“Mount & Blade Warband: Viking Conquest”

Mount & Blade: Warband is a medieval role-playing game where players interact with all sorts of aspects of feudal government, including all matters military, economic and diplomatic. By choosing
one’s own foothold in this virtual world, a kingdom can be crafted and molded to one’s own choosing.

There are a variety of soldiers available for recruitment willing to follow the player, or by hiring soldiers left out of work. Warband offers different kinds of units for combat and generalizes troops into infantry, cavalry, and archery categories.

Special recruitable characters called Companions can be recruited to bring conflict and excitement to one’s travels. Shady people with claims to a foreign throne can be met in taverns to plot military coups.

The overworld of Warband is dynamic, with groups traveling across the lands doing business as their roles are defined. Thieves attack villagers, enemy armies attack and lay siege upon anything weaker than themselves.

I enjoy strategic ambushes on enemy caravans carrying food shipments because it can deprive castles in siege of valuable resources.

On a smaller scale, castles sometimes hold tournaments where lucrative bets can be made to get rich. After the tournament one could join the local feast and entice potential spouses with crude poetry.

While the game engine is faulty on occasion and the menus seem archaic, the largest selling point for Warband is its ease of customization. More and more developers are allowing gamers to participate in the programming of their games from creation and, as a result, hundreds of modifications are available to play with.

Paradox Studios recently released Viking Conquest; an amazing DLC overhaul of the original version. The economic system has been completely revamped, making obtaining new equipment more challenging. New textures make the map and menus more appealing to look at.

New weapons, cities, units and to simulate Nordic invasions, a whole new map of Scandinavia is available to explore. Featuring a new story mode for the player to explore, it also added an aspect of realism. Before, riding against a few dozen knights alone was perfectly reasonable but with stamina incorporated, combat is not so simple.

Careful planning, patience and shenanigans are required to reach the top of the medieval food chain. With naval combat such an integral part of Viking Conquest, I appreciate cavalry no longer dominating combat within the game.

Mount & Blade: Warband was published for Microsoft Windows on Mar. 30, 2010 by Paradox Interactive. It was ported to Mac OS X and Linux on July 10, 2014. The Viking Conquest DLC was released on Dec. 11, 2014.