The ultimate army: Which units are the best?

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MacColin

Recruit
Just out of curiosity:

In Warband there was one character who'm I spoke to who told me his idea of the ultimate army - the combination of the best troops from all over the map and all the kingdoms, just to create an unstoppable strike force ready to deal with anything. This is something I missed a little in Bannerlord - so I'm asking you:

How do you build up the best army you can get? What kind of soldiers do you use for what purpose? What is the best combination of infantry, anti-cavalry, mounted warriors and ranged units? Tell from your experience, maybe just from your preference, or maybe you have greater insight than I do.
 

CptData

Recruit
Kinda depends on your taste, but I like to combine tough heavy infantry of the Empire with swift cavalry from the Aserai. Cavalry is mostly used to harrass archers (foot and mounted), heavy infantry is there to do the grunt work. Except I can get some Fians I keep using the Palatne Guards: they're an odd mix of heavy infantry and archers.
 

Gelimer

Regular
Probably Legionaries and Triariis for the infantry but i did not fight with or against the elite Sturgian units since they were buffed apparently but the Empire should have the best infantry. Just my guess though.

For cavalry it should be between Aserai/Khuzait/Empire. Faris are the fastest, Khan Guard are probably the best unit in the game with Fians due to having polearms in addition to their bow, they are devastating in melee.

Vlandia has decent cav overall, they do the job but the Empire cataphracts are probably ay least as good, i dont know exactly but it feels like it, i may be wrong. I would say all factions except Battania have elite cav units that work well ( though it is worth pointing out that Battania s cav have long lances so they are good on the charge against other cav initially)

For archers, if we exclude fian, i actually dont know who is second best so i would be curious to know, i am guessing the most heavily armored elite archer unit probably wins but i dont know who s got the best armour between Aserai master archers, Khuzait marskman and Palatine guards and who s got the best stats in melee.

For Horse archers if we exclude khan guards, i dont know either who s better between mameluks, heavy khuzait horse archers or bucelariis, maybe it is very close.

For heavy infantry i would say between Battania and Aserai palace guards but maybe the Sturgians and Vlandians 2handed units are better than i think.
 
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Probably Legionaries and Triariis for the infantry but i did not fight with or against the elite Sturgian units since they were buffed apparently but the Empire should have the best infantry. Just my guess though.

Last I recall, Triaii suck. Like most minor faction troops, they were nerfed down to match their tier, and so they're practically worthless. Far better off with legionaries. Sturgia has the more brutal infantry and tends to get the better of the Empire in melee, but Empire has them beat in terms of armour, which is more than enough reason to use them if you want more of an 'anvil'.

Vlandia has decent cav overall, they do the job but the Empire cataphracts are probably ay least as good, i dont know exactly but it feels like it, i may be wrong. I would say all factions except Battania have elite cav units that work well ( though it is worth pointing out that Battania s cav have long lances so they are good on the charge against other cav initially)

Vlandian cavalry is in a seriously sorry state, however Banner Knights are capable of dealing more damage on a charge compared to Cataphracts. Battanian cavalry do get underestimated, but yeah, they can be deceptively good. Too many of them in the common troop tree though, its weird the archer faction lacks archers.

For archers, if we exclude fian, i actually dont know who is second best so i would be curious to know, i am guessing the most heavily armored elite archer unit probably wins but i dont know who s got the best armour between Aserai master archers, Khuzait marskman and Palatine guards and who s got the best stats in melee.

Palatine Guards, even after their nerf, are still the most heavily armoured archer in the game. They also have better than average skills for whatever reason, and are easier to train. Their issues are mainly their average bows and their single quiver. Khuzait marksmen are average everywhere save for a good bow, although they're not to be underestimated. Statistically, its the Aserai Master Archer which is the best standard archer. Good armour, great skills, great bow and two quivers of good arrows. All they lack is trainability- Aserai only gain archers at t4.

For Horse archers if we exclude khan guards, i dont know either who s better between mameluks, heavy khuzait horse archers or bucelariis, maybe it is very close.

For real horse archers, the Khuzait ones are obviously best. Buccellarii are good, but like all Empire troops, they favour defence for offence. Mameluke heavy cavalry are amazing in their own right, they've got a versatile kit that lets them carry out a variety of roles. They might not be what you want if you only want a horse archer though.

For heavy infantry i would say between Battania and Aserai palace guards but maybe the Sturgians and Vlandians 2handed units are better than i think.
Do you mean shock infantry? Because most 2hander troops aren't well armoured. That being said, its a bit of a toss up here. Its more of a preference between polearm vs 2hander axe- pole arms are longer, while axes cleave and have axe properties. Otherwise, they both do huge damage, but melt against ranged units.

Vet Falxmen have A LOT of throwing axes, but they'll do poorly against more dedicated skirmishers. They don't have great armour, but their bundles of axes does let them seriously **** up other shock troops.

Ulfhednar and Shock Troops basically boils down to whether you like more heavily armoured polearm troops, or a glass cannon with crazy stats and axes.

Menavliatons are the most heavily armoured polearm troop, but again they sacrifice killing power.

Palace Guard are the most heavily armoured axe troop, and are seriously scary. They lack the super man stats of the Ulfhednar though, which makes them less killy.

Voulgiers look to be the 'middle of the road' option out of all of them, but a lot of people reckon they're the best.

For a bonus, I'll add in dismounted Khan's Guard. These guys will move slowly compared to everyone else, but they've got great armour and the best stats. Not to mention their bow.
 

Gelimer

Regular
Thank you for the reply, many good infos there I was not aware of :smile:

One thing id like to know too is which is better between wildlings from battania and shock troops from sturgia?
 
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Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
Give me Vlandian Sergeants, Imperial Elite Cataphracts and Khuzait Khan's Guards. If I'm restricted to mainline units, replace Cataphracts with Sturgian Horse Raiders and Khan's Guards with Aserai Mamelukes.
 
Thank you for the reply, many good infos there I was not aware of :smile:

One thing id like to know too is which is better between wildlings from battania and shock troops from sturgia?
Those units fill rather different roles.

The Wildling is javelin skimisher first, infantry second. As far as javelin skirmishers go, they're probably the best. As infantry, they're good, definitely what you want for a Battanian frontline as opposed to Oathsworn. They've got decent armour and all wield axes, but they're not going to outbrawl legionaries or veteran warriors. They've got spears too, but those aren't all that great. I modded my wildlings to have more javelins because **** it why not. In a theoretical super Calradic army, these guys will be the front row of infantry.

Shock troops are as their name suggests and more. As of now, they're Sturgia's best bet for anti cavalry charges, war razors kill anything and everything within reach. Don't go making an entire army out of them though. Now that they lack shields, they're hopeless against archers. Best used as a backline behind your shield wall.
 

Liffy

Recruit
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
 

Gelimer

Regular
Those units fill rather different roles.

The Wildling is javelin skimisher first, infantry second. As far as javelin skirmishers go, they're probably the best. As infantry, they're good, definitely what you want for a Battanian frontline as opposed to Oathsworn. They've got decent armour and all wield axes, but they're not going to outbrawl legionaries or veteran warriors. They've got spears too, but those aren't all that great. I modded my wildlings to have more javelins because **** it why not. In a theoretical super Calradic army, these guys will be the front row of infantry.

Shock troops are as their name suggests and more. As of now, they're Sturgia's best bet for anti cavalry charges, war razors kill anything and everything within reach. Don't go making an entire army out of them though. Now that they lack shields, they're hopeless against archers. Best used as a backline behind your shield wall.

Very interesting thank you once again.

So basically regarding elite Battania and Sturgia highest tier infantry ( because I would like to know how they compare ):

- Oathsworns are more tanky since they have a shield but not as efficient as Shock Troops ? I was disappointed by Oathsworns when I used them ( maybe they should have given them a good axe instead of that spear so that they kill more when in tight packed melee fights).

- How do Wildlings compare with Sturgian veteran warriors please? I ask cause they seem very similar but it looks like Sturgians have the better armor, not sure.
 
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Kegeyn

Regular
Ok, so i did some time ago an extensive troop test

Only thing that changed from that test:
- Legionaires got throwing weapon bumping their efficiency on par with sturgian veterans

What do we get from the test?
1. Battanian units are average at best. Oathsworns have no throwable, and their armor is less than legionaires. Wildings are carried only by their throwing weapons but they get 3 loadouts, 2 of them is significantly weaker (one even have axes instead of pilum)
2. Khan's guard is the best all around unit capable both on and off horse
3. 2h troops are in general overpowered as hell. Overall king there is Aserai palace guard capable of results like this
Close seconds are 2h troops with long swingable polearms like Sturgian Shock troop.
(unfortunately ulfhednars even after buffs are low tier 2h albeit much better than before)

What i did not show but tested anyway:
Meele Cav sucks. Really. It is overpowered in autocalc but that is about it
Horse archers are great, however they suicide 1 by 1 when out of arrows making them a pain to control in bigger battles

After next patch i will redo those extensive tests especially since custom battles are fixed via mods now


Ultimate party comp i would recommend on 1.4.2?
on a party size 230 (clan tier 5 + good quartermaster + all kingdom bonuses from policies)
100 archers, either Aserai master archers from common troop tree, or 100 battanian fian champions (much harder to refill though)
100 armored 2h troop with throwing weapon, like Aserai palace guard for offensive setup, or 100 Sturg veterans/Imperial legionaires.
30 of whatever cav to run down enemy troops, or keep busy enemy archers (ai makes them "dance" instead of attacking when cav is engaging them)

This way you can take on armies up to 300 units with very minor losses (like 1-2 deaths per battle) and if you stretch it you can kill army of 700 albeit usually loosing alot of units (~50+)
Shielded troop setup is better for siege and vs horse archer battle, 2h troop setup is better for standard field battles

You can see a pattern here. Since meele battles are random mosh pit you want as much advantage as possible before meele clash happens therefore having a ranged capable army is so important in current "meta"
 
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MacColin

Recruit
Thanks a lot to all of you, that is very helpful and answers my question!

So far I only went with standard troops since they are most plannable (getting Battanian archers depends a lot on sheer luck which I do not have in that game), so my favourite constellation of troops was Imperial palatine guards, Sturgian ulfnedars (I had little use for shock troops so far, although as an anti cavalry unit in field battles they d a decent job) and Battanian cavalry units. The latter ones are not optimal, but since I am basically in a constant struggle against Khuzaits I never got around to testing their mounted units. Also, I think I'm still used to this feature in Warband where units from a culture you wage war against get penalties in moral and might defect you if you're not careful.

The downside on units from Aserai - at least in my game - is that they are so remote. I work mainly from Sturgian territory, so to gather new troops from Aserai I would have to travel all over the map. I could do this in peace times, maybe, but there is hardly any piece around here when I try to bring down the Empire, and my lords push for war against Khuzait and Vlandia...
 
Answer's pretty obvious , really. If you're looking for a generalist, all around decent army it's gonna be 30+ Khuzait Horse Archers, 40+ Khuzait / imperial / Vlandian horseman (depends whether you like lance or melee cav better), 40+ any cheap ranged unit, 45+ at best highly armoured infantry, but they're just there to pin down enemy inf for your cav to hammer them from the sides anyway, even peasants would do.

In Warband there was one character who'm I spoke to who told me his idea of the ultimate army - the combination of the best troops from all over the map and all the kingdoms, just to create an unstoppable strike force ready to deal with anything
I think it was Firentis, or maybe Lezalit.

We need custom companions back..
 

MacColin

Recruit
I think it was Firentis, or maybe Lezalit.

We need custom companions back..

Lezalit, I suppose. He was more into leadership and tactics than Firentis.

The companions we have here do work to a certain point, at least for me, but I think they are more or less placeholders, because the names keep coming up again and again (like how many "... the Healer" I already saved from supposed kidnapping, or how many Willowbanks are sitting around in taverns and looking for a job). Someone should give these people more personality. Although I could do without them constantly arguing like in Warband...
 

Gelimer

Regular
Hmm so Halfmetaljacket thinks Wildlings are probably the best javelin throwing infantry while Kegeyn said Sturgian vets warriors are excellent.

So i am wondering which i should choose for infantry flanking, Battanian wildlings or Sturgian veteran troops?

I tend to stay away from 2 handers except palace guards because they drop so quickly to arrows. Makes me cry to see top tier units i nurtured for months dropping like flies after one hit :smile:
 

MacColin

Recruit
Hmm so Halfmetaljacket thinks Wildlings are probably the best javelin throwing infantry while Kegeyn said Sturgian vets warriors are excellent.

So i am wondering which i should choose for infantry flanking, Battanian wildlings or Sturgian veteran troops?

I tend to stay away from 2 handers except palace guards because they drop so quickly to arrows. Makes me cry to see top tier units i nurtured for months dropping like flies after one hit :smile:

Sturgian veterans are easier to come buy since you can hire Sturgian recruits in any of their villages and just train them to the highest tier. Wildlings are quite rare, and you only find them with good luck and grinding.

I found the Sturgian ulfnedars to be quite effective as flanking troops.
 

CptData

Recruit
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.
 

Sheepify

Regular
Sturgian veterans are easier to come buy since you can hire Sturgian recruits in any of their villages and just train them to the highest tier. Wildlings are quite rare, and you only find them with good luck and grinding.
Uh... Battanian Wildlings is just highest tier skirmish regular line for that faction. Nothing special about training them up, the same way you'd do with Sturgian recruits. In fact, since you're dealing with "throw stuff in your face" line, they gain experience much faster than Sturgian infantry at lower tiers (even when it gets throwing axes on their own, because javelins>axes in terms of killing power).

Also, Falxmen are "better" than Shock Troopers in flanking role, since they are already *beep beep* Roadrunning without being Veteran while retaining most of their shock value. Just don't let them get targetted by anything pew-pewy.

I've put a lot of "Battanian supremacy" play time, and pretty much ended up ignoring Battanian infantry in favor of skirmishers. Falxmen on the flank, what Fians you have doing their shooty thing, and you only need a handful of Khuzait to trolo opponent AI to round up the lineup.

It won't min-max like Palace-Guard heavy army, but it's fun for "LARP" playthroughs. Also, pretty easy on "whack-a-looter" xp grind.
 
Very interesting thank you once again.

So basically regarding elite Battania and Sturgia highest tier infantry ( because I would like to know how they compare ):

- Oathsworns are more tanky since they have a shield but not as efficient as Shock Troops ? I was disappointed by Oathsworns when I used them ( maybe they should have given them a good axe instead of that spear so that they kill more when in tight packed melee fights).

- How do Wildlings compare with Sturgian veteran warriors please? I ask cause they seem very similar but it looks like Sturgians have the better armor, not sure.
Oathsworn are supposed to be tanky shield and spear troops, but spearmen suck and Oathsworn tend to lose against other t5 melee infantry. They have good long swords and good helmets, but their athletics seems misplaced with their riding (for some reason they have 130 riding and 80 athletics). Also, those new Battanian shields are tiny, they might as well be using targes. I hope they get good though, they look nice and wished they were as good as R2TW Arvenii Oathsworn. And Battania should have good infantry anyway.

Shock troops really aren't in the same category, like I said they're closer to menavliatons, vet falxmen and voulgiers. Powerful polearm troops that are helpless against ranged attack. They're not great as a flanker, but as a backline to your shieldwall they are fantastic.

Veteran Warriors are the better line infantry than Wildlings, and their big shield helps them in a skirmish. If I am not mistaken though, their throwing skill isn't quite up to par and their javelins might be worse. But otherwise they have great armour, axes and shields. They tend to mince up the likes of Legionaries and Sergeants, not that either of those two are weak. Legionaries are tankier, while Sergeants can sometimes smack hard with short bills

Sturgian veterans are easier to come buy since you can hire Sturgian recruits in any of their villages and just train them to the highest tier. Wildlings are quite rare, and you only find them with good luck and grinding.

Wildlings are just regular Battanian troops though. You can get them just as easily as as vet warriors. If not easier, because their line is consistently good. Vet warriors are better as actual infantry, but to get to them you have to get through the abysmal Sturgian spearman.
 

Gelimer

Regular
Thanks for answers guys. The reason i want to flank with either Wildlings or Sturgian Vet Warriors is because I am doing a new campaign on foot for a change.

When i charge with 2 handers from the flanks and face an army with many archers , my troops still eat some arrows when i flank their inf outnumbered cause their archers are a bit behind and i am not on horse so i cant cheese them by riding in their rear with HA and cav ( and i use much less cav than usual this time)

So the idea was i need to flank left side with shield troops so that most arrows hit the shields they hold in their left hand as i close in.

Also i like the idea of standing close to them and pepper the flanks with javelins without risking my guys in melee just yet , like javelinmen in a total war game, if it helps me to win outnumbered and save lives for the next battle.

That is why I am curious about how Wildlings compare exactly with Sturgian vet warriors so i know where to go to mass recruit. Maybe Wildlings are weaker in melee but have more javs?
I need to test them cause i was mostly playing empire/aserai/khuzait/vlandia but not much Sturgia and Battania.
 
Thanks for answers guys. The reason i want to flank with either Wildlings or Sturgian Vet Warriors is because I am doing a new campaign on foot for a change.

When i charge with 2 handers from the flanks and face an army with many archers , my troops still eat some arrows when i flank their inf outnumbered cause their archers are a bit behind and i am not on horse so i cant cheese them by riding in their rear with HA and cav ( and i use much less cav than usual this time)

So the idea was i need to flank left side with shield troops so that most arrows hit the shields they hold in their left hand as i close in.

Also i like the idea of standing close to them and pepper the flanks with javelins without risking my guys in melee just yet , like javelinmen in a total war game, if it helps me to win outnumbered and save lives for the next battle.

That is why I am curious about how Wildlings compare exactly with Sturgian vet warriors so i know where to go to mass recruit. Maybe Wildlings are weaker in melee but have more javs?
I need to test them cause i was mostly playing empire/aserai/khuzait/vlandia but not much Sturgia and Battania.

Both those guys are more useful as a shield wall, not a flanker. The best way to deal with archers really is to tie them up with cavalry. Even if you don't ride with them, you can still tell them where to go, which should be right into the archers.

If you don't use cavalry, then don't even think about flanking. Better off to hide two handers behind the shield wall. Polearm infantry in particular- their weapons can usually reach over the shield wall.

If you really insist anyway, then Wildlings. I get the impression that they're quicker thanks to their light equipment, and they have spears they can use to fend off cavalry that come their way (even if spears suck). Makes them more independent.
 
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