Phen wrote:Well, you can take castles using lots of archers by standing outside and sniping them yourself (and have your own archers help), then retreat when you run out of arrows and repeat. I think it's kinda cheap, but it works.
You'll want to use heavily-armored crossbowmen, like Rhodok Sharpshooters, to reduce your own losses and increase the damage you can deal per round. Crossbows also have better range. I don't recall off the top of my head whether they're significantly more accurate. And keep in mind that you're going to take a morale hit every time you retreat.
The other advantage of a unit like the Rhodok Sharpshooter is that they're actually fairly effective in a melee.
emceng wrote:Played more last night, and I am enjoying it. I do need guidance on use of lackeys. Will they never die? I can just keep letting them get wounded forever? I grabbed three that are all pretty mediocre, but I'm making one a healer, and one a scout. I probably need an engineer
When do I get a castle, and how much will I have to defend my town? I swore allegiance, so now I have a town. I was going to build stuff, but I didn't want to spend the money considering the huge number of bandits swarming in the area.
Does the map really change at all? It seems like lots of people are at war with each other, but nothing changes hands. Is the player the only one that can conquer a town?
Besides combat skills, what should I put my points into?
Your hero companions will never die. They may have personality conflicts with each other; I just dropped the less useful one when that happened. There's one who starts with a few points in Tactics and Engineering; he'll tell you when you talk with him in the tavern that he's an engineer. Don't waste points training anyone else to engineer, just wait until you find him, pump his intelligence for points in Tactics and Engineering, and keep him at the bottom of your party list until he's halfway decent so he's not constantly wounded (which keeps him from contributing party skills).
You can get a castle when, as a vassal, you capture one as the besieging party (not when you assist another besieging party). You have to request that it be awarded to you (if you don't, the King won't decide to give it to you anyway), and then you have to do better than every other lord on a set of random rolls that factor in your renown, relationship with your ruler, and some other things. So make sure your relationship with him is 100 by doing quests for him.
If you don't want to spend time doing quests for your fiefdom to raise your relationship, then building a school early on might be a good idea if you've got the funds. You don't have to stick around while it builds. Otherwise, the first thing I built was a Mill, because the village's prosperity directly influences how much revenue it brings you.
The map does change, although mostly castle-by-castle with a lot of back and forth. The only time in my current game I've seen anyone take a town in a battle I wasn't part of was when the Vaegirs were almost finished off, and the Nords took their second-to-last town. Without the player's involvement, I'm not sure any faction would conquer any other in the native, unmodded game.
As far as your skill points, just keep in mind that you're the only one who can use the "Leader" category skills like Prisoner Management and (of course) Leadership. I like to have multiple people with decent Training skill as it gives you pretty much free upgrades, and you can always choose not to upgrade if you can't afford the cost. Upgrade them right before a large battle when you're likely to lose a lot of guys, and you'll avoid paying the weekly salary for any who die.