The best army for what though? Given a choice I'd have a different army composition to seige. I'd chose something different to fight kazuit forces.
I like to minimise losses and try to fight defensively. It's easier to control your army in a defensive action, and in larger engagements you aren't going have reinforcements spawn on top of you.
For infantry overall nothing touches imperial legions. They don't do the most damage but they are definitely the most durable. I like my infantry force to be 75% imperial legionnaires or veterans. The rest well quite like battania wildlings. There is a mod out there that balances the minor factions too that makes them more attractive.
Archers I like a mixed bag of firepower and durability. Battanian fian champion, imperial palatine guards, mercenary and vandalia cross bows, sometimes minor faction bowman. Again I use a small mod than un nerfs and re balances all troops.
Cavalry imperial cataphract all day long. The top tier aseri cavalry is the next best thing. Horse archers khan guard. Failing that mamluke or imperial horse archers are decent enough.
My preferred set up is 40% infantry 35% archers 25% cavalry and horse archers. I'd probably look to increase the cavalry content by at least 10% if fighting mostly kazuit forces
Very good ideas here.
Yeah, fighting from a defensive position is a good idea if you use shielded infantry supported by archers. I gove a breakdown of my forces right here:
Party Size: 150 - 200
40% Heavy Infantry (Empire Troop Tree)
-> approx. half of them with spears, half of them with swords
-> core units: up to 20x Legionary + 20x Elite Menavliton
40% Archers (Empire Troop Tree + some Fians)
-> core unit: 20 - 30 Palatine Guards
20% Mixed Cavalry (mostly Aserai)
-> core unit is the Cataphract (up to 10)
-> weighted towards melee
I don't have a "clean" party with only one troop tree involved. When I'm talking about "core units" I consider 'em as primary goal to achive while the rest of the army is filled with random rank'n'file soldiers. However, the core units MUST be on the field whenever possible since they're defining the overall performance of the party.
Archers are most likely posted on high ground supporting my shield wall heavy soldiers from behind. Idea is to have 'em firing at hostile troops while they're attacking. Once they clash into the shield wall their job is to keep stragglers at bay or fire at close hostile archers / cavalry. My own cavalry is more or less used to wrap things up, eg. charge into hostile formations from behind or destroy archer units.
Works well enough in open battles, works better in forrests. Horse archers are an issue - the only way to keep 'em at bay is to have fast heavy melee cavalry disrupting their circling attacks.
-- since armies with OWN clan parties (led by companions) don't cost influence, you easily can overcome your player character's command limit and field armies with 400 - 500 soldiers. Keep your own army "neat and clean" and leave the "ragtag" part to your companions. Still need a solid income 'though: 500 men can easily cost 5000+ denars a day, food excluded.