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. However 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.
Curb-Stomp Battle: When defending a castle, a well armed and armored player can almost decimate an army on their own, no matter how many soldiers you have to face compared to how many you have.
Any battle where you have Nord Huscarls. Storming a castle, standing against cavalry charge 20X larger than your piddly infantry group, it makes no difference.
Demonic Spiders: 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 Sharpshooters, 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.
Game Breaker: 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.
And from the point of view of heavy cavalry NPCs, a horse-archer player. Partly due to the AI, partly due to the fact that there's no upper limit to accuracy, so in the hands of a skilled character the bow becomes the equivalent of a sniper rifle. Which they can fire with pinpoint precision on horseback at full gallop.
Warband's multiplayer verges on making the Rhodok faction this; 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.
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.
Partly the power of cavalry in M&B 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.*
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.)
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.
Scrappy Mechanic: Siegeing 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.
Oh and 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.
The Brytenwalda Mod changed this. There is a realistic siege option that gives you many choices and allows you to even starve the enemies out, using spies and your own soldiers to destroy enemy morale and food supplies
There's also (if you are proficient in bow or crossbow) the simple tactic of ordering your soldiers to stay far from the wall, and then sniping every archer alone, plus every soldier that isn't raising his shield (and if you approach them while climbing ladders, some drop them to prepare for the assault), so you can easily kill as much enemies as you have arrows or bolts in your inventory. Rinse and repeat until you shot down every single defender.
Another alternative is to have your troops fall back a bit before ordering the charge and taking the first position yourself. If you have heavy enough armor and a decent shield, you'll be able to block the enemy attacks. Then simply jump over their ranks and get out of range. Now, while your troops attack from the front, you can attack fron behind and easily massacre enemy archers and the defenders themselves. It's a lot easier with a two-handed blade, allowing you to take down an enemy with one or two blows, and since they're occupied with the troops at the front...
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...
Or take out their horse. Using the standard attack for a lance rather than the couched charge is normally next to useless given how slow and predictable it is, but since horses move fast (speed bonuses apply to relative speed, so a foe running into your attack takes more damage) and don't block, standing still and letting your opponent run their horse into your attack means after a few passes, they'll be using their own feet.
Any time you have to drive cattle.
That One Level: 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!!!
The player is always captured if defeated in combat, whereas Lords can escape.
It doesn't matter if your weapon is faster and you swing first. The AI will hit you first even if he's a full second slower to start his swing.
And he can recover much faster from a hit or attack than you can.
Although both the player and computer can stop mid-attack to change direction, the AI is able to do this with no pause to go to the block animation, as happens with the player.
Oh, and if the AI is ganging up on you? They don't damage the other AI opponents if they hit them while trying to hit you. In other words, they treat each other as allies with no friendly fire.
The AI in the melee fights at the arenas live for ganging up on the player. A gang of four will charge across the field and ignore each other until you're dead.
Think you've got yourself a strong, cavalry-proof position with sheer cliffs on either side to secure your flanks? Guess again. Horses in Mount and Blade are part mountain goat, and will happily climb near-vertical cliffs to attack your army from the rear (the player can do this, too, though).
With Fire And Sword provides examples of:
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.
With the latest patch, you now have the option of either gender. However, there is still no background choices.