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Thread: What have you Learned to becoming a Better Player?

  1. #1
    Member Dysp's Avatar
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    What have you Learned to becoming a Better Player?

    Hi, this is for experienced players and new players. I wanted to start a thread in which players would share small distinctions they've learned when playing Factions. It can be concerning tactics, team lineup, composition, stats, placement or anything else you might think other players would find helpful. I want to try to keep it simple.


    So here's mine...
    I've played beta some, mostly with fully promoted units. But once I started playing with the basic team, I felt very clumsy and incapable. I was getting crushed in every game. After a right-awful match with another player, he gave me some advice. That was to think of Varls as either tanks or attackers, and I realized, with the starting team, I was not assigning roles to any my units.

    Once a team is full of promoted & customized units, they both look different and behave differently, each with a defined role. However, when your team is all basic units, this distinction isn't as apparent (in my case at least).

    The issue was that I was generalizing all of my units as Attackers/Meatshields/&-Armor-Breakers. Once I gave my starting units individual roles at the beginning of the match I started setting specific units to the side as Strength damage dealers and attempted to place my designated armor-break units in positions they'd be most effective as armor breakers, as if they were promoted & specialized units. After that, I noticed I was playing much more effectively.

    It's not much, but it was very helpful to me, and have since felt less clumsy in battle.


    If you have any specific experiences/distinctions to share that might be helpful to becoming a better player, then please share them!

    -Example-example: ..found out that 1 more exertion allowed my unit to reach the second row of the starting lineup on the first turn.

  2. #2
    Superbacker piotras's Avatar
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    I like the idea, so not really a guide but just hints and tips that come to our head for the benefit of all? Well, why not, I'll add my part to this noble cause

    One thing I found very different in TBS:F and that new players should pay extra attention is the turn order. It alternates, even when team numbers are not equal, which puts the team with fewer units in a advantageous situation.

    I think I got better after I realised that very often it is more beneficial to maim (i.e. minimise units effectiveness) rather than kill (and if already maimed, then rest, rather thank kill), because when you do the latter it might hasten the turn of dangerous unit or unblock a tile(s) and allow for a passage of unit you would rather see blocked.

    So in short, always consider maiming and kill if you have to or need the will-power, not because you can!

  3. #3
    Senior Member sweetjer's Avatar
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    I'm going to give you a general rule and then in proper banner saga fashion, at the end I'll tell you to break it. Don't take chance to miss shots unless you need to for some reason. a "need-to reason" might be for instance if you don't take the percent chance to miss shot your archer is dead/some other integral unit is hobbled in some way, if you do take it you can gain an advantage. if you miss, the same horrible thing that was going to happen happens anyway. if you feel compelled to tempt fate for no real reason, only do so when you're ahead and skipping your turn would not hand advantage over to the opponent. all rules are made to be broken, and taking a risk on a shot like this when your opponent thinks you'll obey the rules I've just laid out for you can not only give you statistical advantage it can really mess with the opp's strategy. I do this with no less than a 90% shot, but hey go crazy. Just don't be surprised when you whiff and all of the sudden it's pillage time.
    Last edited by sweetjer; 02-19-2013 at 03:57 PM.

  4. #4
    Have a plan at the start of the game and then adapt that plan to the specifics of the game. Best advice I can give

  5. #5
    One key for me was planning my opening moves, then re-ordering my units to support that plan. For instance:

    Want a Thrasher to start out swinging? Make him go second (or third). That way, when he uses Bloody Flail, he has allies to give him bonus to his final swing (assuming he hits.)

    Want archers to sneak up behind your shieldwall and take down armor? Make them go last in initiative.

    The other big hint--have one heavy-hitter who waits until the end of the game, then crashes into the enemy.

  6. #6
    Make sure you have a plan when setting your unit order. Not a specific plan for a particular build, but know your basic strategy and set your units to prepare for it. Might use your strongarm to set up a backbiter early? Make sure the strongarm goes first. Want to have a skystriker interrupt your opponent's early moves? She needs to be near the front of your order.

  7. #7
    Very basic stuff:
    Watch the turn-order and plan ahead. Your raider can either go for 4 damage or 4 armor on that warrior with already lowered armor? If your archer is in range and has her turn before the warrior, go for armor: You deal 2 more damage with puncture and armor is already lowered.

    Control the enemys movement. Close formations with Varl in front can often be immobilised easily by placing an unit in front of the varl. Units behind that varl must go around him, wasting turns or willpower.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by mjstarkweather View Post
    Make sure you have a plan when setting your unit order. Not a specific plan for a particular build, but know your basic strategy and set your units to prepare for it. Might use your strongarm to set up a backbiter early? Make sure the strongarm goes first. Want to have a skystriker interrupt your opponent's early moves? She needs to be near the front of your order.
    I would add to that: make sure you have two plans. If your plan is to hide behind a strong front line while your archers destroy the enemy, you will need to adjust it if your opponent is fielding Bowmasters, and if your plan is to rush in there like a madman with a bunch of Backbiters, an enemy Skystriker will require a change of tactics.

  9. #9
    Superbacker StandSure's Avatar
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    Early on I would try to just rush in when I could to try and get the first hit, thinking it will all shake out in the end. But experienced players can overcome that easily.

    What is significant is that your players are working TOGETHER, and can be used to make each other better. Unlike chess, where any attack is a kill, you need to break down the enemy over a series of moves. And TBSF has provisions for helping: Shield Wall, boosts from allies in Bloody Flail and WM attacks, and maybe most significantly in base unit play, Puncture. You can help yourself a lot by setting up a strong formation and putting your archers in places where they can camp out behind armor breakers and dish out major damage without moving. I move my archers in the early game to set them up and during that time I use them for ranged armor breaks. After a couple turns, they get stone shoes.

    What goes along with this is, THINK about what unit to attack. It is tempting to exact revenge on that Raider that just thumped you, but can you weaken your opponent's NEXT unit before they have a chance to hit you? Or, is there an enemy in range who could have his armor broken so that YOUR next unit could really deal on him?

    I've had enough close games that it's clear that every move is precious.

  10. #10
    Superbacker piotras's Avatar
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    Nice! Keep it coming

    I found that a lot of new players tend to favour promoting units into these variants which translate into direct damage - Bowmasters, Backbiters, Warmasters etc. This game is also about messing up your opponents plans or synergy with other troops, thus units like Skystriker (Rain of arrows interrupting opponents action on trapped tile), Raidmaster (resisting 3 damage, can block units protecting squishy archers or allowing your warriors to move forward), Provokers (malice forcing them to do melee attack at your provoker next round) or Warleaders (not that strong as his 'younger' equivalents, but can forward a units turn or armour break for 4-7 per round!) are still very good units if used correctly. If you're not sure which promotion to choose consider these ones as well!

  11. #11
    Adding to what Piotras said, Raidmasters are possibly the ultimate archer killers. Stick one up front, with his ability on, and either the opponent has to waste huge amounts of exertion slowly lowering his shields, make their formation specifically targeted at blocking him, or let him through.

    It isn't a fun choice to make.

  12. #12
    Superbacker quartex's Avatar
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    I agree Robert, although I tried that against a Warmaster in the beta, and his 17 strength attack managed to still cripple my Raidmaster with 1 hit.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Jorgensager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quartex View Post
    I agree Robert, although I tried that against a Warmaster in the beta, and his 17 strength attack managed to still cripple my Raidmaster with 1 hit.
    If this turns out to be a regular problem, consider redistributing some points into armour. He has a max armour stat of 12. With the Stone Wall ability this gives him 15 armour in the early game (of which 3 points are absorbed), hence a 17 damage Warmaster only deals 2 damage (+ exertion). And if you position your Raidmaster cleverly, your archers should be able to start picking away on that Warmaster. He will soon be less of a threat!

  14. #14
    I haven't tried Raidmasters myself yet, though it does seem likely that I'll make him my next promote. There was a particularly obnoxious build that used four Raidmasters to hunker down and then passed initiative between two War Leaders, and I've never seen them used anywhere else.

    I've been having a lot of fun with Siege Archers. The new Slag & Burn may not pack as much of a punch or combo as well with Skystrikers, but hitting up to three units for damage is pretty nice, and the coals serve as the poor man's Rain of Arrows, discouraging people from going that way. I haven't seen anyone else use Siege Archers though, so maybe this is actually a dumb idea.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by sweetjer View Post
    I'm going to give you a general rule and then in proper banner saga fashion, at the end I'll tell you to break it. Don't take chance to miss shots unless you need to for some reason. a "need-to reason" might be for instance if you don't take the percent chance to miss shot your archer is dead/some other integral unit is hobbled in some way, if you do take it you can gain an advantage. if you miss, the same horrible thing that was going to happen happens anyway. if you feel compelled to tempt fate for no real reason, only do so when you're ahead and skipping your turn would not hand advantage over to the opponent. all rules are made to be broken, and taking a risk on a shot like this when your opponent thinks you'll obey the rules I've just laid out for you can not only give you statistical advantage it can really mess with the opp's strategy. I do this with no less than a 90% shot, but hey go crazy. Just don't be surprised when you whiff and all of the sudden it's pillage time.
    poetry... i still love to roll the dice tho

  16. #16
    Don't attack Shieldbangers (and their bigger brethren) with the Thrasher's special ability "Bloody Flail". Superstupid idea cost me a game. Do, however, use the Thrasher's ability when his strength is low, it always deals a fixed amount of damage. This is especially useful if your Thrasher's not one of the last units standing.

  17. #17
    Superbacker netnazgul's Avatar
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    Oh, an advice topic!

    As a general advice, and a very helpful one - count! This game is rather deterministic, so with a little effort you can predict the most likely battle developments and turns your enemy will have against you. For example you should always be aware of where can your warhawk/warmaster move to deal the most damage, , where is the most dangerous enemy unit and what he can do, how can you block that unit to prevent him dealing damage to your warhawk/warmaster or even to lure him in the position where he will be vulnerable and so on. If you watch Tirean's game streams (or most of the others, situated here https://stoicstudio.com/forum/showthr...-all-Streamers!), you can see what I mean - those game-changing moves can and should be noted each turn.

    The other thing I've learned playing (in fact I got it earlier than the first one) is you should have a general plan for your team. Want to have a sniping archer? Set him at low armor break, but more strength and exertion and place him last in the turn queue. Want to rather have your archer break and disrupt enemy waves for your other characters? Take Siege archer with high break or Skystriker with lots of willpower to use Rain of Arrows and exertion to be able to break and set her somewhere in the middle of turn queue.
    And that analysis should be made on each character you have - who is generally doing what. But don't overdo it as you'll have a lot of situations where it's more useful to go against your plan (as with Thrasher/Backbiter having a go on archer - in early stages of the battle you would like to bring enemy archers to low strength ASAP, especially if there is a lot of them).
    If you don't know where to put it - put it in the pillage

    Steelhammer Tribune issues collected here
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  18. #18
    Junior Member eduran's Avatar
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    One thing that helps me immensely is to record my games and analyse them afterwards whenever I have no clue why I won or lost. I found a surprising number of small mistakes that way.

  19. #19
    Backer Zahar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    I haven't tried Raidmasters myself yet, though it does seem likely that I'll make him my next promote. There was a particularly obnoxious build that used four Raidmasters to hunker down and then passed initiative between two War Leaders, and I've never seen them used anywhere else.

    I've been having a lot of fun with Siege Archers. The new Slag & Burn may not pack as much of a punch or combo as well with Skystrikers, but hitting up to three units for damage is pretty nice, and the coals serve as the poor man's Rain of Arrows, discouraging people from going that way. I haven't seen anyone else use Siege Archers though, so maybe this is actually a dumb idea.
    I like her a lot and used her a lot, but frankly speaking, unless S&B receives a buff, she cannot compete with SA...

    About my game changing experience: When I first realized the first WH/WM to hit the opponent WH/WM usually seals the game pretty early in the match. There's a reason people play VERY safe with those units.
    Last edited by Zahar; 03-06-2013 at 01:59 PM.
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  20. #20
    For me, I started winning more often after I learned to focus on the opponent's initiative order. Look at the next toon your opponent is using after your current player. If possible, attack your opponent's next toon using your current toon, preferably for health damage so his next attack wont be as strong.

    When I first began playing I mostly attacked opponent's toons based on their immediate proximity to my toons. My win/loss ratio was about 50/50 with this method. After I began focusing on the next opposing toon in the initiative order my win/loss ratio went way up and I won 6 hard fought games in a row. In the early mayhem of combat, the initiative order might not be as important as getting your team in the best position possible. But mid and late game the initiative order gets more and more important. I've pulled out several unlikely victories in this manner.

    I usually open by positioning and maneuvering my big guys up front, with the Raider sandwiched in between if possible but still one square back from the front line. After my big guys are engaged in melee, then i bring the Raider all the way up. I keep my archers and Thrasher in back and wait for an opening or an easy target.

    Be patient and see if your opponent charges into battle or is more cautious. I dont really play with a game plan in mind, I just try my best to adapt to my opponent's positioning and initiative order.

    For willpower, I tend to use it early for melee toons to break high armor targets. But if my opponent puts a squishy target out front, i'll use the willpower of my next melee unit to move extra squares and seriously hurt or kill the target. Late game willpower from the Horn i tend to save for archers, either to retreat from flanking units, or to finish off weakened units.

    Granted this is all based on the default team, and my strategy will probably need to change versus more advanced teams.
    Last edited by masterblaster; 03-11-2013 at 04:21 AM.

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