Combat/Unit Questions

By on September 11, 2013 6:13:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

McBeef

Join Date 09/2013
+3

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.

 

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September 19, 2013 2:54:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Or you may have experience a random wandering into your tile? If I run a defensless Pioneer beside a powerful foe, it feels as they attack it often (so I stopped doing that) - it may be the purposeful attacking adjacent unit that is turned off?

(referring to the last post on page 1 by Smeagolheart)

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September 19, 2013 4:11:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting smeagolheart,


I think stealthy is worthless or bugged.   I got a bright idea to customize the scout with stealthy!  brilliant eh?  Go scout and not have to worry about monsters attacking!  Well they still attacked them, it just cost more for my scouts so now I don't bother.

I had the same experience with stealthy scouts and I wasn't sure what to make of it. IIRC the stealthy description does say "less likely" rather than "won't" so who knows. If it does what I thought, it should be part of the default scout config and Ironskin removed since just about anything will beat a scout.

 

Quoting NeoNick7,
Anybody know what other hotkeys exist?

I found these on the web and added the Tab:

Main UI

Enter End Turn

Spacebar Skip/End Unit’s Turn

Escape Options Menu

Control+G Toggle Grid

Control+S Quick Save

Pause|Break Pause the Game

Print Screen Take Screenshot

M Open Spellbook

K Kingdom Information

Tab Next Idle Unit/City

Camera

Arrow Keys Pan Camera

C / Pg Down / Pg Up Cycle Through Cities

V Eject All Units in City

Numpad + Zoom In

Numpad - Zoom Out

City Selected

B Open Build Menu

T Open Train Menu

D City Details

X Raze City

Unit Selected

S Select Sovereign

U / Home / End Cycle Through Units

B (Pioneers Only) Build City

D Open Unit Details

X Auto-Explore

E Open Equip Screen

R Recruit Champion

G Guard

Delete Disband Unit

Tactical Battles

M Open Spellbook

Spacebar Skip/End Unit’s Turn

 

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September 19, 2013 4:19:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

@NeoNick7 I don't know, as me and McBeefy found similar things, stealthy just doesn't seem to do anything at best you get attacked "less often" woo-hoo, that's not worth it. 

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September 19, 2013 9:56:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting joeball123,

A better plot would be max damage vs defense at specified levels of attack, unless you also wanted to compare champion damage.

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September 20, 2013 10:59:31 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Nice graph.  What's it mean?  Armor prevents some damage?

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September 20, 2013 11:30:02 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It seems armor has a diminished return the bigger it gets. You can also spot a "sweet" spot at 30'ish defense where the diminishing returns start kicking in for the values up to 40 attack, so a rule of thumb could be to aim for 30'ish defense, and you'll be fine with that in most situations.

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September 20, 2013 4:43:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I noticed the original graph wasn't proportioned right so uploaded a new one. This one should give a more accurate impression (I made it at www.fooplot.com)

Quoting smeagolheart,


Nice graph.  What's it mean?  Armor prevents some damage?

It is max damage as a function of armor at 4 different attack levels (5, 10, 20, 40). More defense is always better but there are diminishing returns on defense. Every additional unit of defense has slightly less benefit than the one before it.

Say unit A is attacking unit B:

If the defense of unit B is equal to the attack of unit A then max damage will be 1/2 of attack.

If the defense of unit B is 2 times the attack of unit A then max damage will be 1/3 of attack.

If the defense of unit B is 3 times attack of unit A then max damage will be 1/4 of attack.

If the defense of unit B is N times the attack of unit A then max damage will be 1/(N + 1) of attack.

Moving in the other direction ...

If the defense of unit B is 1/2 of the attack of unit A then max damage will be 2/3 of attack.

If the defense of unit B is 1/3 of the attack of unit A then max damage will be 3/4 of attack.

If the defense of unit B is 1/4 of the attack of unit A then max damage will be 4/5 of attack.

If the defense of unit B is 1/N of the attack of unit A then max damage will be N/(N + 1) of attack.

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September 20, 2013 6:43:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Thanks McBeef for the hotkeys.

 

And yes Smeagolheart/McBeef, the Stealthy could be bugged, but unless you've tested it much, it's not enough to base such an assumption on two people's experience. But you point to a valid judgement; it doesn't feel worth it if your scouts can be attacked anyhow.

 

EDIT: corrected the Stealthy trait. Thanks Parrotmath.

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September 20, 2013 9:37:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Masterscouts just gives you a no penalty to movement in any terrain. It doesn't stop monsters from attacking you. Also the scout ability gives you +1 to sight radius, so the scout ability is rather useful for ... well scouting.

You are referring to the Stealth ability, where monsters do not attack the players units, and that is the ONLY ability to subvert monster aggression.

EDIT: Stealthy is NOT bugged, it is hardcoded to be less likely, Derek says so.

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September 23, 2013 4:26:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I thought of another question. I was thinking about unit traits in the very early game, prior to having either weaponmaking and enchantment technologies. Assume Beastmaster is off the table, which allows you raise an army without building anything.

So at this point in the game:

1. You can only make the most basic militia and spearmen.

2. This is also a point in the game in which your production at its most basic level of development.

3. Unit traits represent a huge increase in the production cost of a unit, more so than at any point in the game. The default basic militia may take a mere 3 turns to produce where as a fully tricked out militia with 3 traits and may take somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 turns to produce.

So at any other phase of the game, using all 3 slots for a unit design seems like a given. During this is early phase it doesn't seem so clear cut. There is a case to be made for building either the basic or advanced militia. The advanced militia will be more effective and have more long term value as upgrades. On the other hand, the basic militia is cheap and you can get more of them sooner. Thoughts?

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September 23, 2013 5:58:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting McBeef,
So at any other phase of the game, using all 3 slots for a unit design seems like a given. During this is early phase it doesn't seem so clear cut. There is a case to be made for building either the basic or advanced militia. The advanced militia will be more effective and have more long term value as upgrades. On the other hand, the basic militia is cheap and you can get more of them sooner. Thoughts?

I tend to try to avoid building troops in the early portion of the game if possible, and generally only train enough basic spearmen or militia to make good losses and maintain 2 or maybe 3 field armies of 1 champion and 2 regular units for exploration and monster eviction services. That being said, it's going to depend heavily on what I find around me - if I started next to a relatively dangerous Wildland, or close to an aggressive AI, I'm likely to build more troops than I otherwise would. But early on in the game, you're more likely to get more benefit from city improvements and pioneers than from having more troops. Having what troops you have be relatively high quality is nice, but it delays the usually more important basic city improvements, sometimes by more than twice the time the lesser troops would have taken. Therefore, if I need troops in the early game and they are not for a major war scenario (aggressive AI neighbor, rushing an AI neighbor, or dealing with a dangerous Wildland that started spawning stuff), I'll take the cheap and fast-training units over the arguably superior units.

Also, I wouldn't say that in all other portions of the game the use of all trait slots is a given - after all, there's always a use for fodder units, be it artificially jumping your faction power to intimidate AI factions or taking hits for more valuable units or raiding world resources or exploring other parts of the world, and there isn't always a good reason to use a high-quality unit in these roles. Plus, unit wages seem to be the production cost divided by a constant, so those higher-quality units cost more over time in addition to coming out slightly more slowly, which may or may not be a consideration, depending on the game you're playing and the state of your economy.

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September 24, 2013 11:49:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting joeball123,

I tend to try to avoid building troops in the early portion of the game if possible, and generally only train enough basic spearmen or militia to make good losses and maintain 2 or maybe 3 field armies of 1 champion and 2 regular units for exploration and monster eviction services.

This seems like just barely enough manpower and somewhat risky. I imagine that you would have to ignore quite a few quests and monsters that a five unit army could clear out. But then again, if that is something you've developed as part of your standard game plan, you've found a way to make it work.

 

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September 24, 2013 12:09:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting joeball123,
I tend to try to avoid building troops in the early portion of the game if possible

I agree with joeball123 on this, I also tend to adopt a fairly high risk strategy where I only build the minimum of troops I need to at the start. On occasions I've had to rush my sovereign back to defend my capital. On one or two occasions I've had to reload a previous save game to get there in time, which some people may consider cheating. Generally though if you make a beeline for roads, and keep your sovereign's stack as high movement as possible (i.e. at least three with Tireless March or whatever it's called) then you have time to rush your main stack back if necessary. If you can get Cloudwalk then this becomes very easy, at least as long as you keep your air mage with your main stack and remember to save the mana.

At the point where I want to actively start clearing harder lairs I will start building troops more seriously. The objective is to make a full stack strong enough to take out the next level of lairs around me, without spending too long building it. So at this stage I will weigh up whether I want a fairly weak unit now, or I can wait a few turns to train a stronger unit.

Finally at the point where I have a decent full stack and I'm only really replacing losses, I will probably design myself the strongest mounted unit that I have the crystal and iron to build. I don't go too mad with traits and equipment or the training time may become ridiculous, but yes I will almost certainly use all three traits. If it takes 15 turns to train one unit that's probably fine, because I don't expect to take losses very often in my best stack. You can always Rush troops if you have to, and from the middle of the game onwards I would always prefer quality over quantity in my best stack; ideally your troops survive and go up levels, but this is only going to happen if they were good enough quality in the first place. Upgrading can help their survivability, but I'm a little bit careful upgrading, especially with armour, as sometimes the game wants to give my troops armour which reduces their initiative etc. when I don't want to do that (or maybe want to save the iron for training a new unit).

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September 25, 2013 3:26:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I just realized that I really know almost nothing about swarm attacks besides the obvious. The in game animation shows all the swarming units attacking. A quick search of the internet really didn't turn up anything detailed:

Swarm- All melee units get a bonus to accuracy and damage for every ally that surrounds the enemy they are attacking.

How much of a bonus, how is it determined? Is it a function of the stats of the other swarming units or is it simply the quantity of units involved?

Does positioning of the swarm matter? In other words, if you were to set everything else equal, do two adjacent swarmers generate the same bonus as two swarmers on opposite sides of the enemy unit at 6 and 12 o'clock positions, i.e. surrounded?

The trait pack tactics double the swarm bonus, but there are two different ways to read this. Does it contribute a double swarm bonus to any swarm that it is apart of or does it receive a double swarm bonus when it is the attacker as part of swarm?

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September 25, 2013 4:52:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting McBeef,
How much of a bonus, how is it determined? Is it a function of the stats of the other swarming units or is it simply the quantity of units involved?

You get an additional 1 attack and 5 accuracy per friendly unit adjacent to the targeted enemy unit. Urxen Blood and Pack Tactics increase this bonus (if you have both, I believe the net bonus is 3X, not 4X, but I've never checked).

Quoting McBeef,
The trait pack tactics double the swarm bonus, but there are two different ways to read this. Does it contribute a double swarm bonus to any swarm that it is apart of or does it receive a double swarm bonus when it is the attacker as part of swarm?

The trait applies only to the unit which has the trait.

Quoting McBeef,
Does positioning of the swarm matter? In other words, if you were to set everything else equal, do two adjacent swarmers generate the same bonus as two swarmers on opposite sides of the enemy unit at 6 and 12 o'clock positions, i.e. surrounded?

Positioning does not matter as long as you have friendly units adjacent to the enemy unit. Having units on opposite sides of the target is no different than having the same number of units in a line in front of the enemy, as long as all of the units are adjacent to the targeted enemy.

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September 27, 2013 12:45:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting smeagolheart,
I got a bright idea to customize the scout with stealthy!  brilliant eh? 

I did that too! I don't anymore however

Edit: This is a great thread btw  

 

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September 27, 2013 1:34:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Here are some random tactics I've been using:

 

RESCUE

This is great for stacking up swarm bonuses. Move your hero next to an enemy. Then "rescue" one of your slower units. With your additional turn run back to the unit you are attacking. Now your hero gets a boost through swarming. Very nice once your hero has a mount.

 

COMMAND

If you have a unit that does more damage then the hero with this ability you should always use this. This allows another unit to have a turn instead of the hero. This will allows another unit to have 2 turns per round. It's useful for weak generals until they have access to big later game weapons. 

 

 - All units have a zone of control. Use this to your advantage. Give your tank units a sword (for the counter attack) and shield and place them in a way that unless the attacker has a TON of movement points (Pic soon) they will be forced to attack your tanks.

- Cast blindness on bears or other units with maul. Seriously this is important.

 

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September 27, 2013 5:11:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Very shrewd way to use Rescue!! Now my horsed tank (Henchmen Defender) will "unrescue" a slower moving unit, just to get it close in the first turn. Not so much for the Swarm-bonus, but for getting the slower unit to the front at first round of battle.  

Also if you have a slow secondary tank (e.g. an Albino Rock Spider with move 2 and Defense 28) your tank can tie up TWO groups instead of one - hindering two flanks from reaching your ranged or healing units. First round the tank moves to the left flank (e.g. between two units there), unrescues the Spider and runs back to the right flank between two other units. In the end four units are tied up in melee.

And with "Rush" you can get the rescued unit deeper into enemy ranks. Move up, Rush and Rescue. One of the better units for this should be the biggest spider (Hoarder Spider?) as it has Splash-damage and TONS of hitpoints.

 

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September 27, 2013 5:42:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Would this idea to use an escape-scroll plus a Collar work? 

(or Sov got Cautious which I'm not overtly fond of, and/or Beastlord)

- attack a difficult beast army that you cannot kill, but you can survive for 1-2 rounds.

- tame the beast you want

- use escape scroll.

You ought to come out of the fight with a good beast.

 

Not sure what happens if you start attack, use fireball scroll or other ability to kill some unit/s/ and then escapes. Would the army heal up the killed unit? If not, then you can attack an easier target on your next move.

 

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September 27, 2013 6:49:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Most likely you will win that fight if you get a successful tame. 

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September 28, 2013 4:55:38 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Can beast tame collars work on dragons?

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September 28, 2013 5:40:44 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Nope, dragons are of the dragon or drake type.

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