want
tips on who to recruit for what situation, and what paths to take to optimize
your armies prowess.

*****
Nords
*****

The Nords are based off of the Viking berserkers from Sweden and Norway. The 
Nords fight entirely from their feet, the horses are limited exclusively to 
their commanders, who also sometimes choose to only fight on foot. While this
makes them relatively poor fighters on the field, they are hands down the best
castle fighters because of the lack of horses in such battles.

======
Troops
======

The Nords are the masters of hand to hand combat on foot. This means that on
the field, they are not that much of a threat, but if you are assaulting a 
castle of theirs, they are much more of a problem. 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
/ ========================Troop Progression Tree=========================\
\									 /
/				Nord Recruits	         		 \
\                           _________|_________                          /
/	                   |                   |                         \
\                    Nord Huntsman        Nord Footman                   /
/                          |                   |                         \
\		      Nord Archer     Nord Trained Footman               /
/			   |		       |                         \
\		   Nord Veteran Archer	  Nord Warrior		         /
/					       |	        	 \
\                                         Nord Veteran                   /
/                                              |                         \
\				         Nord Huscarl			 /
/ 	                                                                 \
\========================================================================/
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------
Nord Recruit
------------
Recruits are what you have to start with if you want to get the best Nord 
units. Nord Recruits are armed with only a hatchet and are not well armored
either. They will die fast by something like a cavalry charge. The good news 
is they are a lot of Recruits to be had.

-------------
Nord Huntsman
-------------
The only real difference between a Recruit and a Huntsman is the addition of a
bow. They will die just as easily as a Recruit so be sure to keep them back. 
Make sure to put choose this path if you want bowmen. 

------------
Nord Footman		
------------
Nord Footmen are slightly better armored than their predecessors and have 
spears and shields. This will be very nice on the field fighting mounted 
enemies. Choose this route for close combat units.

-----------
Nord Archer
-----------
The upgrade to Nord Archer is a big step up from his predecessors. Armed in 
leather armor, and wielding a substantial axe.

--------------------
Nord Trained Footman
--------------------
Here we go. This guy has some chainmail, so you should be a whole lot less 
worried about him dying. At this point the Nord starts getting some good 
units. 

-------------------
Nord Veteran Archer
-------------------
The final Nord Archer. These guys are not bad, but there are other archers or 
crossbowmen out there that are more heavily armored. Besides, you choose Nords
for the Huscarl, didn't you? Yes, you did. 

------------
Nord Warrior
------------
Another upgrade from the Trained Footman. Better armor and weapons, also with 
the addition of a thrown weapon.

-----------
Nord Veteran 
-----------
Another upgrade from the Warrior. Better everything.

------------
Nord Huscarl
------------
The final unit in the melee branch for the Nords, also the best hand-to-hand
combat unit. These guys are a terror on castle defenses or assaults, and can 
be good or bad for you depending on which side you are on.

*The Nords are the best at defending or assaulting castles where everyone is 
forced to fight on foot. I don't see much reason to take these guys out on the 
field unless their fighting style really appeals to you. My optimal castle 
defense would be made up of about primarily Huscarls, with a couple of your 
favorite archers.

	
********
Swadians
********

Swadians are based on the central European powers, like France and the Holy 
Roman Empire. These guys are your heavily armored knights who ride into the 
thick of the battle. Most people's general idea of medieval warfare will look 
like the way the Swadians look and fight.

Swadians are orange and are positioned in the center of the map, adjacent to 
all other kingdoms on the map. 

------
Troops
------

The Swadians are also able to adapt it's army to suit all of the needs their 
army would need, which is good because they could potentially have to deal 
with the rest of the factions. It also allows them to be decent at field 
combat and castle assaults and defenses.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------
/ ========================Troop Progression Tree=========================\
\									 /
/			      Swadian Recruits	         		 \
\                                    |                                   /
/	                      Swadian Militia                            \
\                    ________________|_______________                    /
/                   |                                |                   \
\	     Swadian Skirmisher               Swadian Footman            /
/	            |		            _________|__________         \
\            Swadian Crossbowman      	   | 		        |        /
/	            |             	S Infantry     	   S Man at Arms \
\            Swadian Sharpshooter          |                    |        /
/                                       S Sergeant         S Knight      \
\								         /
/========================================================================\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

----------------
Swadian Recruits
----------------
The Swadian starting unit is poorly armored and armed. They really have 
nothing special about them, so try to upgrade them as soon as possible.

---------------
Swadian Militia
---------------
The only option to advance, the Militia units have better equipment, plus are 
able to do ranged attacks, making them rather versatile. 

---------------
Swadian Footman
---------------
Choose this option for melee units. Footmen give up the crossbow for better 
armor and a better melee weapon. When this unit advances you will have a 
second time to choose a path between horse or infantry units.

------------------
Swadian Skirmisher
------------------
Choose this option for ranged units. I don't usually go this path because 
Swadian crossbowmen are not as good as Rhodock Crossbowmen.

----------------
Swadian Infantry
----------------
Choose this option for more foot based melee combat. These guys are good for 
defending a castle or assaulting one, but not as good as the specialized 
Nordic units.

-------------------
Swadian Man at Arms
-------------------
Choose this option if you want my favorite unit, the Swadian Knight. 

-------------------
Swadian Crossbowman
-------------------
An upgrade from the Skirmisher, but not by much.

----------------
Swadian Sergeant
----------------
While not the best infantry in the game, you still can't go wrong with these
guys. 

---------------
Swadian Knights
---------------
My favorite unit, and the best heavy cavalry in the game. These guys destroy
on the field, and actually work quite well during castle assaults and 
defenses. That does not mean that these guys are the best units in the game,
they do come at a hefty price, so don't get a large amount of them until you
have some sort of steady income.

--------------------
Swadian Sharpshooter
--------------------
There is nothing wrong with the Sharpshooter, other than the Rhodock 
Sharpshooter is superior, and why waste a unit that could potentially be a 
Knight?

*My favorite troops to use on the field are Swadian Knights. While not the 
fastest cavalry, they are certainly the most heavily armored. They are however
rather expensive to maintain, so make sure you have deep pockets before 
investing. I would be happy with an entire army of Swadian Knights.

********
Rhodocks
********

Rhodocks are made to represent the medieval Venetian and Italian powers. They
rely entirely on spears and crossbows. If the idea of a shield wall with 
bristles of spears protruding from the shell speak to you as victory, 
Rhodocks may be the ones for you.

------
Troops
------

Rhodock troops have the best spearmen out of the factions, so they are the 
best against cavalry. This makes them rather poor choices to use as castle
defenders.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
/ ========================Troop Progression Tree=========================\
\									 /
/			     Rhodock Tribesmen	         		 \
\                         ___________|_________                          /
/	                 |                     |                         \
\               Rhodock Crossbowman     Rhodock Spearman                 /
/                        |                     |                         \
\         Rhodock Trained Crossbowman   Rhodock Trained Spearman         /
/	                 |		       |                         \
\		Rhodock Sharpshooter   Rhodock Veteran Spearman          /
/					       |	        	 \
\                                       Rhodock Sergeant                 /
/                                                                        \
\========================================================================/
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

-----------------
Rhodock Tribesmen
-----------------
The starting Rhodock unit. Close combat infantry with a tower shield. Even 
this early the Rhodock unit starts off with a spear. Other than that they have
the basic first unit clothes, so no armor.

----------------
Rhodock Spearman
----------------
An upgrade from the Tribesman. Make sure to choose this path if you want 
spearmen.

-------------------
Rhodock Crossbowman
-------------------
Carrying a towershield on their backs, Rhodock Crossbowman are able to block 
some of the arrow and bolt fire from enemy archers and crossbowmen, making 
them slightly more effective than other basic ranged units in the game. They 
are still vulnerable against other attacks while they have their crossbows 
out, but they carry a sword and can use their large shield to become more 
effective than you would think.

------------------------
Rhodock Trained Spearman
------------------------
Like the name implies, the Trained Spearman is has more skill, but that's 
about it. The armor is hardly improved, but still slightly better than what 
it was.

---------------------------
Rhodock Trained Crossbowman
---------------------------
An improvement from the basic Crossbowmen, with better armor and skill.

------------------------
Rhodock Veteran Spearman
------------------------
At this point, the unit gets much nicer equipment. You can't go wrong with 
these guys on the field.

--------------------
Rhodock Sharpshooter
--------------------
The best ranged unit the Rhodocks have to offer. And because of the heavy 
armor, and towershields, they are my favorite foot ranged unit. I like to use
them alongside Nord Huscarls for castle defense.

----------------
Rhodock Sergeant
---------------- 
The best unit the Rhodocks have, and the main reason for upgrading Rhodock 
troops in the first place. These guys destroy cavalry and are the best 
spearmen in the game.

*I would use the Rhodock spearmen if I was fighting a largely horsed force, 
such as the Khergit Khanate, otherwise I would use their Sharpshooters for 
castle defense.  

*******
Vaegirs 
*******

If you are feeling a little medieval Eastren European, Vaegirs may be the 
right Kingdom for you. Vaegirs' fighting style is very closely related to 
Swadians because of the mix of capable units, while not excelling in anything
in particular.

------
Troops
------
I can not actually see much of a difference in ability between the near 
mirror image of troops between the Swadians and Vaegirs, except for ascetics.
If you enjoy axes and bows, stick to Vaegirs. If you like swords and 
crossbows, go with Swadians.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
/=========================Troop Progression Tree=========================\
\									 /
/			       Vaegir Recruits	         		 \
\                                    |                                   /
/	                      Vaegir Footman                             \
\                    ________________|________________                   /
/                   |                                 |                  \
\	     Vaegir Skirmisher                  Vaegir Veteran           /
/		    | 	                  ____________|__________        \
\	     Vaegir Archer   	         |                       |       /
/                   |              Vaegir Infantry       Vaegir Horseman \
\	     Vaegir Marksman	         |                       |       /
/                                  Vaegir Guard          Vaegir Knight   \
\                                                                        /
/========================================================================\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------
Vaegir Recruit
--------------
Your basic, crappy beginning unit.

--------------
Vaegir Footman
--------------
Most Footman have spears, so they are pretty useful against cavalry. 
Otherwise, again nothing special.

--------------
Vaegir Veteran
--------------
Be sure to choose this path for melee units. This unit IS special because he
is riding on a horse, useful for a unit this early it's advancement.

-----------------
Vaegir Skirmisher
-----------------
Most Skirmishers carry throwing weapons, which is a pain. Still, if you want 
Vaegir archers, you must take this path.

---------------
Vaegir Infantry
---------------
I believe this is a downgrade from the Vetren because you lose the horse, but
if you need Vaegir infantry, choose this one.

---------------
Vaegir Horseman
---------------
An upgrade from the Veteran. Better abilities and equipment.

-------------
Vaegir Archer
-------------
A visible improvement from the Skirmisher because Archer's wield bows instead
of a thrown weapon.

------------
Vaegir Guard
------------
The best Vaegir foot melee unit. Still not near as good as the Nord Huscarls,
but they suffice. I would upgrade my Vaegir units to be Knights.

-------------
Vaegir Knight
-------------
As far as I can tell, they are the same as Swadian Knights. I just personally
like the Swadian Knights more because they look more put together and 
generally menacing. Vaegir Knights are still really good units and probably
the best

---------------
Vaegir Marksman
---------------
The Marksmen are nice because they carry a pole axe. Pole axes are good 
against cavalry which devastate archers. Despite this, I prefer the Rhodock
Sharpshooters for foot archers or Khergit Vetern Horse Archer.

***************
Khergit Khanate
***************

The final faction is the Khergit Khanate, like the Huns from the east. These
guys are the biggest horse users in the game, because almost every unit rides
on a horse no matter what they are doing. As such, the Khergit Khanate are the
only faction that has horse archers.

Because their troops are all on horse back, they are a pain to fight on the 
field, but they do not specialize in fighting on foot, so castle warfare will
be easier.

------
Troops
------

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
/=========================Troop Progression Tree=========================\
\									 /
/			     Khergit Tribesman	         		 \
\                                    |                                   /
/	                     Khergit Skirmisher                          \
\                                    |                                   /
/                            Khergit Horseman                            \
\		           __________|__________                         /
/	                  |                     |                        \
\		  Khergit Horse Archer	  Khergit Lancer	         /
/			  |		       	        	         \
\              Khergit Veteran Horse Archer                              /
/                                                                        \
\========================================================================/
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

-----------------
Khergit Tribesman
-----------------
The Tribesmen are probably the worst outfitted beginning unit in the game. 
Some carry a club for peats sake! Others do have spears or bows though. 
However, some of them are on horse, and the ones that are one a horse have a 
distinct advantage over any of the other beginning units.

------------------
Khergit Skirmisher
------------------
The only option to advance from the Tribesman. Like the Tribesman, the 
Skirmisher has relatively random equipment, some carry spears and bows, 
others bow, shield and close combat weapon, others have throwing weapons, 
but their skills with the weapons has improved as well as the quality. Also 
like the Tribesman, they are on horses, giving them a distinct advantage 
against similarly leveled units of other factions, however the horse has 
improved.

---------------
Khergit Horseman
---------------
The next only option for troop advance, the Horseman is a direct upgrade from 
the Skirmisher. Same seemingly random equipment, but everything is made 
better. 

--------------
Khergit Lancer
--------------
The heaviest armored Khergit unit is also the last and only unit in the melee
tree. Astride one of the fastest horses in the game, the Lancer can close the 
gap between enemy units quickly. Unlike other high end cavalry, the Lancer's 
horse is poorly armored, making it a weak spot. There are better melee cavalry 
choices like the already discussed Swadian Knight or Veagir Knight.

--------------------
Khergit Horse Archer
--------------------
An archer dedicated to fighting on horse back, be sure to choose this path if
you want some of the most effective archers in the game. The Horse Archer 
trades some of the diversity one would find when upgrading to a lancer to 
specialize in archery. What makes Horse Archers better than any other archer,
at least in my opinion is they are able to run away from pursuers, thus living
longer and getting off more shots.

---------------------------
Khergit Veteran Horse Archer
---------------------------
A standard improvement from the Horse Archer.

*While I dont usually have archers on the field because I enjoy running up and
smashing the enemy, I would go for the Khergit Veteran Horse Archer over all 
of the others. In my opinion they are the best unit the Khergit Khanate has to 
offer.


If you have any questions, comments or constructive criticism, please email 
me at black.apex@gmail.com
Copyright 2009 Kennard Tindal