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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default [4e]Help with tactics

    So far, my group is being owned by every little bit more tougher encounter we have (part of that is because the dice don't help too but).

    The party setting is: 1 ranger (ranged), 1 rogue (artful dodger), 1 fighter (strikerish), 1 paladin (strikerish), 1 wizard (controler, aiming for swordmage).

    We can dish out pretty quickly an solo HP to half, and the other half we can't do anything about it.

    The main problem is, our tactics are very poor. Can you guys give some hints? We are all relatively begginers to this.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: [4e]Help with tactics

    The primary issue I see here is that the party has no leader class. Clerics and Warlords add a lot of healing to the group as well as benefits like bonuses to attack rolls and extra tactical movement.

    Some other considerations:
    A rogue should move to get combat advantage every round, if possible, even if that means taking opportunity attacks. That's *why* you have artful dodger.

    Since you have two defenders, it might be beneficial for one to use a shield and try to be more defensive while the other can stay striker-ish. I would recomend that your paladin try using a shield and picking more healing, buffing, and defensive powers to increase your party's survival rate and make up a bit for the missing leader role.

    Ranger ought to be using twin strike more than any other at-will except for extenuating circumstances. It is mathematically better in almost all situations.

    Wizards have some nice status effects, but really, they shine the most at outputting aoe damage. Consider taking some dailies like flaming sphere and the bigby's hands spells. Sustaining them all the way from round one of the fight to the very end turns the wizard into a very competent striker. Stuff like sleep is over-rated, especially against solos and elites because they get bonuses to their saving throws.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    JaxGaret's Avatar

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    Default Re: [4e]Help with tactics

    Quote Originally Posted by ryuan View Post
    our tactics are very poor
    Can you give us some more insight as to what you mean by this?
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [4e]Help with tactics

    Looks simple enough. The ranger moves away from the enemy and fires, the paladin and fighter engage - one of them should try to block enemies from getting to the ranger and wizard, while one helps herd the rest together. The rogue uses the two defenders (and the wizard's control effects) to get combat advantage and put in the pain. The ranger, rogue, and one defender might want to all focus on one opponent at a time to take them down fast and hard.

    The lack of leader screws you over for durability and tactics, though. A warlord instead of one of the defenders would work great, although the paladin does go a little way toward making up for this. Get a ton of healing potions, I guess.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: [4e]Help with tactics

    Quote Originally Posted by ryuan View Post
    The party setting is: 1 ranger (ranged), 1 rogue (artful dodger), 1 fighter (strikerish), 1 paladin (strikerish), 1 wizard (controler, aiming for swordmage).
    Well, you didn't specify races or ability scores, which is kind of a big deal. For instance, if your fighter has a 14 in strength, he's not going to be hitting a lot. Furthermore, each class has a number of poor powers on their list, or powers that only work with the "other" build (e.g. cha rogue vs. str rogue). Avoid these. The canonical example is the fighter's Careful Strike, which is really not worth taking in any build.

    A healer would really help. That means that anyone who can afford to take the multiclass feat for either cleric or warlord should consider doing so, using retrains as necessary. Also, a few people trained in healing skill would be nice as a fallback.

    On the other hand, don't use second wind, ever, unless you're a dwarf. Don't use full defensive action either. The best defense is a good offense; if you don't kill enemies, they'll keep on hurting you and eventually get lucky. Any round during which you're not attacking some enemy means you're doing it wrong. (yes, there are exceptions, but as a base strategy this is sound)

    This also means that if you can't hit anything, use the READY or DELAY actions to wait until later in the round. Speaking of actions, remember that any high-strength character can use the Bull Rush attack as a pushback; pushing enemies off cliffs, into fires, and so forth is very nice.

    Fighter and paladin should maximize their armor class, and mark enemies as often as possible. This makes it harder for them to target the squishies. Fighter/paladin should also target minions if any happen to be nearby.

    A ranged ranger (heh) is good; all other characters should also have a ranged weapon as backup, it never hurts. The ranger should use quarry on the biggest target, and turn it into a hedgehog. Ranger and rogue should not be primarily targeting minions, since their shtick is doing lots of damage.

    The rogue needs to use sneak attack. A well-played rogue can have combat advantage almost every single round. Set up flanks, hide behind stuff, use your first strike, and get the other characters to daze/blind/prone/stun stuff.

    I strongly disagree with what EOD is saying - sleep is among the best level-1 powers in the entire game, and retains its usefulness until epic levels. With so many strikers in the party, the wiz should not focus on dealing damage, but on locking down. Sure, if there's a bunch of minions, nuke them with an area effect; but otherwise, specialize in e.g. any status effects that give combat advantage to the rogue. The wiz should obviously stay well away from enemies.

    Finally, you've got action points. Use them, early and often. Remember that an AP spent to down an enemy in the first round means one guy who won't be dealing any damage to you at all for the remainder of combat. On the other hand, APs are not effective during cleanup at the end of fights. Also, look for nice combos, like having the rogue use Dazing Strike, then spend an AP to follow up with any other attack since he'll now have combat advantage against his dazed foe.
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: [4e]Help with tactics

    Quote Originally Posted by ryuan View Post
    The main problem is, our tactics are very poor. Can you guys give some hints? We are all relatively begginers to this.
    Good tactics: Definition: Uses a TacLord to buff and shift allies about the entire battlefield.

    ...You've got too many striker-types, and not enough Leaders. The Paladin needs to stop wishing he was a Warlock and start maxing out his Charisma (Oh... wait. That makes him wish he was a Warlock. Oops.) and Wisdom so he can use Lay on Hands as often as possible, with the greatest benefit. He should multi into either Inspiring Warlord or Cleric. You need a leader, as their powers often have effects that last until the end of the encounter, and their healing powers keep everyone alive.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: [4e]Help with tactics

    Your party's got the same problem I've seen in lots of 4e games; too many strikers, not enough leaders. Leaders are by far the most important class in 4e, as they're the only ones who can effectively heal mid-battle.

    A striker-heavy party can do lots of damage, but can't recover from setbacks. This means that when things go badly, you'll get owned hard (and probably have some PC deaths, if not a TPK). This is probably why you're failing against tougher encounters.

    As for specific tactics, Kurald mostly covered it in his post; my main advice would be to get a Leader in your party, and two if you can afford it. :)

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    Yakk's Avatar

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    Default Re: [4e]Help with tactics

    Presuming the party mix is fixed...

    Burning down solo monsters is not an ideal tactic. Don't burn all of your daily/encounter powers as soon as possible.

    Instead, attempt to set up other people's powers. Use encounter/daily powers that grant bonuses to the rest of the party (Prone, Dazed, Stunned, AC debuffs, etc). Once those land, everyone else there pours out the daily and encounter powers.

    Often Solo monsters get tougher when Bloodied, and they very rarely get weaker. Saving your higher damage output for the post-Bloodied portion of the fight can be a good idea.

    Are your solo opponents ignoring marks, or not? If they are paying attention to marks...

    With 2 defenders, you want to control who gets marked. Who has a larger healing surge value? That player starts out. Marks an opponent. Boosts their own defenses (up to and including using a 2nd wind). When you are running short of healing resources, swap up and have the other player do the same.

    A nasty trick to up damage output is to have a Paladin mark a solo, and then attack from range, while the Fighter is adjacent to the bad guy.

    The creature can either move to the Paladin and be open to a combat superiority attack from the fighter, which could prevent movement, which makes attacking the Paladin tricky), or attack locally (taking the -2 to hit, and take mark damage)...

    And that's some nice extra free damage, often better than the damage that the Paladin would do in melee range.

    This is an especially good strategy to use after the Paladin has been beat down some, and needs a break from being beat on.

  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Tengu_temp's Avatar

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    Default Re: [4e]Help with tactics

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    Your party's got the same problem I've seen in lots of 4e games; too many strikers DPSers, not enough leaders healers.
    Just like in World of Warcraft!

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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: [4e]Help with tactics

    Also, with bad-guys marked by Paladin or Fighter, be sure to provoke them into making OAs. Then the Fighter can take his free attack or the Paladin can deal insta-damage.

    Between Artful Dodger and the -2 penalty from being marked, the Rogue probably won't get hit. This is a much riskier tactic for the Ranger and Wizard...I don't sugest it for them. I, personally, like to do this with a Infernal Warlock.

    Also, how can a Paladin be strikery? Their damage is not so good unless they are dealing damage with their divine challenge on a regular basis.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: [4e]Help with tactics

    Thanks for the advice folks!

    Also, the wizard taking SwordMage is a good idea for this disfunctinal party? He don't want to take a multiclass to cleric at any rate.

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  12. - Top - End - #12
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    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: [4e]Help with tactics

    Quote Originally Posted by ryuan View Post
    Also, the wizard taking SwordMage is a good idea for this disfunctinal party?
    Not really. Given the party's makeup, the wizard should go for controller powers (for which his own wizard powers are best) or leader powers (which he doesn't really have, but neither does the swordmage).
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

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  13. - Top - End - #13
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: [4e]Help with tactics

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Not really. Given the party's makeup, the wizard should go for controller powers (for which his own wizard powers are best) or leader powers (which he doesn't really have, but neither does the swordmage).
    In other words, he should go TacLord... provided he has enough strength to make it worthwhile... (IMO, TacLord/Wizard is more effective than Wizard/TacLord...)

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    skywalker's Avatar

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    Default Re: [4e]Help with tactics

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Not really. Given the party's makeup, the wizard should go for controller powers (for which his own wizard powers are best) or leader powers (which he doesn't really have, but neither does the swordmage).
    In fact, if you had to pick one multi-class for him to take, it would probably be... cleric Cleric is actually a great multi-class for wizards because of the paragon path it opens up(which I can't remember, and I'm away from my books.).

    Edge of Dreams does have a point, solos often do have saving throw bonuses, and whereas once he saves against the sleep, he's done with it, your flaming sphere is getting a chance to munch that tough guy every round till the end of the encounter.

    I agree with Saph especially. Either pick up a leader, or have somebody multi-class. I have the same problem, too many strikers and I'm the only leader. The way I solve it, tho, is simply to not have setbacks at all. So far, it works out ok. With a party like yours, even with elites(not sure about solos, haven't gotten there), you can deal tremendous damage in the first couple of rounds if everybody plays it right. The rogue should know every situation in which he/she can get CA. They should actively search it out every round if they don't already have it. You, as the ranger, should never ever forget to make something your quarry. Usually in my games, when the party finds the "big encounter for the day," they know it. I'd encourage the wizard to drop that flaming sphere, or whatever. If you don't want to re-work your party to make it more in line with what's needed, just nova the hell out of things. It works out ok for my party, at least.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: [4e]Help with tactics

    One thing our party had to get over when switching to 4e is the idea that "equal contribution" means "everyone kills the same number of badguys". Looking at the number of people in your party who have or want Striker-type powers, you may have the same issue.
    Fighter and Paladin really shouldn't be trying for highest-possible damage output. Their ability to keep the opponent engaged counts for more than just how much damage per round they output. Paladin in particular is a Defender / Leader: he should have the best AC in the group, and be able to keep the enemy occupied while helping his allies get their hits in. Wizard as well needs to look at ways he can make life better for the Rogue or Ranger.
    Final point: Fighters are good at locking down groups of monsters, while Paladins excel at holding the line against a single target. Since you have 2 defenders, you should try to play to their strengths. Also, switch them out before they get overwhelmed.

  16. - Top - End - #16
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    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: [4e]Help with tactics

    Quote Originally Posted by skywalker View Post
    Edge of Dreams does have a point, solos often do have saving throw bonuses, and whereas once he saves against the sleep, he's done with it, your flaming sphere is getting a chance to munch that tough guy every round till the end of the encounter.
    That's because a large area effect spell isn't intended to be cast on a single solo - try it on a horde for best effect; every round during which an enemy doesn't attack the party is a net win. Also, wizards are the best at handing out saving throw penalties.
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

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