A quick guide to initiate in battle brothers universe, comprehends some basic concepts about the game, character descriptions, classes and some build recommendations.
Basic concepts, tips to start and characters
Starting tips and characters
Here are my basic tips.
The easiest starts are with the default campaign and peasant militia.
I find the three DLCs in this game mandatory to complete the experience (there is one last free one).
Battle Brothers revolves around the placement of your troops so familiarize yourself with the formations as early as possible.
Related to the above, avoid fighting alone. Being supported gives you bonuses to attack and defense and reduces enemy morale if you surround them.
The basic formation is to have 8 front line mercenaries and 6 in the second line. The first line mercenaries should specialize in heavy armor and two-handed weapons (unless you want to make a duelist), the second line should specialize in bows and weapons with two range squares.
At the beginning do not have mercenaries with two-handed weapons since your health and defense will be low and they will blow you away ♥♥♥♥♥♥. Always use shields and weapons with extra attack bonus like spears and swords.
You will notice that there are trades that give different base stats although their final determination is random. In general, war-related trades are the most useful (although they tend to be the ones that ask for higher weekly wages). I recommend militia and retired soldier at the beginning, also very good raider or nomad, knights errant, nobles, mercenaries of fortune, crusaders and tomajuramentos are elite, squire and bastard, somewhat worse but very good.
Star theme. The stars do not indicate better base statistics but only a greater chance that by investing in improving that aspect the roll will be better. When improving, it is a priority to know what kind of character you want to make. For a first line, it is basic to have the highest possible melee attack, melee defense, a projectile defense of at least 10 at level 11 and a good stamina. The second line, melee attack, melee defense, stamina. Your sergeant should have the highest possible resolution since his flag generates a four-square aura that improves the resolution of all allies. Your archer(s) are the exception to the rule, for them you have to raise ranged attack, health and stamina.
To know if the base stats are good or not, you have to project them to an eventual evolution to level 11. In general, everything below 50 in melee attack is bad (unless it has two or three stars), in defense it has three points or more. For your future sergeant to start at resolution 55 or more and with stars and for your archer more than 53 and with stars in ranged attack. Normally you should look for characters that can scale to +80 in melee attack and +30 in melee defense. For archers +85 in ranged attack and for sergeants +80 in resolution.
In the rolls it is usually good to put points in melee attack and melee defense always, except for your archers who should prioritize ranged attack. No matter how many stars you have and how good the roll is, you can’t get more than three points in melee defense.
Apart from your stats there are traits or personality traits that affect your character, there are good, intermediate and bad ones. Avoid as much as possible the bad traits because they will affect your character as a whole. The good trait par excellence is “iron lungs”; “Loyal”, “Fearless”, “Impatient” and “Dexterous” are very good. Avoid traits like “Disloyal”, “Dastard” or “Clumsy” like the plague.
At the beginning focus on skull contracts and try to avoid monster contracts. Bandits are affordable as long as you don’t hesitate too much in numbers and play it safe.
It is usually a good idea at the beginning not to spend your initial capital on a lot of men but on men with some armor and helmet protection, however, you should consider that your initial capital is limited so ry to purchase degraded stuff in towns instead of brand new armor, those you need to take it looting your dead enemies.
Assume losses, at the beginning you will be killed characters, it is inevitable.
Always save before and after a fight obviously that can not be applied in iron man games but i recommend to play a couple of regular games first because this game is addictive but hard to master. Saved games would allow you to explore different choices and survive more easily that iron game plays. The best way to improve and learn how to play this game is exploring, fighting and comitting mistakes.
he first thing to say about this section is that it should never be taken as an absolute, there are multiple viable builds and characters can develop in a natural way, without having to maximize their stats, however, it is advisable to have some clear points to survive in “Iron Man” mode and take your company to the final crisis without being sold out.
In Battle Brothers there are four main types of characters and two subtypes.
– Frontline fighters: These will be those who form the front line, these characters have the mission to engage directly in melee against the enemy so their main function is to withstand damage and provoke it as far as possible. This type of character is oriented to wear the heaviest armor possible and be able to withstand damage without collapsing.
– Second line fighters: These characters are placed behind the first line and interact with the enemy thanks to two-handed weapons that have a range of two squares. The main function of these warriors is to do as much damage as possible, so they will wear much lighter armor and must have a high resistance.
– Ranged fighters: Archers and crossbowmen; their function is to shoot arrows and bolts so they must have the best bows and crossbows available and very high values in ranged attack. Their armor should be very light and with helmets that do not limit vision.
– Hybrids: As their name says, they are fighters that alternate throwing objects, axes and javelins, with melee weaponry. Their attack mode is dual, in the first turns they will hit with throwing weapons to switch to personal weapons when contact is made with the enemies. With this type of fighters you have the option to go towards heavier armor if their secondary equipment is one-box weapons or dress them in lighter armor if they are going to be normally in second line.
– Sergeants: Second line combatants in charge of maintaining company morale, for this they have a morale boosting aura that extends to four squares as long as the sergeant carries the company flag. The effect of this aura is greater the higher the sergeant’s resolution score. The company flag is a two-square range weapon similar to a pike. In addition to the special aura the sergeant has the troop rallying feature, a special trait to be specifically chosen in the third row of the trait screen.
– Duelist: Front line fighter who instead of basing his game on taking damage focuses on avoiding being hit and doing as much damage as possible. This sub-class wears light armor and its traits are aimed at evasion. In order to be used, it is almost essential to choose the “duelist” trait in the seventh row of the trait screen.
Builds and perks
For each type of character there is a wide range of perks development that emphasizes hight dps strikes, survivality, alpha strikes or prevent damage, there are a very varied number of possible combinations and some “exotic” options but at a basic level I want to expose some of the simplest possibilities.
– For front line fighters. Front line combatants suffer a lot at the beginning of the game. In those moments your characters have low health, low armor and any enemy is potentially lethal. In those moments is when you start to have your first dilemma: Maximize to ensure survival or think in the long term and focus DPS damage?
Each player must opt for one or the other approach, in general, novice players will benefit from more defensive builds and focused on survival at first, while a long-term approach will prioritize options that increase damage, in any case, a start with “Colossus” is almost essential, Colossus increases health points which means more survival and less chance of injury, in the second row you have access to ” Steel Brow” which eliminates critical damage and therefore the possibility of being eliminated in a single attack. In the third row are two very important abilities; “Rotation” which allows you to swap positions in tight formations which greatly increases the survivability of your characters and “Brawny” which reduces fatigue from wearing armor and helmet. Since front line fighters usually wear helmets and heavy armor that increase fatigue, this trait is very powerful for this type of character. The fourth line is dedicated to weapon specialization, in my opinion, not vital for this type of character. The fifth line has three options to consider; “Reach Advantage” general a bonus to defense when hitting with two-handed melee weapons, this bonus is cumulative for each hit given in the turn. This trait is especially good in the middle and final part of the game since front line fighters will start using more and more two-handed weapons for their damage capacity; “Overwhelm” is a very positive trait since it introduces a penalty to the enemy’s hit with each hit you project against him, this effect is cumulative; “Footwork” allows you to disengage from the enemy’s area of control to flee or reposition yourself. You can opt for this trait if “Rotation” does not suit your type of game, in general it is a more versatile option but less powerful in tight formations. In the sixth line are “Berserk”, which gives four action points for each death you cause in the turn (usually equivalent to one more hit) and “Battleforged” which reduces the damage caused the heavier your armor level (it combines helmet + armor). In the seventh line would be “Killer Frenzy” which increases the damage after killing an enemy by 25% during the next two rounds and “Indomitable” which reduces the damage in the next turn by 50% and makes you immune to “Grapped” or “Throw” effects.
For second line fighters: Start with “Colossus”, “Rotation”, “Brawny”, “Reach Advantage”, “Overwhelm”. In the sixth line is where we are going to find substantial differences since here we must choose “Nimble”, this trait synergizes with light armor and reduces the damage received to the health points. Along with this trait it is positive to choose “Headhunter” a trait that comes in handy with extended range weapons as the damage to the head is considered critical (useless against undead). In the seventh line “Killer Frenzy” and “Indomitable”. Another difference is the interesting option to choose “Dodge” in the row, dodge is a skill that favors that gives bonus to melee and ranged defense depending on the character’s initiative, since second line fighters wear light armor and initiative is reduced depending on the armor this skill is interesting for this class.
Hybrids: You can use a build similar to that of first line fighters but incorporating “Quick hands” and “Bags and belts”; “Quick hands” allows you to change equipment without penalty, something vital in this type of character that must switch to melee weapons in contact with the enemy, “Bags and belts” reduces fatigue by carrying weapons in the secondary equipment which is inherent to this class of character.
Ranged fighters: It would be a build similar to the second line fighters but incorporating key changes. It is the only class next to the sergeant in which weapon specialization is almost mandatory, bow if focused to archer and crossbow to crossbowman; “Crippling strikes” increases the ability to generate wounds with each hit; “Fast adaptation” reduces the chance of failing in successive attack attempts (it resets once hit) and “Bullseye” which increases the option of hitting targets covered by enemies or other objects (very useful against necromancers).
Sergeant: Build very similar to second line fighters with slight diffrences, mostly you must choose “Rally the troops”in the third line” to activate the special flavour of this class, it is highly recommended to choose “Strengthened Mind” to increase the character’s resolution by 25%. The main effect of this class is that once you select “rally the troops” you will gain an especial trinket “sergeant sash” that boost resolve and eventually the company will be offered to purchase a banner as their symbol. The banner is a polearm that grants a morale boost aura which effect maximizes with high resolve characters (such the sargeant, of course), it is advisable to choose the polearm specialization since the sergeant will carry this weapon all, or almost all the time.
Duelist: It would be a build similar to the second line fighter. In this case choosing “Dodge”, “Overwhelm” and “Duelist” is almost mandatory. Duelists benefit from a high initiative which combines well with “Dodge” and will usually dress for having two or three attacks with their weapons being one-handed so “Overwhelm” is very beneficial, the “Duelist” trait implies that an extra 25% armor penetration damage will be done if using one-handed weapons.
– The special case of “Student” and “Gifted”: These two traits are recommended for any class; “Student” improves 25% experience after each combat so it is an optimal skill to be chosen in first or second place, when you reach level 11 you will have an extra trait to choose; “Gifted” gives you a full roll of character improvement stats with the particularity that these will be improved to the maximum. I see it as an ideal option to close the evolution of a character at level 11 but you can also choose it at the beginning if you need those points to survive.
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