There are six different factions in Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. This guide provides an in-depth look at the Vlandia, Battania, Empire, Sutrgia, Khuzait, and Aserai faction units’ strengths and weaknesses.
Vlandia Faction Units
Vlandia is a good faction if you want to put an emphasis on Polearm Infantry and Heavy Cavalry. First, let’s take a look at the pros of the Vlandia Faction:
- Vlandia has some of the best crossbowmen in the game that get pavises after rank 3. Pavises are large shields, allowing them to deal with incoming damage.
- Vlandia has a good polearm infantry with the Voulgier and Pikeman, as opposed to several of the other factions. The Vlandian Sergeant also utilizes polearms and maces.
- Vlandia gets access to heavy cavalry, along with their own special cavalry called the Vlandian Squire that progresses down to the Vlandian Banner Knight. These are perhaps the best cavalry in the game, which is a huge plus for this faction.
Now, let’s take a look at Vlandia’s downfalls:
- Vlandia is limited in heavy troops. Heavy infantry only gets decent around level 5, and even then they aren’t too great because they don’t even have shields.
- Medium armor around the board for Vlandia.
- No access to bows except for specialist lines, and no access to horse archers.
Sturgia Faction Unit
The Sturgians have an old-Russian mixed with Vikings style military that focuses a lot more on infantry than cavalry. This means a heavy focus on sword and shield infantry. Shield wall will be used a lot with this faction in battles. Sturgians have the best infantry in the game. Here’s a look at what the Sturgia faction is good at:
- Heavy focus on sword and shield infantry, strong defense with shield wall. Overall strong infantry units.
- Strong range units with archers and throwing units which can do a lot of damage while the infantry holds the line.
- Specialist Berserker line and a good amount of heavy infantry with the Sturgian Veteran Warriors.
- A good complement to Vlandia or Empire cavalry.
Here are some of the downfalls of the Sturgia faction:
- Limited access to cavalry, probably their weakest point. Every other faction has a royal line, but Sturgia only has access to heavy cavalry through a specialist line.
- Overall a lighter armored faction and they heavily rely on their shields until tier 5.
- Multiple specialist lines make it more difficult to recruit specific soldiers.
Khuzait Faction Units
Khuzait faction units are Mongolian influenced which you’ll see as we dive through their strengths. They excel at Horse Archer units, with a fully dedicated branch of units called the Nomads. This is not an easy faction to play and requires a lot of mobility. Let’s take a look at some of Khuzait’s strengths:
- Strong shock cavalry right at tier 3 in the Nomad unit branch. They also double as good melee damage.
- Quickest access to cavalry out of all the factions.
- Very mobile and hard-hitting army capable of outpacing most other armies due to the diverse cavalry.
Khuzait has some downfalls, though:
- Very limited infantry forces, with no crossbowmen.
- Mostly all of their infantry units are spearmen.
- No dedicated shock infantry or sword and shield infantry.
- Khuzait does not fare well against pure infantry forces.
Empire Faction Units
The Empire is a well-rounded faction and one of the easiest factions to play. You normally get dropped into Empire territories. Strong diverse infantry with high armor and a nice balance between one-handed and two-handed troops. Let’s take a look at the Empire, perhaps the most popular faction in Bannerlord:
- Well-armored archer units with crossbowmen and traditional archers.
- Strong and diverse fighting force overall, with very durable units.
- Elite Cataphracts are deadly on the charge but have low maneuverability.
- Empire is generally an easy faction to play compared to the others.
Now for the Empire’s weak points:
- Empire has limited access to horse archers with only one option: Imperial Bucellarii.
- Limited specialist javelin line and no access to dedicated polearm infantry.
Battania Faction Units
Battania units are sort of like glass cannons. Let’s take a look at what they excel at:
- Many skilled infantry types that are lightly armored that tend to utilize javelins. These types do a lot of damage to armored units.
- Powerful cheap shock troops with Falxman and Raiders.
- Wildlings are powerful heavily armored shock infantry troops.
- Battanian Highborn Youth line of archers are very strong, and Elite Battanian Fians prove very useful in battles.
Some of Battania’s weak points are:
- Weak melee and skirmish cavalry units, requiring advanced use of tactics to win battles.
- Battania is generally a lightly armored faction.
- They also have little to no access to horse archers
Aserai Faction Units
Aserai are perhaps the most challenging out of all the factions to play. This faction relies purely on mobility rather than armor, with good armor not showing until tier 4 or 5. Aserai likely has a higher skill cap, so if you can master them you will be able to defeat any force. Here’s a look at their main strengths:
- Aserai have great mobility with a widely diverse troop choice and multiple recruitment lines.
- Mamelukes provide a nice diversity of ranged heavy cavalry and combat cavalry as well as two-handed shock troops.
- Aserai specializes in extensive Cavalry, and also have solid Archery units in addition to the Mameluke.
Downfalls of the Aserai:
- Limited access to armor until Tier 4 and Tier 5. Medium armor at that point which is not the best.
- Two specialist lines that don’t necessarily do much and don’t prove to be a great addition.
- Cavalary is exclusively ranged, with only melee cavalry being medium armor.
Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord factions all cater to different playstyles. There is no “best” faction for every person, and most of it will come down to how you like to play the game.
Vlandia is a faction with a strong infantry and heavy cavalry. Battania is a more glass-cannon playstyle with heavy damage output and light armor. Sturgia has the best infantry in the game, but severely lacks cavalry. Empire is a well-rounded faction with strong infantry. Aserai is a very diverse and mobile faction with a high skill cap. Lastly, Khuzait is a more hit-and-run style play, utilizing shock cavalry and infantry to go in and out of battle.