These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Mount & Blade
Broken Base: Before Mount & Blade was picked up by a publisher, they were operating on a buy now get a fleshed out version later without added cost deal. Similar to Minecraft and Terraria. Howeve,r once a publisher picked up the game, the promised improvements were never made to the original Mount and Blade. The improvements were to include better combat, multiplayer, and improvements to sieges and management. Instead they were made into addons that had to be purchased. A segment of the original fandom who had pre-purchased the game then were less then pleased. There were vows to never buy or instead pirate the sequels as they felt they were cheated by the deal. As the game and sequels became cheaper, members of the fandom who felt this way changed their minds and just purchased the now notably cheaper sequels.
Contested Sequel: The political model and multiplayer are long-requested and popular features, but the changes to combat are a Base Breaker, and the "balancing" of cavalry and infantry for multiplayer purposes is very much hated.
Khergit horse archers, which is to say, all Khergit cavalry, which is to say, all Khergit troops. Their horses are fast, so fast they may forever elude you at first, their arrows are omnipresent and will interrupt your attacks, and they come in hordes. As you progress and your party grows, they may be downgraded to Goddamn Bats or even to Mooks.
Vaegir Marksmen, the best damn archers in the game. They're insanely accurate, hit for a ton of damage even against high-ranking troops, and usually turn up in frighteningly large groups. As bad as assaulting castles are in general, trying to conquer Vaegirs is a fricken' nightmare.
Rhodok Sharpshooters, as well. See the Game Breaker entry down below for details on just how they'll murder anything that's not a Rhodok with impunity.
You might have noticed quite a bit of praise for huscarls in the page. You can probably now imagine the sort of pain that it is to go against them. Oh, and don't think cavalry archers will save you, as just one thrown axe is more than capable of taking down anyone short of a steel-clad knight.
With Fire and Sword brings us the Polish Winged Hussars. Their horses, despite being the equine equivalent of a tank, are quite fast, but it's the guys themselves who are nightmarish, as on the defense front they wear enough heavy armor to shrug off several musket shots, and on the offense front they carry a massive pike which combined with the aforementioned horse gets them frequent One Hit Kills. All in all, a Lightning Bruiser of the nightmarish kind. Worst part? Even tiny 5-man patrols have at least one of these guys.
Anyone on horseback, from a foot-soldier's perspective. And Heavy Calvary from ANYONE'S perspective. Justified in that, as a medieval combat simulator, heavily armored, mounted troops really were the ultimate combat units and that mounted troops really did have a ridiculous advantage over non-mounted troops.
The multiplayer in Warband has the Rhodok faction. Warhammers will instantly kill lightly armoured opponents, do crippling amounts to medium armour users, knock the player to the ground and ignore blocking shields, crossbows are very easy to aim suffering only for the reloading time, finally the cleavers, with the exception of the two-handed variant, deal a lot more damage than most other single-handed weapons and still allow the player to use a shield. The verging part comes from their armour being mostly shoddy, with their best torso armour costing more than most players will ever get in multiplayer matches. Considering that the Khergits, Sarranids and Vaegirs lack any heavy armour with a cheap price tag, or have only light armour, it makes the damn Rhodok warhammer the bane of any players on foot from those factions.
In With Fire and Sword, the caravan system. Getting enough money to start trading some certain goods can and will make money really fast to outfit your characters with best weapons in the game and outfit mercenaries with best gear in a pretty short time. Good luck getting that much money in the first place, however.
Nordic Huscarls. 20 or more in a tight formation easily become unstoppable. Storming/defending a castle, holding against cavalry in the open plains. Odds that were once reason to run and hide are now reason to sit down and dare the enemy to bring friend.
Rhodok Sharpshootersnote Even vastly more broken than the above-mentioned Huscarls.. They wield the powerful Siege Crossbow, which inflicts sixty-so damage (in a game that deals with HP in the 50-100 realm) per hit. On top of that, they're almost pinpoint accurate with it, hitting distant targets more than most other archers. At first, this seems alright, considering that cavalry or even infantry make short work of archers when they close the distance between the two. But this isn't the case with the Rhodok Sharpshooters. Oh, no. The Rhodoks are very well versed defensive fighters, as shown in their Anti-Cavalry/Anti-ZergRush Pikemen and other units. But what does this mean for the Sharpshooters? It means that they get a massive board shield that absolutely NONE of the other Factions' archers ever receive. This allows them to soak up damage to their shields while your infantry's swords ping harmlessly off of the largest shield in the game; all the while, the Sharpshooters are getting hits in between swings, cutting down the poor infantry that happened to charge them.
Partly the power of cavalry in Mount & Blade is just that cavalry soldiers, other than Khergit skirmishers and horsemen, manhunters, and caravan guards, are generally ultimate or penultimate soldiers in the progression, while foot soldiers are a broader mix ranging from raw recruits to top-of-the-tree units.note Comparing a mixed infantry army of fresh recruits, low-level troops, intermediate troops, veterans, and ultimates (say, a mix of Swadian recruits, Swadian militia, Swadian footmen, Swadian infantry, and Swadian sergeants) to a mounted army (which consists exclusively of Sarranid horsemen and Sarranid mamlukes), the more elite force is more powerful. A fairer comparison would be an army of Swadian infantry and sergeants to an army of Sarranid horsemen and mamlukes. (Cavalry is still quite powerful, of course, but some of its apparent power is just the fact that cavalry tend to be high level troops.) I'd say this is also Justified, considering that much of the power of Medieval men-at-arms in comparison to the poorly trained levies and militias who were often the only other soldiers on the field was in their training and equipment (besides horses), not just the intrinsic power of cavalry. (Many men-at-arms fought on foot much of the time, since high quality "true" infantry was often absent. Militaries that adopted a flexible doctrine about whether to fight mounted or dismounted often gained an advantage over more dogmatically horse-bound foes (until their foes learned, that is), such as initially the Scots over the English, then later the English over the French.)
Top-tier armor, specially the heaviest kinds like heavy plate, etc. You are slower (on foot) than a pregnant whale, of course, but how is that an inconvenience when 5 out of 6 times you are hit you won't take a single point of damagenote Even under full-damage rules? There's a reason why they are the most expensive items in the game by a huge margin. Second best armors are way cheaper, and while they won't make your character effectively inmortal, they improve survivability tenfold.
The Surgery skill. A 4% per point doesn't sound like much, but one must take into account that soldiers that live longer get more experience, which makes them stronger and much harder to kill. Strong soldiers make it easier to win battles, and gather more experience for themselves and new recruits thanks to Leaked Experience, which become harder to kill... Such snowball effect becomes noticeable as low as level 3 or 4 in the skill.
Good Bad Bugs: The ammo respawn bug, which reappeared several times during the development and is still present in the final version. Things like arrows or javelins come in stacks which replenish after each battle, but the bug causes them to replenish every time the inventory screen is opened (which can be done mid-battle by accessing the baggage chest at the spawn point), thus saving a few inventory slots that would otherwise have to be dedicated to carrying spare stacks.
Paranoia Fuel: Some of the mods have added large landmarks to the arenas. Combine this with the A.I. always tracking the player's location, and quite a few arena matches will devole into paranoid running away from anything large in fear that that last swordsman is about to leap out and cut you down.
Laying siege to towns and castles is utterly broken. You never get to choose which method of assault you use (it's predetermined for each castle/town) and while some of them make it fairly easy (double ladders wide enough to drive a truck up) some of them are utterly worthless- trying to send 200 men up a extremely steep ramp wide enough to accomadate approximately 1 1/2 men, flanked on either side by defended towers full of men with crossbows, can teach you the true meaning of "meat grinder". It's EASILY possible to end up losing entire armies just trying to get onto the walls, especially if they're defended by a lord in heavy armour with a two-handed weapon. You generally need at least 3-1 odds to capture one and considering that towns generally have garrisons of at least 300 men... And if you try to be true to history and starve them out, you'll unfortunately find that AI opponents don't need food. If you had the bright idea of having your men line up in a shieldwall at the edge of the battlefield to wait until the enemy runs out of arrows before charging, you'll find that AI opponents have infinite ammunition as well. If you are the marshal of a faction and order a number of allied lords to fight with you, you can use them to let you overwhelm the walls by weight of numbers... except they have the attention span of a stunned goldfish, causing them to wander off away from the siege or chase passing peasants just before you finish assembling the siege tower, leaving you either to storm the walls alone or wait until they're done and (hopefully) come back.
Ïf you ever get faced in a tournament against a single opponent in a jousting match (i.e. both of you wield lances) you might want to open a beer for the occasion, as you are going to spend minutes circling around each other trying to get a decent angle to charge. Your best hope in this situation is to try to get your rival to crash into a wall...
In tournaments, the equipment you are given is randomly chosen from a pool of weapons (which is different for each town). Since your weapons are randomized each round, you are bound to get weapons you have no proficiency with in at least one round. Weapon randomization can leave you in almost unwinnable situations too; such as being handed a bow and expected to defeat a mounted, sword-and-shield wielding Dranton.
Any time you have to drive cattle.
With Fire and Sword made it impossible to recruit from villages after a while if you're not aligned with their nation, making cheap recruits become a hassle to obtain, and making it nigh-impossible for veterans of the original to build up their armies. Perhaps to offset this, mercenary camps were added, and you can buy mercenaries in bulk, but they are almost twice as expensive at least.
Tihr. While in all other cities establishing a foothold on the enemy wall after surviving the hail of arrows and climbing the ladder is the decisive step towards victory, in Tihr it only means you are now within the line of fire of archers on the second wall. Which you can only reach by navigating an obstacle course of rickety wooden railings, invisible walls, spike filled dikes and more ladders.
At one castle there's no ladder or siege tower outside the walls. Instead, the gates are wide open and you assault the castle by entering through the gates and then attacking the walls from inside. With dozens of archer units on said walls pouring a murderous hail of arrows into you. Oh, and it gets worse: By default it's a Vaegirs castle, which means you're up against the best damn archer units in the entire fricken' game!!!
Spiritual Licensee: Because of the gritty third-or-first-person ground-level view of medieval battles and skirmishes, the absence of magic, monsters or other overt fantasy elements, and the Fantasy Counterpart Cultures, Mount & Blade/Warband can feel like a licensed game for Historical Fiction novels - especially action-packed works by Bernard Cornwell and other authors. Playing as the Vaegirs, Rhodoks and Swadians with their knights, archers and crossbowmen can feel like Cornwell's The Grail Quest, about the Hundred Years War. Playing as the slightly retro Nords can remind one of Cornwell's The Saxon Stories about the Dark Ages English and Vikings/Danes. Playing as the Khergits can evoke Conn iggulden's Conqueror series about the rise of the Mongols as a world power. The lead developer actually Squeed when presented with one of the Grail Quest books by an interviewer, and acknowledged Cornwell as an influence.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The single-player campaign does not have any background choices of any kind, and the player character must always be male. A later patch removed the gender restriction, but not the background one.