Useful Tips and Tricks
Equipping elvish archers with a lesser glyph of the spider causes their AOE volley skill to apply the root debuff, and this appears to proc very reliably (nearly 100% of the time). Firing this in an AOE easily screws up AI charges and usually leads to you fighting half their army at a time.
In the “easy” start you get early access to the City of Lyraine, which grants all hired units the gatherer skill. This is super useful because that city also lets you hire militia every week (who have zero upkeep) so you can have an upkeep-free source of plant gathering.
The “Warrior’s Hall” building you unlock from high reputation with the eastern city of Audale gives you an extra stack slot, which is incredibly useful if you’re trying to keep up with the size of AI armies.
The city in the dark woods south of the golden fields sells beasts that are enslaved which means they have no upkeep. If you can get one of them next to a city, glyph forge etc. you can just park them there permanently and check out new stock every week and buy whenever you want. Spiders are especially good as their movememt speed is absurd and if they get attacked in front of a city just retreat. You can outrun everything I encountered so far with them (apart from other spider stacks?) and then just heal up and come back once the threat is gone.
Also on the world map it pays to move one hex at a time if you want a better chance to avoid harsh encounters. Especially if you use weak stacks or things like single workers.
Wisps are stupendously cost effective, can cover any terrain, are solid in ranged and melee and melt undead like a hot knife through butter – but it was already announced they will be nerfed so make use of them in your campaign while you can.
Get the airship(from the grey dusk vale) and abuse any domain enhancements, use your tower and the airship to push around the map to objectives.
Lightning generator + fortification workshop + Crystal chamber etc, they all stack together giving you some pretty tasty enhancements(and debuffs for the enemy stacks)
Don’t be scared to replace those tower rooms with the new stuff, don’t neglect the expansions that’s where the good stuff is at.
You can remove the “enslaved” debuff if you make the person a follower with the mentalist spell.
Use your spells. Hitting a stack with corrode, confuse, fatigue, etc. turns a treacherous fight into a walk in the park.
Get those workers in a stack so they get the job done faster.
As an artificer, starting in Draycott is really helpful because:
- It is close to the dwarven cities, which at max reputation allow you to build Tower buildings that give weekly supplies of ore and random glyphs (you can use useless glyphs as crafting material).
- One of those cities also sells you all types of ore. Location center-north of the map, to the right of starting location.
- The area has a lot of ore nodes. Adamantinum is still rare, though.
Some more general artificer tips:
- Piggybacking the OP, “Lesser Glyph: Spider” is a great early glyph to craft. It has a chance to apply root on attacks. Equip it on one or two missile units / apprentice and you can disable some melee threats, like bears. Recipe: Copper, Death-Arcane.
- If you have lots of low essence material, craft them into glyphs to condense the essence. For example, craft with three Remains (one death essence each) to make glyph of graverobber (the glyph has two death essence). You’ll have easier time crafting more expensive glyphs this way.
- Another good glyph that you can craft early, “Greater Glyph: Vampire” (Iron, Death-Death) makes melee attacks drain HP, 50% of the damage dealt. Later on if you use adamantinum as base ore, it’s 100% of the damage.
- Some other good, but expensive, glyphs:
- Iron Elemental-Arcane-Arcane: Melee attacks can stun.
- Adamantinum E-A-A: Immune to status effect.
- Adamantinum E-D-A: AoO don’t consume actions. Retaliation attacks don’t consume actions.
- If you’re using a lot of ranged units, get the human barracks(or/we it’s called), and get the archer upgrade. It gives all ranged units +2 range.
- Be sure to get the building upgrade that lets you pick from an additional option at levelup. Having that officer trait or that one skill you need can make a unit sooo much better.
- T2 dwarf mages can learn earth wall. Earthwall is really good.
- Be sure to get the right buffs against the right opponent.
- T3 dwarf mages get a 100% elemental resist spell and can learn a spell that gives 50% physicals res.
- T2 dwarf mages can learn a lot of healing spells and also that 50% physical res spell.
- T3 human mages and paladins (t3) can learn a spell that gives 10hp per turn and 50% death res.
- humans have a lot of light res. Not sure what unit has a light res buff.
- Cleanse is really useful and doesn’t cost ap(it does cost focus though). So 1 unit with cleanse can in 1 turn nullify that annoying undead debuff that makes you take so much damage from death, on all your units in range.
- Cleanse can remove that annoying focus drain debuff you get when fighting on allfire nodes.
Besides that everything has already been said I think. But to emphasize: be sure to get that balloon that projects your domain. It looks really innocent and useless when you first get it, but with some domain buffs it’s really really powerful.
Besides that, those life steal glyphs are by far the best glyphs you can get and are a must on any melee unit.
So if you’re not creating glyphs at the start of the game (or even in mid game), be sure to create some Graverobber ones with your spare copper and a few remains. Three of those + 1 iron is a 50% lifesteal glyph. And a few of those can easily carry you through the mid and even into the late game.