Once you’ve created your character and navigated your way through the combat tutorial area, you will be unceremoniously placed on the campaign map. Although you’re not completely left in the dark, with one or two tasks to complete before the tutorial ends, there are a few things you should know if this is your first time playing Mount & Blade.
Recruit, Recruit, Recruit!
If you want to survive even your first 10 minutes of the game, you will need to recruit some troops to form the basis of your clan. You can travel to the nearby villages of Tevea, Zestea, Canoros, and Sagora to hire some. In addition, you can visit the castle of Poros to recruit troops, hire mercenaries, and acquire companions. To begin with, though, you will need to visit the village of Tevea to learn some information about your missing siblings.
When you’re ready to leave the village of Tevea, hold [TAB]. This will bring you to the village menu, where you can purchase food and hire troops. You have the option to hire fewer troops than the total on offer at this point. However, it is recommended that you hire as many troops as possible as early as possible. This will allow them to train and gain experience in your upcoming battles, ensuring that they progress swiftly. It can take some time for troops to gain experience, especially if your battles are infrequent, so having as many as possible train at the same time is a good idea.
In terms of food, at this point your options will be limited. You can purchase 3 sacks of grain initially, but keep in mind that once you’ve spoken with Headman Deltisos again, another 3 sacks of grain will be available for purchase if you choose to trade before leaving. You should always keep a healthy supply of food in your inventory to ensure that you can sustain your troops. The variety of food items is also important. Although you can easily get by with unlimited sacks of grain, providing the same old food to your troops day in, day out will gradually deplete their morale.
Fighting the Raiders
Once you’ve spoken with Headman Deltisos, you will learn of some local groups of raiders in the area. They are likely connected to the group which has taken your siblings, so it’s in your interest to hunt them down and seek out their leader. To begin with, you’ll need to take out three groups of raiders around Tevea. Each group consists of 6 troops which you can fight separately with your superior force of 8. The groups are represented by figures on the map, with light blue exclamation marks identifying them as part of a quest. Click on the corresponding figure to chase them down and initiate the fight.
Once you’re on the battlefield, your troops will not take any action until you instruct them to do so. The most basic action you can take is to order your troops to charge. Press [F1] to bring up the combat tactics menu, providing you with a number of options. For now you can select [F3] to order the charge and join the troops in battle. You can experiment with these commands during or even at the end of any battle to become familiar with them.
When the fight is over, press [TAB] to see a breakdown of the outcome including the amount of troops remaining, the amount of kills for each troop (including yourself), any troops that have upgraded, and the amount dead, wounded, and routed. After this you will have the option to capture or free prisoners and then take any loot in the form of food, weapons, armour, horses and other basic supplies.
Once all three groups of raiders are defeated, you will be able to speak with one of their prisoners. He informs you that there is a hideout at the foot of the mountains to the north, named Radagos’s Hideout. You must now travel there and confront Radagos to learn more about your siblings. If you are low on health after the previous battle, take some time to rest by pressing ‘Play’ in the campaign map. Outside of the tutorial, you will be able to rest by visiting any settlement and selecting ‘Wait here for some time’.
Once you’re in Radagos’s Hideout, order your troops to attack and take out the bandits group by group. Your troops will automatically identify any nearby groups of enemies, but you can also reveal them through objects by pressing [LEFT ALT]. Once you’ve cleared all groups you will be confronted by Radagos. Here you will have the option to fight him with your remaining men, or duel him on your own.
Choosing the latter will gain you more renown and increase the morale of your men by a larger amount, but you should note that Radagos has a lot of health and can be difficult to defeat. Nonetheless, if you try and fail, your men will drag you out and you will be able to return to the fight after resting. Your best chance of success will involve kiting Radagos while keeping him at sword’s length. You can then continuously slash from the side while staying far away enough to ensure that Radagos is unable to land a hit.
Regardless of your choice, when the fight is done you will have the option to choose your family name, your clan banner and your clan colours before the tutorial ends.