With Fire and Sword is based on a historical fiction novel of the same title by Polish author Henryk Sienkiewicz and set in the 17th century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The playable factions are Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Sweden and the Crimean Khanate.
Because of its advanced timeline, many things have changed from the past games.
The Kingdom of Sweden
- Wealthy, neutral, and ever powerful, the Kingdom of Sweden patiently waits to conquer the losing side of the Russian Polish conflict with an army of dreaded dragoons and musketeers. Sweden's army resembles contemporary Western European armies, with many gunpowder units such as the Swedish Reiter and the Lifeguard.
- This Faction most closely resembles the Kingdom of Swadia in terms of military units, but the Nords in culture/ethnicity in the previous Mount&Blade games. Its emphasis on gunpowder weaponry, however, makes it one of the more original factions of With Fire and Sword. The Swedes export preserved fish, apples and cabbages. Spices, wine and honey are generally highly valued in Swedish cities (particularly spices, which fetch ridiculously high prices in Narva).
- The Cossack Hetmanate is a Ukrainian state comprised of wild-spirited independent fighters led by Hetman Bogdan Hmelnitski. With few armored units to speak of, the Hetmanate relies on an army of light insurgents and light Djura cavalry.
- The Cossacks fight against Poland for their freedom. Cossack leader Hetman Bogdan Hmelnitski is forced to seek help from Russia in order to combat the Polish threat. Together the Cossack Hetmanate and Tsardom of Moscow march on the Polish Republic. The Cossacks generally export agricultural products such as wheat, olives and grapes. Vodka, shag and powder are in high demand in the original cities of the Hetmanate.
- The Polish Republic, also known as the Polish-Lithuanian Republic, is famed for its majestic Winged Cavalry. The Polish Republic relies heavily on its Winged Hussars (the heaviest cavalry in the game), with competent but unexceptional infantry in the form of Zolniers and Pikemen. While it possesses a rich army, it is fragile, which could ultimately lead to the Polish Republic's demise.
- Southern Polish cities value Vodka and Powder.
Tsardom of Moscovites
- Born again in this new age of fire and sword. Russia sees itself under a powerful dynasty of Tsars bent on reclaiming land lost to the Polish Republic. The Muscovite Tsardom is truly a force to be reckoned with as it has a vast army of well equipped troops.
- Russia boasts a large assortment of troops, reflected in the large assortment of marksmen (Muscovite marksmen include the simple Marksmen, the militia Posad Marksmen, and the elite New Order Marksmen), though it boasts quite good cavalry such as the Noble Guard and the Boyar. All Russian marksmen (Save for the Posad Marksman) deploy the two-handed poleaxe, a heavy weapon with a bonus against shields, giving even marksmen a fair chance against enemy infantry, while Moscow spearmen use a medium between the pike and the sword. The Muscovite cities are exporters of Shag, fur and Vodka as cash crops. Apples and Cabbages are generally cheap. Olives, Spices, Oil and Wine are generally highly valued.
- This faction most closely resembles the fictional Kingdom of Vaegirs in the previous Mount&Blade games.
- A kingdom caught between shifting alliances, the Khanate has been shielded from both the Tsardom of Moscow and the Polish Republic, but soon may find itself vulnerable and desperate. The Crimean Khanate may be forced to betray the Cossack Hetmanate and take its lightning fast army of mounted bowmen elsewhere.
- Crimean cavalry cost less to maintain than any other nation's, and the Khanate boasts a large assortment of cavalry, ranging from the numerous Bajrak, mounted archer Jasaqs to the heavily armored Asak-bey, Circassian, and the powerful Nokhor. The Kapikulu archer is the only native infantry the Crimean Khanate fields, but has access to infantry on loan from the Ottoman Empire (modern Turkey) these are: the Seymen (armored-but-rather-inaccurate ranged infantry), Janissaries (elite musketeers), and Azaps (elite light infantry).
- Crimean cities export Spices and Oil, and Crimean cities are usually the only places with steady access to Steppe Horses, the fastest horses in the game.
Founding Your Own Kingdom
There are several ways to start a kingdom for yourself and they are similar to the ones in Mount&Blade: Warband.
One way is to become a member of an already existing faction and capturing a castle or a town which you will not be granted by the faction leader. When this happens you can choose to denounce your current oath and leave your faction. This will result in your new faction becoming a rebel faction for that faction.
When you have become a rebel for a faction it is a good idea to find the claimant for that faction and proceed to persuade the lords of the original faction to join yours instead. This way works exactly the same as it does in Warband. However, this will not make you king/queen of the new kingdom. Instead you will become the marshal and the claimant will become the new faction leader. You will have major attacks on your kingdom, which may be what makes the game fun.
Another way to become a monarch is to start either The Deluge or the False Dmitry quests. In the middle of the Deluge quest, Colonel Zagloba will ask the player to become king or he'll start a rebellion against King Jan Kasimir. If you choose to become king, then The Deluge in the quest menu is completed and the The Final Border quest replaces it. The player also becomes the Polish Republic's permanent marshal (even if they hold an election for it). The end point of the both quests gives the player the task to conquer Eastern Europe as the final quest.
The game is similar to its predecessors, and involves quests, earning trust, and gathering an army of followers.
You will be able to build academies to train companions, and blacksmiths to forge weapons; merchant guilds with optional loans are also featured, along with bounties should you fail to pay back your debts.
As the date is set in a later time period as well as based on real-world events, there are firearms. These weapons are very powerful, but take a long time to reload, aren't very accurate, and have small amounts of ammunition, meaning your sword and bow are not yet obsolete. Explosives, such as grenades, can also be used, but they do not refill.
Castle sieges have some new options as well: bribing a guard to grant you entry, poisoning the water supply, or even blowing a hole in the walls. There are now multiple ladders.
You can also find new people such as tavern visitors and mercenaries. The training camp has been replaced with a mercenary camp and marriage is no longer an option.
Unlike prior games, factional troops do not upgrade into more advanced forms. Troops typically only upgrade once to a veteran version. In villages you can only recruit weak militia, but you can hire better from the Commanders in fortifications your faction controls. Mercenary camp troops can upgrade from recruit to experienced to veteran to elite and also have several equipment options purchasable from the camp commander.
The castles now also have taverns and can be upgraded with universities and traders. Walking around the towns, villages and castles will reveal a far larger game environment (which could cause lag on lower-end PCs). Capturing of castles has become far more difficult to achieve by force, so bribing a guard or poisoning the water supply is essential. During sieges, muskets are lethal enough to kill a heavily armoured unit in one hit, so running into enemy fire (like in Mount&Blade, or Warband) is an act that can get you killed much quicker.
Warfare techniques are altered greatly. For example, you now have the choice of building a 'wagon fort'. A wagon fort is a triangle-shaped barricade which can be jumped over by horses (although the AI will not do this) but forces infantry to go around it. During a field battle, the best tactic is to wait until you come into close range and then fire all your army's muskets. Note, however, that elite musketeers are accurate enough to hit and kill straight across the map. One way to avoid the long reload time for muskets is to buy a pistol, which can be reloaded on the move.
Possibly the most significant addition is the grenade, which is a primitive bomb that can kill a cluster of enemies. Stock can only be used once, however, as they don't refill. This technology replaces throwing weapons in the previous games, so that now the "Power Throw" skill is replaced with "Grenade Throwing". Guns have a similar effect on melee encounters to the use of throwing weapons in previous games.
As with the first Mount&Blade games, there are numerous Heroes that you can employ in your party.
Books can be very useful in Mount & Blade. Their primary purpose is to give free boosts to your skills and attributes without having to level up. You can purchase them from Book Merchants, in the taverns of towns and castles.
Some books simply provide bonuses to your skills while they are in your inventory. You do not have to read them, but losing the book will result in losing the skill bonus and the effect does not stack if you find more than one (if you're a lucky student that started with one). The second kind of book must be read, but the skill bonus is permanent. In order to read a book, you must go to the camp menu and "select a book to read". You will then read this book whenever you are resting, such as when you have set up camp, or are staying in a tavern. Once the book is finished, you will get a boost to a certain skill or attribute.
Bonuses can't pass the 10 level limit of skills, so make sure you only level up to 9 the skills of books you intend to read or equip.
Bonuses of inventory books don't stack and you can only read each book type once. However, if you export your character and import on a new game, all the books reset and you still keep your bonuses to your skills and stats.
|Book Title||Bonus to Stat||Bonus Type|
|De Re Militari||+1 Tactics||Permanent|
|A Grammatical Outline of the Russian Language||+1 Intelligence||Permanent|
|Maxims of State||+1 Leadership||Permanent|
|A Discourse of Trade from England unto the East Indies||+1 Trade||Permanent|
|Rhetoric of Philip Melanchthon||+1 Persuasion||Permanent|
|On the Art of Fighting with Swords||+1 Weapon Master||Permanent|
|Art of War||+1 Trainer||While in Inventory|
|Healing||+1 Wound Treatment||While in Inventory|
|On Surgery and Instruments||+1 Surgery||While in Inventory|
Note: Price is the ordering price from the other towns that the player doesn't govern. The Player Price is a discount (about 55.56% off) when ordering from a town that the player does govern.
Price: 19800 (Player Price: 11000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/Hand-craftedSaber19800thaler.jpg
Price: 25200 (Player Price: 14000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/Hand-craftedDamascussteelSaber25200thaler.jpg
Price: 28800 (Player Price: 16000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/Hand-craftedRapier28800thaler.jpg
Price: 32400 (Player Price: 18000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/Hand-craftedBroadsword32400thaler.jpg
Price: 36000 (Player Price: 20000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/Hand-craftedCzekan36000thaler.jpg
Price: 27000 (Player Price: 15000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/Hand-craftedPole-axe27000thaler.jpg
Price: 54000 (Player Price: 30000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/Hand-craftedTwo-handedSword54000thaler.jpg
Price: 25200 (Player Price: 14000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/TatarBow25200thaler.jpg
Price: 45000 (Player Price: 25000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/Hand-craftedBow45000thaler.jpg
Price: 45000 (Player Price: 25000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/Hand-craftedTurkishMusket45000thaler.jpg
Price: 50400 (Player Price: 28000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/Hand-craftedEuropeanMusket50400thaler.jpg
Price: 81000 (Player Price: 45000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/Double-barreledDutchCarbine81000thaler.jpg
Price: 27000 (Player Price: 15000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/Hand-craftedCarbine27000thaler.jpg
Price: 21600 (Player Price: 12000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/Hand-craftedPistol21600thaler.jpg
Price: 28800 (Player Price: 16000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/DutchPistol28800thaler.jpg
Price: 99000 (Player Price: 55000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/Double-barreledMiqueletPistol99000thaler.jpg
Price: 126000 (Player Price: 70000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/Double-barreledDutchPistol126000thaler.jpg
Price: 72000 (Player Price: 40000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/Hand-craftedHussarArmor72000thaler.jpg
Price: 90000 (Player Price: 50000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/Hand-craftedArmor90000thaler.jpg
Price: 81000 (Player Price: 45000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/Hand-craftedMirrorArmor81000thaler.jpg
Price: 72000 (Player Price: 40000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/Hand-craftedYushman72000thaler.jpg
Price: 108000 (Player Price: 60000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/Hand-craftedBlackArmor108000thaler.jpg
Price: 81000 (Player Price: 45000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/Armet81000thaler.jpg
Price: 63000 (Player Price: 35000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/Hand-craftedHussarHelmet63000thaler.jpg
Price: 50400 (Player Price: 30000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/Hand-craftedNobleHelmet54000thaler.jpg
Price: 36000 (Player Price: 20000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/Hand-craftedMorion36000thaler.jpg
Price: 50400 (Player Price: 28000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/Hand-craftedReiterHelmet50400thaler.jpg
Price: 27000 (Player Price: 15000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/Hand-craftedTatarHelmet27000thaler.jpg
Price: 90000 (Player Price: 50000) http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x459/IndirectHero/ThoroughbredHorse90000thaler.jpg
Types of troops
Militia: the weakest troops which can be recruited from villages or Commanders.
Infantry: regular infantry troops which can only be recruited from Infantry Commanders.
Cavalry: regular cavalry troops which can only be recruited from Cavalry Commanders.
Guards: elite troops which can only be recruited from a Personal Guard Commander and/or Heavy Cavalry Commander.
Mercenaries: elite troops which can be recruited from a Mercenary Commander. They cannot be recruited from Mercenary Camps or taverns.
Special soldiers: special troops which can only be recruited in a few fortifications. The commanders vary.
Tavern mercenaries: Mercenaries that can be recruited from taverns. They can best militia but not regulars.
Camp mercenaries: Mercenaries recruited from mercenary camps. Their stats are always lower than similar faction troops but their equipment can be customized.
*Commanders are found in castles/cities by going to the option "Go to the town center". You must be a lord/vassal/mercenary of that faction to access the commanders. There will often be rumours about commanders, which can suggest what troops are available to be recruited. You must come back to the same commander four days later to pick up your troops by clicking ""I want to recruit some men."
All Mount&Blade games can also be downloaded as a "try before you buy" trial version from TaleWorlds' website for free.
The trial version allows you to play the single-player game until you reach level 7 at which time it automatically saves your character and quits. After purchasing and entering a serial key, the limit will be unlocked and you may resume playing with the same character and access the multi-player servers. You will not need to download the game again.
Some items left over from Warband remain in the game files and can still be accessed.