In this article, I’m going to share my personal kingdom rankings for Bannerlord. For those of you who don’t know, Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord’s factions are linked to the real world’s early medieval period.
We’ve got the Empire, heavily resembling the Roman Empire. We’ve got the Battanians who are analogous to the European Celtic tribes. There’s the Vlandians with a medieval Frenchmen touch. We’ve got the Mongol-style Khuzait Khanate. Then we have the very Viking-looking Sturgians, and last but not least, the Aserai, whose style mimics that of the Egyptian Mamalukes.
Now, for those of you with a good medieval history knowledge, it’s easy to ally yourself to a Kingdom. But, those with little to no knowledge on the subject might need some help.
Number 6 – Sturgia
Sturgians, despite looking all tough and powerful, are my least favorite Kingdom. Don’t get me wrong, these Viking-looking people have a solid core of heavy and medium infantry, and no other kingdom beats them at scouting and skirmishing forces. But their low-tier troops are about as weak as they come, with no bows and very small shields.
The Sturgians are also lacking when compared to other kingdoms, for a couple of reasons. First, their stretched territory. This is both a blessing and a curse. As a snowy kingdom, the other factions have a hard time moving around, which is pretty good. However, if one settlement or lord gets attacked on one end of the territory, they’ll have to fend for themselves, as by the time you arrive, it’ll be too late to do anything about it. Plus, it is surrounded by Battanians, the Khuzaits and the Northern and Southern Empire.
Second, they have a pretty weak buff. Each kingdom provides a different buff to the player. Sadly, the Sturgians’ buff is one of the weakest: 20% less penalty for moving in snow. Moving faster in the snow is good, but the snow pretty much only exists in Sturgia, so if you move onto another part of the map, you get nothing from it.
Number 5 – Battania
The Battanian Kingdom starts with a low number of towns when compared to all other kingdoms, but unlike the Sturgians, they are all close together. So, when one settlement or lord needs help, the kingdom’s lords will usually be nearby and able to lend a hand.
My favorite part about their territory is that every entrance into the highlands is made from narrow mountain passes guarded by castles, so it is a dream defensive position
However, it is not among my favorite kingdoms for a simple reason: their weak buff. Much like the Sturgians, the Battanians give out a weak buff: 10% less penalty when moving in dense forests. There are many woodlands and dense forests, but I don’t feel like 10% less is beneficial enough to the player. The Battanians also have a relatively weak army. They have the best archers in the game – Fian Champions – but other than that, no troops stand out.
Number 4 – Khuzait Khanate
The Mongol-looking Khuzaits occupy a rather empty region of the eastern part of the map. I highly admire their high mobility and the undeniable strength of their cavalry. I also find their buff to be useful: a 10% speed bonus for horsemen on the campaign map.
Aside from the OP cavalry, they also have an incredibly powerful horse archers unit, which can ride circles around the enemy, not allowing them to move, before the infantry reaches the area. But this kingdom is not perfect either, hence their mid-placement in the Bannerlord rankings.
The problem is, they have a bandit infestation. It’s hardly their fault, but their territory is filled with the most dangerous bandit faction in the game, the Steppe Bandits. It’s not a problem if you have a large army, but that isn’t the case in the early game, so you’re constantly on the run.
Number 3 – Aserai
My opinion might be biased, but I believe the Aserai kingdom has the best starting position in the game. Why, you ask? Well, first of all, their kingdom is separated from enemies by a natural chokepoint in both the East and the West.
Another benefit of joining the Aserai lies in the fact that they have great troop units. Their Palace Guards, Mameluke Cavalry and Heavy Cavalry are unchallenged, and their recruits upgrade into hardcore units later on.
Last but not least, their buff gives players a 30% discount on caravan building and a 10% discount on trades. In my opinion, this is one of the best kingdom benefits in Bannerlord.
That said, the Aserai not my favorite, as there is something that still kind of bothers me about them: desert cities. Despite being protected by a huge natural river, the Aserai’s main cities are way too far into the desert from their borders, which complicates defense of the borders.
Number 2 – Vlandia
I am definitely a Vlandian Kingdom fan. Their territory is set along the entire west coast of Calradia, and it is huge!
Their armies are dreamy, with powerful knights and Sharpshooters. And while their heavy cavalry units suffer quite a lot in castle and town sieges, the Billman and Voulgier units are great for clearing walls.
And my favorite part: their kingdom provides a 20% XP buff to all troops from battles. If you fight a lot of battles, as I do, then this is the right kingdom for you.
As for the downside, their low-tier recruits die quite easily. It is quite frustrating, to be honest.
Number 1 – The Empire
The Empire was split into three states after the assassination of the emperor, and are now in a tense situation. When you put together the Northern, Southern and Western factions, this is the biggest Kingdom of the game. They have a lot of territory, but also a lot of governance issues.
The Northern Empire is spread across mountainous areas with a large lake to the north side, meaning it is well protected. Not only that, but their economy is also one of the strongest in the game. However, their leadership kind of sucks, so they have a hard time fighting multiple enemies.
The Southern Empire also has natural borders that keep them somewhat safe. However, they have a hard time expanding, when they face the Khuzait Khanate and the Aserai.
The Western Empire is one of the wealthiest in all of Calradia, but is led by the greedy Garios, who seems to think he should be emperor, and who constantly picks fights with Battania.
The Empire have a great military: strong heavy infantry, archers and amazing Legionaries. But the real reason I chose this as my favorite kingdom is the fact that their buff gives out a 20% construction speed bonus to town projects, wall repairs and even siege engines. This buff isn’t necessarily useful in the beginning, but once you conquer castles and towns, you’ll see just how good those extra 20% are.