How many healers?

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CMaster
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How many healers?

Post by CMaster » September 11th, 2009, 8:30 pm

I just wondered how many healers you use to use when playing a campaign.
Do you aim to give all your units healing all the time?
Or do you try to maximize the strength of your army?

Myself, I tend to use four healers. That way I can divide my army in two and have both parts heal themselves without any need for villages. I might even split each half again without loosing the ability to heal all parts of my army, but, of course, I get dependent on villages again to heal my healer in that case.

However, I'm not sure that this is the best approach. Four healers cost 80 gold for the recall and 8-12 gold per turn in upkeep, so I wondered wether it would not be better to use that gold to get units that can actually fight. And so I would like to hear about how many healers you use in a campaign and why you use that number.
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The Great Rings
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Re: How many healers?

Post by The Great Rings » September 11th, 2009, 8:49 pm

CMaster wrote:I just wondered how many healers you use to use when playing a campaign.
Do you aim to give all your units healing all the time?
Or do you try to maximize the strength of your army?
I like to think the two overlap. Even if it may seem irrational sometimes, I hate sacrificing units, but I obviously don't want to pull wounded units out of action for five turns either. Having healers around means I can (hopefully) get more units back in the fight faster with fewer losses.

Giving "all your units healing all the time" might not be possible, but it would be good to have several around if you can afford it, I think. Obviously you have to have enough gold to pay for them without sacrificing melee units, cavalry, or whatever else you need, but if cost is not an issue I'd say four to six is a good idea.

My goal is to have each major detachment of my force accompanied by healers minimum (who can heal each other). So for a two-front battle I'd want two. Campaigns do have three front battles (if rarely), hence my aim of at least six healers in a campaign.
Myself, I tend to use four healers. That way I can divide my army in two and have both parts heal themselves without any need for villages. I might even split each half again without loosing the ability to heal all parts of my army, but, of course, I get dependent on villages again to heal my healer in that case.
Four might be ok. It depends how much you care about losing units, how many fronts you're fighting on, how many units you can afford to pay for at the time, etc.
However, I'm not sure that this is the best approach. Four healers cost 80 gold for the recall and 8-12 gold per turn in upkeep, so I wondered wether it would not be better to use that gold to get units that can actually fight. And so I would like to hear about how many healers you use in a campaign and why you use that number.
The nice thing is that when you get to level two and up, healers can not only fight, they can do it pretty well. A white mage might not have quite as powerful an attack as a red mage, but its not a weakling in ranged attack either.

Granted, you don't want to end up with a bunch of healers and not have enough gold for melee units, cavalry, etc.
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Elvish Scientist
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Re: How many healers?

Post by Elvish Scientist » September 23rd, 2009, 7:38 pm

I think four is a lot, unless you have 30 units. You can use such large numbers if you healers are also strong attackers (such as white mages). If they do not have a powerful attack (elvish druids), I would restrict their numbers and rely on villages for healing of your healer.
Killing dangerous enemies is more effective then healing the damage they inflict, so don't weaken your attacking power by using too many healers.
If I play elves, I have usually have one shaman/druid per front. In case of loyalists I recruit mages sparingly. Of course when fighting against undead, you should use a lot more mages, in which case you might end up with several white mages at the end of the game.

GuypronouncedGuy
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Re: How many healers?

Post by GuypronouncedGuy » September 23rd, 2009, 8:08 pm

I've played a bunch of the campaigns now and as Elves I like to dispatch my healers in pairs or trios depending on the size of army, that way I can always have at least one finishing kills and getting stronger while the other(s) do ambulance duty. Further into campaigns I find it frustrating to have 1st level healers that get killed in one round if they happen to get caught out for a round.

White mages.....personally I think they rock.
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Battlecruiser_Venca
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Re: How many healers?

Post by Battlecruiser_Venca » September 24th, 2009, 7:37 am

If I can choose between healers, I'd prefer elvish shydes for their great mobility, you can have healer where you want and the slowing ability is nice too when you're facing dangerous enemies

gorgolok
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Re: How many healers?

Post by gorgolok » September 24th, 2009, 9:29 am

A lot depends on the campaign. Some don't have healers available, some have 4 types (HttT: Shaman (and later forms), White Mage, Mermaid Priestess and Paladin). So a lot depends on what healers you can get. Then there's the question how many units you have, and how long the campaign is: in An Orcish Incursion, having 4 healers would be overkill. Another important question is the nature of your opponent. In EI, you get mages and a few knights from one campaign path. Seeing that in EI you mainly fight undead, and both White Mages and Paladins pack a serious punch there, you may wanna get more of them than you'd need for just healing purposes. In TRoW, having 4 white mages is good, especially when you have to split your troops in cave fights - Troll Hole is best played with 4, I think. However, in that campaign you'll also need quite a few silver mages, so it can be a tricky decision. Also, in that one it's good not to fully level all your white mages - illumination and Wesfolk outlaws don't work together.

It's also good to compare healers to their alternatives - Paladins vs. Grand Knights doesn't cost you a lot of attack power, whereas the Elvish Druid/Shyde loses a lot of power compared to the Sorceress/Enchantress/Sylph. With Mermaids, the Priestess/Diviner can hold her own pretty well, and illumination never comes amiss for merfolk. With Saurians, the choice doesn't occur in mainline campaigns, Oracles keep their +4 healing, but are more competent fighters, Soothsayers get cures/+8 but their attack stays pretty weak. With mages, it's the most difficult in my opinion - I hardly ever use the Grand Mage line, but Silver mages are awesome in conjunction with fast troops or fast skirmishers (mostly Rogues/Assassins in Mainline).

To sum up, I probably wouldn't overdo it with White Mages and opt for a silver strike force instead. Likewise, I wouldn't favor Shydes too heavily over Enchantresses. With Mermaids I'll favor healers (then again you rarely get to level too many mermaids). I nearly always take Paladins over Grand Knights - more speed and healing for slightly reduced damage are pretty much always worth it, plus, if you can breach enemy lines with a paladin to get a village, you have a (weak) healer for your silver mage strike force, if they need it. Saurians don't come up that often, if they did, my decision would likely be based on whether the enemy has poisoners. Without poison enemies, the weaker healing seems good enough, mostly, and the saurian movetype lets you retreat and rotate very well to boot.

Velensk
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Re: How many healers?

Post by Velensk » September 24th, 2009, 10:20 am

Depends entirely on the campaign.
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multilis
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Re: How many healers?

Post by multilis » October 1st, 2009, 4:27 pm

Also depends on the healers. Shamans for example can be *very* useful in certain situations for their "slow" and survival in forest. Lvl 3 elf healers are sometimes big edge with their abillity to fly.

White mage and merman healers become very useful once you get them to lvl 3 for their light. But it takes extra healers in earlier lvls to have better shot at getting these later.

If a campaign has lots of villages, healers not such a big deal, but in those ones with few and poisoning enemies, you may want even more than 4, especially if the shamans can slow down the deadly lvl 2-3 enemies. In some cases lots of shamans make good sacrificial fodder, slowing enemies to save your valuable units.

gorgolok
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Re: How many healers?

Post by gorgolok » October 1st, 2009, 10:57 pm

multilis wrote:Also depends on the healers. Shamans for example can be *very* useful in certain situations for their "slow" and survival in forest. Lvl 3 elf healers are sometimes big edge with their abillity to fly.
Counting basic shamans as healers, yes, you will want a lot of them, but you'll want to level a few of them into sorceresses/enchantresses. Those keep the slow attack, but gain a vastly superior ranged magical attack. The healer upgrade gets thorns, which do pierce damage, sorceress line gets strong ranged arcane damage. Arcane is better against undead, dwarves, drakes and elves, it's equal against orcs, where the higher damage output swings it towards the sorceress, and while humans do resist arcane damage better, there's still the potential for +25% damage.

So yes, initially getting lots of elf healers is good, but once they level, keeping their numbers low in favor of sorceresses is very much worth it.

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edgar55
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Re: How many healers?

Post by edgar55 » October 8th, 2009, 7:41 pm

Well, the best choice is trying to develop your shamans to a superior level. After this, you can use 2 healers instead of 4 (1 healer heals 6 units in only one turn :wink: )
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Imp
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Re: How many healers?

Post by Imp » November 18th, 2009, 9:39 am

It depends on a lot of things. Like the campaign and your playing style.

Generally, I use 2 healers, one per task force. That's 6 units healed per turn per task force. Why would I need more? If it's a big battle I might have 8-10 units per task force. Depending on how tough the map is, I might have 2-6 unlevelled cannon fodder per task force. You shouldn't be doing anything that puts your healers in danger. You can take a risk to level them, and use the fodder to cover them using ZoC. Generally, we'd only need 2 task forces, and they're usually close together during the battle anyway after the pincer manoeuvre. The healers can rest in a village. Many players are afraid to let their units die, so they'll want more healers.

In a campaign like HttT, I'd go for 2 white mages with a third as a spare in case 1 dies and more if I have plenty of red mages already. Rotate the White Mages to level them. I'd want at least 3 Mages of Light by the final mission. Shamen are too difficult to level up to waste on Shydes, so they go Sorceress. Why would I need the extra speed? My units that need healing can't keep up. The Shyde gives some more flexibility when fighting in the hills when injured units can't retreat that well, but it's a big trade-off. It would depend on the campaign - it's possible there will be a campaign where a flexible healer is useful, but I haven't seen a campaign where I'd prefer a Shyde over a White Mage when it means sacrificing a Sorceress. Make sure your White Mages are Quick, by the way, in case the campaign has one of those race missions and you need it to keep up with your leader.

Same with Paladin vs Grand Knight. I'd prefer the Grand Knight unless a campaign specifically makes the Paladin important, like lots of undead or lots of horses needing fast mobile healing (but then a Quick Shyde might be preferable) and perhaps a lack of White Mages. The Paladin doesn't sacrifice just damage, it sacrifices a lot of HP. You can't be as confident going for charges with the Paladin as you are with the Grand Knight. And you can use the Grand Knight as a meat shield, which is good with its better movement, but you'd hesitate to use a Paladin as a meat shield because of its healing, if you're using it for healing. I'd want 2-3 Grand Knights and be using them in a task force before making a Paladin as mobile healing for them.

I love silver mages, they're so fun. Arch mages are usually more important, though, since there aren't many maps where silver mages really shine, but the surplus goes to silver mages. You should have enough for the big maps where a small force can wreak havoc all across the map. The only time I'd prefer silver mages over arch mages is when playing assassination style, then I'd want six of them ASAP. But that gets boring pretty quickly, so I'd prefer Arch mages.

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Lord_Anubis
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Re: How many healers?

Post by Lord_Anubis » November 18th, 2009, 2:30 pm

It doesn't depend on many things... It's simple, you just need to fit them in one of 2 strategies. There can be only 2 strategies ''With small number of healers'' and ''With big number of healers''.
-[STRATEGY 1]Me, personality prefer only 2 healers. Because if few soldiers of mine are harmed, they will be healed quickly when I put them around healers and I will bring them back to battle. Then I will heal another ones who are harmed and so we are going in circle until some of them die.
-[STRATEGY 2]If you wanna use 4 or more healers, then your warriors have to survive every battle. You must be careful with soldiers and not let them die because healers are not for fighting. When one soldier is wounded hardly surround him by healers and protect him. That's how he will survive.

Syron
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Re: How many healers?

Post by Syron » November 21st, 2009, 3:44 am

For me, if i am in cave, i prefer use one healer. On a great land, i prefer use between 2-3 healers :) One by party, the third is just to help one healer and attack if i can see undead in campaign.

When i have some healers i prefer have 20 fighters units. But if i haven't a lot of gold, i use one healer. Sometimes on a great land, if i can see enough of villages, i use one healer or i take fighters only.


My healers often are behind my troops, but only if he heals +8. If he heals +4 i try to level up them.
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Neophyte
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Re: How many healers?

Post by Neophyte » November 23rd, 2009, 4:02 am

Lord_Anubis wrote:It doesn't depend on many things... It's simple, you just need to fit them in one of 2 strategies. There can be only 2 strategies ''With small number of healers'' and ''With big number of healers''.
-[STRATEGY 1]Me, personality prefer only 2 healers. Because if few soldiers of mine are harmed, they will be healed quickly when I put them around healers and I will bring them back to battle. Then I will heal another ones who are harmed and so we are going in circle until some of them die.
-[STRATEGY 2]If you wanna use 4 or more healers, then your warriors have to survive every battle. You must be careful with soldiers and not let them die because healers are not for fighting. When one soldier is wounded hardly surround him by healers and protect him. That's how he will survive.
I tend to follow Strategy 2 if I can. Row of meatshield, completely backed by healers so almost everyone gets healed. This works especially for say elves where I want to both defend and attack with my line-holders.

I think I tend to understaff in terms of lineholding melee units and over overstaff for healing. Past a certain level in campaigns (once enemy is predominantly lvl2/3) I have trouble leveling melee units since they usually get killed by the lvl2/3 enemies. My lvl 3 melee guys often get left alone since they are quite tough and do decent counter-attack damage.

silent
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Re: How many healers?

Post by silent » November 23rd, 2009, 10:36 am

With the exception of campaigns where your healers are also key to offensive power (e.g magi of light in the eastern invasion), I will make no more than 3 healers, and on average 2-3 healers. I much prefer lots of damage sink units such as royal guards, grand knights and any other level 3 unit which can take quite a beating before falling, the allowing to retaliate with other units once they've taken the brunt of attacks.

But that just works for me, although I feel it's a very good strategy for the rise of wesnoth

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