This page is a collection of strategies and advice for players already familiar with the game. To learn more about the game mechanics and how to play Thea, see Getting Started.
If you have a strategy or tip you'd like to share, please add it to this page!
Challenge Strategies Edit
Fight vs other Challenges Edit
Each type of challenge will use a different set of primary and secondary stats for damage/armor/shield bonuses. For example, Social challenges (only applicable to humanoid enemies) are Speech & Will focused and thus an expedition with a lot of Speech & Will (which you probably would have if you traveled and did the quests religiously) will stomp through these easily. Social challenges, if won, also provide a great perk, which is stripping the entire enemy army from their equipment and give to you!!!
The available actions to the challenges are the same though, so you would always have stuff like Confuse (great stuff), Counter Offense (best action if level is sufficiently high, never works on bosses though because their card levels are over the roof), Counter Tactic (almost as good), First Action (great too, even though quite hard to use), Shield Ally (bread and butter), Support Ally (extra damage). The difference is again in stat per type of challenge. Most of the time, taking non-physical challenges with proper stats will be much better than straight up fight since you don't take actual damage and thus don't lose people to critical wounds.
It should be noted that most challenges, if failed or forfeited will result in wounds. With alternative challenges (such as hunting or social) these are usually to one character and usually mortal. However, fight challenges, in forfeiture, are only the wounds acquired during combat AND 3-4 damage points at most. This is at least true in early game, higher challenges might result in more severe wounds, though even 3-rating fights will result consistently in 1-3 wounds per character. This results in two different approaches depending on the challenge: 1) You should always be certain of winning alternative challenges when you're playing on the harder difficulties (lest risk losing a random character) and 2) You can (relatively) safely join fight challenges with little risk just to forfeit it if the odds are against you (just be mindful of your party's health). It is also helpful to note that in fight challenges the enemies wounds will stick with them. So, if you can't beat them in an alternative challenge and have enough health (including armor), you could use piercing damage to wound and kill monsters that you wouldn't normally be able to take down. This is especially helpful if you're being harried by a highly aggressive opponent that you can't kill outright since pretty much any group can safely forfeit non-event fight challenges, even your town with just the general wounds being the end result.
The following strategies will only discuss about Fight challenge.
Early game Edit
There are two approaches to survive fights in Thea and both base on weapon types. Sword and shield combination provides a lot of bonus armor and shield stats for characters that don’t have much health, so it is easier to get through a fight without a scratch. To put this in perspective most starter swords have a shield of about 5 while most shields have an armor of 2-4 and shield of 3-7. Shields made of darkwood are the best you can find early game, consistently giving out decent armor and great shield stats. Your gatherers range in health from 7-11, so you can easily give your gatherers "double" the health in combat (outside of combat it is about half).
Hammers are second option, which requires some knowledge about monsters and tactical abilities. Placing cards with blunt damage (hammers) before opponents allow to kill two opponents with a single attack and that requires using first action (tactical ability) or while being able to put two cards play firstly character with hammers and another tough one (with sword and shield) which will prevent from endangering hammer wielder from opponent cards with point damage (spear).
Enemy piercing damage can be a pain at this point (at least, on higher difficulties) so you should keep an eye out for any skeletons, goblins, etc that might have some very high damage, and plan to lay down high health/high shield characters to eat any piercing damage that comes your way.
Forfeiting early game fights is also trickier since gatherers and crafters might not have enough health to safely do so. As such, getting either a shield and/or armor on them might be important in case you're up against something you can't handle (and with higher aggression this could happen). On higher difficulties this might be a priority as you scramble limited resources to guarantee that all of your characters can survive a wound of 3 or 4. So anyone with 7 or 8 health should probably have some sort of armor to guarantee survivability
Mid game Edit
At this stage of the game swords become less effective, but will still provide quite good survivability. While hammers are getting better at their job, opponents use more tactical cards (confuse and first action) which may disturb proper placing hammer wielders on board. As such, you should hold onto one or two powerful cards and "count" the number of opponents cards played so far. Spiders will usually deploy first action and their tactical cards will usually drop 1 or 2 cards up front. Keep a first action card plus someone with a hammer, to clear out anyone that gets first actioned up to the front (and hold onto them until your opponent finishes placing). What occurs otherwise is they'll sometimes shoot two more cards up front to make it so the odds are that you'll end up with a mortally wounded character. If the AI DOES manage to screw up the initiative to where there's a risk of losing someone remember to forfeit instead of eating the damage. This may seem wasteful but it is better than the alternative (especially during events or ruins).
It is good to craft some mediocre armours at this point, especially made from scaled leather, which will give shield. Alternatively, going light vine armor can net you really amazing early-mid game armor weighting in at about 48 pounds but having an armor rating of 11. However, a medium scaled leather armor is preferable due to the fact that it is relatively lightweight (made completely out of the stuff it comes in at 98 pounds), but has an armor rating of 17. To put that in perspective, the wooden heavy armors you'll (hopefully) be finding at this point weight 300 pounds (!) and offer similar protection. However, you should ultimately play to what's available and not what is preferred, so if all you have that's relatively available, is fur leather or, worse, just plain leather, then start pumping out that gear.
You should be kitting out one or two characters in each party to handle different challenges. So a crafter armored up for higher attractiveness or intelligence, while your hunter (if you have one) might get more dexterity boosting (higher first action) gear all the while keeping combat effectiveness in mind. In other words, make certain you're playing to your strengths.
Late game Edit
Swords and shields are becoming just an addition to armour and will be mostly used to improve other characters survivability via tactical ability (Protect Ally). It is still better option than spears and some axes, but stays behind good hammers. However, don't underestimate the ability for spears to change how battles play out and always keep one or two characters kitted out with a spear just so you can shift the pace of battle in your favor.
Hammers are great tool of destruction at this stage, but requires proper placing, which might be difficult. There is a way to deal with opponents tactical cards and need some preparations from player, which is equipment with stealth or dexterity (improves stealth). While having such items equipped calculate how many offensive characters you can move forward (don’t use cards to be moved and those with first action), place only other on the board and skip turns if necessary. Whenever the AI uses all of their tactical cards, put your hammer wielders into play and move them with first action abilities. Be careful to keep an eye on your first action cards and mentally note who you're keeping off to the side until the end of the fight.
Starting with gatherers Edit
While launching a game, it can be tempting to start with warriors, for an immediate use of raw force. However, a gatherer-based early and mid strategy may also be considered. Indeed, during the first few days, most encounters can be dealt with via non-fight challenges (especially the animals, since you are given a hunter if you don't start with warriors). Therefore, you are given some time to prepare for the later stage of the game (you can get away without much fight at least until 3-skulls enemies spawn). In fact, hunt challenges are sometimes guaranteed resource rewards, where as fight challenges are not. It is actually worthwhile to aggressively engage both snakes and spiders in hunt challenges because you're guaranteed random scaled leather and spidersilk (this can be to the point where you don't need to harvest spidersilk because you'll end up with 40 units of the stuff, but your reserves of snakeskin usually will not be enough from hunt challenges).
Morena is the best choice for this strategy : Mokosh makes your characters gather faster, but this is not the real goal. Research immediately spidersilk, and if you are level 5, also research wicker (to research Nimblewood, but much later). NOTE: Only if nearby. Sometimes these resources will not be anywhere near you (unless you have that option turned off). Equip all your gatherers in spidersilk gathering tools: it will speed up further gathering, but also bring immediate research points, which is for what you are truly craving. NOTE: You can also make equivalent, though weighty counterparts using clay and wicker, which might be preferable for fighters (who usually have some weight to spare). This can ease up on your spidersilk gathering. Then, make quick expeditions, to get a resource and bring it back home, to ensure it is constantly provisioned with materials, rare if possible. At first, unlock resources, and spend them making at first clothes, then bows and one-handed swords, but don't make unlocking crafting recipes a priority. At this stage, your goal is to advance research as quickly as possible, so make your builder be constantly crafting something that gives research points. You will have to hope that luxury resources are not too far away, so better choose a small map, as wandering to loot dungeons is less efficient than if you had a military team. Start light: workers can carry less than warriors, and you will be able to supply with food and fuel during the expeditions.
When the first children grow up, make them be warriors: your village has no choice but to fight, and you cannot be constantly protecting it with an expedition (at least until late game). Thus, leave 2-3 well-equipped warriors in the village, and try to have a healer/witch/herbalist hut, you are not given one as opposed to the "starting with warriors" scenario.
As the builder does the researching job, why not start with them ? In fact, you don't need more than one in the village at the beginning to process all the raw materials into advancement points. When you are constructing great buildings, you can get one from a child, but prioritize resource-acquisition at the beginning.
A craftsmen start is entirely plausible, especially with certain gods like Svarog or Horos. Of the 6/7 different types of enemy groups you can challenge them with either Sneak, Intellect, or Tactical. The only challenge they can't get out of fighting is Beasts, but if you keep the hunter you start with in the expedition you can deal with beasts through hunting. The only challenge where they offer very little offense or tactical abilites are physical challenges. In a Fight Challenge their high stealth allows you to first action your team constantly, in a Cure Sickness their Will can allow them so high offense ability as long as you have the highest willed ones in your expedition, in a Hex Challenge their intellect allows them to counter offence - arguable one of the best tactical skills, and in a Social Challenge their Intellect helps with tactics and depending on how much their Speech has grown they can be offensive too. (Picking Svarog with his second perk really helps them in Social challenges even more.) A few craftsmen, with a hunter/gatherer or hunter/hunter, and a couple solid geared warriors can stomp almost every roaming mob and can be extremely useful in most event challenges. Getting Curse Sickness or Hex challenges is where you'll need a Medic or Witch/Sage respectively. The couple you leave in your village can also march to threats and take out 4/7 types of mobs just using sneak. They are not necessarily the best start or have synergies with every god, but they are definitely powerful. And once you start with this many you literally don't ever need another one unless they all are killed somehow.