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YMMV / Mount & Blade

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  • Annoying Video Game Helper: When a friendly lord sieges a fort/town, most likely they're attempting to wait out the defenders to run out of food, rather than building a siege weapon to assault the castle with. Unfortunately this also means you can't siege it yourself during that time, and can be particularly frustrating if it's the last one owned by an enemy faction. Fortunately, in Warband if you have decent relations with the sieging lord, you can ask him to attack immediately.
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  • Awesome Music: The main theme.
  • 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 (which was after the two, it's an industry standard "Early Access"). 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.
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  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Getting Swadian Knights, Rhodok Sharpshooters, and Nordic Huscarls, all 3 of which are on the same side of the map. Not only are all of them very good at their roles, the Sharpshooters and Knights also double as even more heavy infantry in a pinch and Huscarls have throwing axes.
  • Contested Sequel: The political model and multiplayer are long-requested and popular features, but the changes to combat are divisive, and the "balancing" of cavalry and infantry for multiplayer purposes is very much hated.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Khergit horse archers, which is to say, all Khergit cavalry, which is to say, all Khergit troops (sans basic recruits). 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.
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    • 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.
    • Enemy cavalry with lances can be this way if you've been on the receiving end of a couched lance attack too many times. Particularly brutal if there's a lot of them.
    • 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.
    • Swadian Knights, there's a reason Heavy Cavalry is considered OP, and Swadian Knights are just the best of those. Instant-death couched lances, extreme durabliity, even more durable horses, and even if you do dehorse them, they're a good match for most infantry head-on anyways.
    • 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.
    • Gunwielding enemies in general in WF&S. This is especially the case for those who have quality firearms and know how to use them like Swedish troops, but even the humble low grade outlaw with a Shur Fine Homemade Gun can give you grief. They pack an amazing punch against everything, capable of One Hit Killing an unarmored target (including a starting player); and can even significantly wound a player with the Armor of Invincibility ; they're very accurate since nobody has to worry about things like not seeing through gun smoke, and they reload at a rapid clip. They make early game hard (unbearable for some) and in numbers can be a serious danger into late game.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Bunduk seems to have a lot of fans. Jeremus is also quite popular for his overblown dialogue and unexpected utility from his army-preserving surgical skills.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Anyone on horseback, from a foot-soldier's perspective. And heavy cavalry 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 a friend. They were absolutely insane in the original release, leading to them being nerfed in Warband- now they're "only" the best melee infantry in the game.
    • Rhodok Sharpshootersnote . 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.
    • Even off their horses, Swadian Knights are combat monsters essentially unmatched in a melee. Used carefully, it's entirely possible to take a major city or castle with a fifth/fourth the defenders' numbers in Swadian knights and only lose a handful of them, if any.
    • 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 ? 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 immortal, they improve survivability tenfold.
      • Playing without the handicap, both the player and their heavy infantry/cavalry in the game suddenly become MUCH more squishy, since the damage reduction handicap is applied BEFORE armor calculations which makes heavy armors MUCH more effective then they're supposed to be. In battles where 20 Huskys or Swadian knights could crush a 100+ man armor without a single loss, they'll suddenly find themselves being completely wiped out with usually 2 to 1 death odds in the enemy's favor. A no handicap game does require actually paying attention and using strategy, either by working around a factions weakness if you're playing straight faction or seeking out troops from other nations to cover those weaknesses (aka Huskys, Swadian knights, and Rhodok sharpshooters as the only units in your army).
    • 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. (keep in mind, that 4% per rank is added to the passive 25% chance to be wounded you already had, ending up at 85%, if you manage to hit the full 15 possible party skill score (requires the use of the surgery reference book (+1 while in the inventory) and the PC with 10 surgery, since the PC gets an extra +4 bonus to skill checks on party skills they know themselves at rank 10, contrary to some other sources you do NOT need other NPCs with the skill for this to happen and it works even if completely solo and for any party skill that has a reference manual (or 14 if a skill lacks a reference manual like first-aid (which in the unmodded game they added 2 copies of Wound management instead of 1 of each medical skill...the WM books do not stack)).
  • Goddamned Bats: In With Fire and Sword, at early levels, just about anyone with a firearm, down to and including most of the bandits in the game. It'll be a loooong time until you can survive a musket shot, so you either spend several minutes just dodging until you exhaust all their ammo, use clever maneuvering and the terrain to get the drop on one at a time and whittle them down, or risk being blasted off your horse by a lucky shot from some filthy brigand who can barely aim his makeshift gun.
  • Good Bad Bugs: The ammo respawn bug, which reappeared several times during the development and is still present in the final version of the original Mount & Blade (it has been fixed in Warband several years after its release). 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.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "This thread receives an Official Frodogorn Seal of Approval" [1]
    • An old bug in the game would cause certain villages to produce hundreds of tubs of butter when looted instead of the usual stuff. Players also discovered that King Harlaus of Swadia is greedy and likes to keep all of his fiefs for himself, and he also frequently hosts feasts. This lead to an in-joke among players that King Harlaus is hoarding all of the butter for himself. Players still joke about it to this day.
      • Butterlord note 
    • The voiced lines some of the NPCs have are insanely quotable. Favorites include "It's almost harvesting season!", proclaimed by peasants the player attacks, and "I will drink from your skull!", spoken by the hilariously hammy Sea Raiders, but "Away with you, vile beggar!" and "Less talking, more raiding!" are also popular.
    • "All I want is a release date so I can sleep at night." Explanation 
    • BANNERLORD WHEN?Explanation 
    • "Jeremus has been knocked unconscious.''note 
  • 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.
  • Porting Disaster: The Mac OS X and Linux version suffers from frequent crashing, with known workaround being turning down the graphics settings even if the PC is far more powerful enough for the game.
  • Quicksand Box: The period between early in the game (when you take on many modest-paying side-quests to amass wealth and gain favor of lords and factions) and late in the game (when you have an army large enough to take over the world or follow a claimant quest) when you basically have very little to do but fight bandits, level-grind, and expand your army up to 10, then to 20, then to 30, to 40, to 50... fight bandits, take all their stuff, sell it at the nearest castle town, repeat, until you have an army of 100 and can start to really do some interesting stuff.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • 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: they run from your party instead of following it. Making cattle follow the party is a popular feature added by a lot of mods.
    • 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.
    • The auto-resolve option is infamously unbalanced, often resulting in what can best be described as a Crack Defeat for the player's army. And if, for whatever reason, the player character is not in a state to join the battle themselves, then there may be no choice but to click on it.
    • The mere fact that enemy Kings and Lords can replenish their huge armies within 1-2 ingame days from a single castle/town is absurdly aggravating. A player can spend a couple ingame months just whittling a faction down to a single fief, turn away to deal with invaders elsewhere, then glance to a sudden sea of newly-acquired enemy territory. It is almost impossible to actually defeat any faction with this.
    • As of the 1.153 patch for Mount and Blade Warband, daily waves of indicted Lords. At around 300-600 days, Kings from all factions will constantly indict their Vassals for treason at the drop of a hat each day. This causes wide swathes of their territory to remain unclaimed, which means smaller armies to fight in the endless wars. Even if they start granting territory to one, it is no guarantee that they will remain at all. A player is often the sole vassal who actually sticks around for more than a week, meaning they are the only one who can actually fight enemies off. If this goes on enough, some lords may even permanently leave Calradia.
  • 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.
    • Also, arguably, deliberately invoked; the game was built ground-up to not just support, but encourage modding. As a result, there have been a lot of mods made for this game, ranging from all sorts of historical settings like Rome, Japan, Dark Ages Britain (Brytenwalda, which the devs later helped make the Viking Conquest official DLC), and more. There are also tons of mods transporting the game into fictional settings, from A Song of Ice and Fire (or, as you might know it, Game of Thrones), to The Lord of the Rings to Warhammer and even into Star Wars. In short, if it's a popular enough setting, there's a decent chance someone has made a mod turning M&B into it.
  • 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.
    • Castle Grunwalder, where in addition to there being a substantial run to the castle from your starting position, the single ladder given to you is covered by at least three angles of fire from the walls. It doesn't help that initial controllers of it are the aforementioned Rhodoks.
    • 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!!!
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: With Fire and Sword 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.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Nobody likes the Khergits because they're so utterly useless in sieges. While they're much better in open fields, mounted archery isn't exactly the best strategy when sieges don't allow mounts at all, and it turns out once dismounted Khergit units are pretty damned terrible.


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