Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord – Increasing your influence
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord‘s mid to late-game experience revolves around influence. It’s actually one of the toughest resources to amass because of how ridiculously slow it can be.
Your main method of increasing this is by winning battles while you’re with an allied army. As long as you’re a vassal and you’re partaking in field battles and sieges, you’ll see an increase of influence via the victory screen. Again, bigger battles mean bigger rewards.
You can also increase this via the Charm skill and some of its perks:
- The Charm skill has several perks such as “Champion” (+10 influence from winning tournaments) and “Immortal Charm” (+1 influence for every Charm level above 250).
- Note that the Steward skill, meanwhile, only has a couple of weak influence-related perks — ie. “Prominence” (+1 influence if you’re a vassal).
The Charm skill is your best bet due to the perks, but it can take a while to level-up as well. It’s increased by improving your relations with nobles or socializing with them, as well as whenever you barter.
I must admit that I’ve hardly seen the Charm skill get boosted due to improved relations since you mostly just get a point or two. Plus, the mini-games you play with other nobles (seen above) can get really boring at times. As for bartering, this is when you talk to lords directly and offer them a trade:
Your vassal friends and the politics of the kingdom
The goal in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord‘s mid-game is to continue joining your fellow vassals in war, increasing your renown and influence gains from battles. In turn, you’ll get to partake in some decisions involving the kingdom. You’ll see all the possible actions in the kingdom menu (K).
In the “clans” page, you’ll see all the families that are part of a kingdom as well as their lands. If you’re looking for a spouse, you could also take note of any single dudes and dudettes of noble blood. You may also spend 50 influence to support a clan or 200 influence to expel it from the kingdom. Curiously enough, it’s not possible to increase your own clan’s influence — such as a means of boosting your diplomatic standing among the nobility.
Fiefs and policies
You’ll be notified when fiefs (settlements) and policies (laws) require a council to vote. In the case of fiefs, cities and castles may be assigned to the kingdom’s vassals. You may even put forth your own name in the hat if:
- You were part of the army that captured the settlement.
- You proposed later that the settlement is given to someone else.
When a settlement has just been captured, nobles will be called to vote in 24 hours in-game time. You’ll need to check the kingdom panel after winning a siege, as, otherwise, no one might even nominate you.
You’ll also need to spend additional influence just to nudge some of the voters in your favor or someone else’s (you may incur relations penalties from those who didn’t vote the same way you did). Alternatively, you could just abstain; this won’t use influence and you won’t incur relations penalties.
Policies, meanwhile, are the laws governing your kingdom. Clicking on a policy reveals its effects and how much support it has from other vassals. You may choose to call a vote or wait until someone else does. Just like fiefs, you’ll have three options when a vote is called: vote in favor, vote against, or abstain.
A powerful mid-game policy option in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is “Senate” which gives tier 3 clans one point of influence per day. If you managed to increase your clan rank via renown, then this can help you in the long run. There are also other policies that help with influence gains.
Armies and diplomacy
Next up is the armies panel where you’ll see all the active armies exploring the lands of Calradia. Think of armies as bigger groups comprised of multiple parties led by unique characters. Since you’re a vassal, you can also form your own army and even have another lord attached to it. The character will bring his or her party to the fight at the cost of influence.
The last page for diplomacy simply shows you how your kingdom is faring in a war. You’ll see if your rival kingdom is on the ropes. Perhaps you might be able to convince a number of lords to start joining the winning side?
Note: Don’t forget that hitting that big red button to leave your kingdom automatically leads to war between you and your former compatriots.
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is available now via Steam’s early access program. For more information, check out our guides and features hub.