posted 10 February 2010 18:09 EDT (US)   
If you are reading this, you are either a budding dread lord, or are just after a good read. In this article, I will attempt to feed your minds sufficiently with the knowledge it needs for you to play well as a dread lord. After reading this, I hope you go on to conquer the known world, through the use of any of the games different play-styles, be it subterfuge, outright conquest, or subtle diplomacy.

Our first point of interest is, what IS a dread lord. Most of you will already know this, having played through the game many times, and possibly reading the manual. For the benefit of those who do not like reading the manuals, or have only just started playing (or both), A dread lord is a general that instills fear in the enemy, by use of stealth, strategy, and brute force. A dread lord cares not for the populace, nor for their enemy. A dread lord is a person who would rather see the opposing forces decimated, than allow them to rout, and return from whence they came.

Our second point of interest is, how do i go about making a powerful dread lord? The answer to this lies in the polar opposite of a dread lord, the chivalrous king. The king, only sends a force to match that of his enemy, and his forces are so loyal, they would rather die fighting the enemy, than rout, and risk their homeland being invaded. The lord, however, would send a force he knows would beat the opposing force, and prefers methods that guarantee death, than allowing the enemy forces to rout, and can strike fear into the enemy in a single cavalry charge. However, if outnumbered, the lords forces are more likely to run. To make a powerful dread lord, you must be ruthless in your actions. assassinate the oppositions leadership, exterminate the rebels, and captured cities alike, and always kill prisoners. You must also guarantee that even when the odds are against you, your forces do not flee. One way to deal with this, is by making sure your lord has a retinue or trait that increases morale in your army. one way to do this, is by winning a battle, where your forces are outnumbered.

Our third, and final point of interest is, how should i build my armies? Always remember that if your army consists of only one unit type, it will have a weakness. Many newcomers believe that for a dread lord, you want an army full of cavalry. This is not entirely true. yes, you want your army to be mainly cavalry, but also take spearmen, and archers along with you. The cavalry can deal with enemy infantry, the archers can also deal with infantry, and to an extent, cavalry, and the spear-men can slightly deal with infantry, but excel in combating cavalry. If your cavalry is being attacked by heavy infantry, send in your archers. then, when the HI turns around to attack the archers, slam your horses into the flank. This can do tremendous damage, even when only a few horses are left in the unit. One example of this, is a time where I was down to 4 generals bodyguard, and 2 units of archers, against 1 unit of spearmen, 2 units of archers, and 2 units of light infantry. after repeated skirmishes, i managed to destroy the spear unit with my generals bodyguard, and then move on to the other units.

However, such a powerful army needs an equally powerful purse. Always build making sure you are generating money from each province, castle or town, and build up the economic buildings. then start building your stables, barracks, and ranges.

I hope this guide helped you, and can enrich your future game-play, and that at least some of my guide was helpful.

(p.s: to those that add this to the main site, if you so choose to. you are free to name this article how you like.)