Mount And Blade 2: Bannerlord Developer Diary - The Order And Hierarchy Of Battle

A new in-depth system that adds another layer of realism to this already expansive title.
TaleWorlds details a new hierarchy system for battle to be implemented in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord.
TaleWorlds details a new hierarchy system for battle to be implemented in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. TaleWorlds

TaleWorlds Entertainment is working overtime with the updates for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, as the developer released a new developer diary for their upcoming game.

Just last week, we got to see the newest feature, executions, and how they will play out in the grand scale of things in Calradia. This time, while everyone was busy with E3, TaleWorlds stealth-dropped this new developer diary featuring rank and hierarchy in huge-scale battles.

One of the key aspects that makes Mount & Blade so memorable to play is its attention to details like hierarchies in battle. It’s important to keep the chain of command intact, even more so if you are at the highest end of it. However, just like real life, you won’t always find yourself at the very top. In fact, Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord and its predecessor Warband focuses its earlier sections on you and your troops being part of a more powerful lord’s army. This will find you under direct command of the lord's troops.

This rings especially true during early and middle game (depending on how you’re playing the game) as you will usually find yourself in an army led by a high ranking noble or maybe even a king. During large-scale battles, if you find yourself popular or renowned enough, you may just be granted leadership of one of his formations, which will then see you controlling his section of troops. TaleWorlds’ latest update shows us how a new system determines who will end up leading these formations in the most realistic way possible.

This is where seniority rank comes into play for the various lords under the player’s command, including the player. Clan renown and overall power is taken into account, with faction rulers being given a huge boost due to their respective positions.

After taking all of these into consideration, the system chooses the lord with the highest rank as the commander for this particular battle. After this, captains are next in line, with the ability to choose the formation which they will lead into battle. NPC lords are given an AI routine to choose the most appropriate formation possible.

Once it’s time for you to choose yourself, you can either lead one of the remaining formations, followed by the lords below you to choose the remaining ones. Alternatively, if you consider yourself the lone wolf focusing on skill of combat rather than strategic prowess, you can opt out of leading a formation and set out onto battle on your own.

If you find yourself as the highest-ranking lord of the bunch, you will take on the role of commander and be given total control of the entire army during battle. With this kind of power comes responsibilities, and as such you won’t be able to opt out of this.

Overall, I feel like this addition is a very welcome one for players looking to get lost in role-playing as cogs in the war machine of powerful lords, while seeking to make a name for themselves as well. The system basically ensures that Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord will be as realistic to military hierarchy as possible, of course relegated to the age the game is set in. While I don’t really see much use for the system myself, as I always try to just be on my way without ever entering the service of another lord, or at the very least just keeping on friendly terms with them, it’s a pretty good function for players who like to start out in the employ of an existing lord.

I could also see this system playing into this greater challenge of trying to find renown and influence enough to make yourself a figure to watch out for in the lands of Calradia. At the same time, winning these big battles with the victorious army under your command can be a double-edged sword, as other factions seeking to retaliate are some of the biggest dangers to be presented in Mount & Blade. Of course, if there’s one thing I learned in my many playthroughs of Mount & Blade: Warband, it’s that the best solution to the threat of violence is even more violence, particularly one where you wipe out a faction and keep all their high ranking nobles as prisoners, to be sold off to their enemies.

Between these updates and the upcoming playable demo to debut at Gamescom this year, I’m incredibly hopeful for a nearing release date for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. It can’t take that much longer, right?

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord will be released on PC at a still unknown date.

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