Banner Saga Guide: Crushing Your Enemies in Combat

Fighting enemies can be tough. Check out this guide for a crash course in The Banner Saga.

The Banner Saga released today, so I'm here to offer some help on the combat of the game. By following this basic guide to combat, you will have the knowledge needed to vanquish even the strongest of foes. If you want an explanation of each unit and their postioning, go to my Banner Saga Unit Guide.

This guide will cover the combat system including:

  • Explanation of combat system
  • Basic combat strategy

Combat System

The combat system in The Banner Saga is simple at first, but it has plenty of depth. The battlefield is set up like a chess board, each side taking turns.

Before the fight begins, you can choose which units you will fight with. You can choose up to six. It is also important to note that the order you put them in from left to right, is the order they will go in battle.

Once you choose who will fight, you enter the battlefield. Before the fight starts, you can choose where each unit will start. Each unit can move a certain number of spaces and attack from different locations, depending on the unit type. Each unit has Willpower, Strength, and Armor.

  • Willpower allows units to add more damage to an attack or use abilities. The only way to replenish willpower is to rest on turns. The gold star in the banner above the unit, displays their willpower.
  • Strength determines a unit's health and attack. The red part on the right side of the banner, displays a unit's strength. The higher the number is, the more damage they will do and the longer they will survive. When this number goes down in combat, so will the amount of damage they do.
  • Armor determines how much damage a unit will take. The blue part on the left side of the banner, displays a unit's armor. The higher the number, the less damage they will take. Doing damage to armor will not damage a unit's health, but it will make them more vulnerable. It is wise to damage armor first if it is high.

Every time you defeat a unit, you will get one star for your horn. The active unit will gain one willpower for each use of the horn. This cannot go beyond its max.

Each side will always take turns, until you get down to the last unit on either side. "Pillage" will begin at this point. During pillage, turns are no longer guaranteed. You will be able to take all units' turns before the enemy gets to attack, and vice versa.

Basic Combat Strategy

Most battles can be won as long as you know the basics of the game. Here are a few good rules to follow:

  • Always keep ranged units as far from the enemy as possible.
  • Pit high armor units against high strength units.
  • Take out armor before health if you cannot do much damage.
  • Take out weaker enemies if you are facing many.

You want to keep ranged units far away, because they generally cannot take as many hits as other units. Keeping them on the move will ensure they are not defeated.

High armor units can take bigger hits, so it is wise to fight stronger units with them. This will also protect your weaker enemies.

Some enemy units have a lot of armor. If you do not take them down, you will spend an eternity trying to defeat them. Softening them up for big hits is the way to go.

When faced by an onslaught of enemies, less is always better. Even when big enemies threaten your team, taking out multiple small enemies will give you an easier fight. After all, those small attacks add up.

I hope this guide has been helpful. If I have missed anything, or you have more tips for battle, let me know in the comments!

Guide Editor

After gaming for 25 years, Synzer leveraged his vast knowledge of RPGs and MMOs into a job as a games journalist, covering the games he loves. Five years later, he's still writing about Kingdom Hearts, Pokemon, and Knights of the Old Republic. Synzer has a bachelor's degree in English and creative writing. You can see him in action on his YouTube channel (https://bit.ly/2F97BrR) and Twitch (https://www.twitch.tv/synzergaming).

Published Jan. 15th 2014
  • Erfldl
    fuckinh assholr. Play the game before writing down tips that are wrong obvious to anyone 1 hour into the game. Sucker
  • Cyrus_2729
    Just wanted to comment on your Banner Saga combat guide:
    Taking out weaker enemies is NOT a good idea. Since turns always alternate between the sides, killing a weaker unit means the strong ones get more turns. You should still hit the weaker units first, but reduce them to low strength instead and then keep them around (mostly harmless) until all enemies have been reduced in strength. Then take them out in a few turns.

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