Which faction has the best troops and why?

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Gelimer

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

Elite crossbows like Vlandian sharpshooters are actually at least equal and generally superior than archers except maybe for one archer unit, the Battanian fians ( due to them being more dangerous in melee and having decent armor).

There is a guy who made some 500vs500 videos and kinda proved this ( crossbows one shot archers so reloading slower is compensated, they also got a slightly better range and are decent in melee ) by pitting 500 crossbows against 500 Aserai master archers:

 
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Slithy

Regular
Elite crossbows like Vlandian sharpshooters are actually at least equal and generally superior than archers except maybe for one archer unit, the Battanian fians ( due to them being more dangerous in melee and having decent armor).
The only elites that get the "Bound Crossbow" are Sharpshooters and Hired Crossbows(oddly the merc guard gets it too and is terrible). That one is much better than the second place crossbows (Hickory Crossbow) that is used by Imperial Sergeants and the pre-reqs of the two other elites and the "Fine Crossbow" that is used by Boar Champions. Things get worse quickly after that with the "Heavy Crossbow" used only by Vlandian t3 unit and the "Crossbow" used by Imperial t4 and Vlandian militia vets. Everyone else gets the "Light Crossbow" which is as good as you'd expect.

You're right about sharpshooters having great range. However, being the better ranged duelist doesn't really matter if they run out of ammo easily in large field battles and don't offer the raw damage output in general. I do use sharpshooters, but they have their limits and the lower tier units leave a lot to be desired.
 

McBaal

Recruit
I found that all i needed are essentially imperial legionaries, Palatine guards and some support troops depending on the faction i am fighting (Menavlions and Cataphracts against Khuzait for example). I have always been troubled due to my small party against AI armies, until i had the troops above. After that i could essentially kick back and relax, watching my legionaries eat through the big but low tier AI armies in minutes.

The most memorable fight was against Khuzait. They had a massive army of 1000+ chasing my party of around 200 legionaries and Palatine guards+ Cataphracts. At some point i missclicked next to a Khuzait village and the forced me to battle. Since i was so close to an enemy village, the game loaded the village map. What can i say, the entire Khuzait army with all of their cav spawned right in front of my legionaries, stuck between them and the fences.What happened next wasn't a battle, it was a bloodbath. The Khuzait got shredded and torn apart without any imperial casualties, it made me laugh hard and long. Even weeks later i remember the joy and excitement i felt at that moment :grin:

Legionaries hold the line and thanks to their high armor the Palatine guard doesn't need melee troops to protect them against cavalry. In most cases they are doing just fine without me babysitting them. As long as money, partysize and replacing experienced troops are an issue, imperial troops are the way to go. They are tough and hard to kill, a good investment.
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
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.

And the northern snow and hill-forest factions have cavalry.

Elite crossbows like Vlandian sharpshooters are actually at least equal and generally superior than archers except maybe for one archer unit, the Battanian fians ( due to them being more dangerous in melee and having decent armor).

There is a guy who made some 500vs500 videos and kinda proved this ( crossbows one shot archers so reloading slower is compensated, they also got a slightly better range and are decent in melee ) by pitting 500 crossbows against 500 Aserai master archers:


The thing is, ranged units in Bannerlord don't usually get into outright duels with other ranged units. They are generally judged on how many approaching cavalry or infantry they can kill before the lines meet.
 

McBaal

Recruit
I really hate when this happens because of the spawn locations and starting distance in the village maps.

But this time it was realy helpfull, their annoying horse archers couldn't escape imperial justice :mrgreen: Dumb savages
 
Elite crossbows like Vlandian sharpshooters are actually at least equal and generally superior than archers except maybe for one archer unit, the Battanian fians ( due to them being more dangerous in melee and having decent armor).

There is a guy who made some 500vs500 videos and kinda proved this ( crossbows one shot archers so reloading slower is compensated, they also got a slightly better range and are decent in melee ) by pitting 500 crossbows against 500 Aserai master archers:

I've pitted the same crossbows against your usual armies and find that they don't perform amazingly well. They could beat non longbow archers sure, but they won't thin out lightly armoured hordes like archers can. Plus they run out quite quick- 20 bolts is honestly pathetic.

I will admit that they're not as bad as I thought though. Still want a siege crossbow though, just for the cool factor.
 

Folcwald

Recruit
The only elites that get the "Bound Crossbow" are Sharpshooters and Hired Crossbows(oddly the merc guard gets it too and is terrible). That one is much better than the second place crossbows (Hickory Crossbow) that is used by Imperial Sergeants and the pre-reqs of the two other elites and the "Fine Crossbow" that is used by Boar Champions. Things get worse quickly after that with the "Heavy Crossbow" used only by Vlandian t3 unit and the "Crossbow" used by Imperial t4 and Vlandian militia vets. Everyone else gets the "Light Crossbow" which is as good as you'd expect.

You're right about sharpshooters having great range. However, being the better ranged duelist doesn't really matter if they run out of ammo easily in large field battles and don't offer the raw damage output in general. I do use sharpshooters, but they have their limits and the lower tier units leave a lot to be desired.

I think the tier two crossbowman for the Vlandians is actually quite good compared to the tier 2 archer units that other factions get. It has 40 crossbow skill compared to 15 bow skill or the Empire or the 20 bow skill of the Sturgians.
 

Slithy

Regular
I think the tier two crossbowman for the Vlandians is actually quite good compared to the tier 2 archer units that other factions get. It has 40 crossbow skill compared to 15 bow skill or the Empire or the 20 bow skill of the Sturgians.
Imperial archers seem to be showing 40 bow skill to me. Sturgians definitely don't get an archer till tier 3 though.
 
Same here. The Imperial archer also has 40 bow skill. The Sturgians don't even have t2 archers, nor do the Khuzaits. Aserai get ****ed having archers only at t4 and Battania the archer faction get no common archers at all.

Still, early archers is a good plus. I guess Vlandia can move up a bit on my own rankings.
 

Slithy

Regular
Still, early archers is a good plus. I guess Vlandia can move up a bit on my own rankings.
Yeah, that's why they are just a bit behind Empire in mine. Their ranged story isn't as bad as it looks at first and overall they have a pretty good backbone in terms of troop trees. Easily a better troop tree than Battania/Sturgia.
 

fragonard

Grandmaster Knight
WB
That's why Forest bandits are a necessary part of a Battanian troop. Easy to capture and convert up to t4. After you get 80+ men, they'll even offer to join without a fight. They're good t4 archers with 2 quivers and eventually can be converted to Fians. They make a big difference.
 
That's why Forest bandits are a necessary part of a Battanian troop. Easy to capture and convert up to t4. After you get 80+ men, they'll even offer to join without a fight. They're good t4 archers with 2 quivers and eventually can be converted to Fians. They make a big difference.
Bleh, don't want to rely on bandits. And neither do ai lords.
 
You should check out the realistic battle mod. Balances this really well.
It kind of does? But it makes my archers sad and cavalry feel kind of weak. And infantry without maces or axes feel quite weak. I find I have give more weapon loadouts to some units, and then install the Better Horse Charge mod to make cavalry feel worth while.
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
In vanilla it's Khuzaits they have laser beam arrows that carve through metal.

Khuzaits don't get the best bow, not even their T6 nobles.

It kind of does? But it makes my archers sad and cavalry feel kind of weak. And infantry without maces or axes feel quite weak. I find I have give more weapon loadouts to some units, and then install the Better Horse Charge mod to make cavalry feel worth while.

That's something of the point. Cavalry have a mobility advantage that you can exploit, but infantry should be your primary arm, unless you go balls deep into heavy lancers. It is a question of preference though; the mod maker(s) clearly wanted a certain tactical balance and maybe other people would prefer something else.
 
That's something of the point. Cavalry have a mobility advantage that you can exploit, but infantry should be your primary arm, unless you go balls deep into heavy lancers. It is a question of preference though; the mod maker(s) clearly wanted a certain tactical balance and maybe other people would prefer something else.
Yeah, I'm aware that the mod was geared more towards infantry.

The Better Horse Charges mod does maintain the distinction of heavy and light cavalries by calculating damage based on weight, so your average caravan master isn't going to stomp as hard as a Banner Knight would.

And shock cavalry in Vanilla didn't feel right to begin with, so giving them a more devastating charge works for me. I find combining the two mods evens it out significantly, at least in the battlefield. Against cavalry, you really want to have spearmen, unless you enjoy being stampeded by cavalry.

I'm going to probably download a troop wage editor to make cavalry more expensive. Although I think an even number of cavalry would beat an even number of infantry, cavalry are supposed to be significantly more expensive, which is why they aren't fielded in great numbers and why infantry were still valued.
 

Ananda_The_Destroyer

Master Knight
Khuzait for sure. Heavey HA is the best normal unit, Khan's guard is the best in game. TBH I mostly use them like normal archer that can be positioned quickly and only charge them in certain situations. But this fast positioning and ability to get away is so valuable! All lower tier HA are useful too and much easier to raise then many troop types. Their other stuff is fine and their Cav is the easiest to mass produce, if you're into that.

Second gotta go Empire for the t2 normal archer that can be a t5 HA or foot archer. Strong units all over and easy to recruit in bulk. The noble Cav is mostly just from prisoners for me, but that's how it goes for most noble troop lines.

Third is Forest Bandits(not battania, just forest bandits). Your castles will turn them into Fians when they're ready to level! I don't have much experience using normal Batannian troops but these guys are amazing. The forest bandits themselves are fine fine archers for their tiers.

4th is Vlandia for the t2 xbows. While the ammo amounts is a disadvantage for me, they are still good and easy to raise into sharpshooters. The other troops are fine.

The others all fall into the problem of needing several tiers to become viable units. Low tier infantry is just fodder in BL.

I'm not at all interested in custom battle 100 X 100 fights, or other on-paper comparisons, this is meant as my opinion on actual game play in campaign and what units are the best to actually raise and use in battles with the intention of defeating much larger forces with very small (or zero) losses.
 
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