Mount & Blade II Bannerlord can be a very challenging game, and there is a steep learning curve, especially at the beginning. Even players who are veterans of Mount and Blade: Warband may find themselves overwhelmed, so we’ve decided to put together a series of guides, showing you a few things that might just make getting started, that bit easier for you. In this Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Getting Started Guide Part 4, we will go over managing your settlements, defending it, using diplomacy to expand, and more.
Mount And Blade II Bannerlord: Getting Started Guide Part 4
In our previous Getting Started Guide Part 3, we joined a faction, captured a settlement, and used our Influence to get the settlement for ourselves. Now we will cover picking our pace, and explain more about managing your first settlement, making the best use of resources available, and using diplomacy in your favor.
Managing Your Garrison
After taking a castle or town, the very first thing you have to worry about, is to not lose it. To ensure a firm grasp on your new domain, you will need troops to occupy and defend the castle in your absence. There are two types of Troops that can defend a castle, Garrison and Militia Troops.
These are troops you and other lords can place manually in the castle or town. Before the vote for the castle owner is determined, the army leader who took the castle might put a small portion of his troops as part of the garrison. These can be good starter troops, but you will also need to add your own as well.
The maximum garrison size can vary from castle to castle, and is affected by many factors, the castle projects are one of them. But typically, garrisons can be huge, and can be two, three or four times the average size of your army. This requires you to recruit a fair amount of troops, train them increase their level, and place them there for maximum defense. Troop units have varying efficiency in wall defense during sieges. On castle walls, archers can be the better option, due to troops being typically larger in number, and preferring to stay in a shorter range, while climbing your walls.
Another recommendation is to use heavily armored units, and ones with fast, one handed weapons. The space available on walls can be pretty tight, and there isn’t enough for polearm users here, so bear that in mind.
In castles, you’ll find the “Manage Garrison” option presented to you directly when you click on a castle. While in town,s you need to “Go to the Keep” first in order to find this option. You can move troops from your party to the castle or town directly from here.
Quite different from Garrison Troops, Militia are smaller in size. They are lesser trained troops that auto-generate in castles or towns by a daily rate, after you capture them, and after they have been depleted in a siege. The rate is mainly affected by the buildings in settlement, and also the food stocks available. Their type is pre-determined by the castle’s original culture, for example if you capture an Imperial castle, it will generated Imperial Militia troops even if you are in a Battanian or Aserai faction.
Militia are only useful against lightly armored units though, and even in a battle simulation, they are very weak against armored units. So don’t count on them very much.
Creating a New Party
There’s an easy way to gather troops faster for supplying garrisons, or refilling your party after contributing your troops to a garrison. Simply open the Clan panel, go to Parties tab, then press “Create New Party”. Here you can choose one of your companions to lead the new party, preferably your quartermaster.
What this party does, is to patrol around your settlements and nearby villages, as well as recruiting troops and training them for you. They can also engage enemies and interact with friendly units, in general do good. If you find your relations have increased with a random lord suddenly, then your other parties have done something good.
You will however need to pay the expenses of recruiting done by these parties, on top of troops wages. Neither should be a problem, if you have followed our trade and economy tips in our guides. Your new castles, towns, and villages will also bring a huge income from taxes.
Either way, you can meet up with your companion party, or call them to your position from the army call screen. You will then have a chance to take their troops to strengthen your own party or your castle garrison. You can take these parties with you into huge battles or sieges for no Influence cost. Also you can disband them anytime, and return your companion to your party.
Managing Your Settlement
While “Managing Garrison” is the military aspect for settlements, “Manage Town” and “Manage Castle” menus represent the civil aspect. These allow you to build up some buildings inside your castle/town, which affect the seven attributes of the settlement (Prosperity, Loyalty, Security, Food Stocks, Militia, Daily Income, and Daily Construction). These attributes effect each other as well. For example:
- Higher prosperity means more settlers in the settlement, and they consume more food (Negative food stocks modifier).
- To the contrary, high food stocks gives positive bonus to prosperity.
- High prosperity increases Daily income from taxes.
- High security increase your relations to notable NPCs in town and nearby villages.
To get a positive modifier for them all, you will need to do some work. You may even go and manually buy big stocks of food from other towns, then sell them in your own town. Feeding the starving population will remove these negative effects.
Daily Defaults offer a small choice, giving a free daily increase to one of the settlement attributes, without costing any resources. You pick once, and it will stay indefinitely, or until you change it.
- Irrigation: Increase food production.
- Festival and Games: Increase morale of garrison.
- Train Militia: Increase Militia generation rate.
- Build house: Increase Prosperity.
You can deposit as much gold as you want into the reserve of your town or castle. It doubles the construction time of any building, 500 Denar is enough for one day, so deposit 10,000 in reserve to get construction covered for 20 days.
You can add one of your companions as a Governor of the settlement you own. This Governor gives specific buffs to settlement attributes depending on their skill. But more importantly, depending on their culture. If the culture of the Governor doesn’t match the culture of the settlement, you get a daily negative morale modifier. This can cause be a huge drop in morale over a long period of time, so it’s not advisable to assign a governor if his culture doesn’t complement the one of the settlement, until you have gained a +3 or more positive Loyalty modifier.
If you are not sure if certain a Companion matches the culture of the settlement, try to appoint them, and then check if there’s negative or positive modifier named “Governor Culture” in your town Loyalty.
If you are lucky, and have the right person for the job, then you can enjoy some bonuses.
Useful Governor Perks:
There are 32 perks in skill tress that are marked “Governor“, which means these bonuses apply only when the particular character with this perk is Governor. All skills from Social and Intelligence (Leadership, Charm, Trade, Engineering, Medicine, and Steward) have various bonuses for Governor. You can see every Governor perk on our wiki (here), but keep in mind, not all companions have all these perk, if any at all. You need to open the skill menu, switch to each companion to check their allocated perks, as they could have the skill, but a different perk could be allocated.
Another workaround (to appoint a good governor) is to marry a noblewoman with high enough leadership, and any perk you desire. Disband her party, then bring her into yours. That way you can assign her as governor in your desired settlement. That’s a good alternative way to get this done, because you can’t assign yourself as governor.
Settlement Projects (Buildings)
There are 12 different projects in town and another 11 in the castle, with each having 3 upgrade levels. They all revolve around improving main attributes of your settlement, and you will find some of them done, or even maxed out already, by the previous owner of the settlement. You can also queue up to 5 projects, and if you deposit a large sum of gold, you can be sure they will all get their production rate doubled.
Be sure to prioritize projects that increase morale (some projects will name it Loyalty) and food after capturing a new castle, because these will be very low to begin with. A castle with very low morale will have its garrison troops flee during sieges, instead of standing their ground and fighting for you. You don’t want that happening to you.
Choosing the “Forum” project in town is will be most beneficial after that, as it gives a bonus to Influence. Building up Influence is very important to manipulate decisions in your favor, so anything that gives it is great. To learn about what Influence can be used for, be sure to check out Bannerlord: Getting Started Guide Part 3.
If all your Food, Morale, and Influence ends up positive and remains stable, then “Training Field” can be a good option to level up troops in the garrison.
How to Expand Peacefully
Expanding your properties in Bannerlord could be done in many ways. In our previous Bannerlord Guides, we won our first castle by war and laying a successful siege. You can repeat the process with other towns and castles, then try to win the vote in your favor.
However, you can be eligible for ownership of a newly conquered settlement, without taking part in the siege. There are many factors of how eligible lords are determined, and one of them is the number of settlements a lord owns. The less settlements you have, the higher chance you will be eligible for a new one. So be sure to check every time your faction wins a settlement and run a vote for it, as you may end up winning yourself some extra castles by only spending Influence.
Influence can be earned from winning battles, helping allies in battle, taking part in certain projects in settlements, and from certain kingdom policies. No matter which way you earn your Influence, there’s one excellent way to spend it, and that’s to gain new castles. In addition to that, you can simply buy settlements from their owners.
Propose Change of Ownership
Other ways to spend Influence and win a castle in peace time is by taking it from the hands of an ally within your faction. The method costs a lot of Influence and will have a chance to not go the way you want, so you better save your game before trying. Also consider having some friends within the kingdom to get some support.
- Open Kingdom Panel
- Go to Fiefs tab
- Select the desired castle or town, it should not be owned by the ruling clan (King, Empress, .. etc)
- Press “Propose”, this will cost you 200 Influence
- A decision window with “Should the owner of X castle change?” will open, and people from other clans within the kingdom will vote.
- You can spend more influence to make sure the vote outcome is “yes”.
- If the ruler doesn’t override the previous decision, a new decision opens up to decide who should take the castle.
- Spend more Influence to ensure it goes in your favor.
If all goes well, you’ve won yourself a new settlement, while reducing the relative power of the rest of the kingdom. This is especially good if you plan to claim independent, betray your kingdom, or create your own kingdom.
Buying Settlements By Raising Your Charm Level
To unlock the option, you need a very high Trade skill, a decent Charm skill, and lots of money.
You can level your Trade by buying it cheap, and selling for a high price. Newly conquered towns, or towns generally after a long siege will be starving and in dire need of a huge amount of food. If you have brought a huge amount of food with you during siege, you can immediately sell it for the highest price, making a big profit, gaining you great Trade experience.
Once you hit level 225 in trade, you can allocate “Everything Has a Price” Perk, which will allow you to buy settlements while bartering with lords.
Bartering is tied to the Charm skill, and if you raise your charm level, you will receive lower prices while bartering. You can barter a lot with nobles to improve your Charm, even if you gift them a couple hundred gold for nothing in exchange, it will raise your charm.
If you release lords after defeating them instead of taking them prisoners, you get to raise your charm. Convincing enemy lords to switch sides to join your faction gains a great amount of experience in charm. Same goes for convincing them to give you safe passage, without attacking you. Finally, getting married involves some persuasion checks, that raises your charm as well.
This wraps up our Getting Started Guide Part 4 of our starter series, we hope this helps you grow stronger and establish yourself in the world of Bannerlord. In the next guide, we will be covering the main quests of the campaign, and ultimately decide the fate of Calradia. Stay tuned for more guides for Mount & Blade 2 Bannerlord, as we plan on sharing more in the upcoming weeks. In the mean time, be sure to drop by the Mount & Blade 2 Bannerlord wiki for all the latest info, and check our Part One, Two, and Three of the this guide.