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COMBAT TIPS 
The Combat Menu 
 
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ATTACK 
This Menu Option is really unnecessary, but you can use it if you like.  The easiest way to attack is just to target the adversary with either the Partial Attack Cursor or the Full Attack Cursor.  Partial attacks are used if the distance to enemy is great or if some strikes have already been expended on another target.
DEFEND 
Causes a defense strike against enemies which attempt to attack the character.  Use when equipping non-ranged weapons only with the maximum number of Defend strikes equal to the current strike number of the character.
GUARD 
Protects the combat zone within the range of the character.  Any enemy attempting to pass within this range will be struck by the guarding character.  Use when equipping non-ranged weapons only, with the maximum number of Guard strikes equal to the current strike number of the character.  Guard strikes will be initiated against enemies attempting to pass the guard to attack another member of the party.
 
CAST SPELL
This option is only available with magi or priests.  However, it will not be available if the character has a weapon equipped. If the "Last Spell" cannot be found or cast (low spell points), the Magic Options Menu will pop up.
ATTRIBUTES
Allows the player to check the attributes of the current character.  This option does not count as turn.
INVENTORY
Allows the character to use any item in inventory (or equipped!) on that turn.  This includes potions, oils, greases, resins, balms, spell scrolls or enchanted items.
SEARCH GROUND
Allows the character to pick up any number of items which have dropped to the ground.  Once the item(s) have been placed in inventory, any item in inventory (or equipped!) may be used on the same turn.  This includes potions, oils, greases, resins, balms, spell scrolls or enchanted items.
ATTACK STYLE
Allows the player to toggle the attack setting between "Conservative", "Balanced" and "Aggressive" on each turn.  The Conservative setting adds 25 points of defense points to the character's attributes while decreasing the attack points by 25.  The Aggressive setting adds 25 points of attack points to the character's attributes while decreasing the defense points by 25.  This option does not count as turn.
WAIT
Temporarily passes the combat turn to the next party member or enemy.  Repeated use of the Wait option will eventually result in that character attacking last in the round.  This option does not count as turn.
 
Combat Basics
 
Evaluate
On each character's turn check to see what equipment and abilities the enemy has.  When there are more than one adversary, determine where the "weakest link" is and attack there.  It's better to attack the easier opponents first and try to eliminate potential retaliation than assault a strong, capable enemy who may attack in another round.  Be especially wary of enemies with enchanted weapons and armor.
Mob Rules
By ganging up on one opponent at a time, your combat team can tilt the advantage in their favor.  If you didn't evaluate well and your first melee attack proves ineffective, use Fire Oil or magic with the next hero.
Half-Move Mechanics
By using the Half-Move, you can move a character in position to block for a weaker party member (like the mage!), move into an effective archer position or move out of range of a potentially bad combat position.  The Half-Move guarantees you'll still be able to swing a hand weapon, shoot a full complement of arrows, toss Fire Oil, cast a spell or drink a potion after the move has been completed.  Each character may also Defend or Guard at the end of the Half-Move.
Attack Styles in Action
For hand-to-hand combat, toggle the Attack Style between Conservative and Aggressive.  The Balanced setting imparts no additional defense or offense and thus no advantage.  Try to switch all members of the party to Conservative at the end of each battle in preparation for the next combat event (You may need to postpone killing the last enemy to do so!).  Switch to Aggressive only after it's clear that no members are in desperate peril and can then do the mob attack.  A spell casting mage should always be set to Conservative for the entire game.  Fighters with high stamina (like William & Solon!) can leave the setting on Aggressive all the time and survive nicely.;)
 
 
Some Potions, Greases & Balms in Combat 
. Weak Version Strong Version Typical 
User
Ironskin (potion) +Defense & blocks some damage +More Defense; twice weak version blocking Mage
Strength/Might (potion) +30 Strength Pts. (+damage ) +50 Strength Pts. (+damage ) All
Striking (potion)  Doubles damage of each attack Triples damage of each attack All
Lightning Shield (potion) Limited effect; Immunity to fire, 
Attacker takes damage inflicted  
on user x2
Lasts entire battle; Immunity to fire, 
Attacker takes damage inflicted  
on user x2
Mage, 
Fighter
Regeneration (potion) Lasts entire battle; +Health each round Lasts entire battle; +More Health each round All
Holy Balm Doubles damage of weapons/fists Triples damage of weapons/fists All
Undead Protect (potion) Reduces Life Drain attack by 25% Reduces Life Drain attack by 50% All
Poison/Deadly Grease Adds poison damage each round Adds double poison damage each round Mage, 
Fighter
Abjuration (potion) Removes blindness Prevents blindness & paralysis All
Poison Antidote Cures poisoned condition Prevents poisoning All
Fire Protection (potion) Immune to Fire Oil Immune to Fire Oil & Magic Fire All
Beastwalk (potion) Try it! Try it! Mage only
 
Magic in Combat
Interference
Always position high-stamina characters (like thieves and warriors) to protect the mage(s).  The Guard option works well for this and will usually protect against more than one enemy attempting to get past the guarding character.  Also, be aware of line of sight when opposing archers and Fire Oil chuckers, and then move to block the path to the mage.
 
Slow Casting vs. Scrolls
In early development a mage will have a tough time completing spells by Quick Casting and will be forced to use Slow Casting.  Be sure to block off all pathways to the mage when attempting a Slow Cast...  it's an enemy "magnet" and will draw a lot of attention.  An effective alternative in early going are cheap Spell Scrolls like Unbeing, Chaos, Firestorm & Madness.  Keep them handy for critical combat situations.
 
Economical Spell Casting
Until your party advances past the first 3 chapters, spell casting potions will be a bit scarce.  Practice using spells which cause a lot of damage or stops the enemy without requiring a lot of spell points.   If you invest into an Apprentice Ring, each spell cost will be reduced by a 25%.  Be certain your mage 's spell points have dropped at least 20 points from full before using a Spellcasting Potion or at least 50 points before using a Great Potion.  These spells are cheap to use and they each Quick Cast reliably:
 
SPELL COST DURATION
Lightning Blade 3 Several rounds
Demonblade 3 Entire battle
Sunray 4 A few rounds
 
 
The Master's Recommendations for Combat Tactics
Mob Shunt
To break up enemies mobbing a single hero,  send healthiest member to harass one of the mob assailants.  Set Attack Style of the "equalizer" to Conservative and then attack one of the toughest adversaries.  This should deflect the attack from at least one enemy and buy time for the hero being pummeled to either eliminate an enemy or heal.
 
Mass Poisoning
Use poison grease, move into a pack of adversaries,  hold down the Ctrl key and strike each opponent once.  Use this tactic to spread the effects of a poisoned weapons to many enemies in one turn.  An archer automatically uses the Partial Attack (w/o needing the Ctrl key trick) and can inflict mass poisoning by applying grease to the arrows.  Simply use the Poison Grease while holding a bow and all arrows will be poisoned!
 
Battling the Mob
NEVER allow/place a hero within range of several enemies at one time unless you intend to leave them there for the duration of the battle.  If you try to move them out, each adversary within striking range will issue a "parting shot" which may seriously damage (or kill!) the character attempting the move. One exception: Mass Poisoning.
 
Rushing 
Use this tactic to control Archers and Fire Oil throwers.  Move any member of the party within hand-to-hand combat range.  Archers will automatically use their turn to drop the bow and withdraw a hand weapon from inventory... a free attack!  Enemies holding Fire Oil will refrain from tossing it and use whatever weapon they are holding.  Rushing Fire Oil throwers will assure the Fire Oil will still be there for looting once the battle has ended.
 
Using Fire Oil
Whenever possible, test the opposition for fire resistance by casting either Fire Rain or Firestorm.  Don't waste your turn throwing Fire Oil on enemies that show little or no damage to the fire spell.
 
The "Slide" 
Any enchanted items that contain spells may be shared by members of the combat party who possess the ability to use them.  By dropping the item on the ground and then using the Search Ground combat option, it can be passed from one member to another.  A tactic usually used by mages sharing wands, it may be used with any item which contains multiple spells, like enchanted staves and some jewelry.