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There you are, sailing away on the beautiful sea, a hold full of goods you got for insanely low prices. You’ve been carrying out tasks for the Gods and they couldn’t be happier. Your Tradewinds Odyssey trading and questing (guide here) are going fine. Dolphins play in the water and…those aren’t dolphins, they are Nerids!
Getting the hang of combat in Tradewinds Odyssey can be a bit tricky, but it’s quite simple once you know a few basics. This guide goes from baby steps to jump kicking pirates in the head, and it won’t take long for you to do the same.
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Getting Started in Tradewinds Odyssey Combat
It’s your fleet (on the left) against pirate hordes or a menagerie of mythical beasts (on the right). At each edge of the screen are green health bars for each unit in combat, which will turn red as they take damage. Combat starts paused, so you can take everything in before the fighting starts.
The middle bottom of the screen has a button with two vertical swords. The pointer is over it in the screen shot at right. Clicking there (or on an enemy) will start combat (crossing the swords). You can pause combat at any time by clicking the button again. This is very handy because combat is very fast paced.
You can attempt to flee combat by clicking the flag to the left of the pause button. It usually doesn’t work out very well, though. You will find you still take a lot of damage you will have to pay to repair, and you don’t have any of the loot from winning the fight to cover the bill. Use it only out of desperation.
If you just let your ships go at it, they will largely attack the enemy right in front of them, or if that lane is empty, the nearest enemy. That’s usually good enough if you are in the habit of keeping your ships in good repair. But we can do better than that.
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Take ‘em Out in Tradewinds Combat
Focusing fire is a time tested tactic in RPG and strategy games. The point is to target your attacks on one enemy at a time, taking it out and moving to the next. That way, you take less damage as the fight goes on. If you divide your attacks amongst your enemies, you have as many enemies half way through the fight as you did at the beginning. They might all be half dead, but they are still dealing damage.
Taking one out at a time means that halfway through the fight, you should be facing half as many enemies, and taking half as much damage, as you were at the fight’s outset. In Tradewinds Odyssey, you also get the advantage of the enemy ships having to shuffle towards the center as you thin their numbers, during which time they can’t ram.
The first thing you have to do is select your boats. Note that they are all selected at the beginning of the fight, but if they should become unselected (which happens when you select individual boats to perform ramming attacks, descried later), you can bring them all back to your command by dragging a box around them with your left mouse button. You can see the screen shot below at left, but if you’ve played an RTS, you know what’s up.
Targeting is as easy as left clicking on an enemy. But upon which loathsome enemy shall we unleash our fury? Sometimes, like in the screenshot below center, it doesn’t really matter, you just want to kill one and then the other. If depends on how you and the enemy match up. In the screenshot below right, the top combat pairing has us at a disadvantage, so we want to settle that score first. Start with the pair that puts you at the largest disadvantage, and save the matches where you can take a beating for a while until last.
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Managing your Fleet in Odyssey
As you buy and sell ships, you will need to position them in your fleet list so that they start combat in the right positions. If you are facing fewer enemies than you have units, the enemy will be centered. As we mentioned on the last page, ships will shuffle towards the middle to fill gaps left by destroyed ships. As a result of these two factors, you will want your big, tough, ships in the middle of your fleet.
You can manage your fleet from the Shipyard or (surprise!) Fleet Screen. Just click and drag the ships to swap them. At the Shipyard you can also repair your ships. It is expensive, but keep your fleet at the height of sea worthiness. Sometimes you can be attacked more than once sailing between two cities, and not all cities have Shipyards to repair at, meaning you could be attacked yet again before you have a chance to repair. Repairing ships is expensive, but not as expensive as replacing them and their cargo.
You can also buy weapons and hire soldiers for your ships by clicking on the Armaments Dealer button. These are pretty expensive early on, and buying an extra ship instead will increase your cargo space as well as your combat firepower. As your fleet fills up and you have more disposable income, however, these upgrades will pay for themselves in saved repair bills. You take out enemies faster, before they do as much damage to you. Late in the game you will want to load up on the best, and will be able to afford it. Stick to building the size of your fleet early on though.
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Ramming in Odyssey Combat
The button to the right of the pause button has a fist on it, and orders selected ships to ram. A whole fleet ram is usually a bad idea. Ramming a larger boat with a smaller boat is largely a kamikaze attack. Ramming at equal or even comparable size might win the day, but you will have a repair bill you’ll need Atlas’ and Heracles’ help carrying.
Ramming is best used to quickly finish off smaller or badly damaged vessels. This takes them out of the fight quickly, costing you less damage then if you sat there trading bow shots with them. The screen shot on the right shows how the boats at the top and bottom are pretty closely matched, but the two pairs in the middle are heavily in our favour. We could have rammed at the bottom and second from top row as well, but the difference is not as overwhelming. Ramming in the top row, where our boat is outmatched, is a bad idea.
Once the boats close to ramming range (they stop approaching one another) the fist will light up when you hover the pointer over it. We pause, select the two central ships, unpause, and click the fist, knocking two of the enemy’s boats out as soon as the fight starts. This also forces the enemy boat from the top pair, where we are outmatched, to shuffle downwards towards our bigger boats.
Note that you can only ram things that float (other boats), not things that can fly or swim. If you think about it, ramming things fly isn’t exactly possible in a surface vessel, and ramming something that can swim and breath underwater is probably a losing proposition.
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Above the Flee, Ram, and Pause buttons, are buttons for the five Blessings. You start the game with two uses of Hades’ Fire which increases ranged damage, and one of Athena’s Mercy, which repairs 25% of your ships’ damage. To replenish your uses of these Blessings, or get new ones, you have to go to a city with an Altar.
At the altar, you can click on the Blessing you want to stock up on, and you will be told the required sacrifice in the window on the left. Athena’s Mercy costs 20 Olives per use, so you must have the Olives in question. Enter the number of blessings you want, or use the Max button to get as many blessings as you can afford based on your stock of sacrificial good.
As you play Tradewinds Odyssey, new trade goods will become available, some on their own, others by donating to and doing quests for the Inventor’s Colleges you can find in Gymnasia. Some of these new goods can be used for sacrifices to get new Blessings. Despite that, Athena’s Mercy remains my favourite.
Early on, it is kind of expensive to go through that many olives, but it is still a great way to keep a fight going when you won’t quite make it otherwise. As the game goes on and you get more and larger ships, 20 olives for a 25% repair of your whole fleet becomes an increasingly good bargain compared to shelling out for repairs at shipyards.
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Special Combat Talents
Your hero’s Special Combat Talent can turn the tide in many a fight. At the bottom left of the screen is your portrait, to the right of which is a bar that fills as you fight. When it is full, your Special Talent becomes available, which you can activate by clicking the button just to the right of the bar. The smaller fights you are in at first will fill the bar very slowly, so you will want to save the Talent for special occasions. As the game goes on and the fights get bigger, the bar will fill faster, and you will want to make more frequent use of your Special Talent. Late in the game you will more or less spam it whenever it’s up.
Your Special Talent is dependent on which Character you choose when starting the game. You can see this article on Choosing Your Character in Tradewinds Odyssey for more information about each one’s Special Talent and other attributes. Whichever one you pick though, remember the tips above and the Gods themselves will tremble at the approach of your fleet!