Leveling Choice: Grand Knight vs. Paladin

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Skrim
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Leveling Choice: Grand Knight vs. Paladin

Post by Skrim » July 1st, 2009, 1:02 pm

Sorry to revive this 2-years dead thread that I found, but I think it's a sufficiently good topic to raise. It's been raised once before, and I found it by following some links from the Advanced Tactics page to the "Best Forum Strategies" page.


I decisively prefer the Paladin.

It's Arcane attack is extremely effective against Undead and is superior to Blade when fighting against Elves, Dwarves, Trolls, Drakes, Woses and most Monsters. It has disadvantages only against Humans and Saurians, and is equal everywhere else.

It retains it's Pierce Charge attack, so it still has the big-damage dealing and finishing-strike abilities of it's predecessors, though it is not nearly as good at charging as the Grand Knight.

It is slightly faster, good for covering bad terrain like hills.

It has a 60% Arcane resistance. Combined with it's Arcane attack, this thing can slice it's way through Ghosts/Wraiths/Specters with no trouble.

It can heal +4. That means that pairs or trios of Paladins can keep healing each other and regaining HP. While it's not fast enough to make a difference in combat, it can be useful for regaining HP while retreating or in transit and stopping poison damage. It can also simultaneously heal and screen friendly units on the line.


The only major disadvantage it has over the Grand Knight is that it's not as tough, but it's still tough enough to be a front-line combatant and is more versatile.

Last time I played HttT, I had 2 Paladins vs 2 Grand Knights. Last time I played TRoW, I had 4 Paladins vs 1 Grand Knight. Last time I played EI, I had 3 Paladins vs 1 Cavalier.


It's slightly odd how, if the Lancer is somehow involved in this comparison, the Cavalryman/Dragoon/Cavalier line is not.

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Re: Leveling Choice: Grand Knight vs. Paladin

Post by Turuk » July 1st, 2009, 4:13 pm

Skrim wrote:It's slightly odd how, if the Lancer is somehow involved in this comparison, the Cavalryman/Dragoon/Cavalier line is not.
Well, the Lancer is related to the comparison if users wanted to explain why they picked a Lancer over a Knight, as that at least is in the same unit line.

The Cavalryman/Dragoon/Cavalier is a different unit line entirely, and there are no branches in it. You would be arguing why you did an initial recruit of a Horseman over a Cavalryman.
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Re: Leveling Choice: Grand Knight vs. Paladin

Post by The1exile » July 16th, 2009, 3:22 pm

Skrim wrote:The only major disadvantage it has over the Grand Knight is that it's not as tough, but it's still tough enough to be a front-line combatant and is more versatile.
The healing I think makes up for lack of hp. In a 3 round battle (for example - gives oyu time to fight all through the day and have a turn to retreat) a pair of paladins will heal each other 12, essentially worth adding to both their hit totals. not to mention a pair of paladins can nullify an otherwise devastating 16 damage per turn if both are poisoned, say by an orcish assassin.

Lancer, on the other hand, is a brilliant unit, I just have to fight the urge to continue levelling with knight... when I can recruit them, I get a bunch.
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Re: Leveling Choice: Grand Knight vs. Paladin

Post by scorchgeek » July 17th, 2009, 12:17 pm

Lancers are okay, but their lack of an advance to L3 generally prevents me from getting more than one or two. They're great units for running to take villages as well, assuming you don't have any elvish riders, which are superior for that in my opinion due to not being slowed as much by difficult terrain.

Back to this topic, it really depends. In campaigns, I take a look at the walkthrough before I play so I have an idea of what units I'm going to need. If I'm fighting lots of undead, I always get a paladin, at least for my first leveled knight. Apart from having a highly unusual damage type for a physical attack, they also have five strikes, which is handy for finishing off units that have very little HP left but are on good defensive terrain. They also retain a piercing attack, which makes it okay for fighting other units. On the other hand, the Grand Knight, in my opinion, tends to be better for many other things. If you're sending a large amount of cavalry, throwing in a grand knight will really help it take out stronger units. On the other hand, healers typically cannot keep up with a charge, so paladins can be very useful for stopping poison and minor healing until they can reach villages. Also Grand Knights are actually slower than L1 Horsemen, so you may have to slow down everyone else to keep one in the group.

Bottom line, you want at least one or two paladins if you can. After that, use your own judgment on whether any more will help you or if the added strength of the Grand Knight is worth it. Also, I sometimes look short-term if I need or want both. Which will help it survive better right now or kill more enemies right now? Would it be safe in two turns if I picked one or the other?
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Re: Leveling Choice: Grand Knight vs. Paladin

Post by The Great Rings » July 17th, 2009, 9:36 pm

Depends on the situation, and the campaign. If all my healers have just been killed, or I'm fighting a lot of undead, I might level a Paladin. But not usually.

With Heir to the Throne, for example, I rely on elves for a lot of my healing (15 gold healers :D ), and I level mages almost exclusively to White Mages (The Mage of Light being my all-time favorite unit). So having a healing cavalry unit as well might be somewhat redundant.

I so rarely succeed in leveling a horseman all the way up to level three that when I do, I'm likely to go for the shear damage of a Grand Knight.
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Re: Leveling Choice: Grand Knight vs. Paladin

Post by Skrim » July 18th, 2009, 3:25 am

The Great Rings wrote:I so rarely succeed in leveling a horseman all the way up to level three that when I do, I'm likely to go for the shear damage of a Grand Knight.
Odd. I always level several Horsemen even when not trying to. A couple of finishing blows(which they're so good at giving) will turn one into a Knight, after which they just become regular combatants and gain XP over the course of time until they level again.

Must be a difference in play styles.
So having a healing cavalry unit as well might be somewhat redundant.
A healing cavalry unit can be useful if you treat cavalry as an independent force, separate from line-fighting foot troops.

I use a tactic in campaigns where I lance off towards some specific target using a cavalry force, with a pair or trio of Paladins at the spearhead along with any other L3s(Grand Knights, Cavaliers), with L2s and L1s in toe to deal finishing blows. Once I capture a few villages, I teleport in a few Silver Magi to provide magical bombardment wherever it's required, usually to take down an enemy leader in his keep.
scorchgeek wrote:Lancers are okay, but their lack of an advance to L3 generally prevents me from getting more than one or two. They're great units for running to take villages as well, assuming you don't have any elvish riders, which are superior for that in my opinion due to not being slowed as much by difficult terrain.
I've never used Lancers, neither in MP nor in campaigns. It's basically an overspecialized super-fast glass cannon. The Lancer's damage per hit is lower than the charge attacks of the Knight and it's advancements, meaning it's slightly worse at killing opponents in one strike without retaliation(and much worse than a GK). It's also more fragile, has no regular attack, and cannot level up.

In HttT, I use Elvish Scouts/Riders for village grabbing, and later Gryphon Riders. In EI, I use Cavalry, and in TRoW, Footpads or Horsemen/Knights/Paladins who don't have anything better to do.

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Re: Leveling Choice: Grand Knight vs. Paladin

Post by uzy5o » July 18th, 2009, 5:09 am

Assuming we're talking about campaigns, I prefer the grand knight. It is a better general purpose unit due to its higher power and durability, while paladins are specialized undead killers. The problem with undead killing is that,
1) Undead frequently appear in cave scenarios, where horses are absolutely useless.
2) Holy amulets. While most of the time, they only last one scenario, they still make paladins less useful at their primary role. Any strong unit can pick it up and be just as good at undead killing.
Skrim wrote:It's Arcane attack is extremely effective against Undead and is superior to Blade when fighting against Elves, Dwarves, Trolls, Drakes, Woses and most Monsters. It has disadvantages only against Humans and Saurians, and is equal everywhere else.
Better attack type is nice, but it doesn't make up for grand knights having 20% higher base attack. That means the paladin still loses by about 10% against elves and dwarves, while winning by about 10% against woses and trolls. On the other hand, grand knights win by about 60% against humans, saurians, and bats, and win by 20% when they are "equal".
It can heal +4. That means that pairs or trios of Paladins can keep healing each other and regaining HP. While it's not fast enough to make a difference in combat, it can be useful for regaining HP while retreating or in transit and stopping poison damage. It can also simultaneously heal and screen friendly units on the line.
The problem is, healing doesn't stack, and dedicated healers are much more effective at healing than paladins. I don't know if it's just me, but I always have many healers, so paladins are usually not needed for their healing ability.

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Re: Leveling Choice: Grand Knight vs. Paladin

Post by Mystery » July 18th, 2009, 5:59 am

Healing doesn't stack infinitely but I'm pretty sure heals+4 can stack up to +8 like a single dedicated healer or a village might do. A trio of Paladins can heal themselves +8 without the low offensive power, or fragility, of a healer sticking around instead.
Skrim wrote:I've never used Lancers, neither in MP nor in campaigns. It's basically an overspecialized super-fast glass cannon. The Lancer's damage per hit is lower than the charge attacks of the Knight and it's advancements, meaning it's slightly worse at killing opponents in one strike without retaliation(and much worse than a GK). It's also more fragile, has no regular attack, and cannot level up.
It has a slightly lower health threshhold from which it can kill from but it still has the power to flat-out one-shot many units, especially in daytime. Where a Lancer shines in multiplayer is that its third charge attack makes it more reliable at OHKOing an enemy unit since it has three tries instead of two. The fact it gets +2 MP over the rest of the Horseman line is also considerable. In a campaign, where you're more likely to have more incoming XP and carry your units over for multiple battles, yeah getting a Lancer makes less sense.

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Re: Leveling Choice: Grand Knight vs. Paladin

Post by uzy5o » July 18th, 2009, 8:23 am

Mystery wrote:Healing doesn't stack infinitely but I'm pretty sure heals+4 can stack up to +8 like a single dedicated healer or a village might do. A trio of Paladins can heal themselves +8 without the low offensive power, or fragility, of a healer sticking around instead.
Two heals+4's still heals +4, which makes the paladin's ability to heal quite redundant.

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Re: Leveling Choice: Grand Knight vs. Paladin

Post by Skrim » July 18th, 2009, 9:06 am

uzy5o wrote:Assuming we're talking about campaigns, I prefer the grand knight. It is a better general purpose unit due to its higher power and durability, while paladins are specialized undead killers. The problem with undead killing is that,
1) Undead frequently appear in cave scenarios, where horses are absolutely useless.
2) Holy amulets. While most of the time, they only last one scenario, they still make paladins less useful at their primary role. Any strong unit can pick it up and be just as good at undead killing.
The only Undead cave-scenarios I can think of where you'd have Paladins in your recall list but not use them is The Lost General from HttT and Temple in the Deep from TRoW(which is a pathetically easy level anyway).

There are lots and lots of Undead scenarios where you don't have Holy Water available, and only 2 scenarios where you do get it(Valley of Death from HttT and Temple in the Deep again).

The permanent Holy Amulets in Eastern Invasion are pretty snazzy, but there are only so many of them available, so I usually give them to non-Horseman-line units like Cavalry, Spearmen and Gweddry because I can just level my Horsemen to Paladins and make save my amulets to make otherwise ineffective units like Halberdiers, Royal Guards and Cavaliers strong against Undead.
Better attack type is nice, but it doesn't make up for grand knights having 20% higher base attack. That means the paladin still loses by about 10% against elves and dwarves, while winning by about 10% against woses and trolls. On the other hand, grand knights win by about 60% against humans, saurians, and bats, and win by 20% when they are "equal".
Against Skeletal Undead:
Grand Knight - 7 x 4 = 28
Paladin - 12 x 5 = 60

Against Spirit Undead:
Grand Knight - 6 x 4 = 24
Paladin - 9 x 5 = 45

Against Trolls:
Grand Knight - 10 x 4 = 40
Paladin - 9 x 5 = 45

Against Woses:
Grand Knight - 12 x 4 = 48
Paladin - 10 x 5 = 50

Against Drakes:
Grand Knight - 11 x 4 = 44 (40 vs. Clasher line)
Paladin - 10 x 5 = 50

Against Elves:
Grand Knight - 12 x 4 = 48
Paladin - 9 x 5 = 45

Against Dwarves:
Grand Knight - 10 x 4 = 40
Paladin - 7 x 5 = 35

Against Humans:
Grand Knight - 12 x 4 = 48 (40 vs. Horseman/Swordsman lines, 32 vs. Cavalryman line, 64. vs Fencer line)
Paladin - 6 x 5 = 30

Against Saurians:
Grand Knight - 13 x 4 = 52
Paladin - 6 x 5 = 30

Against Orcs & Other Neutral Targets:
Grand Knight - 12 x 4 = 48
Paladin - 8 x 5 = 40

Against Giant Scorpions/Mudcrawlers:
Grand Knight - 11 x 4 = 44
Paladin - 12 x 5 = 60

Against Yetis/Sea Serpents:
Grand Knight - 10 x 4 = 40
Paladin - 8 x 5 = 40

Note that Undead, Trolls and Orcs are frequent campaign enemies. Woses never, Drakes once, Elves once, Dwarves once, Humans several times in HttT, Saurians twice, and various Monsters several times throughout TRoW.
The problem is, healing doesn't stack, and dedicated healers are much more effective at healing than paladins. I don't know if it's just me, but I always have many healers, so paladins are usually not needed for their healing ability.
Two Paladins healing each other regenerate a collective 8 HP/turn, or prevent -16 HP/turn if poisoned. Healers cannot keep pace with an independent cavalry charge of the kind I described above, except for quick Shydes which can match pace with Grand Knights, and are only available in HttT.

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Re: Leveling Choice: Grand Knight vs. Paladin

Post by silent » July 18th, 2009, 2:58 pm

The main advantage I find to the paladin over the grand knight is when it comes to movement.

Quick knights should become grand knights so they have 8 mp, this is especially important when it comes to things such as crossing water, village taking, etc.
Paladin requirements depend on scenario. I'd prefer more grand knights in HttT myself due to lack of undead, and more humans/orcs, Rise of Wesnoth I still prefer grand knights as the mage line easily removes skeletons and the archers can be easily worn down my melee. There also seems to be more orcs overall, and several cave scenario's for undead reduce horseman effectiveness altogether.

The only time I'd prefer paladins more is EI, and for good reason.

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Re: Leveling Choice: Grand Knight vs. Paladin

Post by Lancer » August 11th, 2009, 3:27 am

I want my men to move swiftly and free,
not being fully covered in armor which limits their movement.
:eng:

Therefore, the Lancer is my choice. :wink:
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Re: Leveling Choice: Grand Knight vs. Paladin

Post by The_great_new_thing » August 11th, 2009, 5:35 am

Wait, wait, wait, what? Trios of paladins heal each other 8hp per turn? Huh? I don't think that's right. I mean, I got a dwarfish lord injured badly in HttT and I surrounded him with shamans. He still healed 4hp per turn. Maybe my version was old or something, but isn't it like that?
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Re: Leveling Choice: Grand Knight vs. Paladin

Post by The Great Rings » August 11th, 2009, 4:17 pm

Hmm, I should have replied to this a long time ago, but for some reason I missed it.
Skrim wrote:
The Great Rings wrote:I so rarely succeed in leveling a horseman all the way up to level three that when I do, I'm likely to go for the shear damage of a Grand Knight.
Odd. I always level several Horsemen even when not trying to. A couple of finishing blows(which they're so good at giving) will turn one into a Knight, after which they just become regular combatants and gain XP over the course of time until they level again.

Must be a difference in play styles.
Probably. I probably use my horsemen too recklessly, sending them off on their own or against unsuitable opponents when I should be using other units to wear an enemy down or remove a dangerous unit and then let the horsemen finish off what's left as described above.

Of course, part of the advantage of horsemen is in speed, meaning they can rush off to parts of the battlefield my other units can't reach. But they're a bit pricy for use as a mere scout/village-grabber, and they have a strong attack, so when my horsemen run into an enemy I may be too eager to attack with just the horsemen rather than waiting for backup.

The problem is, attacking with a horseman or even one of its upgrades can be something of an all or nothing move, as while they deal a lot of damage, they take a lot of damage, and they are vulnerable to some very cheap and common units (spears and bows). Meaning that if they fail to kill their target, their's a fair chance they'll die next turn. Or such is my impression, anyways.
A healing cavalry unit can be useful if you treat cavalry as an independent force, separate from line-fighting foot troops.
See above-mentioned difficulties with using an all-cavalry force. :D Though I'll concede that Loyalists have very diverse cavalry forces (8 units I believe, including two ranged ones and the healing Paladin). If it weren't for cost, a true all-cavalry force might just be viable for them, albeit inferior to a more balanced force.
I use a tactic in campaigns where I lance off towards some specific target using a cavalry force, with a pair or trio of Paladins at the spearhead along with any other L3s(Grand Knights, Cavaliers), with L2s and L1s in toe to deal finishing blows. Once I capture a few villages, I teleport in a few Silver Magi to provide magical bombardment wherever it's required, usually to take down an enemy leader in his keep.
That's an interesting approach. I may try to use it in the future.

Back when I was a noob I remember trying to use an all-mage and horse army, but I couldn't get it to work very well. While obviously the above is not the same (as it does not avoid using other units in other situations), I find it a very interesting idea.
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Re: Leveling Choice: Grand Knight vs. Paladin

Post by Skrim » August 11th, 2009, 6:32 pm

The Great Rings wrote:Probably. I probably use my horsemen too recklessly, sending them off on their own or against unsuitable opponents when I should be using other units to wear an enemy down or remove a dangerous unit and then let the horsemen finish off what's left as described above.

Of course, part of the advantage of horsemen is in speed, meaning they can rush off to parts of the battlefield my other units can't reach. But they're a bit pricy for use as a mere scout/village-grabber, and they have a strong attack, so when my horsemen run into an enemy I may be too eager to attack with just the horsemen rather than waiting for backup.

The problem is, attacking with a horseman or even one of its upgrades can be something of an all or nothing move, as while they deal a lot of damage, they take a lot of damage, and they are vulnerable to some very cheap and common units (spears and bows). Meaning that if they fail to kill their target, their's a fair chance they'll die next turn. Or such is my impression, anyways.
I don't consider Horsemen or Lancers to be capable of independent fighting. They're too risky. So they just stick around and assist my main force of infantry or form part of a more mixed cavalry strike team.
See above-mentioned difficulties with using an all-cavalry force. :D Though I'll concede that Loyalists have very diverse cavalry forces (8 units I believe, including two ranged ones and the healing Paladin). If it weren't for cost, a true all-cavalry force might just be viable for them, albeit inferior to a more balanced force.
It is rare for all those different kinds of units to be present at once.

The Horseman-line units are available in HttT, TRoW and AToTB.
The Cavalryman-line units are available in TSG.
But both of them are only available in EI.

Silver Magi can be obtained in TRoW(where it is extremely useful), HttT, and EI, if you're willing to train them.

The Fencer line would also count, given that Duelists and Masters at Arms have 7 base MP and also perform very well on flat terrain. But irritatingly, no mainline Loyalist campaign features recruitable Fencers for some reason.

In HttT, you also have the Elvish Scout line, but the pathetic damage output and relative fragility of the Scout-line units means that I never deliberately include them in a charge. But later on, the Gryphon Rider also joins in, and I make it a point to level up 6 of them. The 6 Gryphon Masters are extremely useful in the last mission, able to assassinate Asheviere in 5-6 turns with ease.

And in multiplayer, I wouldn't try something so crazy as a pure high-mobility force. I'm not a blitzing type of person, and all the necessary units are too expensive in multiplayer where, unlike campaigns, gold is actually a major concern.
That's an interesting approach. I may try to use it in the future.

Back when I was a noob I remember trying to use an all-mage and horse army, but I couldn't get it to work very well. While obviously the above is not the same (as it does not avoid using other units in other situations), I find it a very interesting idea.
I'll see if I can find some replays of my best uses of this strategy, and post them up here.

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