Do you guys like footmen? What does your town's military look like?

After making a town with only archers, knights, and clerics, I don’t think that footmen are all that useful.

  1. Footmen run recklessly into battle and get away from the clerics, causing them to take loads of damage as the clerics run there. Then because the clerics start healing as soon as they get in range, which is out of range of their strength buff, and the healing aura. Annoying to say the least, and negates some of the clerics abilities. (Can be fixed with some micromanagement, but eh…) With no footmen everyone stays together, and stays in range of the clerics’ abilities. Even if the clerics get hit and run away and start healing from range, they usually start buffing the archers.

  2. I can manage with less military. As I made more of the gongs, I didn’t need to add more hearthlings to the militia as often, compared to always needing more footmen.

  3. Especially at the higher levels, it seems like that archers do more damage. When everyone targets one guy, they disappear in seconds.

  4. Kobolds (and ocrish clerics) are so much easier to deal with. Footmen eternally chase the archers and it takes forever for them to get killed. Archers with the range buff get rid of them easily, and having no footmen stops them from constantly running away from the archers trying to shot them. (Knights can do the same, but they have a lowered speed, so the koblods stop and shoot more often.)

  5. Clerics are more effective. With only 1-2 knights, clerics only have 1-2 targets to heal and thus the health of the knights stays higher and falls more slowly. Also knights have more health and don’t run away as quickly.

  6. Enemies with AOE aren’t nearly as dangerous as they used to be. With most of the people using ranged attacks, zillas and ogres aren’t as effective, nor as scary.

I dunno, footmen don’t seem as useful I thought they were, or maybe I’m just crazy and footmen are the best. You guys tell me what you think about each of the combat classes or the setups you use.

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I agree with most of your findings re:footmen, although I like to keep a few around as “rapid responders” since they’re great at causing enough damage quickly enough to cause an enemy to switch targets (say, away from a vulnerable hearthling); or they can wail an amazing amount of damage on a large blob of enemies which are threatening to overwhelm a defensive position.

I like to use a variation on the “hammer and anvil” strategy in, well, pretty much every strategy game (and the genres they’ve spawned e.g. RTS, MOBA, town/colony management, etc.) I can hahah. In Stonehearth, I pull it off by using 3 combat parties: the hammer, the anvil, and the archer corps.

My anvil formation is made of knights and clerics, and their job is to halt enemies in place/draw aggro and tank all that damage they’re attracting to themselves. They’ll be given either a defence flag just in front of a door, or a simple move order that crosses paths with the enemies’ advance.

The hammer is simply all my footmen, rallied to a guard flag far enough back from my anvil’s position that they won’t be drawn into the fight until I move them into it. They’re the back-up force as well as the heavy damage dealers – they’ll either be sent in when it looks like the anvil is being overwhelmed, or when all the enemies are committed to the fight so that the footmen can surround them and prevent them escaping.

The archer corps simply sits behind the anvil and shoots anything in range, hahaha. Usually I’ll set some to have spiky arrows rather than fire arrows, which breaks large groups of enemies into more manageable chunks that my knights in the anvil formation can usually handle on their own.

Using this strategy I’ve been able to defeat the titan with a mere handful of soldiers, and without having to rely too much on micro-management. Were it not for their speed buffs, though, I’d probably drop footmen from this strategy since they’re fairly situational (useful against hordes IF they get their AoE attack off at a good time and don’t waste it on the first enemy to break away from the pack, and useful as interceptors when a knight can’t draw aggro quickly enough… although an archer can accomplish the same thing with a spiky or fire arrow, and usually does so more safely.)

Oh, that’s actually really interesting and a good way to handle combat groups. I always forget to make different combat parties, trying out something like this will help with fending off enemies. For me I just fall back to a place with engineer turrets and traps, rather send in footmen.

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If you’re playing with ACE, also consider the different debuffs inflicted by different weapon types. With the right weapon, footmen can hamstring (slow) enemies, so the fleeing enemy issue that’s normally resolved by spiky-quivered archers can be handled by footmen. And since they move faster and are tougher than archers, don’t run away when hit (unless very low), and can cleave, they can certainly be useful. Ultimately you want at least footmen or archers for dealing damage, and perhaps both, but it isn’t as black and white as the single-job roles of tank and healer.


I usually forget about those debuffs because I usually pick the highest damage weapon. I should pay more attention to them.