Monolith is probably the hardest fight in the game and definitely the scariest one. Many players think they need 12 level 20 hedge knights in famed gear to challenge it. That’s wrong. Even mediocre player may beat it under 100 days if properly prepared. Though Monolith loot is underwhelming, it’s worth to beat it for achievement.
Step by Step Description
- Start with peasant army. 16 > 12 and monolith remains the same.
- Roll solid starting team with 2-4 starting bros worth to keep till final battle. Your main goal here is rolling good main tank. That means bro with stars in both melee defense and fatigue. He need 30+ base defense and 85+ fatigue after equipping heavy armor at level 11.
- Assemble final team. Recruit good bros and retire bad till you get 17 bros for final battle. 17 because you may occasionally loose one before monolith due to some silly mistakes.
- Stop wasting time on quests below 3 skulls and go explore the wilderness. There are little to no profit from quests due to very low renown. Another viable approach is milking nobles, but I haven’t tried that on my own.
- Find and defeat Ijirok. His armor and helmet heal miasma damage, so BF tanks may skip colossus. Also 2 pieces of heavy armor for free are always good.
- Complete undead trinket ambition. It will be used by main tank to ignore priests fear.
- Level your main tank to level 11. Tank is very perk and stat hungry, so lvl 11 on him is required. You may lvl most of your army to lvl 11 too for safety.
- Find monolith and raze it.
1. Main tank.
2 perks are free. Pathfinder and colossus are great for early game survival but useless in the final fight. Gifted is obviously good. I’d pick pathfinder + gifted, but that’s personal preferences.
On level up always pick melee defense and fatigue, pick high resolve rolls(>2) and whatever else you wish.
Other stats are irrelevant for tanking monolith. You need 85 fatigue to run indomitable/shield wall/adrenaline/recover combo. See more details about combo in section below.
Equipment: Ijirok helmet + heaviest armor available. Or heaviest helmet + Ijirok armor. You need as high body armor as possible. Fear immunity trinket. Dagger or no weapon at all, high defense high durability famed shield. If you don’t have good enough, bring 3 heaters. Move to position and drop 2 excess shields on the ground. Swap when necessary. The problem is combo will be broken during shield swap.
2. Nimble tank
Nimble is good for tanking and usually better than BF vs most of the enemies but not vs monolith.
On level up always pick melee defense and health, pick fatigue and resolve depending which one rolls higher.
With nimble you don’t need adrenaline to permanently run shield wall + indomitable. Just shield wall + indomitable+wait to drop fatigue below enemies and recover on the next turn to raise it above them. It’s somewhat tricky, but usually works. Nimble is best used on south-east flank where will be no miasma.
3. BF tank is basically the same as main but worse in stats. Also he don’t need adrenaline because he won’t tank too many enemies.
4. Billhook bro prerequisites: Any solid background (i.e. no cripples or other beggars) with 80+ melee attack at level 11. If he have high def, make him BF and equip heavy armor. If his def is low, keep him nimble and evade trading blows with enemies.
Core build with 4 perks free:
- Add colossus + nimble or brawny + BF depending on your choice.
- Add quick hands if bro have enough fatigue(70+), so he can use 2H mace/hammer in close combat.
- Add fortified mind/recover/underdog depending on bro stats/your play style.
Low def nimble ones will mostly use move/hit/retreat tactic is there are a lot of enemies around.
BF ones are more durable and have some def, so they may stay closer and target backline more often.
There are several points to prefer billhooks over anything else.
- Lower stats requirements for recruits. Successful bro only need 2 stars in melee attack. All other stats are irrelevant. That means you may recruit and train enough brothers quickly.
- 5 AP attack cost provides great mobility. You’ll almost never waste AP because of lack of targets. Bro may kill with either billhook or melee weapon, move 1 tile, switch weapon and attack again. Bro may move 1 tile, attack and move back. Bro may move 2 tiles and attack, helping solve troubles quickly.
- It deals highest damage at 2 tiles, highest damage in melee (after switching to 2H hammer/mace) and average AoE damage at 1 and 2 tiles range.
- 3-5 tanks. Main north-east, second south-east, third should catch conqueror and keep him away from backliners and main tank. Others may be used to distract enemies, break shield walls with shield knockbacks and add surround bonus.
- 8-10 billhook bros.
- 1 Sergeant
- 0-4 whatever you wish.
Another Useful Builds
- Throwers are really strong, but it’s hard to find barbs axes. So never plan more that 1 of them.
- Fencer is good at dealing with savants and may switch to greatsword later.
- Longhammer/longsword bros are mainly immobile version of billhook bros, but they are not bad and may be used as well. Also axe bro is the only one capable to use mansplitter.
- Duelists are always good, but they require too strong recruits, so there are low chances you’ll get any.
Adrenaline / Recovery / Indomitable Combo
In turn one you take turn before enemies, use indomitable and another useful action like shieldwall, riposte or AoE attack. You may also wait, to reduce your next turn initiative even more. That’s not required for BF, but may be useful for nimble.
In turn two you take turn after enemies, so you keep indomitable from turn one and basicly get two turns of indomitable for single use. That’s the point of this combo. At turn two use recover and adrenaline, so your turn 3 will start before enemies and you’ll be able to repeat combination.
Now how to calculate required fatigue
Here are some denotations:
- REC – fatigue recovered per turn. 15 for most bros, affected by asthmatic/iron lungs/cultist traits.
- AC – action cost. Fatigue cost of additional action used with indomitable. Shieldwall for tank, may be something else.
- TOTAL – total fatigue after equipment required to run combo. That’s the number we’re going to figure out.
You start with 0 (due to blocking lot of hits), recover REC amount of fatigue, use recover and recover (TOTAL – REC) / 2, use adrenaline(20). At the next turn you’ll recover REC and you need enough fatigue to use indomitable(25) and useful action(AC) at the next turn.
So the equation will be:
REC + (TOTAL-REC)/2 – 20 + REC = 25 + AC
Total fatigue required = 90 + 2*AC – 3*REC
Which means it will require 85 fatigue to use indom + shieldwall by standard bro with standard shield.
Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. – Sun Tzu
The only goal of this campaign was beating monolith ASAP. Initially I planned to attack around day 80 after getting level 11 on all brothers, but after locating monolith I decided to attack right after getting level 11 on my two tanks because of having very strong shields on both.
Battle on its own is unimpressive, because that was my second monolith only. So without knowing tactical tricks and with lack of Monolith fights experience I made mistakes here and there. Anyway party was already too strong to fail.
In the end of the video you may find used builds/bros. Al least 13 survived ones.