Unit Advanacements

Share and discuss strategies for playing the game, and get help and tips from other players.

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

monochromatic
Posts: 1549
Joined: June 18th, 2009, 1:45 am

Re: Unit Advanacements

Post by monochromatic » August 11th, 2010, 2:43 pm

HomerJ wrote:
elvish_sovereign wrote: They have more hp as well. I don't really have a ratio, but unless I'm facing a lot of undead (like EI) I usually advance in this order: WM / RM / WM / RM / RM / WM / RM / RM / RM / WM / RM and so on.

Between AM and SM, I always do SM / AM / SM / AM / AM / AM / AM / SM / AM / and no more SM. I find the teleport ability useful, but in the end the hp of the GM really help. I usually don't need more than 2-3 teleporting assassins.
Just out of curiosity, do you have a list besides your keyboard to keep track of your mages... ?
I have a recall list :) and my memory serves me okay.
Oh and to add, in HttT, where I also have shamans/druids/shydes I go almost exclusively RM since I already have healing.

Joram
Posts: 366
Joined: September 2nd, 2008, 5:36 am

Re: Unit Advanacements

Post by Joram » August 11th, 2010, 3:15 pm

As for the mage question, I usually get 2 White Mages, followed by 2 Red Mages. If I get a mage after that (not common), it will usually be a white.

I always level the Red Mages into Silver. The reason: Mages are toooooo slooooooow. Forget moving across rough terrain unless it is quick. Plus, a Great Mage is a huge gold and XP sink. This is personal preference of course, and I would actually love to level the loyal mage in HttT to a Great one, since it removes the gold problem. If he was quick, that is. :cry:
The Fires of Pride 0.3, a heavily story based campaign.
On hold while I try and finish my book

Dodgy Tactician
Posts: 39
Joined: December 10th, 2007, 10:41 am
Location: UK

Re: Unit Advanacements

Post by Dodgy Tactician » August 13th, 2010, 3:10 pm

For Magi, I tend to go White, Red (Arch), White, Red (Silver), White, Red (Silver) etc. I very rarely need more than one Archmage/Great Mage, so I put the experience to better use (you can get 2 Silver Magi and a Red Mage for the XP you have to invest in a Great Mage). The Silver Mage is also great for general campaigns because you can recall them last and use their teleport to rapidly bring them to the front lines. It is especially important in TRoW to have a couple of Silver Magi (or more than two if you can manage it) to help your mermen take on the Orc leader on the island.

I tend to go about 2:1 for Swordsmen and Pikemen in TRoW, but I promote the first and third Spearmen to Javelineers. Swordsmen have an extra strike and are a more aggressive unit, but Pikemen have Firststrike and piercing damage (great against Drakes and the Dragon in TRoW and good for defence - especially when weakened). I also like to get a Javelineer or two because they are so versatile, all three units have strengths and weaknesses. I've also compared them with the Longbowman and Trapper because the Javelineer also has a ranged attack.

Swordsman:
  • 55 HP
  • 20% Blade and Impact Resistance
  • 8-4 Bladed Melee
  • No Ranged
  • Lawful
  • Promotes to Royal Guard (Faster)
Pikeman:
  • 55 HP
  • 40% Piercing Resistance
  • 10-3 Piercing Melee (Firststrike)
  • No Ranged
  • Lawful
  • Promotes to Halberdier (Additional Bladed Melee)
Javelineer:
  • 48 HP
  • 40% Piercing Resistance
  • 8-3 Piercing Melee (Firststrike)
  • 11-2 Piercing Ranged
  • Lawful
  • No Promotion
Longbowman:
  • 51 HP
  • No physical resistances
  • 8-2 Bladed Melee
  • 10-3 Piercing Ranged
  • Lawful
  • Promotes to Master Bowman
Trapper:
  • 45 HP
  • No physical resistances
  • 4-4 Bladed Melee
  • 6-4 Piercing Ranged
  • Chaotic
  • Promotes to Master Huntsman (Marksman) or Ranger (Better Movement)

User avatar
wesfreak
Posts: 1020
Joined: October 28th, 2007, 1:11 pm
Location: in a land far far away

Re: Unit Advanacements

Post by wesfreak » August 14th, 2010, 5:52 am

I tend to base my decisions mainly on my enemy and the units traits. Strong is more effective with units that have more strikes, so I tend to make strong spearmen into swordsmen, and use about 4:2 swordsmen to pikemen because, as was previously said, while swords are better pikemen make good specialist units. I almost never go for javilineers, unless I level a non-intelligent cannon-fodder spearman that I don't plan on recalling (because I already have enough swords and pikemen).

For mages, I try to make only one or two arch mages, both intelligent, to take down/weaken the tougher targets, and make the same amount of white mages as red mages, although my first leveled mage is always a white mage.

User avatar
Maiklas3000
Posts: 532
Joined: June 23rd, 2010, 10:43 am

Re: Unit Advanacements

Post by Maiklas3000 » August 14th, 2010, 8:41 am

I agree with the others that for Spearmen, go by the attributes:

loyal => definitely not Javelineer. A Swordsman will get to level 3 slightly quicker than a Pikeman and Royal Guards are slightly more durable than Halberdiers, so lean towards Swordsman.
intelligent => definitely not Javelineer. Pikeman are a hair better than Swordsman, because a Pikeman requires slightly more XP to level, so gets more of a benefit.
strong => Swordsman
quick => Pikeman
dextrous => maybe a Javelineer, grudgingly
resilient => definitely not Javelineer. Take a Pikeman, because "resilient" is a nice trait for defensive units, plus Halberdiers have 2 less HP than Royal Guards, so Halderdiers get slightly more of a benefit from a HP boost.

I hate Javelineers. I hate their low HP, weak attacks, lack of advancements, and lack of special abilities. (Well, okay, first strike, but Pikemen do it better.) I do take them sometimes, like when I'm facing armies of assassins. But usually, I've got other units that deliver strong ranged attacks, and so what I want is a melee unit.

I tend to prefer Swordsmen, basically because the enemy will often be bashing on my Mages or other units with low HP and/or weak melee attacks, and a wounded enemy would often avoid attacking even a Swordsman, so the first strike advantage of Pikemen doesn't so often come into play.

One time I like Pikemen is when Bats are a big problem. A Bat trying to swoop in to finish off a wounded Pikeman will get a nasty surprise (first strike.) More generally, when I will be mostly defending against hordes, rather than attacking, then I prefer Pikemen over Swordsmen.

Edit: But if there are undead and not just Bats, then Swordsmen are usually much better than Pikemen, due to most undead's resistance to pierce, of course.

You can also go by resistences, as others pointed out. Pikemen are 40% pierce resistent, so very good against archers and Saurians. Swordsmen are 20% blade resistent, so good against Grunts, Gryphons, Nagas, etc. and 20% impact resistent, so good against Trolls, Bandits, Woses, etc. I don't know why Bats do blade damage instead of pierce damage in the first place, but anyway the Swordsman's 20% resistence there doesn't help nearly as much as the Pikeman's first strike, which should discourage all but the most rabid bats.
Last edited by Maiklas3000 on August 14th, 2010, 7:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Dodgy Tactician
Posts: 39
Joined: December 10th, 2007, 10:41 am
Location: UK

Re: Unit Advanacements

Post by Dodgy Tactician » August 14th, 2010, 1:05 pm

Maiklas3000 wrote:I hate Javelineers. I hate their low HP, weak attacks, lack of advancements, and lack of special abilities. (Well, okay, first strike, but Pikemen do it better.) I do take them sometimes, like when I'm facing armies of assassins. But usually, I've got other units that deliver strong ranged attacks, and so what I want is a melee unit.
The thing to remember is that both Swordsmen and Pikemen have no ranged attack. If I were facing them, I'd bombard them from range (with an Elvish Marksman or a Mage for example) before finishing them off. Archers have weak melee stats, so I'd attack them with a strong melee unit (like a Lancer or an Orcish Warrior). A Javelineer can defend against all of these well enough that even if it loses, it will dish out some pain in return. It is also the best unit for facing Drakes because there is no way that a Drake can attack a Javelineer without getting hit by piercing retaliation. By the same token, it can hurt mounted units with little or no retaliation (only referring to Elvish Scout, Cavalryman and Horseman lines here - not Wolf Riders) due to their piercing weakness and its piercing resistance. When (or more likely if, because it's a bad move) the mounted unit then attacks in melee, the Javelineer has a piercing retaliation and the firststrike ability to get its retaliation in first. If I remember correctly what the resistances are, a Javelineer does 24-3 retaliation to a Lancer during the day, while taking 18-3 damage itself whereas a Longbowman does 8-2 retaliation, while taking 30-3 damage. Admittedly that's an extreme example and only an idiot would actually perform that attack, but that is the point. A Javelineer can be a ranged attacker that can take care of itself in melee or a melee fighter with a decent ranged attack; it's strength is a lack of a specific weakness and while it will not perform as well in a specific role as the unit designed specifically for that role, it can be more flexible and increase your tactical options. The Loyalists don't have a L2 unit that does that well (with the possible exception of the Lieutenant).

I agree that in a long campaign, you want to avoid having too many Javelineers because they have no L3 advancement, but in shorter games where not many units will reach L3, this is far less of an issue. Even in long campaigns, you want a nice varied recall list, so a Javelineer or two out of say ten levelled Spearmen is a sound investment even if they are not recalled for every scenario.

User avatar
hhyloc
Translator
Posts: 234
Joined: July 6th, 2009, 3:19 am
Location: the netherworld

Re: Unit Advanacements

Post by hhyloc » August 14th, 2010, 1:28 pm

@Maiklas3000 I agree with most of your post, except:
Maiklas3000 wrote: dextrous => maybe a Javelineer, grudgingly
IIRC, spearman doesn't get dextrous trait, or did I miss something? :?:
R.I.P

User avatar
Maiklas3000
Posts: 532
Joined: June 23rd, 2010, 10:43 am

Re: Unit Advanacements

Post by Maiklas3000 » August 14th, 2010, 1:40 pm

hhyloc wrote: IIRC, spearman doesn't get dextrous trait, or did I miss something? :?:
Oh yeah, just elves can be dextrous. I knew there was some reason I rarely take a Javelineer.

User avatar
Skrim
Posts: 312
Joined: June 10th, 2009, 7:19 am

Re: Unit Advanacements

Post by Skrim » August 14th, 2010, 2:36 pm

Here's my opinions:

Knight vs Lancer:

In campaigns, I always choose Knight, simply for it being able to level up again. The Lancer may be better at charging, but the Knight is not bad at it either, along with being slightly tougher, somewhat more versatile, and having further upgrades.

In MP, I almost always choose Lancer, for its speed and its more reliable 3-strike charge. The Knight's long-term upgrade potential is meaningless in MP, and the only real advantage it has is the blade attack - which is probably not necessary. If a Horseman was successful enough to level up using piercing charges, then it can continue to fill that role, and can do it better as a Lancer than as a Knight.


Grand Knight vs Paladin:

I always make 'quick' Knights into Grand Knights, so that they'll retain 8 movement points and be able to match speed with other cavalry units. As for non-'quick' Knights, I usually upgrade my first two into Paladins, which operate together and heal one another, and are useful when facing Undead and other magical arcane-weak creatures (Trolls, Drakes, Woses, Elves, various monsters). After that, I upgrade to Paladin or Grand Knight based on the circumstances, but if the unit is not 'quick', I tend to lean towards Paladin.


Swordsman vs Pikeman vs Javelineer:

In campaigns, I upgrade 'quick' Spears into Pikemen, and non-'quick' ones into Swordsmen. That way, they'll all be going at 6 moves on level 3. No Javelineers, since it's fairly easy to reach level 3 with Spearmen-upgrades, and the Royal Guard and Halberdier far outclass the Jav, ranged attack notwithstanding.

In MP, I choose Javelineers, if I want piercing damage, piercing resitance, and/or a good ranged attack. If I really want blade damage or blade/impact resists enough to forgo the Jav's versatility, I choose Swordsmen. Again, if a Spear was doing so well with it's piercing damage that it leveled up, chances are it'll still do well as a a Jav. The Pike is pretty pointless - it's melee attacks do only 2 more damage than that of an equivalent-traited Jav, its resistances are the same, it has no ranged attack, and it's unlikely that it'll ever reach level 3.


Red Mage vs White Mage:

In most campaigns, my first two Mages to upgrade become White ones, obviously because of the healing. The arcane damage, the better utilization of the 'strong' trait on level 3, and the light aura on level 3 are extra neat perks. After that, it's dependent on circumstances, though I'll usually go for 2-3 Reds before getting another white. It also helps that many campaigns (TSG, EI, TRoW) give you free White mages, allowing for more of your normal mages to upgrade to Red.

HttT is an exception. The Elvish Shydes and the free White Mage mean that just about all my normal mages get upgraded to Red.


Arch Mage vs Silver Mage:

I by far prefer Silver Mages. I love using teleport, and the ability to deploy Silvers to any front quickly and retreat them to a safe healing location just as quickly. If I make a cavalry strike-team, Silvers will be their heavy fire support. If I get Mermen to capture an island village, Silvers will be coming through to close the kill on whatever enemy forces happen to be camped out there. If I need someone assassinated, I just have to send in a scout or something to take a village, then bring in the Silvers to do the job. They're just more fun.

As for Arch Mages, they're just Red Mages with more damage. Yeah, they can become Great Mages, but I prefer spending the amount of XP needed to get a Great Mage on getting more L2s/L3s, or on Elvish Sylphs if available, which are in my opinion easily the better of the two L4s. So yeah.

IIRC, spearman doesn't get dextrous trait, or did I miss something? :?:
Yeah, only Elves get 'dextrous' normally, in the mainline campaigns and in MP. There's one Delfador's Memoirs mission where you get a dextrous human Bowman, but that's the only time I've seen that trait on a non-Elf.

semaj17
Posts: 1
Joined: August 14th, 2010, 6:22 pm

Re: Unit Advanacements

Post by semaj17 » August 14th, 2010, 7:08 pm

:eng: well whit spear men i normal pick pike men as only pike get a chance to level up when i play
and on the other front i always grand knights they are more effect as a fast attack unit whit paladins you wont be using it healing much anyway price attacks dont do that much on undead you might as well use mages insted much they have a more damage base ageist undead and leveled up have better healing and anti undead power :mrgreen:

Joram
Posts: 366
Joined: September 2nd, 2008, 5:36 am

Re: Unit Advanacements

Post by Joram » August 14th, 2010, 9:54 pm

Velensk wrote:Pikemen are more resistant to enemy archers and thus I consider them a better as a frontline unit in most cases (they retaliate well against enemy non-archers unless they are undead, and the latter concern is migrated somewhat once they hit level 3).
A good point, but the snag it runs into is that the primary two archers you face in loyalist campaigns are the Orcish Archer and the Skeleton Archer.

The skeleton resists the pikeman's pierce, and even at level 3, the Royal Guards do more damage. So while the lvl 3 pike have a slight advantage over the lvl 3 sword, I still prefer the sword, partly for the level 2 advantages. The orc doesn't care about pierce resistance because he will just use his fire. Back in the old days when the fire was weaker than the pierce, this still would have been okay, but now there is very little damage difference between the two, iirc. So the minimal effect that the pierce resistance has is more than compensated for by the Royal Guards blade and impact resistance when holding a line against grunts and trolls. In both cases, I think that the sword is the better line holder.

If Elves or dwarves were more common adversaries, this might not be the case, but I believe that the sword have a definite edge in campaigns.
The Fires of Pride 0.3, a heavily story based campaign.
On hold while I try and finish my book

Post Reply