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Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord – Factions Overview



Mount and Blade II Bannerlord factions

Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord is without a doubt a complex and interesting game with many new things in store for both veterans and newcomers alike, the most eye-catching of which are the new and improved factions. This short article will hopefully serve as a guide for those who wish to become acquainted with the diverse Mount and Blade Bannerlord factions.

Before we begin, it should be noted that Bannerlord features much inspiration from the Middle Ages: the Calradic Empire represents a virtual Roman Empire (the Byzantine period mainly), Vlandia has much Norman inspiration, Battania is a unique twist on Celtic civilization, Sturgia is a Slav-like faction with several other influences based on cultures Slavs interacted with (such as Varangian Norse, Greek, Finnic and Iranian) and the Aserai and Khuzait Khanate present exotic Arab, Mongolian and Turkish influences in both visuals and combat.

Overall, there is something for everyone to enjoy here. Your adventurer can become a knight, a legendary foot soldier, a master of throwing weapons, a crossbow or bow-wielding sharpshooter or a mounted archer pelting away at massive enemy armies while commanding your own. The singleplayer campaign is a sandbox where you can do whatever you want within the limits imposed by the developers.

That being said, let’s dive into the biggest and most influential faction of the game:

The Calradic – Empiremight and Corruption


Once a great power that ruled all of Calradia, it is now in decline due to nobles bickering after the death of the emperor. Split into three smaller parts and devastated by civil war, the fate of the Empire is questionable, but if someone were to unite the crumbling pieces, they would have the might of the Empire’s spears, bows and cataphracts to crush their foes with.

Among Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord’s factions, the Empire has a central position and therefore also a great challenge: holding out against all the tribes while also trying to stop internal turmoil. Only a worthy emperor could take upon this task and finish it successfully.

For anyone looking to join any of the sub-factions of the Empire, expect a rocky start and much work, but a big pay-off if you manage to pull everything back together in the form of ruling your very own Roman Empire (or being a veteran commander of its legions, restoring glory with each foe that falls!).

Vlandia – Mercenary Lances, Swords and Crossbows


The Vlandians are essentially ancestors of Swadia and the Rhodoks. Originally mercenaries from overseas paid by the Calradic Empire, they declared independence when the Empire showed weakness and took rule over the territories the same Empire had given them as payment once upon a time. Their name comes from Wilund the Bold, Valandion in the Calradic tongue.

In terms of gameplay, Vlandia is somewhat comparable to the Empire: sturdy infantry, powerful shock cavalry and ranged support, this time in the form of heavy crossbows instead of bows. As for territory, Vlandia resides in the territories where we would find Swadia and the Rhodoks, with numerous mountains, hills, and rivers offering protection from outsiders.

Problems, however, arise from internal dissent, in a similar fashion to the Empire, lords often follow their wishes and agendas rather than the good of the kingdom and therefore the player will find himself obligated to try and keep Vlandia’s forces together or face failure.

Battania – The Wildmen


The Battanians are among the original inhabitants of Calradia which makes them fairly unique among Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord’s factions. They are warriors of the misty mountains who reside in hilltop fortresses, ambushing and destroying those who invade their lands in lightning-quick raids.

The Battanians begin surrounded by strong and warmongering empires: Sturgia, Vlandia, and the Calradic Empire. A true Battanian commander will make use of their speed and deadly weapons to ambush and drive out invaders from their lands, however, the main challenge will be carving out more territory for the clans as light armor and speed are less valuable when rocks and arrows rain down upon your warriors from atop stone walls.

Sturgia – The Cold of the Northern Forests


Sturgia faction represents the ancestors of the Nords and the Vaegirs. The territory Sturgia covers is a rich one, providing much of the fur trade which is also how this area was originally settled. Traders and other people would come here for the bountiful forests, eventually forming alliances with the local tribes and later cities, principalities and finally the great kingdom it is now.

Position wise, this faction resides in a fairly remote area, covering the north of the map. This area should prove to be fairly safe and easy to defend, making for a favorable start to a campaign. However not all is well in this cold northern land, unlike the other factions, the main problem comes not from neighbors, petty lord conflicts or civil wars, but from the head of the faction itself, a tyrant who prefers to be feared than loved, to be cruel and selfish, than to reward those beneath his banner.

A powerful commander could perhaps draw the lords under another banner and cut down the villain from his throne, thus securing a rich and powerful kingdom, with plenty of strong axes and excellent horse riders that are ready to descend from the cold north to the southern lands.

Khuzait Khanate – Doom From the Steppes


The Khuzait are people of the steppes, once merely just bickering tribes, now a force great enough to threaten the Empire itself. The nomads-turned-kings were once simple inhabitants of the steppes, tribes fighting with each other over the vast eastern fields of Calradia.

The fate of the steppe clans changed some years after the Empire built its trade cities on the borders of the steppes. The Calradic Empire generally just toyed with the steppe tribes, making them fight each other and occasionally assassinating more prominent leaders, never considering them a threat, however, some new tribes were pushing westward, and the old ones refusing to be caught in the middle, pushed towards the lands of the Empire that mocked them.

The tribes figured that the control the Empire had over them barred them from becoming more powerful and put their lives in peril as the new tribes coming from the east would surely devastate them. After much conflict the tribes finally gathered and took over the Empire’s expansions, thus rose the Khanate.

Like Mount and Blade II: Bannelord’s faction with the heaviest horse combat focus, this faction’s skirmish potential is sky-high. Fast horsemen, deadly in both arrow, lance, and saber are the mainstay of their army, however, one should not underestimate the skills of their infantry and archers either, who will hold the line while the mounted archers thin your lines before the deadly charge of the steppe lances.

For those looking to command their steppe clan, the biggest problem that you will likely tackle within the Khanate will be unity. Each clan claims they should be the ones to carry the nine-horsetail banner (which symbolizes supreme authority) following the death of the previous great khan.

Aserai – Nomads of the Southern Desert


The ancestors of the Sarranids, clans, and tribes of the great southern desert. The Empire has never been able to directly wipe out these people, instead of resorting to creating rivalries between them. With the fall of the Calradic Empire however, the clans were now presented with new opportunities: to rule the desert under the power of a Sultan and to bring down the other empires to their knees.

The strength of the Aserai lies within their flexibility, their warriors fighting mounted or on foot, with spear, axe or saber, all while pelting the enemy with javelins and ranged fire. An Aserai force is no small enemy, as commanders will be facing a highly adaptive and tough enemy whose tactics could prove very troublesome.

Players should try to keep the faction united, as the clans and tribes will surely bicker again and this could pose a big threat to an Aserai empire that wants to be strong and able to conquer their powerful neighbors.


And here ends our recap of Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord’s main factions and their lore. We hope our short overview will help you pick your favorite faction and have a basic overview of what to expect in terms of their variety. If you’re curious about minor factions in Bannerlord, you should read our overview. We wish you many great adventures across Calradia!

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