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A Fighters guide to Skyrim
Are you an underachieving fighter who just cannot handle the wilderness of this cold, harsh land? Do you find it hard to fend off even the simplest and dumbest of creatures? Are you ineffective with combat, usually resulting in an untimely death and possible ressurection under a necrophiliac (or commonly known as a necromaner)? Well then this guide is for you! Made by yours truly, an ample fighter of Skyrim, i will share with you knowledge on fighting techniques, places to train and how to handle different enemies with ease! Never fail at murdering saving civilians again!
Hello, and welcome to the fighters guide to Skyrim! This guide, as previously displayed, has been made to help those aspiring young fighters of our cold and harsh home to become powerful warriors with the knowledge and skills to tame our wild land. I shall discuss preparations for fighting, techniques and tactics of fighting and good areas to hone your skills, and even some specialist tactics for specialist creatures that may prove challenging to defeat. With many hours of gameplay as a true fighter under my belt, i hope that this information can assist you in your fighting needs, in what is commonly called the "Russia" of Tamriel.
As with most things in life, a good fighter needs to prepare themselves for the glorious battle to ensue. Here i shall cover some basic items needed for most battles (such as one and two handed weapons, shields and armour) along with their benefits and drawbacks, and some more advanced items that can turn the tide of a battle in your favour. Onwards!
Weapons: There are 3 common types of weaponry to choose from in Skyrim; Swords, Axes and Maces/Warhammers. Each individual fighter will find their skills are more compatiable with a certain weapon, for instance, someone who wishes to strike as fast as possible would consider a form of sword, considering they are the fastest weapons in game to swing.
One handed weapons: The one handed weapon is a weapon that, funnily enough, only requires one hand to hold. These weapons, as opposed to two handed, provide more speed due to less weight, but generally have less damage output per hit. These weapons also allow the use of a shield, which can be used to block and bash enemies when they attack, and at higher levels, a charge into enemy ranks which can knock them all down. Due to the traits available and the diversity, i favour one handed weapons when i take part in a hearty battle.
Two handed weapons: The counterpart to the above, a two handed weapon is usually bulkier than a one handed weapon, and will always require two hands to hold and use effectively. The increased weight does remove the speed of a swing, but in effect creates more damage per hit, making it ideal for a one hit KO against weaker targets, allowing companions to focus on the larger threats earlier. The use of a two handed weapon does remove the ability to use a shield, making it a much more offensive weapon choice than its counterpart.
Swords: The sword is a very common weapon in Skyrim. The form of a sword is a piece of sharpened metal, which is used to slash and stab at opponents. Its lightweight properties make it ideal for speed, making swords the fastest of the 3 one and two handed weapon types in game. I personally favour the sword due to the speed of the swing, and it allows me to pull off good manouvers when necessary.
Axes: The axe is seen around the bandits and well balanced fighters of Skyrim. It is a metal head, in which a convex bend has been sharpened to a very fine state, allowing the user to hack and slash at opponents. It is the balanced weapon of the 3 types, as it has a medium range damage and medium range speed. For first time fighters, i would reccomend the axe because it is an all round balanced weapon, perfect if you want to get started with fighting in Skyrim.
Maces/Warhammers: The maces and warhammers of Skyrim tend to belong to the tanks and heavy armoured muscly masses that inhabit the land. These weapons are usually a shaped chunk of metal attached to a metal or wooden pole, which is used to blugeon enemies to death. These weapons favour damage over speed, being the most powerful but also the slowest of the 3 weapon types. These are specialsit weapons, and if used by someone who can utilise thier abilities, they can be very deadly indeed, and enemies that favour a warhammer or a mace can prove to be very challenging, and i will come onto different tactics for dealing with these brutes later.
The Shield: My favourite piece of equipment in Skyrim, the trusty shield can be the wall between survival and death. Consisting of a formed (usually round, but other shapes exist) piece of metal, a shield is held by the warrior to block incoming attacks from an aggressor. A shield can also be used to bash an opponent, which will negate any attack that was being prepped before hand, making it a useful tool to use against a large enemy who is preparing for a killing blow. Note however, a shield can only be used effectively by someone wielding a one handed weapon, as a two handed weapon requires (its literally in the title) two hands. Whilst a block can be performed with a two handed weapon, it is not as effective as a shield block.
Dual weilding Are you looking to boost damage output, but want to be a speed trainer, and not worried about blocking? Then dual wielding is for you! This techniques uses a second one handed weapon as opposed to a two handed weapon or a shield. This allows the warrior to use two weapons instead of one! You dont want to get in the way of someone with two swords now do you? The benefits are the obvious two weapons, but a drawback is that you cannot block any attacks with dual wield weapons, which leaves you vunderable to the crushing truth of a warhammer on your skull that your just not fast enough. Whilst reliable, it does take practice and recommended for advanced players.
Armour: The must have for all fighters of Skyrim, armour provides a protective layer of a certain type that can help defend you against attacks from your enemies. Many forms of armour exist, but the biggest dispute for fighters is the choice between the two classes of armour; Light armour and Heavy armour.
Light armour: Light armour is made from generally lightweight materials, such as fur, leather and glass. It provides minimal defence against enemy attacks, but does free up the user to use quick attack methods and is ideal for the hit and run fighters. Its weakness is against a strong blow from a powerful weapon, as this can usually deal alot of damage to light armour users, and may even kill them, making it an ineffective choice for the hard hitting tanks in our fighting ranks. This tends to make it an ideal choice for warriors of speed, as a good shield can be used to negate those powerful blows and provide a window of oppurtunity to vause real damage, and the armour would not hinder the speed of attacks and would allow for a quick getaway if any fight got too hairy.
Heavy armour: Heavy armour is the opposite to light armour, giving the wearer increased defence against enemy attacks, but hindering speed and movements of the user. This armour type is commonly found on tanks and two handed wielding fighters, mainly to absorb alot of damage as the get closer and closer to their enemy, allowing them to reach and dispact their foes with ease. I personally use heavy armour, as it provides the most defence against damage and allows me to take riskier actions against enemies that may yield high damage against them, keeping me alive if they fail.
Potions The final item for any warriors arsenal is the potion. This simple brew can provide the fighter with a large number of effects, ranging from restoring them back to full health or giving them the power they need to kill thier opponents to giving them huge amounts of damage resistance. They are necessary in almost any warriors arsenal, and in most cases can sustain survival for long enough to win a battle.
Restoration Alternatively as a replacement to potions, a wel balanced warrior could use restoration magic. This magic school is commonly used by the fighting class as a solution to the casual missing limbs and protruding arrows. Be careful however, as many warriors chosse not to invest in magicka, making some of the better healing spells obselete and useless, and if a warrior runs out of magicka halfway thorugh healing in a battle, the common term would be "you're F***ed
Techniques and Tactics
Now that you have your gear equipped, stolen brought legally from a trader or looted from the dead borrowed from a friend, you are almost ready to cut down foe after foe. All you need now is the know how on your chosen gear, and how you can utilise it to its full potential
Speed Speed is the usage of a quick and fleeting attack or movement that will leave your foes wondering, quite literally, what just hit them. Speed is often utilised by light armoured, one handed using warriors of a low health and high stamina.
Guerilla attacks: Guerilla tactics, in war, is using hit and run tactics to destory key areas of enemy encampment, usually food supplies or a high profile area, to disrupt and destabilise them. It can be modified for the everyday warrior. The preferred loadout is one or two one handed weapons (usually swords), a light shield if only one weapon and light armour. The warrior would pick out an enemy, and get close to them without being seen. Then the warrior would jump from the shadows and attack in a flurry of moves before the victim has time to react, then the warrior would return to the shadows, or pick off another enemy in the confusion. This is a useful method for dispatching small numbers of enemies quickly and quietly. It would me ineffective as a large group as staying hidden would be difficult, but the brave warrior could charge for the high profile enemy and attempt to kill them quickly before a hasty retreat, which would weaken the enemy indefinately and make it easier to kill them all at a later conveniance.
Clockwork striking: This is the method of continuous movement when attacking. This is favoured mainly by warriors with two weapons and light armour. The idea is to constantly move around your target and attack them at random intervals during said movement. This can dispact large enemies quickly and makes it an ideal tactic against shield users and slow movement enemies, but leaves your prone to an attack as blocking would hold you still and negate the tactic, and leave you a sitting duck to your enemies devices.
The line of best hit: This is the method that requires some time to master. The warrior would once again favour light armour and possbly two one handed weapons, or even a single weapon, but a shield is disadvised. The warrior would charge into the enemy and attack in a flurry of movements from enemy to enemy. This would weaken the crowd of enemies, and when the line is complete, the warrior would turn around and do it again, once again weakening the enemies. This cycle would lead to the untimely deaths of all enemies involved, and hopefully an unscathed victor. This can be a risky strategy, as some enemies may wind up for an attack or even block you off as you charge, meaning any obstacles would usually result in the group attacking you and literally turning you into a pile of slush. It may require some practice, but once mastered, can be used to defeat huge amounts of foes with relatively no damage taken.
Balance: Balance is the careful calculation of both speed and strength in an effort for an all rounded warrior, capable of dealing moderate damage at a moderate speed, and also giving them very little weakness and enough diversity to defeat almost any foe. These warriors can favour alot of loadouts, such as one handed weapons with a shied and heavy armour, or a two handed light armoured warrior.
Bash and Slash: This method has been inspired to me by the film "300", where during the first wave of Persians, the Spartans would push thier enemy away with shields and strike at them whilst they recover. The warrior would bash their target with thier shield, and then attack whilst their enemy recovers. This tactic would require alot of stamina, as a shield bash can drain a warrior of his energy very quickly. This can prove to be a moderate way of attacking, and will allow you to dispatch most foes with relative ease, with only the fastest or strongest of foes posing a real threat to your tactic.
Double team: This method is utilised with both a shield and a companion (preferablly an archer). The warrior would hold thier shield high and distract a foe, in which the archer would take this moment to pepper the enemy with arrows as quickly as possible, or with a single, well timed shot. This would keep the archer safe from harm and ready for another attack (for archers are not know for thier ability to take a hit) and would deal minimal damage to the warrior, who can (i hope) most certainly take a hit. This can be tied in with the Bash and Slash tactic, but would gie the archer a harder time to hit the enemy if the warrior is constantly in the way, and may result in an accidental arrow through the warriors head.
Strength: Strength is the utilisation of power over speed. This form will require a very large damage output from the user, and often a very high damage intake, which leads to a common loadout of a two handed weapon (commonly a battlaxe or warhammer) and heavy armour. This can be a good fighter in the group, who can distract and mutilate opponents with very little effort.
The Bulldozer: This is the simple tactic of charging into a group of enemies, swinging your weapon wildly and ususally shouting "For Skyrim and the Nords!" A very simple attack method, but can lead to a huge number of losses on the enemies side with very little damage done to our big softie. It can also free up other warriors who may have perished under such circumstances for a different time. This methodis best used when faced with a blockade of enemies or a "shield wall" that a normal warrior couldnt penetrate by themselves.
The Star of the Show: This is your time to shine! Your 15 minutes in the limelight! Your ticket to a 90% dead audience, with the last 10% havving nightmares about you for years to come! This warrior would charge into a group of enemies, usually possessing powerful heavy armour, a strong shield and a mace, and cause as big as a distraction as possible. This is when your companions, which are commonly archers, would unleash volleys of arrows upon your crowd, decimating their numbers every time you turn around. This tactic would be near useless as a lone soldier,so be sure to bring a companion or even two if you know how along to the fight. The volley of arrows would cause minimal damage if any hit you as your a freaking mass of metal who will be on crowd control during this violent episode of fandom. The stage awaits!
That one guy everyone keeps away from: This tactic uses the power of fear upon the small, weak masses before you. Dressed in the most fearsome heavy armour, wielding the most powerful warhammer available with horrific amounts of damage attached, this warrior would lead a group of warriors into battle, taking the brunt of the force upon impact and colliding flesh with steel with every swing. This tactic will require you to soak up alot of damage, so make sure you can handle it before you charge head first into the gates of oblivion and that you have the power to face whatever foe you see first, usually with a big chunk of metal on a stick. You'll the the talk of the prison camps after your victory though, usually known as the scariest beast to ever walk this earth. Thats a nickname you want on a shirt!
Training and Dragons
This final section will help you to find good areas to practive your newly adopted skills, specialist fighters that will lend you a helping hand in your training, and tips on defeating the newest arrvial to the food chain of Skyrim; the dragon.
Places to train:
Valtheim towers This is a set of towers located just north east of Whiterun (shown on the map to the left). Here lies a small contingent of banits adopting light armour, with two archers and a heavily armoured leader of the clan. This can be a good place to train for strength, as there is little room for movement and can leave speed users trapped, especially on the bridge, and also allows shield users to bash their opponents into the rushing river below.
Blackreach: After accepting the quest "Discerning the Transmundane" from Septimus Sigmus at his outpost north of Winterhold, you will gain a key that allows you access to Blackreach, which can be accessed (the easiest route to note) through Alftand (location to the left). This place is crawling with speedy using Falmer, who are good if you want to try and practice for Strength, or there are large steam centurions, which possess large amounts of health and damage, making them ideal for speed training.
Most other places provide a different assortment of enemies, but the respawn timer of 28 days on all dungeons means that, apart from the two above, there are no real ideal places to train. Caverns are useful for Strength users as the tunnels are usually small and allow a straight up attack with little room to dodge, and wide open encampments make it easier to speed train, allowing places to sneak around for ambushes or a large open land in which to complete a line of best hit. Mostly, the finding of a good place to train relies on common sense more than most, for such questions are asked "How many enemies are there?" or "How large is the potential battle field?" or "Is there much room for movement?" You have to do some background research on places to really find a good spot, but when one is found its all worth it.
Trainers: Some of Skyrims top warriors are willing to help you out with training, but usually for a price. Below are some of the best warriors of Skyrim who are willing to pass on knowledge to you for coin:
One handed: - Amren - Wanders inner Whiterun during the day, near the market at 6pm - Athis - Trains at Jorrvaskr in Whiterun during the day, stays in the Jorrvaskr living quarters in the evening; you must be a member of the Companions to receive training from him - Burguk - Dushnikh Yal
Two handed: - Torbjorn Shatter-Shield - Windhelm - Fura Bloodmouth (DG) - Inside Volkihar Keep at Castle Volkihar; you must have the Dawnguard plug-in for her to be available - Vilkas - Inside Jorrvaskr in Whiterun
Block (shields): - Njada Stonearm - Inside Jorrvaskr in Whiterun - Chief Larak - Mor Khazgur
Light armour: - Scouts-Many-Marshes - The docks outside of Windhelm - Grelka - Riften Market from 8am to 8pm, stays at Haelga's Bunkhouse at night - Nazir - The Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary
Heavy armour: - Gharol - Dushnikh Yal - Farkas - Inside Jorrvaskr in Whiterun; you must be on or past the mission where he becomes your Shield-Brother Follower - Isran(DG) - Inside Fort Dawnguard; you must have the Dawnguard plug-in for him to be available
Dragons: This fearsome flying lizard is the bane of many warriors, both new and experienced. Capable of destroying entire cities, the dragon is the most dangerous foe to a warrior, but if defeated, it can become a warriors greatest accomplishment and may find them fame all across Skyrim. Here are some tips on fighting the winged beasts: - Take cover from their breath attacks, the dragons signature attack method, as these can prove to be fatal to nearly any class of warrior, and only an experienced shield bearer can negate damage from these fearsome attacks. - Use a shield bash to open a window for attack, or simply just to negate the powerful jaw clamp a dragon may use. In cases against dragons, a shield can be the bulwark to survival, and i would highly reccomend taking one if you use one handed weapons. - Take cover whilst the dragon is flying, as any attacks will be useless if they cannot reach our foe, who happens to be flying high above us - When a dragon lands, it will always attempt a breath attack before any other attacks. Use this to your advantage, by using a shield bash or a power attack to stop the dragon and give you a window of oppurtunity in which to strike from. An experienced and fast attacker could even take down a dragon in a single go if done correctly. - Try to move around the dragon, as this makes it resort to different attacks (foot stamping, tail swinging) which also makes the beast turn towards you. This will also protect from the breath attacks, which can be fatal.
A Closing Note
Well, thats everything you need to know to become a good fighter in Skyrim. Remember that there is no right way to fight in Skyrim; only the best way for you. You may find it easier to smash a foe with a warhammer than to stab them alot with a bunch of swords, or would prefer to bash and slash them. Each tactic exists to give you variety and skill in fighting enemies in Skyrim. I hope this guide has been as useful and fun to read as it has been for me to write. Happy hunting, and remember me when all your enemies lay dead before you :)