Level2 Max / Lancers Paladins

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RSF7
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Level2 Max / Lancers Paladins

Post by RSF7 » September 10th, 2010, 3:31 pm

I was going to post this in the users forum, but its sort of strategy-ish. What would be the incentive to recruit units like lancers or deathblades that only get upgraded up to level 2?

Seems like their level 2 stats should be higher than their peers to compensate (possibly with more xp to reach level 2?), but instead they usually have lower hp and are not as useful unless I'm missing something. The knight line has such good units the only reason to go lancer would be to handicap yourself somehow, consider this: horseman splits into knight and paladin, knight splits into grand knight and lancer, lancer is a bit beefier and defines the paladin line as the "healing knight" line with no further upgrades required, heals +4 is of course very rational for a fighting unit. If the paladin would still be wanted on tier 3, then a "squire" (or something) unit could be inserted with no healing capabilities.

An example of a unit I think really doesn't need a level 3 upgrade is a white mage, because of its purpose it really needs no further upgrades and there is no better alternate upgrade to choose from as far as healing mages go in that line. Despite how I worded this, it is more of a question than it is feedback, what exactly do these units offer that I'm not seeing?

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Re: Level2 Max / Lancers Paladins

Post by shadowblack » September 10th, 2010, 4:09 pm

Lancers have 3 attacks and Charge, making them excellent for finishing units on bad terrain. In some cases the target doesn't even have to be wounded, but usually the Charge ability is used to finish off a weakened target.

Deathblades have 5 attacks, making them a bit more likely to hit enemies that have 70% defense. And like the Lancer they are pretty good at finishing off critically wounded enemies.

Each unit has its uses, whether you see them or not. If you're not sure about the use of a particular unit - just ask (like you did now).
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pauxlo
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Re: Level2 Max / Lancers Paladins

Post by pauxlo » September 10th, 2010, 4:38 pm

In campaigns, going the Lancer route is often not advisable - as said, they have a really good chance to finish off enemy units, but thus the XP are wasted instead of going into upgrading more of your units, while the knight might have softened the target to let someone else finish it off and get the XP, or kill it and use the XP himself.

In multiplayer, when "one unit less for the enemy" is much more worth than only "8 XP for me", and where you seldom have the chance to get any unit to level 3, the Lancer is much more useful.

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Skrim
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Re: Level2 Max / Lancers Paladins

Post by Skrim » September 10th, 2010, 5:18 pm

In multiplayer, the inability to go to level 3 is not an issue, since most games(there are exceptions) don't last long enough for you to collect the required amount of XP for a level-3, at the standard 70% level-up requirement. In those situations, you might want the alt-unit rather than the full-advancement line, since you're not likely to get the full advancement anyway.

The Lancer is faster than the Knight and is more reliable as a charger, with 3 strikes instead of 2. Clearly, if your Horseman got the XP to advance, it was doing a pretty good job at charging down and finishing enemy units, and as a Lancer, it can do that job much better than before. Whereas, as a Knight, it gains versatility with a blade attack, but you probably already have Cavalrymen largely filling the role of horse-based blade, and you'd probably end up using the charging attack more often anyway.

The Deathblade is 20% faster (an extra move point) and has 25% more attack power (an extra strike) as compared to the Revenant, and only 17% less hp (8 hp less). The speed is nice to have, adding a bit more mobility to your pretty damn slow army, and helps with the Undead's attack-retreat style gameplay. And who wouldn't want an extra strike? The 8 less HP is not so big a problem, unless you get unlucky or expose your level 2 unit an unhealthy amount.

Similar stuff with the Goblin Pillager, Troll Rocklobber and to a slightly lesser extent the Javelineer. Seriously, how often do you see someone getting a Draug, Direwolf Rider, or Troll Warrior in a standard MP game? Knight upgrades are also unlikely, even if you do score a lot of finishing blows, thanks to the huge amounts of XP needed.
Basically, it all boils down to the level 2 alts trading in their full-advancement potential for something (more speed and attack reliability, a strong ranged attack, a slowing attack, etc.) that they would otherwise not have. If you're unlikely to realize that long-term potential, then there's not much reason to not take the short-term perks.

In campaigns, though, I do the opposite. Given the amount of time you have and the amount of XP getting thrown at you, I tend to try and get as many units as possible up to as high a level as possible, and almost never take these short-term-bonus 'prestige classes'.

Velensk
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Re: Level2 Max / Lancers Paladins

Post by Velensk » September 10th, 2010, 7:10 pm

In campaigns I find that it is useful to keep one lancer around as they are swifter than any other loyalist unit and have the highest damage potential of any unit in the game. This makes them ideal for leader assassination which can net you enough gold in finish early bonus to make some of the more difficult campaigns possible.

I will note that the white mage gains a very powerful ability at level 3.

EDIT: I should mention that assassinating leaders with just lancers is too risky to be frequently viable. Combine lancers with silver mages for better effect.
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RSF7
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Re: Level2 Max / Lancers Paladins

Post by RSF7 » September 13th, 2010, 8:16 pm

Hmm, maybe I should stare at the unit tree more. I can see how they would be more useful in short term games, I haven't played very many games like this but I'll remember this the next time I do. Most of the games I have played were against the ai, I did play one isars cross match with northerners though and won, or at least we were about to win when the opponents quit.

MRDNRA
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Re: Level2 Max / Lancers Paladins

Post by MRDNRA » September 19th, 2010, 1:58 pm

Velensk wrote:In campaigns I find that it is useful to keep one lancer around as they are swifter than any other loyalist unit and have the highest damage potential of any unit in the game. This makes them ideal for leader assassination which can net you enough gold in finish early bonus to make some of the more difficult campaigns possible.

I will note that the white mage gains a very powerful ability at level 3.

EDIT: I should mention that assassinating leaders with just lancers is too risky to be frequently viable. Combine lancers with silver mages for better effect.
I think if I were to ever get a lancer for this purpose I would make sure it was a strong resilient one, for a) even stronger attack, and b) several more hitpoints making it a bit more likely to survive being attacked. I would say that getting a quick lancer would be not a particularly good idea, because they've already got more movement points than the rest of the loyalist army.

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Re: Level2 Max / Lancers Paladins

Post by Tet » October 9th, 2010, 2:13 pm

It would be nice to make this units more usefull in campaigns. Adding a weak lvl3 improvement (i. e. only hp) or reducing the Xp points for Amla significantly.
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Red_Herring
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Re: Level2 Max / Lancers Paladins

Post by Red_Herring » October 13th, 2010, 8:51 am

In MP Games:

Lancers are more viable choice than knight for following reasons:
1) Extra attack from its lance means nastier hole in enemy's line during a breakthrough.
2) Its greater mobility allows picking off low-hp units/units weak against piercing/some dumb mages sticking out
3) Withdrawing after spoiling/rear-guarding could be challenging. Abuse its mobility and decent HP.
4) Getting Paladin/Grand Knight is very unlikely which is pretty much the reason for going knight.

In Campaign:

Get Knights at any cases for following reasons:
1) Paladin can decimate undead before being pin-cushioned. Being able to heal does not hurt, either.
2) Knights' better HP and its sword attack allows dealing killing blows to low-hp front-line troops.
3) Grand Knight dishes out massive damage (well, if it hits) and takes a lot of punishment like a man.
4) Campaigns, especially HttT, gives you great amount of XP, thereby negating knights' higher XP demands.

vcap
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Re: Level2 Max / Lancers Paladins

Post by vcap » October 13th, 2010, 10:43 am

In campaigns, lancers are occasionally useful when you need assassin or archer killers early on.

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Re: Level2 Max / Lancers Paladins

Post by Elvish_Conquerer » December 5th, 2010, 5:27 am

Lancers are great when you have a low level unit harrassing you villages six or seven hexes away that would take two turns to get there, and two back, therefore equalling 4 turns, and saving 2 in the process. Also he can catch up quick to your army afterwards.

In The Rise Of Wesnoth, i got my first javelineer (after already having six pikeman, swordsman, and some halbierdiers and royal guards) and i found that they are absolutely awesome. They deal great damage and they're really effective against orcs. Usually when i close in for the kill on the extremely dangerous Orc Warlord, i have my javilineer throw 11-i forget how many strikes and in day with leadership something like 15-3.
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Imp
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Re: Level2 Max / Lancers Paladins

Post by Imp » December 13th, 2010, 2:34 am

I agree with most of the points presented above, particularly the lack of Lvl 3 units making the lancer's lack of promotion unimportant. And one of the best ways to figure out a unit is simply to use it before theorycrafting. If you'd promoted a lancer or a deathblade and tried to use it well, you'd be amazed how effective they are. Besides, I would have thought the Test of the Clans mission in HttT would have made the lancer's potential painfully clear. :-P

It might even lead us to ask how to make the knight more viable in MP since choosing a knight over a lancer is an uneasy choice at best.

As for the idea of giving the lancer a promotion with just an HP increase, it already gets 8 HP per levelup without needing a promotion.

And I think people overestimate the usefulness of high level units in SP. On the lower difficulties you don't need many and on the higher difficulties you don't have the gold to recall them all. With the exception of situational healing and leadership, I enter most missions with only recruits or units I want to level. And despite heavy losses, I usually never use most of my veterans. If you pay attention to what units you use, you'll notice the same in your play.

In that regard, I generally get one knight per campaign, maybe two depending on its length, promoting it to a paladin or grand knight depending on the situation (knight's for tanking, not attacking - ironically, although it's a great attacker, it's too valuable to use that way). It would be a loyal unit if possible. The rest go to lancers. They are just so damn useful. Similarly, I'd try to get loyal top tier healers (shydes, mages of light) and a loyal great mage - just one - and the rest become silver mages, again because they're so useful. Because the top tier units are so expensive, they become somewhat borderline if they're not loyal. Lancers and silver mages are worth it because while expensive in upkeep, they speed the battle up - and the lancers are much cheaper to upkeep than silver mages because lancers die so quickly after which you don't need to pay them. :-) They're disposable. Silver mages aren't as disposable because they're so hard to get.

It takes 44 + 120 XP to get a horseman to grand knight while it only takes 44 XP to get a horseman to a lancer. So you're spending 4x the XP on one unit - and the lancer still out-damages it. Yes, the grand knight has more HP, but 4 lancers do so much more damage (even 1 lancer does more damage). Or that XP could be getting me a great mage. Even if you only have 20 gold and can only recall one grand knight or lancer and it's the final battle, it's still tough to decide - it becomes situational.

And it gets better. The grand knight does 17-2 while the lancer does 12-3. So the grand knight has a cap of 68 damage while the lancer has a cap of 72 with charge attack. The level 2 unit does more damage than the level 3 unit, which is great, right? And with +25% daylight bonus, that's 21-2 and 15-3, so it's the grand knight's 84 against the lancer's 90. Both units sound great, don't they? Nothing outside of defensive terrain is going to survive. But then you notice that the lancer is lvl 2 and if you have lvl 3 leadership in daytime, that's +50% for the lancer. So it does 18-3, so 108 compared to the grand knight's 84. 29% more damage than the grand knight for 1/4 the XP.

This is also why having a lvl 3 HP-only promotion for the lancer is in fact a downgrade - it actually reduces the lancer's damage potential by eliminating the leadership gain. All promotions must have at least a +25% damage upgrade to avoid this conflict (avoiding this conflict is a fundamental design philosophy in BFW) (making the promotions that increase number of attacks instead of damage arguable on these grounds - such as Elvish Lord --> Elvish High Lord and Elvish Rider --> Elvish Outrider. But that's a separate and not very contentious issue.).

Even with that said, I also end up with more lancers and silver mages than I can afford to recall. Despite everything, they just don't die fast enough to call my recall list tidy.

The 8 HP difference between deathblades and revenants is bigger than it looks, though. Because UD have such high resistances, that translates into a lot of hits. Spearmen do 3-3 against them at dawn, so it represents 3 hits rather than 2 hits if the spearmen did their regular 7-2 (like 8 HP difference for elves). And at night (when you'd be using your revenant/deathblade to slice the humans) it represents 4 hits. Those 4 hits means your deathblade is like a tomahawk missile - it's destructive but at least your revenant will be alive in the morning.

(None of this is genius: it's just stuff I learned through experimentation. You can do it too. One day I just said, "I'm so sick of trying to keep my units alive and managing my recalls. I'm just going to play the campaigns without recalling and only recruiting level 1s and see what happens. And maybe I'll even get some elvish sorceresses instead of druids." Try out the units before you mock them and you'll be surprised how good some of them are.)

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Re: Level2 Max / Lancers Paladins

Post by ancestral » December 13th, 2010, 2:43 am

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If you download and play Ascension, you can promote that lancer or paladin all the way to level 5
[/shameless_plug]
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Re: Level2 Max / Lancers Paladins

Post by CoolDude » January 1st, 2011, 2:40 am

Imp wrote:I agree with most of the points presented above, particularly the lack of Lvl 3 units making the lancer's lack of promotion unimportant. And one of the best ways to figure out a unit is simply to use it before theorycrafting. If you'd promoted a lancer or a deathblade and tried to use it well, you'd be amazed how effective they are. Besides, I would have thought the Test of the Clans mission in HttT would have made the lancer's potential painfully clear. :-P

It might even lead us to ask how to make the knight more viable in MP since choosing a knight over a lancer is an uneasy choice at best.

As for the idea of giving the lancer a promotion with just an HP increase, it already gets 8 HP per levelup without needing a promotion.

And I think people overestimate the usefulness of high level units in SP. On the lower difficulties you don't need many and on the higher difficulties you don't have the gold to recall them all. With the exception of situational healing and leadership, I enter most missions with only recruits or units I want to level. And despite heavy losses, I usually never use most of my veterans. If you pay attention to what units you use, you'll notice the same in your play.

In that regard, I generally get one knight per campaign, maybe two depending on its length, promoting it to a paladin or grand knight depending on the situation (knight's for tanking, not attacking - ironically, although it's a great attacker, it's too valuable to use that way). It would be a loyal unit if possible. The rest go to lancers. They are just so damn useful. Similarly, I'd try to get loyal top tier healers (shydes, mages of light) and a loyal great mage - just one - and the rest become silver mages, again because they're so useful. Because the top tier units are so expensive, they become somewhat borderline if they're not loyal. Lancers and silver mages are worth it because while expensive in upkeep, they speed the battle up - and the lancers are much cheaper to upkeep than silver mages because lancers die so quickly after which you don't need to pay them. :-) They're disposable. Silver mages aren't as disposable because they're so hard to get.

It takes 44 + 120 XP to get a horseman to grand knight while it only takes 44 XP to get a horseman to a lancer. So you're spending 4x the XP on one unit - and the lancer still out-damages it. Yes, the grand knight has more HP, but 4 lancers do so much more damage (even 1 lancer does more damage). Or that XP could be getting me a great mage. Even if you only have 20 gold and can only recall one grand knight or lancer and it's the final battle, it's still tough to decide - it becomes situational.

And it gets better. The grand knight does 17-2 while the lancer does 12-3. So the grand knight has a cap of 68 damage while the lancer has a cap of 72 with charge attack. The level 2 unit does more damage than the level 3 unit, which is great, right? And with +25% daylight bonus, that's 21-2 and 15-3, so it's the grand knight's 84 against the lancer's 90. Both units sound great, don't they? Nothing outside of defensive terrain is going to survive. But then you notice that the lancer is lvl 2 and if you have lvl 3 leadership in daytime, that's +50% for the lancer. So it does 18-3, so 108 compared to the grand knight's 84. 29% more damage than the grand knight for 1/4 the XP.

This is also why having a lvl 3 HP-only promotion for the lancer is in fact a downgrade - it actually reduces the lancer's damage potential by eliminating the leadership gain. All promotions must have at least a +25% damage upgrade to avoid this conflict (avoiding this conflict is a fundamental design philosophy in BFW) (making the promotions that increase number of attacks instead of damage arguable on these grounds - such as Elvish Lord --> Elvish High Lord and Elvish Rider --> Elvish Outrider. But that's a separate and not very contentious issue.).

Even with that said, I also end up with more lancers and silver mages than I can afford to recall. Despite everything, they just don't die fast enough to call my recall list tidy.

The 8 HP difference between deathblades and revenants is bigger than it looks, though. Because UD have such high resistances, that translates into a lot of hits. Spearmen do 3-3 against them at dawn, so it represents 3 hits rather than 2 hits if the spearmen did their regular 7-2 (like 8 HP difference for elves). And at night (when you'd be using your revenant/deathblade to slice the humans) it represents 4 hits. Those 4 hits means your deathblade is like a tomahawk missile - it's destructive but at least your revenant will be alive in the morning.

(None of this is genius: it's just stuff I learned through experimentation. You can do it too. One day I just said, "I'm so sick of trying to keep my units alive and managing my recalls. I'm just going to play the campaigns without recalling and only recruiting level 1s and see what happens. And maybe I'll even get some elvish sorceresses instead of druids." Try out the units before you mock them and you'll be surprised how good some of them are.)

before i say anything,sorry for the big quote.



lancer are indeed a beast to use,and as the description said,its a double-edge sword,if he hits,he kill easy and fast,and if misses,he can die easy and fast too.grand knight is made to be more a melee based fighter,i mean,he have hp and strengtght to kill lvl 3 units in 2 hits,but they slow comapred to the other horse units,and lancer low hp and high mobility is made for :

-hit and run techinique
-kill units that dont have much melee power,like mages and archers.
-to flank and kill oponnents important units,then you army can strike.
-to look cool
-to kill easy and fast or die easy and fast


lancers are INDEED strong,but they are hard to get used,throwing them on the main field is a waste of a good unit,swordsmans and pikemans is made for take alot of damage and deal alot to,and lancers are here to flank and kill units that could be bothersome on the next turn.



but im still think about the use of:
javelinner
poacher lvl 3(its not the one that have marksman attack,i forgot his name)
necromancer
silvermages

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hhyloc
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Re: Level2 Max / Lancers Paladins

Post by hhyloc » January 1st, 2011, 10:20 am

CoolDude wrote:but im still think about the use of:
javelinner
poacher lvl 3(its not the one that have marksman attack,i forgot his name)
necromancer
silvermages
In my opinion,
- Javelinner: Some kind of a mix between Spearman and Archer, better melee with enhanced ranged attack.
- Ranger: Balanced between melee and ranged attack.
- Necromancer: Caster with the ability to tank.
- Silver Mage: Caster with high magical resistance and prefered for hit-and-run tactic.
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