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Meet the Calradic Empire, one of Mount & Blade 2's most important factions

Hot on the heels of the Vlandians and Aserai, Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord has unveiled the Calradic Empire—one of the medieval action role-player's most important factions, which Taleworlds describes as "in some ways the centre of gravity of the game."

The developer went a ways to framing the Empire's historical context last week, but now explores what they'll get up to in-game. Which, let's face it, is what we're most interested in. Exactly how will I use this mob of royalist soldiers to behead the less noble, yeah?

"The Empire will deploy powerful heavy cavalry, sturdy spearmen, and skirmishers, and our upgraded command system should give players a chance to experiment with combined arms," explains Taleworlds. "Improvements to the morale calculations, such as a shock effect from taking down a large amount of troops at once, can make tactics such as flank charges more effective. Imperial cataphracts are also designed for opportunistic attacks that benefit from being timed more carefully than the Vlandian steamroller." 

The blog post continues: "We've given them two-handed kontos lances—a slight anachronism, as these are more late ancient than early medieval weapons, but we think it will add interesting variety. Without the shield, a frontal charge by cataphracts might more easily be disrupted by missile fire, but if the enemy doesn't have supporting missile troops, then the extra reach of the kontos can be devastating. Their heavy maces, swung from a fast-moving horse, can also deliver a crushing blow."

Taleworlds explains that The Empire will also leverage fully armoured cavalry and spearman and skirmishers—and are masters of combined arms who adopt counselled patience over glory-hunting.   

After my haphazard foray into Mount & Blade 2 multiplayer at Gamescom last year, armoured cavalry sounds pretty damn good. Bannerlord is as yet without a hard release date.