Before moving on, it is important to keep in mind that there is no such thing as the "best" troop in the realm of Pendor. Each troop has their individual roles and purposes and if used wisely, most can be extremely effective.
Unlike the dry strategy of using only overpowered heavy cavalry one would commonly employ in Native, which almost everyone was guilty of, Prophesy of Pendor has vastly improved the aspects of each category of troops. Even light shock troops can play an important role in turning the tide of a battle. Using the right strategies and the right troops will grant you victory and enough denars to continue building your mighty empire.
It should be noted that this page is only devoted to the six main kingdoms of Pendor. As these factions have the widest troop tree options, they will be by far the most common soldiers found and fought against in the game. Minor factions such as Barclay, Mettenheim, Veccavia, the Melitine, and the Noldor all have soldiers that players can access through various methods, and in most cases (especially with the Noldor, Mettenheim, and Barclay) these minor factions actually have stronger troops than the main kingdoms. Reading the pages to those factions will give you an idea about their capabilities. This page only addresses the factions that you as a player can actually serve under or rule.
Kingdom of SarleonEdit
The Kingdom of Sarleon is the central power of Pendor. Their cities are situated at the very heart of Pendor, meaning that their borders reach many different kingdoms. The Heretics and Forest Bandits typically spawn within the kingdom's borders. It fields well-trained infantry and archers, and also has strong cavalry. However, it has the weakest commoner troop tree compared to other major factions. To compensate, Sarleon receives a larger number of reinforcements than other factions do, meaning that they can rebuild their numbers faster than other factions after a major defeat.
For Sarleon troop overviews, see the Sarleon Troop Tree.
Infantry: With well-fed commoners, Sarleon footmen are strong soldiers that are well supplied by their lords with decent armor, heavy weapons and shields. Many of them are proficient with the use of the Sarleon Longsword and the feared Morningstar. The most elite troops are granted heavy mail and plate armor, and given the use of the unwieldy halberd, which they use to cleave through the flesh and armor of anything that attempts to taint the splendor of the Sarleon kingdom.
Sarleon's footmen are easy to train, at least until the Man-At-Arms tier, where they will slowly progress on to the Halberdier tier. Given the wide amount of shields that their foot soldiers carry, they are usually able to survive several barrage of missles, with the exception of the halberdiers. The Armored Footmen and Man-At-Arms are decently armored individuals capable of taking down halted cavalry and engaging against other heavily armored infantry, and the use of their shields generally ensure their survival in their march towards a firing line. However, their wooden shields do shatter pretty easily, so players should ensure that these troops manuever themselves to engage the enemy archers as quickly as possible.
The Halberdiers, on the other hand are completely vulnerable to archers, especially horse archers. One should keep them away from archers, either by hiding them behind shielded troops or hills, before sending them to engage their foes. The Halberdiers are the finest foot soldiers of Sarleon, and rightfully so. They possess heavy plate armor that allows them to be able to shrug off several blows before going down, and their halberds can easily slice through armor and flesh. They can stop cavalry charges right in their tracks, before bringing down the halberd for a finishing blow on the rider. Additionally, the halberdiers are surprisingly capable of combating infantry, even in sieges. However, should an enemy get in close to the halberdier, it can spell disaster for the halberds as they lack a short-range weapon to counter those sort of attacks.
If one is using an all-Sarleon army, in order to use Sarleon's footmen effectively, carry a mix of Man-At-Arms and Halberdiers to ensure optimal effectiveness against any threats. Using the shielded Man-At-Arms to combat enemy archers and infantry and the halberdiers to engage any opposing cavalry will usually ensure victory with light losses. Using Halberdiers alone invites a lot of death and pain from enemy ranged units, however.
Archers: Sarleon's ranged units are overall among the weakest of the six kingdoms. The archers of Sarleon make use of the longbow, a powerful and deadly bow that requires an experienced individual to maximize its effectiveness. Sarleon archers make excellent siege defenders, due in large to the high damage output they can unleash with a single arrow. What they may lack in firing speed, they do make up for that with raw power on each shot.
Inexperienced archers use the short bow, while Sarleon Longbowmen and Armored Longbowmen use the longbows, a deadly and powerful tool of war that is difficult to master. They carry standard heraldic kite shields and longswords, and armored longbowmen wear heavier platemail than allows them to often take multiple hits in combat. However, they fare horribly in melee, especially against cavalry, and thus require the halberdiers to defend them from that threat. Ravenstern and D'Shar archers along with Empire crossbowmen all outclass Sarleon in combat, as well - don't trust Sarleon archers in a shootout. Other factions' archers shoot faster and with greater skill, while crossbowmen hit much hardler than longbow shots.
A select few Sarleon parties will contain Sentinels from the Order of the Clarion Call. These foot archers lack heavy armor and shields, but make up for it with much better archery skill and often far more ammunition than standard Sarleon archers, and their awlpikes allow them to fight off cavalry a little better than their Sarleon counterparts.
Cavalry: Sarleon, without a doubt, fields the heaviest cavalry in Pendor, and it is around this strength their armies are mustered. Their Knights are heavily armored and deadly, and the sight of one bearing down on a hapless foot soldier, with their morningstars raised, is enough to cause many to flee in terror. They also use longswords, the two-handed silver claymores and lances to great effect.
The only thing in Sarleon's arsenal more fearsome than a Sarleon Knight is a Knight of the Lion. They too, use morningstars, swords and lances to great effect. Each swing of their weapons can easily slaughter mid-tier troops and leave top-tier infantry on the brink of death. The one weakness suffered by Sarleon and Lion Knights is a lack of shields, but their overall superior equipment and combat skills help to level the playing field.
Sarleon Cavalry and Squires are also acceptable soldiers on the battlefield. Though not knights, they act as measurably good medium cavalry and are a threat to many foot units while mounted. While they can't go lance to lance with other factions' knights, running down archers or breaking an infantry line is certainly within their capabilities.
Fighting Sarleon: Sarleon can be either the biggest pain to fight or among the easiest opponents to deal with. The trick is what to do about their cavalry, which can be a nightmare if they manage to flank your own troops.
Getting on a position of high ground is incredibly helpful, as it negates the Sarleon cavalry charge. Fighting in a heavily wooded area can also serve a similar purpose, though it also will impact your units negatively in certain regards.
If you have strong enough infantry, allowing them to charge headlong into your line might be the best course. As they hit your infantry, use a ranged weapon and serve up point-blank headshots to their best units. Meanwhile, send your own cavalry around and charge their horsemen in the flank. While your armies mix it up, use your ranged units to pepper the Sarleon infantry while you yourself go archer-hunting. By your lonesome you can do quite a number on Sarleon longbowmen, either killing their heavy archers by yourself or slowing their advance so that the Sarleon infantry outrun their own fire support.
Once the enemy cavalry breaks, reform your line and break the Sarleon infantry charge while sending your cavalry to finish off their ranged units. Once complete, surround and crush the remaining Sarleon footmen.
Kingdom of RavensternEdit
The Ravenstern kingdom lies in the harsh mountains to the north of Pendor. Their kingdom has only two points of entrance, one of which is infested with Jatu and Mystmountain patrols and armies. Living under harsh conditions, Ravenstern citizens are hardy individuals who mine for iron and battle the Mystmountain barbarians regularly. It has effective foot and mounted archers and decent horsemen, infantry and knights.
For Ravenstern troop overviews, see the Ravenstern Troop Tree.
Infantry: Under the harsh climate of the mountains and facing the Mystmountain on a regular basis, Ravenstern men are tough and strong-willed individuals. As an extra measure against the cold, most Ravenstern infantry wear some form of kilt with their armor.
Trained with the use of axes and swords, Ravenstern footmen are lethal forces to be reckoned with. They also use shields regularly, and their armor is pretty decent.
Overall, their infantry are solid soldiers, and their Men-at-Arms and Kierguards are easy to train. Their axes allow them to shatter shields easily. However, Ravenstern lacks any substantial infantry support against cavalry, with some of them carrying polehammers, but all lacking polearms of most kind. That being said, most of their infantry are at least well-shielded against ranged troops. Their Kierguards are reliable soldiers, and although their fighting prowess cannot be compared to the Fierdsvain Huscarls, they are good troops to be fielded in armies or placed in garrisons due to their cheap upkeep and the short time to train them.
The Ravenstern Highlanders battalions are comprised of men living in the area around the city of Senderfall. They undergo harsher training, in order to strengthen both their bodies and minds to fight the hordes of the Mystmountain raiders. Unlike the Kierguards, Highlanders not only wield shields and axes but also the Ravenstern Great Sword, an essential tool to decapitate the Mystmountain steeds and raiders. In combat, the Highlanders are almost as tough as the Fierdsvain Huscarls, and can easily engage in melee combat with them. Their Great Swords grant the Highlanders high assault prowess against infantry and cavalry.
Archers: Due to the nature of their environment, even the village watch are well-trained with the use of the bow, allowing them to eliminate foes at range, especially the Mystmountain raiders. The villagers also commonly deploy hunters to capture moose, and thus many boys have perfected the use of the bow by the time they are ready to serve in their lord's warbands.
The Ravenstern Kingdom fields the most skilled archers among the major kingdoms. Their Long Composite Bows enable their archers to fire rapidly, without sacrificing the bow's power. Coupled with the use of the bodkin arrows, even the Ravenstern Archers are lethal against top-tier troops at range. The more experienced Wardens and Rangers don heavier armor and are not only more experienced with their bows, but also with their axes, longswords and greatswords. The only known archers that can fire as fast, if not faster than the Ravenstern archers are the Noldor. D'Shar Ghazi Marksmen, with their better Hornbows, can pove a match for the Ravenstern Ranger, though the Ravenstern units are much more numerous and easier to obtain.
Due to their rate of fire, they excel both on the field and in sieges. They can easily shatter shields, eliminate unshielded foes and dehorse incoming cavalry. Most foes that attempt to get within melee range of the archers usually end up as a bloodied heap of flesh on the ground, with arrows protruding out of their bodies from odd angles. Once the archers run out of arrows, which can happen quickly in protracted engagements, they are much more vulnerable. Cavalry is always a threat, though Ravenstern Rangers do wield the mighty Ravenstern Great Sword to help compensate for the vulnerability. Berserkers and horsemen riding on very powerful mounts like the Netherworld Chargers and Ironbred Stallions can usually eliminate them easily in melee combat. Be sure to keep them well protected with your own cavalry forces or some form of anti-cavalry infantry. Ravenstern archers can play an essential role in battles, and it is recommended for one to train or rescue some of them, even if one is not a mercenary or a vassal of the Ravenstern Kingdom.
Cavalry: The Kingdom of Ravenstern fields both noble and non-noble cavalry. This grants them exceptional tactical advantages over their foes, as their steeds are a mixture of agile hunters and powerful warhorses. With a larger cavalry force, not only are the Ravenstern Lords able to travel faster, but they are also fearsome in battle.
The non-noble cavalry consist of the Mounted Rangers and Horsemen. Both ride on lighter hunters and are equipped with chain and mail. The Mounted Rangers use shorter composite bows to fire from horseback with ease. They also use a mix of longswords and great swords to great effect, using their mount's speed to slice through even the heaviest armor that the Sarleon kingdom can produce. The Horsemen use swords, one-handed and two-handed axes as well as cavalry lances. Given the variety of weapons they carry, the Horsemen can easily shatter shields on the first charge and follow up with a swing from their shorter weapons, which can usually eliminate or severly weaken dangerous foes.
Both the Mounted Rangers and Horsemen, as well as Ravenstern Squires, are great troops to pursue routing troops and attack enemy archers, though none are very effective against other cavalry - their equipment is too light to contend with other knights.
The Knights are heavier cavalry riding on warhorses, using their steeds' powerful charge to smash through infantry shieldwalls. Their armor is heavy, granting them great protection against enemy attacks. Unlike Horsemen, they don't use axes but completely focus on the use of swords and lances. The Order of the Dragon also provides excellent knights that ultimately are much heavier versions of Ravenstern Knights.
As powerful as the Ravenstern Knights are, their fighting skills and endurance aren't a match to the Sarleon heavy knights, and are usually decimated by them. Even the Knights of the Dragon are only barely able to match up with them, and are then, dominated by the skills of the Knights of the Lion. Thus, keep your Ravenstern cavalry forces well supported with the Ravenstern Rangers when facing superior foes.
Ravenstern's cavalry is a great choice for a mercenary or a vassal of Ravenstern, as they are cheap to maintain, easy to train, and their Mounted Rangers are lethal with their skirmishing tactics.
Fighting Ravenstern: Gear up your army to deal with an awful lot of arrows. Make sure your infantry mostly have shields, that your ranged units have decent armor, and try to keep your cavalry behind some cover to avoid being shot down on their way to the enemy line. Ravenstern's infantry and cavalry aren't going to match up with the heaviest infantry and horsemen that you can field, so bringing in a nice collection of heavy cav - Sarleon knights, Order knights, Barclay horsemen, Hero Adventurers, etc. - can easily overwhelm most Ravenstern units.
Your cavalry should be your main focus for the fight, and dealing with Ravenstern's archers should be your first goal. Either get around to the Ravenstern rear and smash their archers first, or you might end up in a bloody shootout. Ravenstern Rangers, Iceguard Rangers, and Silvermist Rangers can easily outmatch your own ranged units (unless you also have those units), so keep them busy up close.
If you lack cavalry, you better hope your shieldwall can march fast enough. Close the distance and bullrush the enemy to lessen their ranged advantage. Once the archers have been neutralized, the rest of their army can be easily overwhelmed.
Living along the western coast lies the hardy Fierdsvain citizens, along with their Vanskerry cousins. The Fierdsvain hail from an unnamed icy homeland who have travelled to Pendor in longboats seeking greener pastures. The Fierdsvain are exceptionally strong and hearty soldiers individually, who place emphasis on personal strength and endurance. They are frequently harassed by Vanskerry and Heretics, which spawn around and within their borders. The Fierdsvain fields heavy and powerful infantry, good medium skirmishing and shock cavalry, but rather lackluster ranged units.
For Fierdsvain troop overviews, see the Fierdsvain Troop Tree.
Infantry: The men and women of the Fierdsvain kingdom are much stronger and larger than most Pendorians. This grants them physical advantage over the infantry of other kingdoms. Hardened by constant raids from the Vanskerries and their way of life, Fierdsvain men and women are already exceptionally strong individuals by the time they are old enough to serve in a lord's warband. In addition to their formidable physical prowess, Fierdsvain footmen generally carry axes, increasing their lethality. The infantry is the true powerhouse of the Fierdsvain kingdom, and allowing a battalion of them to reach your soldiers unscathed spells disaster for your troops.
Fierdsvain infantry are already powerful fighters when they attain the rank of Light Infantry, proficent not only in melee but make do as decent skirmishers with their throwing axes as well. As compared to the other kingdoms' infantry, the Fierdsvain soldiers also have higher powerstrike, ironflesh and athletics attributes. Their weapon proficiencies are also higher, making them much more dangerous fighters as compared to other soldiers. Fierdsvain infantry ultimately branch out into two different specialities, namely the Fierdsvain Huscarls and the Berserkers. The heavily-armored and disciplined Huscarls make up the shieldwall, while lightly-armored and largely suicidal Berserkers are the shock troops of the Fierdsvain.
The women of the Fierdsvain also take the field on foot and horse, but notably as Spear Maidens and Huntresses. These warriors pack spears, shields, and Tridents to support the heavy infantry of the Huscarl and Berserker. Now, your cavalry charges can be easily halted in a mass of very powerful axemen bent on your imminent destruction.
Using the Fierdsvain infantry is easy even for an inexperienced commander. Their large round shields can easily protect them from hails of missile fire, and their high endurance often grants them an edge over their foes. Using the Berserkers, on the other hand, is an entirely different story. The berserkers don light armor, and sometimes nothing at all besides their pants to battle. While this makes them incredibly vulnerable to enemy ranged fire, it allows them to move and strike faster than other troops. Their two-handed weapons are powerful, shattering shields and butchering their foes with ease. Berserkers that make it to an enemy infantry line often rack up kills single-handedly, even more so than the Huscarls. They also can make short work of cavalry caught up in a melee.
Given that the Fierdsvain infantry are strong fighters, capable of winning battles even with the odds against them, it is advised that a commander looking for strong infantry should employ a few of them to strengthen their infantry forces.
Skirmishers: Fierdsvain does not field any powerful archers, as the men place great emphasis on personal strength and valor, which causes many of their men to engage heavily in melee combat and regard the bow as a weapon for the weak. However, in order to have some form of answer to enemy archers, the Fierdsvain have reluctantly adopted the use of the crossbow into its military system. However, due to their disgust for the weapon, it is usually Fierdsvain men of lower stature and criminals who wield it.
The crossbows they wield are not particularly impressive, as they lack the punch and range other factions' ranged units. What makes Fierdsvain skirmishers different compared to other factions' archers and crossbowmen is a large complement of lethal throwing weapons. The only aspect worth noting about Fierdsvain skirmishers are their better melee skills as compared to other archers fielded by the other factions. Their armor, swords, shields, and axes are all suited for heavy melee combat. Despite their melee advantage over other archers, it is still pretty lackluster overall and they can only hold their own in melee combats against single enemies, unlike the Huscarls who can often hold their own against multiple enemies at one time.
When playing as a Fierdsvain vassal or mercenary, save yourself the trouble and obtain archers from the D'Shar, the Empire, or Ravenstern instead. In fact, the most powerful ranged weapon that the Fierdsvain equips their soldiers lie in the grasp of their infantry in the form of throwing axes and spears. However, as long as you have other archers to pick up the slack, these men would be a decent addition to your infantry formations because they are strong enough in melee to kill your enemies and weak enough that you won't be particularly bothered when they die.
Cavalry: By and far, a large portion of the Fierdsvain army is comprised of footmen, lacking any form of cavalry in their rank-and-file troops, due to their lack of horses and their disgust for enemies who fight on mounts. However, Fierdsvain are not entirely stubborn people and they have decreed for noble women with the funds to purchase her own mount, armor and arms the opportunity to join the Fierdsvain lords in battle, and the chance to be knighted as a prestigious Valkyrie. Noblemen also can rise to the rank of Hersir.
Due to their reliance on cavalry forces from the nobles, Fierdsvain warbands have a smaller cavalry forces as compared to the D'Shar or Ravenstern armies. The noble riders also function as medium skirmishing cavalry armed with Jarids, axes and two-handed berserker swords. Their mounts are lightly-armored warhorses, faster than the steeds of the Ravenstern and Sarleon Knights. This grants them exceptional mobility, allowing them to reach an enemy line in record time. The Hersirs are rather lightly-armored individuals compared to other cavalry, and while this reduces their encumbrance, it makes them rather vulnerable to archers and crossbowmen. Their shields are also weak, usually shattering from just a volley of missile fire. Valkyries are far better equipped, but lack the numbers to achieve more than a role as force multipliers in battle.
In an ideal army, it is good to keep a small force of skirmishing cavalry to slaughter fleeing soldiers or distract enemies long enough for the heavier Fierdsvain infantry to finish off their foes. A larger heavy cavalry force should still be under your command to complement the Valkyries. On a flat battleground, Valkyries are lethal, easily eliminating their foes with a single swipe of their weapons. Their Jarids also enable them to engage their enemies from range. The Valkyries are vulnerable to archers, so don't send them riding towards their doom. Instead, flank the enemies with your cavalry, while your infantry soak up their volleys with their shields.
Fighting the Fierdsvain: Despite their infantry advantage over the other factions, the Fierdsvain might be the easiest foe to manage. You are guaranteed a bloodbath if you engage in a melee, so keep your army at a distance and pepper them with arrows and bolts. Use horse archers to get behind them and harass them. You yourself can ride circles around their infantry, possibly making them turn and face you - and thus putting their unprotected backs towards your archers and guaranteeing some heavy casualties. Berserkers may be death up close, but they often don't have shields equipped. Pick them off yourself if you have a ranged weapon.
Dealing with accompanying Valkyries and Hersirs is easy, as often they charge out ahead of the infantry. Draw them in and crush them.
Assuming your archers can't win the battle by themselves, you can be almost guaranteed the ability to surround the Fierdsvain once they get in close. Have your cavalry hit them from the rear, and maybe have a second infantry unit set aside to do the same to one of their flanks. This will likely cause some casualties, but you'll also probably win quickly.
Coming from nomadic roots in the southern desert, the D'Shar are comprised of raiders and slavers whom have adapted to the harsh conditions of their home. Living in settlements of tents, most of them have settled down and begun trading with the other kingdoms. Those who refuse to do so, termed as Singalians, remain as slavers, attacking caravans of other kingdoms. They are often harassed by D'Shar Bandits, Inquisition, and occasionally the Heretics. The D'Shar fields a balanced mix of infantry, archers, cavalry, and horse archers, and while none are truly exceptional, all are solid.
For D'Shar troop overviews, see the D'Shar Troop Tree.
Infantry: One would expect the D'Shar's horsemen to be the most powerful troops in their ranks, due to the nature of their homeland. Far from it, as the D'Shar offers a lethal variety of light infantry. However, this is mostly describing their elite units. The more basic D'Shar footmen are light armed and armored, more suited to being fodder than victors. However, the D'Shar Ghazi Dervish are dangerous elite swordsmen, swift and powerful in their striking power. Though weaker than Fierdsvain Huscarls, Dervishes can easily go toe-to-toe with Empire Legionnaires or Ravenstern Kierguards.
Swift as a cobra, lethal as a scorpion, these sabre-wielding shock troops are powerful warriors in combat. They use throwing darts as a skirmishing weapon, which may not be as effective as the broadhead throwing spears used by the Empire but are much more difficult to dodge. Facing a faceless-masked D'Shar Ghazi Dervish in combat is absolutely terrifying for even the most experienced mercenary.
Polearms are also key aspects of the D'Shar infantry, and D'Shar Warriors combine the use of a spear with throwing weapons to halt incoming cavalry charges. The deadlier D'Shar Ghazi Spearmen wield fast-swinging glaives that can derail a cavalry charge and inflict a great deal of pain on enemy forces.
D'Shar infantry act as powerful light shock infantry, and being armed with albeit shields, grant them some measure of protection against archers. They strike rapidly with their sabers, leaving multiple dead foes in their wake. D'Shar infantry are useful against an unwary enemy group. As powerful as they are, D'Shar infantry are susceptible to a cavalry charge or consistent hails of missle fire. A successful charge by Sarleon's heavy knights can lead to more than half of the D'Shar's infantry being trampled to the ground. Even the D'Shar spearmen pale in comparison to the Empire Pikemen or the Sarleon Halberdiers. In order to use the D'Shar foot soldiers effectively, use their speed: flank the enemy while using heavier infantry and pikemen to absorb the impact of a cavalry charge.
The D'Shar infantry also benefit from the Order of Scorpion Assassins. Equipped with lighter armor but incredibly fast weaponry, the Scorpions can prove powerful force multipliers, though man for man, they're not as effective as other Knighthood Order infantrymen. However, they can sometimes ambush you in an alleyway at night, so keep your eyes peeled!
Archers: D'Shar archers are similarly skilled to D'Shar infantry, with their best archers certainly exceeding the skill of Sarleon, though not necessarily Ravenstern. However, their light armor and weapons makes them incredibly vulnerable up close. D'Shar Ghazi Marksmen, with their Hornbows, are fast-firing and quite deadly, though few in number overall. Below the Ghazi Marksmen are the D'Shar Desert Hunters, and while they possess middling equipment, are surprisingly effective at range as the mainstream D'Shar foot archers.
Cavalry: D'Shar horsemen are the culmination of the main traits of the entire D'Shar military: speed, mobility, and flexibility. D'Shar Ghazi Stalkers and Ghazi Reavers offer a mix of sharp-shooting archer cavalry and hard-hitting melee horsemen that can do quite a number on an enemy army. Coupled with the near-constant support of D'Shar Windriders and even some Eventide Knights, D'Shar cavalry is among the most numerous and skilled of any army you will come across. The only real weakness is a reliance on very short lances in comparison to the knights of other factions - meaning they often lose in lance-to-lance charges. While these shorter lances are used widely by D'Shar cavalry, other weapons are more prominent. The D'Shar Raiders and Ghazi Stalkers focuses on the use of the bow and horse archer roles, which they perform well enough. The D'Shar Reavers and Ghazi Reavers focus on the use of the scimitar and sabre while also adding in throwing darts as ranged weapons.
Fighting the D'Shar: The D'Shar have the annoying combination of being good (not necessarily great) in infantry, archers, and cavalry. They're highly mobile as well. Each segment of their army has its weaknesses: their infantry have lighter armor and often lack shields, their archers are vulnerable to cavalry charge and melee combat in general, and their horsemen can be out-muscled by heavier cavalry.
However, their infantry have a good mix of melee, polearm, and throwing weapons and are particularly good at stopping cavalry, their archers are highly effective even at lower levels, and their own cavalry can match up with most other units in the game. Their horse archers can be especially annoying as well. If engaged together, D'Shar can be a headache to fight.
D'Shar armies are best fought on hilly terrain where mobility is difficult. Try and force them to come at you so you can get in your shots. If you can force their cavalry to ride uphill at you, there's a good chance you can slaughter them before they reach your lines. Once their horsemen are scattered, use your ranged units to deal with their spear infantry, and then charge your horsemen in to mop up.
Player characters can be an excellent wildcard against the D'Shar, especially when going after their archers. Avoid their spear infantry unless you are using a ranged weapon. By yourself, you can cause an enemy advance to break up and help your army deal with it piece by piece.
The New Empire, under Marius Imperator has improved vastly. Despite being former invaders, they have quickly settled into their new home. However, their nightmares from Amala continue to haunt them, with the Snake Cult trying to take over the nobility of the Empire nobility and the Red Brotherhood slavers and assassins harassing the Empire and other Pendor Kingdoms to no end. The Empire fields a wide array of decent infantry, powerful crossbowmen and decent cavalry.
For Empire troop overviews, see the Empire Troop Tree.
Infantry: The Empire fields a wide variety of foot soldiers. Their top-tier infantry includes the steadfast Legionnaires, the disciplined Armored Pikemen and their iron-willed Gladiators. While they may be good soldiers individually, the Empire infantry functions at its peak in a formation.
Any sane commander will try to avoid sending his forces straight into a solid Empire infantry formation, as they are likely to be slaughtered. Even Hero Adventurers on Netherworld Chargers are likely to be eliminated before taking down any Empire infantry. Such is the effectiveness of an Empire shieldwall.
A typical Empire infantry battalion consists largely of the spear-wielding Light Infantry and Heavy Infantry armed with broadswords. Complementing them are pikemen, Legionnaires and Gladiators. This formation allows them to destroy anything that stands in their way. Cavalry will easily be halted by their halberds, pikes and spears before being slaughtered by the swords and halberds of the Gladiators. The Legionnaires and Heavy infantry will hold off enemy infantry with their broadhead throwing spears and if their enemies get too close for comfort, the broadswords are then unleashed on those foolish enough to stand in their way. Even archers face difficulty trying to disrupt their formations due to the shields that most of their soldiers carry.
The Immortals march together with the Empire infantry, carrying the signature Empire Broadswords and Broadhead Throwing Spears as well as a frightening new addition, the Zweihander. These deadly fighters are a force worthy of respect and fear, renowned for winning battles with odds stacked against them. The presence of these noblemen on the battlefield can turn the tide of a battle completely around. They are adaptable soldiers and can easily face off against cavalry, archer or infantry forces. Any Empire lords will field a few of these killing machines to strengthen their infantry force.
The Order of the Shadow Wolves can also appear in the Empire's ranks. Though they possess only medium armor and lack shields, they possess hard-hitting weaponry and can easily smash any opponent they are in combat with.
Empire infantry can perform their roles well, but individually, they fare poorly against enemies. Empire Legionnaires are not the most powerful fighters, and fare poorly against tougher units like the Fierdsvain Huscarls. However, complement them with Gladiators and it's a completely different scenario. Adding pikemen allows them to halt cavalry forces. Their shields can allow them to march safely against an archer firing line. Thus, the phrase "United we stand, divided we fall" holds very true for Empire foot soldiers. Keep the Empire infantry together and watch them rip apart enemy after enemy.
Crossbowmen: The Empire is an advanced kingdom, perhaps nearly or even as advanced as Barclay in the art of war. Unlike the simple bow that the rest of the Pendor kingdoms use, the Empire's armories are well-stocked with powerful crossbows. Even their lightest crossbows are capable of felling a fully-armored knight. This allows even their fresh recruits to slay heavily armored foes that they might have trouble with in melee combat. The Empire fields powerful crossbowmen in their ranks, and unlike most archers, their equipment makes them more suited for melee combat, although they should still be kept out of hand-to-hand combat if possible.
The crossbows are excellent tools for sieging, due to the devastating power of each volley, and their accuracy even in the hands of less-experienced sharpshooters. Moreover, crossbowmen are able to consistently fire volleys into the enemy's stronghold, while archers have usually ran out of arrows by then. They are not to be underestimated when used against enemy cavalry as well. The bolts can easily pierce through the heavy armor of both men and mounts. The drawback is a long reload duration, that can make the crossbowmen vulnerable. Despite that, crossbows are still useful even on the field, shattering shields and turning even militias into deadly killers.
Veteran Empire Armored Crossbowmen carry large wooden board shields. These towering shields are cumbersome to carry about and use in melee, but allows its users to take plenty of punishment, especially against ranged attacks from enemy rangers. They use the cross-hilt sword and Empire Broadswords as defensive melee weapons. Overall, they can defend defend themselves pretty decently, and with the aid of their heavy armor, they can last longer in a battle. However, poweful warriors like Fierdsvain Huscarls and Sarleon Knights have no problem taking them down, so be sure to keep them well defended with infantry and cavalry. A wise commander should only use the crossbowmen in melee if the enemy is on the verge of being overwhelmed and use them as a supplement for the infantry to take down exhausted foes.
You can't go wrong using them. Place them behind your infantry and watch them mow down ranks after ranks of enemies. If a player is looking for well-trained and efficient sharpshooters, one should always head to southern Pendor and train a few of these versatile sharpshooters.
Cavalry: Horses are a luxury that only the nobles can afford. Any commander with half a brain can easily distinguish between the nobles and the commoners, and usually try to take them alive for hefty ransom. It comes to no surprise that the cavalry force of the Empire is smaller as compared to their neighbours, the D'Shar Principalities. Another reason for their smaller cavalry force could also be attributed to the Empire's use of Jatu mercenaries when they first invaded Pendor. The use of the Jatu mercenaries allowed the Empire to train more of their troops into much efficient foot soldiers.
The Empire fields both light and heavy cavalry. They can only be trained from noblemen, which may initially be expensive to field. Their light Horsemen carry broadswords and lances, but are also equipped with light crossbows for ranged superiority. While their ranged prowess is lacking as compared to the Ravenstern Mounted Rangers or the D'Shar Ghazi Stalkers, their bolts can pack a punch, and this allows them to kill lightly armored troops and occasionally, even Sarleon Knights without risking a close quarter confrontation, which the Empire Cavalry would very likely be slaughtered if such a scenario occured. The Empire Cavalry ride on hunter mounts, which are fast and rather durable horses, allowing them to outrun heavy cavalry and infantry, as well as using their swords and lances for hit-and-run attacks. Never send them riding into an infantry formation, especially not one lined with pikes and halberds.
Empire Knights ride on heavier mounts, the Imperial Dark Stallion, although a fair few still utilize the lighter Empire Hunters. They use Broadswords and Broadhead Throwing Spears. Like the Valkyries, this allows the Empire Knights to use their throwing spears against an enemy formation, before charging straight into the fray, allowing them to deal some damage before putting themselves in harm's way. Their spears also allow them to take down routing cavalry, by slaying their foe's mounts before coming back for the finishing blow or allowing one of their allies to catch up and prevent their escape. Despite their skill and valor, Empire Knights aren't as efficient as the Sarleon Knights in smashing apart enemy formations and they also lack the staying power of the Sarleon Knights. Try not to send the Knights into dense infantry formations or they will be ripped apart before they can deal any substantial damage. Let the crossbowmen disrupt the enemies and send your infantry to distract them, while using your cavalry to flank and hammer them in. Guardian Empire Knights, decked in white armor are basically souped up Empire Knights who also arm themselves with broadswords and spears, both the melee and throwing variants. They are slightly tougher heavy cavalry, but still lack the punch of a Sarleon Knight. They aren't too shabby when it comes to melee combat, although you shouldn't count on them to disperse an enemy infantry shieldwall with a single charge.
The truly dangerous mounted warriors that the Empire field are their Knighthood Orders. The elusive and well-trained Shadow Legion Centurions might just be the finest cavalry in Pendor. You can't miss them. They ride on Ironbred Stallions and don a distinguishable Shadow Legion armor. Their offensive weapons are almost the same as the Knights, but they also use lances and are equipped with stronger shields. The Centurions are to be feared when they charge towards you. Leave yourself vulnerable for just a second and a spear can find its way to your head. The Centurions are the most powerful honor troops one can find, being able to take on Knights of the Dawn and Eventide with ease. Converting them to your cause would be beneficial to your rise to kinghood. Unlike Empire Knights, the Centurions can literally plow their way through a heavy infantry formation and survive the charge. Having a large group of Centurions charging into an enemy formation can leave many of the enemy dead, and the surviving ones running for their lives. If a player is carrying Empire Knights, it is recommended to induct them into the Order. Having a small squadron of these centurions can ensure an easy victory. Despite their superiority, they do face difficulty when combating Vanskerry Jarls, which several Fierdsvain lords field. Keep in mind that these powerful noblemen are reliable, but not invincible. Do not send them against impossible odds unless it's a last stand. These men can change the tide of a battle, so it remains essential to keep them alive for as long as possible. Kyros Dux fields Shadow Legion Centurions in great numbers.
Fighting the Empire: Behold, the hardest opponent. The Empire has among the strongest units in the game even among their non-Order troops, and their Order forces include the Immortals and Shadow Legion, among others. Once more, Empire Armored Crossbowmen are accurate, powerful, and deadly. It's kind of like facing a Sarleon-esque cavalry charge and then trying to deal with nearly-Fierdsvain-level infantry while being peppered by a Ravenstern-like ranged barrage, only in this case the shots are armor-piercing crossbow bolts. Attacking the empire in a siege is also a pain, because if you are an archer, finding extra ammunition on the ground from all of the dead crossbowmen can be difficult. Their throwing weapons are excruciatingly damaging and although limited, incredibly effective against troops.
Fighting the empire is dependent on the composition of their army at the time. The only real disadvantage they possess is that outside of their horsemen, Empire armies are a tad less mobile than other armies. They make up for that with their crossbows and melee formations, however.
Drawing in their cavalry is key. If you are able to crush their horse early - not an easy task, especially if you are facing Kyros Dux and his seemingly endless supply of Shadow Legion Centurions - your own cavalry can go to work outflanking the infantry and taking out the crossbowmen directly. Once they're down to basically just their infantry, use combined arms to surround and crush it. Engaging the imperial infantry in a melee will be costly, so soften it up as needed before you move in.
Kingdom of PendorEdit
The Pendor kingdom, if reformed under the new rule of the player, will rise to stand up against the common enemies of Pendor and to unite the entire realm under one rule. It is advised to make the Noldor allies, so that there is one less enemy to worry about. Pendor's soldiers come from the commoners, so they have the ability to be both recruited from villagers, and easily trained up to the fearsome soldiers they are. Their soldiers are generalists to a key, with their Man-At-Arms wielding a Great Sword in lieu of a Halberd, still having the same effectiveness that any other Halberd-wielding soldier would. Pendor fields ultimately few truly elite units, but is an excellent force for a few main reasons. Pendor by far has the most balanced troop tree - none of its infantry, archers, or cavalry are the worst or best in their class, but all are equally good. Pendor's troops also make great garrisons for castles and quickly built armies, due to their speed of training and low upkeep cost. The player will only rarely actually fight Pendor forces in combat, as only the player and potentially their kingdom can recruit and train the majority of Pendor's troops.
For Pendor troop overviews, see the Pendor Troop Tree.
Infantry: The strongest element of the Pendor forces, they combine a mix of both agile and swift soldiers to powerful and strong infantrymen.
The basic commoner unit of the Pendor infantry, the Pendor Swordsman, is able to stand up to troops in its tier and perform its role well enough although like other units, it cannot hold against elite units such as Fierdsvain Huscarls and D'Shar Ghazi Dervishes. They play in active role in either shield infantry or two handed ones. The true prowess of the Pendor state infantry are in its Pendor Man-At-Arms and its top commoner infantry, Pendor Bladesman.
The Pendor Man-at-Arms performs a role similiar to halberdiers: desecrating soldiers in raw power, especially cavalry. Although considerably weaker compared to higher-level two-handed weapon infantry, they are still well-armed with the powerful Pendor Great Swords, Silver Great Claymores, and Polehammers. They perform best as elite shock units, very easily trainable and cutting down their foes with raw power and strong weapons. As all two handers are, they are not equipped with a shield to defend themselves. They are easily smashed by ranged units.
The Pendor Bladesman provides the best shield and sword unit accessible in the Kingdom of Pendor. These bladesman excel at offensive power and are decent in defensive action. They are armed with a rather weak shield compared to other units and as a result, can be hampered to death by ranged units. However, they have a swift and powerful Ebony Dueling Sword with the decent armor. While they lack the striking power of the Pendor Man-at-Arms, the Bladesmen's shields can combine with the former unit to provide a great infantry line.
Pendor Spearmen are considerably worse off in the way of equipment. Even their Heavy Spearmen are armed only with shield and spear, making them ill-equipped to fight in close quarters. However, when paired with Men-at-Arms and Bladesmen in the infantry line, the spears offer both additional shields to cover the shock infantry while also providing additional coverage against cavalry charges.
From Pendor's noble troop tree comes easily the best Pendor infantry unit and arguably the strongest unit of the entire kingdom: the Pendor Foot Knight. Equipped with the same weaponry as Pendor Men-at-Arms but in possession of much heavier armor and much better combat skills, Foot Knights can wreak havoc in the front line. While they lack shields, they are much more durable than Men-at-Arms. Consider Foot Knights essentially well-armored Berserkers or Gladiators.
Consider the Pendor infantry line as a parallel to the combination the Empire fields: stalwart Bladesmen/Legionnaires backed up by hard-hitting Men-at-Arms and Foot Knights/Gladiators and covered by Heavy Spearmen/Armored Pikemen. Pendor's troops are cheaper and more spammable, while the Empire's possess slightly better armor and throwing weapons.
Archers: Pendor's archer line is quite balanced and deceptively strong. Pendor Light Bowmen and Heavy Bowmen are nothing special, roughly equivalent to the weakest Ravenstern archers, but once upgraded to Armored Bowman the player gains a seemingly poorly-equipped, yet quite powerful archer. Armored Bowmen possess very good armor for their level and fare surprisingly well in melee. While they wield merely Short Composite Bows, these archers fire very quickly - nearly as fast as Silvermist Rangers and Noldor troops. This makes them very deadly at short-to-medium ranges, and especially powerful against unshielded troops.
The elite Pendor archer comes from their noble troop tree - the Pendor Black Archer. Well-equipped with heavy armor, War Spears, Bastard Swords, and Ebon Bows, Black Archers are highly skilled archers more than capable of loosing terrifying damage on enemies at any range. They can often take several hits to take down, their archery skill actually outclasses Noldor Rangers, and as a unit easily surpass the best archers from Ravenstern or the D'Shar. Combining Black Archers and Armored Bowmen gives you a very effective archer line, and one that can hold up surprisingly well in melee action.
Cavalry: Pendor's horsemen are arguably the weakest element of the Pendor troop tree, but are skill very useful and balanced. Pendor Cavalry, Mtd. Men-at-Arms, and Squires are excellent light and medium cavalry, and certainly of more use than equivalent units from other kingdoms (cough, Ravenstern Horseman, Empire Levy Horseman). However, their equipment and mounts are weak enough that they cannot stand up to a prolonged fight with heavier units.
The cream of the Pendor mounted forces is a third noble unit, the Pendor Knight. Equipped with excellent lances and Claymores, this unit can easily go toe-to-toe with most enemies in Pendor, though individually Sarleon Knights are tougher overall.
Pendor's greatest strength as a kingdom is their access to six Knighthood Orders, more than any other troop tree. Black Archers, Knights, Foot Knights, Men-at-Arms, and Mtd. Men-at-Arms can all be upgraded into units from some of the best orders in the game, including the Ebony Gauntlet, Silvermist Rangers, Dawn, Eventide, Radiant Cross, and Griffon. All of these can transform the Pendor army from merely balanced and efficient to something truly scary.