Increasing your army
Before moving on to worthy fights, battles and sieges, you really need to think about increasing your party size. And I don’t just mean big numbers. Good armies need good soldiers, not peasants and farmers. You should really invest some time into exploring each kingdom’s soldiers, and recruit the ones who have potential.
Note: If you are vassal to a king or are a king yourself, then you should know that it is possible to attach ally armies to yours. But if you do, don’t forget to keep high morale, otherwise, you will be faced with a lot of deserters. That means keeping plenty of food – and a lot of food variety as well – and water.
Make groups within your party
When you first begin the game, you will find that your keyboard will have default groupings:
0 – All troops
1 – Infantry
2 – Archers
3 – Melee Cavalry
4 – Horse Archers
5 – Skirmishers
Being able to choose each individual unit grouping is a great feature, and it makes players’ lives a whole lot easier, especially for those who manage to gather a huge army. Take advantage of it! You can change those default groupings to something more personalized at any time, which is also great.
Commands and battle formations
If you want to be in control of the battlefield and ultimately win, you need to know the following commands by heart, starting with movement.
- F1 – this is the movement key. You select a group and then press F1 and select the place you want to move that group to.
- F2 – this key will make the selected soldiers follow you around, wherever you go. I find that this option is best for cavalry units.
- F3 – CHARGE! Yup, using this key will get every single soldier in your party and allied armies to charge the enemy.
- F4 – If you want your army to advance a few paces for a more strategic positioning, then this is the key you want to press.
- F5 – If you feel like you’ve moved too far and want to fall back a few steps, then press F5.
- F6 – This key will make all units stop what they are doing.
- F7 – All selected groups will retreat from the battlefield.
Next up we have formation. There are several formation types you can apply to your army. You can assemble all or a few units to do a shield wall – which is great for tough melee units. You can set your archers behind the vanguard troops. There is so much more to practice, like skein or wedge formation – which kind of reminds me of an unfinished triangle or a flock of birds migrating – and many other formations known to history.
My advice is to make the most of these formations, as not using them will result in your army charging in like crazy, with little regard for their own lives. Knowledge is power when it comes to Bannerlord battlefield tactics, so make sure to learn all your shortcuts and formations. Good luck and have fun!