This article was written to help people to understand possibilities of shop and bronze weapons and copper monsters.
I’ll try to analyze the weapon possibilities. No skills added to calculations.
At the beginning of you journey you will start without dice upgrades and with scrap weapons. At this time weapon dices really means. Red is the most powerful and blue is the weakest. Same thing with green / yellow. At this time even black dices haven’t such value as major two. E.g.: Grey Ker with the bow (3 black dices) will have average 3.3 damage +1 pierce and with the axe average damage 5.5. It’s a ridiculous for Grey Ker to use an Axe, but a good example to show dices power. Later on with better weapons and power dice upgrades heroes will be specified with 1 type of the weapon, but at the beginning “red + green” – that’s what you should be looking at. Exceptions will be done at the end of the article.
Best weapon to use and their combos (average damage):
# Item / 2 dice damage / 3 dice damage / Cost
1 Sword / 6.2 / 6.9 / 75
2 Walking Stick / 5.3 / 6.2 / 75
3 Axe / 7.2 / 8.0 / 100
4 Sword + Morning Star / 7.9 / 8.4 / 150
Dagger (with it 4.4 - 5.1 average damage) is absolutely useless. I cannot imagine the situation where party need those extra 50 coins and leave a hero with a dagger and not a sword. Morning Star is a pure off-hand bonus weapon. Hammer: I’m not sure you need to move monsters at this moment. At copper level there are 2 types of monsters for a melee hero: those to kill with 1 hit (except Apes) and bosses. It’s a waste of turns to make 2 hits to kill a monster. Most common monsters are: Beastman, Hell Hound 6 hits (here and later on with armor), sorcerer 7, razorwing 8. Spiders, skeletons, kobolds less than 5. Sword + dagger or sword + sword or dagger + morning star worse than those 4 variants.
So, if you start with only 1 melee hero I suggest to use the Axe. It is the only one shop weapon with green (means damage) dice which has 1 damage per surge. This hero will do major damage to a boss with power potion (average 12 with 3 black dice starting, and 11.3 with 2).
If you start with2 melee heroes (even if the second one has only 1 black dice) I suggest hero with 3 power dice to use walking stick – it will raise mobility, and average 6.2 damage is quite enough to cover almost all frequently found monsters. And another hero to use a sword + shield or sword + morning star (axe in case of low coins that needed by other heroes).
Opposed to melee there are no much choices. Two handed bow makes an unbelievably small damage (average 2.7 for 2 black dice and 3.3 for 3 + 1 pierce), that is not enough to kill even a skeleton or a kobold. Without skills or abilities that raises damage this weapon useless. Throwing Knife gives 3.1 – 3.7 damage, cheaper and only one handed, leaving a space for a shield or a melee weapon. Sling gives 4.5 - 5.2 damage but has operational range 3 spaces, with more or less normal price of 100 coins. And the only one weapon that can kill mobs in a single shot is a crossbow with 4.9 – 5.6 damage, leaving second hand for a shield, but very expensive: 175 coins with a shield. Buying chain mail to this hero will leave 25 coins what is just half of a needed potion (power or fatigue).
The only suggestion I can make here: If you have a ranger with at least 1 black dice for melee – use melee weapon until you find bronze range weapon. It comes of many things: first of all: blue dice is the lowers for damage (and middle for surges) purpose, second: 3/2 surges per damage on shop range items, third: cost of a range weapons, fourth is monsters HP. If you have pure ranger (3 dices on ranged attacks) or choose a skill to your hero that gives damage and/or range (by the way worst decision to make) then crossbow is your weapon. BUT you must kill monsters EVERY turn with such investment in you hero (melee heroes with an axe and a chain mail leaves to a party 100 coins for 2 potions and do more damage then you who bought items for 275 coins).
Of course of you have Laurel all you need is Shadow soul and a bow with power potion for oneshooting bosses. Very specific character. I presume that Borgan the Shadow could use bow also. Almost 5 damage and 1 pierce with operational range of 5 spaces quite enough to kill those nasty skeletons far away in the corner.
Blinding Light and Mage Staff gives same low damage of 4.0 – 4.6 which is not enough to kill a monster. So almost useless. Sunburst very specific. With green dice it gives operational range of 2, and 3 surges on a roll can have only Landrec or a hero with Prodigy skill (which is not the best to chose as a starting skill). In my experience I have had no cases when I had a mage standing 2-3 spaces from a group of monsters to blast them. I can imagine its use only in vanila (Landrec + prodigy + inner fire = range, damage, blast), but not in rtl. It leaves us only with one weapon to choose. Immolation has 5.8 – 6.5 damage but low range.
It is only my opinion, but having starting skills that adds damage to a heroes is not a good choice. Starting with bronze almost all weapons have 1 damage per 1 surge, and with dice upgrade you can boost your hero’s damage fast and cheap (250 for a weapon + 500 for a dice). I prefer more such skills as rapid fire, acrobat, shadow soul and swift to all other range skills, and quick casting, wind pact, boggs the rat, spiritwalker to all other magic skills. And of course Leadership, Knight, Able warrior and may be Tiger tattoo to all melee skills.
Out of this best party to start will be 2-3 melee users (means ranger to use melee, not a pure melee user), 0-1 range user, 1 magic user. It will make good damage and save money for potions. For ex: Chainmail + sword + morning star, chainmail + Stick, Leather Armor + axe, Leather Armor + immolation makes 350 coins left, which is 7 potions: 4 fatigues and 3 power.
Before the bronze I want to go deeper in monster analysis.
I’ll begin with copper monsters that can be spawned and / or exist by default on a dungeon level. Forget about Trolls and Dragons, those are very specific monsters that would be bosses, and because of that named and because of that have extra HP, armor and abilities. How to kill those is not a subject of this article. Here is the list: Bane Spiders, Beastmen, Beastmen Master, Blood Ape, Dark Priest, Dark Priest Master, Deep Elf, Ferrox, Ferrox Master, Hell Hounds, Kobold, Kobold Master, Lava Beetles, Medusae, Razorwing, Shade, Skeleton, Skeleton Master, Sorcerers. You will meet most of the time: Beastmens (with master), Dark Priest (because they are relly powerfull, and OL will summon them more often than others), Hell Hounds, Kobolds (cannon fodder), Shade (protect chests, glyphs), Skeleton (lots of them) and Sorcerers. So because of frequency meeting some monsters comes the idea of minimum hero damage. 2 hits to kill a monster or 1 it’s really matters.
Monsters for 1 hit to kill. Equal or below 6 hitpoints (HP + armor): Bane Spider, Beastmen, Hell Hound, Kobold (and master), Shade (it is a suicide killing shade in 2 attacks because of low damage), Skeleton (and master). That is almost half of all monsters. And heroes MUST choose their starting gear to kill those in 1 hit.
Monsters preferably for 1 hit using fatigue. 7-8 hits: Beastmen Master, Dark Priest, Ferrox, Lava Beatle, Medusae, Razorwing, Sorcerer. Half of them heroes will be willing to kill here and now like priests and beastmen masters.
Uniques. 10-13 hp: Blood Ape, Dark Priest Master (that’s a headache for heroes), Deep Elf, Ferrox Master. Last one just fat, but others are real ass kickers. But… 2*6 = 12. Heroes must be able to kill those in 2 hits, not 3, or even 4.
But monsters are not only figures to kill, objects to hunt for the heroes. At the start it is vice versa, it is heroes who are pray and monsters who are hunters. So we must know what can they do with us.
Each monster has a chance of 1/6 to miss, and other chances are shown in the table. For e.g. Spiders have 16.6% to miss, 6% to make 2 damage, 19% - 3 damage, 25% - 4 damage, 22% - 5 damage and 11% - 6 damage.
So, if you are playing with Corbin or Brother Glyr you are immune almost to all monsters (assuming you bought a ring +1 armor). With 6 armor and a shield there are no chances for OL to kill you. Traps, blocks, and bosses, that what you should be afraid of (or mean combos: Dark priest master standing on the sarcophagi (+1 range +1damage), with aura of master beastmen (+1 damage) with rage card).
Some fun before bronze: Laughin Buldar with an axe and a morning star has average damage 10. Not bad for shop items eh? )
For those who want I can upload a table with all numbers (like monsters) for shop (and bronze weapons).
Finally! I really tired of those 2 surges for 1 damage thing. If in shop section melee weapons where absolute rulers, on bronze things are changing a bit. Melee get lowers boost compare to ranged and magic. On bronze ranged attacks begin to kill mobs and magic begins to be a nightmare for OL. Let’s have a closer look:
Melee (here and for range and magic first number for 2 black dices and second for 3 black dices):
Dagger: average damage 5.3 – 6.2.
Even having bleed, dagger still the most useless weapon to use. With 16.7% for 0, 33% for 1, 16.7% for 2 and 33% for 3 damage as a bleed it is still better to kill monster now, than it would probably (or may be not OL could play a card to remove bleed tokens before activating a monster with bleed) die on OL’s turn. Sell it, buy a normal bronze item, or just buy a morning star, an armor ring or at least 2 potions. Yes, if you just obtained it from the chest and a dark priest master standing near you, kill it with bleed, and then sell it to the shop. Have no ideas to use it somewhere else.
Bone Blade: average damage 7.2 – 8.0
Sword receive +1 damage with shop to bronze upgrade. Not good, not bad, right to the middle. Other weapons get more. But with a morning star it becomes average 9.2-10.0 damage or with a shield hero feels safer.
Dragontooth Hammer: average damage 9.2 – 10.0
Hammer receives maximum boost from shop to bronze: +2 damage (on pierce), I count it as 2 damage because everywhere you need to kill a monster with cumulative 12+ HP + Armor – there always be a 2 armor to pierce. So 2 pierce on a hammer = 2 damage (exceptions Named bosses with iron skin).
Leviathan – no comments, only shades to kill. In SoB with Brin's Mark it possibly could be used, but in RTL having 50% chances to miss is too much price for extra green dice. Even worse than a dagger. Sell it.
Shillelagh: average damage 5.8 – 6.8.
Spear being almost the best shop weapon get the lowest boost in bronze (+0.5 damage). Sad. If you are out of money – better to sell this one and precede using shop item.
Mace of Aver: average damage 7.2 – 8.0
I didn’t take in attention shop variant to buy because you need to kill and not to move monsters, but coming to bronze at this time OL could have a monster upgrade to silver. And even with a Dragontooth Hammer heroes won’t be able to kill those in a hit (especially beasts). At this time hit and move monster closer to a mage or kick it back on guard could be interesting. It is very simple rule: monsters from Bronze to Silver doubling their HP + armor value. Weapons from shop to bronze get from +0.5 to +2 damage. So, knockback become interesting thing. But if it is the first your loot, and you have smth good at market to buy, sell it and buy what is more valuable.
Cursed Sword: average damage 7.1 – 8.1.
Not worth It. Sell. No, no, no. No killing bosses with power potions. And no killing fat mobs. Sell it. Want a test? Average damage with power potion + morning star for cursed sword = 13.6 – 14.5. With aim it would be about 15 – 17 damage. And the Bone Blade with power potion and morning star will do average 12.3 - 13.1 damage, with aim 14-16. Now tell me, do this 1 damage extra worth 1 curse? I think not. Those +3 damage for 2 surges not works with a sword like it works with the staff because of three things: red dice have 2 times less chances for a surge than white one, “other” items for melee give 1 damage, and for magic gives 1 surge and finally staff has uber ability to kill undying. So, no chances to use. Sell it. And the last thing why should you sell it. Starting with bronze melee heroes will change weapons from time to time. In the room there are some skeletons in the corners: equip spear to kill them on battle, and on the next turn equip a bronze axe to kill smth fat. With cursed sword such tricks won’t be able to do.
I really hope people get bronze ranged weapons before OL upgrade its monsters. This will be the time of pleasure and happiness.
Axe of Returning and Falcon's Claw average damage: 4.1 – 5.0.
Still low damage, but yummy abilities, especially for claw. Also they are one handed. And have operational range of 5. Nice! Good thing to buy.
Great Bow and Magic Bow: average damage 5.1 – 5.7 and 5.9 - 6.6.
I prefer one handed weapon because of a shield. Yes, both bows hit the line of 6 damage but those 2 surges for 1 damages kills me, and 2 pierce on great bow means that damage is 3.1 – 3.7 + 2 pierce. And that is not enough to kill a skeleton! You really need it? Camon, even extra dices for fatigue won’t help you. Only ½ for power enchantment, and for 1 surge it is not always damage. As for one handed weapon extra dice means 83.3% make 1 damage. If you started with crossbow – sell those two bows. If you are Laurel – Great bow is your weapon. Some fun: Damage on shot at point blank range with aim trying to kill boss (with power potion): average damage – 6, range - 5, surges – 3, pierce 2, card 8 range. Surges = range, range = damage. 6 + 5 + 3 + 2 + 8 = 24. One shot – one kill © Warkraft II (With Born to the Bow skill you will be able to move and hit best skill to have for laurel, and Archer's Charm for +1 range +1 pierce, means +2 damage for the boss).
Dwarven Fire Bombs: average damage 6.0 – 6.8
Oh! Now we are talking about damage! Best one to have (after Claw because of unique ability that gives more overall for the party)! Just don’t forget about low range. But hey! We have almost all the times power enchantment on 2-3 black dice and comparing to bows we could almost every time add range with black dice and damage with surge.
Ripper: average damage 6.7 – 6.9.
Now that a kicker! Blue, green, yellow, 2 pierce, mini aim one handed! That all means good range and good damage. I cannot imagine a better weapon. Average damage 4.7-4.9 + 2 pierce, average range 5.1 – enough to kill almost every monster. Best combing with Gauntlets of Power to recover fatigue for unused surges (average surges – 1.9 – 2.1). Such player will move more and kill fast. Too bad if you took those +2 surges on range attack skill at the beginning. Didn’t I tell you (at shop item section) that it is not a good skill?
Backbiter: don’t even want to waste your time reading, just sell it. Average damage same as Dwarven Fire Bombs, but two handed, and weak ability not worth that curse token. Who will OL try to kill: a 5 armor thug with 16 HP or a 3 armor ranger with 12 HP, both value 4.