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I recall suggesting that the Nimble perk should be revised so that it increases melee defence to a lesser degree (e.g. 1.5) but is compatible with the use of a light shield (e.g. one that imposes no more than +5 fatigue). I also suggested that it should be compatible with carrying a bow (since, from a conceptual point of view, only two-handed melee weapons or large shields should prevent you from being nimble). Being concurrently nimble would probably make crossbowmen too powerful, but maybe Nimble could be moved to tier-3 so that characters using it were restricted on the other trees?
If the possibility for such high defence is there, however, it’s too tempting to see how high it can actually get. Ernst starts each battle with 132 melee defence and still has a couple of level-ups to go …
However, Nimble fighters are definitely vulnerable to arrows, even with a ranged defence superior to that of carrying a kite shield. Ernst’s first battle was against goblins, and he was poisoned several times at close range and left with c. 10 hit points (although he did have the satisfaction of beheading those pesky ambushers in the end). Since then, he’s been shot several times, on one occasion accidentally by a comrade with a spiked impaler. He’s only been hit in melee once, and that was a shield Knock-Back that did no damage and left the Dodge bonus intact. But he’s been shot and hanging onto life while surrounded in melee several times, and there should always be a 1-in-20 chance of being struck, and just one strike from an orcish blade could bring sudden end to his life …
On point 6:
– Shieldwalls, Spearwalls, Riposte, Knock Back and assorted Area-of-Effect attacks don’t cost any more Action Points than other skills with the same weapon (or with the other-hand weapon, in the case of the shield-based ones) but they do induce a lot more fatigue
– If a character obtains favourable level-ups for max fatigue, and/or gets some of the tier-2 perks that increase/restore max fatigue, the cost of the above attacks is no longer so great
– If a character’s melee defence is decently high (e.g. via level-ups, dodge, nimble or shield/shieldwall), you can eventually be quite nonchalant about strolling casually through a slaughterous melee with modest/meager risk of punishment (e.g. a nimble dodger can potentially walk through the gaps in a melee to make contact with several enemy ranged fighters, thus taking them out of action and removing a nimble fighter’s own Achilles Heel)
– If you’re not overwhelmed and use your first 4 Action Points to form a shieldwall, you’ll have a better chance of disengaging from melee with the remaining Action Points (and, if you’re no longer adjacent to any enemies on the next turn, you probably won’t be obliged to build up additional fatigue on that next turn)
– If only one enemy is adjacent and you use Knock Back (+25% chance to hit) so that the enemy is still engaged in melee but you aren’t, the immediate fatigue cost may be high but you probably won’t be obliged to build up more on the next turn
– A communal Spearwall may have a high cost of fatigue, but it has a high chance to keep the enemy disengaged so that your ranged fighters can pick them off, and then (after 2 or 3 turns) you may be able to move forth and finish them off with low-cost attacks
– Especially with the new formation options, a nimble fighter with high melee skill can deliberately surge into combat and get overwhelmed and then use Riposte, which then has a very good return for the fatigue cost (i.e. 2 attacks at each of up to 6 enemies, or 3 attacks if the enemies are direwolves)
– A heavily mailed fighter with a warbrand, greatsword or greataxe can do the above (ideally onto high ground) and use an Area-of-Effect attack, or (with the new formation options) can be positioned behind a gap in the front line that facilitates the Split skill (or: the use of Push or Shield Bash by other characters can manoeuvre enemies into suitable and ideally more vulnerable positions)23. June 2016 at 08:36 in reply to: Reserves on Battlefields for Fights in which Formations Aren't Held #15629
Direwolves are actually much more of a threat than ghouls – or would be if they appeared in large groups in the early part of the game. I miss the hordes of wolves that you could use to bolster experience points in the older build.
Yes, a jolly good idea. And, of course, lots of people will be after the bounty, and you may have to protect it. Or, you might try to wrest it from others.
I noted above that I’ve NEVER had any mercenary get to Level 11. That has now changed with my current build, which has 3 people at Level 11 and a full band who all have at least 8 perks and level-ups. To achieve this, I guess I “sold out” (or at least the local armourers all sold out – of heavy armour). Basically, if you take everyone through the utility tree to take Brawny and Weaponmaster from tier 2, they can all be decked from head to toe in heavy armour and carry a heavy shield, and still have a max fatigue of around 80 or more (which, thanks to Weaponmaster, will not get eaten into too much).
Here is my first ever merc to reach Level 11 – a baby-faced assassin in all his war-glory:
Since shields are (a) useful to start with and (b) look cool, I decided to choose some perks to make use of them and gave all melee fighters Shield Bash instead of Quick Hands. I haven’t missed Quick Hands much, since they only ever really change items to replace a smashed shield, and then they can just form a shield wall (only 1 fatigue point more than they recover each turn) and wait patiently for the next turn while their enemies wear themselves out. Also, Shield Bash (especially combined with Pathfinder) is excellent for controlling the “line of scrimmage”, and later on (combined with Weaponmaster) it costs only 12 fatigue points to use (and has a +25% chance to hit) and can wear your enemies down and/or put them in perilous positions.
After gaining the energy-efficient tier 2 utility perks, I started giving everyone defensive perks (Colossus and Battle Forged for all, and then Dodge for the pikemen/crossbowmen who also had Quick Hands, and Deflect for the melee fighters whose precious looted shields were being imperilled by orcish axes). Since I have one Captain who I’ve also made an Inspiring Presence, I’ve started giving people Hold Out from tier 2 of the defence tree, so that all skills are +10 to start each battle. It’s only at this point (everyone in heavy armour, with high max fatigue, starting at confident morale and getting to tier 2 on the defence tree) that I’m starting to regret not being able to make use of Nimble against a background of Dodge and Hold Out. Still, most of my level-ups offered only +1 melee defence anyway, so that it probably wouldn’t have worked … plus, I wouldn’t want to part with my expanding collection of precious looted shields with (e.g.) +27 melee defence or +31 ranged defence (hence Deflect). With Weaponmaster and Brawny, you can form a shield wall on a regular basis and at least double those defence bonuses.
As more large one-handed axes are looted in battle, I’ve started arming melee fighters with these and giving them the Crusher perk. With the ability to smash shields in a single strike, melee skill isn’t an amazing priority, since the hit chance will always be at least okay against a shieldless enemy, and there’s always a spear or sword in reserve. Level-ups can instead be focussed on hit points, max fatigue and resolve and/or defence skills.
Yeah, you can skip the tutorial. It’s a shame that you can’t take the option to kill Hoggart without obliging yourself to recruit 3 more men and go to town X. You don’t normally need 6 men to kill Hoggart, and sometimes there are towns other than town X that are nearer and/or have better and/or cheaper equipment.
I’ve had so, so many “builds”. I’m addicted to using them experimentally and concurrently, but I tend to get bored of each after a while of having a full band and a full inventory and spending ever more time on loot management and item assignation.
It almost embarrasses me to admit that I’ve NEVER had a single mercenary go all the way through the Perk Tree. I had one (from before the World Map re-working broke old saves) who was just a few points away from the final level up, but I never resumed it before the update. I guess this wasn’t a mean feat, since I played the game for aeons before I even discovered the existence of Level-Ups accompanying each perk.
Part of the reason for the above is that I’m very attracted to the idea of a gritty, low-power early medieval (Dark Age) world centred on shieldwalls and slaughterous melees, as opposed to a high medieval fantasy world featuring full plate armour and mystical beings.
My builds tend to be based, not only on Perk and Level-Up strategies, but also on imaginative “themes” based around particular weapons and/or items and/or environments. For example, one of my favourite bands is based around areas of woodland and awkward terrain, and never does work for noble houses, and features characters all named after figures from the Robin Hood legends, all of them dressed only in green/brown leather/cloth, and most of them armed with ranged weapons in addition to axes and/or spears and/or pikes and usually a shield (never a heater). I recruited a cocky minstrel and named him Alan a’Dale, and he has since become a captain and is also close to tier 2 on the defence tree. Robin Hood, Little John and Adam Bell are all weaponmasters who are also close to tier 2 on the defence tree. Robin Hood has high initiative and often uses two crossbows and a pike at the very start of a battle. Friar Tuck is (counter-intuitively) a nimble dodger, as is Maid Marion. Marion was originally a gambler with a massive, misshapen skull and a gnarly black beard, but she turned into a delicate red-head after a trip to the barber’s.
I also have builds centred around (e.g.): using bludgeons/maces and giving everyone Push the Advantage to start; using axes and giving everyone Crusher to start; trying (and mostly failing) to make throwing weapons effective; picking recruits, weapons, equipment, environments and perks in accordance with the idea of being a shadowy band of outcasts (i.e. thieves, gamblers, vagabonds, beggars, refugees, peddlers).
As a general rule, I like the Utility Tree the best, since it (a) allows you to use a greater variety of equipment and skills, so that battles are more interesting, and (b) over-compensates for most of the perks that you are sacrificing from the other trees. With Battle Forged from the Defence Tree you can get an extra 20% out of your armour, but with Brawny from the Utility Tree you can wear 100% as much without any more fatigue. Colossus from the Defence Tree is highly desirable, but the Utility Tree allows you to wear more armour, carry bigger shields and form more shieldwalls, so that you get hit less and lose fewer hit points when you do. Deflect from the Defence Tree makes it much less likely that you’ll be left without a shield, but with Bags&Belts + Quick Hands you can arm with a replacement in no time. Perks from the Offence Tree allow you to hit more often and/or do more damage, but with Bags&Belts + Quick Hands you can choose one weapon to smash shields, another to smash armour, and another to reliably rip through naked flesh. Pathfinder allows the band to take better terrain and trap the enemy on bad terrain, so that the hit chances are all skewed to your advantage.
In the earlier parts of the game, I usually take almost all recruits through the Utility Tree until one or two perks are gained from tier 2, but I mostly focus Level-Ups (where luck allows) on defensive stats, such as hit points and resolve and (if it was high basally) initiative. Then I start to add in Perks from the Defence Tree that fit with the theme of the band and/or with the traits of the individual. Colossus is always desired. Dodge is very handy if they had high basal initiative and have now regained (and/or are able to retain) a good amount of it thanks to Brawny and/or Weaponmaster. Shield Expert is a rather modest perk, but I sometimes add it in if the band is one that has lots of weaponmasters with heater shields.
In antediluvian game builds, I used to get one or two Inspiring Presences and then give all new recruits Hold Out as their first perk (i.e. starting at confident morale because of presence, and now getting +10 for all melee and ranged stats) – something that has not been possible since Hold Out was switched to tier 2. In the current game build, I don’t bother about tier 3 perks and, once I’ve got quite a few weaponmasters and one or two captains, I start to focus a higher number of recruits on the defence tree, and deliberately recruit thieves, gamblers etc. that will be good for this (i.e. Dodge, Colossus, Battle Forged, Nimble, Hold Out … not sure after that, but probably over to the Utility Tree to regain/retain stamina/initiative and morale).
For the Utility Tree, I like to: (a) compensate for not taking Colossus straightaway, by recruiting people (e.g. Farmhands, Lumberjacks, Wild Men) who have high basal hit points; (b) compensate for Hold Out now being a tier 2 defence perk, by recruiting people (e.g. Cultists, Gamblers, Squires) who have high basal resolve and who can become captains. Ideally they shouldn’t have a low basal max fatigue, or else they won’t be able to take full advantage of the tree.
For the Defence Tree, I like to recruit people who have high basal initiative and high basal defence skills, such as Thieves and Gamblers.
Messengers often have a decent bit of ranged defence to start with, and also have a high max fatigue that allows them to wear heavy armour, so that (whatever tree you take them down) they usually make good pikemen.
Although I rarely make use of the Offence Tree, one benefit from doing so would be that you’d do more damage and thus accumulate experience points (and perks) more rapidly.
– Attacks / Hits
– Completion %
– Completion % versus Shield Wall
– Completion % with Height/Terrain Disadvantage
– Hits to Head / Attacks per Head-Hit
– Average Hit-Point Damage per Attack
– Average Armour Damage per Attack
– Times Attacked / Times Hit
– Times Hit on Head / Attacks per Head-Hit
– % of Total Attacks Evaded
– % of Attacks Evaded without Shield
– % of Attacks Evaded with Height/Terrain Disadvantage or when Overwhelmed
– Average Hit-Point Damage when Hit
– Average Armour Damage when Hit
– Enemy Shields Smashed
– Own Shields Smashed
– Knock-Back Attempts / Knock-Backs
– Knock-Back %
– Knock-Backs Received / Times Knocked Back
– Knocked Back %
– Shield Walls Formed
– Enemies Killed
– Attacks per Kill
– Skills Used per Kill
– Turns per Kill
It should at least be possible to dispatch a message to a temperamental nobleman, informing him that “you are ugly and your mother dresses you funny”.
— THROWING KNIVES
Oh, and the prospectus for the POLE-AXE should be as follows:
– Damage of 120-180
– 50% of damage ignores armour
– 175% effective against armour
– Has +15% chance to hit
– Has +15% chance to hit head
– Has +50% chance to spit shards of molten iron into the hearts of goblin skirmishers, ambushers, overseers and shamans (and into the hearts of vampires as well)
– Skills: Impale, Destroy Armour, Knock Out, Knock Back, Split Shield, Spit Shards of Molten Iron
The orc in-fighting one’s not new. I saw it c. a month ago, and haven’t seen it since. Today/yesterday, I got the necromancer-artifact one for the first time.
Then it can be a combination of my two favourite ever games …