Mountain Blade

Mount and Blade: Warband is (aside from being easily confused in conversation as “Mountain Blade”) a very straightforward game. It offers no tutorial, has no campaign, and does not take well to strategy . It is, essentially, a very pretty version of everyone’s favorite card game - war - and it would not have been misleading to simply contract the title of Mount and Blade: Warband to “: War”.

The premise of the game is simple. Roving bands of warriors (warbands?) swearing allegiance to a smattering of warlords wander the game map, repeatedly smooshing their armies into one another as they go. The game itself offers no overarching objective or purpose to the time you spend on the Calradian continent, but I’ve come to accept over time that it is my duty - nay, my divine right! - to conquer absolutely everything and bring a decisive end to the war. Jordan, noble vassal of Swadia, will not rest until every denizen of these lands lay slain at his feet - er - until everyone is united under a common banner, free at last from these shackles of war.

Two hundred and fifty earth hours into my campaign and the entire population of Calradia slain four times over, it seems that I am not destined to rule these lands. The enemy’s numbers are too great, and my supposed allies too daft for any real advantage to be had on either side. Great bastions of freedom - those shining cities at the forefront of the war effort - have traded hands dozens of times. Defenders who, upon besiegement from an enemy force that numbers just six more than their own, have scattered on the wind, leaving the battlements empty but for the twenty odd farmers who live nearby. Conscripted troops that, upon seeing their leader felled in combat become like wheat before the scythe, falling at a rate of fifty for every one enemy killed. And friendly heroes who bicker with each other as if they were imported straight from “The Sims 3: Moody Teens” expansion.

All of these damning factors considered, I am no masochist. I’ve enjoyed the Sisyphean struggle of my time in Calradia. I’ve groomed my hero from a beggar in rags riding what may as well be a swaybacked donkey into a loathsome angel of death, outfitted in steel plate mail atop a steel plated horse with a filigreed steel shield and a wicked curving steel sword. He can shoot a routing peasant from 100 meters on horseback at a full sprint. In the head. He stands fearlessly at the top of the siege ladder, eyes clenched tightly closed as he swings his sword endlessly, willing his now-defenderless castle to hold, an assortment of projectile weapons protruding from his bloodstained body. He is, in short, pretty awesome.
Which is why I play Mount and Blade: Warband. It’s not fair, it’s not sophisticated, it’s not balanced. But it is a hell of a lot of fun.
8 Comments
9 Comments
Posted by Thuban

Mount and Blade: Warband is (aside from being easily confused in conversation as “Mountain Blade”) a very straightforward game. It offers no tutorial, has no campaign, and does not take well to strategy . It is, essentially, a very pretty version of everyone’s favorite card game - war - and it would not have been misleading to simply contract the title of Mount and Blade: Warband to “: War”.

The premise of the game is simple. Roving bands of warriors (warbands?) swearing allegiance to a smattering of warlords wander the game map, repeatedly smooshing their armies into one another as they go. The game itself offers no overarching objective or purpose to the time you spend on the Calradian continent, but I’ve come to accept over time that it is my duty - nay, my divine right! - to conquer absolutely everything and bring a decisive end to the war. Jordan, noble vassal of Swadia, will not rest until every denizen of these lands lay slain at his feet - er - until everyone is united under a common banner, free at last from these shackles of war.

Two hundred and fifty earth hours into my campaign and the entire population of Calradia slain four times over, it seems that I am not destined to rule these lands. The enemy’s numbers are too great, and my supposed allies too daft for any real advantage to be had on either side. Great bastions of freedom - those shining cities at the forefront of the war effort - have traded hands dozens of times. Defenders who, upon besiegement from an enemy force that numbers just six more than their own, have scattered on the wind, leaving the battlements empty but for the twenty odd farmers who live nearby. Conscripted troops that, upon seeing their leader felled in combat become like wheat before the scythe, falling at a rate of fifty for every one enemy killed. And friendly heroes who bicker with each other as if they were imported straight from “The Sims 3: Moody Teens” expansion.

All of these damning factors considered, I am no masochist. I’ve enjoyed the Sisyphean struggle of my time in Calradia. I’ve groomed my hero from a beggar in rags riding what may as well be a swaybacked donkey into a loathsome angel of death, outfitted in steel plate mail atop a steel plated horse with a filigreed steel shield and a wicked curving steel sword. He can shoot a routing peasant from 100 meters on horseback at a full sprint. In the head. He stands fearlessly at the top of the siege ladder, eyes clenched tightly closed as he swings his sword endlessly, willing his now-defenderless castle to hold, an assortment of projectile weapons protruding from his bloodstained body. He is, in short, pretty awesome.
Which is why I play Mount and Blade: Warband. It’s not fair, it’s not sophisticated, it’s not balanced. But it is a hell of a lot of fun.
Posted by mylifeforAiur

I dream of the day when I can crush the Kingdom of Swadia. 

Posted by onarum

To be fair there is a bit of strategy in battles, just letting them charge all the time is definitely not the best one, positioning your archers, getting infantry closer together to withstand a cavalry charge, getting your cavalry to flank the enemy etc.
 
Also if you're done with the main game I highly recommend the Prophecy of Pendor mod if you are up for a real challenge.

Posted by TaliciaDragonsong

I agree, I've been playing this game for years now, there's little progress and while it feels like chess at times, its crap that the one moment you are actually out fighting, half your holdings get raped by a +1 troop difference.
 
W-t-f.

Posted by Dylabaloo

Nords for life!

Posted by Thuban
@mylifeforAiur: :) Long live Swadia, that brave shitting vessel of the entire continent.
Posted by Thuban
@onarum: To call it completely without strategy would be unfair if you didn't subscribe to the (excellently overpowered) Swadian Knight battle plan. I'm sure that to actually succeed at some of the higher difficulties you really do need to try and wrangle out some control from the limited options available mid battle - something I'm not brave enough to attempt.
Edited by Mikemcn

I cant say i've ever mixed Mount and Blade up with Mountain Blade, but now that you've pointed it out, I won't be able to forget it! Damn...

Games hard to beat though, if not impossible, I made very little progress in my 100+ hours of Warband, I did however take over all of caladria in the original game.

Posted by Thuban
@Mikemcn: The shortcut on my desktop is labeled "Mountain Glade: Warp Banned". Try that one on : ) I wonder how many people would have the "Conquer Calradia" achievement in Warband even with the difficulty set to 10%.