4. Dredge Units
While on occasion you will need to fight against human enemies, the Dredge will be your primary adversaries throughout the game. Over the course of the game you will face off against eight different 'species' of Dredge as well as their variants (re-coloured buffed versions). Below I will go into detail on each unit type and the best way to go about defeating them.
Grunts - Regular/Vicious/Enraged
Grunts are the basic footsoldier of the Dredge masses. In battles, there will typically be more Grunts than other troops for you to deal with until about 2/3's of the way into the game when you encounter ranged enemies. In the early game, you may want to chip away slightly at their armour before moving in for the kill, but by the late game your more powerful Varl units like Gunnulf should be able to kill them in one swing without any trouble.
Stoneguards - Regular/Defender/Colossus
Stoneguards are the defensive tanks for the Dredge army and have a much higher armour stat than their strength. Due to their average strength, Stoneguards are best faced with your own tanks to stop their advance then have your breaker units lower their armour enough to deal some damage. Stoneguards like to use an ability of theirs where they will slam their shield into the ground, creating a shockwave sending any adjacent units both friend and foe flying back and dealing 1 armour damage while dealing an extra 1 armour damage for each square they are knocked back. This can be up to a maximum of three spaces with a possible total of four.
Scourge - Regular/Warrior/Destroyer
The Scourge are the most dangerous of the Dredge units you will face on your journey. They have a massive strength pool allowing them to deal out devastating amounts of damage, especially to your weaker units and can quickly cripple the strength of your powerhouse damage dealers. The best way to deal with Scourge in battle is in the deployment phase have your tanks like Iver and Mogr start as close as possible to block them off and break their armour using maximum exertion then have someone like Gunnulf or Hakon follow up with a heavy hit to their strength to significantly reduce the risk they pose.
All ranged Dredge units have a passive ability called "Back Off" which is triggered whenever they take any form of damage to their strength or armour. Once hit, the enemy will randomly move three spaces generally in the opposite direction of their attacker. Slingers of all varieties will start to become the standard over Grunts from around Chapter Four onwards.
Slag Slinger Regular/Marksman/Veteran
Standard ranged units. Even at Veteran level, they have fairly low armour and strength. The difficulty with them usually isn't so much killing them as it is catching up to them. The two different methods to take them out easily are to either 1) position units close by in the deployment phase and take them down within the first move or two, or 2) have your ranged units flank them so that when you hit them and they move in the opposite direction they might move closer to your melee hitters.
Spark Slinger Regular/Blind/Sun
While seemingly very similar to the Slag Slingers, these units can make your efforts much more trying. A Spark Slinger's special ability will see it spark its projectile on the ground before launching it at one of your characters. This attack is guaranteed to 'blind' your units and deal 1 strength damage. The blind status makes it so that your unit cannot use willpower with exertion for harder hits or to move further on their next turn. Units affected by this will have a glowing red icon on their portrait in the turn bar.
Fire Slinger Regular/Flame/Inferno
I tend to find these guys slightly easier to deal wth than the Spark Slingers. Their special ability "Shatterstone" will have them throw two glowing timed explosives which will explode on the Fire Slinger that threw them next turn. When the Fire Slinger's next turn comes up, both explosives will go off dealing 2 strength and 2 armour damage to anything in a 2x2 square around it whether they are allies or enemies. To prevent this happening either move out of the area the explosives will go off in or kill the Fire Slinger which will 'defuse' the explosives instead.
The Stonesinger is sort of a mini-boss that you will face at the end of chapter four and will also be present for the second round of your fight against Bellower. The Stonesinger is a deadly enemy, but thankfully it doesn't have very high armour or strength so once you get within range it is easy enough to kill. The danger surrounding this enemy comes from it's many abilities (both active and passive) which I will list below.
- Passive Ability - Disease Strike - When the Stonesinger hits one of your units with a melee attack, it will infect that unit with a disease which will see them lose 1 strength on every turn for the rest of the battle.
- Active Ability - Rupture - This is the deadliest ability the Stonesinger has. When a Stonesinger casts Rupture, it will trigger on the Stonesinger's next turn. Rupture will cause specific Dredge units to explode and cause damage to any adjacent units equal to the remaining armour of the Dredge that exploded. This will bypass your character's armour (an exploding Dredge with 10 armour will hit you for 10 strength damage regardless of your armour stat). For a Dredge unit to be eligible, they need to have 8 strength or less and be standing directly next to one of your units. If no Dredge satisfy both of these conditions, then nothing will happen.
- Active Ability - Umbrage - As with Rupture when a Stonesinger uses this ability, it will trigger on their next turn. When Umbrage is used, the Stonesinger will remove 2 armour permanently from all Dredge enemies but will add on 3 strength.
Bellower is what is known in the Banner Saga world as a Sundr. It is as far as all information can tell technically immortal and is the final boss for the game. Bellower is a powerful enemy with 20 strength and armour (15/15 on Easy). Bellower has two passive abilities with the first being active for the first round and swapping to the other for the second phase of the fight. To defeat Bellower, you must first drop his armour to 0 during the first round before using the Silver Arrow on him to 'remove' his immortality. Once the second phase begins, you can focus on depleting his strength to defeat him.
- Passive Ability (P1) - Indomitable - During the first phase, Bellower will be immortal and cannot go below 5 strength. If an attack would drop his strength below 5, the word 'Protected' will show up. On top of his immortality, Bellower will heal for 6 armour and 6 strength at the start of each of his turns. Because of his healing factor, you need to take him down quickly by focusing all attacks on him.
- Passive Ability (P2) - Enraged - This ability will replace Indomitable during the second phase. Whenever Bellower is hit, he will become filled with rage and take the place of the Dredge unit that should be acting next. Bellower will still regenrate on each of his turns but it will be reduced from 6 Str/Arm to just 1 Str/Arm.
- Active Ability - Quake and Despair - Bellower will let out a massive roar targeting one of your units. This stuns them and forces them to miss their next turn. All units including the targeted/stunned one will be pushed back 3 spaces away from Bellower and take 1 Str & Arm damage each.
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