“Something in the woods is very strange.” The Yondering Lands in Wildermyth are full of adventure, magical mysteries to discover as well as terrible enemies to face. If you’re just getting started with the game, learning to manage not only the tactical battles but also the exploration of the overworld can feel like a daunting task. Fortunately, the Yondering is home to countless myths and legends, tales of heroes who have already overcome their trials and have knowledge to share with the next generation of heroes. Their heroic legacy serves as a guide to those who would follow in their footsteps. So if you’ve just grabbed a pitchfork and started your journey, here are some useful tips to help you along as you play the game.
Wildermyth is a tactical RPG, a turn-based strategy game where you’ll move a small number of units around a battlefield and attempt to defeat a group of enemies using your various abilities. Wildermyth has a few basic combat skills that are essential to performing well: walling and flanking. These mechanics are introduced briefly early in the game but in my experience, really learning to appreciate them didn’t follow til I’d had some rough experiences. So this section will dig into how to use those mechanics effectively so you can take advantage of them right from the beginning!
Walling is a defensive technique that you activate by having two units stand next to one another. When friendly units are adjacent, each one gains a bonus segment of armor, reducing the damage from incoming attacks by 1 point. This is valuable when you’ve got enemies nearby for making sure that you reduce the overall damage against your characters. Wildermyth has very few methods of proper healing – a decent number of abilities grant temporary HP but very few actually restore missing health. The only way most heroes can recover is the passage of time on the overland map, so you want to keep damage to a minimum if at all possible. Walling helps to make this happen, but it has other benefits too! When two units are friends, they increase each other’s block stat when standing adjacent to one another. There are also a few abilities that activate when adjacent with allies that allow you to make reaction attacks against the enemy, such as the Protector ability on the pet rabbit Avenger or the Archery ability available to the hunter class. Walling with these units not only protects them, but allows their allies to make counterattacks that can help you clear out enemy units more quickly. Finally, look out for abilities or pets that allow you to wall with other things, such as the pinecone pet that lets you wall with trees or the Earthscribe mystic ability that allows you to wall with objects that your mystic has interfused with.
Flanking is an essential tool in your toolbox in Wildermyth, and I seriously underestimated it during my early hours with the game. Flanking activates when your units make attacks against a foe at a 90 degree angle or more from one another. For example, one ally attacks from the tile directly below the foe while the other ally attacks from the tile to the foe’s right, creating a perpendicular angle. You can also flank from a 180 degree angle by hitting a foe from completely the opposite direction as your ally. The benefit of flanking is that it sets your accuracy to 100%. This makes your second attack a guaranteed hit against the opponent. This tool is essential for dealing with dodgy enemies or making sure you inflict the killing blow on a weakened target. You’ll be surprised how often an attack with 75-80% accuracy can end up missing – you want to mitigate that if there is any possible way to do so. Flanking is your solution, so you’re going to want to be very intentional about setting up flanks whenever possible. This is particularly important when you have melee attackers (usually hunters) who are wielding daggers, as daggers deal double damage when they are used while flanking. 100% accuracy and double damage? You don’t want to miss out on that! There are other situations where flanking can be used to increase damage too, such as when you have the cunning status effect from a story event or when the warrior ability Wolfcall+ has been activated. But here’s a really neat trick – did you know you can flank with yourself? Certain combinations of abilities give you the tools to set up and execute a flank with a single character. Here are a couple of examples. As a warrior, the Shieldshear ability allows you to make a swift action attack against the foe that shreds some of their armor. If you start your turn next to the enemy, you can Shieldshear immediately, move to a flanking position, and then make your actual attack at 100% accuracy against the foe. You can set up a similar combo using two attack actions with Battledance+. But you don’t have to be a warrior to pull it off – any unit can flank with themselves as long as they have an attack action they can do as a swift action. With hunters, I like to set this up with a weapon like hurlaxes. The hurlaxe also has the added benefit of shredding armor, so you can lower the target’s armor value and then hit them with a flanked arrow for big damage.
The point above about flanking with yourself transitions nicely into my next topic: maximizing your actions. On their turn, each character has two action points as well as a swift action (represented by a feather) which they can spend. Ideally, you want to be making use of every single one of these actions each time you have a character act, getting as much bang for your buck as possible. What do I mean by that? Some actions like attacking with a weapon are turn-ending actions they just bring an end to your turn regardless of how many action points you have left. If the very first thing you do is attack (and you don’t have an ability such as Battledance) you will end your turn with an action point and a swift action essentially wasted. While on most turns you’ll usually be using one action point to move and one to attack, you’re going to want to build your characters in a way that allows them to use all “three” of their actions as often as possible so you can make the most of your turn. Offhand weapons like hurlaxes or abilities that grant a swift action your character can perform each turn are a great way to do this; they allow you to make multiple attacks or movements in the same turn, giving you more flexibility and possibly allowing you to take out multiple targets at once. Another way to maximize actions is to take advantage of abilities that allow you to do an action for free. The hunter’s Rogue ability allows you to enter greyplane for free when you get a kill, which prevents you from having to make the turn-ending Silkstep action in order to go into stealth. Or there’s the warrior ability Paladin+, which puts you into the defensive Guardian state for free at the end of every turn. For mystics, don’t forget that if you have a free swift action and you’re not interfusing with an object, consider withdrawing an interfusion that no longer serves you. There’s nothing worse than needing to interfuse with an object and realizing you are already maxed out, forcing you to waste a turn before you can actually make an attack. You can mitigate this with Openmind, which at base level increases your interfusion limit and when upgraded makes withdrawing interfusions an unlimited free action.
As you play, you’ll begin to level up your heroes and see all kind of abilities they can choose from in order to increase their power and versatility on the battlefield. While you only ever have a few to choose from at a time, the choice can still be intimidating when you’re not certain which abilities have the most potential or create the most effective synergy for your team. Broadly I would say that if you’re playing Wildermyth at the standard difficulty, you are pretty safe to experiment and see what works for you, but if you’re here then maybe what you are really looking for is a guiding hand to say “hey, maybe try this stuff out until you get more comfortable discovering your own combinations.” The following are some tried and tested abilities that I have found to be particularly helpful during my battles in Wildermyth.
Get Engaged, Then Engage
Remember how I described in the section on walling that friends help increase each other’s block chance? Lovers have a different effect called Lover’s Vengeance which allows them to deal bonus damage to enemies who have attacked their partner. This ability is particularly useful when one of the two lovers is a warrior, because warriors can pick up an ability called Engage which draws enemy aggro to them. In other words, it forces the enemy to attack them. After that warrior has been attacked by the enemy, their lover can then attack that enemy with the damage bonus from Lover’s Vengeance. It’s a nice way to have a reliable setup for an ability that’s pretty useful but could otherwise be rather situational.
This Team is on Fire
All three classes in Wildermyth have abilities in their pool that relate to fire. The warrior can create fire with Raider, the hunter can spread fire and improve their attacks with Ember Arrows, and the mystic can spawn fire with Ignite, sustain it with Elementalist, and use it to give allies bonus attacks with Spiritblade. This means one viable approach for a team of characters is to have all of them lean into the abilities that allow them to create and manipulate fire for one another. Raider for example is a swift action, so you can have a warrior throw down a fire real quick before running up to attack an enemy or set up a Guardian stance. Your hunter could then move next to that fire to shoot some Ember Arrows, or your mystic could interfuse with it in order to use fireleash and deal big magical damage to a group of enemies. Ignite allows a similar combo with your mystic, who can spawn a fire that the hunter can then utilize to their advantage, and if the mystic has Spiritblade then they could give the hunter or warrior a bonus attack for as long as they are standing next to the blaze. Remember, you want to maximize your actions and encourage teamwork via walling and flanking, so having all of your units have abilities that synergize in this way can help you to emphasize that type of play.
There are few things more deflating than setting up a reaction ability like Guardian or Ambush and watching as the foes don’t take the bait. Or maybe you’ve laid a Jumpjaw or Shard trap but the enemies seem too smart to step on the specific squares they need to in order for the trap to take effect. Most of the time you can’t control the enemy’s positioning, but with the right abilities, you can set up combos that guarantee a reaction ability will get activated. This is a great way to deal damage to foes who are otherwise just out of range for one of your units. How does it work? First, have the character who you want to perform the reaction – let’s say we want a hunter to pull off an Ambush – go ahead and set up their move. Next, you need a character with an ability that can move other units. There are quite a few examples: mystics can use Compulsion to force enemies to move or they can forcibly drag them with something like the vinewrench interfusion, warriors can knock foes into a new position with the Backslam ability, and certain transformations like the botanical transformation get abilities that can relocate units to new tiles. Use your ability to move the enemy into the effective range of the reaction ability you’ve already set up, and watch as the reaction goes off and you deal your damage right away, without waiting until the enemy’s turn! You won’t often need to go through steps like this for standard enemies, but foes with larger pools of health can be great targets for a combo like this that involves getting multiple hits on a single opponent, and it’s a useful strategy to have in your pocket when you have a character who can’t reach the enemy without a little help.
Combat is only part of the Wildermyth experience, and for some players it is perhaps the less intimidating part compared to figuring out the best way to approach the overland. Between missions, you have to make decisions about where to send your characters to scout, battle, and fortify, as well as deciding how much you want to build up the regions that you rescue. Time pressure looms as the more days you spend taking actions, calamities build up that make your enemies more powerful and the threat of incursion grows greater and greater. The following section includes some recommendations for approaching your overland strategy based on my experiences with the game at this point.
Splitting the Party? Not as Controversial as You’d Think!
Any seasoned TTRPG players may be familiar with the phrase “don’t split the party” and assume that this same logic would apply to Wildermyth. But really, splitting up can have some value depending on the circumstances. If you are intentional about how you build your party and when you split it up, it can help you to maximize you time in the overland. Members of different classes are good at different things: hunters scout faster, mystics restore sites faster, and warriors build bridges or passes faster. By having units focus on what they are good at and separating them by the nature of the task, you can get more done in a shorter amount of time. Most tiles are safe to travel across alone, and since mission battles don’t start until you initiate them you don’t have to worry about being caught unawares by a major boss encounter. The only thing you need to watch out for are infestations – these are tiles with a sort of thorny vine design on them (you can also click on them to see whether or not they are infested). Units in groups of two or less can in fact get ambushed on infested tiles, so that’s where you need to be a little more careful. When I play, I try to keep my heroes together in groups of three – this prevents ambushes while still allowing me to have multiple parties exploring at one time so I cover ground faster. The other benefit of this approach is that experience earned in combat is based on the number of party members – by traveling in smaller groups, your units will get more experience for the battles that they do participate in.
To Rebuild or Not to Rebuild
Each time you complete a mission in Wildermyth, a little tower icon appears on the map which you can click in order to restore the location and fortify it. Restored locations give you materials you can use to upgrade equipment and, if you spend extra time on the restoration, you can get gear right when the restoration is finished as well. But when the looming threat of calamity and intrusion is hanging over you, is it really worthwhile to take extra time to get some bonuses? Generally speaking, if you are playing at standard difficulty, there’s really no reason not to restore locations after you liberate them from monsters. The gear you get from taking extra time will help your characters to grow over time, improving their damage, defenses, or the number of tiles they can move during combat. This will become slightly less important deeper into a campaign as your characters get most of their gear slots full, but until you find yourself rejecting new gear more often than not, rebuilding is worth the effort. At higher difficulty levels when calamities and incursions are happening more often, that’s when you’ll want to be more careful about making the choice to spend extra time every single time. You can mitigate some of this concern by getting the Wisdom ability for a mystic in your party – Wisdom helps characters to complete overland actions faster based on age, and mystics are already the character type most inclined to quickly restore locations.
Calamity and Incursion
So we’ve been discussing the threats that hang over you as you explore overland but not gone into great detail about them: let’s dig in a little. Calamities make your foes stronger by adding more cards to their deck. Cards simply represent what enemies can be brought into play during missions and whether or not those enemies have bonuses. It is important to note that during story missions, enemies who are not present in your calamities can still appear for story reasons. For example, in Age of Ulstryx you’ll always encounter a true gorgon in the barn during the ending mission of chapter one regardless of whether or not true gorgons are a calamity card in your deck. Each time new calamities occur because enough time has passed, four random cards are added and you have the choice of whether to let them happen or to cancel them out with legacy points. Personally, I have gotten a lot of mileage out of this approach: only cancel calamities for your main foe. Each campaign (except for Sunswallower’s Wake) has a primary enemy who you will be fighting the most often. The other enemy groups will generally appear rarely enough that having a tough enemy in that set of cards won’t be too much of a disadvantage for you; those groups will also be gaining power slower, so even if you ignore their calamities they likely won’t have anything too wild for you to deal with. When canceling calamities, I tend to prioritize preventing dangerous upgrades over preventing new enemy types. For example, if a card would be upgrading so that two of the monster appears instead of one, that is something that I am going to be motivated to stop, versus the introduction of a stronger enemy type.
Incursions happen less frequently than calamities but they are bigger deals. When an incursion takes place, a strong group of enemies begins to move across the map towards a town with the goal of destroying that town completely. If an incursion destroys the last remaining town, that’s game over. You don’t want these running rampant – while I won’t necessarily go out of my way to rush a chapter to prevent a calamity, if I’m getting close to an incursion I may take steps to finish the chapter quickly and stop the incursion from taking place. When an incursion does happen, take a moment to see where they are approaching and determine a good place to intercept them. You usually want the point of interception to be two or three map tiles away from the incursion’s source – this will hopefully give you time to set up defenses. When you select a tile you control, you can prepare defenses to set up fortifications for when an incursion arrives. The tier of the fortifications determines their power in combat against the incursion. Rather than going straight for the highest tier of fortifications, I build one tier at a time. This way if I don’t end up having time to get all the way to tier three before the incursion arrives, I still at least have tier one or tier two defenses. The other thing you want to do prior to the incursion’s arrival is move all of your units to that tile. Unlike missions (which all have a five character limit), incursions can be fought with however many units you have standing on the map tile when the incursion takes place. I’ve brought ten player characters to an incursion battle before, and this proves much more helpful than the handful of generic farmer characters who would have otherwise helped me.
Well adventurers, I hope this guide has been useful for you! I’m a big fan of Wildermyth and I love to see newcomers headed to the game, so I hope you enjoy your journey through the Yondering Lands as much as I have and that this guide helps you to have a positive experience. If you have questions about the game that weren’t answered here, feel free to post them in the comments. I may not know the answer to everything, but if I have any idea of how to help you along I’ll be happy to share my experiences with the game!
Um, I didn’t even realize that I wasn’t following you on here! Shame on me!!! It has been rectified.
Also, I’ll definitely be keeping this handy for when it releases on Switch.
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No worries, I have no idea who I am following on WordPress versus following on social media or wherever else, haha.
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Okay, cool! Haha I must’ve followed on Twitter at some point without realizing 😅
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