How do I use mages more effectively?

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Cheomesh
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Joined: March 27th, 2010, 5:01 pm

How do I use mages more effectively?

Post by Cheomesh »

So I've done a short campaign or two, and I'm currently working through another. Unfortunately, I'm having a problem with my mage units. I try to be conservative with them since they can't take many hits but carry a very useful arcane spell. I usually move them in pairs, supported by other units varying from cavalry to archers. Sadly, no matter what I try, they get smashed.

My current doctrine is (was) to bombard arcane-weak enemies with moderate HP, or to keep them in reserve for some kind of killing blow. But, once that's done, the following things will happen:

1) The unit in the middle didn't die, and on their next turn they stomp -just- that mage. The unit might die, but I still lose that mage.
2) The unit in the middle dies, but another unit comes in a bee line for that mage, crushing it.

Not sure what I should be doing.

M.

Yoshi
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Joined: March 24th, 2009, 1:58 am

Re: How do I use mages more effectively?

Post by Yoshi »

Hi this is how you use a mage

1. Since mages have 70% attack use them to attack enemys with high defense. For example if there are two orcish grunts and one is on grassland and one is in the hills then use your mages on the one in the hills then use your non magic units on the one in the grass.

2. Attack first with mages because after they attack you can move other units up to shield them. Here is an example of how this should look.

Key: O = Spearman M = Mage L = Leadership if you have it

O O OXLXO OO OLO
XX L MM
L XX

You will want to make sure you attack in the right time of day or use some leadership so your mages will do enough damage. If it is night time then you should not even attack a strong grunt with mages because he could just kill your mage in two hits if your mage is quick, int. Even if your mage could survive its not productive to attack at night and he would probally get hurt. So instead at night you should just use an elf or a spearman to throw a javelin or arrows or just back up onto some villages until its dawn.

How to use mages that heal.

Have one white mage in the middle and put 6 warriors around him in a circle. If its a bad time of day to attack then go on some mountains with the white mage behind them and its like you have a village with 60%-70% defense plus healing. It is a good idea to use healers in pairs because if you only got one healer if he gets hurt he will not be able to heal himself. Also when you have healers you can usually attack more aggresively. If its night time and you got a horseman it would usually be a bad idea to charge at the troll but if you got a shaman to slow the troll and your horsemen charges him then he will do double damage while to troll does normal damage and he stands right next to the shaman then he will get healed.

Hide your mages with zone of control also and keep them out of range. Basically you will want to try and snipe with mages and then hide them by putting some fighters in front of them.

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ParadiseCity
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Re: How do I use mages more effectively?

Post by ParadiseCity »

1) The unit in the middle didn't die, and on their next turn they stomp -just- that mage. The unit might die, but I still lose that mage.
You should try try to familiarize yourself with risk management (the base of wesnoth) to make sure that you don't put your mages into situations in which they are likely to die. If you need help, make sure to check the chance to kill (ctk) percentage
2) The unit in the middle dies, but another unit comes in a bee line for that mage, crushing it.
Don't attack with mage when you see that an enemy can get at your mage. You can also shield it by placing your units directly in front of it, or by using Zone of Control (ZoC).

Hope this helps!
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Aelaris
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Re: How do I use mages more effectively?

Post by Aelaris »

Slightly obvious, but when you attack a unit with a mage, don't just look at the damage done with the ranged attack, but also check the melee combat stats. If the unit survives, even with 1 or 2 HP it may very well go for the mage and get to do it's full attack - should that 5-1 swipe miss. It's just embarrassing to screen your mage, then have it killed by the unit you are attacking.

Also: Why do the campaigns force everyone to be so protective of mages? Mages preform a special function that is needed, but mages don't exist proportional to their use - especially loyal mages. What's with that?

(Note: I am primarily a MP player. Use my advice at your own risk. For me, mages are just a 20 gold unit, and should net me 20+ gold worth of killing, etc. before it dies.)
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mortalus
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Re: How do I use mages more effectively?

Post by mortalus »

ZOC is an important aspect to BfW and used effectively it will protect your mages however my personal preference is to use them for "Control of Zone".

Your "Zone" is the land you are protecting behind your front lines. I set mages to the 2nd or 3rd wave. As enemies gain a foothold past my 1st wave of attack, I have a strong offensive on my next turn to remove that foothold. It also provides a little more protection because placement (mtns, villages, etc.) is more easily attainable. In addition, the defenses behind the 1st wave are usually more healthy and can more easily create a shield for any loose mages.

~Mortalus

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Elvish_Conquerer
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Re: How do I use mages more effectively?

Post by Elvish_Conquerer »

@ Aerlis

I believe that campaigns make you be protective of mages because they level up into ranged tanks with 70% chance to hit. As such, you need to give them a low melee attack so they're not overpowered. And units with low melee always need to be protected.
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Tonepoet
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Re: How do I use mages more effectively?

Post by Tonepoet »

Low melee is actually better for their continued survival. This is because it means the unit doesn't die. Why would this be a good thing? It eliminates more strikes right? Well yes it does but no it doesn't. Since no two units can occupy the same space, a surviving unit also serves as a buffer from further attacks. This means that in destroying this buffer during the enemy turn, a time during which you cannot provide your own, it subjects itself to further abuse from anything within reach. Naturally four strikes from two skeletons is more likely to hurt than the initial three strikes from just one.

Rather, it is the Mage's relatively low H.P. in combination with its otherwise standard specifications that make it so feeble. Since you're playing campaigns, you might want to look into managing your recalls. I'd suggest looking for Mages with the Resilient trait and stray away from the Quick trait to help you with that for the time being.

Granted, Quick Mages can be used to great effect in the hands of somebody who knows how to do it. However since I'm assuming you're a bit of a newbie, I doubt you'd be able to make optimal use of it, since many subtle things can be factored into such. You might as well not complicate things further by not worrying about all that just yet and getting the full benefits of something more passively useful such as H.P. until you get a bit more used to the flow of the game. Until then, Resilient+Strong Mages had a maximum compliment of 30 hp last I checked, which isn't too far off from your standard unit. They should have fairly decent survivability because of this. Granted this might not be the best thing for unit diversification or exp. management but those points are rather moot if the units are consistently dying.

Anything else I'd have to add has already been said so I'll just leave it at that. Happy playing.
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pauxlo
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Re: How do I use mages more effectively?

Post by pauxlo »

If you want to go in a cave sometimes, quick mages really help (they have 3 move there instead of 2). (And if you have to use elves, your shamen/fighters should be quick, too - 2 move instead of 1).

For fights on flat land movement does not matter that much, though.

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Icarusvogel
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Re: How do I use mages more effectively?

Post by Icarusvogel »

I think we should speak of the general mage usage; anyone can say "quick mages are better" - but when it comes down to recruiting, fortune decides.
You are a Necromancer - Intelligent and powerful, yet reclusive and misunderstood, you dabble in dark arts that everyone else can only dream of.

sLaughter
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Re: How do I use mages more effectively?

Post by sLaughter »

Icarusvogel wrote:I think we should speak of the general mage usage; anyone can say "quick mages are better" - but when it comes down to recruiting, fortune decides.
Not to put words in his mouth, but it seems like that's exactly what he's not saying. All mages have some kind of utility, as one poster noted the usefulness of resilient mages beforehand.

In any case, the way I use mages is to be careful not to over-recruit them. Mages do better when there are other, hardier units to screen them. Since the big dilemma with mages in campaign is how ridiculously long they take to level up for so vulnerable a unit, the obvious answer to me is to have a small number of mages, a large number of units that help mages stay alive, and then feed kills to that small number of mages. It shouldn't be that hard under controlled environments for mages to be fed kills since their schtick, really, is that they can put out more *reliable* damage than anyone else. You should only start to encounter problems when you over-estimate the power of mages and start counting on them to hit with every attack against a potentially lethal foe.

Huumy
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Re: How do I use mages more effectively?

Post by Huumy »

I think quick mages are usually really good:

1. Before attacking you can basicly keep them 1 hex further away than you would non quick mages. Making it much harder for any kinda fancy mage sniping. (You dont use mages vs drakes. Just to note for future replys.)

2. When you retreat your mages are 1 hex further the enemy every turn than non quick mage would.

Prolly the most useless mage trait is strong. Might come handy in some situations where your mage needs to do 1 more melee dmg or it survives with 1 HP but otherwise it's useless.

talking about mp btw
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Caphriel
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Re: How do I use mages more effectively?

Post by Caphriel »

Huumy wrote: (You dont use mages vs drakes. Just to note for future replys.)
(Yes you do (maybe) if you're a loyalist and the other player has a ton of saurians :lol2: )

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