FE race comparison... (Warning: wall of text)

By on November 12, 2012 11:14:46 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

rvgr

Join Date 10/2012
+6

By now I've played FE with every faction/race and I have to say that while factions are overall nicely done, there are huge disparities in quality amongst races, i.e. no pre-built faction can match the power of a custom faction. These are obviously my personal feelings, so take them for what they are: personal.

 

A. The leaders.

1. Men.

The ability to train Henchmen and +10% XP is POWERFUL. Considering that henchmen are immortal and that they can be specialized and outfitted with spare weapons, there's nothing that they can't take on. For the race of Men regular trained units are optional. In fact, with a henchmen-only strategy one only needs Mana, Gildar and Influence. LOTS of Mana, Gildar and Influence. Trade all that metal, all the Crystal, Horses, Wargs for Gildar, and you're a powerhouse. As an added bonus, factions of Men can be either a Kingdom or an Empire. I believe that Men are the most powerful race in FE

The Altar faction is extremely well designed and plays to the Men's strengths.

 

2. Trogs.

First of all let me say that I do not like the Berserk ability, it is a weak one imho. The real Trog strengths are of course +20 Weight allowance and Juggernaughts. Trogs in a custom faction can really dominate the game, as opposed to the one-dimensional combat-only focus of the Yithril. Being able to effortlessly armor the normal troops in full plate is great, and Juggernaughts can be customized to become truly fearsome engines of destruction. Strong Troops + Juggs provide a solid foundation for an army that supports Mage Champs and/or staff troops.

The Yithril faction imho does not do justice to the Trog race. Lack of ranged weapons is a crippling weakness, and a custom Trog-based faction would do much better.

 

3. Ironeers

These guys are badasses. +1 HP per level is Huge, 30 Magic Resist is great, Golems are okay. The reason why I think that Trogs are better is twofold: it's easier for Trogs to wear full plate without having to ride a horse, and because with Trogs you can actually have a caster Sovereign. The Ironeer +50% Tactical spell cost weakness is downright crippling as far as spellcasting goes. If you ignore combat magic completely, then Ironeers are better than Trogs, but because magic is such a huge part of the game, I believe Trogs edge the Ironeers out.

The Gilden faction goes reasonably well with the Ironeer strengths, although the Great Hammers ability is kinda iffy: Ironeer troops will already be groaning under the weight of all that plate, and adding a warhammer and a heavy shield would kill their initiative.

 

4. Quendar

Slaves are great. They're cheap to produce and they don't cost any maintenance, so you can have plenty of them very early. Slave Scouts early on can really open up the map in a hurry without incurring costs. Slaves of course are substandard in combat (with -4 Initiative being their greatest drawback), but they're still very useful. The proper Quendar troops are also good: the +50 Resist fire > -50 Resist Frost, as Fire damage is sooo prevalent both in spells and in unit abilities. Troops that are totally immune to things like Fireball and dragon's breath are nothing to sneer at. 

The Magnar faction does a reasonable job of capturing the Quendar strengths in the form of the Flesh Bound Tome. Both Cull the Weak and Death Lash are great spells early on, turning the fodder troops into walking Health+Mana potions for the Sovereign and the Champs. The Slave Lord ability is imho underpowered. There are better ways for the Quendar race to spend two picks (such as a combo of Defensive and Lucky).

 

B. The Average Joes

5. Krax

These guys almost have enough of unique and interesting strengths to be among the best. Almost. Masters of survival, with increased defenses at below 50% health and the ability to fortify tiles in tactical combat the Krax really go a long way to maximize their staying power on the battlefield. The Faction traits of the Kraxis Empire complement the Krax race really well (Defensive is a godsend).

 

6. Mancers 

+1 Accuracy per level, ability to build roads, access to Warhorses and Bazaars make Mancers above average, but lacking a unique solid strength around which one could base a strategy. Warhorses mean that Plate clad late game Knights are a good way to go, but one can do that even without warhorses. The Capitar Faction traits of indestructible caravans and Civics play well into the economic game, while Lucky  amplifies the Mancer accuracy to unprecedented levels. 

 

7. Urxen and Tarth

Both are imho equally average and rather similar. The Tarth do offer a stronger opening game (+3 Attack AND +3 Ini is huge early on for a small army), but later on their racial ability becomes non-existant, while the Urxen get their racial ability later (but it persists until the end). Their respective factions do a good job of playing into their racial strengths (especially with the Urxen), but their overall racial abilities are easily outshined by most other races.

 

C. The Gimps

8. The Amarians

These guys aren't terrible, but they certainly aren't great. Their -1 HP/Level penalty is harsh, while amongst their racial strengths only the +Initiative from the Air Shards is notable, but even that is contingent on the map layout for most of the game. The Pariden faction goes a long way to ameliorate the Amarian weaknesses as the Enchanters/Decalon combo is a mighty one, but by the same token just about any other race can do a better job with the same faction features.

 

9. The Wraiths

Bad, just bad. The -1 HP/Level and for what? A minor HP gain per kill + a minor mana gain per kill as a unit design feature. Seriously? Not good, not good at all. The Resoln is a good faction, but it is in no way due to the Wraith racials. 

 

24 Replies +1
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 12, 2012 12:01:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hey, rvgr, there's an unit of Krax spearmen looking for you. They have dodge above 100 when fortified, decent armor on top of that, and have taken offense at being ranked below Ironeers and Quendar.

I just had an idea. Lets design crazy custom races, and have tournaments on auto-play.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 12, 2012 12:16:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tuidjy,
Hey, rvgr, there's an unit of Krax spearmen looking for you. They have dodge above 100 when fortified, decent armor on top of that, and have taken offense at being ranked below Ironeers and Quendar...

Can't dodge a fireball now can they? And fortified == immobile. Krax are good, but they'll still go down when confronted with spells. But this does raise a question: how likely is one to hit Fortified Krax Spears with Full Plate, Lucky faction bonus + Armorer sovereign?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 12, 2012 12:21:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree, there is quiet of bit of difference in power between the factions. Actually in my current game, the faction ranking is almost exactly as how you have them ordered here. Coincidence?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 12, 2012 3:41:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If we all agree that the Wraiths are weakest race, then what is Derek going to do about it?  Here are some ideas:

a )  Wraiths never die... even trained units simply go back to town immobilized for a few turns.

b )  A hit that would normally kill a Wraith leaves the Wraith with 1 hit point ... that gives them 1 more turn to survive before succumbing to the end.

c )  Let all Wraiths have the ability to add a unit to their stack when they kill another unit (forget what that is called)

d )  All Wraiths have +20 dodge since apparitions should be harder to hit

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 12, 2012 3:54:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Why do we have to do anything at all?  They are simply the weakest, which to me is what will make them fun.  Completely balanced is boring.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 12, 2012 4:06:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


c )  Let all Wraiths have the ability to add a unit to their stack when they kill another unit (forget what that is called)

I'd go with this one, but give them -2 to group sizes; they'd typically produce single-unit groups in order to minimize production costs, but will have the option of producing up to size 5 groups, which is the max size for units with that ability.

This could reasonably be a unit design trait rather than something all Wraiths have, of course.

As to why even bother - it'd make the Wraith race play very uniquely, compared to the other races. I like that idea; mind you, they already do play uniquely due to the Resoln's faction traits (Binding and Summoning together mean there's little to no need to actually train Wraith units). Still, it'd be great for Resoln-based custom factions.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 12, 2012 4:28:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Trog's berserk is actually quite amazing on trained troops. If you're using all Jugs/champs, it's not too great, but berserk x 7 on archers and normal troops can do amazing things. This is especially clear when you try to take/defend Trog cities.

Krax's fortify is quite frankly, broken. If you combine it with proper unit design and a player that knows how to use it, that is.

Tarth's small army can be devastating even late game. Try using 3 units of impulsive Tarth mounted archer (with strength/charge/fury) in multiple armies. Kite, and they will devastate armies even if you're just using them as a throwaway weakening tactic.

 

Urxen and Amarian are both late game races. They aren't great when you start, but becomes powerful late. Do they need a little something? Yeah, probably.

 

What Wraith needs to become interesting: 20% physical resist (no armor), -20% elemental resist.

 

Mancers just suck, because accuracy is easy to get elsewhere and wargs are usually better than horses (it's the dodge). I'd rate them dead last, AFTER Wraiths.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 13, 2012 11:37:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kalin,
Mancers just suck, because accuracy is easy to get elsewhere and wargs are usually better than horses (it's the dodge). I'd rate them dead last, AFTER Wraiths.

I'm not sure I get it: how are Mancers worse?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 14, 2012 12:54:30 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting rvgr,
I'm not sure I get it: how are Mancers worse?

I would also like to know the answer to this question - as I see it, Mancers get a bonus that isn't particularly good, but at least it doesn't come with the minor drawback of losing half your level-up health (which can fairly quickly come to approximate half of your health, if you can keep units alive through a few battles). Moreover, the Wraith ability doesn't do much of anything for a trained unit, and is very weak in an army of Wraiths, since they can't all be making killing blows and anyone who does get a killing blow is only going to regain three health anyways. Mancers also get the ability to build roads, so your strategic mobility is better than any other faction, which can be a significant boon in the later stages of the game.

I could see the argument for Amarian blood being better than Mancer blood, since initiative bonuses are great to have (and if you get enough air shards, Amarians might even be able to effectively use hammers and maces, despite the initiative penalties), but the other shard bonuses are mediocre at best, and useless to most of my units at worst. Spell mastery is, as far as I know, worthless to my trained units, since I cannot create Henchmen with Amarian blood (although I think I could do Sions - anyone know if you can give Sions real magic using the Decalon books? For that matter, do Sions get blood traits?). Spell resistance could be nice, but the amount given to units with Amarian blood isn't very much - it won't, for example, compete with the innate spell resistance from Ironeer blood, nor will it really compete with the Spell Resistance traits, though it is somewhat better than nothing if you face something which tries to curse your units. And the health bonus from Earth Shards is laughable - it's a drop in the bucket compared to your potential health had Amarian blood not been given -1 health per level. At very low levels, you'll have slightly more health than normal (if the health is per figure rather than per unit), but beyond that, it loses out to blood traits that don't have health penalties. Life/Death shards don't provide any bonuses either. So, Amarians get one good bonus and three not quite useless bonuses from four of the five possible shards they could hold, leaving their blood trait's usefulness very much at the mercy of the random number generator.

I'd also say that Urxen and Tarth blood are probably better than Mancer blood, although Tarth blood is only really useful early in the game and Urxen blood later on. For that matter, if you manage to find enough Air Shards, I'd say that Amarian blood could outshine either in the late game, but I think you'd need at least six air shards, and probably more, combined with good unit designs focusing on dodge as Amarians can't really afford to take hits like the other races can (well, everyone but Wraiths).

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 14, 2012 2:18:19 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

i don't agree with most people's assessment of pariden. their spellbooks are hugely advantageous, and their ability to summon outposts for a mere 50 mana is incredible. Their staffs also make decent early/mid units, and you can get some nice initiative bonuses from stacking air mana.

 

Altar are the best by far though

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 14, 2012 6:59:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Very useful thread. Gives good insight into the different factions and races for those of us who haven't had time to try them all out. Thanks for the hard work OP

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 14, 2012 7:36:19 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Mancer could kick ass all day.

But my thread never took off. There is a lot more balance disccusions happening now so I was tempted to bump... 

Capitar also has a passive playstyle the game doesn't equally reward as it does an agressive one. And Blessing of Serrane shoots blanks just as often as regular caravans.

Quoting Kalin,
Mancers just suck, because accuracy is easy to get elsewhere and wargs are usually better than horses (it's the dodge). I'd rate them dead last, AFTER Wraiths.

All my feelings. Accuracy is great on city militia, specially with lucky. It allows you to build resonably effective units without going down a fort route and building expensive improvements, allowing units to be built en masse from any of your cities. Wargs and their initiative are good, but the additional carry weight from warhorse puts them above wargs in my books. Its like Einitiative , which can be spent on heavier crap. 'Free' strength perk for your heroes too.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 14, 2012 7:57:10 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting NanakoAC,
i don't agree with most people's assessment of pariden. their spellbooks are hugely advantageous, and their ability to summon outposts for a mere 50 mana is incredible. Their staffs also make decent early/mid units, and you can get some nice initiative bonuses from stacking air mana.

I think most people have a problem with the Amarian race rather than the Pariden faction. As you mentioned, the Spellbooks and Arcane Outposts from Decalon as well as some good staves and scrying pools from the Enchanters ability are great, but they can be combined with ANY race and as a result produce a better faction.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 14, 2012 8:50:57 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

New Wraith Racial:

-0.66 HP per level

+4 HP per kill

+2 mana per kill

+10 spell resist

 

New Amerian Racial:

-0.5 HP per level

"shard bonuses"

 

Wraith would level up +1 HP, +2 HP, +4 HP, +5 HP, +6 HP, +8 HP, etc (+1 +1 +2, +1 +1 +2)

Amarian would level up +1 HP, +3 HP +4 HP +6 HP +7 HP +9 HP (+1, +2, +1, +2)

 

Also, should Trog racial add +0.25 HP per level?

I am certain that Warrior Path should add at least +0.334 HP per level

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 14, 2012 11:36:00 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think there is some kind of a misconception here:

6. Mancers

+1 Accuracy per level, ability to build roads, access to Warhorses and Bazaars make Mancers above average, but lacking a unique solid strength around which one could base a strategy. Warhorses mean that Plate clad late game Knights are a good way to go, but one can do that even without warhorses. The Capitar Faction traits of indestructible caravans and Civics play well into the economic game, while Lucky amplifies the Mancer accuracy to unprecedented levels.

Warhorses and bazaars are not tied to mancer blood. I created a custom mancer empire a few minutes ago, and all I had were regular horses.

So, I asked myself, why is it that the Kingdom of Capitar have them, and my custom mancer empire does not? Easy: they are tied to Legacy of Seranne. I created a test kingdom with the race "men" and the perk "legacy of Seranne", and they had warhorses.

 

So, yeah... All that Mancers as a race actually have going for them are that +1 accuracy/level bonus, and the ability to build roads (pionneers automatically get it, and you can also add it to your custom troops. That is, if you are ready to sacrifice one of your three perk slots for that...). And that's it. Still not as bad as the Wraiths, but I would see them more in the "gimps" than the "average joes" category.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 14, 2012 11:44:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Mastil,

So, yeah... All that Mancers as a race actually have going for them are that +1 accuracy/level bonus, and the ability to build roads (pionneers automatically get it, and you can also add it to your custom troops. That is, if you are ready to sacrifice one of your three perk slots for that...). And that's it. Still not as bad as the Wraiths, but I would see them more in the "gimps" than the "average joes" category.

Interesting. Thanks for the clarification.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 14, 2012 12:20:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tasunke,
I am certain that Warrior Path should add at least +0.34 HP per level

I think that +.373 is more appropriate.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 14, 2012 12:25:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Mancers don't get Warhorses or Bazaars, that comes from Legacy of Serrane. And I would put Krax closer to the top, but other than that, I agree to everything you have said in the OP.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 14, 2012 1:00:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tuidjy,

Quoting Tasunke, reply 15I am certain that Warrior Path should add at least +0.34 HP per level

I think that +.373 is more appropriate.

Why +.373? What is your reasoning?

I used .34 because it is the 2-digit version of 1-third as applicable to a system where you don't round up.

More accurate, I suppose, would be .334

but why use .373?

Or is the reasoning only that it is slightly higher than .334

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 14, 2012 1:13:53 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I'd place Trogs on top, albeit as a race rather than a faction (meaning you can do much better building a custom faction around the race).  The strength bonus often translates to both higher initiative and higher defense on units, while Juggernauts are capable of fairly easily demolishing anything the AI can throw at you, when grouped in armies of four or more.  Juggernauts actually probably ought to be nerfed- Maul + Huge attack stats + Powerful custom weapon w/ backswing & an increased critical ratio means that they almost always get at least two hits in every combat round, and those hits hurt a lot.  You'd think they would be at least really vulnerable to ranged units, having fairly meager defense with few options for improvement, but their enormous pool of HP often makes it moot.  

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 14, 2012 2:02:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hmm.

A trog race with LUCKY would make those juggernauts beastly with their maul

Meanwhile light plate + archers would make for some fierce backlines

 

Hmm, perhaps Educated, Lucky, Archers, and Light Plate? any thoughts?

________________

 

My list.

1. Trogs

2. Men

3. Quendar

4. Krax

-------

5. Ironeers

-------

6. Mancers

7. Urxen

8. Amarian

9. Tarth

--------

10. Wraith

 

first tier (awesome)- 4 members

second tier (good) - 1 member

third tier (fair) - 4 members

fourth tier (very poor) - 1 member

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 14, 2012 2:08:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Depending on the usage, any top tier race can be 'unbeatable'

 

good races are very strong, but just not as useful/flexible as the top tier ones.

 

third tier races have decent enough traits ... although only the Amarian is what I'd call particularly "interesting". That being said, I'd still be interested in trying a Mancer, Urxen, and Tarth race at least once.

 

Wraith race ... needs to be a bit stronger I think. The two unit traits are interesting in theory, and I'd probably try them out too. (Zealot for archers/casters .... and the Mana one for melee units)

Still, without something extra special (like free enchantments) the -1 HP per level is just too prohibitive.

Perhaps if Wraith was -0.5 HP per level, and Zealot was also -0.5 HP per level, we'd have something.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 14, 2012 2:16:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I Guess I will play along too, but I doubt my list will be all that different.  I think we all have a pretty solid agreement on what are the best races and what are the worst.

Top 5 are all Good races. 

1. Trog

2. Men

3. Krax

4. Ironeer

5. Quendar

Medium races, not as good as the top 5, but usable and can be fun.

6.Urxen

7. Tarth

8. Mancer

Bottom rung

9. Amarian

10.Wraith

 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 14, 2012 2:48:56 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Hmm, perhaps Educated, Lucky, Archers, and Light Plate? any thoughts? 

 

I actually made a custom faction almost exactly like this fairly recently.  Took Uneducated as a disadvantage, which combined with Educated meant I essentially got a free tech.  Used my last point for Wanderlust, although I probably should have gone for either the +10% hit points or +1 trained unit level bonus instead.  

 

Not surprisingly, it ended up being an extremely powerful combination, particularly since my leader had the Armorer trait.  By the very end of the game I was using custom "Horse Archer" (mounted archers w/ any equipment or traits which boosted damage) and "Magic Knight" (heavily armored horsemen with the Charge and the best equipment available) units, but they were complete overkill- armies of 4-5 Archers, a couple Juggernauts and one or two heavily armored damage-sponge infantry were all I needed to win from the mid-game on.  

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #108432  walnut2   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0001062   Page Render Time: