Seeing how strong incoming enemies are

More times than i’d like to admit i’ve had to abandon a long game due to a raiding party killing all of my fighters. This despite continuously making additions to the numbers and equipment of my defenders. Sometimes i’ve even had to create a dozen extra fighters in a jiffy just to survive a single remaining archer invader, and still lose all of them and thus the entire village. I was hoping that enemy strength was shown by their unit type/model. But this doesn’t seem to be the case. Even smaller enemies can be much more deadly than the huge ones in certain waves.

This is ok, but only if we’re somehow warned of just how strong they’re going to be, before the battle actually starts. There doesn’t necessarily need to be exact figures shown. But perhaps something like “The incoming force of invaders is [relative strength] than your defending force!” so we have some idea of how to prepare. Without some knowledge of how strong enemies are, there is little sense in expecting your village to survive the next wave at all.

If the devs feel this knowledge would be too generous, how about at least adding a Scout job that can keep track of enemy forces?

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The thing is: The game wants you to be prepared for all kinds of battles. Currently there is no battle you can’t win if you have prepared well enough.

In your post you are talking about fighters and that you had to create some right before a battle in order to win. I guess you are mainly using footmen then? This is the first mistake. Footmen are only useful for the start. They won’t survive later battles because they dont have enough defense. So promote your footmen to knight and archer as soon as possible. Your aim should be to have at least 3 knights and like 8 archer at the end of the game. And also at least 2 (better 3) clerics. Your archer are the damage dealers, your knight the damage takers and the clerics support from behind whoever needs health.

If you struggle at the start already, then I suggest you have a carpenter and a mason as soon as possible. Especially at the start it makes a HUGE difference if your footmen are equipped with a wooden shield or not and a weapon (I think it is a stone hammer) from the mason. Also try to get a cleric as soon as possible, since it takes alot of time to recover health naturally and potions can’t be used during combat. So try this:

  • Right at the start, promote one hearthling to footman
  • Now get a carpenter/mason and let them build a wooden shield and stone hammer asap
  • Your footmen will now be significantly stronger against small critters. He can literally take on double the amount of mobs without dying
  • Now promote a hearthling to herbalist and let him build dozens of potions/bandages until he is level 2. For that you need flowers/silkweed. Both ressources can easily be farmed naturally when you start in green/gras environment. Just place 10 flowers and 10 silkweed close to your base right at the start of the game. This way, you will save alot of time getting flowers/silkweed during your playtime
  • Once your herbalist is lvl 2, let him build a book and promote him to cleric

You will have an easy time now, since the footmen + cleric can take on most of the waves from the start. Goblins, wolves, undead and bugs are really no problem thanks to the heal. Big Wooden Golems and Big Stone Golems are problematic though, so you should either get a second cleric or 2 more footmen. I suggest the latter, since you need highlevel footmen latzer on to promote them to knight/archers.

Once you have done the above, you should try to get a blacksmith asap. Let your mason level until he can build a blacksmith hammer and then promote the mason to blacksmith and let him craft craft craft. This way, you will easily get the knight shield and the upgrade from footmen to knight HEAVILY increases the defense of your units. When you havbe reached this stage, just promote more and more hearthlings to footmen and once lvl 3 to knights/archers.

That doesn’t make sense. How is the player supposed to know what “all kinds” of a battles are that the game might throw at them at any time? The game needs to let players know whether it needs to have a quarter of its villagers as fighters or three quarters. Right now there is no hint at this at all. And again, losing a village after hours of work due to something that you did prepare for but still lost isn’t fun. If this is how the game is designed to function i’d obviously vote to change it, because it doesn’t work in the long run. There has to be some indication of the progressive strength of the enemies. This was my sixth village. Which was small in comparison to my other ones. So i’ve come to learn the basics required to survive. I’d very much not like to reach 40 villagers and then start over just because a suddenly impossible-to-stop force took down 12 fighters. That doesn’t make it challenging (which i’m all for). It makes it unfair.

No, i had two footmen, one archer, one knight and one cleric, all of which were level three or four, fully outfitted with level 4 mason and blacksmith gear, in a village of 18 people completely surrounded by walls. And these guys (including five extra footmen in the end vs one enemy archer) died to one of them big ogres, three archers and one cleric. I have survived far bigger invasions in other, much more populated villages with a similar defense, oddly enough. So this time i really felt prepared and that no invasion could possibly defeat me. Thus i didn’t prepare those extra fighters until the main force was nearly done. Regardless of how prepared you are, eventually that one surprising unstoppable invasion comes without any indication of just how strong they are until it’s too late and it’s good night Vienna.

Considering how very little damage knights and archers do i disagree with that statement. You need footmen for damage while knights tank it out.

I appreciate you trying to help me. You and i could argue of what is necessary for which. But the simple truth is that none of this will matter until there’s A) a hint for just how strong enemies are (which can not be assumed from their unit type) and/or B) a more linearly increasing challenge. Otherwise there’s no guide in the world that can help you survive.

Forgot to reply to this quote:

But how can you prepare for something that you don’t know? The game gives no hint for neither enemy unit type nor their strength. What i imagine is how the devs expect people to play is to slowly increase your defense as the game goes along and you gain more villagers. But due to invasions being so random this progressively strong defense will eventually falter. It has now done so six times for me. And every time the previous wave has been a piece of cake while the next one is like Ninja Gaiden Zigma on Impossible. Surely you agree with me that this isn’t an ok system?

  1. As you see, you already learned some basics on how to survive. There are many games out there that want you to “try and error” until you figured out on how to play the game

  2. Enemies get stronger and stronger form time to time. So if you had trouble with an enemy wave, you should probably be prepare for the next, since it will be stronger then the previous one. This should be enough ifnroamtion for you to promote some units to footmen and promote then to knights/archers as soon as you can.

No wonder you had no chance…

  1. Like I said before: Footmen are useless. They just take to much damage, no matter how good they are equipped and clerics can barely counter-heal the damage they take. They are also problematic because they can sprint (they reach the enemy first) and are most often nearly dead before the knights/clerics approach.

  2. You had 18 viallgers and only 5 military units? You should always try to have 50% of your village as military units, especially later in game. At the start it’s ok to have less, but with 18 villagers you should have at least 8 military units (2 knights, 2 clerics, 4 archers).

Errr, you know that archers deal by far the most damage in the game? They can shoot multiple arrows, they rarely have to following fleeing enemies because of their ranged attacks and most importantly they ignore some of the armor from enemies. And lets not forget that you can equip them with fire and slow quivers.

Trust me, I played many games in hardmode and easily survive now.

Like I said in the first quote: It’s not entirely random. The really big raids get announced, like Ogo Skullbunker and then you still have enough time to prepare (you can counter his ogre wtih a flute). Furthermore, once you have defeated Ogo, stronger enemies (Orcs, Kobolds) appear. You can always guess after these events, that the enemies will get stronger and you need to prepare. And if there was a normal random encounter which gave you some trouble, you REALLY know you are not good prepared. The random 0815 encounters should never pose a great threat to you.

But i do. I always promote my fighters and outfit them asap. I’m not cheap with them. Frankly i feel that i spend too much effort on them in a game that mainly is about village management, not warfare.

Oh good lord. And this is just Normal difficulty too. :confused:

Sure, when the’re level five and have the stronger bows (though still nowhere near as strong as footmen with 30+ atk weapons.) But that takes a very high level carpenter which takes ages to acquire. My current village was attacked by this invasion just as my carpenter even gained access to making bows. It just doesn’t make sense. Maybe this was just a bug? Maybe the game spawned enemies stronger than intended. But nevertheless, this would still be helped and make more sense if the game had some way of actually preparing against enemies by giving us some way to gain preemptive information about their strength.

To guess your way to the strength of the next enemy wave is not what i’d define as making preparations. Being attacked as often as people are in Stonehearth it would make sense for them to create some kind of scouts to keep a lookout for enemies and just sit behind their walls and wait for the best.

Well, I’m playing hard mode only and 50% is really sufficient for me. Though in hard mode, enemies attack you sooner, more often and the enemies are harder. I really wonder why you struggle so much with normal.

Just try the above mentioned preparation out. Forget about footmen, get 2 knights / 2 clerics and promote all the rest to archers. You will see that this works wonders,especially having enough knights/clerics very soon. They just CANT die thanks to their high defense and the heal from clerics, while the archers in late game will deal with heavily armored critters. If you do this, I can guarantee you that you dont need any more preparation :slight_smile:

Well, after another four hours or so, the same thing just happened. And i noticed another thing this time that i guess is the real reason for the defeat: the warriors are simply too afraid to fight back. An ogre and three archers just invaded. I had two archers, a knight and an assassin (mod). And every time that either one of these enemies land an attack, that villager runs away for a few seconds. Since the enemy archers don’t suffer the same problem, as their arrows come flying, my villagers can barely land any hits as they are continuously forced into the run-away animation. This makes them take more damage than they deal and ultimate die.

Another interesting notion is that this didn’t occur nearly as often when i played the desert people on the desert map. They stood up to way bigger invasions than this without their bravery faltering. I guess i’ve become used to this and find the forest people much harder to survive with.

Every time? So even when they had 100% health? Because that would obviously be a bug. Even with 1 spirit, your military units should only start running away after dropping below 40% health. With high spirit they should stay brave up until 15% health left or so. Maybe it was just the assassin who was running away? COuld be that the creator of the mod forgot to implement high morality for that class (because all military units get a significant morality boost).

If this is the case, I would suggest to remove the mods you have installed for now and check if the same thing happens. Since you have added the assassin class as a mod, it may alter morality of all military units (just a guess from my side). Because your units REALLY shouldnt run away so easily, at least not your knights/archers.

I can settle the which unit does the most damage argument, @AaronD have you fort Mountain with a high level footman in your mix? Have a look and see what happens, you have a knight that is surrounded by say 15 maybe 20 goblins, your archer is sat there, doing like 1/2 damage per shot to one goblin.
Your footman runs in and does his area of effect attack which is his normal attack after lvl 5, bang all 15 goblins taken down to 1/2 health and running away.

In the right situations a single footman will out damage 50 archers.
But a single archer will never be able to out damage 2 footmen.

also so you know, [quote=“SweRobby, post:3, topic:26649”]
How is the player supposed to know what “all kinds” of a battles are that the game might throw at them at any time? The game needs to let players know whether it needs to have a quarter of its villagers as fighters or three quarters.
At the end of alpha 16 the game was balanced so that in normal mode you need roughly 20% of your hearthlings to be combatants to survive and 40% if you are playing hard mode. This was said on a yany stream and is still roughly correct.

Sorry, but who cares about Goblins? Those critters can’t hurt my knights when full equipped. I usually have 3 knights, so the damage from those 20 goblins gets devided by 3, which can be easily healed by clerics in the back. A footmen on the other side runs into the 20 goblins thanks to his dash and usually instantly dies because of the lack of defense. Footmen are just not suited for late game in hardmode. I prefer having a longer fight where no one dies thanks to high defense/heal, then risking losing high level footmen because they deal more damage but dont have enough defense.

In my previous run I had about 20 hearthlings and 10 of those were military units. 2 knights, 2 clerics, 6 archers. When the 6 archers shot at one orc, that orc was dead. Thanks to the taunting of knights, my archer never had to deal with orcs in close combat. My knights could easily outtank 3-4 orcs each, especially if I took care of the orc archers/clerics first. On the other side, a footmen would probably lose 1/3 of his health just by one hit from the close combat orcs and his damage will not even make them lose 25% of their health, even with a 30 atk+ weapon at lvl 6. Not worth it imo.

That is not correct
Yeah, you need a knight otherwise the footmen will get killed and you have to make sure that they do not run too far away from the knight.
BUT footmen do a freaking lot of aoe damage and fighting large groups of enemy will get easier with a very few footmen.

Do not take them too lightly, they are worth their money.

I dont even know where to begin lol. But footman arent useless.

So you said that they take too much damage and that clerics cant outheal the damage. This either means you arent using footman with a high bodystat, you arent using clerics with a high compassion stat or and i think this is the most likely one: you arent micromanaging them. Yes they sprint and will run ahead of ur knight, but this is caused by ordering an attack from the grouped party. If you were to order an attack from the group and then issue an individual order from ur footman to move somewhere so u can buy some time for ur knight to arrive. Then you shouldnt encounter this situation. But thats all up to you and how you want to play in the end. Also fully equipped footman do slightly more damage then archers and hecka aoe . :wink:

And 50% of my settlement should be military? Not even on hard mode is this necesary. I’ve had villages of 40 people protected by 10 and i was just fine. (2 Knights, 2 Clerics, 3 Archers, 3 Footmen) That being sad i always ensure i have my city entrance points limited to 2 and use turrets from engineer which help a lot. And i have reached the end game just fine with this. Like 25% is always fine for me. But i tend to keep certain numbers for certain encounters like ‘‘the swaggering goblin’’, ogo and the red kiln…[quote=“SweRobby, post:1, topic:26649”]
More times than i’d like to admit i’ve had to abandon a long game due to a raiding party killing all of my fighters. This despite continuously making additions to the numbers and equipment of my defenders. Sometimes i’ve even had to create a dozen extra fighters in a jiffy just to survive a single remaining archer invader, and still lose all of them and thus the entire village. I was hoping that enemy strength was shown by their unit type/model. But this doesn’t seem to be the case. Even smaller enemies can be much more deadly than the huge ones in certain waves.

Thing about this game is at a certain point you will learn spawn timers and the possible raid encounters you will get and learn when to have what kind of military. But i think this could be resolved by creating a single entrance to your city and have your military guard that 24/7. But i do agree sometimes the transition from 1 wave to another might be a bit overtuned.

This would be a great idea in my opinion :smiley: And he could build like a small watchtower and you would have increased sight on the adds that would spawn and you would get the ‘‘invaders’’ approaching message earlier. This way you could be readier for battle. WOuld be a really cool idea i think.

I know that they can deal heavy damage to groups of enemies. For that, they are effective. But the risk to lose a high lvl footmen just because of the lack of defense is to big and micromanagement is annoying as hell. ^^

  1. The question is if stonehearth really wants to emphasize micromanaging so much. Since I dont like micromanaging, I dont use footmen if I dont have to.

  2. Even if you send footmen in at some later point during a battle, it can always happen that an enemy archer starts to focus your footmen. This already happened to me multiple times. Then I have to pause the game and let my footman disengage, otherwise he would die after 3-4 arrows from orc archers, which penetrate some armor.

  3. Why should I use footmen who can easily die if I’m way more effective with just knights/archers/clerics? I usually can send in my group and keep doing stuff in my village without any micromanaging for my military units. The Knights dont die, the archers deal heavy damage and the clerics heal. The only time I do “some” micromanagent is when the enemy has clerics. And lets not forget that footmen have to chase enemies when they start to flee, while archers keep shooting. This reduces the dps from footmen/knights alot.

  4. Knights/Archer in my group always have 5-6 body, clerics always 6 spirit.

The 50% is based on the fact that I only have 20 hearthlings in my village at the endgame. I usually dont go higher because of my computer. And that means I have also 10 hearthlings as military units. Since enemy waves dont get stronger at some point, you dont need more then 10 ofc. This will probably change sometime and then you will need more. I can also imagine that at some point enemies attack from multiple sides (if possible) or multiple raids can happen at once and then you will need more then 10.


I think this was a bug … I am not sure but I had this problem in my current game.
After deploying the last gong and after destroying the enemy raid and camp, I would get attack by two raiding parties at the same time. Which was … uhm … overkill.
I had to micro every battle otherwise I would have lost.

After I had undeployed the gong, everything went to normal “hard” back again.

I can’t really say what’s wrong. Could by many smaller things that amount to these big problems. I’ve paid attention to the Spirit and Body stats when picking my fighters. So it’s become rather annoying to see them lose out to this one invasion every single time, though only for the forest people for some reason. One of the reasons i guess is due to Normal diff spawning less powerful but more numerous enemies in invasions. And for a less than courageous defense this actually poses a bigger threat than a single powerful foe like in Hard diff.

But i modded the Courage stat anyhow (as i’m obviously not a fan of how this works) and now my fighters are actually fighting. I’ve got a Hard diff game going and i’m almost up to 30 people now with a rather meager defense. So i think there’s definitely something wrong with that one wave of an ogre plus three archers that comes pretty early in Normal diff.

I don’t have enough experience yet to confirm that. But a few things about archers is that they’re pretty damn useless in the beginning since they don’t have any damage until they have the recurved bow (which takes a long time to get) and reach level 6 for dual shot. So even five of them aren’t gonna help you against the ogre + archer invasion. It takes forever for two of them to knock down even one notch of the ogres health. And that ogre is actually fast enough to catch up to them running away to keep their distance.

Once the clunky warrior-management has been replaced with, say, a typical left click to select and right click on ground to move / right click on enemy to attack that specific one things might change a lot. But archers are still terrible in the early game.

Thanks. That makes sense.

There’s no way you’ll have three knights by the time the ogre + archers invasion comes on Normal diff though. It’s too early. You’ll be lucky to have one knight with terrible gear at that point. And that won’t be enough either if they keep running away like mine did before i modded it. Again, i never had this issue when i played the desert people on the desert map. The invasions are more balanced on that map for some reason, despite the invasions having larger numbers. I remember facing invasions with as many as two ogres with eight archers and having no problem whatsoever with just knights and footmen. And this was before i was even aware of the existence of clerics. I never lost a single villager playing on that map. So i reckon you and i have had different experiences so far. Neither of us are necessarily wrong. We know what we faced.

That certainly sounds like something is acting the way it shouldn’t for you. The first time I ever face an ogre, whether I play Ascendancy or Rayya’s Children, is when Ogo Skullbonker brings Mountain along, and I can expect to see archers soon after. But, by that point, I have at least one or two knights and archers, along with a cleric and two footmen.

I’m not really sure this is the case. I never heard the devs saying that in normal more monsters spawn and I never saw any difference in the numbers.

[quote=“SweRobby, post:16, topic:26649”]So i think there’s definitely something wrong with that one wave of an ogre plus three archers that comes pretty early in Normal diff.

Archers should only appear after the fight with Ogo if I remember right. Ogo the Skullbunker is a huge army, consisting of dozens of goblins, Ogo himself and his ogre. The fight really isnt hard if you have 2 knights and a cleric.

Indeed archers need levels until they pretty muich outdamage anything against armored enemies. But like I said: With knights and clerics you usually dont die anyway, since they can tank pretty much anything. Only late game orcs in hardmode can deal some serious damage if you are not careful (they tend to take 1/3 of footmens health away with one hit and like 1/8 health from knights).

Sorry, but I speak from experience that you can easily get knights/archers until that. The difference between you and me is (so I guess) that I focus on military strength right from day 1. I tend to get a blacksmith at day 2-3 and my hearthlings focus mainly on getting ores, so that my blacksmith can smith, smith and smith all the time. Simultaniously I let my herbalist create potions right from day 1, so that I get a cleric very fast. If you are good, you can manage a knight by day 10, which is way before the ogo the skullbunker raid. And guess what? I never used the flute to drive ogos ogre away. I always face the raid head on with my group. Maybe I make a video of that at some point. Good preparation is the key to winning in this game.

There probably is some work that needs to be done here. I’m not sure if the answer is to provide scouting information like you’re proposing, review the way combat difficulty scales, or some other third mechanic entirely (RimWorld as an example frequently has raiding parties “prepare” outside of town before attacking so you can see what’s coming), but the proper solution likely is some combination of all three. Thanks for bringing it up; once we review combat and/or encounter progression I’ll be sure to consider this.


How about this then:

  • If you get attacked by monsters (bugs, wooden/stone golems, undeads) you dont get any warning. These are natural encounters, but usually weaker then good organized intelligent enemies. The player should always be prepared to fight those.

  • If you get attacked by intelligent enemies (goblins, kobolds, orcs) however, you get a warning from your neighborhood. Since there are already messages from hearthlings who live “somewhere else”, it would be a good solution. Similiar to the warning when goblins spawn who raise those battle wolves. The warning appears like 24h ingame hours before it actually happens. Ofc the warning should tell you what kind of enemy attacks you (orcs, kobolds etcs.), so that the player can estimate if it will be a hard battle or not.

This way, the player can still prepare a little bit (setting up traps, replacing the town banner to a safe place, placing walls etc.).