Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord

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Marnah93 and Philozoraptor

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About this mod

This mod makes combat more realistic. Armor and damage is reworked according to experimental data. Weapons attack faster. Units parry and block more. Projectile damage is based on kinetic energy, ranged weapons use draw and projectile weight based simulation. AI tactics improved. Units climb ladders during siege. Optional unit overhaul included.

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This mod makes combat more realistic. Armor values are based on experimental data. Armored units are more resistant to damage depending on weapon type used vs armor. Each weapon type has different effect vs armor. All units defend themselves more, units with shields actually use the shields. All projectiles now cause damage based on their kinetic energy. Kinetic energy of projectiles is result of simulation based on real life experimental data. All battles are significantly longer now. Damage of horse charge is physics based, couched lancing is scientifically accurate. AI armies use more tactics. Spears are buffed in melee in comparison to vanilla.

Announcement: If you care about future of bannerlord Bannerlord please vote and comment in this poll:

  • The Mod is separated into multiple submodules, AI module contains all the changes to AI and tactics. Combat module contains all the changes to damage, armor, weapons, horses, physics and units.
  • AI module should work with any kind of unit overhaul without conflict. Combat module will need compatibility patch if it is used with unit overhauls by other mod authors that also add armors and ranged weapons to the game or modify them.
  • Combat module in a nutshell:  
  1. In the base game there are three types of damage: pierce, cut and blunt. In this mod each weapon type has unique armor penetrating properties, which results in more realistic experience. For example sword is poor at cutting heavy armor, axe is better at this and mace punches through the best. Values for weapon modifiers and few others are all configurable in config file. 
  2. Projectile speed is simulating real life physics. Bows and crossbows have their draw weight displayed as missile speed stat. Actual speed of projectile is based on weapon type, draw weight (missile speed), missile weight and many other factors such as draw length and efficiency of energy transfer from work to stored energy, then from stored energy to actual projectile. Crossbows, longbows and composite recurve bows (mostly horse archer bows) have each unique simulation based on real life experimental evidence. For example composite bows are more efficient than longbow of same poundage and they are more efficient with lower weight arrows. Generally higher weight arrows are more energy efficient than lower weight arrows (damage) but heavier projectiles are slower and therefore have shorter range just like in real life. 
  3. Javelins and throwing axes are good against light-medium armored enemies and they can destroy shields now. Arrows now also deal reasonable damage to shields. Speed of the throw is based on weight of throwable - smaller = faster, larger = slower. Heavy projectiles such as javelins profit from bonus speed more than lighter projectiles such as arrows.
  4. Shields now have realistic hitboxes (in vanilla their collision hitbox is much bigger then their visual size). This means arrow volleys or well aimed shots can now go around shield or even pass through shieldwall (hitting arms, heads or legs that are sticking out). 
  5. Couched lances now deal kinetic energy based damage (heavier and faster is better). Stabbing with spear from horseback will generally cause less damage than couching at high speed as was the case historically. Couchable lances are held in last third of the shaft and are longer to reflect their purpose of outranging spearmen and regular horsement on the other side they are less wieldy and pretty much useless outside of charging. If blow from couched lance is particularly powerfull, it can dehorse enemy horseman. Similarly, bracing with heavy polearm like pike can dehorse rider too.
  6. Horse charge cause physics based damage.
  7. All melee damage was changed to reflect kinetic energy from experimental test. One handed weapons generally deal 60-120 damage while two handers are in range of 100-180 depending on weapon type and its length.
  8. All armors were rebalanced based on their material and how well they cover bodies of their wearers according to scientific literature and experimental tests.
  9. Hitboxes were reworked, to reflect actual armor coverage of armor pieces: Head hitbox = 100 % of helmet armor, neck hitbox = 60 % of helmet armor, chest and abdomen hitbox = 100 % of "body armor" on your chestpiece, shoulder (breasts, shoulders and upper half of arm in game) = 100% of armor on your shoulder piece and 100% of your "arm armor" on your chestpiece, hand hitbox (from hand to elbow) = 100 % of armor on your gloves, leg hitbox = 50 % of your boot armor and 50 % of your "leg armor" from your chestpiece.
  10. Melee weapons have weights and speed closer to the historical weapons (they are lighter and faster) than in vanilla.
  11. Two handed swords can be used as bastards with both hands and one hand (since zweihanders are real 2h-only swords and they are difinitelly not present in Bannerlord).
  12. Two handed polearms, two handed axes and two handed maces will stagger enemy when they are parried by melee weapons or blocked by shields, this should help with their shock capabilities.
  13. Axes will do more damage to shields.
  14. Blunt damage can now kill just like pierce and cut damage.
  15. Skill  of the warrior is much more important than weapon it self. Damage, speed and handling of weapon is significantly affected by the weapon skill, for now applies to melee weapons. Damage stat of the melee weapon have reduced effect.
  16. Damage with couched lance is strongly dependent on skill. Ballistic damage of the lance is the same no matter the skill, but weight added to the lance by the rider is skill dependent.
  17. Melee weapon skill scaling: swords - low base damage, highest skill scaling; axes - moderate base damage, moderate skill sclaing; polearm - high base pierce damage, low pierce skill scaling, moderate base cut damage, moderate cut damage scaling with weapon skill, couched lance low base damage at moderate speed, high scaling of damage at moderate speed with skill; maces - highest base armor piercing damage, lowest skill scaling.
  18. Throwing weapon skill scaling: Strength (and speed) of throw is based primarely on skill, if you want to deal lot of damage with javelin (or throwing axe) and if you want to throw heavy javelins you need high throwing skill. 10 (5 in case of axe) bonus m/s speed is added to throwing weapons, this speed is not added to the final calculation of damage, this is to make AI throw from further range (just in case you were wandering why you throw like olympic athlete) but the kinetic energy is still correct (so 35 m/s javelin have kinetic energy of 25 m/s javelin).
  19. Bow and crossbow reload rate: Bow and crossbow reload rate was changed to pseudohistorical speed (double speed to be precise), this is set in the combat module config  under RealisticRangedReload, since patch 2.1.9 it can be adjusted in game menu instead. By default this is set to 2 - bows will have reload rate of 3 seconds, light crossbow will have reload rate of 5 seconds and heavy crossbows will have reload rate of 10 seconds, this reload speed will be significantly reduced by your skill with each respective weapon. When set to 1 - bows will have historically accurate reload rate of 6 seconds (this is how long it takes from quiver IRL), light crossbow will have reload rate of 10 seconds (simple spanning belt) and heavy crossbows will have reload rate of 20 (complex spanning belt) seconds, this reload speed will be significantly reduced by your skill with each respective weapon. When set to 0 (or any other number than 1 or 2), reload rates will be like in vanilla and there will be no scaling. We believe that value of 2 is best for gameplay of RBM, vanilla reloads are just too fast and make ranged units very OP, realistic behaviour of 1 is on the other hand quite slow and crossbows especially become very atypical since they will fill role of hybrid infantry that will be more relevant in melee than in ranged combat, however if you want historically accurate experience feel free to try it.
  20. Bow drawing speed: When you unlock new bow with your skill, it will have draw speed of roughly 3 seconds, you can increase this speed further by training with the bow (skill scaling), when you have 50 more skill than is required to unlock the bow you will reach 2 seconds drawing speed, your drawing speed will further improve with more skill past that point.
  21. Units have correct gear for their tier. 
  22. Each nation have specific strenght and minor clans are very specialized.
  23. Spears will deal decent damage during entire animation including beginning of it, spears will not get stucked to allies when used in tight formation, inspired by now defunct fix the spears dude.
  24. Due to changes to stats, prices of items have been reworked. You can tweak them in the config.
  25. Shield on back was reworked, it can now stop all damage if the shield is hit. Kite shields, khuzait round shields and pavises are worn on shoulder instead of back when they are not equipped in hand, this results in protection when bracing and reloading crossbows, this can be adjusted in game menu.
  26. Horse harnesses will now have head armor, neck armor (arm), frontal body armor (body armor) and rear body armor (leg). Some harnesses are going to have good frontal but poor rear protection.
  27. Arrows and bolts use their real meshes instead of wooden bars, this can be reverted in game menu if you prefer original look or have performance issues since mod patch 2.2.0.
  28. Parrying, fighting in arenas and training area will give proper xp now. Hitting and parrying enemies that have higher level than you will give bonus xp, this applies to AI leveling too.
  29. If you want to understand more about weapon damage in RBM please see articles section.
  30. Greased and hardened arrows and bolts added to the game (this items will turn into trash if uninstall the mod, so no crashing).
  31. Partial penetration is now possible with all piercing attacks but arrows and bolts. This means that blade can partially penetrate the armor (splitting single ring, making small hole in the armor) for up to 15 damage with relative ease but any damage above that requires much more power to fully penetrate.

  • AI module in a nutshell: 
  1. Esentially armies will use some tactic (instead of Charge) when in battle, in vanilla army leader needs to have like 150-200 tactics skill for this to happen, with RBM tactics will always happen. 
  2. Also some of the vanilla tactics are literally broken or not function properly so we disabled these (circle of sucide when facing horse archers, hold the "choke point" in shield wall until you get surrounded and murdered and so on). 
  3. We also upgraded the remaining tactics. For example archers will often stand behind infantry line in much wider formation than infantry so they can flank while having some protection. When army holds the high ground it will actually do few steps forward so archers can properly shoot and infantry in front of them does not obscure vision, in vanilla archers actually stood behind the hill and they could not shoot while infantry stood on the hill. 
  4. Horse skirmishers (javelins) will circle around enemy formation and throw all their javelins (just like horse archers) and only after that they will charge, in vanilla they just charge through formation and sometimes throw javelins. 
  5. Horse archers will circle around from safe distance so they wont just bump into enemy infantry all the time. They will also charge close (which adds speed to their arrows) and the turn arround (hit and run).
  6. Cavalry will used their couched lances properly, it will charge then disengage to the distance and then charge again instead of getting stuck in the fight. 
  7. When archers are in range but for some reason they cannot shoot, for example because of hill they will do few steps forward, they will keep doing this until most of them starts shooting. 
  8. Soldiers with shields will block arrows more often and when under heavy fire entire formation will raise their shields. 
  9. Units block and parry much more than in vanilla which makes the combat bit longer, this depends on skill of soldier and combat difficulty setting. 
  10. Infantry will properly throw their javelins both when defending and attacking.
  11. Soldiers will now properly use ladders during sieges, siege towers work bit better too, but we recommend using ladders for now.
  12. Defenders will now properly hold the gate when it is broken and the wall when it is breached.
  13. Units with two handed polearms will try to keep proper distance and as result will fight from second line of formation more often.
  14. Siege towers can be replaced with ladders in actual combat, this was implemented because seige towers used to work worse than ladders. Can be adjusted in game manu since mod version 2.1.9.
  15. Improved melee formations in field battles. Soldiers in formations will behave more like people, they will poke each other, attack and retreat instead of attacking like robots that dont care about dying. Phalanx, pikewall, shieldwall is more viable and battles are longer.
  16. Spear and Pike infantry will hold their ground and brace when charged by cavalry.
  17. Skirmisher infantry (troops with more than 2 javelins) will now try to skirmish when they are dominant unit in formation.

    Also all of this aplies to AI, player can activate all the tactics related stuff by "delegating command to sergeants" with either entire army or specific unit formation (proper charging with cav and proper distance with horse archers work with "Charge" command as well).

If you are interested in tweaking some of the mod settings go to users/"user name"/documents/Mount and Blade II Bannerlord/configs, you will find RBM combat and AI config folders there. These changes will be remembered even after new patch.
Our optional mods (in files section below main mod files):

  • VolunteersUpTier - this optional mod changes starting tier of volunteers that appear in settlements. This tier is configurable with config.xml in mod files. This submod aims to up the difficulty in campaign mode. AI lords in campaign fight battles all the time and they often loose entire armies, so then they fill up their whole armies with recruits. Player is much better at conserving units and often has elite armies. As a result battles in campaign are often extremly one sided because of this. This mod serves as hotfix for this problem as AI lords armies will be closer to player's and battles should be a more challenging. In future we hope there will be some other way to fix this problem ( better soldiers from prosperity, training soldiers in castles and so on ). Works also as standalone.
  • Lord Retinue Uptier - this optional mod improves the armies (AKA retinues) that are spawned with AI lords (not your companions) when they are spawned / released / ransomed / escape from captivity. This will put more good units into game and also make battles vs AI armies harder.
Installation: AI module and Combat module are installed like any other mod, AKA put their folders into modules folder. VolunteersUpTier and Lord Retinue Uptier are again standard mod installation.
Recommended mods:
  • More income - from one of the authors of RBM, increases price of trade goods, which increases income from workshops, manual trade and hopefully caravans. Good if you want to focus more on leading armies and less on griding money.
  • Super Speed
  • ENHANCED BATTLE TEST - good for testing the game. As of now, download it from our optional files section until it gets officially updated.
  • RTS camera - very good mod, aside from the camera stuff also allows you to play as one of your soldiers after dying and increase or slow down the game speed.
  • De Re Militari at Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Nexus - Mods and community - unit overhaul that is fully compatible with RBM features, infantry is generally less armored in this mod.
  • Raise your Banner- well, banners for units - you need combat module version of at least 2.0.5 for this to mod work with RBM.
  • Hybrid Blocking - gives some shields bit more mobility and ability to protect head more (like sturgian round shields).
  • Balanced Tournament Armor - allows you to choose either basic low tier armor or mid tier armor for everyone instead of their personal armor, additionally you can choose to heal all participants to make the fights more fair. This mod pretty much nerfs lords, high tier troops and player (if he has high tier armor).
Check whether these mods are supported in current version of the game before installing them.

Warning: Most mods that modify spitems.xml (for example some armor mods) do it in a very clunky way and change the entire file, as a result balance of our mod is broken by these mods (for example bows are turned into ballistas :D). If you want to avoid these issues try loading our mod last or try disabling the other mods.

Please note that any mod that affects stats of bows, crossbows, arrows and bolts is not compatible with the combat module.
Any mod that changes how damage formula of arrows or melee weapons works is also not compatible with combat module.
Other mods should be compatible.

Special thanks to Mod Template for Visual Studio mod which allowed us to do this mod and Another Armor Damage mod which helped us understand programming in Bannerlord.

Source files are included. For finding how code works in original game i highly recommend program called ILSpy. You can use it to browse game's .dll files and see original methods and callbacks.

Put our mods in modules folder just as any other mod, run DLL activator. We recommend manually installing the mods, there seem to be problems such as crashes for some people when using vortex.

Before posting your problem or question please check the sticky posts, you may find solution to your problem or answer to your question there.

Source code: