Tips and Tricks
First thing first, I never made guide before so I am not sure how well will this go, but I wanted to share some of the things I learned while playing the game, at time of making this guide I have around 40 hours of gameplay under my wing, finishing the game twice so far, first itme on normal and second time on easy (Currently playing on easy to hunt down unlocks without too many issues before I move to hard mode).
Rather then guide you can think of this as someone compiling their thoughts and things I did to reach my first win. As I will be talking about the game from point of view from someone who beat the game it will obviously include spoilers.
- Most important point is, your heroes do not have to stay in class they start in/with the weapon type they start in, best way to go around your starting squad (Be it the 3 people on normal mode or 4 on easy mode) is to see first level or two and based on what bonuses you get, combined with your starting traits, once you get that out of the way you should have an idea what they would be good at, if your starting archer gets lot of good Armor, HP, Regen or Block just put a melee weapon on them, if your warrior gets bunch of Magic damage boost or Propagation bounces, turn them into mage.
- Melee heroes tend to feel bit weak, I didn't unlock everything just yet but so far melee weapons almost always felt weaker then ranged or magic, however they do have their uses, especially if you manage to stack lot of block and armor you can use them to tank some of the more dangerous enemies in the game, but once again, they do feel weaker compared to ranged and magic users, I may change my mind once I get all unlocks, but so far only melee weapon that felt good was dagger, and that is mainly due to dagger toss which with right build can turn the hero into ranged one (Skill range affects dagger toss, turning it into fairly decent ranged option with good damage and poison stacking).
- Usually you want to have at least 5 or 6 heroes for final (12th) night, 4 will make it rather difficult, 5 is what I beat the game first time with, and 6 is safe bet.
- Sword - Basic weapon that has no specific strength but no great weakness either, it gives you decent mobility and has a 3 tiles line attack, it works well in early game but later I feel it falls off, good thing is it is one handed weapon, allowing you to use shield or offhand weapon (Those unlock way later in game).
- Spear - All of the spear attacks hit at least two targets, making it fairly good clearing weapon, positioning and movement helps a lot in using it, it has cone attack which does lot of damage, however it is two handed weapon, so no shields or offhand weapons, it is weapon good for offensive builds rather then defensive.
- Dagger - As far as I am concerned the best melee weapon, good for picking isolated targets as primary attack has bonus dmg to targets that are not adjacent to anything, attack that ignores armor and its best skill the dagger toss, not only does it do good damage but it also poisons target and with point or two in Multi-hit, poison damage boost and skill range you can effectively turn the hero into melee-ranged hybrid, and since it is dagger you can use offhand weapon too, shield works but I think dagger is too offensive to focus on block and armor.
- Hammer - A very niche weapon with good utility, but otherwise rather weak, it does good single target damage, but is fairly inaccurate, it's other primary is 2 tiles hit which is decent but does way less damage compared to the primary one, its Mana ability is AOE strike targeted in front of you and hitting every tile around it with good potential stun, it is good for stalling, but not great offensively, you can use shield with them or offhand weapons though which is bonus.
- Axe - Weapon I didn't really have time to experiment with yet, I only just unlocked it and got it on hero that died the night I gave it to him, so initial impression obviously not best, but the skills on it are pretty good, basic attack is melee three tile strike and both other attacks are 'ranged' AOE attacks, one being good debuff and other being aoe attack with good damage, I'll need to experiment with this one. It also is one handed weapon so you can use shield or offhand weapon.
I know there are other melee weapons, but I don't have any experience with them just yet, once I do, I will share my thoughts on them.
- Shortbow - Probably the weakest of ranged weapons, but it does have its uses, it has good range, both of its basic abilities do decent damage, it's obviously better for archer that moves around and stands closer to combat, both of its Mana abilities are good too, 6 tiles attack with good range and a 7 tiles one with rather unique pattern that does tremendous damage, it might have highest flat damage for an AOE that I've seen so far.
- Longbow - Amazing range ideal for heroes that you sit up in a tower and snipe everything with them from great distances, primary attack does good damage and its secondary gives someone 40 Avoid, making it amazing support for your dodge tanks, both of its Mana abilities are great, snipe shot which uses all three of your resources (AP, Mana and MP) but does amazing single target damage, ideal for picking off key targets like Boomers, Bulkies and so on, and its other Mana ability is 9 tile square AOE blast with potential for stun while still doing good damage, Longbow is amazing for lategame and especially night 12.
- Heavy Crossbow - I am not sure if I would peg this one as weakest of the ranged weapons, but this one has bit more niche use, so while Shortbow might be better overall I think this one has more niche use, it is good for frontline archers as all of its abilities can be cast close to the Hero, both of its primaries do lot of damage and its Mana abilities aren't bad either, 4 tiles line attack with good damage (You have to be bit further away though) and a cross shaped fire blast, basically Ranged damage equivalent of FIreblast, if you want a ranger that can take a hit, Heavy crossbow is your best bet.
- Hand Crossbow - My favourite weapon in the game personally, its damage is... Laughable once you get to point of enemies having block, as 50 block effectively makes it do next to no damage with its primary, but anything without block is great target, as it naturally Multi-hits it is good choice for that, and both Mult-ihit and Propagation bounces make this weapon into monster. Its other secondary is single target poison strike, with the Poison damage trait it can one shot early game armored enemies and in late game it is great tool for destroying heavy block enemies, armor piercing shot is its first Mana ability, imo, its weakest ability, due to damage of hand crossbow being really low while it pierces armor it will still get reduced by block. And then its primary source of damage, the fireblast shot... This thing will most likely get nerfed, not only is it affected by Multi-shot which means you can shoot it more times more Multi-shot you have (And just getting it to 3-4 is easy, I had one run where I had it do 6 shots before you kill a target through perk tree and that was ridiculous) but it also has Propagation bounce, so it spreads, doing great damage in AOE if you target your shots right, it is great horde clearing ability and it can even work on bulky enemies.
- Gun - I have very little experience with it so far, it has okay damage, can target spaces even directly next to you which is nice and its secondary is grapple which pulls you if you kill the target, so I suppose it is good for frontline ranged but it feels rather weak compared to bows and crossbows, its Mana ability is cone of attack like Spear has which is nice, especially since you can target it from right in front of you to several tiles away, but I don't think its worth, I'll experiment more with it and see.
- Rifle - Basically it's longbow version of gun, it has good primary with great range, its secondary feels kind of weak personally, its first Mana ability is long range debuff AOE which feels okay and its second primary is basically the snipe shot but with rifle, it feels good and powerful, but I would still generally take Longbow over Rifle.
- Wand - Good supportive weapon, if you get few Multi-hits its Mana ability is good as it is target picked Multi-shot attack, primary attack is alright, it does good damage and has good range, but it is just simple single target attack, most of the magic weapons have simple single target attack as their primary with little bonus to differentiate them. Its secondary is great supporting tool, you can give another hero 1 AP and 2 MP, so they can run, reposition and attack, do be careful as you can't push AP/MP above max, you have to use some first before you give them more.
- Tomes - Best magic weapon for clearing hordes and still has good support ability too, its primary is single target magic blast, its secondary is debuff to both resistance and damage enemy deals, and it chains, making it amazing setup for the primary damage source of tomes, the chain lightning, it clears hordes of smaller enemies and does great damage even to highly defensive enemies, if your mage gets few Propagation bounce boosts he can hold one side on their own.
- Staff - I... Am not fond of staff, its primary is single target at short range with bonus effect around the target, its secondary is stun in square around the target, and if you kill the target you teleport to that spot (You can target round with it too), its Mana abilities are okay, six square close-mid range attack which does okay damage and cone shaped blast that does high damage, but unlike tomes and wands its AOE potential is final, both Staff and Scepter are good for melee mages, but personally, I don't like them in general.
- Scepter - Completely close range magic weapon, want tank mage? Give them Scepter, its primary is T shaped attack 1 in front of you and 3 behind it, its secondary is... Bad... Since you want this weapon on a melee mage you will usually have them in heavy armor so they don't die to stiff breeze, but that also reduces their move unless you pick trait that negates that, and this skill benefits from momentum which increases dmg based on tiles you move before you attack... Yea it's not good... Its Mana ability is fairly good, mid range stun that propagates, so if you get few bounces it can do okay damage and stun, but I don't think it is in any way worth compared to Wand or Tome.
- Druidic staff - Amazing support weapon, primary single target and all of its skills use Mana, first one is massive movement reduction in 9 tile square, does no damage but great zoning/stalling tool, next one is chain magic similar to Tome's lightning, but does less damage but adds lot of poison, which is great way to deal with hordes as well, last ability being AOE block reduction, -100 armor in massive AOE and -40% dodge, which is almost essential for late game, it would be better if it had some block reduction too but so far I do like the staff a lot.
- Orb - I only tested it for a moment, it seems fairly decent, single target primary, smaller AOE damage with good poison around the main target and a line death laser, honestly I don't know yet, gonna have to test it more.
If there are other weapons I'll test them and add them.
One of the most important parts of the game is build order, as far as I am concerned, this is more important than anything else, as right build order will ensure your long term survival.
The order I so far had best success with is simple.
- Once you get past first night you use all your workers to clear for gold focus, you build Houses, rinse and repeat, you should be able to build all Houses on first night if you sell piece or two of equipment which shouldn't be issue, if you unlock some upgrades this gets even better.
- You don't build any defenses as single side is easy to hold with just heroes.
- You have your Houses built so clear as many buildings with gold focus as you can, you can then build Gold Mines, this will boost your production, I recommend boosting one mine as much as possible as on max level it will give you 2 x 55 gold each day, which does boost your production further.
- You once again build no defenses as wave is still single.
- Clear any remaining broken buildings with gold focus and get bonus uses on your upgraded Mine, use workers on it to get return on your gold and build 3 Scavenger camps for bonus materials, you can upgrade your Mines and Scavengers production this night to boost your next night.
- Side where you will have 2 heroes can be left as is, at most I recommend putting basic wooden wall to slow runners down, the lane where your best AOE clearing hero will be should be closed off with maybe one space open, you can use basic or upgraded wooden walls depending on how you feel, but I heavily recommend putting 2-3 Balistas with their Los upgrade on that lane too, it will help clear runners.
- You want to focus on upgrading your Gold mines as much as you can, they will give you return on investment and then some, use your workers always first on Gold mines before you have all buildings you want upgraded fully, once you have Gold mines fully upgraded, focus all your gold on Scavengers to boost your material production.
- Focus on building basic defenses and Los upgraded balistas where your enemies will be coming from, if you are lucky and get them from same lanes that's ideal.
Night 5 and forward
- After you have your Gold Mines and Scavengers maxed out, you should upgrade your Houses, focus all your workers on both of the resources, your next major build should be Inn, this will get you 4th hero of your choosing and it can be upgraded to give you more heroes, I beat the game with 5, 4 is rough but doable, 6 and more is easy mode basically.
- When you have Inn built it depends heavily on your needs, if you are taking damage or using lot of Mana, build Shrine/Mana well, if you want more gear, build gear buildings, Seer is amazing as for cost of 3 workers which is steep pushes back the Mist, making it easier to respond to threats and no BS like Boomer blowing up your hero can happen.
- You should build basically wall of balistas (Always build them with one space between them and walls to avoid Boomer/Lancers damaging them, balistas are busted (And loud, very loud), get as many as you can put in, use the gold upgrade too as it shoots 2 targets that way, and balistas can very easily clear hordes that get right next to your wall, saving durability on them, I also heavily recommend using watchtowers as the Los will be problem once you get to sotne walls, teleporters are also great if you can spare the materials.
Gear, Levels, Traits and General Tips
- I honestly don't think gear is all that important, your most important thing is your weapon, getting better weapon is your primary concern, but having gear that boosts your focused stats will help, for example having robe that adds Mana regen or Propagation bounces to your Tome mage will be amazing.
- Trinkets are very useful, some of them have major effects or can even give you skills like the Meteor, which is very good AOE spell with high dmg output.
- Weapons and shields in secondary slots give you their bonuses. Got a sword that has Multi Hit on it but sword doesn't have any Multi-hit? Slot it to someone who uses Mult-ihit as their secondary set and they will get the bonus (Of course the negatives also apply), this is a good thing in early game, however in late game this gets rather obsolete due to some perks you can get.
- Leveling up is your primary way of getting bonuses, these bonuses together with their background traits should be what determines what weapons they use.
- On level ups best way to go about it is to focus on one thing, for example, focus on Block, or high Mana count + Regen, there are some really good bonuses you can get which are extremely rare, like bonus AP, you should always take those no matter what of course
- I recommend picking one of the five bonuses you get, unless they are all completely useless, one less useful bonus but still useful is better then rerolling and getting absolutely nothing, if you reroll though and still get just mediocre bonuses, can as well go with it and try again, sure you might end with useless bonus but you arleady tried once?
Some of best bonuses you can get - Bonus AP, Bonus MP, Mana Regen (Mana regen is good on everyone), Accuracy (Missing is hell, accuracy is great on everyone), Multi-hit, Propagation Bounces, Skill range (On ranged, Magic and Dagger), Reliability (Not having to worry about doing minimum damage is great), XP gain (More XP = More lvls, easy right?), those are some of my personal favourites in terms of lvl ups.
This is heavily up to your playstyle, but so far I found my favourite perks to be these, of course some are only good for specific type of weapons but some are generally good.
- T1 Avid Learner - Bonus 25% XP, pretty much everyone should have this, universally great.
- T1 Coagulation - Got a tank with 100 HP regen per day? 75% of that regen is now free armor.
- T1 Potent Toxins - Hand Crossbows, Dagger and Druid with bonus 25% poison? Yes please.
- T1 Steady Aim - Stay still for +10% accuracy and +1 skill range, great on anyone who sits in Watchtower or Longbows and Rifles in general.
- T1 Swift as the WInd - Very RNG skill, but sometimes that 5% to regain MP can save you, it's especially good on heroes that hit multiple targets.
- T2 Stunning - Hammers, Scepters and Longbow getting +15% stun chance is big boost.
- T2 Soul Reaper - Not good in normal play through, but helps you get more Tainted Essence if you are just grinding for it.
- T2 Initiator - Amazing on anyone using Multi-hit or Propagation, must have on Hand Crossbow as he uses both, if you pick your targets right even its drawback can be worked around.
- T2 Leapfrog - Can be useful on Melee heroes that get surrounded, but not necessary.
- T3 Confident - Amazing on Watchtower users, +50% reliability on full HP is great, useless on anyone who is anywhere close to frontline
- T3 Armor Master - Heavy armors not eating your MP? Great.
- T3 Magic Fuel - Can be good on mages who have massive Manapool, like druids often tend to have lot of Mana since they use lot of it.
- T3 Thrifty - First Mana cost (Of any kind) consuming 1 less Mana each round? Well that sure sounds great.
- T3 Patient - Can be very useful on heroes that move around the place to cover multiple lanes, saving some AP and MP is nice.
- T4 Lone Wolf - Free +10% on your Watchtower Longbow/Rifle since they area almost always 10 squares away from other heroes? Sure, that sounds good.
- T4 Hitman - Ignoring Dodge and Armor of targets below 33% HP can be good for finishers, daggers and hand crossbows usually get good use out of it.
- T4 Specialist - The strongest perk in game, you get +20% damage and +1 use on all your skills and only drawback is not being able to use second weapon set? I can't wait for it to be nerfed!
- T4 Relentless - If you use melee hero, this is great, lot of bonuses, but Melee is kinda weak right now.
- T4 Poisonous - Dagger users if yous stick them to frontline stacking 20 poison on attackers with boosts for Poison damage they will have? Yea that sounds good, not amazing for tier 4 but still good.
- Mana collector - If you have crit, you will never run out of Mana again.
- T5 Night Owl - Can potentially save you, +2AP and +2MP on last part of night is neat bonus, but if you clear before last stage of night it is useless.
- T5 Hex - All debuffs, poison and stuns last 1 turn longer? Lot of weapons can use this.
- T5 Energised - 5% to regen 1AP for each killed enemy may sound like low chance but it can be very helpful.
- Try to clear first 2 nights with as little Mana use as possible, you will need it for third night.
- Early stages your heroes can be used to body block, even mages and rangers, it is better if your hero takes hit rather then wall or building, as they can regenerate, repairing walls cost resources and buildings getting hit cause panic, reducing your rewards.
- You have small buffer for Panic, if it doesn't reach first ! mark you will still get full rewards, work around that.
- Runners, their upgraded forms, Bats, Axe wielding enemies, Boomers and Bulkies should generally be your primary targets, they are either fast and can slip past your defenses, can destroy your walls instantly or in case of Bulkies have ranged stun, which imo is absolute BS but what can you do.
- Boomers run in, explode, and blow up walls, including the tile behind the wall, don't let your heroes stand right behind the wall unless he has lot of block and armor to negate the explosion, I lost a great ranger that way and it cost me my run once.
- Balistas are amazing, Catapults can help but Balistas are way better.
- Don't be afraid to sell your armor or trinket to get your Houses/Gold Mine upgrades earlier, it helps a lot in long term economy.
- If you got spare money, buy scrolls that have useful skills and potions, primarily Mana potions, but AP and MP are great too.
- In terms of meta progression, you should always focus on general benefits first, get your bonus AP as soon as you see it, same with starting Mana, role specific bonuses can help but the general ones are essential.
- Don't be afraid to use your consumables if you need them, you can get more, same with Mana costing abilities, if you need to clear a wave, use it, do try to be economical though, if the enemy doesn't pose immediate threat, try to using non-mana costing abilities to clear it, it's all about balance.
- Inn bought heroes should ideally have XP boost as they will start behind, them having Scholar, Brilliant or Genius will ensure they will catch up quicker, which can be essential.