How do you win against the superiority of NPC Lords?
I am playing a female character and have fought a long time with the Kingdom of the Nords against Swadia, which resulted in them having only a few castles left.
Now I am trying to help the female Claimant on the Throne. I have captured 1 Castle of Swadia, which has a good position since a lot of Nord Castles are between it and the remains of the Kingdom of Swadia.
Capturing the remaining Castles seems to be very difficult, since my army's max size can be around 90, but all swadian Lords have around 200-400 Men in their Armies. And Swadia has still many lords, I think it is around 7 or 8. And they often group up on me, which makes me fight more than 600 men with my 70-90 men, depending on the current state.
Restricting the Number of men in battle at once is not an option since you still have to fight the rest in a second battle and if you loose some in the first battle, the second one can still go ill.
What is the best late game strategy to win against these lords and/or capturing their castles?
Get the top upgrade mercenaries on foot, something with blades in them... they destroy anything that moves. I've gone with only 150 of them against an army of a king that had 500, the first 100 are good units the rest are mostly farmers and low leveled recruits... and we won :p
@Lyrion you mean hired blades. They are probably the best merc troops you can hire, much better value than the merc calvary.
@yx. Yep you are right, hired blades! They are indeed alot better then the cavalry. I think they are the best troops you can have, highest lvl wise and such. (Maybe men at arms are better) . Anyway, the point is tho an army you see running around doesn't exist mainly out the maxed ones, but mostly out of canon fodder, so making sure your army is created out of lean mean killing machines, can break the enemy even if they outnumber you with alot.
it depends on the composition, if its 600 units made up out of multiple lords, then it'll have more higher tiered units than a single king with 400. I've beaten a king before with just 25 units (all the companions + 1 each of mounted troops) because all he had was tier 1 units and peasants.
You may have decided to support the claimant a bit early. There's really not much you can do when all you have are 90 units with 1 lord vs 600 and 9 lords unless your party's stats (like surgery/first aid) are super high already.
Here are some tips that may help you out:
A max army size of 90 means that you don't have enough Renown and Leadership. A good army size to have when declaring for a claimant is at minimum of 150. Next time you should try to boost your renown (by taking fewer units into battle against a higher number of enemies). Having a renown of 1500 to 2000 is probably a minimum before striking out on your own. Also, put more points into leadership/charisma.
Try to build up relationships with the lords of the faction your claimant is from (capturing and releasing them repeatedly will gain you relationships fairly quickly as well as improving your honor). If you do that, you can visit their lords while they are in their castles and persuade them to join your cause. This will increase your holdings and lords without having to fight them. Since you'll always be the marshall of your faction, you can then ask your lords to join you in battle.
Use only high tier units and play to their strengths. For the Nords, their best units is huscarls, but they aren't mounted so suffer when fighting in the open. Your best bet is to fight in moutnaineous terrain and tell all your units to hold out on top of a hill. This will drastically slow any mounted units heading at you, giving your huscarls plenty of time to throw their axes for tons of damage.
Try to wait until there's a war between Swadia and someone else, when their leaders are distracted, go in and take their territory. Also, wait until you see Swadia conquer a city, this is the best time to go and take that city from them as it won't be heavily defended.
There are also some really cheap tricks you can do to take a castle without any losses, but that requires you to get some rhodok sharpshooters first. Just tell them to use their melee weapons and defend at the start of a castle battle. They'll be nearly invincible when hiding behind their board shields. Then wait until the enemy runs out of missiles, then tell them to open fire. After your guys run out of missiles, retreat, and repeat.
Or you could set the game to easy, limit the number of units in battle to as few as the game will allow, and kill them all yourself like a boss.
A good shield should see you mostly unharmed to melee range, though it doesn't hurt to have a hero with some first aid skills.
I just have to add, with tactic #5, careful positioning on the ladder and a long melee weapon will allow you to poke the enemies to death (VERY SLOWLY), just make sure there are no more missile guys left before you attempt it.
Just so you know: I was successful and I have helped the Claimant on the throne. Afterwards I married one of the lords, defected and took Swadia in one big sweep and made my own Kingdom of Metal :D.