Symphony of War: The Nephilim Saga – Definitive Class Guide

Here’s just my thoughts about the classes.

Ultimate Guide to Classes

Tier 1

Fighter

Between the four basic classes, Fighter is the most versatile by far because he can upgrade into units of just about any role. Every campaign could use a large number of Fighters in the early game to develop into viable promoted units into the mid and late game.

Bowman

Bowmen are the only basic class that can do two things: hit people from afar, and hit during a separate phase from melee. That makes them useful for building dedicated archer squads (like the one Jules starts out with) to give supporting fire from afar, assassinate squishy casters and light infantry, and soften up bosses, as well as making them useful for mixing into your more melee oriented squads to help them deal damage to multiple rows of enemies at once.

Medic

Medics are your only basic class that can heal. I think it’s easiest to play with at least one healer in every squad that you will reasonably expect to take damage. This means the only squads that don’t get at least one medic are archery/cannon squads for me. I could also see it being possible to skip the medic in melee cavalry squads and light infantry squads to depend on their charges and ambushes to shut down retaliatory damage. Or, perhaps, you could have a medic in one of every two squads, or two out of every three squads, and depend on out-of-combat healing for those squads without them. I haven’t tried those strategies, and, really, it seems just far easier and safer to put a medic in every squad that isn’t stacked with archers and cannons.

Militia

Militia’s differentiated from Fighters by being a starter light infantry whereas the Fighter is a heavy infantry. However, they can both promote into different roles, so you can largely use them interchangeably. However, there is one thing that makes Militia require a bit more forethought than Fighters, and that is that everything a Militia would want to promote into requires expensive resources. If you’re getting a Militia to be light infantry, realize that eventually, your Swordmaster will want two of your Obsidian. If you’re getting Militia to be heavy infantry or heavy cavalry, realize that you’ll be paying a Sunstone to promote her into either Paladin or Valkyrie. If you’re getting a Militia to be a Sorceress, she’ll eventually need two of your gems. If you’re getting Militia to promote into a Templar… just don’t. Start a Medic for that instead.

Tier 2

Heavy Infantry

Soldier

Soldiers bring Guardian, making them good at being on defense. I don’t really think it’s a great bonus compared to what Spearmen offer, but if you believe in leaving melee units in the rear to protect against rogues, you might as well use a Soldier to do it. That said, Soldiers also promote into offensive heavy infantry that I believe are better than what the Spearmen get, and Soldiers are the only guys who can promote into Champions, so if you want Champions, you need to have Soldiers.

Spearmen

Spearmen seem to provide many more benefits than Soldiers. On defense, a frontline of spearmen will all help each other mitigate melee damage, or with Polearm Mastery tech, you don’t even need the frontline to have multiple spearmen. Spearmen also can’t lose their turn to being charged by cavalry. Spearmen are also the only unit that promote into Centurions.

Acolyte

Acolytes seem to be far stronger than the other heavy infantry in their tier. Between their magic resistance and heavy armor, crossbows and firearms seem to be just about the only thing that can actually meaningfully hurt them, and they do just as much damage to other heavy infantry you would have. Acolytes’ Striking damage also makes them good at brawling with other heavy infantry. The only thing that’s not to love about Acolytes is that they will need a Sunstone to promote into either Valkyrie or Paladin. This means that every Acolyte you are using as Heavy Infantry (or trying to promote into cavalry) is going to compete with your Apprentices and healers for Sunstones. Since mages and healers are so important, you can’t, unfortunately, really afford that many Acolytes, unless you don’t mind them never upgrading. Still, consider somehow scraping together and fielding a heavy infantry squad of acolytes and/or paladins to tank enemy squads that use a lot of magic damage.

Light Infantry

Skirmisher

On paper, Skirmishers are the same as Swordfighters; they are both melee light infantry with frontal attacks. My experience, which I can’t account for in any way, is that Swordfighters deal more damage and survive better. Perhaps someone better at light infantry tactics can shed some light on this. One consideration that you may want to make when deciding whether to field Skirmishers or Swordfighters, though, is that they promote into Rangers and Swordmasters, who are dramatically different units.

Swordfighter

See Skirmisher

Rogue

I have to admit, I severely dislike Rogues. There are many enemy squads where the guys at the back are the same as the guys in the front, and in those cases, an Apprentice or Siren is much better at spreading around your damage and killing big columns. There are a few enemy squads where you do want to target the guys at the back, but they may not be standing where your light infantry can go. One of the sadder things in this game is also when your Rogues must attack the rear, so they attack healers who don’t deal damage to you and would have surrendered if you killed their pals in front of them to begin with, so not only did you not mitigate any damage for your squad by having a rogue, you actually damaged your faction ranking by killing a unit that would’ve surrendered!

Melee Cavalry

Cavalier

I’m not sure I really like Cavaliers. Charge obviously dunks on squads that do not have polearm frontlines (which is surprisingly few?), and they are a fair bit better at attacking into Spearmen than Scouts because of their armor, and they are a fair bit better at resisting being shot at with arrows. But look at everything you’re trading for this…

Scout

…You’re trading the ability to ambush, the ability to trade with other light cavalry or beat heavy cavalry in both offense and defense, and the ability to move faster through rough terrain. You should use some kind of cavalry for their ability to hit and then move, and their ability to initiate combat against mobile enemy infantry, but given all their bells whistles, and most importantly, being the countering cavalry rather than the countered cavalry, Scouts seem much better at the job than Cavaliers.

Archers

Archer

They’re basically like stronger bowmen and your stepping stone for getting Warbows. Not much to say about archers that don’t apply to every other ranged unit.

Horsebow

Horsebows are basically archers, but better, because they are faster and can shoot and scoot. But then again, they cost horses, which you may be in short supply of at whatever point you are in the game. If you happen to have the horses and enough of the skill stat and also are not planning on turning the unit into a Warbow, I really don’t see why you wouldn’t want to promote your bowman into Horsebow over Archer. But then again, that’s three reasons why you might not want or be able to get the horsebow.

Crossbowman

I admit I haven’t used Crossbowmen because I never really saw the point in investing tech points just for a sidegrade, and I like that my archers get to use their strength as part of their damage calculations. Anyone have any strong positive or negative opinions about Crossbowmen?

Wizards

Apprentice

I really enjoy the Apprentice’s ability to turn a single enemy into a smoking crater between your first melee attack and your second melee attack on the offensive. Because of their single massive damage attack, I think they are far better than archers for helping your melee squad drill past enemy squads with multiple rows. As a sweet, sweet, bonus, they upgrade into the three mages, who are some of the most potent damage dealers in the game. Apprentices do kind of suck on the defense because they can’t attack until after the enemy’s second phase, but note this attack will still probably successfully convert one man into one pile of ash. One important caveat to the apprentice is that he requires a rare bowman or fighter that has a high magic stat to get a good Apprentice. If you ever see those guys available for conscription, make sure to scoop him up and keep him around, those guys are worth their weight in gold. And, of course, the tech that allows your Apprentice to cast on the first round is also a priority if you have good access to apprentices and mages.

Siren

Sirens are so maligned, they are getting a massive buff in the upcoming patch 1.0b. I actually did not have a problem with the base class Sirens because they hit hard enough and mitigate the enemy’s damage. Still, until I’ve seen the buff they get, I would prefer Apprentices over Sirens whenever I can get them. Sirens also promote into the Sorceress class, which is just awful. However, a consideration to make about Sirens is that they are easily accessed from a base medic class, which is guaranteed a good magic stat, and you don’t have to fish for a very rare high magic fighter/bowman.

Healers

Priestess

A Priestess is basically a bigger medic. Not much else to say about that. Priestesses have dibs on all my gems because they are so important for keeping your squads alive and healthy enough to function.

Hospitaller

A Hospitaller is just a priestess with a horse. You really only need them if your cavalry unit will lose its cavalry moment unless its healer is also on horseback, so you can go ahead and promote into Priestess if you have a unit that’s something like 3 scouts and your healer. The Priestess probably rides in the back with one of the horsemen, but I like to imagine they attach a little sidecar to a horse for her.

Tier 3

Heavy Infantry

Sentinel

I find myself upgrading into Sentinel when I have nothing else I want my Soldiers or Spearmen to be. Sentinels are safe in so many ways. They resist charges and firearms, they have high enough armor to resist most frontal assaults (though the heaviest of enemy frontlines can still deal a scary amount of damage scary quick to a Sentinel), they have Guardian like the Soldier but also a polearm like the Spearman. They’re also safe in the sense that they only cost 2 iron, which shoud be super abundant by the time your heavy infantry are becoming eligible to upgrade into Sentinels. They can even help their friends with Polearm Mastery.

Zweihander

I’m a bit embattled on Zweihanders. A splash attack raises the Zweihander’s damage potential, but by the time my units are promoting into Zweihanders, my squads are generally not having trouble wiping an enemy frontline in a round or two of battle. Moreso than needing splash damage, I find myself needing a way to kill multiple enemies in the same column at once, or sometimes I find myself needing to bust a particularly powerful Champion, like a level boss sitting in his fort. The Champion also wins a point by having more drip. Still, Zweihanders may be unavoidable to field in your melee squads because they, like Sentinels, also cost only 2 iron.

Champion

What heavy infantry unit busts heads as well as the Champion? Champions are fairly straightforward and strong. I like to use as many of them as I can, but they are limited by a steep Obsidian cost and having to be upgraded from the pretty mediocre Soldiers.

Centurion

Centurions are kind of like Champions. The latter must be promoted from Soldier, the former must be promoted from Spearman. They both also cost 2 obsidian on top of the 2 iron other tier 3 heavy infantry need. But I just don’t find the Centurion has enough punch. It seems like a good idea to splash damage behind, because it lets your Centurion deal damage to the squishy mages behind the enemy’s hulked out frontline and helps you kill rows, but I don’t find that the damage is enough to any allow you to wipe rows any faster than you would’ve otherwise.

Samurai

I’m going to list Samurai twice because they are both Heavy Infantry and Archer. As Heavy Infantry, what Samurai brings is the ability to either return fire when fired upon by enemy ranged units, or to offer up some shooting for whatever reason. I haven’t actually fielded Samurai in any meaningful quantities to have an opinion of them as heavy infantry. Anyone have any praise for or regrets from Samurai?

Paladin

Paladins are an important unit for fighting against magic-heavy squads, and they also have a penchant for healing when your squad needs it. They retain all of the acolytes’ strengths on top of having even more perks, like protecting your healer with the Sisterhood of Mercy tech, and dealing extra damage to wizards. I don’t know that the extra damage to wizards is a great perk, since your run of the mill wizard doesn’t do well when cracked on the head by any other heavy infantry, but it’s a straight bonus, and bonus good. The only problem with Paladins as a class are, as with Acolytes, the cost of a Sunstone to upgrade.

Light Infantry

Ranger

I guess the idea with Rangers is their opening volley with the crossbow bolts can maul the enemy’s armored frontline, so they are a bit more anti-armor, but then again, I think being critted twice with a Swordmaster also seems to be pretty anti-armor. Or, perhaps the crossbow bolts have a chance of targeting the enemy’s backline, but either I have a bias against rangers or the crossbow bolts seem to hit frontline enemies most of the time. Of course, the other niche for Rangers is that they don’t cost the absurd amount of resources that Swordmasters cost. In fact, Rangers cost no resources at all. They are the only light infantry that does not cost 2 obsidian.

Swordmaster

They are like light infantry versions of Champions, which I think makes them the strongest light infantry. However, the cost of 2 Obsidian means your Swordmasters are fighting with your archers, heavy infantry and heavy cavalry for your Obsidian stockpiles.

Assassin

I never liked Rogues, Assassins are just bigger rogues, and also, they cost 2 Obsidian now. I invite anyone to change my mind about these boys.

Melee Cavalry

Knight

A Knight is a Cavalier who also resists arrows. I don’t know why that’s necessary because Cavaliers already do a pretty neat job of resisting arrows with their high armor stat. More is never bad, I suppose, and you do get stats for promoting to tier 3. Knights do also cost 2 obsidian a pop, on top of the 2 iron and horse.

Hussar

If Scouts excelled over Knights in tier 2, I find the Hussars continue to excel over Knights in Tier 3. While Hussars don’t have a new bonus like the knights’ anti-arrows bonus, they also don’t cost any obsidian at all.

Valkyrie

Valkyries are like mounted Paladins, which is actually cooler than one might think. Because Valkyries are technically healers, you adding Valkyries to a squad that already has a traditional healer means your mounted squad can use its movement to quickly bring double or triple heals to a friendly squad that got a bit mauled, and still fulfill its function as a frontline combat squad. Overall, Valkyries seem very good if you can afford the Sunstone, but then again, Sunstones are so useful for so many things, I wouldn’t be surprised if a particularly unlucky campaign run might end up with you not able to afford any Valkyries at all. I have not tried a cavalry unit where the Valkyrie was the main healer, and the idea seems kind of scary. Anyone have any experience with that?

Archers

Warbow

The Warbow can fire from even further than other archers, which seems like they’re just archers, but better. However, I’d make the argument that Horsebows and Raiders being faster and then being able to move after making attacks gives them pretty much the same advantage as a bigger range in most cases. Warbows also cost 2 obsidian, which can be rather painful if you’re trying to field a full squad of them to shoot people from 3 range. I personally took a squad of 7 warbows, but if I was to replay the campaign, I’d instead convert this squad to a full squad of raiders. Warbows also have a winged helmet to make them look like Asterix.

Raider

I prefer the Raider over the Warbow, as you can tell, and all Raiders are are stronger and edgier Horsebows.

Samurai

I theorize that samurai are kind of problematic as archers, though, as I mentioned before in their entry under Heavy Infantry, I haven’t really used them. The purpose of Samurai, it appears to be, is that they can protect your archer squad from a cavalry charge or heavy infantry attack while you are peppering them from afar. The problem with that plan is that your buff guy with spears not sufficient to defend your stack melee attacks. You will almost certainly also need a healer to keep those buff guys alive. And at the point you’re getting a healer for your samurai that you got for your archers, you might as well have converted the entire squad into raiders or warbows and used physical distance as your protection.

Wizards

Sorceress

The Sorceress is getting major buffs come patch 1.0b. As of right now, she seems just awful. She does barely any damage, and even if her spell stunned anyone, you’re really only setting yourself up for the enemy to come on the offense and make up that damage next turn. I wouldn’t waste my gems on any Sorceresses.

Ice Mage

For some reason, the Ice Mage only needs 42 magic for its upgrade, rather than the 45 magic the other Mages need. Don’t let this make you think he’s any worse than the other mages, though. His Ice blast can still hit like a truck and reducing enemies’ skill means the ice mage probably gives your team more effective damage through hits and crits.

Fire Mage

When you need a squad to die, you hit them with the Fire Mage. The Fire Mage is my favorite unit in the game because it’s not unusual for him to wipe a row all on his own. If there’s anything negative I can say about Fire Mages, it’s only that I started to have fewer opportunities to force surrenders after I started using them… because they kill people too fast.

Lightning Mage

While a Lightning Mage can theoretically do as much damage as a Fire Mage because his magic pierces an entire column, it is actually less likely for Lightning Mages to help your squads wipe enemy squads because he hasn’t reduced the depth of the enemy’s formation. Since unlike the Ice Mage, the Lightning Mage needs the same amount of magic power to promote into, I find myself not using Lightning Mages at all, and just stick with Fire Mages.

Healers

Templar

The Templar’s a bigger, cooler Priestess. There ya go. They get first dibs on my Sunstones because healing is so important.

Firearms

Gunner

I prioritized the other tech trees and don’t actually have the ability to make gunners. From what I’ve seen of them when you can get them without techs, they seem to only exist for the AI to annoy you with squads that threaten instant kills. At the minimum tech, they only fire once and will only hit the front row. You can eventually tech up so they can shoot in the rain and shoot twice, but I still don’t think I’d be very impressed.

Dragoon

A Dragoon is just a mounted gunner.

Cannon

I gotta admit. Cannons seem neat. Especially with tech investment. Never used them, though. Tell me about them.

Tier Dragon

Dragons

Dragons are rare, strong, and you should probably grab as many as you can to nurture into the red/blue/silver dragons, or dragon riders eventually with the tech. Besides sticking Abigayle with three dragons, I haven’t really experimented with them. Do people use all-dragon units, or do people stick their dragons in with frontline units to give them some more AoE punch? I could see either working out.

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