How to form a Manor Lords militia and settle things on the battlefield

Manor Lords militia
(Image credit: Slavic Magic)

Knowing how to form a Manor Lords militia is vital if you want to see off bandits and rival lords. It's not well explained though and, even when you understand what's going on, it can still be a trick part of this city-builder-meets-battle tactics game to master. 

A militia in Manor Lords is simply an army of local townspeople with weapons and armour to fight incoming foes, or help stake claims to a rival's territory. You're given a starter set of weapons and shields when you first start, but knowing what to do with them or, more importantly, how grow your forces isn't clear. Let me explain how to set up a militia in Manor Lords so you'll always be prepared for battle. Just remember that you can skip all the hassle or raising armies entirely if you play the combat-free Rise to Prosperity Manor Lords scenario. You can also check out our Manor Lords tips for general helpful advice on starting out.

How to set up a Manor Lords militia

(Image: © Slavic Magic)

1. Build your village until you have at least 36 male settlers

2. Click "create new units" using the Army button on your toolbar

3. Assess your weapons and shields, then form the most relevant militia

4. Rally your troops when needed for battle

The basic of setting up a militia in manor Lords more or less involves having enough people and telling them to be an army. You'll get a certain amount of weapons just from your town existing but you'll want to expand and level up aspects of your burgage plots to get more and mount a real fighting force, which I'll explain in more detail below. 

Manor Lords militia types

Manor Lords militia types

(Image credit: Hooded Horse)

There are four militia types in Manor Lords, each requiring specific weapons or defense tools:

  • Militia Footmen (sidearms, small shields)
  • Spear Militia (spears, large shields)
  • Polearm Militia (polearms)
  • Archer Militia (warbows)

In order to reach a minimum headcount for your militia you will need high enough Manor Lords approval to get enough people living in your settlement. Then you can rally recruits for battle when you are under attack or wish to challenge rival lords for more territory. 

How to get weapons in Manor Lords

How to get Manor Lords weapons

(Image credit: Hooded Horse)

If you see "equipment missing" when you hover over the militia panel in Manor Lords then you need weapons. Every default run of Manor Lords gives you some starter weapons but to get more, or access different types and shields, you can construct a backyard extension on a Level 2 Burgage plot and turn the residents into artisans to make them. You'll first need to know how to build regional wealth in Manor Lords, as some backyard extensions do cost money to begin with. Luckily, most combat-relevant backyard extensions require resources instead of money. 

These backyard extensions give you more weapons in Manor Lords:

  • Armorer's Workshop (produces helmets for any militia type)
  • Blacksmith's Workshop (produces smithing tools, spears, and sidearms)
  • Bowyer's Workshop (produces warbows)
  • Joiner's Workshop (produces wooden parts and all shield types)

Note that blacksmiths will need raw materials like Iron Ore, as well as a villager assigned to a nearby Bloomery to refine it into Iron Slabs to make weapons. If you're not seeing weapon production once you have things set up, work your way through the production line to make sure that you have all the required industry structures artisans might need resources from, and that everything has a worker assigned. 

You can also get weapons by establishing Manor Lords Trade Routes via the Trading Post, constructed for 2 timber through the Trading submenu on the Construction toolbar. Here is where you can purchase polearms, warbows, and other weapons if you'd rather not restrict a family to being an artisan-only household, since you cannot reassign families once you turn their Burgage plot into one of the workshops listed above. 

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Jasmine Gould-Wilson
Staff Writer, GamesRadar+

Jasmine is a staff writer at GamesRadar+. Raised in Hong Kong and having graduated with an English Literature degree from Queen Mary, University of London in 2017, her passion for entertainment writing has taken her from reviewing underground concerts to blogging about the intersection between horror movies and browser games. Having made the career jump from TV broadcast operations to video games journalism during the pandemic, she cut her teeth as a freelance writer with TheGamer, Gamezo, and Tech Radar Gaming before accepting a full-time role here at GamesRadar. Whether Jasmine is researching the latest in gaming litigation for a news piece, writing how-to guides for The Sims 4, or extolling the necessity of a Resident Evil: CODE Veronica remake, you'll probably find her listening to metalcore at the same time.