Themken: https://strategywiki.org/wiki/Mount%26Blade http://forums.taleworlds.com
/ (scroll down for the M&B part. Be warned there is quite a lot of pollution with people posting Warband stuff in there ever since that was released.)
Turn AI to max difficulty as the game is just too stupid otherwise. This setting still does not make the enemies good at strategy, just so so instead of brainless.
Here are some of my tips for the beginning:
Straight away, do the combat training at the training ground. You always start right next to one.
Do not hire villagers in large amounts in the very beginning, actually do not hire any at all unless they are Khergits as all other slow you down too mucn. Slow means the fast baddies can catch you. Large troop also makes you slower.
Invest in the Path-finding skill!
Get a horse for yourself as soon as you can but make sure it is one your riding skill allows you to ride.
Run from those too hard for you, run after those that are easy for you.
Concentrate on the bandits until after you have joined a faction and later still if you are still weak by then.
Remember to invest in your companions' gear, especially weapons and horses.
Feel free to ask specifics as I still play this and have completed it several times.
I just found out about companions. Idk who should I recruit? What's a good starter companion build?