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Old 10-22-2008, 07:20 AM
legion11 legion11 is offline
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Default Strategy Tips for Human Campaign

I normally don't write strategy guides. But Fantasy Wars is a great game with very little online support (at least in english). So heres my thoughts after completing the Human campaign. I don't claim to be an expert, but theres not much help around for this game so I figure any additional discussion helps.

1) You can generally get Gold victory (normal difficulty) on every level and still clear the map of every enemy and capture every town. The exception is the mission "Plains of Leranse". Thats the mission where you start in a camp in the middle of the map and have to free the king from a city. In that mission I think its better to go for the Silver victory so that you can kill all the enemies and scoop up all the experience, artifacts and gold.

2) On paper it looks like Swordsmen/Foot Knights are better than Halberdiers/Royal Guards. But in practice I found Halberdiers to be better. Halberdiers start with armor piercing and give a (stackable) defensive bonus to all nearby troops. Plus they get much better skills as they level up (attack leaders, forced march, heavy halberds). The Swordsmen have armor, which is nice, but overall I wouldn't field any Swordsmen if I played through again.

The Swordsmen's urban combat bonus looks good (because cities are tough to crack), but in practice its your heroes that will be doing the tough city assaults, not your troops. If you want to improve your city assaulting capability then you are better off with units that provide support bonuses (Scouts and Halberdiers), or can soften up the enemy (any missile or skirmish troops) before you attack with your heroes.

3) Scouts/Rangers are awesome. Their harassment ability is good for softening up a tough opponent before you attack, and its even better with the cause fear skill. Elite rangers get the excellent Pathfinder skill which is great for moving your army fast for gold victories. You can use segmented movement to make all your units move fast in one turn. Also rangers provide some forest fighting ability which is a weakness of many Human armies.

4) Cause Fear is most useful on units that don't do alot of damage (eg Rangers). Units that do lots of damage will often rout enemies regardless, or kill them outright.

5) Support bonuses/penalties all stack. For example two neighbouring halberdiers with the Attack Leaders skill will give +2 Defence and +2 Attack to neighbouring units. Take notice of other stackable bonuses like Shadow of the Vulture, Derrick Pfiels skills and Ranger Harassment.

6) If your unit cannot attack this turn, use a special ability like Defensive Stance or a magic item to get experience points. If you are about to complete a Gold victory a couple of turns early, delay your victory and use up any remaining skills for exp and use the time to hunt down any enemy stragglers.

7) The Archer/Crossbowmen's ability to provide covering fire on defence is not as useful as it appears on paper. Most successful assaults rely on massive force wiping out all dangerous enemies in one turn. There are rare large battles where you can't wipe the enemy out in one turn, but even then the AI is quite good at avoiding archer fire. Your priority when attacking is usually to cause maximum damage to the enemy, which makes it difficult to keep your army in the well ordered defensive formation needed to use defensive archers. (note Segmented Movement is very useful for rearranging your defensive formation just before you end turn).

8) The AI usually won't attack unless they, or a neighbouring ally unit, can see one of your men. Exploiting this is the key to winning battles with few casualties (and therefore the key to collecting Gold victories). Wipe out each group of enemy troops in one hit, and use any remaining movement to position yourself to assault the next group next turn.

9) The skills Slayer, Armor Piercing and Ford Seekers are the best skills in the game. Make them a priority whenever you see them. Other excellent skills include Ralin Boots, Segmented Movement, Attack Leaders, Shadow of the Vulture, Pathfinder, Hills Archer and Forced March.

10) The enemy often deploy archers and skirmishers in the (plentiful) forest, which the Human army is not good at fighting in. Either you need a Light Infantryman who specialises in forest combat, or else make sure you have enough missile/magic/skirmish capability to soften up forest enemies so that your regular troops can finish them off. Archers also end up with respectable defence standing in forest squares.

11) I'm still uncertain of the value of artillery. They are slow and fragile, and they can't be upgraded like Archers->Royal Archers or Crossbow->Arquebis. But their range 3 attack is good in bottleneck situations. I don't think you should have more than one in your army, maybe none.

12) Archers and Crossbowmen are both useful. Crossbowmen get armour piercing and slayer, making them effective against some of the games most dangerous enemies. Archers get Ralin boots and are more effective in forest combat and against unarmoured foes. All missile troops are great against skirmishers and flyers, and for softening up tough enemies.

13) I'm unsure about the value of Eagles. Certainly they are great for scouting and chasing down routed enemies. But Rangers can do both of those things just as well, plus Rangers get the excellent Harassment and Pathfinder Abilities. War Eagles can be used as anti-air, but missile troops do that job better. Eagles have a few good features: Shadow of the Vulture, defensive cover, monster hit-points (ie they can regen all hitpoints with one rest). But as great as eagles are I can't get over the feeling that there are other troops that so the same jobs better, ie Rangers and Archers.

14) I think the most troops you ever get to field in the Human campaign is 17 (ie 14 regular plus 3 heroes). Sometimes you'll start with only 11 or 9. So if you're planning ahead plan around that. There is enough exp available to max out about every unit and heroes experience by the end of the game, as long as you don't take alot of casualties and you make an effort to mostly clear every map.

15) If you split your army into 2 parts, make sure both parts can deal with strong enemies, armoured enemies and flying enemies. My standard split teamed up Father Dexter (armour piercing and strong enemies) with my Archers (flying enemies). While the other group consisted of Derrick Pfiel (strong enemies) and my Crossbowmen and Artillery (armour piercing and flying enemies).

16) In the above analysis I've questioned the value of Swordsmen, Artillery and Eagles. But in no way do I consider these units useless. Fantasy Wars is a very well balanced game that rewards combined arms and using the right unit for the right job. So those 3 troop types will still serve you very well in the campaign. I just enjoy obsessing over small optimisations and splitting hairs. Fantasy Wars caters well to people like that (fellow obsessors please critique my analysis). Light Cavalry are the only Human units I can't see the value of. Rangers are simply better.

Tony

Last edited by legion11; 10-22-2008 at 08:41 AM.
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