The Banner Saga Beginner’s Guide – Basics, Health and Gameplay

The Banner Saga is tactical role-playing game developed by three indie developers. The project was funded through Kickstarter and managed to accumulate $723,886.

The game takes place in the city of Strand, which also acts as your Home Base. The game provides various tutorials to get you familiar with the game.

These tutorials can be accessed by pressing the button on lower-right of your screen.

The Proving Ground
The Proving Ground is the place where you’ll be asked to pick up your units and start building your team.

Taking out enemy units grants you with ‘Renown’, which is an alternate to XP in The Banner Saga. You can also distribute Renown among your units in the Proving Ground.

Other than this, there is the Great Hall where you can find your opponents for a match. And then there is the Mead Hall where you can hire units.

Global Chat
The city of Strand has a global chat lobby where you can type in your queries and get help from experienced Vikings. The query should be typed in “/g” format.

For example; “/g How do I pick up units?”

Gameplay Mechanics
The Banner Saga: Factions is played a bit like Chess. A battle involves 2 teams with 6 units on each side. Each opponent gets his/her turn alternatively.

The battle takes place on a board with small squares.

Each unit in the game has its distinctive moves, abilities, and movement across a specific number of squares.

Each unit is pre-assigned a turn on the Initiative Bar and you’re bound to follow that pattern. This patten can be changed prior to starting a battle.

Melee units can only attack enemy units which are right next to them. As for ranged units, they can’t attack the units adjacent to them. For example, an archer can attack up to 5 squares.

The game ends when either team is left with no units.

Basic Strategy
Unlike other games, when you take out an enemy unit; it doesn’t skip their turn.

General idea is to kill/harm anything in your way. However, if a weak enemy unit is trying to protect a stronger one, you might find yourself in a difficult position.

For example, Team 1 has a Warhawk left while Team 2 has 2 Pawns and a Queen. Team 1 will move the Knight while Team 2 will have to follow the pattern on Initiative Bar.

Team 1 will again move the Knight and therefore, the Knight of Team 1 will have more mobility than Team 2’s Queen.

It is good to attack everything that crosses paths with you; especially stronger units. You should also keep an eye on the number of units available to both teams and their health stats.

Health and Armor
In The Banner Saga: Factions, health comprises of strength and armor. Units damage the armor first and then move to strength. Furthermore, strength is not only determined by health but also by attacking power.

If a units is running low on strength; its attack power will also be decreased.

Ideally, it’s a good idea to reduce the target an enemy’s armor first before moving to strength. After breaking the armor, depleting health is not difficult, even with stronger units like a Warhawk.

In certain situations, depleting health sounds like a good idea but it primarily depends upon individual’s playstyle. The benefit of doing this is that with low strength; a unit’s attack power is also lowered and its easier to kill.

That’s pretty much all we have in store for the beginner’s guide on The Banner Saga. If you found anything missing, let us know in the comments!