Your party is the one of the most important aspects of the game; within it you can hire troops (from villages) and secondary heroes who will help you in battle. Heroes are important because they cannot die in battle (they just get wounded). There are sixteen heroes in the game you can hire from taverns. It is important to level up your Persuasion so you can handle inner party disputes, as not all heroes will like each other.
Morale influences your moving speed and when it becomes low your troops will start deserting. You can increase your morale by winning battles, tournaments, having a variety of food, completing quests, razing villages and raising your leadership skill. You can lose morale from starvation, losing battles, and failing quests (the last one is actually true for many NPC heroes). Morale of nation-based troops is also greatly negatively affected if you are waging a war against their home nation. Also, fighting more than 1 or 2 times a day will lower morale.
- Base morale: your base morale will always be 50.
- Party size: the more troops you have in your party, the higher the morale penalty will be. Note that when removing party members, this penalty will decrease by 1 each, but a temporary 1 point penalty will be incurred to Recent Events. This means you are left with no immediate net change.
- Leadership: morale bonus provided by your Leadership skill.
- Food variety: quite self-explanatory, every type of food has a morale bonus in its description.
- Recent events: any events like winning tournaments, battles, or completing quests will give you a large morale bonus.
The player's maximum party size is calculated differently than NPCs. In With Fire & Sword, the campaign difficulty setting has a large influence on how your party size is calculated.
NPC lords receive the following bonuses. Other randomly generated AI parties, such as bandits, are selected from a specific range. Viking Conquest applies the same NPC party bonus rule to player, in addition to your companion's leadership skill.
Wages will be paid to your troops every 168 hours, which is seven days. If you don't have enough money to pay your troops' wages, your party will lose morale and you will incur a debt. Wages are primarily based upon your troops' level, but then several other calculations are performed before reaching the final amount.
If you look at an appropriate calendar, your troops are paid every Friday. This can be useful, as you can place your army into garrison just before Friday afternoon to only pay them half wages.