Although I have enjoyed the original Mount&Blade very mutch, I have anticipated With Fire and Sword with great enthusiasm for several reasons:

  • it introduced new features such as real history and people, storyline, firearms and grenades,
  • XVII century Renesaince rarely depicted in games but well known to us from Three Musketeers and Alatriste,
  • game adaptation of my favourite novels by Henryk Sienkiewicz.

​But in spite of my initial enthusiasm, playng With Fire&Sword was by far more difficult than expected for several reasons. After 5 years of playing original Mount&Blade, I have got accustomed to its features:

  • strong armors,
  • ubiquitous shields,
  • weak or slow ranged weapons,
  • unstopable cavalry,
  • upgradable units,

To my consternation (as a "veteran" player!) With Fire&Sword turned all of this learned and accustomed conventions upside down:

  • most units wore no armor to speak of,
  • almost no one used shields (or even parry daggers, which would be historicaly accurate),
  • powerful and ubiquitous firearms (even with Looters!) with one-shot kill,
  • weak and unarmored horses that die rather easily,
  • non-upgradable (in traditional Mount&Blade sense!) units,
  • strangely balanced units with no understandable troop-tree: unstopable musketeers, weak cavalry and nearly useless melee infantry,
  • less than balanced Nations (Cossack Hetmanate : no heavy cavalry, no heavy infantry and no armors to speak of-all in one!).

All that said, this game has an unlimited potential, and more I played, more I was surprised with its diversity, historical setting, storyline and replayability. Every recomendation for new players with one notion: expect a complete new game more than simple expansion of Mount&Blade .