HttT - What should I be upgrading to?

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Elvish_Pillager
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Post by Elvish_Pillager » September 10th, 2006, 9:43 pm

The necromancer is a pushover. If you maul the Orcs properly, you can just take the skellies one at a time and they have no chance, mages or no mages.
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Post by joshudson » September 11th, 2006, 3:49 am

If you want Sylphs, your first shamans should go to sorceresses, or you will get them too late to be useful. In the first couple of missions, you don't need healers anyway. I didn't get a druid until Elensfar or so.
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Post by Rrbhaunoch » November 3rd, 2006, 4:26 pm

I personally always prefer White Mages over Red Mages. The healing ability combined with decent enough damage far outweighs the better damage of red mages to me.

I also adhere to the principal of getting a captain first, then all heros.

I always pick rangers over marksmen for the hps and for being more well balanced and advantageous in any situation.

I love healing units, so I always get 3 knights (who can turn into paladins)to 1 lancer.

Shaman I do 3 druids to 1 sorceress. Again healing, adequate damage plus slowing outweighs more damage for me.

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Post by Eleazar » November 3rd, 2006, 6:49 pm

My unit strategy in HttT (such as it is) involves leveling up lots of quick elves, and keeping outlaws from that optional undead island.
One of the biggest tough spots in HttT before the end are the cave levels. Having some quick elvish healers, and perhaps a champion or 2 makes a big difference. Quick also makes the MoL much more helpful. Outlaws and Assassins even without quick do much better in caves than elves, and i try to have some leveled up in preparations for the dark.
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BeRzErKeR
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Post by BeRzErKeR » November 3rd, 2006, 10:34 pm

I'm on my third play-through of HttT right now (Though I've never gotten all the way to the end), so I'm not sure if I'm doing it right either. However;

Fighters: I go for 1 Captain to every 2 Heros, and try to get a Marshall as soon as I can. The second undead scenario is good for getting a Marshal, at least if you hold the castle; place your captain on the closest castle hex to the undead with a healer next to him, and he'll rack up a huge number of zombie kills. I try not to use elven fighters as fodder, since I love their upgrades.

Archers: In my latest game I got a Ranger, then a Marksman, then another Ranger, and that's worked well. I'm still undecided, though. Marksmen seem a tad fragile, but Rangers tend to get mobbed for some reason and, like zookeeper said, aren't especially good at anything. I can say with certainty that Avengers are awesome, though.

Shamans: Druids all the way. Red magi and Knights do the damage, shamans help keep them alive to do more. I think you can already get enough damage units; healing is what you need.


Mages: I don't rely heavily on mages, or even use them heavily. However, when I do, I almost always get Red Mages over White Mages. I'd rather have the extra damage potential and hp then more healing. Healing is for shamans and their ilk.


Horsemen: I go with 2 Knights to one Lancer. The Lancer can't go any further, but with favorable conditions and good luck can kill almost any unit in one round. Lancers are the ultimate shock unit; however, they're too fragile to be in the front line. I keep lancers in the back waiting for a good target, and the knights out front to trade hits, with healers behind them.

Scouts: I don't understand why everyone hates Scouts. Lvl 1 Scouts aren't great combat units. But Riders have decent attacks of both types, good hp, move as fast as Lancers and aren't slowed by forest. Outriders are significantly better. I often actively try to upgrade my Scouts. In fact, I've used a Rider every time I've played Elensefar. I just finished Gryphon Mountain, and I have two, plus a half-experience Scout.


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Last edited by BeRzErKeR on November 4th, 2006, 6:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by peet » November 4th, 2006, 5:30 am

OK, I like this thread and I really like HttT, so I thought I'd add my 2¢.

First off I use version 1.0.2, in case that matters.

Fighters: Leadership is particularly valuable early in the game, when you are leveling up lots of first level units. But you really don't need more than one - you already have Konrad and you'll get another leader later. So the first fighter you level up should be your captain. It's best to choose one who is quick/strong, or quick/resilient, or maybe quick/dextrous. A quick captain can support other units more easily and will be able to keep up with Konrad. You'll be thankful later.

Archers: I prefer rangers most of the time, because they have a higher survivability - more HP and better terrain bonuses. You can send rangers out on their own, whereas you need to send units along to protect your marksmen. A 2:1 ratio is what I usually end up with.

Shamans: Druids turn into Shydes, and Shydes are the most versatile healers in the game, because they fly over almost all terrain types, and they can still support other units with their ensnare attack. By the time you get to the Dwarven caves you want one Shyde, and preferably two, if possible. Sorceresses have a cold attack, which is nice but inferior to the fire attacks of mages pretty much any time in the campaign. I got one sorceress just to see what they were like but found I hardly ever used her after leveling her up all the way. You will also get Kalenz after Elensfar, and he has a cold attack.

Mages: If you beat the Isle of the Damned you will have a loyal white mage, and he is probably near to leveling up to Mage of Light by the time that scenario is over. I find that I don't need much more than that since I use Druids and Shydes as healers, so pretty much every other mage could become a red mage. If you like healer strategies then maybe you could get one more white mage.

Red Mages: When the Red Mages level up do they become Arch Mages or Silver Mages? Well, Arch Mages have a big attack, but Silver Mages have a very useful teleport power that makes them very flexible. I always make Erlian into a Silver Mage, and the Silver Mage assassination is one of my favourite gambits. I generally get one Arch Mage and the rest become Silver.

Horsemen: Most people don't like Lancers, but it might not hurt to get one or two. As was mentioned earlier, the real question is: Grand Knights or Paladins? As to that question, you probably do want a couple of Paladins, but for the most part Grand Knights will be more useful. Paladins are weaker, so I'd level your strong/resilient Knights into Paladins and your quick knights into Grand Knights, since the GK actually moves slower than the regular Knight (more armour, I guess). The healing power of the Paladin isn't that useful either, since if he's travelling with cavalry, they have lots of hit points and take large amounts of damage when charging, so it takes a long time for the healing power to restore a unit. Better to retreat and get close to your Druids/Shydes and White Mages.

Scouts: Scouts are a weak unit, because it's pretty clear the designers think that mobility is very valuable, and the scout is tied for the fastest first level unit (tied with Gryphon Riders and Blood Bats). But I still like them anyway, and they are good to sneak around and steal villiages.

When I first got my butt kicked by the Test of the Clans level, I realized that I needed a much larger cavalry force. So I went back a few levels and decided to raise more cavalry. But since historically horse archers usually beat heavy cavalry I decided to try the 'Genghis Khan' strategy, i.e. lots of scouts. It worked! I lost a lot of scouts but killed all 4 leaders (unfortunately, the last leader was kill #26, so I didn't get the bonus. :( ).

Peet

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Post by peet » November 4th, 2006, 5:54 am

Oh, one more thing about the Siege of Elensifar level:

The difficulty of it kind of depends on which route you took to get there. If you took the land route you will have higher level regular units, but if you went by sea to the Isle of the Damned, you will have an easier time of it, because you will have not only a loyal white mage, but also thugs/bandits and footpads/outlaws, which make great skeleton fighters because they do impact damage.

Since I always go via the Isle, the undead part of the siege is never a problem for me; I find the Orcs much more difficult. So I do call up some archers to deal with them, even if they aren't worth much against the skeletons later.

Peet

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Post by BeRzErKeR » November 4th, 2006, 5:58 am

peet wrote:
Scouts: Scouts are a weak unit, because it's pretty clear the designers think that mobility is very valuable, and the scout is tied for the fastest first level unit (tied with Gryphon Riders and Blood Bats).

Peet
Mobility IS very valuble. Given equal skill level, I would be willing to bet on a Rider force vs. an infantry force most of the time, because the Riders *always* get to pick the battlefield, unless the infantry player is willing to retreat a lot, and always gets more villages. The only exception is mass spearmen.
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Post by peet » November 4th, 2006, 7:08 am

BeRzErKeR wrote:Mobility IS very valuble.
I don't dispute that, though how valuable it is is another issue. For example, mounted units get virtually no terrain bonuses, being stuck at 40% most of the time, and they are penalized for terrain more than infantry are in terms of movement. So on a terrain-heavy map you probably don't want lots of horsemen.

Elvish Scouts are supposed to be a "middle ground" between infantry and cavalry, in that they handle terrain better (particularly forest) and they do get a couple of terrain bonuses that regular horse don't get. But they are very fragile... they get only 32/42/50 HP compared to the Knight's 38/58/78, or even the Elvish Captain's 32/44/62. They also get the Horseman's vulnerability to pierce weapons without the armour bonuses against impact and blade.

Even though I like the Elvish Scout, I would modify them thus:
  • Give them more HP. After all, they are a horse unit... the extra HP for horse units represent the fact that often you have to attack the horse instead of the rider. I would say 34/46/58 would be good.
  • Get rid of the pierce vulnerability. That vulnerability is supposed to reflect charging units impaling themselves on your spears, and horsebowmen don't work that way.
  • I'm inclined to adjust the ranged attack of the Scout from 6-2 to 5-3. I would probably change their melee attack from 4-3 to 6-2 as well, though that's not necessary (but does reduce the value of strong units).
I might do this to my own game by editing the files...

If I was designing the game, I actually might make the scout/rider/outrider chain even better, while increasing the recruit cost of the scout to 20 or 21. I think that would make more sense.

Peet


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Post by Kirael » November 4th, 2006, 10:20 pm

Question- wouldn't it be a bit better to use the traits the opposite way?

Bit like this, imagine a strong/resilient archer. Wouldn't it be better to level that up into a marksman to cover the weaknesses and keep the strengths, rather than just focusing on the strengths?

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Post by zookeeper » November 4th, 2006, 10:25 pm

Kirael wrote:Question- wouldn't it be a bit better to use the traits the opposite way?

Bit like this, imagine a strong/resilient archer. Wouldn't it be better to level that up into a marksman to cover the weaknesses and keep the strengths, rather than just focusing on the strengths?
If I get a resilient archer, I almost always (in campaigns) make it a marksman. If it's strong,resilient, then I'd probably make it a ranger (depends on if I already have enough marksmen), so that it actually gets to use the strong bonus a bit. But resilient is something that I very much value in archers, magi and other fragile units (well, actually, in all units). Of course IMHO the optimal traits for an archer are definitely resilient,dextrous.

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Post by dwarf dude » November 5th, 2006, 12:32 am

to peet, they are NOT the fastest lvl 1 units in the game. zolphas from a gryphons tale are with 12.
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Post by zookeeper » November 5th, 2006, 10:07 am

dwarf dude wrote:to peet, they are NOT the fastest lvl 1 units in the game. zolphas from a gryphons tale are with 12.
Well, zolphas don't really count, since they're a UMC-specific unit.

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Post by jg » November 5th, 2006, 5:56 pm

@Peet: If you make the Elvish Scout a lot stronger, it will become hopelessly over-powered IMO. Even now, it is very strong due to its mobility and good attacks.

jg

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Post by peet » November 6th, 2006, 5:13 am

Kirael wrote:Question- wouldn't it be a bit better to use the traits the opposite way?

Bit like this, imagine a strong/resilient archer. Wouldn't it be better to level that up into a marksman to cover the weaknesses and keep the strengths, rather than just focusing on the strengths?
I totally agree. If I get a strong/resilient archer, I usually do make him a marksman. If I get a strong/dextrous archer he usually becomes a ranger. Dextrous/resilient can go either way. Quick archers I use as fodder unless they are quick/resilient, in which case I make them rangers. Intelligent archers I also use as fodder unless they survive long enough to level up on their own.
zookeeper wrote:
dwarf dude wrote:to peet, they are NOT the fastest lvl 1 units in the game. zolphas from a gryphons tale are with 12.
Well, zolphas don't really count, since they're a UMC-specific unit.
What he said. :)

I have not played that campaign yet, so I haven't seen them. I've only played the campaigns that come with the game so far.
jg wrote:@Peet: If you make the Elvish Scout a lot stronger, it will become hopelessly over-powered IMO. Even now, it is very strong due to its mobility and good attacks.
I would agree with you except that it doesn't have good attacks.

Consider: The elvish fighter and elvish archer both have a base damage total of 20 for their best attack. The orcish grunt and the merman fighter have 18. The horseman has 18, and he charges, so that goes up to 36 on attack. The Mage has 21. The troll whelp only has 14, but he has lots of HP and regenerates.

Both of the Elvish Scout's attacks have a total base damage of 12. That's very weak. There aren't many level 1 units that have a damage that low, unless they have special powers (like the shaman). Footpads have only 8, but they are fast, elusive, and their attack is impact, which is very useful under certain circumstances (against undead, mostly).

I find that if scouts engage in combat, they always die unless they are supported by lots of other units. And unless you are recruiting ALL scouts, then you lose much of the advantage of that high mobility, because your scouts have to stay close to your main line. Even with an all-scout strike force, you generally need at least 5 of them to kill an enemy unit, so it's usually not practical unless you have some level 2 or 3 scouts to help out. And even with a movement of 9 it's very hard to get 5 scouts all attacking the same enemy unit.

In short, even though the scout represents one of the most feared unit types in Earth's history, in BfW they are rarely useful in combat, and certainly less useful than infantry of the same cost. That's the problem that I am addressing here. As I mentioned, I have no problem increasing the cost of the unit a bit to reflect it's value, and hopefully that would balance the changes I am proposing.

Peet

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