Zonnows' Guide Edit
Message from Rick: I will get around to this as soon as possible, but this is a huge and lengthy guide. For now read what you think you need and feel free to edit too.----- Okay, so lets start this simple. I am Zonnows, I have been updating the Wiki, and I wanted to make a guide for the wiki, since the game is very BRUTAL.
Starting out the game Edit
You want to first of all know a few things before starting the game. When you pick your first beginning things to make your character, they are HIGHLY increased. For example, let's say you pick to start out as a noble and fighter. You will have a lot of Leadership and Ironflesh with PowerStrike, but you will need to put more points into Intelligence to make the game easier on you. HEED THAT WARNING! Speed is necessary, so take path finding early on, if you don't you will run into more and more problems with the knight factions (the Eagle, Lymbard, Crusaders, and Demons), mainly because you can't out run them. HEED THAT AS WELL!
Following, is about making money in Perisno! Lots of it. Edit
In .7 they are bumping up the price for EVERYTHING. All good armours, all good weapons, all good mounts, but they are lowering the prices for Goods like bread, meat, cheese, ect. You will need money for everything. Hiring troops, and upgrading them of course, but what about the armour and weapons you need? What about Companions that will turn the tide of war if well trained enough? You basically need money for everything. DON'T WORRY THOUGH! The devs have made crime more profitable. Remember in Native where if you raided a village, you'd only get like a few goods, and a little money? WELL the devs of the mod made it to where you can raid, and earn loads of profit from it! I'm talking about almost 10,000 Aurums! Just from one Village! A tip the devs have stated, don't be the honorable one. War is out there, and its harsh. Raid a village once in awhile. The great treasure inheritance is very helpful, you can open a weavery and dye works for easy early game income at your starting town. Join a faction if you're scared the lord of the village you are raiding will come and kill you! Also, prisoners are HUGE! In this mod your army size is factored in to how many prisoners you can have, so mid-late game it's possible to have several hundred prisoners. AND, nearly all prisoner sell for over 100 aurums a piece, some going up to 1,000 each (mostly noble troops).
Second, Companions. Edit
Companions can make EVERYTHING BETTER! best part is that you get about 5 of them for free! Shi Jin, Agnare Stormcloak, a healer, Fazl, and Zaira! Shi Jin being a awesome warrior. Agnare can be molded into whatever you want; same with Fazl. The healer, giving you a big Healing skill, making it to where your soldiers will almost NEVER die, same with you. Zaira is a decent archer, that can also be molded into whatever you want! THEY ARE ALL FOR FREE! Not counting Aracanus, who is 100,000 aurums (TRUTH), but holds the legendary FLAMEBRINGER.
Third, Building the perfect Army. Edit
There are 7 factions so far in this mod, and in .7 there will be 9!(Not counting the player made faction) Building the perfect army is hard, even I haven't figured that out, and I put hours into that mod already! Let me explain what I do though. 1. HAVE LOADS OF CAVALRY! Why? Well, cavalry pushes through infantry pretty fast, and can bash through shields easily. 2. Infantry are great to take down horsemen, if you have pike-men, and are great at defending and capturing castles. 3. Have extra archers. They are AMAZING at defending castles or towns. Having a lot of them, and ones like the Maccavian marksmen that are great ranged, and up close with provide GREAT defense. Cavalry from Reich Des Drachen and Drahara will make great cavalry army. For cavalry archers, you'd want Tolrania and Elvarie Horse archers. Infantry would be Hakkon Empire and Maccavian troops. Maccavia has the Elite North Guards, and Halberdiers. Hakkon Empire has the Legionnaries. For Medium equip infantry you'd want huscarls from The Valahir Clan. Archers would come from Maccavia, Tolrania, Drahara, and Redwood Nation. Creating a mix of all these would make a perfect army, but don't forget your own faction troops, which are to be equal to the best of the best troops from all factions.
That's basically what I do, I've learned from many start overs. Just keep trying for yourself if this doesn't help you! Tell me if you learn anything new, that could improve on my ideas! Good luck, and live! (also Joining a faction early on may help you in your journey to become a deadly awesome warrior).
The Zann Dynasty is a deadly faction that comes after 100-150 days. They bring about 400-500 troops by themselves, with deadly archers, swords-men, spear-men, and horse archers. The leader Zann, starts with about 200-300 troops and will grow to a large army. The units can take down the top tier shock cavalry and top tier infantry. They are deadly, and suggested that you have a army or faction of your own before you decide to fight them. They make war with everyone to take over all Perisno. Side note you can change the turn number when the Zann will begin their invation in the game options.
Shock Cavalry vs. Other Cavalry Edit
Many people may not know the difference between shock cavalry and the others. So I will explain that now.
Shock Cavalry Edit
Shock cavalry are fast striking horsemen who usually have lances and swords with shields. Examples would be Drachen Dragoons and Drahara Royal horsemen. They usually have heavy horses that have heavy armour, but decent speed. Charge in to distract the archers and take out the high priority targets first.
Archer Cavalry Edit
Easily explained. Archers on horses. Like the Maccavian mounted marksman and the Redwood Nation Horsemen. Have bows with swords and shields, usually on a fast light armour (sometimes no armour) horse that can charge in to battle easily. Charge on fast horses to go behind the enemy to take out targets that are slow or on foot.
Fighting Cavalry Edit
This would be the cavalry that charges in, and fights taking heavy damage, but also out putting heavy damage. Most noble troops, Maccavian Black Knight, Hakkon Horsemen, and the Captain of guard (and lower tier troops of that branch). Good on foot or horse, used to out put large amounts damage, and used to take large amounts damage.
- Feel free to add, or change info that may help others, or add side notes like this one. I do not mind, but do not mess it up just to mess with me. THANKS!
- Prisoner management is good and fast way to earn money.
- Playing the good guy is hard. Do evil/bad things if you have to.
- Get to know factions early on, become friends. Decide which one is weak, or that you don't like, and take it as your own.
- Get to know Lords/Kings.
- Trainer is VERY, VERY, VERY, helpful. In truth, it'd be easier to put ALL of your points into Intelligence at the start and then train up a giant ass "elite" army and inherit a great treasure to fund it and build a weaver and dye works at "insert starting town here".
- To completely crap and dunk any average bandit or ankers party, prioritize Elvarie or "insert faction" archers. I mean, who doesn't like making your archers fire on your command, and having 100 crossbow bolts fly simultaneously on that 1 retreating guy, and hearing his scream? :D
SUB GUIDE - By Karmicpajama Edit
WHERE TO START: Edit
Anywhere really. The real question is how to start. There are two main options here. You can choose to be part of a Lord's army (you are enlisted as a lowest tier unit and given extremely sad equipment. Really, its sad to try and scratch elites with a silly dagger and see the ZERO damage pop up). Here you can slowly level up within the army earning promotions. At each promotion your Lord will give you equipment appropriate to the troop rank. You will also be given a weekly salary which will increase along with promotions. See below for more details on getting the most out of the enlistment phase.
The other option is to for your own company right from the start. This has the potential to be brutally difficult for many reasons. To begin with, no one knows who you are and it is rather unlikely they would want you leading them into battle. You will have a relatively very small party size and you will have trouble even filling this up. Even if you do manage to roam and get recruits most of your army will consist of low tier units. If you go down this route then you should invest in path finding and spotting and perhaps looting early. This will allow you to spot and identify weak bandit raider/groups etc and basically allow you to find the small parties you actually can attack and hope to defeat. Stay well away from bigger armies as they will completely decimate you. It is always a good idea to join neutral battles (You see a Drachen Vassal and a Maccavian Vassal start a battle. Just walk up to the battle and be like 'Hey guys, I want to hit people with sharp pointy things too!'. Pick either side, preferably the one which is going to win anyway or has the more elite troops so you dont take too many casualties). The advantage here is that you gain bonus relations if the one you sided with wins, while not losing any relations with the faction whose army you defeated. Further, most of the troops on the field (assuming you have a small army) will be those of the bigger armies so there is less for you at stake personally and you can focus on winning renown and racking up kills. Do keep in mind that unlike in Native, its not just bandits who you have to worry about in Perisno. All sorts of folks are out for war. Legionaires, Demon Worshippers, Inquisitors etc. They usually have enormous armies and if one of them catches you your entire force is going to be wiped out. (Not only is their party size large but they pack some seriously elite troops). As long as you are careful, quick and clever, you will quickly win renown and earn a lot of money and experience to level up your skills.
The thing to understand at this phase of the game is that money is much less important than equipment and stats. The equipment you have at the beginning is usually so terrible that you will be knocked out very easily. Some high level troops will one shot you every time. At this stage each upgrade in equipment gives you a huge return in terms of how long you can stay alive in battle swinging your sword/mace/axe and thereby giving you more kills, which gives you more experience which gives you more kills and so on. If you have 5,000 aurums and see a hammer for 4,000 which is way beyond the weapon you are currently using - buy it. Make sure you can pay your men at the end of the week though. This way in some time you will have some respectable gear of your own when you try to become a vassal. (Remember that when you go to your Lord to tell him that you no longer want to serve in his army he will take away one set of the equipment he gave you. Dont be a naked vassal. It's not a good look).
In either scenario, once you have some renown and money and have bought your basic equipment (horse, armor, helm, boots, weapon(s) of choice) you should now think about becoming a vassal. It is ordinarily a good idea to start out in the area of the faction that you want to be a vassal for as it means that ideally you already have some good relations with the faction and will be accepted as a vassal. Now you can kill with legal authority.
For the early part of being a vassal, a lot depends on your start. As stated above by Zonnows, your starting choices do really make a huge impact here. If you chose the Noble all the way then you start out with a lot of Leadership and Tactics which means you can field bigger armies very early in the game. The idea in any case is to get to at least a respectable army size (anywhere between 100-140 soldiers). Look out for small bands who have a lot of prisoners as this is often a very good source of hiring elite troops for free (you still have to pay them wages, but if you were to hire them as mercenaries from a tavern or something they would set you back many thousand aurums, instead you can get them to sign up for free), and as I understand it this is the only way to get Demon Worshippers/Priests/Lords and Illika Falki units (With the Illika Falki you can also do the quest in Voldeburg which will ultimately allow you to recruit Illika Falki units) but that quest is not very beginner friendly either.
BEGINNER MILITARY TACTICS - IN VERY BRIEF: Edit
For beginners it is important to understand that merely army size is not the definitive factor in battles. Your army composition and your tactics will also have a huge impact. You can try the traditional approach of having three (near) equal divisions in your army for Infantry, Archers and Cavalry. Remember that the AI in Perisno is not prone to stupid suicidal frontal charges. The AI will take elevated positions on the battlefield and hold them and invite you to come to them. To put it very briefly, make sure your archers are (preferably) stationed on high ground and are not exposed to an enemy charge. Station your infantry directly behind your archers so that in case the enemy charges your line of archers then you can quickly ask your infantry to step up and engage buying time for your archers to reposition. The cavalry should be sent out reasonably far away on a flank so the enemy is not tempted to engage on them first. Timing your cavalry charge to hit immediately after your infantry engages is what you are ideally looking for. This combination will normally inflict many casualties on the enemy in a very short span of time immediately improving your odds in the battle. Become familiar with the most basic battle commands at the very least. 1, 2, 3 and 4 select the four divisions namely Infantry, Archers, Cavalry and Cavalry Archers respectively. Holding down F1 after having selected a division shows a Flag which you can target with your mouse. Releasing F1 will dispatch the division to hold position at the spot. This can be incredibly useful especially for positioning your troops on strategically important points while being very far away yourself. At times it is useful to remember that you can ask your archers/cav.archers to hold fire with F3->F2. Then ask them to fire at will with F3->F1. This is required when you are anticipating a drawn out engagement with multiple reinforcement waves so that your archers do not run out of arrows. Ideally they should fire whenever the enemy is in range and grouped up. Once the enemy formation has already been dispersed (through an infantry or a cavalry charge or loss of morale) your archers should be ideally conserving ammo for the next phase and re-positioning themselves if required. Remember that head on Cavalry charges are the least effective way to use your cavalry (unless its a roflstomp scenario where you have 50 illika falki Knights and the enemy has unarmored peasants - in which case, screw tactics and just charge to save time). Against certain forces a head on cavalry is equal to just disbanding the entire cavalry division (they are all going to die and they will get very limited kills). Preferably your cavalry should always be hitting the enemy when their flank is turned to maximize their shock value. Also, as fights become more complicated you need to understand the value of re-forming and re-positioning. So you timed your cavalry charge just right and decimated the enemy front line. They are now running for their lives and your cavalry is spreading all over the field hunting them down. The enemy reinforcements are going to walk up and pick out your cavalry when they are spread thin. So, ideally, every time you achieve the objective of your command and break the enemy line, take the time to reform your lines (by giving Hold Position commands again and regaining the shape of your army). Also learn the usefulness of getting your troops to form ranks (F2->F1 to 5). If you have a lot of archers then if they form up in single rank they will be spread so wide that it will be impossible for you to defend your archer line. It is usually better to arrange the Archers in 2-3 ranks. This has the added advantage that if you arrange them on a slope, then all ranks can fire without being hindered by the men in front of them. Using multiple lines of infantry is very effective at stopping enemy cavalry charges.
MOSTLY ON MONEY: Edit
Given the increased price of armor, arms and horses, the income from the starting fief (village) given to you when you join a faction is not going to cut it. I find it a good idea to be part of a Lord's army early game till I can get enough gold to get my own set of basic equipment (as I do not like taking the desertion penalty to relations, also for role play reasons) and get at least a couple of companions (at minimum one fighter, one archer and one healer) in my party.
In the very early game it is usually a better idea to join the army of a lord with a smaller army. They tend to be involved in more skirmishes than the King's army (as they are fast enough to catch up to bandits/raiders etc). Also, every time your Lord does something stupid and enters a battle he has no hope of winning, you will get captured and at least the way it works in the current version, you get to retain whatever equipment he gave you befitting your rank in the army. This can be an easy (albeit 'cheap') source of cash early game. Once you have gotten to the 3rd or 4th rank in the faction's troop tree through promotions, it is a better idea to leave the Lord's army and join the King's army as the King's army has less chances of being annihilated and so you will not miss promotions because your army got destroyed a day before promotion day and you got taken captive. (When in the army, click anywhere and in the menu that opens up click on Commander's Report. This shows you how much XP you need for the next promotion and on when the promotion is due). Note that this phase of the game is not just to earn money, but also to ensure that when you are fighting a Dragoner you do not repeatedly hit him for ZERO damage because you are level 1 and he is over level 9000. You need points in your stats and essential skills to be effective in battle personally (Str-Agi. Skills such as PowerStrike, Ironflesh, PowerDraw, Athletics, Riding). Then you need further stats and skills to lead an army effectively (Int-Cha. Skills like Wound Treatment, Surgery, Pathfinding, Engineering, Leadership, Tactics etc.).
You should quit the army whenever you have sufficient money (I advise at least 20,000 liquid cash after having purchased your basic equipment piecemeal over time). Note here that by basic equipment I do not mean the best sword, armor and horse. But rather armor, arms and horse that will allow you to be reaosnably effective in battle. If you start saving for the best armor it may take a VERY long time as items in the game are INSANELY expensive (I saw a armor for more than 240,000).
Note that with the increase in costs, there also seems to be an increase in the income you get from a Town (especially the income from Tariffs - which is contingent on the roads around your city being safe). It is generally a good idea to focus on taking a castle on your own early on to give you a nice base to garrison troops (remember that garrisoned troops are only given half pay - and they are not eating away that food in your inventory, so keep everyone garrisoned unless you are on campaign). I have found that you can take poorly defended castles with a party size of around 100-120 (I am not talking here about people who are really good at the game, who no doubt will tell you about the time they took the castle with nothing but a roll of duct tape and a corgi). For poorly defended cities it is advisable to have a party size of at least 150-160. Once you have a castle and a party size of somewhere around 160-170 you should be looking to actively identify weak points in the enemy factions defense and striking hard. Take another castle and do not ask for it to be allotted to you. Repeat this process to get higher relations within your faction and also to get more renown which in turn means bigger party size. This also increases the chances that when you finally take a Town and ask for it to be awarded to you the King will agree and not send you some ridiculous pittance in lieu of your elite soldiers who died on the ramparts dammit!
I find that the money required to be invested for buying land can give you better returns elsewhere. Once you have spare money lying around and you do not know what to do with it feel free to start buying up land, but before that, you can spend the money elsewhere more profitably. Remember that the single most effective money making technique seems to be prisoner runs rather than buying enterprises or buying lands. The time they will take to turn a profit is enough to ensure your kingdom is all but dead because you did not have the money to deploy those mercenary armies because you thought it was better to make cloth/food/beer!
FINDING POORLY DEFENDED CASTLES AND TOWNS Edit
War often favors the opportunist. If you get some 150 men and women together dreaming of capturing that Town you have been lusting after there is every chance you will be very unpleasantly surprised when you see it has a garrison of 450 elite troops with 5 vassals and their retinues also chilling inside. The key lies in the Marshall's campaign. When you get the summons, go to your quest log, and it will show you where the martial was when he issued the call to the vassals. Now you have a choice. You can choose to genuinely support him and roam around with some 1000 troops feeling totally badass. Or you can do the smart thing and tell the martial where to stick it. Stay somewhere around his army. Loot and pillage in their shadows (the enemy armies will not be able to initiate on you if you are surrounded by heavy hitting lords of your own factions).
The most important thing to watch out here is for the faction you are attacking to gather its army and march to meet the army of your faction. Here again you have a choice. You can chose to join this epic 1000 v/s 1000 battle and if you do well in it then you will come out way ahead in terms of XP, gold and loot. The other option is for you to realize that the fact that almost the entire enemy force is here, means that they are not elsewhere. Specifically, they have left their Towns and Castles with (hopefully) bare minimum garrisons and have marched to war. Now is your time to find out the least garrisoned Castle/Town and siege it. (Also, hope and pray that it is a Ladder siege and not a Siege Tower scenario. In early-mid game Siege Tower Castles should be avoided as you will take too many casualties before your troops even reach the walls - and especially early-mid game the loss of the hardened/elite core of your army can be devastating). I have seen even towns with garrisons as less as 200 men (vassal retinues included) because I reached it after a decisive battle of the two armies (where I was conspicuous by my absence) and my faction came out ahead. The enemy had returned home broken and wounded. The key is to identify when the main army of the enemy faction organizes, and where they are marching and then to find and assault secluded and poorly defended castles/Towns. Needless to say the Engineer skill really helps here. Your force may be easily cut down in an open field battle, but can fend off many times its numbers from behind castle walls.
MID-LATE GAME MONEYMAKING Edit
OK so now you have a castle and a town and a couple of villages. Your holdings are garrisoned with enough troops to dissuade all but the largest armies from attacking. You will note that you are still falling short of money. Raiding villages, as pointed out by Zonnows is very lucrative in Perisno. However, your freedom to raid villages may be curtailed by the kind of companions you have (certain companions get upset when you attack villagers - soft scum). At other times you may be VERY unpleasantly surprised while raiding villages. Specially in Perisno there are too many warbands roaming the lands. Even if an enemy vassal does not come to defend its fief, some cheeky fellow leading an army of 250 elites will casually stroll up to your stationary countenance and give you what-for. I have realized that
slave-trad...er...careful-reallocation-of-surplus-human-resources is a fantastic way of earning money in Perisno. One profitable way of going about this is to boost your Prisoner Management skill and get it to at least 5-6. To increase this in the starting options, choose "Bounty Hunter". Now hopefully you have developed your army in the following fashion - for each division of troops (infantry, cavalry, archers, cavalry archers) you should have some crack elite troops, some mid tier troops and some levies. The elite troops of each division will form your army when you go on a serious campaign (to take a Castle or Town). The mid-tier units are there so you can refill your ranks after you return from the campaign having taken some losses. The lowest tier units or levies are there to boost garrison numbers and to ensure that if you get surrounded by enemies then you have a ready supply of units to train up. (It is very important to level trainer skill not only on yourself but also on as many companions as you can).
When going prisoner hunting, take you elite cavalry. I recommend a party size of anywhere between 65-85. All of them must be cavalry. Ideally with around 20 cavalry archers. This will be your main hunting force. The bands you will be attacking (desouk slavers are my favorite - they hang around near Desouk - go figure) are typically composed of a few armored or horsed units, but the large part of these bands are unarmored peasants, who are going to be very easily run down by your cavalry charge. If you can afford to, then you must use a Blunt Damage Weapon on these trips as dead slaves are no good. You need to knock them unconscious. Now fill up your party with 30-40 Low tier units on top of your elite cavalry. Make sure they are at the very bottom of your army. They are not here to fight. They are just here to boost your numbers so you can take even more prisoners (number of prisoners you can take is proportional to party size). When you enter battle ask your cavalry to follow/charge based on the enemy troops. Ask your Cav Archers to take position on some nearby hill and rain down death (those Illica-Falki rangers... ). Ask your low tier units to stay the hell away from the fighting, they are only here to leech xp and boost prisoner count, not to get slaughtered - after all you may need them to be slaughtered some other time and it would be very ungrateful of them to just die on you and not be available to die at the right time. Note that if you already have your mid-tier and high-tier unit count sorted out, then you do not need to level up the low tier units in the army at all, you can just return all of them to the garrison without leveling them up (You will have to pay them higher wages if you leveled them up). Be careful to pick out high level prisoners from the prisoner screen. Now take all the people you took prisoner and go find a ransom broker. You can easily make 7,000-10,000 aurums by selling the prisoners captured even if you took around 40-50 prisoners depending on the tier of units you captured. It seems you can also sell prisoners to the Innkeeper at any Inn (maybe he pickles them?) but I am not sure if there is a difference in price. Selling prisoners can earn you some very good money very quickly. The added bonus here is that for each battle you get a LOT of renown and XP as you are usually fighting numerically superior forces. Do not be scared of party sizes of 200+ on certain kind of bandits. There are perhaps 60 serviceable units in there and the rest are just lowest tier unarmored nonsense which will mostly die/faint in one hit.
Look further below in the ROFLSTOMP Prisoner Runs section.
THE DON'T TELL ME HOW TO LIVE MY LIFE PHASE Edit
At some point it is no longer alright to be a vassal to the idiot on the throne who refuses to wage war while you bleed money because you have too many elite troops who you cannot let go because you are so attached to them (and the human instinct to hoard a lot of a good thing). Congratulations, you have now become part of the "I need money to wage war -> I must wage war to make money" vicious cycle. You should not be looking for a way out of this, as that would be a very silly approach to take. Instead, realize that the king on the throne is an incompetent nincompoop and you clearly will be able to run a Kingdom SO much better than him/her. There a two main approaches you can take here as I understand it, depending on whether you wish to launch your reign from the position of a vassal or an independent.
BECOMING A KING/QUEEN Edit
TRANSITIONING AS A VASSAL: Edit
Go to your King/Queen and tell him you wish to be released from his oath of vassalage. He will tell you to give up your lands. Inform him politely that you have no intentions of returning any of the lands he so graciously granted to you. It is important to grin maniacally while your eyes flicker towards the 500 men elite army he has as you do this.
Or, take a Town/Castle from the enemy. Ask for the fief to be awarded to you. Wait for the king to tell you that he is giving the Fief to someone else and that he is sending you some old mismatched pair of socks as recompense for the lives of your men. Choose the option that says that you have been wronged. Boom. Insta-Kingdom. You will retain your fiefs but realize that in both these cases you will instantly be at war with the faction you split from.
This can be a viable way of going about becoming a king specially if you have VERY high relations with some important vassals of the King/Queen and they happen to be upset with the King/Queen. Because this way you can break those vassals away and make them join your split Kingdom thereby gaining more troops and lands.
AS AN INDEPENDENT: Edit
I presume here that up till now you have been a loyal vassal till now and hold fiefs in the name of the King/Queen, but now you wish to carve out your own Kingdom, without instantly and automatically being at war with the faction you were with.
Go to your main town. Get all your elite troops. All of them. Fill your army till you reach max capacity. In my game I had a party size of 320 when I decided to go off on my own. I had 5 in tactics and 6 in leadership, some 1000 renown, one castle, two villages and one town and a full complement of companions who were giving my party much needed skills (Path-Finding, Spotting, Trainer, Wound Treatment, Surgery, Foraging, Looting). Now go to your Chamberlain and tell him to empty his pockets. All of them. (I mean here that you should withdraw every single penny from your treasury). Now you have your entire worth with you. All your men and all your money, the two most important things in war. Go to your King/Queen and tell him you never really liked him anyway, it isn't working out, it's not you it's me and all the usual stuff (Tell him you wish to be released from your oath of vassalage). He will tell you that if you choose to renege on your oath then you must cede all your lands you are holding in fief for him to him. Agree as it is the honorable thing to do. Now you are a free man, with a huge army and hopefully a lot of money. (I cannot stress enough that the money part with this approach is very important. Leaving your fiefs will mean you will have ZERO income to support the huge elite army you also hopefully have. You need to have enough of a financial cushion that you don't go bankrupt within two weeks or thereabouts). (Follow the part of the guide on Money to get this financial cushion).
It is advisable that before you do this, you have a fair idea of which faction you will attack first. As an independent, the moment you take a castle/town it is automatically allotted to you and you become King with rights to name your own kingdom etc. A full army eats a LOT of food. So make sure your inventory is stocked with food so you do not run out of food in the middle of the siege (if this happens, the defenders have every right to call you the least effective general ever and they will insult you greatly).
You must pick which faction to attack and where to attack them from very carefully. Geography/topography plays a big role here. For instance look at the Kaikoth Kingdom (not for attacking, I mean just look at them as an example of how geography can make a Kingdom nearly invincible). The only way to attack them is through the narrow pass leading into their lands. Once an army is inside the lands, there is only one exit and there is every likelihood that the exit will be patrolled. It is easier to defend your lands against multiple armies if all the armies have to funnel through a specific route.
While picking which faction to attack it is better to pick a faction which is already weakened by war. To state an example I saw that the northernmost island (Valahirs) was split evenly between the Zann and the Valahirs and that they had just started their third war against each other. I immediately ran up to them (having given up my Drachen vassal-ship) and found the two armies had already collided and were both nearly wiped out with the Zann having the upper hand. This made it very easy for me to attack the Valahirs first and wipe them out. As I marched to the last Valahir Castle (Wotin) I saw that the remainder of the Zann hosts were siegeing it. Not believing my luck, I just waited there till the siege happened and the Zann got weakened even further and then immediately wiped out their main force and their best generals. This meant that when I blitzed their lands I encountered very little resistance as their field armies had been decimated and their generals were lying wounded without any armies. So the choice of faction you attack ought to be determined carefully. Pick someone who is already at war (preferably on multiple fronts) so that they cannot give you their full attention.
If you have started your kingdom without too many troops consider that all your fighting must be from behind your walls. Take a Town/Castle and park your garrison inside and just wait for the enemy to come to you. You should only engage in field battles when you have overwhelming odds as each casualty at this stage is going to hit you very hard. On a related note, always keep your Surgeon at the very bottom of your army so he does not actually get deployed. If for some reason you sent your Scout (Path Finder and Spotter) or Surgeon into battle and they are wounded (Why would you do this? Seriously?) then it is advisable not to fight till they have recovered. I generally prefer to level Wound Treatment on myself even if I plan to dedicate a companion to specialize in Wound Treatment so that even if the companion gets wounded I can heal everyone quicker with my own skill.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BLITZING Edit
It is important to strike hard. It is importanter to strike so damn hard that the war is over in a few weeks at most (can be easily achieved with smaller factions/factions weakened by war. The thing to keep in mind is that each castle you take means one less castle for the enemy to raise troops from. Each Town you take limits the enemies ability to finance it's wars. Finally, dead factions don't hit back. Or sometimes they do, but nothing you can't handle. Therefore, it is never a good idea to enter a war you are not absolutely prepared for. While marching to war make sure you have your elite troops, a lot of money and that the core of your realm is secure. Now hit the enemy as hard as you can. Level your engineer skill so you can lead an assault on the walls before enemy parties can interrupt you. At this point certain field battles will decide the fate of your campaign. Realize that identifying portions of the enemies army which are separated/not in a good position/outnumbered and then meeting them in a field battle and wiping them out means that these troops will not be killing your men at the next siege. Their lord will be wounded and be incapable of raising a new host to meet you. Given that ideally you are marching with your elites you should not have a problem dealing with smaller forces or even when you are outnumbered (if you follow the tactics in the Beginner's Tactics section above). Remember that as glorious as a cavalry charge is, it is always a good idea to have a good army composition with sufficient archers and infantry. When it comes down to it, elite infantry is better at prolonged melee than elite cavalry. Your cavalry is important and you should not be throwing it at the castle walls because you could not be arsed to raise some good infantry divisions. Archers can turn sieges by making sure that during your initial advance a majority of the enemy archers on the walls are dead. Also, with prolonged firing your archers can actually punch a hole in the enemy's frontline at the wall, allowing your troops to easily spread out on the battlements and start their approach towards the enemy's archer positions.
The approach therefore mandates that you hit a castle, garrison bare minimum troops there if at all (please read the Securing Your Kingdom: Why Not To Hoard section to understand this) and then immediately proceed to the next Castle/Town strategically ripe for the taking, while hopefully taking out some field armies on your way.
You ought to know by now the importance of the arrangements of troops in your Party Screen for each battle. The basic rule to understand here is that units at the top of your party screen enter battle first (barring certain mods which split troops into divisions - no such mod is included in base Perisno 0.7 afaik). For Field battles your deployment should be Cavalry intensive if you greatly outnumber the enemy or if the enemy's troops are vastly inferior. If your armies are matched evenly numerically, then see the quality of the enemy troops before deciding who you will deploy for the first wave (don't lead an all cavalry army against an army of 100 Maccavian Halberdiers for instance). When you are greatly outnumbered you must learn to fight on the defensive (i.e. wait for the enemy to come to you while your archers thin them out, charge your infantry when you feel your archers will soon be threatened with melee, and charge your cavalry into the enemy flank. Bonus points for maneuvering your cavalry behind the enemy as they advance so that the charge hits them from behind as your infantry engages from the front.) Thus, on campaign, switching your troops around before each engagement greatly improves your odds of success (and is mandatory at higher difficulties). Personally, I prefer cavalry intensive armies for battles where I outnumber/outrank the enemy troops. When outnumbered, I go into full tactic mode and deploy an army almost evenly split between Infantry, Archers, Cavalry and Mounted/Cavalry Archers. You may also want to consider countering specific factions by specific composition of armies. (Against cavalry intensive factions deploy more polearm infantry, against infantry intensive factions deploy more archers and preferably mounted archers and so on). For Sieges I and my companions are immediately followed by a core of archers (perhaps 20-25) to screen my infantry's advance while the next many segments of my army are elite infantry (currently Valahir Huskarls, Hersirs, Jarls though there are of course other factions with very elite infantry), then there are Heavy Armored Cavalry and elite Archers interspersef at regular intervals. Deploying the right forces on the field is key to a profitable campaign where you are able to proceed while sustaining minimum casualties so you can take the most amount of fiefs before you lose momentum.
UNDERSTANDING RIGHT TO RULE AND ITS IMPORTANCE Edit
Right to Rule is the measure of how valid your reign is perceived to be by the established monarchs. Understand that no matter how OP you feel, three to four factions declaring war on you will almost certainly signal the end of your reign. Therefore, it is important to understand and increase right to rule.
INCREASING RIGHT TO RULE (Hereinafter RTR)
As I understand it, following are the ways to increase your RTR:
a). Marrying into nobility (More on Marriage Later in the Short Notes)
b). Concluding Treaties (truce)
c). Companion Missions
At times it is better to recruit a companion for the sole purpose of getting him to do the right to rule mission for you. Certain companions do not get along together. (see elsewhere in this Wiki for companion combinations - just google Perisno Companions). Just recruit the companion, immediately tell him you wish to ask him something -> tell him you presume he knows you want to be King of the land -> Tell him to go do what he thinks is the best way to raise your support. The companion will return within a week or so and you will increase your RTR. You can now ask the companion to go away without any consequences if he can't be slotted into your party due to other more valued companions. Make sure all possible companions have at some time performed a RTR mission for you (till you reach RTR 99).
When at war with someone when the war is no longer profitable/strategically viable/important for you do not be afraid to sue for peace. Do this by going to your Minister, and asking him to dispatch an Emissary to the King/Queen of the faction you want peace with to suggest a truce. Make sure that the companion you select has High Persuasion. I typically mold my Scout/Surgeon to also have high Persuasion skill as they both draw from the same Stat (INT) and because typically I dispatch Emmisaries when I am resting in my capital (Throne Town/Castle) and not planning to march to a war (therefore at that moment I can afford to spare my Scout/Surgeon for a few days). It is normally a good idea to train up at least two companions to have high persuasion so you can dispatch them as Emmisaries.
When you start out your Kingdom your RTR will be very low. This means that other Kings/Queens view you as a warlord upstart who needs to be put down. This in turn will mean a lot of factions declaring war on you just on principle. This is extremely damaging. Understand that even if their armies are not going to actually invade and siege your lands, they now have free reign to attack your caravans/patrols bringing your finances to a screeching halt. Typically its always better to be at war with only one faction at once. Politicking is an essential part of forming a Kingdom and you should not reluctant to dispatch frequent Emisarries with gifts to appease other factions and raise your relations with them so they do not declare war on you. Note that concluding treaties with other factions will also improve your RTR apart from having other benefits.
Whenever you are not making war, your focus should be on understanding what precisely is happening politically on the world map. Which factions are at war? Which factions will welcome the security of a non-aggression pact to avoid another front opening up? Which factions will accept your proposal for truce because they are being battered on all sides?
It is usually a good idea to start dispatching your companions on RTR missions even when you are a vassal/mercenary. This causes a dip in relations with the monarch (if you are a vassal) but is well worth it so you don't start with 0 RTR.
A High RTR indicates that you are now being taken seriously as a King/Queen in your own name and other factions will not declare war on you just for the fun of it.
SECURING YOUR KINGDOM - WHY NOT TO HOARD FIEFS: Edit
It can be tempting to personally take control of each fief your kingdom conquers. This is a very bad idea. You must understand that owning a fief makes you responsible for garrisoning it (and paying the wages of the garrison) as well as protecting it in case of an enemy attack/raid. You will very soon have more important things to do than travel half way across the map to deal with a suicidal Enemy Lord with an army of 60 peasants who is raiding some remote village you do not know even exists. While deciding where you will form your kingdom you should decide what will be the core of your kingdom. This 'Core' should ideally be a group of castles, towns and villages which are in close proximity. The beast to be wary off here is Tax Inefficiency. Tax inefficiency can lose you thousands upon thousands each turn if your holdings are too widespread. Therefore, realize that while you must certainly secure a Core of holdings in your name, after this each castle along with it's adjoining town should be given out to a vassal. In the beginning it is advisable to make vassals out of suitable companions. When prompted to either take a fief or grant it to vassal upon capturing it indicate that you will decide it later after taking counsel of your subjects. This will immediately deploy a garrison automatically in the fief. Complement this garrison with whatever prisoners who freed and recruited from it so the garrison is stronger. When you get the time go to your capital and talk to your minister and assign the fief and its village to one of your vassals. Ideally, your vassals should hold tightly knit holdings close to each other. However this is not always possible as the enemy frequently proves uncooperative in terms of when you attack and what fiefs you can take.
Giving fiefs to your vassals means that at the very least they will take the responsibility for garrisoning and protecting those parts of your kingdom. At best it makes for very strong vassals who will raise huge armies when you finally sound the call for war.
ROFLSTOMP PRISONER RUNS Edit
This presumes you have got your basic set up going. You have your holdings garrisoned. You are either at peace or you do not need to urgently worry about the enemy (such as when a faction with 2 castles still standing on the other edge of the world declares war on you). You also need a fair bit of money (can't accumulate if you don't speculate). The best troops for prisoner runs I have found are the Renweards (Falcon Faction). This is so for the following reasons. To begin with, they are not high wage troops, so they wont cost you much either when you are roaming around with the army or when they are garrisoned. Secondly, and most importantly, both the weapons they carry are blunt weapons. I found (I was using a mix of Hakkon Inquisitors and Illica Falki Knights) that some of my cavalry was not charging once I told them to use blunt weapons only (F4->F3). The reason to use only blunt weapons is obvious, you need to knock the entire enemy force unconscious so you can take them prisoner. Half my cavalry seemed to spawn only with cutting or piercing weapons and so when I would ask them to charge only the ones who had remembered to bring their blunt weapons to the battle would actually participate. This proves to be a huge problem as the rest of your cavalry then just stands there defenseless and blocks the rest of the cavalry who actually have blunt weapons and want to charge. Thus, by taking Renweards, you negate this issue, as they only have blunt weapons in their kit and thus there is no chance they will come to battle without their blunt weapons. Thirdly, these Renweards I have found are bloody badass. They have really fast horses (so even mounted enemies have very little chance of being able to run away). Despite their horses being lightly armored (it seems) they pack a very effective charge. Their blunt weapons are also very good and do very good damage.
I suggest having 200 or so of these Renweards so you can take 100 prisoners (a party size of 200 allows 100 prisoners, 300 allows 150 prisoners and so on). You don't need any other units really. I tend to bunch all my companions except a few as Cavalry and equip them with blunt weapons so they can also take part in the slaughter. Attack anything, at the beginning of the battle ask your cavalry to use blunt weapons only (3->F4->F3) and then ask them to charge (F1->F3). That is pretty much it. Do not level up the Renweards as the next tier will have the same problem with slashing and piercing weapons described above.
Be smart who you engage upon. Avoid only those armies which heavily outnumber you with very elite troops (this will be relatively rare. Basically avoid the special non-faction armies that land from time to time). Pretty much everything else will be demolished. You can take ENTIRE armies prisoners. Some special armies (packing significant number of elites) have given me as much as 50,000 for selling a single batch of prisoners.
TROOPS FOR ALL SEASONS: Edit
First and foremost - there is a brilliant feature in the mod to check the troop tree for each faction. Just click on Reports->Troop Trees. The beauty of this feature is that if you click on any one single troop type within the faction tree it immediately gives you a separate screen where all the stats as well as all the equipment of the troop is listed for easy and complete reference. This is a very good way to identify top tier troops and to differentiate between the top tier troops of each faction.
Infantry - Tolranian Hackers and Kingsmen will breach most enemy lines with little difficulty. Hakkon Legionnaires also pack a serious punch. Valahir Hersir's, Jarls and Huskarls are similarly top tier infantry. Maccavian Swordsmasters also perform really well, but in my experience not as well as the Hackers or Kingsmen.
Archers - Try to attack a Redwood castle to understand why you should recruit archers from the Redwood. Even their 'melee' troops are very good archers. I recommend having 20-30 Rangers, 20-30 Archers and the rest at Bowman level to fill ranks if required. Otherwise, look at Maccavian ranged troops. They have crossbowmen, who will fire at a slower rate, but are very effective nonetheless. They also tend to keep firing a lot longer than archer units. Maccavian heavy cross bowmen and Marksmen are a good addition to any army. The Draharans also have some good archers.
Cavalry - If you can then do the Illica Falki quest so you can start developing armies of Illica Falki Knights and Rangers. The biggest advantage I have found is that compared to the other elite cavalry, Illica Falki knights are VERY low maintenance (wages of 40 vs wages of 100 or so). At the same time they are very effective either as shock cavalry or even as melee fighters if it comes to it. The Rangers are top tier archers and also do well in melee. Barring the Illica Falki, Falconers make excellent cavalry on either side of their troop tree. Send recruiters to them early and often. For mounted archers look either to the Drahara, or the Zann or the Redwood shadow riders.
Keep bunches of recruits in your garrisons. During peace time, you should be planning the manpower needed for the next campaign and so you should be sending out multiple recruiters. Even if you do not use these recruits then they will stay in your garrison taking up negligible wages. When making ready for war, take these recruits and plonk your backside in a town or a castle and level them up. Multiple people in your party having leveled Trainer skill really helps out here.
THE KINGSGUARD Edit
So you cracked the system. You are rolling in money. Your borders are secure. You have a lot of right to rule. What do you do next? Why, equip your Kingsguard of course. It is important that your Kingsguard (bunch of companions who you do not intend to make vassals and who are intended to level into formidable fighters) wear identical armor (the most expensive one of course - I have them equipped with the Perisno Gold Plated Heavy Plate Armor), identical helms, carrying identical weapons (it is advisable to equip them with at least one blunt weapon, and another weapon based on your preference). It is better if they have the same horse, same shield, shoes etc. Basically, a group of really badass men and women (my Kingsguard is led by Stormcloak, Zaira, Kara, Fazl and Slyter) in identical badass uniforms. Pleasure to see them ride into battle. Keep in mind that once these fellows are Level 24 or so, they will make really effective warriors if you equip them and train them properly (give points in Ironflesh, Powerstrike, Shield, Athletics, Riding and Weapon Master, equip them with good shields and effective one handed weapons).
SHORT NOTES: Edit
On Marriage - I find it very troublesome to 'court' ladies while being a vassal. The sheer number of times you have to drag your ass all the way to whatever castle your beau/belle is holed up in is too inconvenient. I am a King dammit. I cannot stand this running around. Hence, an easier way is to take a noble companion of the opposite sex (I am unsure if Warband allows same sex marriages - I presume not, though I could be wrong) and give him/her a couple of fiefs (one castle and the adjoining town is usually enough). Then ask that companion that you want to ask them something and then ask them what it would take to form a lasting alliance with their house. Usually the Vassal will agree to marry you right there.
On Siege Tactics - There is always the exploit where you take only archers and take down as many enemies as you can before your archers deplete their ammo and the repeat till the enemy garrison is dead. But even if you are intentionally avoiding exploits, you must understand the importance of archers as the attacking army in a siege. Your archers can take out the enemy's archers thereby ensuring that your infantry and cavalry are not taken out before they ever reach the enemy's ramparts. Additionally they can punch a hole through the enemy's frontlines holding the spot where the ladder/tower meets the battlements thereby ensuring that your troops can quickly enter the enemy's battlements and start to take out the archer nests. The utility of archers does not end here. In many castes your enemy will station a large numbers of archers in the Courtyard/Additional Archer towers. Thus, as soon as your infantry and cavalry have cleared the battlements, ask your archers to deploy (Hold Position) on the enemy's battlements. Now your archers will be firing into the enemy from their own battlements! I prefer Illika Falki rangers/Maccavian Heavy Crossbowmen in my sieges as not only do these troops pack a fearsome punch while shooting from range, but once they have run out of ammo they can also engage in melee and perform really well. Remember that if you are not using the explout (and you should not be) then it is very important that you ask your archers to hold fire when the enemy's battlements are not crowded. Wait for the fresh enemy troops to arrive before you ask your archers to Fire at Will again. Another tactic is to recognize the ideal moment when your archers have punched a hole in the enemy frontline at the battlement and timing your infantry charge so it hits before the enemy can reinforce the position. Remember to re-position your archers on the battlements once you are sure that they will not be overrun by enemy reinforcements. (Take careful note of the castle layout here. Sometimes there are multiple routes leading to the battlements, and while your infantry is holding and fighting on one such route the enemy heavy infantry may chose the other route and engage your archers in Melee).
Money is Important - I have found in Perisno that even factions which I have all but eliminated demand very high sums for concluding a truce. There are times when a truce is imperative for your strategic position. You need to be able to make large payouts (I all but eliminated the Maccavians and relegated them to two castles on the other edge of the map and they still demanded some 39000 aurums for Truce!) to get that strategically imperative truce.
On Diplomacy - If you are planning to cultivate some faction as an ally, make sure you do not hold any cities/castles they lay claim to. In my game I was warring against Drahara and had taken Bulgan and Desouk when the Drahara took Matareya from the Hakkons. I was planning to stay in the good books of the Hakkon as my boundaries were completely exposed to them and at that point Hakkons declaring war on me would have finished me off specially because most of my army at that time was made up of Hakkon troops. But I could not resist and took Matareya for my own from the Draharans. The Hakkons refused to conclude any treaty with me despite me boosting my faction relations with them to 46 or so by sending gifts etc, and finally declared war on me. As soon as you can, start sending gifts to Kaikoth as they typically will not declare war on you undoing all your good work. Get them to conclude treaties with you. (All treaties with other factions increase your RTR and alliances seem to increase your relations with your vassals).
Equipment is important - Getting one shotted sucks. That apart, realize that after a point you should be buying the best equipment not only for yourself but also for your companions. This costs a LOT of money. A LOT. Whatever you are thinking it is, is an understatement. A single batch of good arrows can cost you upwards of 8000 aurums for instance. Therefore, plan carefully what equipment you can upgrade and when. At times it is wise not to throw away your equipment for an additional 8 armor or so, at other times it makes sense to splurge on an armor which will ensure Aracanus swings with Lightbringer 5 more times than he would have otherwise. Remember that as companions level they will become a force to be reckoned with in their own right on the battlefield, apart from being able to level some vital skills even further.
On Town Management - If you think that at any point your Town will come under siege, make sure you make a Blacksmith's Forge there. It refills the ammo of your archers every one minute and this means that your archers do not become useless during prolonged sieges. Next, I always prefer building a Caravan Escort Outpost so there is lesser probability of my Caravans being wiped out. Next I build the Merchant's Guild (or Guildhouse or something) that increases town prosperity. Next I build a University as by this time I am filthy rich and if I can increase town relations and renown by throwing money around then sure why not. Try to ensure that one of your core holdings has a Prisoner Tower where you can incarcerate the noble prisoners who you cannot sell.
On Troops - Certain faction levies are better equipped to serve specific roles. Keep this in mind when deciding what kind of troops your faction will be composed off. Also consider that waging war on Maccavia with an all Maccavia army will probably end very badly for you. Therefore, when marching against a faction, it is a good idea not to take troops of that faction in your army as they will quickly lose morale. Therefore, it is advisable to diversify your troop types. This is relatively easy as there are multiple factions who have elite troops in each category.
On Garrisoning - If you are not making war/defending your lands/hunting prisoners your party should be EMPTY. Empty dammit. Troops do not lose morale when they are garrisoned (afaik). You pay them half wages when they are garrisoned. They do not eat the food in your inventory when they are garrisoned. Therefore, always garrison your troops whenever you are taking a break from fighting to build improvements, secure finances, etc.
Miscellaneous - I am unsure if it is a bug or intended but do NOT attack the Falcon Faction as your first target. I know it can be tempting as it is a tightly knit kingdom with only one city. Well, the deal is that the city has no damn walls. Literally none. When you siege it (offensively or defensively) there is just a ditch filled with water and the armies spawn in the middle. It is a complete clusterfuck. You cannot even give orders to your archers to disengage and position themselves before the enemy spawns in their face and engages them. This means it is next to impossible to hold the city unless you VASTLY outnumber the Falcon troops. This will ordinarily not be the case if you are just starting out your Kingdom. It also does not help that Falcons are ALL cavalry so they will decimate you in field battles. Their troops are also very high tier and they will knock you silly if you try to take them on early in the game. Also, it seems just as bad an idea to start your conquest from Redwood lands, as simply put, your army will die before you ever reach the walls.
PS: The guide is published with all humility and to contribute something to the community of gamers. I am by no means an expert neither do I profess to be so. Please feel free to add to the guide in any way if you feel I have erred somewhere. My apologies for the few typos and errors that may have crept in despite my (not so) due diligence.
Godbow (as of 0.73 i think)Edit
So what I have found is that this is a really fun and profitable start....
step one: Characters
Gender: Either is good
Learnt As Child: Steppe Child
Early life As: Poacher
Last Inheritance, Fathers great Bow and Arrows.
Starting: Drahah Desert Nation
Now when you spawn you should see looters, not the 4 blue icon quest ones but PROPER native looters! sell your furs and don't recruit yet, Kill the looters with your godbow, if you followed the steps properly you should have 10 POWER DRAW and foraging and tracking to boot! Now go make your mark on Perisno.
Another good start (as of 0.73) is:
Step one: Male or Female - Male if you're going to melee and Female if you are going ranged.
Step two: Elf or Dwarf, Elf for more ranged characters and Dwarf for melee.
Step three: Travelling Merchant
Step four: Shop Assistant
Step five: Goods Peddler
Step six (inheritance): Money and 'connections with traders'
Step seven: Lust for Money and Power
You now have a ten trade character who starts with ~35000 Aurums. This makes good equipment far easier to get and you can get some brilliant mercenaries and pieces of armour early on, as well as Aracanus, or Antiope for their brilliant weapons and armour.
Step one: Male.
Step three: Vet. Warrior
Step four: Page
Step five: Squire
Step six (inheritance): Training (ironflesh)
Step seven: Personal revenge
You now have a high ironflesh and high powerstrike character who has high strength and good weapons and armour.