Having trouble surviving the later parts of the game or you don't know how to start? Then have a look at this one!
Guide to Basics
This guide will be split into parts: General gameplay guide, Class guide, Class comps, Game phases and Mutations guide. Keep in mind, this guide is only aimed for the current version <0.85.24> and it is subject to change so count on this halfheartedly and feel free the change.
There's only one thing to keep in mind: Range attacks are good and they are the safest way to dispatch enemies, so for this version of the game I'll encourage to use a couple of range units.
With that being said:
- Keep an eye on the turn order - This is important, knowing which character will act is a huge help in winning fight and decreasing mortality rate of your units. When starting a fight, units will have a number hovering over their head. This states which unit will go first when starting the battle after that, you can use the icons on the left side of you screen to figure who'll be going next in the middle of the fight.
- Choke points - Enemies will outnumber you, most of the time, hence it is important to engage them one by one and a better way to achieve this feat than focus firing an enemy is by using terrain and obstacles that the game offers. Use cliffs, rocks, sand pits, dead zone, spikes and other unsafe (but not really harmful) tiles to file them. For some odd reason enemies will avoid stepping on them so they are really predictable in terms of where they are going to approach from.
- Abuse the high ground - Attacking an enemy from the high ground gives additional damage, getting attacked from high ground decrease their damage, this should be more than enough to encourage you to fight on this manner. Additionally, all range damage increases by 20% for each elevation you are hitting from (eg. hitting an enemy on elevation 2 from elevation 6 will incur 80% more damage, the opposite will be -80% damage if you're the one hitting below)
- Dead Zones - This zones are present on each battle, mostly, and they are a great tool for dispatching enemies quickly. Pushing them into this zones will kill any unit immediately, including yours as well. Keep in mind that enemies can us them as well and luckily only a handful units have the capability to do so.
- Check the enemy's skills - Yes, you can check what ability they're carrying. Read the abilities and look for the keywords: Slow, bleed, poison, push, charge, ram and 'Normal attack' , Yes even 'normal attack' is important to check, since they'll be the most dangerous abilities that can kill your units. To check their abilities, hover over the enemy and click the 'question mark' icon to list all his abilities and stats.
Note: Unfortunately, as of <0.85.24>, you can't check the abilities of the enemies before starting the fight, hopefully this gets changed soon.
- Remember to use Swap! - Yes this is a free action if you have light foot mutation and range units so use them to re position and avoid dangerous situation.
- Do not be afraid to retreat - You can retreat mid fight, just remember to head to the 'extraction zones' (tiles with a faint white color and 'escaping person' icon) to prevent injuries also the battle results persists, meaning when you comeback you'll find the enemy units the same when you left them (ie. 7 enemies, you killed 2 and then retreat. Engaging again makes you fight 5 enemies since you already killed the other 2). It will cost you some trilium but its better that an injury.
- Send your extra units that you don't need to scavenge!: This can net you some sweet loots but be prepared since they die perish.
I believe this are the most important concepts, in my opinion, that I've encountered while playing the game.
There's a total of 10 classes to choose from and you can only use 6 in the middle of the fight. I believe that you can use any combination of class for the 'Early' part of the game but there's a certain requirement that I suggest you follow in order to get to the latter parts safely. Let's start by describing each of them briefly. Keep in mind, you can also obtain additional classes by capturing strongholds and unsealing villages.
A support unit, usually heals by granting your units with a lifesteal strike and Damage immunity called 'Aegis'. He also has a direct heal called 'Sacrifice' (available above level 9 I think) that heals your unit and removes poison and bleeding but damages him 30% of his max HP. He's an important asset to have especially on the 2nd zone where most enemies have poison and bleed applied to their poison attacks. If you have the Shaman swamper then you can safely ignore him since the shaman has a a heal and status remover called 'Regeneration' which is much better since it costs focus instead of health but you won't have 'Aegis' so choose your poison.
A support unit, usually paired with a Damage dealing character. I mostly use the guardian's 'Bash' and 'Bash and move' ability to push people to the Dead zone and cliffs to stun them. His other ability 'Shield ally' is important if you're using him together with a damage dealer since it allows your damage dealer to survive hits. When 'Shield Ally' is triggered, any incoming 'Melee' damage will be mitigated. (Not range, that is why the meta is Range lol). Also he's an armored unit, meaning he'll take reduced damage and will resist status ailments such as poison and bleed as long as his armor is intact.
A Melee Damage dealer, perfectly synchronizes with the guardian thanks to his trait 'Berserker duelyst'. He's best used as an 'Armor breaker' since some enemies (especially on the higher difficulties) have a lot of armor and the Berserker can make short work of that. I don't recommend him for killing enemies who hits hard such as the Karlwa werebeast, who one-shots units with his ridiculous 1,000 damage, so he's only useful in breaking armor and killing weak hitting enemies. This unit does not have an armor so he's susceptible to poison and bleed so give him proper mutations and he'll be good.
He will be exceptional on the 2nd zone especially on the swamp defenders (The annoying units with taunt and ton of shield).
A range damage dealer, I believe this unit is mandatory if you want to have a smooth sailing game. He is the best unit for this meta since his damage hits really hard and he can do it on a safe distance. He is ideal when dealing with high-damage dealing melee enemies (Most high damage dealers are 'unarmored') since he can take them out on safe distance. He also have a really fun tool called 'bear trap' that immobilizes and bleeds enemies who steps into them, perfect for kiting enemies around the battle field and for holding choke points. This unit is unarmored, also he's a beast the can deal 1,000+ damage on the late game together with certain mutations and abilities (Blood strength).
A range damage dealer, not as powerful as the Hunter and has less range. He can manipulate terrain which is amazing and together with the hunter, you can create elevated spots to increase your damage. He can create 'artificial' choke points but I suggest just using the environment given to you since it costs a lot of stamina. I don't recommend him late game, the hunter is better to due damage, and his range is less than the enemy archer so he'll die faster. He is still a fun character to mess around with the terrain. He'll be an amazing range support (a mutation) carrier since he can hit without penalties unlike the archer.
He's a class for players who knows the game in and out, he doesn't deal much damage and he can't really tank but he can definitely distract enemies. He is unarmored and dies easily but with all the negativity, he has amazing mobility and he's the only character that can jump around the battle field by passing all terrain and obstacles. He's best paired with the rogue/assassin to setup backstab damage thanks to his leap and 'Flip' ability, also whenever he hits enemies they get slowed, meaning their turn get's delayed. All in all he is fun in the early game and a gamble in the late game since enemies will resist flip and deals a ton of damage and did I mentioned that he's also unarmored!
A support unit, ideal in holding choke points due to his 'Spear wall' ability. He has a bulk of health and can take hits. He's perfect against the werebeast and vampires since he negates their 'charge' attack with his ability. He is ideal for the late game since you'll mostly use the 'Archer and Trap tactic' and keeping the enemies away through the use of traps and choke points is perfect while your archers picks enemies off one by one at a distance. He also absorbs arrow shots! Place your archer behind him so you can safely take out the enemy archer with your own. He can taunt the enemies, so if you want to avoid enemies hitting your other units then he is the man for the job.
A support unit, ideal in holding down enemies thanks to his ability 'engaging strike'. He can charge forward and rush towards enemies! Be careful though since its easy to put him on a wrong position thus allowing the enemies to backstab him. He can ram people into wall and deadzones! He is armored and can absorb arrows. There is a misconception of rushing him towards archers but trust me its not a good idea since enemies can easily approach behind him and backstab him to death, unless of the enemy is in a remote location but usually they are grouped up thus, you can't really do it consistently.
A Melee damage unit, ideal on jumping people through obstacles to finish them off. Although he's not as mobile as the Warmonk, he can certainly do a bit of damage. He's bad at armored units since his damage is mitigated. Keep in mind though, sending your unarmored units near an enemy should only be done when it is the finishing strike or removing enemy's armor since your unarmored units dies really quick, similar to the Footmen, he can be easily placed on a wrong position and get killed by a backstab. He is somewhat useful on higher levels and he can even become immortal thanks to his ability called 'Leech', each attack lifesteals 66% of his damage dealt. But then again, enemies outnumber you and they have ranged unit scattered around so its best if he is used on solitary enemies. Also poison status negates healing effectiveness so there's that.
Hopefully he gets buffed with an armor or have an armor shredding capability (Less than the berserker's armor shredding power of course!)
Believe it or not, this class deals the highest damage in the game. Thanks to his ability to attack 6-8 times (Murdering sense, berserk and swift strike). He's not that good at the early game since he doesn't have the necessary skills that allows him to chain attack enemies. Late game he'll be an amazing asset to have so I suggest that you train one. To play him effectively you need people that can set up backstabs since his 2nd attack only triggers on backstabs. He is usually paired with a range unit since he has a trap that triggers a free attack (range and melee if applicable) when an enemy steps on it. He is an unarmored unit so he is susceptible to bleed and poison.
Basic Class Composition
Priest > Berserker > Guardian > Hunter > Javalinier > Spearman/Footmen: A balance class, it gives you some ranged damage for dangerous melee enemies, Armor breaking capabilities if you have annoying armored enemies and a healer to heal your troops!
Good for an all-around game. Consider changing spearman or footmen for your last class if you need to hold choke points or chase down enemies.
Warmonk > Bloodknight > Footmen > Priest > Priest/Hunter > Rogue: A leap frog party composition. This one is fun to play since you'll be getting away from the usual 'Turtle' Tactics. 4 of your units are extremely mobile and can close gaps on enemies real quick. Support them with your priest for healing and lifesteal. Not recommended On Werebeast fights, 'The Desolation' difficulty and Reavers.
Berserker/Bloodknight > Guardian > Berserker > Guardian/Footmen > Hunter > Priest: An armor breaking class with high damage. This party is a bit slow to play but its strong against all enemies besides Werebeasts and Reavers.
Guardian > Footmen > Spearmen > Hunter/Berserker > Hunter > Priest: A party made to decimate swampers. Front lines units are all armored and your range units can pick off their people behind your bulky spearmen. This one is more focused on kiting since your have a hunter so bear trap them all!
Hunter > Hunter > Spearmen > Guardian > Priest > Javalinier (Archer and Trap tactic): The anti Werebeast party. Set up choke points and traps with your Javalinier and hunter and then front line the spearmen together with the guardian to keep them at bay. Once all traps are triggered, you can set up a new choke point, thanks to the Javalinier's abilities (Raise and lower platform). Rinse and repeat until all beastmen die. This party is also mobile (Priest, hunter and javalinier) so you can easily set up another chokepoint while the frontline delays the enemies for a while. Remember to use traps!
Stages of the Game
I suggest that you begin with a Guardian and Berserker, you can decide what your 3rd unit will be but preferably a range/melee damage dealer. This due to the fact that armor units are a ♥♥♥ to kill so you'll need berserker to eliminated them. Once armored units are gone, you can bash other units with the guardian and then finish them off with your 3rd unit. Remember to shield ally your berserker first before attacking an armored unit.
By now you should have a couple of classes available. Here are some pointers to keep in mind when choosing units.
- Beast: You'll need Range unit and armor.
- Swampers: You'll need Range unit, armor breakers (berserker) and Armored units.
- Scavengers: You'll need Mobility, Range units and armor breakers.
- Vampires: You'll need Melee and range damage, stuns (Monk and guardian) and healer.
- Werebeast: You'll need Mobility, Range damage, armored unites (Spearmen preferably).
- Valdorian: Just be sure to have a berserker, priest and guardian and you'll be good.
I suggest that you buff up your hunters since they'll be your main damage dealers while the rest just holds enemies off.
A Very Brief Mutation Pointers
Okay there are a lot of mutations and I'll lose my mind if I list them all. What I'm gonna do instead is list down the stuff you'll most likely need.
- Lightfoot - Mandatory to take and level up to max since swapping will help out a lot!
- Range support - perfect for your range units. Every time your melee unit attacks they get a free hit if applicable.
- Bleeding, Immobilizing and Poison critical - Amazing for range units.
- Flesh eater, Blood lust and Feast - amazing items that you'll need for the front line.
- Stats improving items such as mind of a cleric and brilliant mind.
Yup it's that scarce but these mutations will definitely help you in the long run.