The Footman Suggestion Thread

As we all know, the basic foot soldier is the pillar of every army. However, right now, the footman feels rather lackluster.

When playing hard mode I found the footsoldiers to be more of a nuisance than actual useful troops, as I had to constantly babysit them through the battle so they don’t get themselves killed, usually by the archers.

So here’s a bunch of suggestions I thought of while messing about with my footmen, thinking about what they needed to be useful.

Disclaimer: some of these may have been suggested or talked about before

Shield vs 2-handed
Right now, the novice footman starts with an one-hand weapon, and the ability to carry a shield. As the game progresses, it is replaced by two-hand weapons.

I feel like we need the ability to choose here in a similar fashion to how the archers can choose between different arrows.

Also, shield is the wrong term here, because a shield is the knight’s tool. The footman shields should be called bucklers. Of course this also means the blacksmith should be able to craft top-tier bucklers and maces for the footmen to use.

Perhaps we could even have dual wield? shrugs who knows.

The dead soldier is not a very useful soldier, so we might as well do something to keep them alive? No?

How about giving them a passive effect that increases incoming heals from clerics when they are low on health?

Perhaps a 5 second buff that doubles incoming heals after dropping below 25% health.

First responder
We arrive to the point which was talked about a lot lately. The level 2 passive that makes footmen move faster.

From one viewpoint, this is the nr. one cause of footmen deaths, and so one would think we don’t need this.
From another viewpoint, this helps footmen to chase down ranged enemies, so perhaps we need this?

Now what?

  • A lot of suggestions have been made, some of which include:
  • removing it entirely
  • ability for parties to keep formation
  • temporary defense buff when first entering combat
  • etc.

There’s another thread for this, so we’ll won’t go further into this here.

Special abilities
This is somewhat related to the first suggestion above about 1h/2h weapons.
What if footmen had different special strikes based on the type of weapon they carried?

Wielding mace would stun the enemy, wielding a spear/pike would snare them, wielding a sword/axe would bleed them, etc.

That’s all for now. Feel free to add your ideas below!


Can only agree with the problem if the ability “fast responder”. Especially on long distances the footmen arrive way earlier at the location and other troops and get overwhelmed. On the other side the clerics could need a little speed buff for expeditions. Normally hearthlings with a higher body stat get rather promoted to the fighting classes of the military than to clerics. Because speed is dtermined by the body stats clerics lag mostly behind the other troops.


I talked a little about this here (An Ideal Stonehearth) but I agree that the hands-off approach isn’t working. The less-micromanagement approach is actually leading to much more micro-management. But too much control would get in the way of the game’s vision and make this a very different game.

So I like the idea of having an ATB or action bar behind the scenes per combat unit that fills up. Once it does, the Earthling randomly picks 2 options from his skill list and the player can pick which one of those to execute. This not only makes combat more engaging, interesting and varied but the player (as the divine being) isn’t necessarily making the decision for the unit; the unit is selecting two random choices his/herself and the player is providing divine inspiration (sotospeak).

How this correlates to what you’re talking about is more specialized skills can help differentiate the classes more, thus a Footman wouldn’t need to equip shields as they would be a class specific item for the Knights.

Also, instead of having a movement buff that kind of breaks the combat as it is now, give the Footman a “33% chance to Dodge Arrows” buff which would help with the Paper-Rock-Scissors aspect of the combat and make one of their Skills a self boost that temporarily boosts movement speed. This way, movement speed isn’t boosted until combat is already in place.

Some other skills I thought would help nicely would be a Dash Attack that not only takes into account enemy placement (hit multiples at the same time) plus help to close distances quickly if trying to take out archers.

Footman should be able to defeat archers one-on-one and giving them an arrow dodging perk and skills that centre on movement and offence helps that, just like armour-piercing perks help archers against Knights (who, in turn, have Counter Attack skills, aggro and high defence and HP to counter the Footman). And Clerics having their own skills that give the player better options to heal, buff, or debut enemies in combat and have more room for strategy AND tactics in combat. And just make it more fun!

I would love to see something like this implemented in the game, it would really open up combat. And the ‘never know what two skills the Hearthling makes you pick from’ aspect gives it just enough of a kind of Card-game, Adventure-game type randomization and decision making feel to it and also keep it mostly hands off. Sure there would be a lot of rebalancing to do to implement these kind of RPG elements in but considering this system wouldn’t really interfere with the AI systems already in place and, if anything, only build on the AI systems in place, I think it could work really well.