Mount and Blade: Warband. So what can I do?

Grabbed this game from Steam yesterday. I read that it’s a sandbox game. It looks like it could be fun. But I need to know what kind of options are open to me.

I’m asking, not for basic help exactly, but for some kind of an overview of what the big rules are in this sandbox that determine what kinds of things one can aim to do.

When you start out, you don’t have many options. Attack the small bands of outlaws and run from the large ones. As you make money, you can hire soldiers to join your army. Then you can ally yourself with a faction and help them take over the realm. You can also overthrow an existing faction.

Without a mod, the game is kind of boring. I played it years ago with the Prophecy of Pendor mod and I loved it. But I wouldn’t be surprised if there are better mods out there.

I found it repetitive but not necessarily “boring”. Sort of like Sid Meier’s Pirates! where you had a loop of recruiting, getting ships, getting bigger and bigger prizes then doing it again. This is sort of like that but on dry land and with the ability to keep those towns you overthrow.

In the beginning you start attacking groups of bandits and recruiting. You’ll visit towns and potentially meet specialist NPCs to join you. As you defeat more bandits and your fame grows, you can get your patron kingdom’s blessing to attack its enemies. You want to make sure you have this since, without it, they won’t be impressed by your actions. Eventually you’ll have forces large enough to attack fortresses and upon their defeat you can be awarded them by your patron (or they might give them to some other noble) or you can start a renegade kingdom (not recommended until you get quite powerful). As you gain more lands, you can award them to your loyal NPCs, you can marry and join kingdoms, upgrade your gear and that of your NPC companions (separate from your main army) there’s other little missions, etc. You also maintain the money coming in, resupply with food for your army and other logistics.

Ultimately, it’s pretty open ended in seeing how “successful” you can become.