I had read through Tuidjy's guide for newbies and the following thread and it cleared up a lot of things but I still had some questions. I responded in thread but I also realized that the thread hadn't seen any activity in a while so it probably isn't going to be read by anybody. At any rate, here are the questions:
1. When describing defense, you write that the "The actual damage reduction will be discussed elsewhere". Has it been? IIRC in Master of Magic every sword represented a roll for 1 HP damage and every shield represented a roll to block 1 HP of damage. Does FE operate on a similar basis? My memory of this aspect of MoM is bit fuzzy but I think the roll was a universal default of 30% and certain units/spells/experience levels would modify this.
2. What exactly does leveling do for baseline trained units? I know that certain optional traits increase with levels (+1 accuracy per level, etc) but assume that you don't have any of traits. Just looking at the unit itself, what is the effect of leveling. You mentioned that "All units gets hit points, accuracy and spell resistance from levels" so that implies that there is some effect from leveling even without traits that take advantage of leveling. So how much does hit points, accuracy, and spell resistance increase per level?
3. There is another trait (can't recall the name right now) that increases Defense +10 "while defending". There is a particular type of attack in the game (also can't recall the name right now) that reduces the damage in half but leaves the unit "defending". If I had to guess I'd say a unit is defending if it goes a turn without attacking and any attack takes it out of defense. But it is never explained in game what defending is exactly, so what is it? Does moving impact defending/not defending status? Does casting spells/abilities? Are units in a defending state when they first enter combat? Is there any baseline benefit to defending if you don't have the +10 trait?
4. I was thinking about the Spell, Elemental, and Poison resistances. Does Spell Resistance only block negative buffs (don't know if this is right term) or does it block magical attacks as well? To put the question another way: if a unit is targeted by a tactical fireball spell is this checked against the target's spell resistance, fire resistance or both?
5. Similar to #4, say that is unit is targeted not by a fireball spell but the conventional ranged attack of trained unit mages equipped with fire staffs. These attacks are "magical" and look a lot like fireballs, but then again this probably isn't regarded by the game as a spell. So what is it exactly is standard mage attack up against?
6. I gather that initiative determines move order and that even more significantly, the ratio of initiative values between two units will determine the ratio of the number of turns each takes. For example, if a unit A has 2x initiative of unit B then unit A will have twice as many turns. If unit A has 1.5x initiative of unit B then unit A will have 3 turns for every 2 turns of unit B, etc. This would be a less specific question, but overall how important is initiative? Obviously more initiative is better, but given trade offs, how do weight it against attack, defense, etc. To put it another way, would you rather have +2 attack or +2 initiative? It seems that if you can get a big advantage in initiative then it can be pretty significant but is otherwise not a big deal. If you're aren't going to go for a big advantage in initiative then it seems best to mostly ignore it except to make it sure isn't too slow. A sort of go big or go home effect. Thoughts?
7. Strictly non-combat question: the unrest due to number of cities, is it +3%/city? I've read posts about people doing well with a large number of cities, one poster suggested building on every available tile. But this mechanic of unrest from number of cities would seem to encourage building fewer cities, only building on the very best tiles, consolidating more clay/farm resources over a larger area per city, that sort of thing. So do you go for fewer high quality cities or more? How significant does the unrest due to number cities become?
8. What are your feelings about the various unit traits that you can add to trained units? You only have 3 free slots against many good traits so it is a tough choice. Iron Skin seems like a no-brainer to me. In the later stages of the game, Plate Ability would be a must have for the front line units. What are your thoughts on Reap (heals +1 HP per attack)? The traits that increase with the level seem good: Discipline (+1 accuracy and spell resistance per level) and Acrobat (+1 dodge per level). Spell Resistance (+20 spell resistance) and Precision (+10 accuracy) don't increase with the level but offer big up front bonuses. It is impossible to say anything useful about Defender (+10 Defense while defending) without knowing how defending actually works which goes back to question #3.