Beginners Guide

1. Before starting your game think of the unit configuration you want to work with. The three unit types are Pikeman, Infantry, and Archers. Bad North in many ways is a Rock Paper Scissors style game, some units are much stronger against other units, and weaker to others. For example, because Pikeman do not have shields, and cannot attack on the move, they are very weak against enemy archers, yet Infantry has both a shield and can attack while moving and are thus strong against them. It is important to thing of a general idea of what set-up you want to use, and thus how you will fight and defend each island as tactics can be key to your survival.

Ex: I will choose two Pikeman, an Archer and an Infantry unit.

2. Based on this configuration, I need to think about what my units may be weak to, and what may foil my plans. With two Pikeman units I know that I can hold difficult choke points very effectively, but it may be hard for me to save every house on an island, so I will play accordingly. I will tend to hold high up positions saving one to two houses, and let the enemies burn the other homes and come to me where they will get cut down by my pikeman quickly.

Something that may be helpful when starting a game is to look at the enemy types on the wiki. This will allow you to see what enemy units are capable of, and how to best defend against them. The same goes for items and abilities. These can be thought of as skills your commanders can use to turn an enemy unit that would be a hard fight, into an easier fight. Lets take plunge as an example of this.

Plunge is the Infantries offensive skill which lets them jump from a cliff onto the enemy dealing high amounts of damage. This can be useful in many ways. For one, Infantry is not the best at defeating large groups of enemies, or Brutes, the big, lumbering, sword carrying enemies. Plunge however, when upgraded especially, will allow the infantry unit to jump into large crowds of enemies and outright kill or stun many of them, allowing them to take on 15 enemies with 9 infantry, and not lose a single unit. As the waves go on and get progressively harder, having as many units available to you as possible will obviously be very helpful, which is one of they cornerstones of skills, their ability to quickly end fights and save as many of your units as possible. Skills also let units become Hybrid units; Infantry can adopt the role of the Pikeman in defeating the Brutes, a unit that Pikeman are adept at defeating, but if your Pikeman are preoccupied, with skills and items your Infantry or even Archers if equipped for the job can take this role instead. Bomb is another good example of this. Pikeman, again, have no ranged attacks or mobility, and thus are not the best against enemy archers, but this can be remedied to an extent with the bomb which a Pikeman unit can throw at a group of archers to destroy all, if not most of them defeating one of their worst enemies by themselves. Knowing your units weaknesses and how to minimize them will greatly improve your chances of survival.

3. Another important note is that you do not need items or abilities on your commanders. It is best to not equip an item until you get the one you want because you can never unequipped an equipped item. It is also not even worth unlocking a level 1 skill if that skill doesn't fit your play style, as you would rarely use it, and its another 7 coins to use for upgrades.

4. Items and skills are useful for lessening an individual units weaknesses, but you do have 3 other units which may be able to do this for them. Going back to our set up of two Pikeman, an Archer and an Infantry unit, say I get a Ring of Command which boosts the size of the unit it is equipped to. For archers this is an especially useful item because more archers means more arrows fired with each attack. I may decide that my Pikeman doesn't need the Bomb item or any ranged attacks because he has ranged support in my large Ring of Command Archer unit. Thus instead of a Bomb I give him a War Horn because I want my Pikeman to specializing in dealing with any melee issues I may have, and my Archers to take care of any ranged issues I have. Specialization is key in Bad North, and investing in a way that capitalizes on that specialization can be huge.

It is important to think of how your units synergize and cover each others weaknesses as well, and this will only be recognized from playing the game, and seeing what each unit is capable of for your self.

5. Play style is also key. Know what your play style is and capitalize on it. Once again, this is best figured out by just playing the game. I tend to like an aggressive play style with two Archers, a Pikeman and an Infantry unit. I rush getting Archers to elites before anything else, then focus on my Infantry and finally my Pikeman, because my play style tries to end fights before they start. If I was trying to defend choke points and not cut down enemy numbers before they landed on the beach however, I would have a really hard time doing this. But if I stay in the shoreline and kill enemies as they come I have a very easy time defending my islands.

6. Going back to point 1, think of what you want to invest your coins in. You will get anywhere from 180-260 coins in a run, and its impossible to tell how many you will get due to randomization of islands. If you have a clear goal of what you want to invest in than your chances of winning each run go up significantly.

7. Always go to islands with a "?" if you don't have the items you want. This will maximize the chances of getting any items you need for your units. Once you have the items you want the item from the island becomes useless, so its only worth going if there is gold to make, or it seems like an easier island to defend.

8. Choke points: Islands with multiple ways to get to a location are hard to defend. Steer clear of these islands unless you feel confident in your ability to defend them. It is always better to make less gold and defend an easier island than have a game end from trying to defend a more difficult island for marginally more gold.

9. Having more commanders will not help in any way. You can beat the game with 4 fairly easily, but once you get well into the game it may not be a bad idea to pick up a fifth commander just in case one dies. Later into the game commanders will have some gold invested in them making your job of powering them up a little easier, but make sure not to get them too late, as then they may be pre-specified as a different class, one you didn't want.

10. On a map you can see how many coins each island will give you. Tiny square: 1 coin, Rectangle: 2 coins, Big square: 3 coins.

11. There is no shame in looking at an island and deciding it is not worth defending. It may have too many choke points to defend and paths up to where you want to defend, it may not have enough coins for the trouble. Knowing what your units can effectively defend, and what is worth defending is arguably the most important part in playing Bad North and beating the campaign.

(Please feel free to add/subtract and edit this)

Mobius One Game Guide

Mobius One has created a game guide that includes many tips and tricks, including formation suggestions.

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