We’re back again with a new series to help new players understand the “strategy” involved in Dargarth. One of the biggest differences between Dargarth and similar battle games like Dagorhir or Belegarth is character classes. Every player when they sign-in for each event declares which class they will be playing for that day, and are bound to the proficiencies and abilities of that class during land-actions or during the duration of an adventure event. Often times players will continue to utilize their class abilities after land-actions conclude as a way to practice spells, ability use and strategy, but not every player chooses to every event. Understanding what classes your opponents are playing and being able to recognize what that means for their abilities can give you an advantage over them — allowing you to pick spells, abilities or tactics that neutralize their class’s strengths.
Fighting is the core mechanic of our game, and as such Fighter is often considered to be the “Default” class by many players. Fighters are the only class who is proficient with all weapons, armor and shields, and as such offer the largest versatility in terms of battle-field role. If you want to show up and fight hard and often, wear the heaviest armor and win battles through nothing but battlefield skill, Fighter is a great class to choose.
While able to fill any battlefield role admirably, fighters are one of two classes with access to the heaviest armors and thus often choose to act as a frontliner. With their plate armor, they can be highly effective shock-troops and are able to punch through defensive lines and come out the other side alive and swinging. Reaver who acts as a frontliner and Havelok who alternates between backline and support, are great examples of fighters in Dargarth.
With their first-aid ability, even wounded fighters can get back into the fight. With practice and preparation, First-aid can be significantly faster to deploy than even a half-cast Cure Light Wounds. There is a draw-back to this speed though, as any injury to a limb that has been “healed” with first aid results in mortal wounds. When even you see a first-aid phys-rep, target that limb!
Without access or immunities to any magical effects, fighters are vulnerable to all magical incapacitation spells, and poisons, allowing clever or resourceful players to gain an advantage over fighters through use of their abilities.
Rangers are proficient with all weapons, shields up to 36” and medium armors (AR3). With access to all weapons and most shields, Rangers can reliably play all battlefield roles. While not quite as heavily armored as a Fighter or Paladin, since in practice many battles do not end up utilizing the full armor pool of most combatants, the difference between AR3 and AR4 is somewhat negligible, and a Ranger can do a wonderful job as a Frontliner, even in engagements where enemies may focus their attacks such as the breaching charge of a siege battle. Baron Thorne, who favors a highly mobile style with a punch shield, bow and sword is a great example of a Ranger in Dargarth.
Rangers do receive some battlefield abilities to compensate for their slightly reduced proficiencies: Cure Light Wounds, Enchant Projectile and immunity to Entangle. Access to Cure Light Wounds means that Rangers can fairly quickly recover from wounded limbs, and immunity to Entangle makes Rangers a fairly strong counter against Druids. Enchant Projectile only comes up rarely, but against opponents who may utilize Gaseous Form to gain access within fortifications or against incorporeal or resistant NPC’s like ghosts and arch-devils, it can be a game changer.
Countering Rangers is often a matter of countering their battle-field role; your approach should be based on their choice of weapon system, as the majority of ranger abilities do not impact their fighting for good or ill. As usual, poisons and spells like Incinerate, Ice Storm, Word of Holding, Curse, and Nature’s Love can be effective individual counters against powerful rangers.