Topic: The Perfect Mercenary Band

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  • #19253
    arteofwar
    Participant

    After I saw that video by Sarissofoi where he crushed a 32 orc war camp without losing a man I wondered if he had assembled the perfect band of mercenaries. Then I saw another video that showed a person with a similar team using the same tactics successfully, but stating that this team is less effective against other enemies for reasons of balance. Since we can now have 18 men in our band of mercenaries it occurred to me that it is then possible to create a war-band that can handle any situation by rotating different guys in for different enemies. That being said I am sure others have already done this, so please share your opinions on what you think would be the perfect mercenary band. How many orc slayers? How many archers/crossbowmen? How many spearmen? What type of backgrounds? I think it wise to hire hedge knights and sell swords when you can afford it. I also think you need one or two of those heavy slayers that Sarissofoi made for any situation, but at least four or maybe five in you army in case you want to battle a hoard of orcs. Then maybe 5 spearmen and 4 archers/crossbowmen, and a sergeant. I have made good teams before but I still lose men in hard fights, and I know that its difficult even with an elite band to not suffer a casualty or two on occasion so…… please share your mercenary bands composition, or favorite team setup. I think anyone who enjoys this game would appreciate it.

    #19258
    Fotsvamp
    Participant

    End game I generally aim for as many 2-handers as possible, if I can find recruits with iron lungs I give them mansplitters, otherwise great swords is the preferred weapon, toss in the odd unique great axe that I’ve found.

    In a 18 man squad i usually run 10 men with two handed weapons, then the rest is split between skirmishers, archers and officers / polearms, the skrimishers have throwing weapons and shield, to function as a quasi ranged unit where that is beneficial, mostly vs goblins, generally I run 3 pikemen, 2 archers and the rest frontliners with great weapons or the skrimishers to rotate as injuries require.

    This functions very well vs any enemy, then you can tailor it vs specific foes, as man archers and skirmishers as possible vs goblins, less archers vs undead etc.

    #19266
    Danubian
    Participant

    In my opinion its like this:

    Entire team made up of people of expensive background, such as raiders, iirc raiders have both high melee and high ranged (or any other background that offers both). It is essentially that EVERY SINGLE person on your team has at least 2 talents in melee defense, preferably 3.

    You arm every single person with a crossbow.

    First line gets shields and one handed weapons (axes).

    Second line gets 2 handed axes, i think they renamed them to long axes.

    Every single person has an axe mastery.
    Every single person uses a crossbow as primary weapon and either a 1 handed or a 2 handed axe as a secondary weapon.
    Every single person has VERY high melee defense by the time they are done (or nearly done) leveling up.

    Essentially this team allows you to do some things.

    First of all since every person can fire crossbows, you get to dish out at least one, maybe 2 turns of bolts at any approaching enemies. Against most enemies it means you will have done some damage, and in some cases thinned out their ranks substantially. Against enemies that are practically immune to ranged damage (skellies, orc warriors etc) you instead switch to melee weapons right ahead.

    Second, due to high melee defense on every single character (and in particular the frontliners who use shields), your brothers become EXTREMELY difficult to hit. So if you use a shield + 1 handed guy as a mean to lock down enemies and prevent them from moving, a.) your brother in contact with an enemy will only get hit rarely (so you can tank all you want) b.) those enemies that can push your brothers away like orc warriors wont really achieve much in doing so as even your second line 2 handed weapons brothers will also be difficult to hit. Plus every time an orc warrior is not hitting you, is one time youre definitely NOT getting hit + its fatigue being built up for that enemy.

    Basically because of this my frontline axe+shield guys can solo kill an orc warrior on their own (even though i would never do this unless i had to) because an Orc Warrior will fail to hit them 95% of the time, and they will fatigue themselves out while my brother will keep doing 2 attacks every turn (due to 2 or 3 talents in melee defense you dont even have to use shield wall, theres no need).

    Once you have such a team, that can easily handle Orc Warriors, you can pretty much do anything, with the only possible exception being enemies that cause fear effect. But when it comes to normal enemy types, they all become a non issue, you just apply regular tactics you would use otherwise (attack goblins at night etc).

    #19268
    arteofwar
    Participant

    Danubian, I am interested in trying your build as I like axes. Axe mastery is definitely a great skill as it help with the long axe that has 2 tile reach as well as well as the two and one handed axes.Have you ever destroyed a orc warlords camp without taking a loss with this build? I think it could works if the front liners use two handed axes that have swing for crowd control. The long axes in the back rows would then help with support. My other question is do your crossbows hit more then they miss?

    #19269
    Wargasm
    Participant

    I’ve certainly vanquished orc camps containing 20-30 orcs, including a warlord and lots of warriors, with little in the way of injuries/casualties and without using any very fancy or specific build – mostly an even mix of shieldlings and bow/billhook/longaxe-wielders, with the odd reach-advantaged 2-hander chucked in. For battles against orcs, I always keep everyone in a tight formation that can’t be readily knocked out of place (usually 5 in front and 7 behind) and always leave everyone in place (at least early in the battle) until an orc closes in (to stun or not).

    I never use a sergeant/rallier (not because it isn’t expedient, but because it seems unrealistic). Instead I try to give everyone an individually high/adequate resolve.

    My ranks aren’t by any means comprised exclusively of guys with 2/3-star talent for their primary attack and defence skills. Some of the shield-bearing front-liners (often Wildmen or Prizefighters) start with mediocre melee attack/defence skills and no talents, but they have lots of hit points, lots of resolve, lots of max fatigue, lots of armour, heavy metal shields for battle against orcs (kites for goblins and heaters for bandits and most others), and have the perks to increase the durability of their shields and armour. Their main function is to get in the way (and to amplify the hit-chances of back-stabbing back-liners with higher skills/talents and more devastating weapons). However, once they’re at/approaching level 11, their melee attack and defence are often pretty impressive anyway, and I can give them Backstabber and/or Fast Adaptation for their final perk(s) if they could still do with a boost. You don’t generally need astronomic melee skill to hit orcs anyway. Also, I never use shieldwall against orcs, and only level-up melee defence when it’s a +3, but the combination of durable shield + moderate base defence + high hit points and resolve + heavy armour and Battle Forged means that they can easily take a few hits (but they rarely need to take as many as they’re able to take). I give everyone in the company the Hold Out perk, even if they do have excellent all-round defence skills, since I don’t want a lucky hit to impair their abilities.

    Some of the front-liners use only swords or spears, which would be highly laborious against heavy orc armour on their own, but actually work well enough in combination with the billhooks and/or longaxes of the back-liners (plus the hammers/maces/axes or occasional great-swords/axes/hammers used by the front-liners with especially high melee skill). The back-liners are quick-handers who wound the orc young/berserkers with ranged weapons before switching to 2-tile weapons. It doesn’t take long for swords/spears to put the lightly-armoured orcs on the brink of death, and then the backliners can finish them off, go Berserk, and use their extra action points to break through the armour of the warriors. Once the warriors are running short on armour, swords et al can eat away at their hit points.

    Once the warriors get frustrated and push their way through the ranks to my back-liners, the back-liners (including the dead-aim archers with rare ranged skill) stand their ground and fight (typically in medium armour) with billhooks or longaxes. It can be risky, but it makes battles more tense and exciting. At that point, the warriors are super-easy to hit thanks to Backstabber + Surrounded, and all of my guys with 2-tile weapons can concentrate their attacks on whichever orc is currently posing the biggest threat to life and limb. The occasional casualty creates a vacancy for an exciting new prospect.

    Almost all of the back-liners have the Berserk perk, but they don’t require exceptionally high max fatigue, since an extra strike costs only 15 fatigue, and you aren’t going to slay a heavily-armoured orc on every turn anyway. Since I don’t keep them away from the melee when it comes, I usually level-up their melee defence when it’s a +3. I always level-up their ranged skill and melee skill when they are +3 or higher, and, at the start, I always level-up their ranged defence when it’s +3, but I might stop once it’s adequately high and they already have the Anticipation + Dodge perks in addition to decent armour. Typically, I focus on making the back-liners elusive and hard-to-hit at the start of their careers (e.g. Pathfinder, Dodge, Anticipation), and then on making them more proficient at hitting/damaging things (e.g. weapon mastery, Bullseye, Backstabber), and then on making them a more explosive dual threat (e.g. Quick Hands, Backstabber), and finally on improving weaknesses and/or amplifying strengths. I usually give Bullseye only to the more specialist archers with the highest ranged skill; the others use crossbows when there’s a good line of sight, wear heavier armour, and tend to be more focussed on melee attack (e.g. I might give them Fast Adaptation, Quick Hands and Backstabber for their first 3 perks). I don’t usually give back-liners mastery of a melee weapon, but I might give Axe Mastery to ones with high melee skill and max fatigue, and let them carry spare great-axes for extra excitement in orcish encounters. Wildmen and prizefighters make great back-liners if they have appropriate talents, but most of my back-liners tend to be hunters (plus sell-swords as the game progresses).

    I also usually have a few elusive, light-armed, high-initiative guys (e.g. thieves, gamblers) whose primary function is to be annoying bastards (e.g. chasing archers/ambushers, enticing 2-handers into clear lines of sight, cornering necromancers). Since these guys tend to be away from the main fight, you can give them the Lone Wolf perk to increase their defence skills further. A similar role could be played, by otherwise untalented/expendable characters with decent max fatigue, making use of nets and the Adrenaline perk (and Footwork if they ever get that far). Obviously, these characters are of limited use against orcs, and are more useful in the early game when most people have light armour and low defence skills.

    I haven’t ever managed to incorporate many 1-tile 2-handers into my companies, but I usually have the odd one or two (typically a sell-sword or hedge knight, but it could be anyone with 2/3-star melee skill). I’ve found that they don’t necessarily need to have high melee defence, and don’t necessarily need to use Reach Advantage, and that great-hammers are awe-inspiring instruments of maim-ment. If you have someone with super-high melee skill and max fatigue but crap defence skills (e.g. a talented wildman), you can give them a tonne of armour (+ Battle Forged) so that they can’t get poisoned by goblins and will almost always devastate their foes before being devastated themselves. Eventually you could also give them Indomitable, so that orcs can’t stun or isolate them, and to diminish damage on rare occasions when they become vulnerable (the same could go for a Duelist character). If you have someone with excellent melee skill and good defence skills/talents but poor max fatigue (i.e. most swordmasters), you can give them plenty of armour and good ranged defence (+ Anticipation), forego Berserk and Reach Advantage, and just let them patiently smite their enemies with a great-hammer once per round, never accumulating too much fatigue. Great-hammers do less raw damage to hit points than -axes and -swords, and cannot so readily/extensively be used for AoE attacks, but they leave anyone hit in an almost utterly ineffective state (but still alive and in the way of fresher and more effective comrades).

    #19274
    Danubian
    Participant

    Axe mastery is definitely a great skill as it help with the long axe that has 2 tile reach as well as well as the two and one handed axes.Have you ever destroyed a orc warlords camp without taking a loss with this build? I think it could works if the front liners use two handed axes that have swing for crowd control. The long axes in the back rows would then help with support. My other question is do your crossbows hit more then they miss?

    Max i have killed with such a build was 16 orc warriors and 2 warlords. Or loads of berskers and younglings (probably in the 30s) but that one is easy. I dont play at the highest difficulty, so im not sure i can ever run into 30+ orc warrior group.

    Crossbows – like i said, the key is to hire expensive backgrounds that start with both melee and ranged high, such as raider (i havent played much last version, so they might have changed it, but previously you could get raiders with both at 55+). Such skill level is more than sufficient to have even the front line hit at least 50% of their shots. If you are fighting orc young or berserkers, the enemies who tend to swarm in large groups, then hitting them is even easier.

    Shields might be crucial on first line though. If youre gonna fight a lot of orcs, you want to use their metal shields too. If your entire frontline uses metal shields, the orcs will spend 2 or 3 turns breaking them, which means they will build UP A LOT OF FATIGUE and will barely be able to act until the of the battle.

    Frontliner:

    Backliner:

    #19330
    Todeos
    Participant

    I think a screenshot will talk from itself :
    30 orcs and no loss

    As said above, two handed warriors are a priority in end game. To do so, very heavy armours and great melee skills will be needed.
    ( skills : Skills Topic)

    The backgrounds I am using are all conditioning by the fact that they never demand more compensation.
    So they end up with 18-20 daily paid at level 11.
    => Total warband : 15 * 20 = 300 gold/day.

    With that I can play indefinitely with high benefits.

    So my band is composed by 15 brothers :
    * the 3 first brothers => (two melee warriors + one expert bowman).
    * X monks expert in two among “melee skill”, “defense melee skill” or “fatigue” and used to pacified flagelant and heal superstitious warriors.
    * 1 flagelant expert in bravery and range skill => bowman + captain (resolve > 100).
    * X flagelants expert in two among “melee skill”, “defense melee skill” or “fatigue”.
    * X wildmen expert in two among “melee skill”, “defense melee skill” or “fatigue”.
    * 1 bowyer temporally expert in archery to make a special bow if success.

    Cons :
    they will be theological debate but most end well ;)

    If enemies are armoured or immune to arrows or surpassing me in range fight (ie orcs warriors/skeletons) => captain + 11 melee brothers (at night)
    if not => captain + 3 archers + 8 melee brothers (during daylight).
    I never use crossbows or any throw weapon because it’s too much click even if all my brothers have quick hands to optimise damage from shield/one hand to two-handed weapons.

    Regards,

    Rigel the blind warrior
    Rigel the blind

    #19332
    Todeos
    Participant

    The backgrounds I am using are all conditioning by the fact that they never demand more compensation.
    So they end up with 18-20 daily paid at level 11.
    => Total warband : 15 * 20 = 300 gold/day.

    Because it’s 26 (monk + flagelant level 11) to 31 (original members + bowyer + wildman level 11)
    => 6 * 31 + 9 * 26 = 420 gold / day for the whole warband.

    PS: can’t access to my previous post’s edit button.

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