[Viking Conquest] Player Cavalry Guide

Guide To Playing Mounted

This guide is targeted at players who haven't played much VC, but are experienced at warband generally--basically, if you can solo bandit bands as cavalry in other mods, but haven't tried it in VC.

1) Heavy is perhaps the ultimate modifier for horses in VC, arguably better for some purposes than the much more expensive champion modifier. VC horses are already very fast and maneuverable, and a few points from Champion or Spirited won't change much, especially since you don't have to worry about outrunning enemy cavalry for the most part.

Heavy is wonderful though. Armor from 16 to 19, charge from 18 to 22, increased hit points, it basically takes the one weakness of VC horses and mitigates it. Heavy horses can generally take (full damage settings) a couple throwing spear hits and keep running, or many sling bullets or javilins, or a couple stray axe or spear hits.

This helps not only the player, but especially companion cavalry, who tend to get themselves surrounded and need the extra survivability and charge points to survive.

2) Best early-game cavalry PC equipment:

Sword: Briton Sword (trades a downgrade in thrust damage for increased slashing damage and length. Perfect for early cavalry). Commonly found off reavers and some vikingr everywhere, and for sale often in Wales. Obviously will be replaced with a special sword later, but Briton sword gets the job done about as well anyway.

Shield: look for any of the 85/85 speed/size shields, or failing that the 85/86 (that one has a bit less resistance and hp, but basically works fine). Steer clear of the many smaller size shields. Berserker shield is a slight improvement, but marginal. Really any size 85 shield is great.

Throwing weapons: Either "large bag of" throwing spears, or "balanced" skirmish javilins, make the best deals early game. The first is probably better against heavily armored opponents, the second against lighter, but both are good. Don't reverse the modifiers though--balanced isn't very useful on throwing spears, and "large bag of" doesn't make much difference on skirmish javilins.

Later, find and kill a band of veteran skirmishers from the masterless men faction in Ireland, and stock up on "balanced" heavy javilins (8 ammo per slot), which are a substantial improvement, but less readily available. Even better is to kill some horsemen skirmishers and get horsemen javilins (a bit less damage, but 12 ammo).

Horse: even a swaybacked pony will allow you to dominate fights against basic outlaws, so don't be afraid to buy a starter pony, and it isn't a waste as it will remain useful after you upgrade by just sitting in your inventory and reducing the movement cost of carried weight. Lame ponies seem to heal fast in this mod with basic medical skill, so that is a pretty economical choice. When you are ready to upgrade to horse, hold out for a town with Heavy modifier horses rather than buying any horse, they are pretty common and not much of a price increase.

Armor: First purchase is best quality leather gloves in your current town, then immediatly have the armor maker upgrade them allthe way. +9 body armor for a couple hundred gold. Then you can usually find a high base value cloth armor with a bad modifier for pretty cheap (when you want something to use temporally good item/bad modifier is generally the way to go, ie a great piece of armor that is rusty or tattered is often very cheap). Don't bother upgrading, this one won't be relevant for long. Solo some groups with higher level bandits (highwaymen) or a couple of those 3-6 member vikingr parties and you should have a mail shirt or at least very good cloth armor very fast anyway.

3) Generaly, avoid ruffians or any unit with slings or stones-- basically all the very low level units. They are dangerous as they have the potential for lucky strikes. Safer and obviously much more rewarding to fight heavier units like elite vikingr and other units with only throwing weapons. They are willing to throw even when your mounted circles are at quite some distance, and with a raised shield they basically never hit you, and only very rarely your horse (and the heavy modifier can take that occasional hit).

4) Player cavalry is far more powerful in VC than most other mods, because there are so few threats to you. Little enemy cavalry. No good archers, and the good slingers have poor loot and so should be avoided anyway (unless harvesting irish skirmishers for their 8-ammo throwing weapons). Throwing weapons won't hit you if you start your circles at long range, make sure the terrain is reasonably flat, and only gradually tighten the circles to draw in the ai units that haven't decided to throw at the longer ranges.

Basically, there is nothing to counter player cavalry in this mod, so despite the lower armor horses, player cavalry has become even more powerful in VC.

5) short weapon reach in this mod generally advantages you, because once you get used to cutting things a bit closer you hit fine with your sword strikes, while the enemy has a lot more trouble reaching you with its axes and swords. Especially since the briton sword's 90 reach puts it longer than the common 80 reach swords or shorter axes used by heavy opponents. Enemies also fall out of formation in random ways when you have a melee weapon equipped (they stay tighter when you have throwing weapons equiped) ensuring plenty of stragglers from the herd to cut down as you circle. With a little bit of practice nothing but the very long spear enemy heavy units will pose any threat.

6) Watch out for svear elite vikingr with long spears, and northvengr vikingr. Bait then into dropping their shield by letting them approach your slowly walking horse and then kill them with throwing weapons. Normal vikingr or other less talented units with spears are still fine to cut down with your sword, they don't move fast enough or reach long enough to counter your speed.

1.5 hand sword and 1.5 hand axes units (often irish or pict) are dangerous as well, and should probably be dealt with throwing weapons. Normal 1 hand axe units lack the reach to be dangerous if you manage your distance well.

7) You can use the 2 camps + 1 refuge liberally to allow yourself to solo enemy groups, just get enough distance to keep the camp from helping in battle if you dropped it after seeing the enemy. If in storyline, don't recruit any companions from taverns until you are ready, since they can't be dismissed until the storyline completes.

The camps facilitate soloing enemy bands far more than in other mods.

8) the achievable goal is to never be hit, as the armor will never be enough to let you ignore the enemy damage for good units really. I'm sure there a better sources for this kind of specific advice, but in this mod I like to aim my gallop a bit to the left of the targeted straggler, then as I reach him pull away by overcorrecting to the right while swinging the sword, generally speeds the strike and hits the enemy while pulling away from their limitied range. Seems to work better for the limited range swords of VC than the way I ride in other mods.

Suggested Houserules And Loot Mechanics

9) suggested houserules:

- limit yourself to max one visit to the ammo reload chest per battle. Otherwise it is too easy to just kill 50+ groups with throwing weapons with virtually no risk--I think it is more fun if you have to be selective on who gets javelined to death and do the brunt of the work with your sword.

- don't buy a club and selectively knock out all the top quality units from horseback, unless you are sure you don't mind the insanely powerful results. I did that in one play through and then abandoned it after losing interest--it breaks the game when every group of vikingr means adding a ship captain and a couple of elite vikingr to the player camp. The automatic chance of some killed units being wounded instead gives a much more reasonable amount of heavy armor recruits.

10) Some general remakrs on loot oddities:

- if you are fighting a large group, kill one elite unit first, before you slaughter too many of the low level units. The way loot works is that enemies are looted in order of first kill, and peasant loot can crowd out good loot.

Kill 1 peasant, then 100 elites, then 99 peasants, and you only get peasant loot, because killed enemies are stacked and looted in order of the stack deaths.

Easy to control by looking for mail shirts on units, and picking them off first, mostly leaving the cloth tunic units alone even if they open themselves up.

Usually, this is most relevant when it is also harder to control--large ship battles where parties are huge and guys are falling left and right. Still, you can usually aim a few quick javelins at some elite units in ship battles, and if you ever wondered why sometimes the loot is so terrible in large battles, it is probably because the squishy units died first (as is only natural).

To fix this loot problem, you can download VC Balance Mod 4.1 (the 2.0 changelog lists how loot was fixed by capping peasant gear): https://www.nexusmods.com/mountandbladevikingconquest/mods/5

Source: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1226784348					

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