I am really not a fan of the Footman’s First Responder ability. Although I can see some merit to have a quick, speedy character who can intervene to save the life of a villager, more often than not, I’ve seen the following:
An enemy somewhere in the world shows up and aggros onto my village. This immediately pisses off all my combat units, and they start the long, slow trek to go knock some skulls together. Because the footmen are so much quicker than everyone else, if they have to run more than 30 blocks or so outside the walls, they arrive a considerable amount of time before any reinforcements are around, but engage anyway. As demonstrated in the previous couple of DT posts, this does not end well, as footmen all on their lonesome will get absolutely slaughtered, especially on hard.
Eventually, a cleric will show up and try to sustain them through the damage until a knight finally gets around to participating. However, if the distance is too far or the knights get otherwise occupied, the footmen will throw themselves to their deaths until the end of time.
Overall, I understand that this combat system has been arranged around particular compositions, but I have a very hard time justifying footmen in this current dynamic. I would much prefer being able to provide some kind of conditional instruction to people who are organized into a party together to allow the tank to pull, just like in any good MMO. Because selecting units can be fairly clunky in stonehearth, especially compared to other kinds of RTS games where micromanagement is a key part of successful play, it makes the requirement of moving each footman around individually, or making them ping between points while waiting on a knight, just excessive.
Something about this system isn’t working, and I can’t help but think that having some of the softest fighters being the first into the fight is a part of the issue.