best tier for size vs cost

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I want to field a big army but I don't want to spend a fortune, what would be the best tier to stop upgrading?


Sergeant at Arms
I'd go with Tier 4, but really you want to look at the troop trees and see what tiers really shine in terms of value to power ratios. Some have much bigger jumps on potency from moving up a tier or two than others, especially if they get additional or more powerful weapons at certain tiers.

For example, a T3 Battanian Raider to a Battanian Falxman is a massive upgrade due to getting an extremely strong weapon upgrade. I would never hold onto T3 Raiders over upgrading to T4 Falxmen. And the T5 is arguably a downgrade from the T4, or at least a more niche unit type.

Look also at Vlandian T3 Veteran Footman vs. the T4 Billman and Swordsman. You lose a spear and don't gain a whole lot from upgrading to the Swordsman. The Billman is a wholly different unit - an effective enough shock unit but you're probably going to want shield units to protect them. I would hold onto the Footman unless I wanted to go up to T5 Sergeants.

Then look at, say, a T2 Imperial Archer vs a T3 Imperial Trained Archer. The T3 gets +2 ranged damage and a quiver of 7 less arrows, and slightly better armor. Arguably this could be a downgrade in some circumstances. I would never hold onto T3 Imperial Trained Archers over stopping at T2 or upgrading to T4.

You can also upgrade in a pinch right before a tough battle, to swing the odds pretty substantially. There's an advantage to keeping some troops lower tier until you need them to be higher tier.

Perks can also influence this, since you can get discounts for various unit types and you can set your character as a commander for a unit you want to buff a lot if you have high combat skills.

For some factions, T5 or T6 units are no brainer choices though, as they're the only access to certain unit types unless they recruit mercs/bandits or other factions troops.

Right now one of my favorite games involves just roaming around with a party of ~220 T4 Outriders and Highwaymen and taking out lords as a mercenary with a 260 denar contract since I go a deal from the Northern Empire while they were at war with three factions. They're each a bit lightly armored, but offensively pretty devastating to have skirmishers and archers flank, and then you can do pincers with the Highwaymen spearing and the Outriders lancing. Due to being all mounted units, amazing map speed for easily catching smaller parties with overwhelming numbers of mobile ranged units for mid-game money farming.


Sergeant at Arms
I want to field a big army but I don't want to spend a fortune, what would be the best tier to stop upgrading?
What do you consider a fortune? Unit upkeep is so cheap relative to income in this game that it really is not necessary to budget- it is going to cost just as much in recruitment if your units are constantly dying so if you have multiple parties make sure their leaders have the right perks for -recuitment and -upkeep and have the parties set to defensive when they are gathering their party so they tend to recruit in the local area you created the party which should match their culture.

Pretty soon though that won't matter as the AI recruits from wherever it goes.

One change I would like to see is that tier 1 units are just recruits- they adopt the culture of whichever kingdom they are serving as they level up. Anything higher than tier 1 reflects the culture of where they were recruited while bandits should have their own tree or the option to adopt the culture of their party leader.

That said, the Falxman, all of the Battanian noble archers above Highborn Youth long before you get to the Battanian Fian Hero are really cost effective.

Rarely are cavalry cost effective upgrading all the way to the final level which requires war mounts so usually stop at T3 or T4 depending on what the armor/weapon options are.

I find Vlandian Sergeants worth the final upgrade otherwise top infantry cost effectives are probably the Falxman, Sturgian Soldier, Trained Infantryman vs archer heavy factions, Imperial Menavliaton vs all other factions (only more efficient unit is the Battian Fians- 20 often get 100+ kills or 5x number).

Sturgian Soldiers only cost 5 upkeep and their next tier upgrade costs 8 upkeep vs the Varyag Veteran that costs 7 upkeep and only slightly more expensive 2 upgrades path from tier 2 noble so if you want to stop upgrading I'd probably prefer Varyag Veterans as they usually live longer and once you have the money saved, upgrading to Druzhinik is superior than Sturgian Spearman. The following upgrade of Sturgian Spearmen to Heavy Axemen is pretty strong though and way cheaper than the Druzhinik without a war horse requirement so it is all about where you want to go in the long run.

Also- recruiting prisoners if you have a deep pool of your preferred units is by far the cheapest option. I try to carry only 2 types of prisoners at a time but often have 20-30 of each time, it slows down the map movement a bit but allows constant recruitment of the exact units I want without having to spend time recruiting which usually speeds up campaign map travel without having to divert for recruits once you get to the point of being able to start sieges or raids to bait out enemy parties rather than chasing them down.

Also- stay away from mercenaries in taverns- their upkeep and recruitment cost are usually +50% vs comparable non-mercenary units.


Grandmaster Knight
It's better to have say 200 t6 powerfull troops that can carry you through any battles and then another 200+ lower tier that can be use as garrison fillers or just back up. Having a smaller t6 party/army will also let you move faster.


I had plenty fun with my tier 2 from party size 20 and onward.

Bandits are the cheapest to field early on, because you get perks for wage and food easily and roguery increase battle loot. Some of the bandits are good at tier 3 and others at tier 4. Roguery 150 makes them easy to recruit where ever you find them, and if you feel they are to many, then you can trade them in Towns to gang leaders. 225 Denar for a Looter and higher tier Bandits pay more :smile:

But I agree with most here, that money is easy to come by and you should be able to field any army you want. Nobles at tier 6 can take on many times its size.


Like some said. Get the best T6 troops you can.

For 2 reasons. You will likely only need to pay their wages and almost never hire new ones.

They will make back that money with loot.

A thing many don't value enough is that keeping an army of lower tiers is actually more expensive, since you will lose them more often and you will need to upgrade new troops constantly.

Having an army of the best T6 units will not cost you as much, especially Fians. They are infantry and require no horse.

The price of upgrading is far higher than the upkeep, never forget that. As long as you can fight you can also loot, then sell it .Obviously the amount of units you should keep depends on the stage of the game you are in.


Sergeant at Arms
Fian is the BiS in the previous patch. you can win 100 vs 200+ no problem

Fians are the best foot archer and also double as shock infantry, Khan's Guard are the best horse archer and are also practically the only shock cavalry and the best overall melee cavalry, and you can also dismount them and have great foot archers or shock infantry. They completely break the rock paper scissors dynamic of troop balance. Utterly absurd how much better they are than other noble troops, which are slightly better melee cav with nothing particularly special going on.

But everyone knows using them might as well be cheating.


Grandmaster Knight
Khuzait horse archer (t4 common) is a pretty good value because it has two stacks of arrows (t4 noble has only 1) so if you are patient and position them in 2 groups you can wear down larger forces will low-zero losses. I used to consider the t3 khuzait raider the best value but after some changes I feel they're a little vulnerable and low on firepower, but still with no war horse required and 2 stacks of ammo, they're pretty good if you micro them.


The only 'limit' is whatever you set as your own handicap or for roleplay reasons (or if you don't own a single fief, workshop, or caravan); so whatever you want as there's no min/max needed. It's very easy to just get T6 troops capped to your party limit - and easily earn that back tenfold; especially since for most playthroughs, the other AIs will start to get to that average ~150+ party size too. So unless you want to suffer heavier losses and do the 'fun' mechanic of visiting and re-recruiting troops every now and then...
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