Elvish Shamans vs Mages in HttT

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Re: Elvish Shamans vs Mages in HttT

Post by naikon » September 23rd, 2017, 7:37 am

I think we are underestimating the illuminate ability of mage of light. When playing with mages, most of the time you will face chaotic enemies. And during all the turns except daytime, mage of light will increase the ally's attack by 25% and reduce enemies attack by 25%. This itself is like a slow. And unlike enchantress/druid, he doesnt need to use his attack for this. He can demolish opponents with his strong attack at the same time. Sorceress line need to use their weaker of the 2 ranged attacks to cast slow, that decreases their damaging power during that turn. Illumination can also affect more than one enemies in one turn. So, i think illumination is better skill compared to slow. And also mage of light has healing power and arcane damage. Three awesome abilities ,ie, Illumination(better than slow), healing , arcane damage combined is very impressive for a single unit.
White mages don't have iluumination but they have healing, and good arcane damage. Healing can compensate for their lack of slow when compared with sorceress and their good arcane damage may compensate somewhat for their lack of slow when compared with druids.
As for red mage line, they are the excellent at wreaking havoc. Their fire type damage and huge damage will kill most of the enemies easily.

Mages do require more xp compared to shamans but they have better ability to gain it compared to shaman tree, especially the druid line. Shamans have very low damage and it gets tricky to give him last hits. You need to leave very low hp on enemy using other units, and there is very high chance of other units ending up killing enemy target unit completely. Or dealing too less damage. If they deal too less damage than you would need to attack with one more unit to reduce its hp enough for shaman to kill. In that case, same situation arises and that troop may end up killing enemy again. Moreover, you are wasting lots of your units's attacks in one turn for it. Which may leave too may enemies alive near you, and might be bad for you in their turn. On the other hand, almost all the mages deal good amount of damage and are capable of leveling up on their own.
If you use save/loading especially for feeding up shamans than I agree that leveling up them is a piece of cake.

As for shaman's defenses of 70% compared to mage's 50% is one benefit of them but you wont be fighting always in forests most of the time.Marksman and magical attacks counters them also. Though I agree that this 20% bonus is definitely a plus, but its not enough to compensate for their other lacking qualities. And mages have better damage resistances to compensate for their 20% less defense in forests.
Difference in gold required for recruiting mages and shamans is insignificant over the course of campaign. Recalling them requires same gold anyway.

All in all, I am not saying that shamans are useless. They are definitely very useful and are my favourite troops in elf faction alongside elvish archers. But I do believe mages are better in most situations compared to shamans in campaigns.

PS - My views are meant only for campaigns and not for MP games.

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Re: Elvish Shamans vs Mages in HttT

Post by GreenCelt » May 10th, 2018, 12:41 pm

This is probably more food for thought for new players. I agree with the view that mage and shaman lines of units have some of the same abilities, but I use them mostly in different roles, and so I recruit both.
Some pros for shamans: they are cheaper to buy and to advance, they start with +4 heals, they are the only entry level unit that cures, and only one other unit (Goblin pillager) can slow. Mostly I use them as second line healers/curers to keep my fighting units moving without having to retreat to a village to recuperate. But slowing an enemy is a great way to save more powerful units from major damage when attacking and being counter attacked, e.g. horseman class units using charge attacks.
That being said I do also use mages, which have been well covered above.
If you really want to see an increase in attack abilities, back either type with a level 3 leader. Example: in tVoD in one attack a level 1 mage can only damage a level 1 undead, but with the leader the odds go to 1 chance in 3 of a kill.

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Re: Elvish Shamans vs Mages in HttT

Post by Sadaharu » May 11th, 2018, 1:31 am

Given that this is about Heir to the Throne we should also point out that most of the player's troops are elves (especially at the beginning) so you'd better have support units who can follow your elves and heal them; otherwise the elves' advantage in mobility in forests is lost.

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Re: Elvish Shamans vs Mages in HttT

Post by ResExsention » August 17th, 2018, 10:08 pm

In my opinion, I actually kind of think that slow is really nothing more than a secondary ability. It's good against those units that have a ridiculously high damage, but not much else. It also relies on other units for it to be effective; in other words, it's either no squad or a big squad, which can sometimes be a waste, unless you play BfW like a Roman, grouping your units tightly together. As for your "neglect all unit experience" strategy, it's not a very good one. If you persist, the northerners may be a better faction for you, because of their cheap, high damage units. But with elves, you really have to level them in a campaign or else you gain nothing. I used to play like that when I was a newer Wesnoth player, and it HttT (especially Siege of Elensefar) it was practically impossible with only one knight as a level two unit because I got lucky and everybody else being fresh recruits. Also, many campaigns were made in way that relied on the player being able to level up their units effectively as they progress. To summarize, that is one strange playing style you have, but remember that rising upkeep costs are not as bad as defeat. Having a ton of level ones still yields upkeep, whether you like it or not (unless all those units are somehow loyal). Plus, Elvish Shamans, Druids, Shydes, Sorceresses, Enchatresses, Sylphs, Mages, Red Mages, Silver Mages, Arch and Great Mages, White Mages, and Mages of Light are not the only units in Wesnoth.

So IMVHO (In My Very Humble Opinion), though you are right to say that the Shamans are worse than Mages, they are better than them in some aspects, such as they're flight and terrain defence, as well as movement. Try racing a Great Mage against a Shyde or Sylph and see what happens. You play a good point, but brute attack strength doesn't win every battle. Neither does a recall and recruit list of all level one units.

So I hope you figure out a way to work around your no healers or slows policy. This was not meant to be mean to you or to prove you wrong. It was just an opinion in this rather heated discussion.

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Re: Elvish Shamans vs Mages in HttT

Post by drake_416 » April 27th, 2019, 2:42 pm

Everyone in this thread is right because it the answer depends on your playstyle. That's the great thing about Wesnoth and this campaign in general.

My own 2 cents in defense of the druid line.

Damage is only one option for gaining an advantage in Wesnoth. I tend to value increased options compared to raw damage because of all the factors that affect battles:

1) Slows neutralize an enemy for an ENTIRE TURN. If the enemy has reached your wounded line, they are safely able to kill the enemy as well. This an amazing way to rack up xp fast for low level units.

2) The mobility of you healer matters. Your wounded units can stay closer to the action and your healer can support units from a long distance quickly. This is especially important in caves or swamp terrain where Shyde's shine. Straggler units are THE most frustrating thing for me. It's ineffective gold on the map.

3) The illumination benefit of the white mage comes at cost of empowering loyal units. Which is a factor in HttT, albeit rarely.

4) My view point might be strange though. I prioritized Silver Mages, Paladins, Shydes and Marshalls when I last played HttT. I've found that the lower damage unit with more options to gain a strategic advantage is almost always the better bet.

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Re: Elvish Shamans vs Mages in HttT

Post by The_Gnat » May 2nd, 2019, 6:18 am

drake_416 wrote:
April 27th, 2019, 2:42 pm
Everyone in this thread is right because it the answer depends on your playstyle. That's the great thing about Wesnoth and this campaign in general.

My own 2 cents in defense of the druid line.
Hi drake_416,

Very interesting assessment! I definitely concur that the variety of certain units does compensate for damage. In particular I agree about the Paladins which despite lower damage offer major benefits because of their arcane capability and healing. :)

My personal playstyle is more suited to damage dealers but I personally enjoy the addition of specialist units such as the Silver Mage because of their profound capability to over come enemy movement through maneuverability.

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Re: Elvish Shamans vs Mages in HttT

Post by ElvishMystical0 » May 21st, 2019, 12:10 am

I think Elvish Shamen are completely different units to Mages. Elves are essentially terrain dependent and defensive in nature, while Mages are TOD dependent (being Lawful) and offensive units, being essentially ranged attackers.

I think before we compare these two units we need to think about what role they play in their respective factions and how those factions work together. Loyalists are TOD dependent and offensive and as a faction offer versatility at the cost of less movement. Rebels are terrain dependent and defensive, at Level 1 they focus on blade and pierce so are not very versatile, but they make up for that in terms of increased mobility. It's this difference between the two factions which possibly explains why you can choose to rely on Knalgans to a lesser or greater degree in the HttT campaign and why you have offensive Loyalist units within the Rebels in HttT - the Horsemen and Mages.

While Mages are offensive units, Elvish Shamen at lvl1 are supporting units. Their main role is to heal and slow units for the frontline Elvish Fighters, Elvish Archers and also Elvish Scouts. Elvish Shamen are the Rebels version of Footpads. They have high defence, dodge and this is so they can hold terrain and slow the more offensive enemy units and stand by and heal afterwards. Also like the Footpad they have a weak melee impact attack. While a strong Elvish Shaman can whack a Troll Whelp a couple of times, and hold their own against Footpads, they're not great damage dealers.

Mages on the other hand are damage dealers and are closer to Dark Adepts than Elvish Shamen. It's just that when levelling both the Mage and the Elvish Shaman you get the same choice - do you want a healer or a more offensive unit? If you're playing Loyalists, you may need a healer more than another offensive unit (consider the role of Minister Hylas in the South Guard) and and choose the White Mage over the Red Mage. Conversely, when playing Rebels, you may need to expand your damage dealing capabilities, and need the faerie fire of the Elvish Sorceress over an Elvish Druid.

This of course becomes an issue in Scenario 9 - The Valley of Death. There are of course variables which need to be taken into account. Have you managed to level up any Elvish Shamen? Have you managed to level up any Mages? Where did you go after Bay of Pearls? Did you come via Muff Malal's Peninsula and have only your Mages and Elvish Shamen lines, or did you come via Isle of the Damned and acquire a few Outlaws?

I'm not sure about anyone else but personally in the Valley of Death I tend to send my Mages north and south with whatever heavy hitters I can muster and I send my Elvish Shaman type units east to deal with the Wraiths and Walking Corpses where they can rely on a patch of forest.

This is where the differences between Elvish Shamen and Mages comes into play. You cannot be defensive with the Undead units coming at you from the north or south because you have Chocobones, Revenants and Deathblades and they're all trying to engage you on the grassland. Even if you send Kalenz, who has a sword, north or south he needs plenty of support. It's also for this reason I prefer to go through the Isle of the Damned and pick up Moremirmu with the Holy Sword, Delurin and a few Outlaws.

It's also important to remember that much of the engagement takes place at night and if you have your Mages out east they can be easily taken out by Wraiths, they don't do as much damage, and can even be killed by Walking Corpses suiciding themselves against your units. What you need therefore are high defence units which can soak up the melee and deal damage in return without being too adversely affected by the time of day. This is therefore one of the best possible opportunities for you to use your Elvish Shamen lines and even level them up without having to deal with the swamps of Muff Malal's Peninsula or the Swamp of Dread.

It's hard to level up both Elvish Shamen and Mages. However I have once or twice thought about this and played the first scenario The Elves Beseiged recruiting only Elvish Shamen and sending them out west with Konrad. It hasn't always worked but once or twice I've gone into Blackwater Port with a levelled Konrad, a couple of Elvish Druids and an Elvish Sorceress. The idea is to use the Elvish Shamen as you would Footpads, you slow and club Trolls and also club one or two Orcish Assassins to death keeping out of the way of Orcish Warriors.

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Re: Elvish Shamans vs Mages in HttT

Post by josteph » May 22nd, 2019, 11:40 am

ElvishMystical0 wrote:
May 21st, 2019, 12:10 am
I think Elvish Shamen are completely different units to Mages. Elves are essentially terrain dependent and defensive in nature, while Mages are TOD dependent (being Lawful) and offensive units, being essentially ranged attackers.
Note that while Mage and White Mage are lawful, Red Mage and its advancements are neutral alignment.

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