I am playing Mount & Blade: Warband on easy difficulty, forced saving when exiting and have no mods installed. Currently I am the marshal of Swadia, I am on good terms with the king (approx. 60), I have some 25 000 denars and the kingdom of Rhodoks has fallen, mostly by my doing. I aspire to become king, and from what I have read, one should seek to control at least a couple towns and a small handful of castles. However, due to different re-conquerings back and forth, even though I took most of Rhodoks, I do not control it. I control only two castles and about a dozen villages. Does one keep villages in a rebellion even though the associated town or castle belongs to the enemy? And are they an acceptable substitute to towns? Advice is much appreciated.
Are villages an acceptable substitute to towns?
No. No number of villages substitute for a town. If you rebel against Harlaus, you're looking at constant attacks and raids from your former mates until one faction is basically destroyed. Owning a town gives you:
- Strong position for siege defense
- Place to garrison troops
- Marketplace to buy and sell
- Tavern to recruit mercenaries and sell prisoners
- More income from taxes
- Enterprise opportunities
It's safe to say most of your villages will constantly be looted or in the process of being looted until you really do damage to Swadia. Towns and castles can dissuade attacks with a big enough garrison and you can get an easy win if you personally defend them.
The only catch is that castle and town income depends on surrounding villages and trade caravans, which probably will all end up getting looted by Harlaus and his boys. So don't expect to maintain the same town and castle income.
As the other poster mentioned, villages follow the allegiance of the associated castle or town. So in your example, you would lose Jelbegi as well as any other villages that aren't owned by your two castles.
I'm not sure I understand the question quite well, but I'll try to answer the way I did understand it. You can't control all of the castles and towns you capture until you rebel from your lord and make your own state. The king will only give you a portion of everything you seise in wars and divide the rest with the other lords. When you rebel, you get to keep everything you own at the moment, but you'll have to defend it against the former liege (He will try to retake them). Hope I helped!
EDIT: The villages always follow the castle owner or a town owner. If a nation takes a castle, all of the villages belonging to the castle also switch sides.