Tactics - What Works For You?

AuthorTopic: Tactics - What Works For You?
Apprentice
Member # 11663
Profile #0
I am starting my second play-thru now, and am interested in finding out what sort of tactical hints folks might have.

So far I have discovered that training the whole party with at least a few points in bows gives me a chance to do some damage to enemies before they close for combat. Even my magic-user (who is so wimpy it's silly) can do a few points of damage, and if I give him a nice stunning bow it gives me some breathing room for heavy hitters.

On the OCD side, I have also started a habit of having each party member carry certain types of items - one keeps all crystals and gemstones, one keeps weapons and armor, one keeps quest items like herbs and claws, and one keeps scrolls/potions/wands. This makes it easier for me to take a quick look and see if I have something that I need (I always know who will be carrying it).

Anyone have any goodies they want to share?

And yes, even though this game is several years old I just found this site, so I am like a kid with a new toy. :D
Posts: 13 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2007 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 4153
Profile Homepage #1
First Aid is surprisingly good... and can become ludicrous with enough investment.

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Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #2
If you really want to powergame, you can buy some skills with gold instead of skill points from a few trainers if your characters don't have more than a point or two in them already. First Aid and Spellcraft are available quite early, and Bows and Sharpshooter are available a bit later. The latter can be used to turn all your characters into passable archers, which means even mages make decent damage-dealers.

Because of the drop-off of experience from a given monster as you gain levels, you actually do quite well by limiting your advancement rate. Go ahead and give all your characters Divinely Touched, Elite Warrior, and Natural Mage! Or maybe don't push that hard, but they're all useful and the experience penalty isn't as crippling as it sounds. Also, nephilim make amazingly good characters. More archery!

—Alorael, who also sorts his items by type. When he has too many he puts them in various cupboards and cabinets still sorted by kind. Fun fact: he doesn't think he's ever picked up and used a stored item that wasn't a potion, and even potions get used on extremely rare occasions. He's mostly a packrat.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #3
Keep encumberance low by storing items near a shop or pylon.

Using high XP penalty character traits pays off in gaining hard to get skills. Magery, blademaster, sharpshooter, and free spell levels add up fairly quickly.

Running non human characters also helps even though the graphics all look the same. Free weapon skills for fighters helps at the start.

I mostly used wands and potions and sold most of the rest.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 9887
Profile #4
In my current party on the demo, I have two nephil(spelling?), one an archer and one a lock-picker, a mage and a priest, all at least minoring in archerey. It is very fun to pick off goblins before they even know you are there.

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Posts: 454 | Registered: Monday, August 20 2007 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 8323
Profile #5
quote:
Originally written by The Ratt:

In my current party on the demo, I have two nephil(spelling?), one an archer and one a lock-picker, a mage and a priest, all at least minoring in archerey. It is very fun to pick off goblins before they even know you are there.
You spelled Nephil right, so don't worry about that. Worst thing to worry spelling about is those lizard-men, Slith for short. Another thing, if you register, you'll want to give some tool use to you're mage-user character, helps a lot for unlock doors spell.

Also, to the OP, I recommend Sliths for Pole Warriors/Priests, Nephils for Ranged/ Non-Pole Weapon Melee Combat, and Humans for pretty much anything else.

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Posts: 13 | Registered: Friday, March 16 2007 07:00
Master
Member # 5977
Profile Homepage #6
My tactic usually consists of gour different steps:

- Bless, heal, shield and haste: Bfeore I go into any combat with some sort of boss, no matter how strong he is, I shield, bless and haste my party. It always makes fights go quicker and easier and I love it - it saved me more than once.

- Warriors in front, casters at the bacj: I realize this tactic is sort of old, but hey, it works. Sometimes I really benefit from this by standing in a corner of a cavern. The casters are then at the back, and the warriors sort of surround them. My mage will always be in the corner then, as he deals the most damage and needs to be protected at all times. [spoiler]The reason for this, is that I noticed that baddies go to hit the one that damages them the most[/spoiler]. Since that's the mage, he stands in the corner. The warriors will then cover up my casters, and as soon as the baddie is hit by either mage or priest, it will run towards them but won't have enough AP to really attack. It will be standing next to priest, at that point. Then I swap the piest with a warrior, and again my casters are covered, making the baddy run back and lose AP so he can't attack. It will go like this until he is dead.

- Now it depends on the creature exactly how I attack. Some creatues are absolutely inept when it comes to ranged stuff. This means they usually just have no ranged attack and can only bite or stab or whatever. If that's the case, I shoot at them with either missiles or I attack them with spells. I then wait until they come in my direction so I can slay them with melee.

It's different with creatures that do have a ranged attack. This ranged attack, provided that it's not spraying poison or whatever, rather an attack that can immediatly damage me (such as a fire bolt or smite), is usually worse than that same creature's bite or stab. The wyrmkin is a prime example of this. They usually spray poison or acid. They won't do that when they are attacked by a melee attack. In that case, they'll attack what's next to them, which is very usefull. In these sort of cases, I go with my warriors to stand next to them immedtialy. My casters will then attack them with fire bolts and smite.

- If it doesn't work, run! I know, this sounds like I'm a total coward, but it's a fact: Avernum 4 gives you the possibility to lose all but one partymembers, run back to a town and get all health and partymembers back. Below Avernum 4 this was impossible unless you had sombody to resurrect you partymember in the town you're in. In Avernum 4, this is no longer necessary: pass gates, approach a major town or kneel at an altar and everything's okay. Because of this, you can start a fiht, kill some people, run back to town and come back later. You'll be alright and you'll slowly win the battles.

That's a what all my tactics are about. Sure, I have more, but these are concerned with the third tactic I desscribed: they are very creature specific and is mostly about what spell to use. So there you are. Have fun and I hope it's usefull to anybody.

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Posts: 3029 | Registered: Saturday, June 18 2005 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #7
The games AI tends to go after the last character that wounds it. That's why Delicious Vlish's tactics of approaching melee attack monsters from two widely spaced points worked well in getting them to run uselessly back and forth between attackers by alternating attack from the furthest one.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Master
Member # 5977
Profile Homepage #8
Hmmm. While that did happen, I actually more often noticed that it attacked the one that wounded it most, whether it was last in row or not.

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Play and rate my scenarios:

Where the rivers meet
View my upcoming scenario: The Nephil Search: Escape.
Co-designed with Nikki: El Presidente.

Give us your drek!
Posts: 3029 | Registered: Saturday, June 18 2005 07:00
Warrior
Member # 5268
Profile #9
quote:
Originally written by Cryfenril:

Even my magic-user (who is so wimpy it's silly) can do a few points of damage, and if I give him a nice stunning bow it gives me some breathing room for heavy hitters.

Until you get a nice bow, your magic-users should be casting firebolt or smite. They will do more damage than a bow, hit more reliably, and have a barely noticeable effect on your spell points. Indeed, even with a nice bow, you probably have a spell that is better. So you would only be using the bow when you need to conserve spell points on a minor monster that can't really hurt you anyway.

Other tactics:
* Always use augmentation and enduring shield/armour once you get them
* Cast bless, shield, haste at the first sign of trouble
* Concentrate your firepower, an almost dead monster does just as much damage as a perfectly healthy one
* For the most part, just wade in and start hacking away
* All monsters have some weakness - if you aren't doing much damage try a different type of attack
* Remember to use daze or slow if they outnumber you
* Save often
Posts: 148 | Registered: Tuesday, December 7 2004 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7557
Profile #10
I just use the standard hack'n slash. I don't play these games for the combat.

BUT at least the easy win system has been ironed out since Exile.

What you did there was simple. Enter combat mode, maste your tank and attack. Then end combat mode. Your party would then be about 3-4 spaces away from the enemy, who in normal movment could now only move one space. You just needed to do more of the same. I could kill 400-HP monsters that way with ease. The only thing you feared was Web and Slow.

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Posts: 942 | Registered: Sunday, October 8 2006 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 11663
Profile #11
I have a Slith polemaster, a Nephil archer, and a priest/mage and a second archer (both human).

This seems to work very well, as the two archers cover the slith while he charges in with the heavy artillery, and the magic user sits back and heals, unshackles, or spends some quality time toasting baddies.
Posts: 13 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2007 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 4784
Profile Homepage #12
Since only the highest tool skill counts anyway, only train your mage in lockpicking. Once they have the spell unlock doors, all that training will be a giant bonus.

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Posts: 563 | Registered: Tuesday, July 27 2004 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 14629
Profile #13
My current party is doing so well on Torment it surprises me. They're basically breezing through the game.

first character: Nephil, traits: Fast on Feet, Elite Warrior. This is the workhorse of the party; with Dex, Gymnastics, and Parry he is hard to hit, always goes first, and usually hits on both swings. Higher Blademaster levels, Riposte and Lethal Blow should come naturally to this guy. Also I found melee weapons to be rather effective, but just on a straight dedicated figher.

second character: Slith, traits: Pure Spirit, Divinely Touched. Priest / fighter hybrid (actually the party's main priest), doing even higher damage than the Nephil, while able to take a beating. I've always found hardiness more useful/interesting on a Slith than defense, mostly because you can make him almost immune to fire damage.

third character: Human, traits: Deadeye, Natural Mage. This character is a dedicated archer/secondary caster who can swing a pole and get up to an enemy too. I actually raise both mage and priest spells on this one to some extent so he can fill the gaps in combat.

fourth character: Human, traits: Natural Mage, Pure Spirit. Main caster of the party (no weapon skills). Since both NM and PS boost your Magical Efficiency, you almost never run out of spell points, and you can cast easy spells like Fire Bolt basically for free early on. This one gets the Tool Use skill too since he has some points to spare.

First Aid is a big plus with this party since you will need your spell points.

Note that this party does NOT abuse special skills and right now I'm never using potions or wands, though that might change later.

As far as tactics go, it's all about choosing your ground and abusing the dumbness of the AI, i.e. make enemies run up to you and waste their action points. Also, on Torment, fighting without buffs is a no go (except if monsters really are much weaker), as is splitting your party. A lone character is prone to getting slaughtered in a single round. It's also nice to 'fight for spell energy'. Since First Aid will restore some pell points whenever you killed someone, if you're low on spell points, just take on some monsters without casting spells, and you will come up the better for it.

[ Wednesday, February 27, 2008 04:12: Message edited by: Grindstone ]
Posts: 9 | Registered: Wednesday, February 27 2008 08:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #14
quote:
Originally written by Grindstone:

I've always found hardiness more useful/interesting on a Slith than defense, mostly because you can make him almost immune to fire damage.
Hardiness is quite good, but Sliths only get a minor bonus to fire resistance (IIRC, it's 10%) and the resistance cap of 90% applies to both, so that's not really any different.

quote:
Since both NM and PS boost your Magical Efficiency, you almost never run out of spell points,
You're vastly overestimating ME. First Aid is what's keeping you from running out of spell points; it's completely disgusting in A4. Even with 20 ME you conserve something like 25% of spent SP on average -- and 20 ME requires investing a buttload of skill points that would be better used elsewhere. With 5 or 10, the bonus is barely noticeable. It doesn't hurt, but compared to First Aid or even pumping Int the effects are negligible.

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Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Apprentice
Member # 14629
Profile #15
ME does have huge effects for me, and that's without me putting any points into it (NM and PS bump this skill on their own). You have to cast a lot of inexpensive spells like fire bolt to see the effect though, even Icy Rain is too expensive right now to utilize this tactic, that will change once I get more spell energy / higher ME though. It's definitely worth having on a pure mage who uses his energy wisely.

edit: and isn't the Slith resistance bonus 30%?

[ Wednesday, February 27, 2008 08:40: Message edited by: Grindstone ]
Posts: 9 | Registered: Wednesday, February 27 2008 08:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #16
Here's my old Magical Efficiency workup. It is possible to very occasionally spend no SP on a Minor Heal even with 5 or 6 ME. Most of the time, though, you won't see any SP reduction whatsoever.

Anyway, I fail to see the amazingness of this. If I'm doing the math right, at level 15 you'd have +2 ME from NM and +4 ME from PS; at level 30, +4 from NM and +7 from PS. That's a score of 6 ME at level 15, or 11 ME at level 30, for SP savings of about 10% and 20% respectively. Better than nothing, but again, insignificant compared to First Aid or 2 points of Int.

The slith resistance bonus definitely isn't 30%. It might be 20%, but I thought it was 10% in A4 and got bumped up to 20% in A5. I remember being surprised when I saw how worthless it was. Could be wrong though.

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
"Slartucker is going to have a cow when he hears about this," Synergy said.
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Lifecrafter
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Profile #17
Sometimes sending only one character is enough..

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Posts: 732 | Registered: Saturday, June 24 2006 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 14281
Profile #18
I have found a few very good tactics that can really make combat too easy. I play on torment, and find the fights, for the most part, very easy. One great way to keep things under control is to abuse line of sight. If the enemy can't see you, they won't come at you. You can usually take a group of enemies on 1 by 1 by only letting 1 enemy see you, and they rush at you. They waste their MP, and are alone. Gang bang them. Then lure the next bad guy. Then the next. Etc.. Not very exciting, but very effective.

Another good little combat trick is using the 3rd, or 4th character to manipulate the position of the 1st or 2nd character who has already moved by swapping positions. In this way you can go on the offensive with the 1st 2 characters, and pull them back to a safe distance with the 3rd and 4th characters. Takes some careful consideration of position and such, but also, can be used to abuse the very weak AI.

Scrolls, potions, and wands (which I have seen very little comments on...especially wands) can be uber powerful if used properly. In the early game especially they can be used to flat out dominate, but I find that they are effective all the way through the game in most fights. Wands especially...Inferno wants, Diamond Spray wands, Wands of Death, Succor Wands, and Alacrity Wands are all amazingly powerful/useful.
Posts: 31 | Registered: Monday, February 18 2008 08:00