Zlorfik [CH] Mar 26, 2013 @ 10:52am
Skald - An Archery Guide
So well then, my second guide. I didn't expect me to write another, but the idea I've come across while searching for alternatives to my summoner guide and getting through Demonis, brought me to an archery guide.

Introduction

First of all my base discovery was that for my level 40 Soothsayer, specialized in Intellect and Creation, the Spell "Precision" granted a bonus of around 50% to all shooters. I thought about it and agreed with myself that 50% is very much. Then we have the fact that also as a summoner I use archers with the Quick Draw skill, which increases archer initiative and damage. Lastly the only question was which class would suit best. Because "Precision" depends on Intellect and "Creation" skill, a soothsayer would make a good choice. Also, he could possibly cast a 2nd spell after Precision to further apmplify the effectiveness. But there's one big flaw: numbers of units. Soothsayers command a far too small army. So that led me then to the final decision: Skald it will be. It is also a good choice because many skills will be taken in the berserker and soothsayer tree and skalds are balanced on what runes they get when leveling up. I will also start with the spells:

Spells

Precision
This spell doesn't really shine until you get level 3 and quite some intellect. However, in mid and late game this spell will increase your minimum and maximum damage by around 50%. This skill scales with intellect and the Creation skill, so keep your magic side up.

Blessing
This is probably your best friend early on, before using Precision. This spell is not based on anything except the round's duration. It just makes your archers so much more powerful.

Resurrection
If it happens that upon beginning of a round you see that you can kill your enemy and you have losses, it is a nice tool to reduce them.


Skills
I will not describe skills because everyone can read their description on their own. If it is a special skill, I will add a comment to it. I will only write down the essential ones. Every addition is of course only benefitial.

Might

Onslaught 3 - Medium priority - Adrenaline for Orcs and guaranteed initiative on round 1.
Quick Draw 3 - High priority - Initiative boost is very important.
Berserker 3 - Low priority - Double damage sounds nice
Action Rage 1 - Low priority - No higher ranks to make sure, the Goblins get the adrenaline for their Ghost Axe.

All Stat boosting skills are 2nd priority

Mind

Jarl 3 - Low priority, more Leadership means more archers, meaning more damage.
Oratory 3 - Low priority, some additional Morale is never bad.
Sense Weakness 3 - Medium priority, more critical hits means more damage.
Edda 3 - Medium priority, to increase your attack at cost of your defence (you're usually not going to be hit).

Any other skills are only a drop on the hot stone.

Magic

Order Magic 3 - High priority - To get Blessing maxed fast enough.
Distortion Magic 3 - Highest priority - To get Precision maxed fast enough.
Creation 3 - Normal priority - To increase to effectiveness of Precision.
Transmute 2 - Low priority - Up to you, but I hate waiting to replenish mana

All intellect boosting skills are important, but not vital. No need to boost the mana pool.

Units

Ranger
A good Sniper, shooting enemies efficiently at any range.

Elf
Similar to the Ranger, but generally lower attack. Has a very useful ability to double his damage though and inflict more damage than the Ranger.

Bowman
Not the best archer, but his slow arrow is good to keep a fast enemy on range. His special arrows are good against ghostly creatures.

Goblin with Catapult
Those goblins have a very powerful area of effect attack every 4 rounds. Damage is pretty good as well in effective range. They are excellent against boned enemies. Furthermore, they recruit Goblins or Shamans after the fight (only them if your reserve slots are full as well)

Goblin
The Axe throwing goblins are excellent against boned enemies. His ability Zeroing in combined with high adrenaline level make this unit probably the best ranged unit in the game.

Shaman
The Shamans throw ghost axes, which travel any distance and ignore resistances and 30% of the unit's defence. Pretty good against heavily armored targets. Even though not classified as shooter, the same bonuses apply. Pretty bad base damage.

Cyclops
A sniper unit with rather low damage potential. At least it is more durable than your other ranged fighters. Precision does not apply on Cyclops.

Slinger
In general not a bad unit, but falls behind compared with other units under best case circumstances which will be forced on round 2. They also have less special abilities.

Canoneer
Advantage due to high attack value, but generally low damage. Not really worth considering

Items of Interest
Generally it's good to have leadership on items or leadership requirements reduction for certain units, but only as long as those units are ranged - More men = more damage. Don't underestimate your intellect, as it's important for your "Precision" spell. I'd say focus on intellect and for item slots where you don't have anything with intellect, go for attack.

Elven Bow
Type: Weapon
Race: Elves
Found in: Unknown
Description:
+5 Attack for Bowmen
+10% Damage of Critical Hits
+25% Chance of Critical Hits
(Part of the Set "Forest Defender")

The Black Headband
Type: Helmet
Race: Elves
Found in: Unknown
Description:
-5 Attack
+25% Critical Hit chance for Elfs and Rangers
+15% Critical Hit Chance of Arrows fired from a bow
(40% more Crit for your elven archers, quite cool)

Marshal's Baton
Type: Regalia
Race: Human
Found in: Unknown
Description:
+1000 Leadership
+1 Morale to all humans
(There are no real good Regalia pieces for an archer, so more archers is still more damage)

Odin's Flag
Type: Regalia
Race: Vikings
Found in: Unknown
Description:
+150 Leadership
+20% Attack for allied troops
+1 Morale of allied Vikings
(Attack increase, must have. Multiple Flags don't work for some reasons)

Belt of Strength
Type: Belt
Race: Vikings
Found in: Unknown
Description:
+25% Attack of allied troops
+50 Leadership
+1 Defence
(Good as an attack booster)

Cloak of the Dark Lord
Type: Armour
Race: Undead
Found in: Recipe / Random
Description:
+2 Attack & Defence
+350 Leadership
+7 Mana
(Leadership, Attack and Mana, that's what you always need)

Shamanic Doll
Type: Artifact
Race: Orcs
Found in: Sold on Freedom Islands (Random)
Description:
-2 Initiative to all enemies
(Never lose your initiative, even if the enemy casts Battle Cry)

Combat Boots
Type: Boots
Race: Vikings
Found in: Sold in several places
Description:
+1 Defence
+3% Critical Hits
(Critical Hits are important)

Telescopic Sight
Type: Artifact
Race: Dwarves
Found in: Sold in Dwarves' stores (Random, rare)
Description:
+100% Attack for Shooters that use Projectiles or Devices
(Quite a damage boost, does not apply to Thorns)

Play Style

I'm not yet far enough to tell you about the Play style ;)

Phase I
Your only ranged unit is the Slinger. This stage is easier for a Skald than for other classes, as the bigger leadership allows that you have a larger army than your enemy and some even flee from you. Let them flee and collect free XP.
Usually start by attacking the enemy Necromancers and archers first.

Phase II
If you're lucky you find yourself some nice human archers on Vestlig. But for sure you will be able to buy Thorn Hunters. Those are not the best archers and also Precision doesn't apply to them, but at least they are a ranged unit more. You should at least have Slingers, Axe Throwers, Thorn Hunters in your army. It's unlikely that you have the Diversion skill already, but when you have, you will no longer only attack ranged units first, but those that did not skip their first turn. If a ranger skips his turn, you can deal with him in round two.

Phase III
On Fastland you will come across the Warrior Maidens, who have a strong ranged attack every 4 turns. Take them with you.

Phase IV
Finally you're free to go everywhere you'd like. As soon as you discover Merlassar (map in an inn in Arlania), sail there and get yourself your two best archers: Elfs and Rangers. In Greenwort you will be able to hire human Archers. On the Freedom Islands you can hire Goblins with Catapults, Goblins and Goblin Shamans.
I would advise you to use Rangers, Elfs, Goblin with Catapults, Goblins and either Goblin Shamans or Slingers, depending on your likes. Note though that taking a third Goblin means that the adrenaline granted from Onslaught will be divided into 3 than rather into 2.

Phase V
You will now have losses from time to time and not always you can heal everybody with resurrection. If you use goblin catapults and goblins and you're in possession of the Skald exclusive skill to revive warriors, don't heal the goblins at all. Heal every other troop of yours, especially those of which you don't carry reserve troops around. At the end of the fight, new goblins will join you. When being on the adventure map again, you get a message saying that X warriors of type Y were revived. Most likely, these will be your goblins. It is possible that you then have too many goblins and youneed to dismiss some of them.


Conclusion
This tactic is very deadly as soon as you have access to all the units (around level 18, as soon as arrived in Greenwort). The most aweful part is to keep your troops at full stack and find the right items to boost your effectiveness. Undead armies are a bit tricky due to boned enemies, but you'll manage. Enemy heroes are a plague as they usually diminish all of your troops. If played correctly, you will not suffer damage in close combat.
The "Most Damage inflicted" ranking after a fight varies pretty much on what enemies and in which formation you face. I had Elfs and Rangers on the last rankes already, while a slinger did most damage. Very pleasing to see your unit's effectiveness change from battle to battle.

Pro's
- High damage at range
- Able to take out enemy shooters in the first round, preventing losses
- Quick battles
- Can defeat any army except for undead, demons and bosses at invincible difficulty without losses
- Every fight is different through different target priorities caused by diversion

Con's
- Not really effective against the undead (boned / phantom)
- Challenging against enemies who evade
- Challenging against demons
- Losses from enemy heroes' spells are above average, due to lesser defence
Last edited by Zlorfik [CH]; Apr 6, 2013 @ 1:33am
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Zlorfik [CH] Apr 1, 2013 @ 6:11am 
Update 01.04.13
- Content update in section "Items of Interest"
- Content update in section "Spells"
- Alterations to section "Skills"
- Minor text alterations to section "Units"
- Completely changed "Conclusion"
- Changes made to "Phase IV" and "Phase V" in section "Play Style"

Update 03.04.13
- Added Telescopic sight to the "Items of interest" list
Zlorfik [CH] Apr 16, 2013 @ 11:15am 
A short annotation to this guide:
I just finished the game today with my archer and found myself on top of the ranking list. True, I did almost every quest and got up to level 65 (without grinding), but surely, the tactics itself also played a role.
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Date Posted: Mar 26, 2013 @ 10:52am
Posts: 2