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Manor Lords: Challenge Accepted Achievement Guide

As of time of writing the achievement ‘challenge accepted’ has only been earned by 0.2% of players. This is why I am making this guide as it is actually not very difficult to obtain.

Manor Lords: Challenge Accepted Achievement Guide

Playing the game on a normal difficulty and focusing on growing your city may create an illusion that Lord Hildebolt expands his domain quickly and that his forces might be difficult to match early on.

Firstly, there is a trick to significantly hinder your opponent’s progress. Hildebot seems to require some influence to claim areas under his control. In order to gain influence he would send his army to dispatch bandit camps. You can beat him to it, not only slowing him down significantly, but also gaining a sizeable chunk of influence and treasury for yourself.

Secondly, expanding your city is actually not the main aim of the ‘Restoring the Peace’ scenario. You only need enough initial profit to hire the first batch of mercenaries. In order to achieve this, ‘small village’ is more than enough. Additionally, keeping your population small (around ten families) and level one burgage plots should make it easy to offset ‘demanding’ residential requirements that may otherwise get in your way on ‘challenging’ difficulty.

There is also a misconception that you are supposed to capture the entire map under your control. This is not the case. You only need to capture any areas under Lord Hildebolt’s control. This means that effectively you only need to capture two areas (4000 influence cost) and prevent your opponent from gaining any ground.

Hopefully, knowing this should already aid you in beating the odds of the scenario but let me also include step-by-step instructions based on my play-through.

Step-by-Step:

Your village:

Initial setup of the village is the most challenging part of the scenario as you need to quickly make profit, tax it and hire mercenaries before Lord Hildebolt starts claiming neutral areas for himself. There are many ways to achieve it and I am not claiming that my initial strategy is the most efficient but it is sufficient to do the job.
The starting area is not very important but it would be ideal to have berries deposits, wild animals and clay deposits relatively close to the starting location.

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Firstly, we upgrade ‘peoples tents’ to ‘worker camp’ then we can set up a logging camp and saw-pit (remember that we only need around 40 planks in total). After gathering some resources from the above-mentioned I recommend building five burgage plots big enough for extensions and backyard plots ( those are the only residential areas we will have in this scenario). You can upgrade one of the bigger plots to cultivate vegetables.

On challenging difficulty ‘Approval’ can drop very quickly. Hence, I recommend hunting camp, tannery, woodcutters lodge, well, marketplace and the church to build next. You can also set up a forager hut once the amount of wild animals inevitably drops below the replacement level (while rotating the worker). Once the essentials are set up, you may also add a stone-cutter camp (you only need an additional twenty five stone), granary and a storehouse. Build extensions to the burgage plots as needed.

The above should handle all the needs of your population and now it is time to make a quick profit. To that end, I recommend building a mining pit and clay furnace for roof tiles. Alternatively, you can set up a mining pit, bloomery and smithy for tools. Both options work fine for a quick profit. Consider making your decision based on proximity and availability of the raw resources to your village. Don’t worry if there are no ‘rich deposits’ in your area. Around one hundred of either resource is more than enough. As the merchandise for sale is being extracted and refined you can set up a trading post and a manor.

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Once you have around fifty roof tiles or around sixty five tools consider selling it off via a trading post. To make this smoother you can spend your single development point into ‘trade logistics’ so you can secure trade routes for the resource you are selling. You should gain around four hundred regional wealth. Thanks to the manor you can now impose a land tax for 50-60% of a regional tax. Since we already took care of the approval, people should not riot after a single month of such high tax (consider returning the land tax to 0% soon after).

This should provide you with around two hundred coins in your personal treasury. This is more than enough to hire a band of mercenaries for a whole month. Consider hiring a band with at least two melee units. Ideally, you should achieve this before Lord Hildebolt captures any additional region but it is not the end of the world if he did manage to do so. You will just require more influence to capture those regions back.

How to earn even more money with mercenaries:

In order to keep the mercenaries under your control you need to pay them every thirty days. That might be intimidating but soldiers of fortune more than pay for themselves. You have probably noticed an in-game warning that ‘A bandit camp was sighted’. You will find it in one of the neutral areas. Your opponent will also seek out these camps to clear them out of ‘brigands’ for ‘influence’. Your task is to ‘restore the peace’ by killing these brigands and as a bonus you should claim their bandit camp for loot. I recommend sending the spoils to your own treasury. In my experience every single camp will yield from 100 to 200 coins.

That is more than enough to pay back for the band of mercs every month. You want to repeat that process until you have enough influence to claim every region of Hildebots (default 2000 influence per region under his control). Should he try to claim a new region just challenge his claim and win battle with your own mercenaries. That’s all there is to it!

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Cheese Lords:

Bandit camps re-spawn quite often on their own but there is a way to make them spawn even faster. All you have to do is clear a bandit camp, save game, load the save and fast forward time a little bit. New bandit camp should spawn almost instantaneously. Clear them out and make a new save. This is an exploit (most likely to be patched out at some point) but it may allow you to clear multiple bandit camps in the same month. This allows you to earn almost infinite treasury and influence.

Furthermore, bandit camps spawn randomly but only in a few predesignated locations (in the neutral areas) so you can position your troops to literally camp them. To make things even more cheesy, should you dislike the location of a bandit camp, you can ‘savescum’ in hope of a better spawn-location.

Finally, there is another tactic that might not be an exploit but certainly feels as such. Lord Hildebolt cannot be everywhere all at once. Usually, he will bring a single army to defend (or assault) a region. To this end, you might claim multiple regions all at once ( that is, if you have enough influence saved). You will only have to fight a single army and wait for a timer to run out on the other regions. In order to win, you need to have a single unit waiting in a ‘battle area’ (click a magnifying glass icon next to ‘Battle for ‘Name of a region’ – it only shows when you start claiming a region). In my experience the battle for the final region is protected by a larger enemy force. This tactic may help you avoid this army all along.

Written by Kessel

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