Dev Blog #116: The Barbarians, Part I

The upcoming ‘Warriors of the North’ DLC will not just bring more replayability and nordic equipment, but also introduce an entirely new human faction to the game. They’ll come with their own lore, armor and weapons, enemy types and fighting styles to pose a unique challenge to any mercenary commander. Let’s delve in!


During the development of the ‘Beasts & Explorations’ DLC we had this idea for groups of wildmen roaming the northern parts of the map. Essentially, they’d be a different flavor of brigands and use existing assets. Except, maybe we could also squeeze in one new armor if we found the time? Or maybe even two? And so we decided that if we wanted to do them, we’d do them right and dedicate the time necessary to give them equipment and mechanics of their own, their own music, as well as contracts and events to convey their lore and the part they play in the world of Battle Brothers. So here we are, with a ‘Warriors of the North’ DLC in development.

Many hundred years ago, in a different era, an empire of man spanned much of the known world. An empire, not of petty noble houses, but one of a dozen provinces, from the blistering sands of the south to the frozen tundra of the north, of a dozen peoples under one banner. As the empire spread further and further to the north, it became entangled in constant war with countless tribes of barbarians. Some were subjugated by force, some saw opportunity and swore allegiance, others faded into nothingness, but many more remained free; their constant raids and incursions a thorn in the side of the empire.

The empire, as you may know, eventually crumbled under its own weight, and feudal houses emerged from the dust to rule the lands in its stead. Yet, in the very north, the free barbarian tribes remained free still. For them, their own tribe is the beginning and the end, it is bliss in life and death, for their family is holy to them and they believe to sit with their ancestors if they meet their end in this life. They roam the harsh and infertile lands as they have been for hundreds of years, they raid to claim what they need, and they sacrifice their prisoners in bloody rituals to prove their worth to ancestors who ascended to be gods through their deeds in life. But they’re not beasts, and they’re not of alien minds like the greenskins. They’re humans; and while they speak a different tongue, they can be reasoned with, and they know the concepts of honor, and friendship, and truce and bartering. What they do, they have to do in order to survive in the unforgiving lands they inhabit. They follow their old ways to this day. They’re the warriors of the north.

Fighting Barbarians

The warriors of the north are ferocious fighters, but with scarce resources and a nomadic lifestyle, they usually don’t have access to the level of equipment that other human factions do. Many of them wear armor crafted from pelts and furs, and while some do boast metal armor, not least because it is a matter of prestige, the harsh climate of the north often has taken a toll on it over the years. Some barbarians even forego armor altogether, and instead paint their bodies with magic runes to call upon their ancestors to protect them from harm.

Their weapons are likewise often crafted from wood and bone, some of the few materials readily available to them, or have been handed down through generations and show signs of wear. Generally, all barbarian weapons have somewhat lower base damage values, but a higher percentage of damage that ignores armor than comparable weapons in the game. Of course, all their armor and weapons are lootable and equippable by you, too – and there’ll be named variants as well!

In combat, a barbarian warband doesn’t bother with formations, and they have no backline with polearms or dedicated archers. They are a horde of ferocious warriors in a constant shuffle of everyone trying to bring their weapons to bear against the enemy. They’ll shower you with throwing weapons, they run towards your line, and they make ample use of the ‘Adrenaline’ perk to overwhelm you before you can even strike back. They don’t fear death the same as other humans do, so they are not easy to break, and getting hurt will only further incite their barbarian wrath.

Because a barbarian warband is but a loose collection of individuals, unified only in their tribal bonds and their willingness to fight for their place in both life and afterlife, their unit types are quite diverse in terms of equipment and perks, as you’ll see in a future dev blog.


Dev Blog #115: Nordic Equipment

It’s Friday again! This week we’ll take a look at some of the new nordic and rus inspired equipment and player banners coming with the ‘Warriors of the North’ DLC. Just keep in mind that things are still in active development, so we can’t show everything that is to come just yet, and things may still change. Onwards!

New Banners

Coming with the ‘Warriors of the North’ DLC are two new player banners. One is more inspired by scandinavian vikings, the other by rus vikings. Of course you’ll be able to paint your shields with the motif of these new banners as well.

Many of you supported us beyond the asking price of the ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC by getting the Supporter Edition. We’re very thankful, and your support has shown how much you appreciate us creating more content for Battle Brothers. We’ll also be offering a Supporter Edition for the new DLC as well. There’ll be more details at a later time, but for now, here’s a preview of the bonus banner and painted shields that’ll be included.

New Wardog

The harsh climate of the northern tundra and hills is home to a hardier breed of wardog, the warhound. Bigger and stronger than its southern brethren, it can bring a grown man down on its own, and take more of a beating, but it is also slower and therefore less suited for chasing down runners. You’ll face the warhound in battle, and you’ll also be able to purchase your own at northern settlements.

New Helmets

If your mercenary company operates in the north, and perhaps if it even hails from the north by virtue of choosing the ‘Northern Raiders’ company origin, you may want your men to look the part. The DLC will introduce various new helmets inspired by historical nordic and rus designs. Most of them will also come in extra fancy named variants to hunt for.


Dev Blog #114: Company Origins, Part II

Last week we talked about what the company origins feature of the upcoming ‘Warriors of the North’ DLC is exactly and looked at several of these origins. This week we continue with a closer look at two more origins that are part of a larger selection for you to choose from. Just keep in mind again that things are in active development and may still change – let’s go!

The Northern Raiders

With an expansion focused on bringing variety and flavor to the northern parts of the map, it’s only fitting that there’d be an origin that has you start in the north as well. Playing as northern raiders let’s you start with veteran raiders that are well-equipped with some of the new nordic and rus inspired armor and helmets which we’ll show in an upcoming blog post of its own.

However, you’ll also start as outlaws, which means that 2 out of 3 noble houses are outright hostile, while the remaining one is distrustful. It makes for a challenging start where you rely more on venturing out on your own instead of taking on contracts. And it’s up to you how to proceed: Do you want to mend relations over time and become a proper mercenary company, getting paid by the the noble houses, or do you continue with raiding and pillaging, alienating the nobles further? Fortunately, your men are quite proficient at pillaging, and you’ll have a higher chance to get any equipment dropped by your enemies in battle, so you’ll have to rely less on being able to buy equipment in cities that will most likely just send their militia after you.

The Lone Wolf

For a very different experience of playing the game, and in some way the opposite to last week’s militia origin, have your player character be present on the field of battle.

You’ll start with a single well-equipped and experienced hedge knight who is, in a way, your player character. He can’t be fired and he’ll never desert the company, but if he dies, your campaign ends and you lose the game. He’ll be the strongest man in the company for quite a while, but having him in the fray is always a risk, so you’ll have to think carefully on how you want to use him. And because this origin only ever allows you to have 12 men in your roster, there’s no putting him in the backline – you go out there and fight side by side with the rest of your men, or you’ll leave them at a disadvantage and have them call you a coward. Having to defend your player character adds a different layer of strategy to each battle. Despite your character starting out strong, it’s a challenge suited best for experienced players.

There’s more origins to choose from still, but we don’t want to spoil everything, so you’ll have to find out for yourself by playing the game. Join us again next week when we take a look at a different feature of the upcoming DLC!


Dev Blog #113: Company Origins, Part I

Welcome to our first dev blog on the upcoming ‘Warriors of the North’ DLC. One of this expansion’s major features is going to be a little thing called ‘company origins’, and that’s what we’ll be talking about this week and the next. Let’s dive in!


Until now, there’s been only a single way of starting out in the world of Battle Brothers. Because the game is otherwise designed for replayability, this is an area we really want to tackle with the upcoming ‘Warriors of the North’ DLC, both to further improve replayability and to accommodate different play styles.

The established way of starting out in the world, your company origin, you likely know well by now: your company is nearly wiped out by a brigand named Hoggart, and it’s up to you to rebuild it. This origin remains available in the game, and it’s a good way to start for new players, but it’ll be just one of many possible origins to choose from. For starters, the free update coming with the DLC will introduce a second origin which immediately drops you into the world without having to deal with Hoggart. It’s reminiscent of Early Access days, and it even has the old introductory text and music that some of you may remember.

The ‘Warriors of the North’ DLC adds greatly to the selection of origins. Each of those comes with a flavor introduction, different starting characters, equipment, resources, and special rules for your campaign. Some origins change the game more than others, but most of them impact it from beginning to end. Because the game is and always will be fundamentally about leading a mercenary company, all origins will ultimately lead to this – but they do add new challenges, accommodate different play styles, and provide roleplaying flavor. If you own the ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC, you’ll also get a bonus origin centered around beast slaying.

Let’s take a closer look at two origins that the ‘Warriors of the North’ DLC adds to the game – just keep in mind that things are in active development and might still change!

The Militia

If you prefer to overwhelm your enemies with superior numbers, or even just equal numbers in the late game, but still want a balanced game, then the peasant militia might be for you.

The militia starts not with three companions, but with a full roster of a dozen characters from various civilian backgrounds – daytalers, farmers, butchers, millers, and the like. With these kind of people, you’ll want to rely on numbers, so you’ll be able to field 18 men on the field at once, instead of the usual 12. The downside is that you’ll never be able to hire any noble or high tier combat backgrounds to join your mob of angry peasants. You’ll start with lower renown and crowns, but a home village that idolizes you and gives you great prices.

The Cultists

For a different experience, and some roleplaying flavor, you can also start the game as a wandering cult that worships Davkul.

You’ll start with three cultists, and more cultists will join you without any hiring fee. Cultists can be found more often in any settlement, and they may also flock to you in new events. Your god will demand sacrifices, and you’ll be expected to cull the herd and give lives to Davkul in bloody rituals. All cultists will rejoice upon this gruesome occasion, and Davkul may bestow upon them permanent boons. Of course, anyone not a cultist in your company may have a different reaction to the proceedings. Having a special relation to your god will also make certain late game cultist events much more likely to trigger.

There’ll be plenty more origins to choose from, of course. Join us again next week when we explore them in part two of this dev blog!


‘Warriors of the North’ DLC Announcement

We’re excited to announce that we’re working on another DLC for Battle Brothers. In other words, there’s going to be even more content for that game that you like. The name of the upcoming DLC is going to be ‘Warriors of the North’.

As the name suggests, the focus of the DLC will be on introducing a new human faction hailing from the north. This faction follows the old ways of raiding and sacrificing prisoners to cruel gods. They’ll bring more regional flavor to the northern parts of the map, as well as a different challenge to fighting brigands in the north at every stage of the game. This DLC will be focused on new content, and it will be smaller in scope than ‘Beasts & Exploration’. This also means that you won’t have to wait quite as long until you can play it!

Here’s the rough list of features we’re aiming for:

  • A variety of new human opponents with their own fighting style and equipment, providing a fresh challenge at every stage of the game, including the late game
  • Different origins to pick for your company, each with different starting characters, equipment and circumstances, as well as special rules that impact your campaign from beginning to end
  • New nordic and rus inspired banners, armors and helmets
  • A new legendary location
  • New contracts
  • New events

In addition to these major features, the DLC will also include countless smaller additions. Just like in the past, we’ll explain all major features and most minor ones in detail in future dev blogs as we go along, so you’ll always know what we’re working on and why. We expect to be finished within the next few months and will announce a release date and final feature list once we’re closer to the finish line.

Alongside the DLC, which will not be free, the game will also receive a sizable free update again. This update will contain a whole bunch of improvements, quality-of-life features and balancing changes, as well as some minor content additions.

Join us next week for our first dev blog on the new DLC!


Something Stirs in the North

From the frozen wastes of the north, down to the barren tundra, there are those who still follow the old ways.

Read all about it in next week’s announcement!