Topic: Increasing Head Hit Chance Worth?

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  • #21544
    hruza
    Participant

    I was thinking about increasing head hit chance, either with perks, traits or backgrounds and I would like to know your opinion or experience. Here are my thoughts:

    Unless you are fighting enemies without armor, or at last with little to no head armor, value of increasing head hit chance is dubious at best. Given how armor works in this game, you need to chip through enemy armor first to get to actual HP of the enemy to kill him. Since body and head armor are separate, you want to hit enemy at the same spot (either always body or always head) in order to kill him fastest. Spreading your hits is unwelcome. You can hope to increase chance to hit head to about 50% (from original 25%). That’s the worst possible scenario however since on average your hits will be distributed evenly.

    Against opponents with little or no head armor this is not an issue, but those enemies are usually not a problem to deal by the mid-late game. Your problem will be ancient legionaries, orc warriors and uppity lords.

    Exception might be weapons with very high ignore armor damage like crossbow or hammer, but then only with crossbow specialization or duelist respectively. Unfortunately these two weapons however does not have any head hit bonuses which flails and axes have.

    So is increasing head hit chance worth?

    Also, does 50% bonus damage to the head apply to the damage to the head armor too or to the HP only? Description is not clear.

    #21545
    nope100500
    Participant

    Also, does 50% bonus damage to the head apply to the damage to the head armor too or to the HP only? Description is not clear.

    Basic crit +50% affects hp damage only, but I don’t know how 1h axe additional +50% bonus works (and it’s interaction with Steel Brow).

    #21546
    mrbunnyban
    Participant

    Interesting question! I think your line of thinking is not wrong, but some counter points worth considering:

    1. Some enemies are just being asked to be head-shotted. Up until you reach lategame, plenty of enemies wear little to no headgear. The weasel guy in the tutorial oddly is one of them – don’t think I’ve ever seen him wear head armor. In the late game though, only Sergeant, Berserkers and geists come to mind. All are very deadly though, geists die in one hit anyway.

    2. Nazghoul thingies never have armor. Hitting the head is always better. Werewolf armor is arguably weak enough to make the same reasoning.

    3. Sort of related, flails and axes are generally useful for the Ancient dead’s frontline troops. They have shield wall every turn, have infinite stamina and maybe even have shield expert. However, their shields are shockingly fragile for late-game troops so one greataxe specialist smash always breaks it. You’re meant to either break the shields, use flails to ignore the shield defense. I think it’s probably better to use reach weapons/greatswords to hit the priority targets behind them though.

    4. Duelist builds. I wonder how much damage we’re looking at for an axe head hit from a duelist? What if the brother has the brute perk? The idea is to kill the enemy under the armor before the armor breaks, so head hits may be always welcome. Alternatively, 2H weapon may kill before armor is destroyed if you keep getting head hits with a brute, particularly 2H hammer.

    I think 50% bonus to damage applies to both HP and armor.

    #21547
    LasseFin
    Participant

    No. It only applies to HP, not helmet.

    #21549
    Namespace
    Participant

    Sort of related, flails and axes are generally useful for the Ancient dead’s frontline troops. They have shield wall every turn, have infinite stamina and maybe even have shield expert

    They do have Shield Expert and Pathfinder, sometimes I see them use Rotation. I only use flails against Auxiliaries and maybe Legionaires because their damage is somewhat unreliable, especially against armored troops. They really work well if you get a head-shot with a hard hitting weapon first which destroys the head-armor.

    The 50% critical damage from head-hits only count towards HP. The 50% additional dmg from 1-h axes though counts for both armor and HP. Head-hits are quite strong but I think specializing with Headhunter only really makes sense on Crossbow users, maybe Archers, 1-h axe users (especially axe duelist) and maybe flail users.
    The idea behind the Flail is that you can use your normal normal hits and probably get a headshot, then finish them off with the 2nd skill.

    It also works for 2-handed weapon users as each hit from a split/swing etc will add a stack of head hunter. I guess the main question is if you can find the spare perk points, really.

    #21550
    hruza
    Participant

    Generally I agree pretty much with what you sad so just few things coming to my mind in response to your points:

    1. Some enemies are just being asked to be head-shotted. Up until you reach lategame, plenty of enemies wear little to no headgear. The weasel guy in the tutorial oddly is one of them – don’t think I’ve ever seen him wear head armor. In the late game though, only Sergeant, Berserkers and geists come to mind. All are very deadly though, geists die in one hit anyway.

    This is true of course, however by the time you develop head hitting specialist, most of these “early” targets case to be the issue, therefore I am not sure if cost in time, perks and money invested in such a guy are worth it. Developing specialist and babysitting him only to find his talent to be actually counterproductive (since he will be actually worst against targets with armor then your other guys) in most cases by the time he reaches full maturity is dubious.

    2. Nazghoul thingies never have armor. Hitting the head is always better. Werewolf armor is arguably weak enough to make the same reasoning.

    This is true, unfortunately in both these cases spearwall is more effective in dealing with them then hitting their heads. At last most of the time.

    3. Sort of related, flails and axes are generally useful for the Ancient dead’s frontline troops. They have shield wall every turn, have infinite stamina and maybe even have shield expert. However, their shields are shockingly fragile for late-game troops so one greataxe specialist smash always breaks it. You’re meant to either break the shields, use flails to ignore the shield defense. I think it’s probably better to use reach weapons/greatswords to hit the priority targets behind them though.

    True, but then again, you don’t want to distribute hits over their head and body. So flail yes, but you want it to hit body, not head.

    4. Duelist builds. I wonder how much damage we’re looking at for an axe head hit from a duelist? What if the brother has the brute perk? The idea is to kill the enemy under the armor before the armor breaks, so head hits may be always welcome. Alternatively, 2H weapon may kill before armor is destroyed if you keep getting head hits with a brute, particularly 2H hammer.

    Duelist and crossbow expert are the only cases where I tend to think that increasing head hit chance might actually be useful. Although I have doubts even here, since in lot of the cases, perhaps majority you are using more then one brother to attack one enemy. Unless they are both duelists or crossbowman, you might loos some effectivity since all other brothers will still be chipping through his body armor.

    One more specialist I tend to think increasing head hit chance might be useful would be dagger specialist using special attack which bypasses armor. Yet again, daggers themselves doesn’t give bonus to hit the head so you wouldn’t get as much out of it as with flails.

    Btw.: many if not all 1tile range 2H weapons hit both head and body during attack, so I ques increasing hit chance with them is pointless. Or?

    #21551
    hruza
    Participant

    No. It only applies to HP, not helmet.

    Basic crit +50% affects hp damage only, but I don’t know how 1h axe additional +50% bonus works (and it’s interaction with Steel Brow).

    Thanks for clarifying that.

    #21552
    hruza
    Participant

    It also works for 2-handed weapon users as each hit from a split/swing etc will add a stack of head hunter. I guess the main question is if you can find the spare perk points, really.

    If I am not mistaken, 2H weapons (except polearms and longaxes) hit both head and body at the same time, so increasing head hit chance with them is pointless.

    Not sure how their area attacks work however.

    #21553
    mrbunnyban
    Participant

    No. It only applies to HP, not helmet.

    Thanks!

    If I am not mistaken, 2H weapons (except polearms and longaxes) hit both head and body at the same time, so increasing head hit chance with them is pointless.

    Not sure how their area attacks work however.

    Eh? Pretty sure only the 2H axe does that with it’s primary attack. And for that primary attack, I was told that the damage is divided into ‘main’ damage with your roll and ‘bonus’ damage to the other body part. If the main damage rolls body the minor bonus damage defaults to body and vice versa. Only the ‘main’ damage can crit if you roll a head hit with it. The minor bonus damage cannot crit even if it defaults to head. So the head strike chance is not wasted.

    I think in the end though, other perks kind of win out except for specific builds. Opportunity cost and all that.

    #21554
    LasseFin
    Participant

    No. It only applies to HP, not helmet.

    Thanks!

    If I am not mistaken, 2H weapons (except polearms and longaxes) hit both head and body at the same time, so increasing head hit chance with them is pointless.

    Not sure how their area attacks work however.

    Eh? Pretty sure only the 2H axe does that with it’s primary attack. And for that primary attack, I was told that the damage is divided into ‘main’ damage with your roll and ‘bonus’ damage to the other body part. If the main damage rolls body the minor bonus damage defaults to body and vice versa. Only the ‘main’ damage can crit if you roll a head hit with it. The minor bonus damage cannot crit even if it defaults to head. So the head strike chance is not wasted.

    I think in the end though, other perks kind of win out except for specific builds. Opportunity cost and all that.

    Yes, this is true. I recall reading a response from the dev himself saying that’s how it works.

    #21556
    Namespace
    Participant

    One more specialist I tend to think increasing head hit chance might be useful would be dagger specialist using special attack which bypasses armor. Yet again, daggers themselves doesn’t give bonus to hit the head so you wouldn’t get as much out of it as with flails.

    Btw.: many if not all 1tile range 2H weapons hit both head and body during attack, so I ques increasing hit chance with them is pointless. Or?

    Puncture cannot do critical damage (and doesn’t get bonus damage from double-grip either), so sadly a headhunter build won’t work for daggers.

    As for hitting both body and head… Only axes do that as far as I know. And even then. If you get a headshot, 100% of the damage will be applied to the head. Only if you hit the body will it also hit the head. At least thats what I remember. I am not really using greataxes because their round swing is so awkward to use.

    #21574
    Khelevaster
    Participant

    Ran head hunter on my archers in the last playthrough with great success. Almost every enemy type has units with weak head armor.
    Raiders of all types can skip head protection.
    Noble houses have billmen, arbalesters and sergeants.
    Undead have nachzehrers and wiedergangers.
    Orc warriors sometimes dont have helmets in addition to youngs and berserkers.
    Against ancient dead archers arent very useful, headhunter or not.

    The good thing about having it on archers is that you can target the specific helmetless enemy without having to run across the whole field.

    #21585
    Mike
    Participant

    The way combat works it’s best to focus your attacks and completely eliminate (kill/break) an enemy ASAP rather than just scratch/wound him. In order to do that you must destroy a piece of armor as most weapons aren’t all that good at circumventing it. Spreading your attacks between head and body is detrimental to that purpose, so I’d say head-hunting is a bad idea 90% of the time.

    If you want to exploit lack of head armor, use flails – with a guaranteed headbash it works wonders, especially with mastery. If you are after intact armors, use daggers.

    9 of the previously-mentioned 10% is on rangers – IF they use a mastered-in crossbow, as they can then 1-shot many enemies regardless of their head gear and previously sustained damage. You were going to shoot them anyway so if you happen to land that sweet headshot it’s a net gain in efficiency.
    It is a different story with bows – I frankly fell in love with the perk at first as I tend to build my archers towards the “glass cannon” archetype and it seemed like a foolproof way to increase their killing power. It also seemed very fitting character-wise to build some “hawkeyes” (or Robin Hoods, if you will). However it quickly became obvious that instead of landing several headshots in a row – thus bypassing the usually more durable chest armor and granting a quicker kill – I much more often hit the body, and only land an arrow to the still-armored head when it actually deals less damage than it woukd to the armor-stripped torso.
    So, sadly, no Hoods for us – only Tells ;)

    The last 1% is for very specific, tailor-made builds, like a Killer with Brute and Duelist using a very well-rolled named 1h weapon – but that’s really more about a self-imposed challenge or min-maxing and not regular play.

    On a side note I must admit it saddens me that the awesome fluff (idea) behind high-velocity flying heads is overshadowed by the mundane crunch (mechanics) of the game. Here’s to hoping that the mod support will ne added, so the situation can be somehow… remedied ;)

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