Which faction has the best troops and why?

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The Khuzaits, followed by the Empire and then the Aserai.

With Khuzaits you get cavalry quicker than everyone else, which is a huge deal in autocalc. Everyone is well aware of how strong Khuzait Heavy Horse Archers and Khan's Guard are. Lancers are good too, maybe better than Vlandian Vanguard if you like more readily available cavalry with better armour.

Their foot options are kind of meh until top tier, where things start getting... interesting.

First though, the Marksman. The marksman is a very average archer, in a good way. T3 availability, middle of the road armour and middle of the road arrows. But they do pack some nice sabers, 2x quivers and a better than average bow. Not bad, all in all, but a dismounted horse archer is an archer. You won't kneecap yourself getting these guys, but you don't need them. Good for garrison work I suppose.

Their top infantry, the Darkhan are a different story. Way better than they ought to be. I **** you not when I say that their Darkhan is second behind the Legionary in terms of armour. While they have a small shield, they make up for it with more javelins and spears to pester cavalry with. They were kind of fine before, but for some reason TW saw fit to turn them into super infantry and its ridiculous.

The Empire meanwhile powercreeps the **** out of everyone thanks to being being well rounded, but also being the most heavily armoured faction by far. Their somewhat scarce cavalry will be an issue, but with such strong foot units, its hardly an issue.

The Aserai could get better if they give some armour buffs to some units, but they aren't bad at all. Actually, their elites are amazingly effective. Its just that TW has scaled them down in some ways, while buffing them in others. Imo, Veteran Infantry and Vanguard Faris could use a boost.

Sturgia, Vlandia and Battania though need some adjustments (in that order). These guys don't match the top three. Battania has to be the worst one though.
 

fragonard

Grandmaster Knight
WB
Another good thing about Empire is that there are three factions with the same troops so availability is tops including a better chance to get high level troops.
 

warpowerfull

Regular
They all kind of have their advantages and disadvantages. Unless you're trying to role play with strictly one specific faction troops each faction should be able to offer something to you.
Kuzaits are possibly the most versatile, and by that I mean you can get infantry/archer/cav unit from their as soon as T2 while you have to wait longer with other factions to get a cav unit, however they probably don't have the best units in each category, but you can make a pretty diverse army with them or basically make whatever kind of army you want with them rather easily.
Aserai are kind of the same but you don't get cav as early and also if I remember correctly their only horse archers are their noble line or higher tier, I think their lower level horse archers just have javalins.
Usually if I get a recruit of Aserai or Kuzait I just go the horse archer route with them. Sometimes switch to cav if I really need cav.
Empire has very strong top level infantry I also like their horse archers. If I get an empire recruit I always go their archer route though and upgrade to the horse archer at the end, the reason being is that I can usually capture ton of their T4 infantry as prisoners and I just recruit them into my army that way. I don't really like their t2 and t3 infantry.
Sturgia and Battania I usually go the shield infantry route with them. That's just what I like about them. If you can get your hands on Battania noble line though, they are some of the best units in the game.
Vlandia has some good cav so I usually just go cav route with them.
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
Which faction's troop tree do you think gives you the best advantage?

The Khuzaits. All needs are covered, with their only gap in their lineup being no dedicated shock infantry. But since shock infantry's actual in-game strength is anti-cavalry work (everything slaughters when the infantry lines meet so two-handed weapons aren't particularly necessary, just nice to have) and the Khuzaits have other options there, it doesn't matter. The brainbug of "cav is bad at sieges" is bizarre but not really a mark against Khuzaits because it isn't true, and even if it were their infantry still plows through the crap-tier garrison and militia troops.

Aserai's troop tree gets a lot of hate because their lower-tier units are about as armored as little box your hamburger comes in, but if you concentrate on higher tiers -- and unless you're something of a purist, you should be -- they have an excellent array of troops. Their infantry is underprotected on the head, true, but other than that, they have probably the best shock infantry*, the best main line archers, the best main line horse archers and probably the best heavy cavalry in their noble line, thanks to jereeds. If you lean on the mameluke line instead of the tribal line, and get just a bit fortunate with noble recruitment, you can basically field super-Khuzaits.

The Empire is good as well, with their Menav infantry probably being runners-up for best shock infantry*, Legionaries doing shield work quite well, their archers and horse archers being good as well. Cataphracts get some smoke for not being the absolute best, but honestly I haven't seen much practical difference in the effectiveness of their units -- all the heavy armor, lance and sword types seem to perform about the same, numbers being equal and all. Oh, and everything in the troop tree is well-armored. That doesn't help as much as it probably should, but it does matter enough to be noticeable in the margins, especially in huge battles where a lot of the units attacking you are trash-tier but you need to chew through them regardless.

Vlandia I don't have too much experience with, at least not compared to other people.

The best I can say about Sturgia is they have good cavalry, unlike the Battanians. Shock Troopers are apparently fine but I didn't use them much because I had to spend all my time fighting off Khuzaits.

And finally, the absolute biggest compliment you can give to the Fian Champion is people aren't spitting fire and fury on these forums about their troop tree being borked.


*I realize a lot of people are fond of the traditional shock infantry aesthetic of some big, burly dude with minimal armor and a huge two-hander, but in Bannerlord I've found the naked two-hander types (ulfhednars and falxmen) are objectively bad, bordering on actively counterproductive. Going shield-less is enough of a penalty to their survivability; they don't also need to be running around nearly bare-chested. So that's why I rate any shock infantry with good armor pretty highly while looking askance at shock infantry trying to LARP a Saturday morning cartoon character.
 
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Slithy

Regular
I largely agree with Apocal's assessment:
1. Khuzait's are oddly good at most things for the faction that is supposed to be light cavalry archer specialized. Khans pretty much get to be both the best mounted archers in the game and the only shock cavalry(2h swinging weapon unlike spears for everyone else).
2. Aserai have probably the most balanced tree with good high tier and weak low tier troops.
3. Empire has a couple gaps(no mainline spear cavalry and their ground archers only get 1 quiver) but they have some great units and the uniform armor is a noticeable bonus.
4. Vlandia(which I'd rate a smidgen behind Empire) has solid Cavalry and okay infantry. Their sergeants are kind of weird because they love wielding a 2h axe when their skills favor polearms. However, they'd be insanely good if they had high level in 2h. Their two gaps are no mounted skirmishers or archers and being the only faction that only has access to crossbows and not bows. Sharpshooters are decent enough, but their ammo limit is a liability.
5. Sturgia has some awesome units(Veterans and Druzhinnik), some pretty good ones(horse raiders and shock troops - which used to be godlike but got a lot worse when they lost their shield) and some unimpressive ones(Spearmen are a terrible transitional unit that is on the the way to some of their best non-nobles, Archers are among the weaker ones but have an upgrade path arguably harder than anyone else). Only faction except Empire to have no mainline cavalry with spears/lances so that impacts army composition a good deal.
6. Battanians have a love-hate relationship with archery. Fians are phenomenal, but their lack of any main-line archers makes army battles an ordeal due to being outclassed by the volume of ranged enemies. Their spear cavalry units are below average and they don't get any knights to make up for that. They have good Skirmishers(both mounted and ground) with decent shield tanks and honestly have some solid upgrade paths for stuff.


*I realize a lot of people are fond of the traditional shock infantry aesthetic of some big, burly dude with minimal armor and a huge two-hander, but in Bannerlord I've found the naked two-hander types (ulfhednars and falxmen) are objectively bad, bordering on actively counterproductive. Going shield-less is enough of a penalty to their survivability; they don't also need to be running around nearly bare-chested. So that's why I rate any shock infantry with good armor pretty highly while looking askance at shock infantry trying to LARP a Saturday morning cartoon character.

I especially agree with this. If I wanted to micromanage a squad of shock infantry, I'm sure I could do some damage but no shield and weak armor just makes them melt otherwise.
 
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Just to give you an idea of how I feel about the bottom three factions...

Sturgia is a lot better than it used to be. Once they were a bit of a joke with some weird unit stats, but at least they're usable now. They aren't on the level of the top 3, but I wouldn't put them at the bottom anymore.

Their t5 Veteran Warriors can outmatch other infantry in head to head fights and while shock troopers don't have shields anymore, they work as well as any shock infantry.

Ulfhednar are actually usable now that they wear mail shirts- all they need now is a good helmet, ideally something with a wolf head on top. Great axes, superhuman stats and throwing axes are good. They've got potential, but they're still too frail to be reliable.

Horse raiders are a great bet against cavalry imo. Against infantry they work, but I think real horse archers do that job better. Druzhinnik are strong and worth using, we do not need huscarls here. Sturgia needs cavalry, not more infantry.

Their archers are still the worst and have little use. **** bows, **** arrows and their armour isn't even good. Having 10 archery higher than usual hardly matters. These guys need shields and better armour, maybe that way they have a niche use.

The t4 spearman is still atrocious thanks to terrible armour. They need better body armour, period. As they are, they tend to prevent players from ever getting the wonderful Veteran Warrior because of how often they die.
Vlandia is alright I guess. I don't think their battlefield effectiveness matches what their lore suggests, but they could be worse. They are frailer than their appearances suggest, and their best strengths can be found in other factions.

Crossbows lose to bows, and they feel half implemented, but they get the job done... ish? All crossbow units in the game run around with a single stack of 20 bolts, and combined with their slow rate of fire are outmatched by their archer counterparts. They tend fight better in melee thanks to shields, but that's not what you recruit ranged unit is for. I hope they get some buffs, Crossbows were meant to be a specialty of Vlandia, and they just don't cut it. Either buff them up with bigger bolt stacks or a real siege crossbow, or tone archers down to their level.

Swadian Knights the Banner Knights aren't. They'll disappoint in terms of armour, and they just don't mow as hard as they probably should. They also look completely hideous. Vanguard are weaker, but at least you can work your way to more of them. I think these guys could do better overall.

Vlandian Pikemen don't exist. Never use them. They are by far the worst t5 unit in the game. Wouldn't be shocked to see one lose to a looter.

Voulgiers are pretty good, they're middle of the road in terms of armour and hit well. They've got throwing axes too (which I dislike tbh, doesn't really fit imo). I don't like them because they look ugly.

Sergeants meanwhile are actually pretty good. No throwing weapons, but they occasionally whip out short bills. Weirdly enough, they're some of the lightest of heavy infantry, but they'll make a decent account of themselves.

Imo, what Vlandia needs more shoulder armour, period. Their units either wear ****ty hoods or scarves, or nothing at all. Only the sergeant gets a cape. Give them that and there will be less issues with their surprisingly low durability.
Oh Battania. I wanted these guys to be good. I was blind to their ****tiness when they were my first and only faction. But after enjoying other factions, I can't say these guys are good anymore.

The Fian Champion is obviously the best thing about them. They've got rather weak armour for a T6 even as far as archers go, but they are the best foot archer. Being deadly as melee shock troops is a big bonus too. The worst thing I can say about them is that they make everyone blind to how **** the Battanians really are.

As a whole, their infantry is a bit too light and unreliable for proper fighting. Oathsworn can't kill anything, have small shields and bad armour. They have a good helmet, but that's it. Wildlings are worse, but that's fine since they're meant to be skirmishers. The problem is that Wildlings will do the job of Oathsworn much better. They have axes, so they'll be better in close combat, and they have spears too, so why bother?

The Veteran Falxman is actually really good, but in a section where all shock troops are more or less effective, you can't count them as a unique merit to Battania. Their naked predecessor makes it hard to actually train them, so they basically suffer the same issue as the Sturgian Spearman.

I'll note that Veteran Falxmen tend to beat the **** out of other shock troops in a vaccuum though, thanks to possessing an obscene amount of handaxes. And since every shock trooper's weakness is ranged defence...

Battanian cavalry is basically a joke. Mounted skirmishers come only at t5, and have only 1 stack of javelins. They will fail at their job, unlike the Sturgian Horse Raider. The Battanian Horseman is by far the ****tiest shock cavalry in the game though. Embarassing head armour, small shield and just ugh. All they have is a really long lance, but that's it. They should just be replaced by common archers, don't even want them at all.

*I realize a lot of people are fond of the traditional shock infantry aesthetic of some big, burly dude with minimal armor and a huge two-hander, but in Bannerlord I've found the naked two-hander types (ulfhednars and falxmen) are objectively bad, bordering on actively counterproductive. Going shield-less is enough of a penalty to their survivability; they don't also need to be running around nearly bare-chested. So that's why I rate any shock infantry with good armor pretty highly while looking askance at shock infantry trying to LARP a Saturday morning cartoon character.
In all fairness, the Ulfhednar and Veteran falxmen aren't shirtless anymore. Well, the regular falxman is, but they're t4 and suck anyway since they don't even have a real shock trooper weapon. Two handed swords that can't stab have no use when cleaving axes exist. The t5 guys however are something else.

Neither of them match your top picks in terms of durability though, so fair enough.
 

Chonokhan

Recruit
I find that the Khuzaits have the best shock cavalry and mounted missiles.
Azerai have good shock troopers and decent archers
Empire has great defensive troops, particularly spearmen and crossbowmen
Vlandia has very powerful shock cavalry (on par with the Khuzaits in my opinion).
Sturgia and Battania have aggressive, hard hitting shock troops... but they aren't very tough.

Of the main factions that ALWAYS steamroll in my campaigns... it is between Khuzait and Vlandia, while Southern Empire and Azerai battle it out for third place.
 

Slithy

Regular
Of the main factions that ALWAYS steamroll in my campaigns... it is between Khuzait and Vlandia, while Southern Empire and Azerai battle it out for third place.
Agreed on this, but I think for Vlandia at least part of that is geography rather than troop composition.
 
Azerai have good shock troopers and decent archers
Their horse archers are probably the best as well. If the Empire is the best defensive all rounder, then the Aserai would be the best offensive all rounder.

Empire has great defensive troops, particularly spearmen and crossbowmen
Of all the things they have, spearmen aren't really one of them. The Menavliaton is a nasty swinging polearm, and the legionaries don't have real spears. But this isn't something they are missing. Spears suck, and the Menavliaton is all they need.

Sturgia and Battania have aggressive, hard hitting shock troops... but they aren't very tough.
Sturgia is actually quite tough lol, they're both tough and hard hitting. Battania is hard hitting...ish?
 

Slithy

Regular
I hope they get some buffs, Crossbows were meant to be a specialty of Vlandia, and they just don't cut it. Either buff them up with bigger bolt stacks or a real siege crossbow, or tone archers down to their level.
Honestly the Sharpshooter's crossbow is fine. It's just the combination of no ammo and archery being better at ranged dps when that is more or less king.

Lower level crossbows are pretty lackluster though and I'm really annoyed they still haven't added real bolt selection yet.

I think they probably should buff armor or nerf archers down to crossbow level. One thing that would be nice is if they actually had crossbows slightly better at armor penetration and buffed armor a bit.
 
Honestly the Sharpshooter's crossbow is fine. It's just the combination of no ammo and archery being better at ranged dps when that is more or less king.

Lower level crossbows are pretty lackluster though and I'm really annoyed they still haven't added real bolt selection yet.

I think they probably should buff armor or nerf archers down to crossbow level. One thing that would be nice is if they actually had crossbows slightly better at armor penetration and buffed armor a bit.
I guess its just the me that wants to see Rhodok Sharpshooters so badly saying that. There aren't all that many crossbows in game tbf though, hoping to see a few more. And yeah, lack of ammo and archery is king.
 

Solomani

Recruit
The strength of Valandian Crossbows is they also make good melee units. So good I often reorganize them into infantry instead of ranged. Let them fire at will as the enemy closes in and then instruct them to stop firing and fight melee. They are actually really good.
 
Khuzait's are oddly good at most things for the faction that is supposed to be light cavalry archer specialized
I see a lot of people say this, but personally I never liked Warband's idea of troop trees where you pretty much only had troops your culture "specialized" or more accurately was known for. Like the Khergits not having foot units, what's that about? Or none of the other factions having missile cavalry? All factions are locked to specific weapons and playstyles?
Having played more Total War and specifically Medieval Kingdoms 1212 AD lately, I like the system there far, far better. Firstly, the "troop trees" were much larger and varied. Nearly every faction had access to any type of unit unless it was historically impossible for them to. Thing is, units a faction didn't [historically] use very much / didn't specialize in, were yet available, but to balance it out (and make it make sense), said units were expensive (some, on account of them being mercenaries; e.g. Genoan Crossbowmen) and hence more difficult to acquire and maintain. Whereas of course, [historically] mainstay units of a faction were more readily available and cheaper.


Idk, it's just sad to see Bannelord not expand on such enormous potential in many aspects including size of armies and battles and troop trees. I mean, beside "noble troop trees" which are 3-4 units at best, what has changed? Well, at least the steppe faction has some foot soldiers now.
 
I see a lot of people say this, but personally I never liked Warband's idea of troop trees where you pretty much only had troops your culture "specialized" or more accurately was known for. Like the Khergits not having foot units, what's that about? Or none of the other factions having missile cavalry? All factions are locked to specific weapons and playstyles.

Idk, it's just sad to see Bannelord not expand on such enormous potential in many aspects including size of armies and battles and troop trees. I mean, beside "noble troop trees" which are 3-4 units at best, what has changed? Well, at least the steppe faction has some foot soldiers now.
I'm personally more troubled by the fact that factions like Battania are so severely limited compared to the Khuzaits.

Otherwise, I wouldn't mind what we have in Bannerlord, at least so long as cultures maintain some sort of identity and all units are useful at something.
 

Slithy

Regular
I see a lot of people say this, but personally I never liked Warband's idea of troop trees where you pretty much only had troops your culture "specialized" or more accurately was known for. Like the Khergits not having foot units, what's that about? Or none of the other factions having missile cavalry? All factions are locked to specific weapons and playstyles?
Having played more Total War and specifically Medieval Kingdoms 1212 AD lately, I like the system there far, far better. Firstly, the "troop trees" were much larger and varied. Nearly every faction had access to any type of unit unless it was historically impossible for them to. Thing is, units a faction didn't [historically] use very much / didn't specialize in, were yet available, but to balance it out (and make it make sense), said units were expensive (some, on account of them being mercenaries; e.g. Genoan Crossbowmen) and hence more difficult to acquire and maintain. Whereas of course, [historically] mainstay units of a faction were more readily available and cheaper.


Idk, it's just sad to see Bannelord not expand on such enormous potential in many aspects including size of armies and battles and troop trees. I mean, beside "noble troop trees" which are 3-4 units at best, what has changed? Well, at least the steppe faction has some foot soldiers now.
I don't mind them having foot troops(I actually liked to see that change). I mind their foot troops being pretty competitive with most of the other factions that don't get the mounted strengths they have.
 
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I don't mind them having foot troops(I actually liked to see that change). I mind their foot troops being pretty competitive with most of the other factions that don't get the mounted strengths they have.
I'm saying factions, in this case the Khuzaits, should have access to infantry that are on par with any other faction's, but they should be more costly to acquire and maintain and less readily available for them (once again e.g. Mercenaries) so that the infantry-strong faction still has a considerable advantage. Likewise with, say, Empire faction could, to counter the Khuzaits to some degree, hire expensive Khuzait mercenaries.
 
I'm saying factions, in this case the Khuzaits, should have access to infantry that are on par with any other faction's, but they should be more costly to acquire and maintain and less readily available for them (once again e.g. Mercenaries) so that the infantry-strong faction still has a considerable advantage. Likewise with, say, Empire faction could, to counter the Khuzaits to some degree, hire expensive Khuzait mercenaries.
That doesn't really make sense, seeing that its supposed to be cavalry that are more expensive overall due to maintenance and etc. Less so with the Khuzaits of course, but still.

That being said, I do not believe the Khuzaits should have ****ty infantry or anything. Personally If I were to balance them, I'd make the Khuzaits as a whole more poorly armoured compared to everyone else. Their lack of armour would be compensated by their clear cavalry supremacy, and at the top tier they can have armour on par with all but the Imperials. But until then, the horse is what keeps them alive.

As a result their foot men will be at an obvious disadvantage until they git gud enough to be given cool Cuman masks. It will make going for their foot units a viable, if somewhat bothersome path.

I'd do similar stuff with other faction troops. Again, I'm of the opinion that all units should be good for something, at least at t5.
 
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Slithy

Regular
I'm saying factions, in this case the Khuzaits, should have access to infantry that are on par with any other faction's, but they should be more costly to acquire and maintain and less readily available for them (once again e.g. Mercenaries) so that the infantry-strong faction still has a considerable advantage. Likewise with, say, Empire faction could, to counter the Khuzaits to some degree, hire expensive Khuzait mercenaries.
I don't really see why this has to happen through the faction troop trees. A more comprehensive mercenary solution would easily make expensive foreign mercenaries availible from existing other factions.

I will say that I have been tempted to play around with looking at the effort to mod troop xp+gold upgrade/wage costs for a bit more variety between troop types. One thing in particular I've been tempted by is actually adding in the upgrade paths from militia to militia vets but make them extremely high xp cost to level and unusually low wages for the troop level.
 

Folcwald

Recruit
I know the meta is archers but I've found that the crossbowmen are actually quite good at defending sieges.
 
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