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How mounts work
Mounts usually increase/change the statistics of a character unit. In some cases, they may confer new abilities to the unit (such as Dragon mounts which confer breath attack abilities).
A character's unit description will change to reflect their mount. For instance a Grey Seer mounted on a Screaming Bell will be listed as a war-machine instead of infantry. A Bretonnian Paladin mounted on a Barded Warhorse will be listed as a cavalry unit rather than infantry.
In the campaign, many characters can unlock mounts in their skill tree, as they rank up. Mounts can be assigned to characters on the character info screen along with items, followers and such. Changing mounts will change the character's upkeep cost, so it may occasionally be beneficial to dismount a hero or use a lower tier mount to save cost. This can be especially true for heroes being used independently on the campaign map who will not be used much in battles. Some mounts can make a hero much easier targets for ranged damage, especially larger/slower mounts like dinosaurs or dragons. While these mounts may often be the best for overall fighting power, the player may consider using lower tier mounts for specialized purposes. For example, a spellcaster who will fly over the enemy army and cast magic down on them might consider a darksteed instead of a dragon since they will likely draw enemy ranged fire.