In this guide, we would like to cover a few things including recommended general/troop types, those to avoid, the moral mechanic, basic battle strategy, and how to set up a functional economy. We will keep this as spoiler-free as we possibly can, expect a few non story related ones however due to the nature of the crusade mechanic.
Beginning the crusade
By this point you have just taken the reins of the 5th crusade and may be feeling a little overwhelmed, especially if this is your first experience with a pathfinder game, you gain access to building structures, decrees, several crusades statistics, army recruitment, and relic research. We are going to go over a few key points to get you moving in the right direction.
Building up Drezen should be the very first thing you start on, don’t be afraid to spend a little extra gold now (only what you can spare of course!) in order to get proper recruitment and economy structures in place, to that end we are almost never going to build the Inn structure as finance points are the easiest resource to come by and you cannot build recruitment rate buffing buildings or you lose the Inn bonus. Material points are worth their weight in diamonds and as such a supply center or two will save you quite a bit of headache built early.
From my experience the foot soldiers aren’t worth using at this stage of the game, without zones of control or attacks of opportunity there is little point in using low mobility standard foot soldiers, that said you will need to recruit just a few until you can get archers (blot out the sun, always the best unit type) and cavalry, to that end you will want to build the main archery range and main cavalry barracks as soon as possible, you will transition to those unit types at your own speed but investing too heavily in footman will end a hard difficulty crusade, any outpost taken should also focus on building archer ranges first, then cav. In each outpost, it is worth putting in one mat building right after the archery range and before cav, this rough build order should be good to start with for each outpost.
- Archery range for extra ranged recruitment per week
- Material generator
- Cav range
Empty 4th slot, for now, save the resources until you spread out a bit, then whatever you like.
General General Guidelines
So, we covered a bit on what troop types and buildings should be focused, but what about the heads of our mighty war machine? This is going to break down what general types/traits you should look for in your first general and every general after.
For your first general (should be recruited immediately to start farming exp) I highly recommend a mage type general, it should have a red icon, spells scale with something called “power” mage gens have the highest power while also having a decent medical cap. The medical stat is the unit value that can die in a fight and be revived after the battle, there should be a blue bar by the general’s portrait in a battle that updates as your units die. gaining access to a scorching ray and a cure wounds spell early can really carry you until your army can do the heavy lifting. If you can find mage gen that has Master of Maneuvers at LVL 1 that should be a must pick. if you don’t see one on your first general selection options don’t worry, you can refresh the options by opening the recruit a general tap, close it, then reopen it.
If you are like me, you will have one primary army led by the general described above, a secondary general (the type won’t matter as much but I found the ranger type general decent as most will get a buff to ranged unit damage at a certain point) to watch the other side of the map and a general who hangs out at Drezen to pick up units for you and reinforces the main and sub army.
Battle and Morale Tips
These are a few helpful tidbits for tackling the demon fights, now that we have fed and armed our troops and they are led by a competent general they have to actually fight. This may sound a bit simple but you should really only tackle armies (at least in the first crusade segment) in order of difficulty and try to shoot for equal level armies when compared to yours, once you get some momentum and spells you can shoot for higher lvl fights but still generally only one lvl higher or two at most, consolidating is key here, build up the troops while maintaining minimal losses by taking out a dangerous enemy with scorching ray and archers, while healing up your units toward the end of a fight (as it will revive the units in that squad) to keep yourself steamrolling.
Morale is an important mechanic for a few reasons, if you drop too low your armies may skip turns in combat or eventually even lead to a game over, whereas high morale can have your units act twice in a turn and eventually gain a bonus to fear effects etc. there are a few “banners” at the middle left top part of the management screen that tell you the conditions, the most annoying one is the battles flag. you need to get a win in battle at least once every ten (10) days. this isn’t really all that difficult but this does mean you should take your time in fighting the demon armies, giving yourself at least a week of recruitment in between is the easiest way to steamroll the early crusade but it can be a bit tedious. In this case, go at a speed you feel comfortable with, I started at 5 days between, and as I gained power shortened that to about 2 days between fights (just travel time) for the most patient or power gaming you should wait as long as possible before each fight.
Combat. Here are a few simple tips for actually winning fights once you’ve entered one. Let the enemy come to you, last thing you want is to move into a foes attack range without getting in a hit of your own when you could do the same thing to them, this complements our play-style of blocking out the sun with arrows. Keep an eye on what types of enemies you are fighting, ones who cast spells or shoot back are priority ones on killing, as we need to keep our backline safe, not all that different from party mode. A bit of cheddar strategy is locking your troops into a box at a corner but this can backfire as certain demon generals aim specifically for that spot in the top left, this can be baited with other less numerous/valuable units.