Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord

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Marnah93 and Philozoraptor

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About this mod

This mod makes combat more realistic and improves AI. Armor and damage is reworked according to experimental data and physics. Units try to survive. AI uses proper formations and new custom culturally specific tactics were introduced. Tournaments were overhauled to be more balanced and rewarding experience. New posture (stamina) system.

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  • Japanese
This mod makes combat more realistic. Armor values are based on experimental data. AI uses proper formations and new custom culturally specific tactics were introduced. 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. Tournaments were overhauled to be more balanced and rewarding experience.

If you want to support us you can do so here:

  • The mod contains three main modules; Combat, AI and Arena and settings which can be toggled on / off in the game main menu. If you disable one of the modules, all of the sub settings are automatically disabled as well.

  • Combat module in a nutshell:  
  • 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.
  • Melee and throwing damage scales primarely with respective character skill, values are based on human biomechanics and they correspond with kinetic energy, damage value represents sharpness (or bluntness) of these weapons, in other words ability to penetrate armor, this means that weapon damage (quality) will scale more with strike of the charactersPrecision of the strike (which part of the weapon hits), footwork and relative speed matters more.
  • Hits with shafts and pommels will deal blunt damage, this represent grapling that often happens in real melee combat.
  • Bows and crossbows are instead unlocked with certain skill level (difficulty of the weapon). One handed weapons generally deal 60-120 damage while two handers are in range of 100-180 depending on weapon type and its length.
  • Rebalanced melee combat based on biomechanics of human body and IRL testing. Precision of the strike, footwork and relative speed should matter more, weapon damage on most weapons represents sharpness AKA
    ability to penetrate armor - this means that weapon damage (quality) will scale more with strike of the characters.
  • Projectile speed is simulating real life physics. Bows and crossbows have their draw weight displayed as missile speed stat, we also added custom draw weight stat that is displayed on the bow (this includes modifiers from quality of item). 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.
  • We added new UI in the inventory that shows you what kind of damage, speed and armor penetration to expect relative to weapon and weapon skill of character in questions (applies to whichever character is currently displayed in inventory screen).
  • 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 and character throwing skill. Heavy projectiles such as javelins profit from bonus speed more than lighter projectiles such as arrows due to how physics work - so big throwing lance will gain much more damage from horse speed than light throwing dart or arrow.
  • Throwing is significantly impacted by the weight of the gear and size of the shield.
  • 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). 
  • Couched lances now deal kinetic energy based damage (heavier and faster horse 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 horsemen 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. This skill is greatly influenced by character skill and by physics. You can be quite efficient even at relatively low speeds with high polearm skill. Ballistic damage of the lance is the same no matter the skill, but power added to the lance by the rider is skill dependent.
  • Horse charge cause physics based damage, horse receives some damage when it charges too.
  • Horses get slowed down with heavy armor and weight of the rider. Horse speeds in general now represent historically correct speed of horses. In order to unlock better horses you need high riding skill, riding skill have huge impact on your control and speed of the horse.
  • All armors were rebalanced based on their material (cloth, padding, leather, bronze, wrought iron, low carbon steel, medium carbon steel) and how well they cover bodies of their wearers according to scientific literature and experimental tests. What you see is what you get.
  • Armors can full block incoming attacks if they are strong enough. In such case only a small portion of the damage will be transferred into blunt trauma damage (which is based on momentum). You can achieve higher damage by increasing relative speed of the projectiles (for example by shooting from running horse in direction of the enemy) or by increasing your character skill with the weapon. So just like in real life.
  • Hitboxes were reworked, to reflect actual armor coverage of armor pieces and new hitboxes were added such as face and upper arms not covered by shoulder armor (armpits etc). It is advised to aim for weakpoint in the armor, especially with weapons that depend on penetration of armor. See picture section for more elaboration. These hitboxes and their respective armor will be displayed if you hover over your character armor values in the inventory.
  • Melee weapons have weights and speed closer to the historical weapons (they are lighter and faster) than in vanilla.
  • 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).
  • Two handed polearms, two handed axes and two handed maces will stagger enemy when they are parried by melee weapons or blocked by shields from incorrect angle, this should help with their shock capabilities. This also represent the ability of axes and hooked polearms to pull shields during combat.
  • Axes will do more damage to shields.
  • Blunt damage can now kill just like pierce and cut damage.
  • 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.
  • 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. Some bonus 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 (if the bonus is 10 m/s)).
  • Bow and crossbow reload rate: Bow and crossbow reload rate was changed to historically accurate speeds relevant for war equipment - three setting are available, realistic (slow), semi-realistic (moderate), vanilla (fast). This setting is applied only to player, AI will always use realistic reload.
  • 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.
  • When unit overhaul is activated units have correct gear for their tier and are properly balanced for the combat module of RBM. Each nation have specific strenght and minor clans are very specialized.
  • Spears will deal decent damage during entire animation including beginning of it, spears will not get stucked to allies when used in tight formation.
  • Due to changes to stats, prices of items have been reworked. You can tweak them in the config.
  • Shield on back was reworked, it can now stop all damage if the shield is hit. Kite shields, khuzait round shields and pavises have variants that are worn on shoulder instead of back when they are not equipped in hand, this results in protection when bracing with pike and reloading crossbows, this can be adjusted in game menu.
  • 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. In vanilla game there was only one armor value for entire horse harness.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If you want to understand more about weapon damage in RBM please see articles section.
  • Greased and hardened arrows and bolts added to the game (this items will turn into trash if uninstall the mod, so no crashing).
  • 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.
  • Speed shooting is available both to player and the AI. You need to have 70 more skill than is the bow difficulty to unlock it.
  • When realistic arrow arc is activated in the mod menu, your shot angle will be increased by roughly 5 degrees just like IRL with most of archery anchor points. This improves aiming at longer distances.
  • New mechanic for dynamic downgrading of armor (armor damage model). Every hit now has 10% chance to lower an effectivity of an armor by 10% (for chainmail it's 5% as that was one of its historical advantages) down to -50%. This also applies to horse armor. Armor will NOT remain damaged after the battle ( so you don't have to worry about your masterwork lamellar needing a repair:). This damage is only applied to armor that covers the part of the body that was hit (chest and abdomen hits will have a chance to damage body armor, head and neck hits helmet etc.) This change should help with higher tier troops being almost unstoppable and give lower tier troops a chance to at least make a dent in an armor so next wave of recruits will have a higher chance against them.
  • Damage to the armor in the battle is depended on the type of the weapon and power of the strike (more damage higher chance, swords will cut cloth to pieces very fast, piercing will deal much less damage than cut or blunt, blunt can crack plates easily but does not cause much damage to cloth or mail, mail in general has very good durability in comparison to other armor types, etc.
  • Damage status of armor is added to the UI during battle, this can be disabled in the mod menu. Green - above 100% (masterwork and such), grey - 100-95%, yellow-orange 90-70%, red - gone reduced to atoms (60%-50%).
  • Siege weapons fighting on the strategic map will cause more attrition, siege weapons present in the actual fight tweaked, normal catapults throw 5 little rocks, fire catapults throw explosive jars, trebuchets throw 7 regular rocks (in vanilla they throw one which makes them totally useless in actual fight). Angles and projectile speeds of catapults and trebuchets were adjusted according to Roman onagers, that means they are more likely to shoot at closer and more distant targets than before, which makes them much more efficient both in offense and defense.

  • AI module in a nutshell: 
  • 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. 
  • 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). 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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).
  • Cavalry will use their couched lances properly, it will charge then disengage to the distance and then charge again instead of getting stuck in the fight. 
  • 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. 
  • Adden brand new tactics to the AI - Embolon to Empire, Skirmisher flank to Aserai, Archer flank to Battania and Shock Trooper flank to Sturgia.
  • Soldiers with shields will block arrows more often and when under heavy fire entire formation will raise their shields. 
  • 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. 
  • Infantry will properly throw their javelins both when defending and attacking.
  • Defenders will now properly hold the gate when it is broken and the wall when it is breached.
  • Units with two handed polearms will try to keep proper distance and as result will fight from second line of formation more often.
  • 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. Wounded soldiers try to backpadal from the first line to second and third line, etc to stay alive.
  • Spear and Pike infantry will hold their ground and brace when charged by cavalry (when no large enemy infantry formation is nearby).
  • Skirmisher infantry (troops with more than 2 javelins) will now try to skirmish when they are dominant unit in formation.
  • Posture system added to the game. Your posture bar is shown below your health bar. Enemy name, health and posture is shown in the top middle part of your screen (below balance of power bar). You lose some posture when you attack, you lose more posture when you defend from enemy attack, perfectly timing of your block / parry significantly reduces posture damage which you receive and causes lot of posture damage to the attacker, blocking into incorrect side with the shield or holding parry for a long time before actual attack will result in more posture damage than perfectly timed block or parry. Posture regenerates over time. When soldiers posture fully depletes he will recieve some adverse effect (read below) and will regen half of his posture back (so you can turn the tide of battle even if you are loosing at first). You weapon type and skill impact posture damage done and received. Posture damage done offensively 2H>1H variant, mace>axe>polearm>=sword. Posture damage received by enemy when you do perfect block or parry 2H>1H, sword>axe>=polearm>mace>shield block. Posture damage received as defender 1H+shield>2H>1H with no shield, mace>axe>=polearm>sword. To conclude, if you are good at parry and are aggresive fast attacker (duelist) - 2H sword is great, if you want to just smash somebody and hide behind shield - mace is great, if you want to poke somebody - spear, if you want to be versitile - swingy polearm or 1h sword + shield, if you want to overpower with stagger - axe.
  • Damage to posture while wielding shield: if defender times his block in correct position properly= lower damage to posture for defender and more fore attacker, if defender does not block in correct position = higher damage to posture of defender and less to attacker.
  • Damage posture to parrying enemy: if defender times his parry properly = lower damage to posture of defender and more to posture of attacker, if defender does not time his parry properly (just holds parry in same direction for a long time) = higher damage to posture of defender and lower damage to posture of attacker.
  • If you attack blocking enemy with shield that dont have enough posture to block he will be staggered and receive huge damage to the shield (if final blow dealt less than 33% of total posture in damage) and knocked back and receive partial damage to his health (if final blow dealt 33% or more of total posture as damage).
  • If you attack someone who is parrying and he does not have enough posture to stop your attack, he will receive partial damage through his parry and also may be knocked down according to the 33% posture rule. If you hit someones head with lot of power you can knock them down too.
  • If you block with your shield and deplete someones posture with it you will knock them back or even knock them down according to the 33% rule - shield is low risk low reward when it comes to defense.
  • If you parry with weapon and deplete someones posture with it you will deal partial damage to the attacker (you hit their hand etc) and you may disarm them (if they have shield you disarm shield, if they have no shield you knock their weapon from their hand) according to the 33% rule - no shield gameplay is high risk high reward.
  • You character weapon skills affects you posture damage dealt and athletics (or riding when on mount) affect posture regen.
  • You can disable posture system or its GUI in the mod options.
  • Reinforcements will come from edge of the battlefield (Total War style) instead of teleporting into static point that is mostly behind default spawning position. This means you can actually use the new deployment system and you will not screw yourself in the process.
  • Super speed feature was added to the module (original mod is no longer functional) press ctrl + V to increase game speed (or return it back to normal).
  • Improvements to defender postions on some maps. So far: Ab Comer castle, Veron castle, Zeonica, Vostrum, Verescand castle, Varnovapol, Thractorae, Seanon, Jogurys, Lageta and Takor castle. More to come in future patches.
  • While being designated a captain of formation, you can set melee aggressiveness of your formation; Ctrl + 1 = aggresive, units will break ranks more often; Ctrl + 2 = normal (default balanced behaviour); Ctrl +
    3 = defensive, units will keep their ranks and distance more, usefull especially with long range reach weapons. Work only with num lock at the moment.
  • AI army will retreat when power of their army drops below 15% of thier strength after their final reinforcements arrive (this should prevent endless skirmishes with few stubborn cavalrymen who refuse to die).
  • Arena Module:
  • When entering main tournament you tier will be calculated by calculating the average of your gear tier and character level, which ever is higher.
  • Enemies in arena will be on your tier level.
  • Rewards are 1 tier higher than tier of the tournament and the reward can roll positive modifier such as legendary so player should be able to upgrade their gear by fighting in arenas. 
  • Renown reward for fighting in arena is increased as well (higher tier = more renown).
  • Melee weapons and shields will be randomized and of appropriate tier and culture. Bows and arrows will scale with arena tier aswell.
  • Since tournament is fair now it is good way to train and learn how to fight with Combat and AI module. Combat module also enables normal XP gain in arenas.
  • 1v1 fights will be sometimes fought with shields, sometimes with just 1 handed weapons instead.
  • If your companion wins the tournament, your party will still receive the item.
  • Lords can participate only in the highest tier of the tournament.

    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), both of these mods also work as standalone mods:

  • VolunteersUpTier - at the moment archived (only up to 1.7.2) - 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: RBM is installed like majority of other mods, AKA put its folder into modules folder. VolunteersUpTier and Lord Retinue Uptier are again standard mod installation.
Recommended mods:
  • Diplomacy - makes strategy map part of the game better, alliances, non-aggression pacts, factions within kingdoms et

Recommended mods to try out with RBM: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.

Spear Rework is conflicting with combat module and may be cause of crashes.
ANY mod that adds armors and/or weapons is NOT compatible with Combat modules unless there is a RBM patch for it.

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 or enable .dll files in our mod manually, note that many users dont need to do this, but if the game crashes during initial loading this is likely culprit. 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.

If you want to support us you can do so here:

Source code: