The three pillars that support Conqueror’s Blade’s blend of action strategy are undoubtedly it’s fast-paced combat, squad tactics and army-level campaigning. However, unpinning everything is the game’s easily obscured RPG foundation, which of course not only offers some measure of character progression, but carefully limits the units they can have by their side at any given moment. 

However, unlocking new units isn’t simply a case of dinging a new level and +1 archers suddenly becoming available in the next town. There are level requirements and you need to have “researched” prior units and technology, but you also need Honor to attract higher-tier units to your cause. From a role-play perspective this makes sense since we can assume that the more effective a unit is, the more invested it is in its abilities and so the more discerning it must be in its alignment.

In Conqueror’s Blade unit accessibility resembles a 4X game’s tech tree and begins with researching the necessary technologies, which is done via the Institute building at your Personal Camp. There are three areas of research to follow (during CBT this is limited to two): resource, equipment and unit technologies  - with the latter obviously pertaining to your personal retinue. However, before you can recruit a new unit you have to have the required resources at hand in order to craft the equipment each unit needs before it can take the field. In that sense, all three research areas are interdependent and fundamental to unit advancement.

This step is skipped during the CBT, but in later versions, once you have all the prerequisites for unit unlocking, you can approach the Recruit Master in any friendly town to hire your new troops. They will then be billeted in the Unit screen as Recruits (press ‘U’ to access) until they need to be called in action as either a new squad or replacements for a recently depleted unit - so long as you have all the necessary equipment for each recruit as it enters service. This is an important consideration since, without shining armor, weapons and fresh steeds to hand, your troop of knights aren’t going to be effective at imposing your will on the battlefield. Thankfully they’re not stupid and will simply refuse to serve unless they’re suitably equipped.