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

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    Avatar photoWargasm

    Any thoughts? I’ve been mired in philosophical indecision all day, and have still to finalize my own thoughts …

    Avatar photoOldGreyBeard

    Aside from being mired in the same indecision … I got nothing. I’m sort of working with my old methods, but it’s still early in the game. I figure I’ll be slaughtered pretty soon now. But that’s part of the fun.

    In a single player game, there's no such thing as cheating. It's merely "creative manipulation of the default settings"!

    Avatar photoWargasm


    — Student is now much more viable, and I’ll give it to everyone as their first (or last) perk

    — I’m not going to make too much use of Bags&Belts and Quick Hands any more; I always felt that it resulted in unrealistic actions and that it caused campaigns and battles to become tiresome because of excess item management/assignation, but it was also so helpful to prevail in the old system and so I kept taking recourse to it
    — I’m still going to give most people Pathfinder, since battles on tough terrain are a real drag without it, and it’s extremely useful for the advantageous positioning of troops on any uneven terrain
    — I probably won’t make massive use of the new Recover perk, because those with the greatest protection from shields and armour can usually forego regular shieldwalls and can usually afford to be patient working away at the enemy with basic, uncostly attack skills that (especially with a weapon mastery) won’t result in a rapid exhaustion of max fatigue (even if it’s not that high to start with)
    — Likewise, light nimble fighters with high defence skills can usually afford to avoid costly attack and defence skills and keep working away with basic attacks, and 2-tile fighters don’t build much fatigue anyway (not even shield-splitting axemen once they have axe mastery)

    — The new Adrenaline skill could actually be very useful for any type of fighter (especially those pursuing goblin bastards using bows/nets/impalers/magic, and especially anyone with strong attack but weak defence attributes)
    — Melee fighters could use it after moving into a midst of friends and foes
    — 2-tile fighters could use it after moving into range of a 2-tile enemy
    — Skirmishers, ranged assassins and hammer/axe/sword psychopaths could use it after moving into the perfect position for an attack

    — The new Backstabber perk is excellent for helping melee fighters (1- or 2-tile) to hit opponents with high defence skills, and is definitely a superior choice to Fast Adaptation for anyone not fighting in isolation
    — The new Underdog perk is great for taking cumulative advantage of Backstabber without increasing your own vulnerability, and will of course be very useful for hammer/axe/sword psychopaths or nimble duelists

    — With the new injury system, I’m going to give everyone (or almost everyone) the combination of Crippling Strikes and the new version of Hold Out
    — Crippling Strikes could be a good way to keep making effective use of accurate, low-damage weapons (swords and spears) against heavily protected opponents (i.e. orcs); this effect could be furthered by also selecting Fearsome and/or Duelist (+25% of damage ignoring armour)
    — If high-damage weapons seem to reliably inflict injuries without Crippling Strikes, I might not give it to those who are going to use more murderous weapons
    — I probably won’t bother with the revised Executioner (increased damage against injured opponents), since less-effective injured opponents aren’t usually a priority to attack

    — It looks like Nimble and Battle Forged (both modified) will be mutually exclusive picks
    — Nimble could now work with a bow or (to a reasonable degree) with a 2-hander or shield (so long as the armour is light) or with moderate armour (if there is no large shield/weapon and if Brawny works to reduce the penalty of armour)
    — Battle Forged (more generous than before when wearing the heaviest possible armour) and Brawny (less generous than before) would work well together; but, if you choose just one of them, you should choose Battle Forged if you intend to wear the heaviest armour available (which you probably should do)
    — Dodge (an annoying/enticing perk) will still superficially inflate the Nimble bonus and it could also work with Battle Forged (I’ve got a pikeman in super-heavy rare armour whose dodge bonus is still higher than +10)

    — Because of the colossally increased collateral damage when aiming at enemies in melee, I probably won’t bother with Bullseye for ranged fighters; instead, I shall take Fast Adaptation and shall try to make my ranged fighters devastating in close-quarters combat as well
    — The new Lone Wolf perk is interesting; a 10% boost to melee and ranged defence is usually nothing for someone without a shield, but attack skills could be decently enhanced
    — Instead of staying and shooting behind the melee, you could send ranged fighters around the peripheries to snipe out foes from afar (more realistic)
    — Ranged fighters would be good for doubling up as nimble duelists, since light swords could do some devastating damage with the Duelist perk, or you could take Dagger Mastery and try to take advantage of Fast Adaptation with 3 attacks per turn
    — Or you could take recourse to Bags&Belts and give a nimble bowman a kite shield and some spare arrows, in addition to sword and/or dagger

    — I don’t plan to use the modified Captain or Rally the Troops perks; I was never a fan of them, since anyone given them immediately became less intrinsically exciting and was used/positioned almost solely to benefit others
    — Since Resolve is important for not shitting yourself from big hits and not running away when you loot some exotic distant ruins that turn out to be inhabited by Lost Souls, I’ll probably give most people the new version of Iron Mind

    — With no benefit from Bags&Belts, any decent reserve shield will impose a heavy cost to fatigue, and it won’t be possible to carry several at once for fighting orcs or adapting to goblin bow/knife attacks
    — Instead I shall loot a variety of light/heavy/durable/rare/protective shields and arm everyone before battle with the most appropriate shield for the anticipated opponent(s)
    — If a melee fighter has a weapon mastery and isn’t going to use fatiguing skills too much, it should still be possible to wear lots of heavy armour and carry a large shield and have another large shield (and a weapon) in reserve, and still not need Brawny to go with Battle Forged
    — I won’t form that many shieldwalls to take advantage of the elevated bonus from Shield Expert, but the basic bonus should still be significant for some rare and beautiful looted shields, and extra-durable shields will induce orcs to exhaust themselves splitting shields until they can no longer offer much attack
    — For fighters with both high melee attack and defence skills, it might be worth taking both Shield Expert and Duelist, so that a split shield puts the splitter into peril
    — If a melee fighter develops especially high melee attack and/or defence skills, I’ll probably remove the shield and give them Duelist along with Battle Forged, or remove much of the armour and give them Nimble
    — It’ll be interesting to see how the new Nimble perk works with shields, since, although shield fatigue reduces the 50% defence bonus, it’ll presumably increase it significantly to start with, so that melee defence is still higher with rather than without the shield
    — If the above is the case, you could use a large and durable kite shield to bolster ranged defence, and dispense with any need for Dodge (and a new protocol for melee fighters would be to bolster intrinsic melee defence and seek out durable kite shields – kind of what I always wanted to do in the past)

    — I’m going to have at least one experimental campaign where I try to raise a successful band consisting of a small number of individuals all using the new Underdog and Lone Wolf perks
    — This band can consist of (a) heavily armoured hammer/axe/sword psychos using area-of-effect attacks to try to take advantage of the new Reach Advantage perk, (b) nimble dagger masters with kite shields, (c) nimble bow/archer assassins who double-up as duelists, (d) adrenalized jagged pikemen with nets and missiles in their pockets etc. etc.

    Avatar photoRusBear

    my prediction
    daggers and mace with 100% stunning replace for freebies- fans the Nimble-swormaster and bags of crossbows.

    Avatar photoDanubian

    Here is what i do:

    Student> because why not; youre not wasting anything, and you get the whole package sooner.
    Head Hunter> because its a flat bonus, everything else is either meh or situational or too specific.
    Brawny> because wearing bigger armor for same fatigue cost is great; it gives you more punching power in prolonged battle.
    Axe Mastery> because axes deal a lot of damage, and there is a military grade war axe thats very good damage wise. Once you have 60+ melee skill, who cares about weapon hitting chance, youll hit double times 80+% of the time.
    Footwork> because you might find yourself in a situation where that damned orc who is about to get the turn can 1 hit kill you, and why wouldnt you get out of his melee range.
    Battle Forged> because taking less damage is good?
    Fearsome> because when you face 12 orc warriors its to have half of them panic and flee couple of rounds of combat later.

    At this point you have 3 remaining perks to further specialize your guy. I would say that pathfinder is a must; maybe one more weapon mastery; and either something rallylike or something damagewise.

    Tier 1:

    Fast Adaptation> entirely useless. You should be making characters who hit every time, not those with better chance to hit once they miss. Also 7% is nothing.
    Crippling Strikes> theoretically useful, but its location on the tree makes it highly unlikely pick. And later on you just have access to so much better stuff.
    Colossus> i know a lot of people like this, but i dont. I dont want more HP. If youre taking HP damage in the first place, it means youre doing something wrong. Look at that guy in the screenshot, he has 50 melee, and that will go even higher depending on rolls, maybe even into 60+. This guy doesnt get hit. He doesnt need more than 60-65 hp hell have once hes top tier.
    Nine Lives> ok this is definitely useful, but im too stingy on a perk point for get it.
    Bags and Belts> why bother when archery is messed up? Its just way more practical to have dedicated 1 handed + shield guys and dedicated 2 handed + crossbows guys. With the buff to durabilities i dont really have a need for secondary weapons either. Its just pointless.
    Pathfinder> a very useful perk, i have a hard time not picking this.
    Adrenaline> i could see this being useful, but personally id rather make characters who dont get hit, and thus can survive the normal turn order.
    Recover> i could see this being useful, but meh, too stingy on a perk point. Also my guys RARELY get fatigued out, the way i gear them and use them.
    Student> there is literally no need not to take this. Everything else is useful, this is a no brainer.

    Tier 2:

    Executioner> useful, but too situational.
    Head Hunter> always useful for everyone.
    Bullseye> sorry but with the archery nerf youve killed the ranged battle for me, i dont even bother with it anymore, except for orc Berskers.
    Dodge> if we had more perks, id probably take this. I used to take it with my nimble builds.
    Fortified Mind> This was nefed right? It used to make you immune to resolve damaging stuff? Well now that its not, its useless. I dont need a 25% modifier, if my resolve is shit, it wont do anything; i need something that makes me immune to orc Warlord thingie or to those ghosts thingie.
    Quick Hands> this is just not worth it; getting this and bags used to be a significant investment that turned your guys into jacks of all trades, but now i just dont see the point.
    Gifted> typical noob trap. So totally not worth the perk point. Instead of boosting a single character for like 13-14? skill points, just recruit one of the more expensive types and get that for free. No.

    Tier 3:

    Backstabber> i could see myself picking this. It would TOTALLY help with the likes of Orc Warriors whom i find myself surrounding completely quite often.
    Underdog> so totally useful for first line melees, i totally want to take this between level 9 and top level.
    Anticipation> so totally and utterly useless waste of a perk. Just put on a shield and youll be fine.
    Shield Expert> i almost never use shield wall, as i would rather focus on killing the enemies before they get to do crazy amount of damage; the passive bonus to shields is so small that its almost negligible. For best shields youll get like +5, and for starting ones like +3. Not worth the perk. If it gave like 20 or 35% OR if it reduced the cost of shield wall by 50% or something, sure, i would use this. The shield damage reduction is also meh, as the OP enemies like orcs will smash your shields anyway.
    Brawny> Yes please. Thats the shit at this tier.
    Steel Brow> if max level was ever made higher, id totally take this some time after level 8.
    Taunt> why bother? Just kill the enemies faster than they can get into a situation where you need to taunt them…

    Tier 4:

    -IMO if youre playing a different style compared to me, you could just take swords, as they are the sweet spot between extra hit chance and damage.
    -If you know what youre doing you can also take maces, knock out is a wonderful skill thats only made crappy by the fact of how much it costs fatigue wise. 25% cheaper, and 100% stun chance? Hell i would use it a lot. The biggest problem with hammers however is that they just dont do enough damage. Take warhammer that everyone consider the ultimate anti armor weapon. With it Destroy Armor does 101-134 armor damage, and does 10 hp damage. Fighting axe, using normal attack, thats almost twice as cheap fatigue wise, does 45-71 damage, has a potential to ignore armor partially, can do a lot more hp damage AND has 50% damage increase on head hit. And you can do it twice for the same price as Destroy Armor.
    -Axes. Man. Axes are crazy. My new favorite weapon. If you get the guy with that perk, whats it called, Iron Lungs? the one that gives +5 fatigue recovery / round, you just give that guy the orc Axe, head splitter and watch the heads roll. Its insane. Even with a bit pricey Fighting Axes, the damage output + fatigue cost decrease is just sweet. You just need people with high melee for axes, otherwise youll miss a lot.

    -If you have dedicated ranged people, i would either take bow/crossbow mastery, or one of the two handed weapons type. I findmyself using polearms and stuff much more than ranged stuff due to nerfs, so i went with that.

    Tier 5:

    Reach Advantage> This could be useful with War Brand was it? I think thats 2 handed and can be used twice / round? If not, this is like useless. Youll get chopped to pieces before you can make any use of those stacks.
    Hold Out> theoretically useful, but practically near useless. You should do everything in your power to NOT get hit, and thus this is obsolete. It needs to offer something more on top to make it worthwile.
    Lone Wolf> too situational; you might have a dedicated roamer who goes around and hunts for ranged characters, and this could be useful in theory, but in practice such scenarios are very rare, as you still dont want 1 guy to run into a whole swarm of ranged characters. I cant justify to myself ever taking this, specially since there are just way more useful perks to be had.
    Footwork> what is there to say, it lets you survive situations where you could likely die. Of everything on this tier, the most generally useful thing available.
    Rally The Troops> i would take this between level 8 and max level on some characters.

    Tier 6:

    Berserk> Ability to dish out more damage, whats there not to like? Would take this between level 8 and max level.
    Nimble> in my first beta playthrough, i took this, but its been nerfed/changed so much, that now its pointless for me. This is literally pointless now.
    Battle Forged> This is wonderful for first line melees. There is literally nothing to not like about it (except that its near useless for people who arent built to use heaviest armors).
    Rotation> good skill in theory, if it were available on previous tier, id take it instead of footwork, maybe. On this tier, nah.
    Sergeant> I guess i would take 1 maybe 2 of these, but no more, and only between level 9 and max level.

    Tier 7:

    Fearsome> there is nothing to not like here. It can change the entire dynamic of a battle vs very tough enemies like orcs. One of my favorite picks.
    Duelist> this is utterly useless. The damage bonus from having no shield does not justify not having the shield; it might be still useful for situations where you have your shield broken. Maybe a pick between 9 and max.
    Killing Frenzy> again, 25% increase is just meh, considering that instead you can take stuff that greatly increase your survivability or hit chances and similar stuff.
    Indominable> i dont know, ive never used this before, i have to try it. Of all listed benefits i only see the 50% damage reduction as something note worthy. Everything else is either so situational (being stunned) or can be circumvented by positioning (being pushed back).

    Avatar photoWargasm

    You might still be able to have a nimble swordmaster – only this time he can be armed with a shield, and his melee defence won’t be so exaggeratedly high, but his ranged defence will be higher and he’ll even be able to form shieldwalls to bolster both. But he needn’t be a swordmaster – he could be a dagger-master or a mace-master …

    Avatar photoDanubian

    You might still be able to have a nimble swordmaster – only this time he can be armed with a shield, and his melee defence won’t be so exaggeratedly high, but his ranged defence will be higher and he’ll even be able to form shieldwalls to bolster both. But he needn’t be a swordmaster – he could be a dagger-master or a mace-master …

    I tried it with one of my melees, and i got like +3 melee defense. Not worth the perk.

    It might be worth on a max level guy with +3 talent on melee defense who has taken melee def on every level up.

    Avatar photoWargasm

    ^ Yeah … I took it for one of my recruits (a thief), shortly after writing that, and his melee defence when stark naked (21) went up to 29, which seems curious and not like a 50% increase. But then I realized it was a 50% increase on his “base” melee defence as displayed when levelling up (16), which was increased to 21 by being short (i.e. 16 x 1.5 = 24, + 5 = 29). So, not only is the new Nimble only a 50% increase of melee defence instead of 100%, but it also doesn’t include any trait bonuses in the multiplication; they are merely applied by themselves after the main calculation. Any additional bonuses from Confidence or Dodge will not be applied before the multiplication; they are just added individually afterwards. And – needless to say – the additional defence from a shield is not included in the “base” defence score; this also is added alone afterwards, but the weight of the shield reduces the degree of the increase, so that the final working defence in combat is only slightly higher.

    With a heater shield, his melee defence was 45 and his ranged defence was 39, and these increased to 59 and 53 at the onset of battle, thanks to a +14 Dodge bonus, and his *** melee skill was a mouth-watering 68 and he was still shaping up to be quite invincible … but he was killed in that very battle. A woodcutter smashed his shield, and a swordsman finally managed to scratch him to take away the Dodge bonus, and then an axeman eventually managed one big hit and he received the injury that halves the amount of damage, so that he couldn’t kill them off before being hit once more to end his tenure.

    So yes: the new Nimble sucks and is useless unless you get someone whose “base” defence is over 40 and you’ve looted a magical shield that’s <10 heavy but with >20 defence

    Avatar photoWargasm

    Further thoughts:

    — If anyone was wondering (as I was) whether you have to pick at least one perk from each lower tier to be able to take a perk from one of the higher tiers, the answer is no: so long as the total # of current perks is equal to the # of tiers below the given tier (they could all be from tier 1), you can take a perk from that higher tier

    — Bullseye is no longer any use for helping you to shoot through melee to hit a target surrounded by allies, but it is excellent for hitting targets in forested terrain when there’s no way of moving into a clear line of sight

    — the new Adrenaline perk costs 0 action points but 30 fatigue, and the new Recover perk costs 9 action points and zero fatigue … hence, if your max fatigue is well above 60 and is currently no less than 30 below exhaustion (say 44/75), you can use Adrenaline (74/75) and then use Recover (37/75) on the same turn and then act before any enemies on the next turn
    — Adrenaline and Recover in combination work really well for taking the initiative against all manner of opponents without needing to actually have high initiative at all; they can allow you to catch bowmen, avoid being netted by goblins, avoid being stunned by an orcish charge, or have three attacks against a massive two-hander before you get attacked yourself
    — If all of your melee fighters have these and you further combine them with Backstabber (and then Crippling Strikes and later perhaps Fearsome), you can potentially surround lots of dangerous opponents early in battle and inflict damage and impair their morale before they have any chance to get you back (and if you cripple them they might not be very good at getting you back once they do get their turn)
    — Once the above is achieved, you could potentially protect yourself with Underdog and/or the new version of Hold Out, or you could try getting rid of shields and taking Duellist and/or Berserk, so that damage/momentum is increased still further
    — You could potentially try to turn it into an exciting “Naked Savages” build where you wear light armour and carry no/small shields and don’t even do much to increase your defence skills, but just stake everything on swarming and devastating more heavily armed opponents, or you could go with Brawny + Battle Forged so that you can afford to take some big hits if things go wrong

    — I could foresee Adrenaline and Recover being used in concert with Footwork for some new chicanery (especially by some skimishers armed with nets, missiles and 2-tile weapons)

    — the new Backstabber perk is immeasurably awesome for 2-tile fighters; for each ally on an adjacent tile to your target, you get an additional +10 chance to hit
    — I love longaxes, since they can take shields away from an elusive opponent, but with the hit bonus from Backstabber I often find myself going straight for Strike with a hit chance already well above 50%

    — thus far, I’ve seen very little possibility for making use of the new version of the Nimble perk, but (thanks to mystical ancient armours with a massive increase in protection but a fatigue value similar to that of more mid-range helms) lots of possibility for making use of the new version of the Battle Forged perk

    — the new version of the Shield Expert perk (i.e. the old Shield Expert and Deflect ones combined) isn’t all that attractive by itself, especially not if you haven’t even decided if someone’s going to always rely on shields, but it becomes an attractive possibility if you start looting lots of exotic shields that offer +20-30 melee and/or ranged defence, since the defence bonus is then a bit bigger and (more importantly) the durability is much greater against orcs, bandits and fallen heroes

    — spears seem more attractive than swords for new recruits in the early part of the game, since the ability of swords against armour is eye-catchingly poor, but exotic looted swords with increased raw damage and unusual effectiveness at breaking/ignoring armour become an attractive prospect for most fighters, and the Sword Mastery perk would then allow them (with a fatigue cost of just 16 for two slashes per turn) to wear and carry as much heavy shit as possible without ever getting fatigued

    Avatar photoWargasm

    Oh, and another thing: Bow Mastery improves your eyesight! The perk description just says that maximum firing range is increased by +1, and I assumed that the mercenary would need to be gifted with unusually good eyesight for it to make any difference, but in fact the perk itself bestows better eyesight.

    Avatar photoJaffai

    -Tier 1
    Fast Adaption: Not so bad, but there is better stuff.
    Crippling Strikes: Most of injuries are useless. Nope.
    Colossus: No way I’m using any points on HP, nine lives is better than this.
    Nine Lives: Great perk, I try to take this always.
    Bags and Belts: It costs item’s half fatigue to keep them in inventory, I don’t need this.
    Pathfinder: Very nice perk, makes difference on forest and swamp, why not on grass too. Halves fatigue penalty of movement, more fatigue is always nice.
    Adrenaline: 30 fatigue is expensive, I don’t use this perk.
    Recovery: I want to like this perk, but didn’t really have use for it. Brother loses his turn using this.
    Student: I always take this, brother needs 3k less experience to reach level 11.

    -Tier 2
    Executioner: Extra damage is always nice, but it’s rare occasion when it triggers and matters. I don’t take it.
    Head Hunter: Good with axes, I guess. Nothing mind blowing.
    Bullseye: You should target easiest target to hit, not hardest. So no thx.
    Dodge: Initiative is low with heavy armors, so no.
    Fortified Mind: Resolve is useless, no.
    Quick Hands: Great perk with duelist, nets, crossbow-2handers and others.
    Gifted: More points is always good, I find myself taking this.

    -Tier 3
    Backstabber: Very good perk, better chance to hit enemies.
    Underdog: I like this too. When brother gets surrounded, he needs all the help.
    Anticipation: Nah.
    Shield expert: Doesn’t give brother that big bonus on melee defense, but makes shields harder to break.
    Brawny: More max fatigue, I take this always.
    Steel brown: Not utterly useless but there are better perks than this.
    Taunt: Nope, maybe if it was area, not just single target.

    -Tier 4 Weapons
    I mostly use Warhammer as they work best versus battle orcs. Crossbow perk is nice too, more damage.

    -Tier 5
    Reach Advantage: Um, no
    Hold out: Most of injuries aren’t that devastating to take this perk. If brother gets major injury I want to withdraw him from close combat already.
    Lone Wolf: Advantages of this is not enough to send brother on suicide mission.
    Footwork: Bit expensive fatigue wise, but I take this on every brother. Most broken perk at the moment.
    Rally the troops: Not worth to specialize to resolve rally, company loses more than gains.

    -Tier 6
    Berserk: Too situational so I skip this one. I have to check it with bow user.
    Nimble: Armor > melee defense, so big no.
    Battle forged: One of the best perks in the game. Frontline brothers will use this.
    Rotation: Why use this if brother can use Footwork? Nope.
    Sergeant: Again, resolve is useless. I don’t use this.

    -Tier 7
    Fearsome: This is tricky one, I want to like it but most of the time brothers do more than 15 damage. Does it trigger with Warhammers 10 armor ignore damage?
    Killing frenzy: 2-handed users don’t really gain anything from this. Bow users and 1-handed users could potentially make more damage but I find it bit too situational to use. I find myself picking perks that work always rather than this.
    Indomitable: Too expensive fatigue wise. There is no need to take this when brothers can use Footwork.

    Frontline build
    All points to melee attack, melee defense and max fatigue.

    Dps build
    All points to melee attack, ranged attack and max fatigue.

    Avatar photoWargasm

    I had someone (2-handed longaxeman) get to level 11, and (although it didn’t make much sense strategically) I decided to give him Nimble and Brawny for his final two perks, just to see how they’d mix. With a total cost of 29 fatigue imposed by his weapons and armour, Nimble increased his melee defence from 35 to 44 – a decent increase (albeit not sexy enough for an end-of-the-tree perk). After giving him Brawny as well, his melee defence went up to 47 – so Brawny does reduce the penalty to the Nimble bonus imposed by armour. After I gave him a large helmet (normal fatigue cost of -15, as opposed to -4 for his old one), his melee defence dropped a bit, but only to 45. So, with the combination of Brawny and Nimble, he could wear meaningfully heavier armour and have +10 melee defence compared to before. Not too bad. So, Nimble is useless for shield-bearers, but it could be combined with Battle Forged + Brawny for 2-handers who already have a high melee defence.

    Avatar photole_souriceau

    Adrenaline + Killing Frenzy + Berserk works pretty good with archers. Its possible to destroy enemy ranged support and lighty armored units in first round of combat, to lesser extent – soften some hard ones. AND If melee situation is critical, adrenalin-pumped archers can always help front line (or themselfs) with doubled output of melee attacks (perfect with longaxes + Backstabber).

    My recent (and pretty effective) band looks like this:


    UH – ultra-heavy, health + max armor, elite guys with long axes (i have 1 tile heavy axes too in case of orcs) to cover flanks. Battle Forged makes them pretty durable.
    A – archers warbows/longaxes (capable in melee), only weak spot is rather light helmets for shooting distance.
    1s line, medium-heavy armor, all with shields (Shield Expert taken – actualy helps + Underdog). Shieldwall use if needed.
    M – shield/mace, guys with most melee def (flanks), they stun enemies if in trouble.
    Wh – shield/warhammerer, guys with most fatigue for armor craking.
    Ax – waraxe/shield, my weakest fighters.

    ALL with Footwork, Adrenaline and Fearsome, it gives great spike damage/morale shock and to some extent mobility (at price of risky fatigue issues).

    Hail of arrows and then just grind everything to dust in melee.

    Not very fancy or imaginative and boring… but I can beat more or less every possible enemy in game so far. Works fine with stock weapons and armor – but rare finds can boost too even more raw power.

    Ghosts and tonns of orcs still give some painful troubles anyway.

    Avatar photoWargasm

    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 …

    Avatar photoTodeos

    Hi people,

    I was checking for some ideas for my battle brothers, and loved this topic.
    So here my builds (dont know what to choose for the last perk):
    1°) 6 front line soldiers with heavy armours shields and skills associated, one-hand and two-hand weapons.
    2°) 2-4 second line axemen with armours, double-handed axe and crossbows and a shield if in need of survivability.
    3°) 1-3 archers with longbow to snipe low armoured enemies, pikes and ten more arrows in the backpack.
    4°) One captain with high resolve in second line fight to blow the horn once a battle and give all other brother +10 in a lot of skills (3 specific skills needed).

    So to me, here the essentials perks :
    1) Must have :
    * student to reach lvl 11 faster without loosing a perk.
    * pathfinder for maximum mobility on all grounds.
    * gifted to maximize fatigue, melee offense and defence (+4 or +5 in each a the same time is a great beginning for a fast upgrade)
    * quick hands to switch between weapons to maximize damage in every situation.
    * a mastery perk (axe, bow and sword are my favourites).

    2) Good ones :
    * berserker and kiling frenzy because gaining 4 AP (ie a free attack) and 25% damage always kill the enemy faster.

    3) Specific ones :
    * For melee fighters : brawny and battle forged because the heaviest armours make me feel like orcs ;)
    * For first line : shield expert to not be in need of a second shield in the backpack.
    * For second line : back stabber to increase hit chance with polearms or longaxes.
    * For range fighters : bull eyes and head hunter to optimise range damage even in forest.

    4) Leader ones :
    * Get a flagellant and make him pacified. Then max his resolve until 80 and take fortified mind to reach 100.
    * Get Sergeant to give +15 resolve to all your band.
    * Use rally the troops at the beginning of each turn with 100% to increase morale and give 10 in melee and range offense and defence.

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