Reply To: Character and Company Strategies with the New Perks/System?

#17212
Wargasm
Participant

My thoughts on all the perks:

Tier 1:

Fast Adaptation – I don’t use it that much, and not early on for anyone, but I’m always tempted to use it and I can see it being useful for archers who are already accurate enough for Quick Shots, or for Dagger-Masters using Puncture, or for suicides using AoE attacks …
*Crippling Strikes – very useful for someone who’s definitely going to be using a high-accuracy, low-damage weapon …
*Colossus – there’s always a chance of armour being ignored or destroyed, and the revised description of hit points indicates that more hit points equals less chance of injuries; I give this to most people, but not as an early perk except for someone with exceptional skills but abnormally low hit points …
Nine Lives – I’ve never killed a nine-lived bandit leader who wasn’t instantly slaughtered by the next strike; I never take this (but, if I did, I’d want very high resolve to ensure I wasn’t fleeing and incapable of fight) …
Bags&Belts – before it was so useful but it became very bothersome having to manage everyone’s equipment; now it’s a lot less useful and I’ve yet to use it (although it could be useful for ranged fighters needing extra ammo plus some melee items, or for storing assorted medical items that don’t have a fatigue cost) …
*Pathfinder – often the first real perk that I choose; you hardly notice it on some terrain, but it makes a massive difference on others, and it’s irritating when people don’t have it, and so useful for pursuing fleeing foes …
*Adrenaline – a high fatigue cost but I like it; if you use it en masse at the start of battle, you can devastate your enemies and then won’t require high-energy attack/defence skills for the remainder of the battle …
Recover – I’ve been using this experimentally in tandem with Adrenaline, and I find that I use Adrenaline very often, but Recover only on occasions (usually when I want to be able to have enough energy to use Adrenaline again to catch fleeing foes) …
*Student – Increases your rate of gaining Experience Points, without having to sacrifice a perk point, although it doesn’t immediately enhance your ability to kill things (which also increases your rate of gaining Experience Points); thus, I sometimes spend the first few perk points on things that’ll turn the mercenary into an efficient killing machine, and then take Student …

Tier 2:

Executioner – a lot less useful than Crippling Strikes, and useless for anyone who’s not going to have Crippling Strikes …
Head Hunter – only increases the chance to hit head by 10% until you do hit it, which means that the overall increased chance is just 5%, and hits to the head only do extra damage if the target doesn’t happen to be wearing a massive metal helmet, and you know how irritating it is when you hit that bandit who only has a few hit points and no body armour left, only for all the damage to be taken by his helmet …
*Bullseye – brilliant for bowmen in forests or other environments where no targets are (nor could be) viewable in a clear line of fire, and brilliant for bowmen to pick off enemies that are in prime position to strike an endangered accomplice; not needed for throwers who are only going to throw at close range when there’s a direct line of fire …
Dodge – an annoying and not-much-sense-making perk, but one that can still be useful for bowmen or two-handers who still have reasonably high initiative once fully equipped in all their war glory …
*Iron Mind – resolve is useful; if everyone’s resolve is taken above 50 and they are then given Iron Mind, they stand a very good chance of attaining confident morale the first time any enemy within a reasonable distance is slaughtered; then their main attacking skill(s) will be enhanced by between +5 and +10, and it’ll bring back memories of olden times and inspired presences …
?*Quick Hands – I enjoy using this perk and still pick it for some characters, although I no longer see it as a high-priority pick for anyone unless I’m experimenting with throwers (which I am) …
Gifted – I agonize over perk choices enough as it is, without sacrificing one so that melee defence can be increased by an additional +2 …

Tier 3:

*Backstabber – superb perk; I can’t see any reason not to choose it for all melee fighters …
*Underdog – a 1-tile melee fighter with high intrinsic melee defence, a good and durable shield and high max fatigue could go without this; but, if they did meet those requirements, you’d probably want to make their defence even more unbreachable by picking this …
Anticipation – useless for anyone who doesn’t already have a decent ranged defence score; I keep meaning to pick it as a late perk for experimental purposes, but other options always seem a lot sexier …
?*Shield Expert – mostly meaningless for reducing your chances of being hit, but certainly desirable if you want to go around collecting beautiful-looking named shields and actually using them without them being smashed immediately …
?*Brawny – less sexy than it used to be; still useful for ones who need more max fatigue; I tend to only take this if Battle Forged or Nimble have already been taken …
Steel Brow – if helmets had the same fatigue cost as body armours with the same protective value, and if they didn’t prevent hits to the head from doing extra damage to hit points, this would be useful …
Taunt – On the older version of the game, I saved one campaign that used this perk experimentally, but I never reloaded it …

Tier 4:

Mace Mastery – a 100% chance of knocking out opponents with the higher-cost skill, but still a 0% chance of knocking out those orcish bastards that you really want to knock out …
*Flail Mastery – if you’re going to make use of the Adrenaline perk to spam-assault opponents at the start of battle, flails are great for attacking them before they can form a shieldwall (i.e. while their shield still offers zero protection against standard flail attacks), and this perk will afford the same advantage to the higher-cost skill that has a 100% chance to hit the head; plus, I’ve noticed that a higher proportion of bandit raiders are running around without a helmet these days …
*Hammer Mastery – hammer skills have the same fatigue cost as mace ones, and do more damage to armour and more damage that ignores it, and they come in 1-handed and 2-handed varieties …
*Axe Mastery – axe mastery makes shield-splitting less fatiguing for longaxe-wielders, and Backstabber gives them an extremely good chance of hitting shieldless opponents who are absorbed in melee; I’ve noticed that, whereas greataxe specialists rarely reach level 11, longaxe specialists are the first to reach it …
Cleaver Mastery – this would be worth picking if there was a good reason to use cleavers over other weapons, but there is no such reason: they are only useful against opponents that don’t have much armour, and swords are more useful against those opponents, since they are more accurate and less fatiguing to use …
*Sword Mastery – a very worthwhile perk if you start looting lots of exotic special swords with an unusually high amount of damage against or ignoring armour; also a good choice for someone who has lots of protection from armour and shields but not enough max fatigue to wield more weighty weapons …
*Dagger Mastery – a very worthwhile choice for someone with very high melee skill but low max fatigue; nowadays, I’m making my sword-masters into dagger-masters …
Pole Mastery – an almost useless choice, since you can only use pole weapons once per turn anyway, and the standard attack only uses as much energy as you recover each turn, and I only rarely use Repel and never use Hook/Pull-In …
Spear Mastery – could be worthwhile for the same reason as sword mastery, but less worthwhile because of the lesser quantity of special spears and their minimal usefulness against an enemy (skeletons) that is oft found guarding exotic items of loot …
*Crossbow Mastery – makes re-loading less fatiguing and makes a hit as devastating against an armoured opponent as it used to be without this perk; essential for anyone who’s going to be using a crossbow on a regular basis …
*Longbow Mastery – improves eyesight/range and makes it very unlikely that a bowman will ever run out of breath (hence: more armour, and more Quick Shots once skill is high enough); essential for anyone who’s going to be using a hunting/war bow on a regular basis …
?*Throwing Mastery – the usefulness of throwing weapons is still questionable, but if you are going to use them then you should certainly use this …

Tier 5:

Reach Advantage – I want to try to make this useful with at least one particular mercenary, but I just haven’t got round to it yet …
?*Hold Out – certainly very useful, but the much-more-readily-available Colossus makes you less likely to receive an injury in the first place, and you also want to protect yourself against hits with armour and with melee and/or ranged skill, and you might be running short on possible picks by the time this becomes viable …
Lone Wolf – assuredly useless for any strategy designed to win as easily as possible, but I think it looks and sounds cool, and (as with Reach Advantage) I’m determined to try to make this useful with at least one particular mercenary, but I just haven’t got round to it yet …
?*Footwork – I use this sometimes, and I can’t deny its usefulness (especially for throwers), but: if melee defence is high enough, you can arrogantly stroll through the melee with barely any fatigue cost, and I’ve always disliked the idea of a character who (on the one hand) has the amazing ability to escape from tight situations, but who (on the other hand) is otherwise so clumsy that he keeps getting hit and needs to escape from tight situations in the first place …
Rally the Troops – has a high fatigue cost and makes the character into a sacrifice who is thence used/positioned for the sake of other characters and in consequence loses intrinsic excitement …

Tier 6:

?*Berserk – I love this perk, but I only pick it on rare occasions; I guess the troubles are that, after a kill, there isn’t always someone else ready to hand whom you can attack, and the guys who get the most kills are either 2-handers (who need more than 4 extra action points) or swordmasters who don’t have enough energy to keep taking an extra attack …
Nimble – almost entirely useless for shield-bearers unless they already have such high skill that they can go without much armour, but can be moderately useful (combined with Brawny) for someone who does have moderately heavy armour and a very high melee defence score to start with (but it would probably be better to give such a person Battle Forged and the heaviest armour) …
*Battle Forged – less sexy than it used to be for those with light or moderately heavy armour, but potentially almost twice as sexy as before for those wearing rare special armours (and, contrary to the description, it’s the condition value of the armour that determines its level of protection, not its fatigue cost, and some rare armours have an unusually high condition value combined with an unusually low fatigue cost, and make you want to pick this perk to protect your assets) …
Rotation – less useful than Footwork, since both participants need the perk, and less useful than being so skilled that you can stroll through the melee at leisure and never need to escape …
Captain – I like to have a strong intrinsic investment in each individual in my bands, and that investment is always lessened if they are used for the sake of others (as with Rally the Troops) or depend upon the presence of a captain …

Tier 7:

?*Fearsome – assuredly useful (especially for archers or for those using swords or spears) but useless against the undead and not much use for skilled veterans wielding destructive weapons (or puncturing daggers), since they shall soon enough do 15+ points of damage, and it won’t matter much what morale state the enemy is in as the last of their tissues are turned to shreds and shards …
Duellist – I haven’t yet determined exactly how this one will play out, but I expect that, if a double-gripped sword slash did 0-10 damage ignoring armour before picking this, it’ll still be guaranteed to do less than 15 damage ignoring armour after picking this, so that this is a perk only for warhammer-wielders with especially high melee defence and some very good armour …
Killing Frenzy – half as sexy as it used to be, and it never was quite as sexy as it promised to be, since the “2 turns” included the current turn and the biggest killers were the 2-handers who only had one attack per turn and who thus (unless they had Quick Hands and a ready-loaded crossbow in their pockets, which is no longer possible) only had one subsequent attack to take advantage of this …
Indomitable – by the time you are able to pick this, you are already able to be more indomitable because of the combination of other perks, and without requiring a significant additional expenditure of fatigue …