31 Jul 2016

Mount and Blade (Viking Expansion)

There are limited crossovers from wargaming into computer games. The Total War series are one such example. Most of the games on the market are quite abstract or come into the category of first person shooters. With the scheduled release of Bannerlord the  next update on Mount & Blade I wanted to hit on its predecessor and its links to wargaming. I've picked that game as you control units to some degree, control the campaign map and also play the game as your individual Lord.

Mount @ Blade II Bannerlord

As with the original Mount and Blade, the games are often modified to particular setting. My favorite is the dark age and the following mod is "Viking Invasion".

You get to "role play" your lord to a huge degree able to individually develop your character down a certain path of your choosing. If you strengthen one area its at the cost of lost benefits elsewhere.

Maps are excellent. Here we have Wales. You can zoom in to see war bands and traders moving around the region. Nice graphics on villages, towns, ships and resources.

You have to feed and recruit your army. Careful that morale doesn't cause desertions or revolts within your army. The detail from customization of weapons and army to trading to side stories is immense. Below is a mess hall often getting into fights with drunks, selling slaves, recruiting the list of options is huge.

Army sizes varies greatly. At first you move around trying to make a name for your potential warlord. Below we have my character and a loyal retinue of a handful of picked retainers. Another sizable force 100 - 700 men lists its troop types as you run the cursor over the command. Battles range from tiny skirmishes  to hundreds of combatants. The sieges are particularly fun.

Your forces are controlled by placing troops into different unit types and formations and enacting commands. But the game feels very personal as your commander fights and moves over the battlefield as an individual.

Gaming concepts are logical and detailed. From forming alliances and all the political intrigue to marriage, morale the game has great depth.

Ships naval battles and raiding.

 A virtual sandbox to play in.

Mount & Blade and now the new Bannerlord mix the best of both role play and wargaming. Game controls and movement aren't too straining even if you suffer from motion type issues visually. My only wish would be for the campaign mode to be multiplayer but the AI does a pretty good job there. Even if you aren't into computer games you do get a lot of insight into the period and like Total War the game can act as an encyclopedia of sorts.

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