Tactics are one of the most difficult skills to level up and utilize in Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord, while also being one of the most essential skills at your disposal in the late game.
With this high level of skill and the right selection of perks, you can safely send your troops into small battles without taking many casualties and choose the more important battles you want to engage in.
10 solid structure
The first perk in the Tactics skill tree is between loose formation and tight formation. The primary effects are relatively similar, as the former reduces the damage your army takes in auto-resolving battles, while the latter increases it.
What makes tight formation a better choice is that shield walls and square formations are the best formations for infantry and cavalry, and you benefit more from the side benefits of this perk. If you’re playing an archer-heavy style, you should consider the alternatives as lines and loose formations are better choices for ranged troops.
9 decisive battle
There are several perks in the tactical and recon trees that affect a unit’s performance in open field or wooded terrain, and your chosen playstyle and troops may affect these perks. The archer-oriented playstyle shines on wooded battlefields for extra cover, but most other armies prefer open fields for freedom of movement and sight.
Extended Skirmish is the best perk choice for the aforementioned styles, but Decisive Battle is a better option for most players. It’s much easier to command your troops in open field battles, and most terrain on the game’s world map falls into this category, so the extra damage helps your troops more consistently.
8 Horde Leader
Like other perks, party size is very important for any character, and Horde Leader is a great tactical perk that increases party size by a moderate amount, in addition to extending your ability to command large armies.
Small Units Tactics is not an optimal perk in most situations. Pick this perk to help if you’re having trouble clearing the bandit hideout early in the game, and switch back to Horde Leader later when your combat skills improve.
There are several perks in the game, such as the Law Keeper, which can help you against bandit parties. These perks can be useful in the early game, but become less valuable in the later stages of the game, when you don’t fight rogue parties as often.
Coaching is a better perk that can boost your party against enemies by increasing their damage when sent to auto-resolve battles. Although the damage increase is small, it can give you a significant advantage in long campaigns.
The fifth perk selection in the tactics tree is highly dependent on your stage in the game and your overall strength. The Improviser helps you break through and escape sieges with fewer casualties and reduce the impact of disorganized conditions on your army’s performance.
Swift Regroup allows you to escape unwanted battles with fewer casualties and reduces the overall disorder duration. Swift Regroup is a better choice if you’re underpowered compared to your enemies, but Improviser can help you complete world domination.
On The March is an appropriate perk at this level if you declare your own kingdom and have few settlements to defend against multiple attacks, or an army large enough to automatically resolve siege battles. The perk reduces the enemy’s fortification bonus and increases your own fortification bonus while defending the settlement.
However, Call To Arms has broader use cases throughout the game, as it allows you to assemble an army faster and cheaper. This perk can come in handy if you’re unprepared and surprised by another kingdom declaring war.
4 make them pay
The second half of the game is mostly large-scale siege battles trying to conquer the world, and having a good engineer or high skill can help immensely at that point, but there are perks like Make Them Pay and Pick Them Off The World. A wall that can help.
The difference between the two perks is that Make Them Pay allows you to win siege battles faster, while Pick Them Off The Walls allows you to face fewer enemies once the battle starts. Make Them Pay gets better the stronger you are, making it an optimal choice in the long run.
three elite reserve
Siege is a great perk for increasing your tactical skills and quickly dispatching small groups of enemies. Increases the party’s damage when sending a party to a small group of enemies, reducing casualties while leveling up the skill of the tactic.
However, once you reach the skill’s max level, elite reserves become a better choice as they protect higher-tier units when sending troops out to face enemies. Perks can save you a lot of casualties in the long run and help keep your party intact.
2 pre-combat maneuvers
Besieged is a great defensive perk especially if you want to defend an important settlement, and it can be worthwhile to visit the arena and switch to this perk when you know the enemy is coming to besiege your town.
But outside of those scenarios, Pre Battle Maneuvers are the better option for most battles, and your higher tactical skill relative to the enemy commander will give you an edge. The extra influence of this perk can be very useful when you are the leader of a kingdom and need to reject bad policies and declarations of war.
Gens d’armes is a decent governor perk and can help an army with a lot of cavalry, but once you reach this high level of tactical skill you’ll want something more powerful in your final perk. Counter Offensive isn’t perfect, but it’s a more effective choice at this level.
This perk will be of great help if you are unguarded and under attack by a larger army. Combined with the previous perks, you can easily overcome larger armies, especially if your party consists of highly ranked armies.
Next: Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord – Beginner’s Tips