Manor Lords Retinue
Screenshot via Siliconera

How to Hire an Army in Manor Lords

Being a feudal lord isn’t just about farming and hunting, as before long, you’re going to run into rival lords or even petty bandits intent on spoiling your fun. To protect yourself and your village, here’s how to hire an army in Manor Lords.

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Army in Manor Lords
Image via Slavic Magic

Types of Troops in Manor Lords

Manor Lords uses three troop types to form an army: militia, mercenaries, and your personal retinue. Mercenaries are the simplest, you can recruit them as long as you have enough in your treasury (which is separate to regional wealth) to pay them for a month, and the selection changes periodically.

They are useful for when you need to respond to a quick threat but don’t have the manpower or resources to spare. They can be found in the army tab by clicking “create a new unit”, and then selecting the icon of a hand dropping some gold coins.

Manor Lords Mercenaries
Screenshot via Siliconera

Your retinue become available once you build your personal Manor, and can even have their names and appearances customized! These tend to have much better stats than your basic soldiers and can be upgraded further, but require their own cut from your treasury to do so and their size is limited by the buildings in your manor.

Manor Lords Custom Retinue
Screenshot via Siliconera

Finally, there’s the peasant militia who will form the backbone of your army in Manor Lords. These are sourced from all the male members of your village households and need to be armed from your own supplies of weapons. There are four types currently in the game, each needing different equipment: footmen, spears, polearms, and archers.

To muster a militia, you must click the army tab at the bottom of your screen, where you will see the option to create a new unit as well as view your available equipment. Your soldiers will be split between all the squads you raise, up to a maximum of 30, and militia will only be able to join a unit if there is equipment enough for for them. No sending them into battle bare-handed.

Manor Lords Army
Screenshot via Siliconera

How to get Military Equipment in Manor Lords

Equipment is necessary to hire an army of militia in Manor Lords. If you are playing certain scenarios or have the “armament delivery” option set to on, you’ll receive a free shipment of heavy shields and spears once you construct a storehouse and five houses, setting you up for a basic force of around 20 spearmen. For more weapons, you will have to either buy them or trade for them via the Trading Post building.

Trading can be useful since you don’t need to build the requisite infrastructure to produce the items, but it can also be expensive and requires you to pay to establish a trade route for each equipment type. If you have the cash, however, you can go to the trade tab of the building, pay to establish a trade route, and then set the rule to import however many you need. A trader will drop by soon and drop off your new gear.

Manor Lords Trade
Screenshot via Siliconera

Crafting your equipment is generally more sustainable in the long run, though it requires several steps to gather and refine the materials. As well as wood, you will need iron that must be mined from a deposit and then refined into slabs at a bloomery.

Then, a level 2 Burgage plot with room for a workshop extension can be converted into a Blacksmith’s workshop for spears and sidearms or an Armorer’s Workshop if you have the right developments unlocked. Shields are made from wood at a Joiner’s Workshop, while gambesons are produced at a Tailor’s using linen woven from flax.

Manor Lords will be released in Early Access on April 26, 2024, for PC via Steam, GOG, and the Microsoft Store as well as on Xbox Game Pass for PC. An Xbox console version is also planned.


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Author
Elliot Gostick
Elliot is a staff writer from the mist-shrouded isle of Albion, and has been covering gaming news and reviews for about a year. When not playing RPGs and Strategy games, she is often found trying (and failing) to resist the urge to buy more little plastic spacemen.