Keeping your armies in check and ensuring they work together is an essential aspect in Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord. Powerful troops create a great army, but if they don’t have good leaders, they fumble and crash underneath any attempt they might try. In Bannerlord, army cohesion determines how well your leaders are willing to work together and cooperate. If your army’s cohesion depletes, the forces disband.
You can view an army’s cohesion on the lower right section of a screen. While having multiple leaders may seem like the best approach, you’re better off using a handful of leaders in an army rather than having so many. If you have too many leaders, it’s far easier for the army cohesion bar to go down, which when it reaches zero, the army disband, and you’re left with nothing. The same goes for more massive armies. Having a large army is great to overwhelm smaller forces, but when facing another large force, it’s easy for the army cohesion to go down.
If your army cohesion starts to drain too fast and you have plans that need to happen, you can always go to the army management screen and offer up influence points to increase it by 10. The amount of influence points it costs varies on how many vassals you have serving in your army, and how long you’ve had them in the field. You want to try and balance this out, and if it’s going to cost too much, you may want to abandon your plans to drop the army and regroup. It’s better to come back with refreshed troops immediately choosing to drain yourself of influence points.
It’s important to understand that holding an army for too long is costly. The mechanic was introduced to ensure players, and AI at the beginning of the game, don’t roam around the map with such a large force they are unbeatable. Army Cohesion works far differently than a party’s morale. You can always view your army’s cohesion at the bottom right side of your UI.
Make sure not to call them too early because if you do, you’ll waste precious time attempting to prepare yourself for assault and miss take vital resources for your enemies. It’s better to do at an optimal opportunity when your enemies are close by.