Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord
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About this mod

This mod aims to overhaul faction troops to make them more distinctive, balanced and lore friendly.

This mod also brings huscarls into the game (optional) within the sturgian noble tree line in a balanced manner, huscarls are the only tier 6 infantry in the game - just like in warband.

Permissions and credits
Formerly known as the 'Make Sturgia Great Again Mod'
Why the name change? - Because why stop with just one faction, many factions have very lackluster and bland troops (at the moment).


Patch 1.22 is here! ;)

There are currently two versions of the mod:

Both are completely safe to install/uninstall mid-game!

- Patch 1.21 is for those on game versions 1.5.1 and 1.5.2  - This version includes Varyag Vanguards, Huscarls and Hired Longbows. ('Full Version')
- Patch 1.21B is for those on game versions 1.5.1 and 1.5.2  - This version does not include Varyag Vanguards, Huscarls and Hired Longbows. ('Light Version')

- The Light version(s) are completely save game compatible.
- The Full version(s) are also completely save game compatible provided you follow the specified uninstallation steps closely.

The game has recently been updated to 1.5.2 and Patch 1.23 will be released this week.
Welcome to my mod!

Have you ever thought that a lot of faction troops look pretty similar and everyone seems to use the exact same armour and shields?
And that some units just aren't worth using at all because they are so crap? (*Ahem* Battanian Mounted Skirmishers)
Well not anymore, this is the mod for you!

^ Please read the changelog for changes, tweaks and the reason why I've changed things ^
Please have a read of the description before downloading the mod -
And please also see all the images in the image tab for more visual information :)

This is a lightweight, lore-friendly and balanced mod!

-It is save game compatible and also safe to remove mid-game without causing problems to your saved game data unlike large overhaul modular troop mods-

This mod only uses vanilla assets and keeps as close
as possible to the base game. Please remember that this mod fixed a lot of unit problems in the early days of early access and subsequent game updates have addressed some issues.

This Mod aims to do EIGHTEEN things:

1. Address stat fixes for troop and mixed up stats, there are absolutely loads, but to just name a few examples:
> Armed Traders being armed with bows but having a bow skill of 0.
> Caravan Guards and Veterans having
inconsistent stats and loadouts between tiers - fixed in Patch 1.19.
> Aserai Vanguard Faris noble line having wildly inconsistent stats between tiers - fixed in Patch 1.17.
Imperial Crossbowman and Sergeants having a higher bow skill than their crossbow skill.
> Battanian Mounted Skirmishers having a worse throwing skill than their lower tier Veteran Skirmisher counterparts - seriously it went from 130 throwing
down to 60..

> Battanian Picked Warriors having a one handed skill and polearm of 40 and two handed 110, despite being armed with a spear
and one handed sword. (Worse than the tier 3 trained warriors before them!)
2. Address inconsistencies between troop tiers, such as Legionaries and Veteran Infantryman not having javelins unlike their Trained Infantryman counterparts! (This has been fixed in beta 1.41 with the pila now becoming a throwable as well as polearm)
> Another example would be Battanian Fian Champions coming with a one handed sword, unlike all rest of the noble line, this has been fixed with my mod!
> Tier 6 cavalry not using better horses than their predecessors - fixed in Patch 1.17.
3. Recruits from all six major factions now have a 30% chance of coming with throwing stones - Patch 1.13.
4. Improve tier 2 infantry survivability by giving them shields - Aserai Tribesman, Aserai Mameluke Soldiers, Battanian Clan Warriors, Vlandian Footman and Watchman just to name a few -  this was before patch 1.41.
5. Improve, overhaul and balance units to improve unit diversity in armies - See Battanian Mounted Skirmishers or Sturgian Brigands in the images tab for examples.
6. Make troops of each faction more in line and consistent with their culture, such as Battanian Infantry correctly using all highland shield variants and Aserai Infantry using various desert oval shields -
this was before patch 1.41. As you can see below:

As you can see above each Faction (Infantry only) now uses very distinctive shields, there are some outliers such as All Cavalry, Mounted Skirmishers and Some Skirmisher units (Aserai Skirmishers, Sturgian Woodsman and Battanian Wood Runners).

7. Aserai Infantry now come with much more effective shields, especially Aserai Footman, Infantry and Veterans.
-  this was before Beta patch 1.41.
> The Adarga shields are now only used by lower tier units including tribesman and mameluke soldiers.

Minor Factions
8. Fixing a large amount of unit stats and equipment of the Minor Factions.
> Brotherhood of the Woods units now correctly use two sets of arrow quivers.
> Eleftheroi units now utilise a shield and a set of throwing knives.
> Beni Zilal staying as Horse Archers.
> Oath Keeper units now come with a mace and shield.
> Skolderbrovta units now have an improved one handed skill.
> Lake Rat units have a improved polearm skill.
> Any minor faction not listed here have been untouched as they are fine.
(I have yet to fix the Hidden Hand - because they are so bad for both stats and equipment!)

9. Militia Veterans are now better equipped and armoured meaning that they are equal to units of the same tier.

This should mean that they are more of a threat in sieges and easier to distinguish over regular militia units.
10. Militia Units have had their stats correctly calibrated to their respective tiers, Veterans previously had higher skills than most tier 5/6 units especially Archers who had a bow skill of 150 before.

11A. Watchman, Mercenary Guards etc have been overhauled to be more combat effective, as well as fixing their stats and default group designation.
Added a brand new unit: Hired Longbow. This gives people more choice on if they want archers or crossbows, instead of only crossbow before. (This is only included in the full version of the mod!)
Please see the comparison in the spoiler tab below.

(Because they seriously need all the help they can get)
12. Introduces a new branch within the noble line for tier 6 huscarls.
13. Improve infantry line survivability by adding round shields (round shields for everyone!) and improved armour. - This was before game version 1.3.
14. Sturgian recruits are the only tier 1 unit to come with shields - they have a 50% chance to come with one.
15. Make armour between the tiers more consistent.
16. Making Sturgian Brigands, Hardened Brigands and Horse Raiders more combat effective and much more viable as a cavalry choice.
17. Give Veteran Warriors and Shock Troops much more definitive roles as they were far too similar.
18. Improve Sturgian Unit Art, they no longer hide behind their shields - As you can see below!

(Despite all these buffs to the Sturgians, it won't make up for Raganvad's lack of leadership and strategy)

Varyag Vanguards and Huscarls are elite infantry within the sturgian noble line, they are an upgrade branch from Varyag Veterans.
If you're not interested in these two units, feel free to download the light version of the mod which does not contain these units.

These troops excel in shield walls and assaulting enemy formations with excellent two handed, throwing and one handed skills. These troops are great for smashing through shields with their large two handed axes. They do not have a spear making them vunerable to cavalry but their throwables mean they can bring down horses and riders. These two units are balanced and have been tested vigorously, however if you don't like the idea of these units I have made a version without them.

Both of these troops come in two variants:

1. Armed with a one handed axe, javelins, a large two handed axe and a large shield.
2. Armed with a one handed sword, throwing axes, a large two handed axe and a large shield.

Varyag Vanguards are a step up from Varyag Veterans, they have better weapons & shield, better helmets and mail shoulders instead of scarves. This is to make the upgrade difference between Varyag Veterans and Huscarls more of a incremental progression up the tech tree.

NOTE: Varyag Vanguard's armour has been updated in Patch 1.16 and Huscarls now have three body armour variants as of Patch 1.16.

This mod also means that captured Sea Raiders can become huscarls too!

Shock Troops and Sturgian Veteran Warriors have been reworked!

Sturgian Shock Troops now utilise their famous two handed warrazor and a set of hooked javelins - this is to better define the role as a unit that is much better suited at bringing the fight to the enemy and hacking away at shields etc, their polearm can only be used two handed unlike their Veteran Warrior counterparts. They are lighter on their feet compared to their shield brethren.

Sturgian Veteran Warriors now utilise a jagged fine steel spear, a fullered long warsword and throwing axes - this is to better define the role as a frontline infantry soldier capable of stopping cavalry attacks with a sharp one handed spear and round shield, these guys still form the backbone of the famous sturgian shieldwall. Furthermore this makes this unit more of a beefed up version of Sturgian Spearman.

The Sturgian Brigand Line has been completely overhauled - These units are so much better now!

They are a hybrid of light cavalry and horse skirmishers - they are armed with long two handed axes and javelins.
They do not come with shields at all!
These units have a unique blend of skirmishing and melee capabilities - Druzhinnik Cavalry still outclass them in melee but they are heavy cavalry whereas Brigands and Raiders are light cavalry.
These light cavalry units are great at dealing with archers, flanking infantry and horse archers they will probably struggle against head on attacks against heavy cavalry units that are equipped with long polearms.

Important Note, if you tell them to 'Charge or Advance' they will likely use their javelins first if Fire at Will is on and behave more like skirmishers (but not always). So if you want them to behave more like melee cavalry, tell them 'Hold Fire' followed by 
'Charge' or 'Advance', or alternatively you can let them use up their javelins first and then they will go in with their axes.

Another note: If you have the Bear My Banner mod, if a brigand has a banner equipped they will utilise their javelins as a polearm. If they have no more javelins left, then they should drop their banner in favour of their two handed axe.

Installation is very simple
- Manually installing this is highly recommended!
- Go to
Module Data folder, your Module Data can be found in the following folder structure: Mount & Blade II Bannerlord > Modules > SandBox Core > Module Data. This is located where you have installed your game, not your documents..
- Delete
the spnpccharacters file.
- I provide a vanilla copy of the xml within my mod as your vanilla backup.
- Now download the latest version from the files tab, choose between the full or light version.
- Extract the 3 files
from the .7z archive file with something like 7-Zip - 7 Zip Download Page
- Then put them into your Module Data folder.
Make sure your that ModuleData folder looks like this.

There are three files:
> spnpccharacters - Modified Copy (This is the backup xml of my mod)
spnpccharacters - Vanilla Copy (This is the backup xml of the original spnpccharacters xml)
spnpccharacters (This is the xml that is my mod)
- I would recommend you put all three in the ModuleData Folder.
- Please bear in mind that Vortex doesn't seem to update when I update my mod - so make sure you
come back to check every so often by tracking my mod!

- Please be aware that full game updates (not hotfixes) will replace the xml!
- Therefore I have provided a copy of both the modded xml and vanilla xml.
- If no new units have been added to the game, you are safe to replace the xml again after a game update with the provided backup copy of the mod (spnpccharacters - Modified Copy).

- If you are using a modular troop mod, it will overwrite this mod as my mod is an amended vanilla file which is loaded within the sandbox core module.
> Such as
Better NPCS - ALL NPCS - Complete Version, Armies of Calradia etc.
- It is compatible with most ui mods and small tweaks etc, I'm currently running my own mod without issue with well over 25+ mods at this point.

- Please leave an endorsement if you enjoy this mod, it really helps me out! -

How to uninstall - please read carefully!
(Light Version)

- Step 1: Delete the 'spnpccharacters' & 'snpnccharacters - Modified Copy' and rename the provided spnpccharacters - Vanilla Copy as "spnpccharacters".
And that's it!

(Full Version)
- Step 1: In order to safely remove the mod, you first must dismiss any Varyag Vanguards or Huscarls in your army roster.
- Step 2: Delete the
'spnpccharacters' & 'snpnccharacters - Modified Copy' and rename the provided spnpccharacters - Vanilla Copy as "spnpccharacters".
And that's it!
- The vanilla copy contains Varyag Vanguards/Huscarls and Hired Longbows data within the xml but they are no longer recruitable/obtainable for anyone. Furthermore Varyag Veterans can only be upgraded to Druzhinniks and Mercenary Crossbowman can only be upgraded to Hired Crossbows. This means that if you encounter them in ai armies after uninstalling the mod, it won't break your save/playthrough. (You're Welcome)


- Does this mod work for 1.5.1 and the beta? -> Yes it does for the main branch and should work no problem with the beta.
I tried downloading your mod but it doesn't seem to be working. -> Please make sure to read the installation instructions carefully, try installing manually and see if that helps.
- When will the next update be? -> I've released 14 patches in the first two weeks of the mod being uploaded to the Nexus, so I'm slowing down the number of updates in favour of larger weekly (or monthly) updates as this gives me more time to test changes as well as produce more images. Plus I'd like to actually play the game too :D. Obviously I will push out an update sooner but it depends on when TaleWorlds pushes out new game versions.
The Game was updated recently, why haven't you updated your mod? -> Please bear with me, I will try to keep on top of game updates.
- Are you making a light version of the mod? -> Yes I have made a lightweight version, please see the files tab.
- What version of the game are you currently playing on? -> 1.5.1, but I usually try to stick to the main branch for mod stability.
- TaleWorlds recently added new armour, why don't any of your units wear them? -> If it's the beta you're talking about, then see the reason above.
- Why is your mod not modular? -> Because modular mods don't overwrite what equipment vanilla units use, only their stats.
- Are you going to add anymore Noble lines? -> I'm open to suggestions and would consider them as long as they are balanced.

Known Issues
While this xml doesn't change what groups units are classed as, there is a persistent issue with formations in siege battles when you are attacking. (This has been present since game version 1.3). Despite only changing what equipment units use, archers and horse archers are being put into the infantry group and are charging in. This issue is also not always persistent and it seems to only affect certain factions. I do apologise for this and I have looked into this for quite some time and yet to find a solution. This seems to be an issue with how the game handles the AI in Siege Battles. The woes of early access :(

- Empire & Vlandian Units are unaffected by this issue.
- Aserai, Battania, Khuzait and Sturgian units are affected.

However there are mods that fix this!

You will need to download a mod to fix the issue: 
Option 1 - Fix Siege AI by Phasic22
Option 2 - - big thank you to phasic22 and AlcoholV for this! (Stick the FixedSiegeFormations in your Mount & Blade II Bannerlord -> Modules Folder)
This mod is an amended version of another mod hence why the link isn't a Nexus Page - Please let me know if the link no longer works!

Once you have downloaded one of these mods (I personally use option 2), all you need to do for sieges is to F6 Infantry and Cavalry Groups. For Archers and Horse Archers, all you need to do is to tell them to advance (F1 then F4), followed by the Scatter formation (F3 then F8). They will then behave correctly and use the mantlets on the battlefield.

Future of the mod:

- Keeping the mod up to date.

- Adding new armours/weapons etc when TaleWorlds brings them in.
- Creating a 'lite' version that does not include any new additional units such as my vanguards and huscarls.
- Shock troops and veteran's armour will be changed soon - tale worlds have released more sturgian armour in the beta, so please be patient! - Done in 1.12.
- I will continue to tweak the appearances/armours of troops. (Only lightweight and balanced changes though)
Balancing stats - dependent on your feedback.
- I will look at other faction troops, therefore this mod could become an all-in-one troop mod to rule them all. - Done

I'm welcome to feedback in the form of comments and suggestions.


Please see changelog for changes/tweaks.