I have two other things to post about this week, but I cannot get this out of my mind. It simply has to get written first, even though there are no screenshots and none of you probably really care about this game. I promise to get back to WoW/Hearthstone tomorrow. Honest!
So, I made multiple games in Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword so that I could try out getting in with the other factions. I messed around with them enough to be made a full noble with a fief in Sweden, to have a mercenary contract with the Crimean Khanate, and to start an uprising in the Tsardom which would ultimately lead to me being named Tsar if I kept playing and jumped through all the right hoops. I’ve gotten nowhere with Poland, although King Jan considers me a friend. But no matter which one of those I’m playing, in my heart, I long to fight alongside my Cossack brothers. So after two or three hours spent in each of those, I have pretty much set the others aside and just played with my original character since then.
These Swedes keep trying to loot and burn my village. Fortunately, each time I have been nearby and have been able to thwart their attempts. The first time, I had a quest from one of the other Cossack nobles to bring him a lord of Sweden that he could use in a prisoner exchange, so I captured him and turned him in to, um … dang, one of the Ivans. Fedorenko I think. The next time, I let him go. And then I fought another Swede who I captured, but I let him go also. Now all of a sudden there are Swedes in my friend list. Ones that I have never even met! I guess they appreciate my honor rating.
After one of these battles, I run into Colonel Anton Zhdanovich and ask him what he and his men are up to. He’s heading out to lay siege to Minsk, so I follow, along with Colonel Bogdan Popovich and Army Chief Pavlo Gomon. Just as we are about to arrive, a Swede passes by on his way to Slutsk. I mouse over him and see that he is the one who recently captured our friend Colonel Prokop Shumeiko. I’m like, ‘Guys. Hey, guys! Look, he has Prokop! Let’s go rescue him!’ … And they’re all like, ‘Naw, man, we’re besieging this fortress. Priorities yo!’ Yeah … I left them to it and played cat and mouse with the Swede, trying to lure him close enough to them that one of them would help out. He was too crafty though, and I ended up having to make a decision … either take him on myself, or let him make it to Slutsk, where he would imprison my ally and the only way to rescue him THEN would be to capture the entire fortress. So I challenged him. I get in the battle and of course it’s nighttime (I hate night battles) and my horse seems really slow. I check and sure enough … I forgot that my beloved spirited courser had been injured in that last battle, and was now lame. I have a heavy thoroughbred also, but I can’t swap mid-battle. At least, not to my own horse. What I CAN do though, is get on someone else’s horse after the rider has been killed. Naturally it comes down to me by myself vs. a half dozen of his men. No way am I going to be able to ride them down on Skipper. I ride him over to a loose troop horse and switch. He’s kinda slow, but faster than my lame boy, so I make progress. But he was at half health when I picked him up and soon he is one hit away from going down. I ride away from the enemies in search of another mount, and find a thoroughbred standing clear at the edge of the map. He’s a nice one and we quickly dispatch the last of the enemies. Shumeiko is free and eternally grateful. I change horses in my inventory so that I don’t have to go through that mount-swapping mess again (lame horses recover if you leave them in your inventory for awhile and don’t ride them) and return to my comrades’ siege at Minsk.
Before the siege is successful, however, a large group of Polish nobles comes to defend it. They out number us, even if you add all four of our armies together. One of them engages Zhdanovich and the rest quickly pile on. I wait and watch to see what Poppy and Gomon are going to do. They stand by. I’m wringing my hands wishing there was something I could do, but it would be suicide to beat myself up on that mess. So I stand by with them, praying that Anton can escape. He does, and we scatter. Popovich and Gomon lead some of them away in one direction, while Anton and I head the other way, forcing them to choose whether to all follow one group or to split up themselves. One or two follow them, but most follow us. One small group is faster than the rest and catches up, but we dispatch him quickly. Just outside of Chernigov, the other three that followed get in another battle with Anton. I assess the situation and even though they outnumber the two of us by slightly more than 100 soldiers, I cannot stand idly by again. I rush to his defense. At least this time it is daylight and I am mounted on a healthy steed. The key section of this battle comes down to me alone against a half dozen men on foot and a half dozen riders. I’m not usually one to boast, but I’m not gonna lie, either … my skill with a lance is unmatched. Patience is the key. My horse is faster and more maneuverable than their mounts. I string them along behind me while picking off the men on the ground one by one. Then I go about taking care of the horsemen, one at a time. Some I only manage to get the horse and have to circle back around and get them once they are on foot. Others I manage to take right out of the saddle. At the end, all three armies are defeated. Sure, Anton and I only had like a dozen men left between us that weren’t injured or unconscious, but we routed THREE Polish armies. He was quick to proclaim me his BFF.
Sadly, once Skipper recovered, he was only a regular courser instead of a spirited one, so his speed dropped. He’s still faster than any horse on the field other than another courser, but I am sad. Next on the to-do list is to check the markets and see if I can find another spirited one. I guess the two points isn’t really necessary … I mean, his speed now is 50 and Teddy’s is 48, and I run down everything on Teddy just as well, too, so …we’ll see.
Ok, back to regularly scheduled Blizzard games posting after this!
Oh, one more thing … I found the book that the game was based on, With Fire and Sword by Henryk Sienkiewicz (written in 1884!), on Google Play, so I’m reading it in my browser between phone calls at work. It’s surprisingly good!