As you build out your newly formed kingdom in Mount and Blade Bannerlord, you’ll start to realize just how big of an undertaking it is. The process of upgrading and defending towns and castles is a lot of work. In Mount and Blade: Bannerlord, the player is able to take over castles and villages to build their power base. This allows you to both recruit new followers and gather resources. The core of the kingdom-building in the game is built around taking these zones and then upgrading them. You need to constantly pump gold into these holdings to be able to defend them. You will also have to expand your army with new recruits to take on larger challenges. The recruitment process often requires both an influx of gold and resources. You don’t want to take this part of the game on before you’re ready.
What Settlements can be taken in Bannerlord?
The type and location of settlement matters when taking new outposts and villages. When viewing the map, understand that every Settlement in Mount and Blade: Bannerlord cannot be taken. The player and the AI factions can only fight over certain areas. You may only attack castles and villages belonging to certain factions.
To take a settlement, you must be at war with the faction which currently controls that area or village. When clicking on a settlement, you have a few options provided you are already at war. The fastest way to start a war with a faction is to Raid a Village that they hold. This will drag any members of your faction into war alongside you, so keep that in mind. A weak faction that’s not ready for war is very likely to lose. The thing you need to keep in mind is that other factions can sense weakness. You will find that sometimes that new village you just took is retaken if its not well defended.
You can use your army to force a village into submission, extracting supplies or recruits from it. This will anger both the controlling faction and the local citizens of that village. Raid it and you can trigger a war. This will turn all the castles and settlements belonging to that faction red on the overworld map. You are then free to attack any Settlement in Mount and Blade: Bannerlord belonging to that faction.
The biggest problem with this approach is when you use it solo. If you’re not part of a larger kingdom, taking a settlement or castle will mark you and that territory as rebel. This will then open you up to attacks from any other faction that you’re not allied with. The obvious problem with this is that you can’t get a large enough army on your own to survive. The better approach is to join a faction instead. This will let you take new territory, and hopefully getting it as a vassal. it will still be technically under the rule of your liege lord, but you have the protection of a larger faction in exchange. You do have another option besides war, as there’s a diplomatic path forward. Depending on your ability, you may be able to get a castle or settlement as a vassal.
How to add a Settlement as a Vassal
Getting to Clan Rank 3 is the first step. You will be able to take new settlement and castles as a vassal. You will need to then join the faction that controls the zone you want. As long as the ruling clan does not absolutely hate you, you should be able to join their kingdom. Now. you just need to raise an army and attack the village or keep you want. When you overwhelm their defenses, you can then choose to take them as your own territory.
When the settlement falls to your troops the ruling lord of the faction will get to decide who gets the territory. If they decide against you, you will not get the territory. You will always want to siege the settlement you want to take as the leader, this puts more potential votes in your column. From there, you have a few options to get more votes.
Since the decision to award territory is elective, you have ways to sway the vote. Having good relations with your other faction mates is the best approach for winning the resulting election. Do tasks for other members of your faction, as well as helping them out in battles. This helps a lot to make them like you.
Getting tons of influence is a good idea, as having higher influence with your faction members will get more votes in your favor.
Once you claim a settlement, you’re ready to begin. But that is its own bit of work. Keep reading to figure this all out.
Managing your new territory
Building new territories up is a great way to make money, assuming you can keep them loyal. In fact, town and castle Loyalty in Mount and Blade Bannerlord is one of the most important elements in the management part of the game. That process takes a lot of time. Earning money will be very important as well. You must be able to pay for upgrades, so go out and make some cash. It’s possible to make money through both crafting and selling of prisoners pretty quickly.
To unlock the full potential of the system, you also need to increase your clan tier. This can be done by completing tasks for other kingdoms in the early game. As you upgrade your territory, you will also go up in clan tier. As you increase your rank, you will be able to recruit new followers, take on larger armies, and more. This process will take a while, and basically involves playing the game as intended. The goal is to focus on taking new territory while completing quests for more ranks.