Content Note: I played… a lot of Warband over the weekend, and rather than quickly cover it in one post, I’m going to break it up into two pieces. Part one is below; part two should be up tomorrow.
As I last left off, the Vaegirs had just declared war on my faction, the Nords, while we were still at war with the Sarranids. Right after the war declaration, a large number of Vaegir lords moved into Nord territory and began sacking villages, including the village I owned, Fearichen. The village being raided and looted means it’s prosperity drops, no taxes can be collect that week, and the village becomes unusable for things like recruiting, buying, or quests. I believe it takes a few in-game days for the ‘looted’ effect to wear off, which is a decent amount of time. In short, it hurts to have a village sacked, especially one you own.
Yet while the Vaegirs attack hurt, it was not a crushing alpha strike, and the Nord kingdom as a whole was able to rally and fight back. With the Sarranids all the way across the map, it was easy to turn our attention to the Vaegirs, and soon we were laying siege to their castles and cities and winning some large-scale open-field battles. As the war turned in our favor, the Swadian kingdom also declared war on the Vaegirs, and the two front war proved deadly for them.
We captured the city of Reyvadin after a massive siege, and just a few days later the Swadian’s captured the city of Curaw. With the enemy pushed back, the city of Rivacheg was an easy capture for us, and I was able to convince two Nord lords to accompany me and dropped a siege on the city of Khudan. We were slightly outnumbered at that siege, but most of my units had superior training, and my mass of archers were able to clear off the walls while my companions and I lead the fight up the siege ladder. We were able to push the initial pile off the chokepoint, and once on the walls, made quick work of the reinforcements.
It’s been my observation that also every siege is won or lost based on two factors: how strong your initial push is to get on the walls, and how effective you are at countering the archers firing at you. The first is achieved by sending in strong units (companions or top-tier infantry) up the ladder or siege engine, not letting lesser units ‘clog’ things up. The second simply requires bringing a good number of archers to the siege (and making sure they are deployed based on party order). I personally have a ‘siege’ gear set, which includes a mastercrafted siege xbox and two large packs of bolts. For melee I rely only on a tempered bastard sword, which in this case is swung two-handed. For field combat I go lance/sword/shield/javelins.
As I was the lord to lay siege to Khudan, it was my ‘right’ to have it awarded to me by the king. As my relationship was solid with him at this point, I also made sure to seek him and out plead my case. It did not take much, and he agreed, and a few days later I was awarded my first city. Owning a city opens up a range of options, including being able to use its garrison to store units and prisoners. This is very useful, as you can keep a large number of prisoners locked away, and whenever a slave trader visits the city, pull them all out and sell them off, all without having to carry them around and have them slow you down. Because of this, it now made sense to spend a few character points in the prisoner management skill, as being able to haul 20+ captives to a dungeon is a great way to make additional money after a battle.
Once the Vaegirs had lost their cities, it was time to clean up and claim their last few castles. More than anything, it was a race between the Nords and Swadians to see who could get what first, and overall we ended up owning most of northern Caldaria.
With our enemy beaten, peace was declared with the now homeless Vaegir lords; a peace that would last a surprising amount of time. Without a kingdom to fight, I garrisoned all but the mounted elite of my army, and set out to explore the world once again and to make a fortune trading. At this time I was also awarded the village of Bhulaban, further solidifying my economic base and giving me yet another property to upgrade. Between these three properties, along with a few city industries that I purchased, I was making around 6-8k a week, and that’s after paying for my now sizable (200+ between my army and garrison) force.
Moving quickly across Calderia thanks to my all-mounted, small elite force (more than enough power to handle any bandit groups we came across), I made numerous high-profit trades between all of the cities, and in each tavern I visited I was sure to buy up any mercenary cavalry available. By the end of the trip, not only was I fielding 80+ elite units, but most of my companions had received significant gear upgrades (I was already in top-of-the-line items), plus I had a good amount of gold in the treasury as well.
With a strong army, and a strong economic base, it was time to cement my place in the Nord nobility, and that meant marriage. Due to the war with the Vaegirs, along with hunting down various bandit groups, my renown was well established, as was my standing amount some of the lords I had aided during the war. During one particular feast, I identified one maiden, who was single and well connected, and with just a bit of poetry and an impressive tournament win, she was mine. As her brother happened to by a friendly lord, he had no objections to the marriage, and at the next feast it was made official. She now lives in and manages Khudan. We don’t hang out much, since, you know, I’m usually out putting my sword through someone, but such is life.
The Nords continued their peace with all other kingdoms, and during this time no real property had changed hands between the other nations. The whole world was simply building up, waiting for someone to make the first move. I was getting impatient, yet as a minor lord without enough political standing, I could not force anyone’s hand (mod note: Diplomacy would have been helpful here, but more on that next time), and so I simply had to wait.
Luckily for me, our king declared war on Swadia. It was time to not only complete our conquest of the north, but perhaps the middle plains as well.