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Must Have HLAs for Each Class?

Basically, I suck with HLAs.

By the time I get them I'm so used to not having them that I constantly forget they're there and never use them to their full potential. So I'm curious - what are your must-have HLAs for each class and why? What situations do you use them in?

The only one I ever use with any frequency is greater whirlwind and even then it only occurs to me to use it in the ToB mini-bosses. Hopefully if I start thinking of their uses in more scenarios I'll actually remember to use them more often!

Comments

  • DaevelonDaevelon Member Posts: 558
    My 2 cents opinion:

    - Fighter HLAs - greater whirlwind. That's all. The others have no use, except maybe hardiness that is kinda nice.

    - Thief HLAs - UAI, of course, then assassination and spike traps (that actually break the game)

    - Wizard HLAs - the extra slot (6,7,8) and comet. Improved alacrity is nice too.

    - Cleric HLAs - these are usually shit, except Summon Deva.

    jsavingBertlegorgonzola
  • masteralephmasteraleph Member Posts: 61
    Mostly agree with Daevelon. Fighters take 1 Whirlwind to be able to take Greater Whirlwind, but otherwise that. Characters specifically focused on physical resistance (the type that carries Defender of Easthaven in the off hand for example) might take Hardiness to serve as a brick wall.

    Improved Alacrity is amazing and I'd consider taking it as my first pick, but yes, the extra slots are great too. I tend to not end up using the damaging spells for the level 9 slots.

    I'll also note that Druids can get the ability that summons elemental princes, who tend to be quite good.

    DaevelonBertleQuartzgorgonzola
  • DaevelonDaevelon Member Posts: 558
    I'll also note that Druids can get the ability that summons elemental princes, who tend to be quite good.

    Yeah, forgot that, i agree.

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 339
    It varies depending on the character and the party they're in. Whirlwind/GWW are great for monks or for paladins with two-handed swords, not so much for dual-wielding fighters that reach 8-10 attacks per round with just Improved Haste. Assassination is great for fighter/thieves, not so much for pure thieves that only get one attack per round.
    And some parties really want certain HLAs because of imbalances or to fit their theme. In my current run, the pure druid and fighter/druid have, so far, taken two instances of Mass Resurrection (officially, Mass Raise Dead, but I'm calling it by the actual effect it has), two elemental transformation abilities, and one Hardiness. Having played with them so far, I wouldn't change any of those choices. The resurrection spell is a crucial safety net when the party can't cast normal Raise Dead and Resurrection, and the transformation abilities fit the party's theme really well.
    A note: I'm playing with mods that turn the spell HLAs into once-per-day abilities and the transformation abilities into tokens that allow at-will shapeshifting. That changes the balance of some things - notably, spell HLAs keep being useful because each effectively comes with its own slot.

    BertleleeuxNeverusedgorgonzola
  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 294
    Some great advice here

    Planetars are more powerful than devas so I like taking that on a mage. They can be a spare healer as well. Paladins summoning a deva can be useful in a tight spot

    Only fighters and thieves really require much thought as generally caster types will eventually get all HLAs

    Bertleleeuxgorgonzola
  • iosfrustrationiosfrustration Member Posts: 31
    edited September 17
    uqu36ak5uu80.jpeg
    One of my current favourite D&D images, the little guy up front is the Deva...

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,825
    rogues:

    uai: probably the most useful one
    assassination: for dual or multi with good thac0 and apr is super powerful in certain situations. a FT or FMT can easily have 10 apr (improved hasted) that with a x5 multiplier can be really useful in some battles.
    time trap: last enough for a MT to cast a proper TS, without the risk of being disrupted. useful also for the single class if used in combo with assassination and IH (8apr DW returinig dagger and and kundane) as every hit during TS has no to hit roll so connect automatically.
    spike trap: really powerful, is up to the player to use it in a fair way or abuse it placing it on known spawn points or near still blue circled enemies.
    greater evasion: already told in previous posts.
    improved bard song: super powerful in the original game (stack and affect the whole area) still very good in EE if the aoe is widened by a mod.

    Bertle
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,825
    edited September 18
    divine casters:
    elemental prince is very strong and can be gated in at the same time a planetar or deva is also gated, while the 2 celestials are mutually exclusive.
    deva: not as good as planetar, but very good. not always the best memorization for the party mage is the planetar, and a CM can put it in a CC as is a lev 7 spell. with 2 greater elemental in the same CC it is 4 strong elementals and a deva or a prince and a deva in no time and if the CC is pre set without even using the spell of the round.
    energy blades: the priest's ranged GWW.
    Storm of vengeance: aoe party friendly multiple elemental damage and almost 100% chance of aoe disruption. good both tactically and to deal damage agains multiple enemies.
    implosion: very good, damage and disabling effect.


    fighters:
    gww is powerful, but last only a round. i use it to fight when ambushed and without time to set up a much more lasting improved haste spell, if the fighter is dispelled from his haste, to use some low apr weapons in special situations ( a buffed FC with best sling and ammo with 10 apr is a killer, vorpal weapons and high dmg ones like impaler or the staff of the ram lack of apr even if with an hasted fighter ).
    hardiness: alone or stacked with other ways to have dmg reduction is a better way to survive high thac0 enemies then AC, and the DW fighters or 2H weapon users can not use shield to boost AC.
    greater deathblow: a lot of enemies, but not the bosses, are not above lev 12 even in tob, with a ranged high apr weapon can clear a lot of enemies in some battles like the oasis or against mind flyers. situational but useful.
    critical strike: useful to be certain to hit, but many enemies are immune to critical hit, and the ones that are not usually die fast anyway, i am not a lover of it, but for some builds can be useful, i usually pick GWW instead.

    i usually pack up gww and hardiness and pick a couple of critical strike and a greater deathblow, that usually i forget to use when the right moment come :).

    Post edited by gorgonzola on
    BertleStummvonBordwehr
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,825
    mage and sorcerer.
    improved alacrity (with RoV and AoP equipped): the best hla in the game, kill draconis faster then he can react, buff your whole party in half of the first battle round and on and over. better to use it with the PI clone. and TS if needed, but usually is not so.
    dragon breath: lich and demilich killer, useful against some other enemies.
    energy blades and planetar/dark planetar: see the priest equivalents, the planetar has more casting capability then deva, is the cleric of a party without divine casting, and a slightly better fighter.

    Bertle
  • BertleBertle Member Posts: 29
    @gorgonzola this is exactly what I needed! Thank you so much! Just started unlocking HLAs in my latest playthrough so I'll keep these tips in mind and hopefully it will help :smile:

    gorgonzola
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,825
    edited September 18
    i wish you good luck!
    you will have fun with hla, activate gww with 2-3 fighters and watch the enemies melt in no time.
    and to see the PI of your mage cast 5 magic missiles, 5 melf acid arrows and 5 flame arrows in no time, after he has brought down to 0 the enemy's MR and lowered his saving throws with greater malison is something you can't believe is true the first time you see it, he can do it in less then 1 round with the suggested equipment as all those spells have 0 casting time, so he has a whole round more to cast like a machine gun, maybe hasting the party for the next fight.
    at the cost of a single lev 7 PI spell.
    usually my PI has also a potion of insight and the 2 wish scrolls from WK in quick slots, so there is a chance that the party gets a free rest and has spellbooks and items recharged, but that is overkilling...

    also thieves that can use scrolls or the staff of the magi to detect traps while invisible (but can not backstab with it), a fighter that with tugian destroy 10 mid level enemies in a round or a thief that using the time trap performs 8 backstabs in a round are fun.

    hla are powerful, but the real power is in how the player is able to use them. a little experimentation, research and fantasy give great results and add a lot of fun!

    Bertle
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,044
    Isn't the critical strike HLA more useful than the Greater Whirlwind one, when combined with Improved Haste?

    iosfrustration
  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,396
    Chronicler wrote: »
    Isn't the critical strike HLA more useful than the Greater Whirlwind one, when combined with Improved Haste?

    It is, with improved haste and grand mastery+dual wielding a speed weapon, one can have 9 attacks/round. GWW is still good for a burst of damage, but not necessary.

    In my modded game, hardiness is critical, if only to survive horrendous damage the mod enemies do. (Improved anvil with scs sprinkled here and there, my modded game is very tough!) In vanilla game enemies do not do a lot of melee damage, with the exception of dragons, so one can get by without hardiness.

    Chroniclergorgonzolaiosfrustration
  • masteralephmasteraleph Member Posts: 61
    Chronicler wrote: »
    Isn't the critical strike HLA more useful than the Greater Whirlwind one, when combined with Improved Haste?

    Depends. In theory, it should be. In practice, the question is how many of the enemies you want to use HLAs against are immune to critical hits.

    ChroniclerDaevelongorgonzolaiosfrustration
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,825
    Chronicler wrote: »
    Isn't the critical strike HLA more useful than the Greater Whirlwind one, when combined with Improved Haste?

    a fighter type using a 2h weapon or weapon and shield has at best (lev 13 and GM) 3 apr, 6 improved hasted, with GWW he has 10.
    improved haste can be dispelled.
    a lot of enemies wear some kind of helmet or is anyway immune to the double damage of the critical hit, with the ones that are not immune usually the problem is to breach their defenses like stoneskin or pfmw, then they do down easily anyway.
    not all the parties have arcane power enough to improve haste many fighters if the mage has also to breach and cover other rules.

    CS doubles the damage on some enemies and makes every hit effective as it automatically connects ignoring the thac0/ac equation.

    it really depends on the weapon used by the fighter and the party composition.
    for some fighters is better to push gww and for others cs, also to have an even number of both can be a good choice.

    ChroniclerDreadKhan
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,825
    lunar wrote: »
    It is, with improved haste and grand mastery+dual wielding a speed weapon, one can have 9 attacks/round.
    DW 2 apr, speed weapon 1 apr, GM 1 apr, lev 13 1 apr =5apr, 10 improved hasted.
    the dual before 13 and multi top at 9 apr if they don't use 2 speed weapons, blade and swash at 8 using 2 speed weapons.
    only swash, multi and single class fighter types (including pally and ranger) and duals into fighter can have as alternative WW or GWW to reach a high apr.

  • iosfrustrationiosfrustration Member Posts: 31
    edited September 21
    Depends. In theory, it should be. In practice, the question is how many of the enemies you want to use HLAs against are immune to critical hits.

    I love this point, and you rightly highlight the answer is “anyone with 10gp to buy a helmet made of wood is innuendo to crits
    Edit: and also immune to crits

    The often overlooked secondary benefit of critical strike is that every roll is a natural 20, which is a critical (wooden helmet not withstanding), but it’s also a guaranteed hit.
    This means that rubbish THACO, low strength, rotten proficiencies and ham-fisted dexterity can all be hand waved away.

    My personal fave use for this secondary effect is runehammer and psions blade. These are hugely situational weapons, so I don’t normally bother with proficiencies, but in the situations that I do need them critical strike means I can be effective with them.

    ChroniclergorgonzolaStummvonBordwehr
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 339
    This means that rubbish THACO, low strength, rotten proficiencies and ham-fisted dexterity can all be hand waved away.
    To be fair, you have to be a warrior class with at least 3 million XP (and another HLA as prerequisite) to take Critical Strike. A pure fighter will get all the way to base THAC0 zero before they can even take it. Unless you're playing something like a triple-class character, rubbish THAC0 won't be a problem.

    Chroniclergorgonzolaiosfrustration
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,825
    even with a fmt in my experience i get more successful attacks from a GWW then from a CS.
    but it is true that often my FMT uses staves as mlee weapon, has pips in 2Hsword for carsomyr and uses sling as ranged one, for a triple build for DW and using a speed weapon the attacks not missed can be more then the ones added by GWW.
    also as i run small parties my triple is on the overleveled side, for a full party and not so completionsit run CS can be better against foe with really good AC.

    as i told some posts before both the hla are good, which to choose depends on toon build and party composition, there is not an universal truth about it.

    iosfrustrationDaevelon
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