A good strategy for companions

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Sir Shrek

Veteran
Unlike most games, Mount & Blade has a ton of information you need to know before you start playing.  As I surround the last 8 fiefs of Rhodoks, the only remaining original faction, I thought I would share the strategy I used for configuring the companions. The idea is to turn the companions into an elite heavy cavalry. I found this strategy to be very effective. I found it on this forum although I tweaked it a little. A lot of this information wasn’t part of the original strategy. It’s my own opinions. My current game is the second time that I have played Warband and the first time that I have used this configuration for companions.

Most important skill groups in order of importance

1) Scout – Pathfinding might be the most important skill in the game. Being able to run away from  enemies and catch up to enemies is crucial
2) Doctor – Wound treatment is the most important medical skill and one of the most important skills in the game because it affects everyone in your party after every battle
3) Engineer – The Engineer skill is crucial during the mid-game because it allows you to build siege items and prison towers
4) Looter – Training Looting is useful because it increases the amount of loot you get after a battle and when looting villages
You want 8 companions to learn as many of the skills in these groups as possible so you don’t have to.

Companions
This is just the important info. For more info, I suggest you read about companions in a strategy guide. Just Google for one. You want 8 companions that won’t argue.

Think of it as 2 groups of 5:

Jeremus, Deshavi, Klethi, Bunduk, Ymira
or
Artimenner, Borcha, Lezalit, Matheld, Rolf

and 2 groups of 3:

Alayen, Baheshtur, Firentis
or
Marnid, Nizar, Katrin

Choose 1 group of 5 and 1 group of 3 and you’ll be fine. Four of the companions you choose will be known as “skill monkeys” because they will start with Intelligence skills. Four will be called “fighters” because they will start with combat skills.

The best companions:
I think the best group of 5 is Jeremus, Deshavi, Klethi, Bunduk, Ymira.

I say this for two reasons
1) Better People Right from the Start
Deshavi is the best scout and Ymira will become the best doctor. That means this group of 5 has or will have the most well trained companions in the 2 most important skill groups. Also, Klethi is the best choice for Looter because she starts with the highest Agility level and her character level is only 2.

2) Lower Average Starting Character Level
The Jermus group has an average starting character level of 3.6, much lower than the Artimenner group’s 6.4.

The Artimenner group has the best engineer and 25 point higher average starting proficiencies than the Jeremus group. These advantages don’t compensate for its disadvantages.

For a group of 3, I went with Marnid, Nizar and Katrin. I thought Katrin’s training in Trade would be helpful. This is only my second time playing Warband and I think the Marnid group was a mistake. Katrin is a slow learner because of her high starting character level and after nearly completing the mid-game it’s clear that Trade is the least important skill. Katrin was always far behind the others along with Bunduk. Next time I will go with Alayen, Baheshtur and Firentis.

Although the skills the two groups of 3 have to offer is very different, the amount of training they’ve had is very similar. Also, the two groups have a nearly identical average starting character level but the Alayen group has 35 point higher average starting proficiencies. Alayen, Baheshtur and Firentis all start at least 2 levels lower than Katrin but have starting proficiencies at least 20 points higher than Katrin. Compared to the other companions, the Alayen group won’t be the fastest learners but they won’t be the slowest. They should be near the middle of the pack and much faster than Katrin.


So the companions I recommend are:

Jeremus, Deshavi, Klethi, Bunduk, Ymira
and
Alayen, Baheshtur and Firentis.

Think of them as having these titles:
Baheshtur - Engineer
Deshavi - Pathfinder (scout)
Alayen - Emissary
Klethi - Looter
Ymira - Wound Treater (doctor)
Jeremus – Surgeon
Bunduk - First Aid Medic
Firentis - Spotter

Alayen, Baheshtur and Firentis have no training in their assigned jobs so they could be moved around. The other 5 are all qualified in 1 or more ways for their assigned jobs. This is definitely the group I will go with next time I play.


Attributes and Combat Skills for Everyone Except the Looter (Klethi)
Attributes and levels to train to:

Strength: 12
Agility: 12
Intelligence: 30

Combat Skills and levels to train to:

Ironflesh: 4
Power Strike: 4
Weapon Master: 4
Riding: 4

I decided not to train Athletics. Athletics determines running speed. That’s all it does. When do your companions need to be able to run fast? It didn’t sound important to me. I’m near the end of the mid-game and I’ve never wished they could run faster. By not training Athletics you save 4 skill points that you can spend elsewhere. 

Attributes and Combat Skills for the Looter
Attributes and levels to train to:

Strength: 12
Agility: 30
Intelligence: 12

Combat Skills and levels to train to:

Ironflesh: 4
Power Strike: 4
Weapon Master: 4
Riding: 4

Non-combat Skills for the Skill Monkeys
Each companion trains the Trainer skill and 2 other Intelligence skills to 10. Some companions train a 4th skill but sometimes to a level below 10. Each companion’s title comes from skill 1. Skills 1, 2 and 3 can be trained simultaneously. When you have finished training those skills, put whatever skill points are left into skill 4 if there is a skill 4. The columns line up well in the editing window but wouldn't line up when I posted it but I think you can read it.

Name                           Skill 1                     Skill 2               Skill 3               Skill 4
Jeremus – Engineer            Engineer             Trainer       Tactics
Deshavi – Pathfinder   Pathfinding             Trainer       Spotting            Tracking
Ymira – Wound Treater   Wound Treatment    Trainer       First Aid       Surgery
Klethi – Looter           Looting (Agility)        Trainer


Non-combat Skills for the Fighters
The fighters function as backups to the skill monkeys for Int Skills. Some skills don't need a backup while others have 1 or 2 backups. Each companion’s title comes from skill 2.

Name                             Skill 1           Skill 2             Skill 3                         Skill 4
Alayen - Emissary             Trainer   Persuasion     Tactics                         Pathfinding
Bunduk – First Aid Medic      Trainer   First Aid             Surgery                 Wound Treatment
Baheshtur – Surgeon     Trainer   Surgery             Wound Treatment        First Aid
Firentis – Spotter             Trainer   Spotting             Pathfinding                 Surgery

Training Strategy
The post I got this strategy from, recommended training only combat skills until they were level 4 and then training Int skills. If you do that, you get little benefit from some important skills like Pathfinding, Spotting and Wound Treatment for a long time. So, I decided to alternate the training between combat skills and Int skills until I had all the skills trained to the levels I wanted. This way you gradually get more and more benefit from each group of skills which I think is a better training strategy. The idea is for combat skills to be 4 and Int skills to be 10 before entering the mid-game. Once Int skills are 10, Strength for each companion is raised to 15 so they can upgrade their melee weapon.

Companions’ Gear Before Entering Mid-game
Armor:
- Plate body and boots
- Gauntlets
- Great Helmet

Horse:  Heavy Charger
Melee weapon:  Sledgehammer. Later, when Strength is raised to 15, this weapon will be replaced with the Heavy Great Hammer.
Ranged weapon: Siege Crossbow with 2 big bags of steel bolts
Shield - They do not get shields because when they have shields they spend too much time hiding behind them when they should be fighting.

Proficiencies Before Entering Mid-game
By the time Int skills were trained to 10, all my companions had proficiencies of 275+ for both 2-handed and crossbow.
 

LeChat

Master Knight
WBM&BWF&SVC
Maximus Decimus Meridius1 said:
Unlike most games, Mount & Blade has a ton of information you need to know before you start playing.  As I surround the last 8 fiefs of Rhodoks, the only remaining original faction, I thought I would share the strategy I used for configuring the companions. The idea is to turn the companions into an elite heavy cavalry. I found this strategy to be very effective. I found it on this forum although I tweaked it a little. A lot of this information wasn’t part of the original strategy. It’s my own opinions. My current game is the second time that I have played Warband and the first time that I have used this configuration for companions.

Most important skill groups in order of importance

1) Scout – Pathfinding might be the most important skill in the game. Being able to run away from  enemies and catch up to enemies is crucial
2) Doctor – Wound treatment is the most important medical skill and one of the most important skills in the game because it affects everyone in your party after every battle
3) Engineer – The Engineer skill is crucial during the mid-game because it allows you to build siege items and prison towers
4) Looter – Training Looting is useful because it increases the amount of loot you get after a battle and when looting villages
You want 8 companions to learn as many of the skills in these groups as possible so you don’t have to.
For me it is Surgeon the most important. You can always rest in a town/castle, but losing soldier is catastrophic for your army.
As you level up INT for medical skills, you can level up the 3 skills (Wound Treatment, Surgeon, First Aid) for the same companion.
I take Jeremus and Nizar groups, and I raise the 3 skills for Jeremus and Ymira (and two level for myself). Because when knock-out, you lose the skill. When it happens during a battle, your soldiers may die in mass if you have no more Surgeon.
I said I get two level  myself for these skills because you have a bonus : level 2 of Party skills grants you a free one.
Moreover, when you are level 2 in party skill, you give +1 if someone is higher than you.

All my companions are Bow/Arrow/1H/Shield
I am Bow/Arrow/Arrow/1H (sometime 3 arrows quivers when sieging (defend or attack))
 

Lady Rodwell

Recruit
Maximus Decimus Meridius1 said:
Unlike most games, Mount & Blade has a ton of information you need to know before you start playing.  As I surround the last 8 fiefs of Rhodoks, the only remaining original faction, I thought I would share the strategy I used for configuring the companions. The idea is to turn the companions into an elite heavy cavalry. I found this strategy to be very effective. I found it on this forum although I tweaked it a little. A lot of this information wasn’t part of the original strategy. It’s my own opinions. My current game is the second time that I have played Warband and the first time that I have used this configuration for companions.

Most important skill groups in order of importance

1) Scout – Pathfinding might be the most important skill in the game. Being able to run away from  enemies and catch up to enemies is crucial
2) Doctor – Wound treatment is the most important medical skill and one of the most important skills in the game because it affects everyone in your party after every battle
3) Engineer – The Engineer skill is crucial during the mid-game because it allows you to build siege items and prison towers
4) Looter – Training Looting is useful because it increases the amount of loot you get after a battle and when looting villages
You want 8 companions to learn as many of the skills in these groups as possible so you don’t have to.

Companions
This is just the important info. For more info, I suggest you read about companions in a strategy guide. Just Google for one. You want 8 companions that won’t argue.

Think of it as 2 groups of 5:

Jeremus, Deshavi, Klethi, Bunduk, Ymira
or
Artimenner, Borcha, Lezalit, Matheld, Rolf

and 2 groups of 3:

Alayen, Baheshtur, Firentis
or
Marnid, Nizar, Katrin

Choose 1 group of 5 and 1 group of 3 and you’ll be fine. Four of the companions you choose will be known as “skill monkeys” because they will start with Intelligence skills. Four will be called “fighters” because they will start with combat skills.

The best companions:
I think the best group of 5 is Jeremus, Deshavi, Klethi, Bunduk, Ymira.

I say this for two reasons
1) Better People Right from the Start
Deshavi is the best scout and Ymira will become the best doctor. That means this group of 5 has or will have the most well trained companions in the 2 most important skill groups. Also, Klethi is the best choice for Looter because she starts with the highest Agility level and her character level is only 2.

2) Lower Average Starting Character Level
The Jermus group has an average starting character level of 3.6, much lower than the Artimenner group’s 6.4.

The Artimenner group has the best engineer and 25 point higher average starting proficiencies than the Jeremus group. These advantages don’t compensate for its disadvantages.

For a group of 3, I went with Marnid, Nizar and Katrin. I thought Katrin’s training in Trade would be helpful. This is only my second time playing Warband and I think the Marnid group was a mistake. Katrin is a slow learner because of her high starting character level and after nearly completing the mid-game it’s clear that Trade is the least important skill. Katrin was always far behind the others along with Bunduk. Next time I will go with Alayen, Baheshtur and Firentis.

Although the skills the two groups of 3 have to offer is very different, the amount of training they’ve had is very similar. Also, the two groups have a nearly identical average starting character level but the Alayen group has 35 point higher average starting proficiencies. Alayen, Baheshtur and Firentis all start at least 2 levels lower than Katrin but have starting proficiencies at least 20 points higher than Katrin. Compared to the other companions, the Alayen group won’t be the fastest learners but they won’t be the slowest. They should be near the middle of the pack and much faster than Katrin.


So the companions I recommend are:

Jeremus, Deshavi, Klethi, Bunduk, Ymira
and
Alayen, Baheshtur and Firentis.

Think of them as having these titles:
Baheshtur - Engineer
Deshavi - Pathfinder (scout)
Alayen - Emissary
Klethi - Looter
Ymira - Wound Treater (doctor)
Jeremus – Surgeon
Bunduk - First Aid Medic
Firentis - Spotter

Alayen, Baheshtur and Firentis have no training in their assigned jobs so they could be moved around. The other 5 are all qualified in 1 or more ways for their assigned jobs. This is definitely the group I will go with next time I play.


Attributes and Combat Skills for Everyone Except the Looter (Klethi)
Attributes and levels to train to:

Strength: 12
Agility: 12
Intelligence: 30

Combat Skills and levels to train to:

Ironflesh: 4
Power Strike: 4
Weapon Master: 4
Riding: 4

I decided not to train Athletics. Athletics determines running speed. That’s all it does. When do your companions need to be able to run fast? It didn’t sound important to me. I’m near the end of the mid-game and I’ve never wished they could run faster. By not training Athletics you save 4 skill points that you can spend elsewhere. 

Attributes and Combat Skills for the Looter
Attributes and levels to train to:

Strength: 12
Agility: 30
Intelligence: 12

Combat Skills and levels to train to:

Ironflesh: 4
Power Strike: 4
Weapon Master: 4
Riding: 4

Non-combat Skills for the Skill Monkeys
Each companion trains the Trainer skill and 2 other Intelligence skills to 10. Some companions train a 4th skill but sometimes to a level below 10. Each companion’s title comes from skill 1. Skills 1, 2 and 3 can be trained simultaneously. When you have finished training those skills, put whatever skill points are left into skill 4 if there is a skill 4. The columns line up well in the editing window but wouldn't line up when I posted it but I think you can read it.

Name                           Skill 1                     Skill 2               Skill 3               Skill 4
Jeremus – Engineer            Engineer             Trainer       Tactics
Deshavi – Pathfinder   Pathfinding             Trainer       Spotting            Tracking
Ymira – Wound Treater   Wound Treatment    Trainer       First Aid       Surgery
Klethi – Looter           Looting (Agility)        Trainer


Non-combat Skills for the Fighters
The fighters function as backups to the skill monkeys for Int Skills. Some skills don't need a backup while others have 1 or 2 backups. Each companion’s title comes from skill 2.

Name                             Skill 1           Skill 2             Skill 3                         Skill 4
Alayen - Emissary             Trainer   Persuasion     Tactics                         Pathfinding
Bunduk – First Aid Medic      Trainer   First Aid             Surgery                 Wound Treatment
Baheshtur – Surgeon     Trainer   Surgery             Wound Treatment        First Aid
Firentis – Spotter             Trainer   Spotting             Pathfinding                 Surgery

Training Strategy
The post I got this strategy from, recommended training only combat skills until they were level 4 and then training Int skills. If you do that, you get little benefit from some important skills like Pathfinding, Spotting and Wound Treatment for a long time. So, I decided to alternate the training between combat skills and Int skills until I had all the skills trained to the levels I wanted. This way you gradually get more and more benefit from each group of skills which I think is a better training strategy. The idea is for combat skills to be 4 and Int skills to be 10 before entering the mid-game. Once Int skills are 10, Strength for each companion is raised to 15 so they can upgrade their melee weapon.

Companions’ Gear Before Entering Mid-game
Armor:
- Plate body and boots
- Gauntlets
- Great Helmet

Horse:  Heavy Charger
Melee weapon:  Sledgehammer. Later, when Strength is raised to 15, this weapon will be replaced with the Heavy Great Hammer.
Ranged weapon: Siege Crossbow with 2 big bags of steel bolts
Shield - They do not get shields because when they have shields they spend too much time hiding behind them when they should be fighting.

Proficiencies Before Entering Mid-game
By the time Int skills were trained to 10, all my companions had proficiencies of 275+ for both 2-handed and crossbow.
I'm definitely going to try it out on my next gameplay.
 

Occam

Sergeant
I think Maximus is right on most of the things but I agree with LeChat on the importance of surgery.

I have played thru a lot of times over the years and can say with confidence that there is no *right* way to do things...one of the great things about this game is the flexibility.


The way I usually do it is to have 3 int-monkeys and 5 super-soldiers.
MEDIC I give surgery, first aid, wound treatment, and trainer in that order...as they level there are occasional points left for fighting skills.
SCOUT I give path finding, spotting, training, and tracking in that order, then any extra in fighting skills.
ENGINEER I give engineering, tactics, and training in any order (none are really important until mid-game or so)

I usually leave the int-monkeys at their base of 8 or 9 str and agi until their int is 30. If I am playing an all-cavalry early-game, I put them on horses otherwise I think they get hurt less on foot. Either way I give them xbows, 1-handers, and shields.
I almost always use the Artimenner group with Borcha for scout and Lezalit for medic.
Lezalit is level 5 and has 11 int when you hire him. He doesn't have any medic skills but he grows into it fairly quickly.


SOLDIERS
First I raise their int to the next multiple of 3 (that is, to 9, 12, or in the case of Rolf to 15) and put as many points into trainer as that allows.
Next, if I am going to make them cavalry I raise their agi to 12, riding to 4, and put them on armored horses.
If they are going to stay on foot I raise str to 15 or 18, then agi to 12, then more str after that.

Party speed on the world map is effected by the athletics skill of foot soldiers so I give companions athletics if they are not mounted.
Some npc troops are flagged as 'mounted' even tho they fight on foot. This means they don't slow the party down on the world map.
I think all the ones that are are tier 5...the tier 5 infantry and archers for the Vaegirs, Swadians, and Sarranids, plus Hired Blades.
If I recall correctly, none of the Nords or Rhodocks are flagged as 'mounted'


I don't usually give any companions Looting skill altho I will sometimes take 2 points of it myself. I think of it as an early-game skill. I don't loot villages and later on I carry so much food that I leave most loot on the battle field.
I also skip Persuasion for companions...kings never agree to peace unless I am kicking their ass so bad that I don't really need to have peace with them. (I play straight vanilla, no Diplomacy mod...persuasion might by more useful there)

A note on hammers:
Blunt weapons knock out enemies, which is good for taking prisoners but if you are sieging a castle and don't take it the first time all the troops that were knocked out will still be there and may have healed up the next time you attack. I prefer weapons that kill so I can whittle down difficult targets.
 

LeChat

Master Knight
WBM&BWF&SVC
Occam said:
I think Maximus is right on most of the things but I agree with LeChat on the importance of surgery.

I have played thru a lot of times over the years and can say with confidence that there is no *right* way to do things...one of the great things about this game is the flexibility.
Clearly, there are endless ways to play!

The way I usually do it is to have 3 int-monkeys and 5 super-soldiers.
MEDIC I give surgery, first aid, wound treatment, and trainer in that order...as they level there are occasional points left for fighting skills.
SCOUT I give path finding, spotting, training, and tracking in that order, then any extra in fighting skills.
ENGINEER I give engineering, tactics, and training in any order (none are really important until mid-game or so)

I usually leave the int-monkeys at their base of 8 or 9 str and agi until their int is 30. If I am playing an all-cavalry early-game, I put them on horses otherwise I think they get hurt less on foot. Either way I give them xbows, 1-handers, and shields.
I almost always use the Artimenner group with Borcha for scout and Lezalit for medic.
Lezalit is level 5 and has 11 int when you hire him. He doesn't have any medic skills but he grows into it fairly quickly.


SOLDIERS
First I raise their int to the next multiple of 3 (that is, to 9, 12, or in the case of Rolf to 15) and put as many points into trainer as that allows.
Next, if I am going to make them cavalry I raise their agi to 12, riding to 4, and put them on armored horses.
If they are going to stay on foot I raise str to 15 or 18, then agi to 12, then more str after that.
...
The first skill I give to companions is Weapon Master, for them to level up their proficiencies rapidly.
Then 9/12 to Agility/Strengh (or Int for fews) to level up their Weapon Master/Riding/Power Draw (as they are all archers).
Mid game I increase Trainer (not needed when they are low level) for rapidly leveling recruit so I can have good garrisons in my fiefs.

I usualy play "Age of Calradia Enhanced" mod but a few weeks ago I relaunch a Native game. As we can progress (and get stuff) rapidly though wars, I usualy play Swadian (center of the map, quite always at war). Dirhim is at an important crossroad, when you get this town, you've got money! Usualy I wait a faction to take a Swadian town and get it back as there is a feeble garrison soon after.
I get mounted units to go faster on the map (so Swadian Man at arms and Knight). As long as I have not enough revenues, I do not level up my Man at arms.
So you get that :grin: :

043255910C1672A6740D2FA62BEDC6FDD7071BA6
 

Sir Shrek

Veteran
Occam said:
The way I usually do it is to have 3 int-monkeys and 5 super-soldiers.

Why not make all 8 companions skill monkeys and super soldiers? My guys are all very skilled and they're all super soldiers. There's enough skill points to do both.
 

LeChat

Master Knight
WBM&BWF&SVC
Maximus Decimus Meridius1 said:
Occam said:
The way I usually do it is to have 3 int-monkeys and 5 super-soldiers.

Why not make all 8 companions skill monkeys and super soldiers? My guys are all very skilled and they're all super soldiers. There's enough skill points to do both.
Because usualy you finish the game before that.
 

Sir Shrek

Veteran
LeChat said:
Maximus Decimus Meridius1 said:
Occam said:
The way I usually do it is to have 3 int-monkeys and 5 super-soldiers.

Why not make all 8 companions skill monkeys and super soldiers? My guys are all very skilled and they're all super soldiers. There's enough skill points to do both.
Because usualy you finish the game before that.

OK, maybe you and I have a different definition of super soldier. The person I got my strategy from made a lot of sense when he said there's little point in going beyond level 4 for combat skills. He said training combat skills to a high level isn't really worth it because, ultimately, each companion is only 1 soldier. I think that makes a lot of sense. So I get everyone to level 4, and outfitted as I described, before the mid-game. He said at that point they were super soldiers. So I'm using the term in the same way. I'm guessing that when you use the term, you mean combat skills are 10.

For me it is Surgeon the most important.
As you level up INT for medical skills, you can level up the 3 skills (Wound Treatment, Surgeon, First Aid) for the same companion.
I take Jeremus and Nizar groups, and I raise the 3 skills for Jeremus and Ymira (and two level for myself). Because when knock-out, you lose the skill. When it happens during a battle, your soldiers may die in mass if you have no more Surgeon.
What you're describing is very similar to my strategy. Regardless of whether you think Surgery or Wound Treatment is the most important, it doesn't make a difference in my strategy because all 3 medical skills have 2 backups. So, all 3 skills are trained to 10 3 times.

I said I get two level  myself for these skills because you have a bonus : level 2 of Party skills grants you a free one.
Moreover, when you are level 2 in party skill, you give +1 if someone is higher than you

I trained Surgery to 10 in my character for a +4 bonus.

losing soldier is catastrophic for your army
Having a soldier killed isn't "catastrophic". I always attack with more than I need and I can replace any soldier quickly. Also, for most of the early game, my army is just my companions so the Surgery skill actually does nothing.
 

LeChat

Master Knight
WBM&BWF&SVC
In fact, I do not really care about the leveling of my companions. I do not see them as a necessity in my progression. Ok, surgery is for me a necessity, but I do not search for companions.
I usualy start alone, level up a little by fighting alone. When arrive in town, I check in tavern if there is one of the companions. If there is one I usually play with, I recruit him/her. Otherwise, that is not big deal.

(I will post strategy matter in the thread you've created : https://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,386903.0.html )
 

EirikrRaudi

Veteran
OK, maybe you and I have a different definition of super soldier. The person I got my strategy from made a lot of sense when he said there's little point in going beyond level 4 for combat skills. He said training combat skills to a high level isn't really worth it because, ultimately, each companion is only 1 soldier. I think that makes a lot of sense. So I get everyone to level 4, and outfitted as I described, before the mid-game. He said at that point they were super soldiers. So I'm using the term in the same way. I'm guessing that when you use the term, you mean combat skills are 10.

I don't agree with this. In some situations, especially sieges, it can be more important to have a few very fast and very strong soldiers rather than many decent ones. If you quickly breach the first line and let more soldiers land on the city wall, you're likely to win the siege without the defender being able to deploy all its men. If you kill them too slowly, you will be stuck in that eternal 4 vs. 2 fight at the top of the ladder, and you will have to bleed out the defender's whole garrison before you can win. That's why I'd rather advocate a pure skill monkeys and pure elite fighters distribution.

More importantly, I think 2h hammers a poor choice of weapon. Companions should definitely be protected by shields. Especially in harder difficulty level, without a shield, they will be very quickly taken out by a lost arrow shot from across the map... Also, I prefer fast hitting 1h weapons over strong slow weapons, as taking a hit interrupts your own attack. Theoretically, in a duel, a fast hitting recruit defeats a slow elite fighter this way. Think of the noob training in an arena: what do you most like to spawn with? Polearm? 2h sword? Or 1h + shield? Even without a shield, I'd rather go with a 1h sword than a 2h one.

Last, I personally think the conflicts between companions are not very dissuasive, as food and fights keep morale high enough anyway. As long as each companion has at most 1 enemy in your party, it's all fine, so, I think there's no need to be so strict about compatibility groups. Mostly, I end up with 8-10 companions chosen according to my mood, so long as I have 2 doctors (Ymira/Jeremus), an engineer(Artimenner et al.) and a scout(Deshavi/Borcha).
 

LeChat

Master Knight
WBM&BWF&SVC
EirikrRaudi said:
...
More importantly, I think 2h hammers a poor choice of weapon. Companions should definitely be protected by shields. Especially in harder difficulty level, without a shield, they will be very quickly taken out by a lost arrow shot from across the map... Also, I prefer fast hitting 1h weapons over strong slow weapons, as taking a hit interrupts your own attack. Theoretically, in a duel, a fast hitting recruit defeats a slow elite fighter this way. Think of the noob training in an arena: what do you most like to spawn with? Polearm? 2h sword? Or 1h + shield? Even without a shield, I'd rather go with a 1h sword than a 2h one.
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Agreed.
All my companions have : Horse, 1h (sword, min 99 speed), Shield (min 100 speed), Bow, Arrows.
It covers my needs : waiting the arrival of enemies on a hill (bows) ; charging (sword) ; siege attack (shield/sword) ; siege defend (bows, then shield/sword)
I like simple templates ^^

I used to have heavy armoured horses, but since this year I turned to quick horse (courser). I prefer to quickly move arrass enemies, retreat (toward the enemy side), and aggro enemies (who cannot catch me), fire bow (2 quivers) permanently. I kill some, kill some horses to put dangerous enemy on horse (mammluks) on foot, then go back to main battle zone (where my troops have already engage enemy).
So I now prefer rapid horses against heavily protected ones. You have to dodge a bit for some incomming arrows :grin:
 

EirikrRaudi

Veteran
LeChat said:
All my companions have : Horse, 1h (sword, min 99 speed), Shield (min 100 speed), Bow, Arrows.

Well, I must say: although bows are my favourite ranged weapons, which I mostly use myself and also give to my fighters, I prefer to give crossbows to my skillers. Why? Because it needs no power draw there :wink: more skillpoints elsewhere.

Also, although I agree with Maximus that a doctor maxes out all 3 healing skills anyway, I think the First Aid skill is underrated. In end game, when very large battles happen, I don't mind losing a few soldiers, got enough money and Trainer anyway, but what pisses me out is to die myself. If you're wounded before the battle ends, autocalc decimates your army... Autocalc would kill a few of your 50 Swadian Knights when fighting 6 bandits. Hence, if you like large battles, First Aid 10+4 is a must. Wound Treatment is actually the least important medic skill in my eyes.
 

LeChat

Master Knight
WBM&BWF&SVC
EirikrRaudi said:
LeChat said:
All my companions have : Horse, 1h (sword, min 99 speed), Shield (min 100 speed), Bow, Arrows.

Well, I must say: although bows are my favourite ranged weapons, which I mostly use myself and also give to my fighters, I prefer to give crossbows to my skillers. Why? Because it needs no power draw there :wink: more skillpoints elsewhere.

Also, although I agree with Maximus that a doctor maxes out all 3 healing skills anyway, I think the First Aid skill is underrated. In end game, when very large battles happen, I don't mind losing a few soldiers, got enough money and Trainer anyway, but what pisses me out is to die myself. If you're wounded before the battle ends, autocalc decimates your army... Autocalc would kill a few of your 50 Swadian Knights when fighting 6 bandits. Hence, if you like large battles, First Aid 10+4 is a must. Wound Treatment is actually the least important medic skill in my eyes.
I find crossbows way too slow. Even if it cost skillpoints, bows are devasting when skill and proficiencie levels up.

In end game I do not have problem in battles. And I adapt my strategy to my health. As my proficiencie goes over 300 in bow, I can easy fight safely if my health is too low. Or I aggro enemies to ease my soldiers fight (fast horse).
 

Occam

Sergeant
First Aid 10+4 will help your companions but if you get knocked out it won't help you. You'll only get the heal from whatever First Aid skill the companion left standing with the next highest has...so 10, at best.

When I am fighting big battles I always keep my int-monkeys on the bottom of the troop list. Most of the time they never even appear on the battlefield, so I don't bother with a back-up healer.
(I play unmodded vanilla, so 'big' means more than the max setting of 150.)
My current game I took 2 Wound Treatment and 5 Surgery, but other games I have skipped those.



I often use bows myself but don't usually give them to companions, except Baheshtur or Deshavi.
On foot companions are great with bows but all npcs suck at mounted archery. They don't lead their target and only wild shots actually hit the enemy. The more accurate they are the more likely they miss.

I give mounted skill-monkeys light xbows specifically because they will ride around uselessly shooting bolts rather than charging into the fray where they could get hurt.
I usually give mounted fighter companions sniper xbows because they can't use them on horseback so must charge in. Plus, they will have them in sieges where they are great with them.
 

Sir Shrek

Veteran
LeChat said:
I used to have heavy armoured horses, but since this year I turned to quick horse (courser). I prefer to quickly move arrass enemies, retreat (toward the enemy side), and aggro enemies (who cannot catch me), fire bow (2 quivers) permanently. I kill some, kill some horses to put dangerous enemy on horse (mammluks) on foot, then go back to main battle zone (where my troops have already engage enemy).
So I now prefer rapid horses against heavily protected ones. You have to dodge a bit for some incomming arrows :grin:

Using this strategy, how many troops would you have against 120 sea raiders?

I find crossbows way too slow. Even if it cost skillpoints, bows are devasting when skill and proficiencie levels up.
You find xbows too slow for your character or for companions? Companions get the job done with xbows just like Rhodok sharpshooters that many people use and you don't have to put points into Power Draw.

 

Sir Shrek

Veteran
EirikrRaudi said:
I don't agree with this. In some situations, especially sieges, it can be more important to have a few very fast and very strong soldiers rather than many decent ones. If you quickly breach the first line and let more soldiers land on the city wall, you're likely to win the siege without the defender being able to deploy all its men. If you kill them too slowly, you will be stuck in that eternal 4 vs. 2 fight at the top of the ladder, and you will have to bleed out the defender's whole garrison before you can win. That's why I'd rather advocate a pure skill monkeys and pure elite fighters distribution.

More importantly, I think 2h hammers a poor choice of weapon. Companions should definitely be protected by shields. Especially in harder difficulty level, without a shield, they will be very quickly taken out by a lost arrow shot from across the map... Also, I prefer fast hitting 1h weapons over strong slow weapons, as taking a hit interrupts your own attack. Theoretically, in a duel, a fast hitting recruit defeats a slow elite fighter this way. Think of the noob training in an arena: what do you most like to spawn with? Polearm? 2h sword? Or 1h + shield? Even without a shield, I'd rather go with a 1h sword than a 2h one.

So you have 4 skill monkeys and 4 fighters? How many troops would you have in your party in a fight against 120 sea raiders?

Hammers let you take prisoners. That gives you a lot of money in the early-game.


 

EirikrRaudi

Veteran
Occam said:
First Aid 10+4 will help your companions but if you get knocked out it won't help you. You'll only get the heal from whatever First Aid skill the companion left standing with the next highest has...so 10, at best.

It's still useful to heal you in between the "sub-battles"; when the amount of soldiers is real great, and the battle is done in several stages, you get healed in between.

Maximus, yes, I almost always use 4 skillers and 4-6 fighters. Prisonners can be nice for money, I know many people use them that way, but in my games, money is never really a problem. In early game, I fill Calradia with enterprises, and then, denars just flow. That way, it's kind of a pity to use skillpoints in Prisonner Management.

Hmm to be honest, your question about 120 sea raiders really depends too much on my and my companions lvl, on difficulty settings, on the type of soldiers... If you really want to, you could solo them: run in circles around them (clockwise) at larger distance, let them run out of missiles, then circle closer to them and take them out 1 by 1 using a long range 2h weapon. But I wouldn't have the patience :wink: I like to play safe, I hate to get knocked out and let autocalc decimate my precious troops, it boundlessly frustrates me. I'd typically take no less than 25% or 33% of the enemy's amount of troops; would make the balance too bad.
 

Ananda_The_Destroyer

Master Knight
I do kinda the same thing but I rush int on everyone for trainer and catching up their str/agl skills. I throw Xbows on everyone accept deshevi and kherget guy only raise str/ agl and get chargers for them later, even though it's silly with virtually infinite supply of good troops. I like to get surgery, trainer and engineering 14 on my char and have companions get the other skills. I've tried other ways but I like having lots of trainer more. You can get them on chargers and they get some kills and level or if everyone and you has trainer they just level up annoyingly fast just doing whatever. I do like having them carry arrows into sieges so can knock them out for a refill without splatting a poor veiger marksmen.
 

Sir Shrek

Veteran
EirikrRaudi said:
Maximus, yes, I almost always use 4 skillers and 4-6 fighters. Prisonners can be nice for money, I know many people use them that way, but in my games, money is never really a problem. In early game, I fill Calradia with enterprises, and then, denars just flow. That way, it's kind of a pity to use skillpoints in Prisonner Management.

1)The skill monkeys get no points at all in combat skills? They wouldn't be able to have the same gear then because they wouldn't be able to use it or wear it. Doesn't that mean you have to alternate between 2 types of training? Fighters would train against 40-50+ sea raiders or taiga bandits and skill monkeys would train against small groups of any of the other types of bandits. Is that how you do it?

I set up a business in every town. I go from most profitable to least profitable. That's part of how I ended up with a fortune when I entered the mid-game.

2) So you don't put ANY points in Prisoner Mgmt?

3) What level do you want your companions to be at for Int or combat skills when you enter the mid-game? I waited until everyone was at level 4 for combat skills and most were at level 10 for Int skills. That's the other part of how I ended up with a fortune when I entered the mid-game
 
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