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Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord
Strategy Guide

Author(s): Scott Peers
First Published: 23-04-2020 / 00:00 GMT
Last Updated: 10-07-2020 / 20:25 GMT
Version: 1.0 (????) 12-07-2020 / 12:07 GMT

For a full list of Polearm perks, see here.

The main reason to specialise in polearms in Mount & Blade: Bannerlord is to use them while mounted on horseback. They provide much greater reach than one-handed or two-handed weapons, and can be couched to inflict devastating damage on one or more opponents as you ride by them at high speed. Although you can use one-handed or two-handed weapons while mounted, you won't be able to couch them and you will need to ride much closer to enemy lines to ensure a hit. The polearm perk tree also provides advantages for horseback combat such as increased damage to other horses, improved couched damage in general, and reduced cooldown before you can couch your polearm again. To couch your polearm means that you will be piercing enemies head-on, but you can also choose to swing a polearm against multiple units as you ride behind the ranks of an enemy army. This is particularly effective against groups of archers, which would otherwise be protected by multiple lines of infantry or enemy cavalry. In addition to basic damage and speed increases, the polearm perk tree provides the ability to knock multiple enemies back, interrupting their attack animations. You can also increase the base morale of your army by 15%.

If you want to focus on creating a polearm build, you will benefit from selecting the following background skills during character creation (for a full breakdown of background skills, see Defining Background Skills):

  • Family - A Baron's Retainers: +10 Skill Level and 1 Focus Point to Riding and Polearm. 1 Attribute Point to Social.

  • Early Childhood - Your skill with horses: +10 Skill Level and 1 Focus Point to Riding and Medicine. 1 Attribute Point to Endurance.

  • Adolescence - Caring for horses: +10 Skill Level and 1 Focus Point to Riding and Steward. 1 Attribute Point to Endurance.

  • Youth - Trained with the infantry: +10 Skill Level and 1 Focus Point to Polearm and One-Handed weapons. 1 Attribute Point to Vigor.

  • Young Adulthood - You defeated an enemy in battle: +10 Skill Level and 1 Focus Point to One-Handed weapons and Two-Handed weapons. 1 Attribute Point to Vigor. +1 to Valor and +20 Renown.

  • Story Background - You rode off on a fast horse: +10 Skill Level and 1 Focus Point to Riding and Scouting. 1 Attribute Point to Endurance.

Note: These background skills are recommended based on the core improvements to this specific combat type. You may wish to select different skills to balance other areas of development in trade, crafting, social, and leadership abilities depending on your preferences.

Selecting these background skills will provide you with the highest skill in polearm weapons and their associated attributes and skills at the beginning of the game. You can then gradually improve your skill in polearms by investing attribute points in Vigor and skill points in polearm combat. This will increase the learning rate of of that particular skill, allowing you to level it faster as you use polearms in battle scenarios. The more frequently polearms are used, the faster your skill level with them will increase. This applies even to the amount of times that you execute a simple swing or strike with them. The most experience is earned upon successful hits, especially if you are able to kill one or more enemies with one hit, but you can also earn experience with practice swings during a lull in fighting.

The polearm perk tree is fairly linear in terms of the options for progression available to you. Initially at level 25 you will be able to slightly increase your hit points, and greatly improve the morale of your troops at the beginning of a battle by 15% at level 50. From here you can choose whether to increase damage dealt to horses by a significant 70%, or increase your movement speed by 2%. Given that you will be spending much of your time in battles on horseback if you invest in the polearm skill, the increased damage to horses is recommended over the small boost to general speed. The next choice at level 150 is between increased swing damage or thrust damage; a matter of preference depending on your style. The same goes for your choices at level 175 - increased damage with polearms on foot or on horseback - the latter is recommended to create the ultimate horseback killing machine.

In terms of equipment for a polearm build, you can utilise four weapon slots. This allows you to specialise in other forms of combat in addition to polearms. For example, if your main build is based on horseback combat with a polearm, you can also develop your bow or crossbow skills and select the perks most relevant to mounted ranged attacks. This will improve your versatility on the battlefield when using a melee weapon might not be the best option, allowing you to switch between ranged and melee attacks easily. There is also an advantage to remaining on horseback in that your speed will not be limited by the amount of extra weapons that you carry, but do note that you will need at least one weapon slot for either arrows or bolts when using a bow or crossbow. If a bow or crossbow isn't your thing, you can also develop your throwing skills and have a few axes, javelins, or knives at the ready when necessary. Alternatively you can simply equip a shield alongside a one-handed spear, sword, axe, or mace for when you need to dismount, such as when besieging a settlement.

Tip: When selecting a one-handed weapon to use with a shield as a secondary build to your main horseback, two-handed polearm build, be sure to look for one-handed polearms so that you benefit from the polearm perk buffs. These will always be spears, glaives, and lances.

The best polearms are generally those which can be crafted. However, if you don't want to invest in the crafting system and would rather find equivalents at marketplaces or from battle loot, you should look out for the following:

One-handed polearms:
  • Long Glaive: Superior cut damage, less pierce damage, good reach and handling
Swing Speed Cut Damage Thrust Speed Pierce Damage Length Handling
24 22 87 34 206 64
  • Triangular Throwing Spear: Superior pierce damage and handling, less reach and slightly less speed, lacks cut damage
Thrust Speed Pierce Damage Length Handling
84 41 155 72
  • Thin Fine Steel Hewing Spear: Superior reach and speed, less pierce damage and handling, lacks cut damage
Thrust Speed Pierce Damage Length Handling
87 38 219 63
Two-handed polearms:
  • Western Pike: Superior reach, good pierce damage, lacks cut damage, poor handling
Thrust Speed Pierce Damage Length Handling
79 42 299 40
  • Warrazor: Good balance of excellent pierce damage and cut damage, less reach and handling
Swing Speed Cut Damage Thrust Speed Pierce Damage Length Handling
62 155 90 41 205 52
  • Rhomphalia: Superior cut damage, decent swing speed, reach, and handling
Swing Speed Cut Damage Length Handling
69 169 203 59
  • Sledgehammer: Superior swing speed, good cut damage, excellent pierce damage and handling, less reach
Swing Speed Cut Damage Thrust Speed Pierce Damage Length Handling
86 135 96 45 171 75

Note: These are just a few of the best weapons of this type in Bannerlord, but each of the above have been chosen for their different strengths in specific categories.

These weapons are not too difficult to find in the early game, but they can be expensive. The two-handed polearms are much more expensive than one-handed polearms, so you may wish to start with a one-handed polearm and shield to begin with. Each of these weapons can be found on the battlefield, especially after fighting a lord. It is therefore recommended that you join a faction and participate in a large battle with an ally lord against an enemy lord as soon as possible. This will allow you to earn a lot of money in a short amount of time, while also providing you with an opportunity to loot some of the best items with little effort.

Guide Information

  • Publisher
    TaleWorlds Entertainment
  • Platforms
    PC, Steam
  • Genre
    Action Role-playing, Sandbox
  • Guide Release
    23 April 2020
  • Last Updated
    10 July 2020
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Scott Peers

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The empire of Calradia is plagued by inner conflict, tearing the structure of the old order as new lines are drawn on the map. The chaos creates a dangerous world, with opportunities to capitalise on the uncertainty of the future. Control trade routes to manipulate production and distribution of resources, join factions to gain renown and influence world politics, or create your own clan to build a world of your own. Whatever path you choose, this guide will help you to understand the intricacies of the Bannerlord economy, combat, factions, skills and perks, tactics, troop types, character builds, smithing system, quests, and much more to ensure that you are never left wondering what to do next, or how you might go about doing it.

Inside Version 1.0

  • Guide to quests for each region, includes main quests and side quests
  • Guide to combat system, includes basic and advanced techniques for different weapons
  • Guide to combat tactics, includes how to organise troops on the battlefield and simulation battles
  • Guide to attribute, skill, and perk systems, includes recommended perks for each character build
  • Guide to companion system, includes where to find the best companions and how to get the most out of them
  • Guide to the economy system, includes detailed description of trade system and each method for gaining wealth

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