Elvish Shamans vs Mages in HttT

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Zrevnur
Posts: 61
Joined: January 11th, 2020, 12:04 pm

Re: Elvish Shamans vs Mages in HttT

Post by Zrevnur »

lifaen wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 9:17 pm
In terms of ranged damage, few units, if any, can keep up with the arch mage/great mage. Their damage type being fire also helps, because resistances against fire are kind of rare in Wesnoth (drakes and the red mage line are the only ones I can only think of off the top of my head). This applies especially to HttT, where you meet drakes only in Cliffs of Thoria (which you don't even have to play if you choose another path) and red mages are few in numbers among the enemies you face (and your spellcasters won't be dealing with them anyway).
More damage means less XP. In HttT (later stages) the only way to power up is to maximize XP. As you mentioned it yourself - there is enough gold in many of the later scenarios. And due to the re-applied x0.4 penalty on gold it will just disappear - unlike XP which stays with me in the recall list.
(Damage is only good if you actually need it - usually against blobs of enemy units but this doesnt really happen much in later HttT except for the last scenario.)
lifaen wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 9:17 pm
So while mages overtake the elvish spellcasters in terms of the damage they do later on, elves are your only option early in the campaign if you want – somewhat – powerful magic, since the earliest you'll be able to get a mage to level 2 is probably towards the end of Bay of Pearls.
Leveling up an intelligent mage in 'Isle of Alduin' shouldnt be hard?
lifaen wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 9:17 pm
A word on the special abilities: The one that has proven most useful to me in HttT (aside from leadership, which spellcasters don't have) is illuminate, since a good part of your army will be lawful at any point in the campaign.
Only Horseman line and White Mage line are lawful? Far as I remember I didnt use many horses - other than the loyal ones to some degree - later on. The numbers difference between lawful and and chaotic units used by me certainly wasnt what I would call 'good part'. You can probably play differently but this isnt general truth then and just refers to your play style.
lifaen wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 9:17 pm
Teleport is undoubtedly useful, but as I said above, I view it as a specialist ability reserved for a few specific situations. Slow, while very useful in other campaigns, is rarely necessary in HttT, because ... well, why bother slowing down a powerful enemy unit if you can just as well kill it in one turn using an arch mage/great mage (for enemies with strong melee attacks) or a knight/lancer/paladin/grand knight (for units with strong ranged attacks).
Because I get more XP with slow. And its often safer (vs bad RNG) too - especially if we are talking about using chargers vs ranged piercing units. And with slow I can also use chargers against melee units.
lifaen wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 9:17 pm
So while mages are generally better for most situations during HttT, elvish druids and sorceresses are definitely helpful early in the campaign.
I think if you really run into those situations where mages are better you would have been able to prevent them with Sylph/Shyde due to their superior mobility.

lifaen
Posts: 6
Joined: February 11th, 2020, 11:19 am

Re: Elvish Shamans vs Mages in HttT

Post by lifaen »

Zrevnur wrote:
February 17th, 2020, 11:23 am
More damage means less XP. In HttT (later stages) the only way to power up is to maximize XP. As you mentioned it yourself - there is enough gold in many of the later scenarios. And due to the re-applied x0.4 penalty on gold it will just disappear - unlike XP which stays with me in the recall list.
I would argue that even XP becomes sort of irrelevant at some point in HttT, since your high-level units just don't really die. I recently played the campaign on medium difficulty and as far as I remember every single level-2 or level-3 loss that I had before the last scenario (there were only a handful) was because of an avoidable mistake. In my experience it isn't crucial to keep producing high-level units after a certain point in the campaign. So while your point about collecting maximum XP is correct, of course, I guess that just makes this a question of personal preference and playing style, where both ways can obviously win the campaign. That would actually be my overall conclusion from this debate: even if one of the two sides (out of elvish and human spellcasters) is definitely better than the other, you can still easily win HttT by relying heavily on the other one, because you'll quickly have way more firepower than you know what to do with in this campaign either way.

Zrevnur wrote:
February 17th, 2020, 11:23 am
Leveling up an intelligent mage in 'Isle of Alduin' shouldnt be hard?
You're right about that, my bad :D

Zrevnur wrote:
February 17th, 2020, 11:23 am
Only Horseman line and White Mage line are lawful? Far as I remember I didnt use many horses - other than the loyal ones to some degree - later on. The numbers difference between lawful and and chaotic units used by me certainly wasnt what I would call 'good part'. You can probably play differently but this isnt general truth then and just refers to your play style.
Mermen are also lawful, but kind of difficult to combine with mages of light :D. And yes, horsemen tend to make up a significant part of my forces whenever I have access to them. But I suppose you can – somewhat analogously to the elvish vs. human spellcaster debate – also be successful in HttT relying on the elvish fighter line for melee combat until you get access to dwarves.

Zrevnur wrote:
February 17th, 2020, 11:23 am
Because I get more XP with slow. And its often safer (vs bad RNG) too - especially if we are talking about using chargers vs ranged piercing units. And with slow I can also use chargers against melee units.
For many other campaigns, I would agree with you on the use of slowing attacks being safer. With the abundance of easy-to-hold villages and loyal units in HttT, however, it is possible to play most scenarios with an army that would be considered too large for the task at hand in the context of a different campaign, and still never have any real financial problems. This means that in most cases like the one you describe I actually have a backup plan, in case my first charger fails to make the kill (typically another charger or one of the main characters). So in order for plan A and plan B to fail, we're talking about extremely bad RNG, which doesn't happen all that often (and even when it does, you can often still find a way to repurpose another unit for the kill and leave a less dangerous enemy alive instead, mitigating the damage). Hence the decreased importance of the slow ability in the specific context of HttT, in my opinion.

Zrevnur
Posts: 61
Joined: January 11th, 2020, 12:04 pm

Re: Elvish Shamans vs Mages in HttT

Post by Zrevnur »

lifaen wrote:
February 17th, 2020, 10:27 pm
since your high-level units just don't really die.
I have only ever played on the hardest difficulty and big trolls in caves or Lancers in daylight are dangerous to most units. They have both mobility and high damage output.
lifaen wrote:
February 17th, 2020, 10:27 pm
I recently played the campaign on medium difficulty and as far as I remember every single level-2 or level-3 loss that I had before the last scenario (there were only a handful) was because of an avoidable mistake. In my experience it isn't crucial to keep producing high-level units after a certain point in the campaign. So while your point about collecting maximum XP is correct, of course, I guess that just makes this a question of personal preference and playing style, where both ways can obviously win the campaign. That would actually be my overall conclusion from this debate: even if one of the two sides (out of elvish and human spellcasters) is definitely better than the other, you can still easily win HttT by relying heavily on the other one, because you'll quickly have way more firepower than you know what to do with in this campaign either way.
You are questioning the question...
lifaen wrote:
February 17th, 2020, 10:27 pm
Zrevnur wrote:
February 17th, 2020, 11:23 am
Only Horseman line and White Mage line are lawful? Far as I remember I didnt use many horses - other than the loyal ones to some degree - later on. The numbers difference between lawful and and chaotic units used by me certainly wasnt what I would call 'good part'. You can probably play differently but this isnt general truth then and just refers to your play style.
Mermen are also lawful, but kind of difficult to combine with mages of light :D. And yes, horsemen tend to make up a significant part of my forces whenever I have access to them. But I suppose you can – somewhat analogously to the elvish vs. human spellcaster debate – also be successful in HttT relying on the elvish fighter line for melee combat until you get access to dwarves.
I dont think you need something "for melee combat". Knights are good in some of the early scenarios and I used them there but after 'Valley of Death' (its mostly their mobility there so that I can have first big fight in daylight) they sort of become "deprecated". They still get used because I have loyal ones but thats about it.

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