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Combat tactics, they matter


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I will avoid spoilers by keeping the names and locations vague. My party consists of a fighter, 2 chanters, a barbarian, a priest and a mage. All level 4 except one chanter is a level 3 hireling.

 

I encounter a situation where I have to fight a boss, surrounded by a large group of his cronies. There was 2 mages, a priest, an archer, a paladin, 2 "champions", and someone called a "bodyguard". None of them aggro either. You have to walk up into the circle of death and talk to them before they attack. The only advantage you have is that the area is kind of narrow and confined.

 

First attempt I keep the party back and send my barbarian main up to talk. As soon as conversation ends, my barb basically gets hit by a train and dies instantly. I tried fighting through it to get a sense of what exactly I was facing, and I did better than expected. I killed everything but the boss before wiping. Not bad for no plan and fighting a man down.

 

Second attempt. This time I sent the fighter tank up to talk instead. He dies. This time I actually did much worse. The boss lived along with 2 or 3 of his buddies.

 

Third attempt. This time I formed a wall with the fighter in the middle and 2 beefy chanters beside him, effectively shielding the rest of the party. The barb and priest were just behind them with long-range melee weapons. The priest was behind them, but still in range to cast short range AOEs like Arcane Missiles. Phananx formation! I move the party up close to the enemies but not into the middle of them.

 

This time when the fight starts I have each chanter grab the closest enemy. The fighter runs back into formation. He lives! Someone throws a Tanglefoot spell from a scroll and the mage casts the level 1 ice storm persistant AOE spell. This combo severely cripples or kills all the ranged enemies. Fighter uses knockdowns on the boss. Mage can knockdown also with Grimoire Slam. Barbarian uses Frenzy and Yell.

 

By the time the chanters get charged up to 3, the fight is well in hand. I had one summon a phantom and the other summoned 3 skellys. If I had had corpse explosion, it would have been amazing. Priest spammed AOE buffs/heals and the level 1 AOE knockdown. Mage spammed anything that does damage. Easy victory. The only casualty was the frenzied barb, which is not uncommon for him.

 

Obviously tactics are going to play a role in combat, but I was amazed at how much of a difference it made. The combat system in this game has a lot of nuance and it rewards you for playing smart. For people getting frustrated with it, I hope you will hang in there and try some different things because it can make a big difference.

 

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