General Combat Strategies
Blade Barrier Does The Trick

One strategy that is effective against many types of enemies is to have your cleric cast blade barrier, then cast sanctuary (do this out of the enemies sight), in that order. Then you can walk right up to an enemy and just stand there until it dies. The only problem with this is that some enemies can outlast the blade barrier duration due to their magic resistance/saving throws. But it is a great (if entirely unchallenging) strategy to use when there are multiple enemies grouped together, such as Gauths. An addition to this might be to have your mage cast non-detection and then improved invisibility on the cleric before the cleric casts sanctuary. That way, any enemies that didn't die will not see your cleric when the sanctuary wears off, so your cleric can then repeat the process. Oh, you can also haste your cleric to ensure that they get the most use out of the time that the blade barrier is up (ie get to the enemies faster). Just remember that some enemies can "see" through sanctuary.

Submitted By: Jason

Dragon Armor and a Ring of Fire Resistance

There are some point in the game in which you have to fight a large group of powerfull monsters, this can be a pain, but I have found a nice litte tactic.

Equip one of your characters with the red dragon armor and the ring of fire resistence, this will give you 90% resistence to fire. If you want you can cast some spell to get it up to 100%, but 90% will do. Make sure your wizard(s) have a trigger spell containing 3 fireballs. Simply walk in the room, wait until the baddy's are close enough and let 'em burn.

The armor and ring also work great against fire elementals or djinn's

Submitted By: Source

Web and Free Action

This is a very effective tactic early in the game.

Pick up Keldorn since his armor gives him Free Action and arm another of your fighters or thieves with Arbane's Shortsword. Equip your other characters with missile weapons.

Whenever you are heading into a tough fight have your mage cast Web the area. Free Action will prevent it from affecting your front line characters and you can destroy the helpless enemies. Since web saves at -2, most enemies get locked up a good portion of the time. With Lower Resistance and Greater Malaison/Doom it can work on any enemy.

Submitted By: Nighthawk

Using Terrain to your Advantage

Whenever you are fighting, consider the environment.
  • Ducking around a corner or behind a wall will generally force the enemy to come to you and keep them from using missile weapons.
  • Doors and narrow passages can make it so a horde of enemies can only reach you 1 or 2 at a time.
  • Seperate one or two enemies from a group then close a door behind them. This allows you to deal with them before having to face the others.
  • Keep melee opponents (golems, vampires, etc) at range. Large golems are easily stuck since they can't go through doorways. In Firkragg's use the entrance arrow slits against the monsters by luring them into the middle area and firing from the galleys.

    Submitted By: Nighthawk

    Protect Your Mage

    There is a very easy way to avoid magical attacks and all the Spell Strike, Breach etc. spells centered on yourself. Just cast Shadow Door or Improved Invisibility and then cast Spell Immunity to Divination. This protects you against True Sight and when you take any hostile action, you will only be partially visible. And since you are partially visible, enemies cannot target Spell Strike etc. to bring down the Spell Immunity. Only drawback is that you are still susceptible to area-based attacks but this stragety can be supplemented with other protective spells without any fear of being brought down. This tactic is especially good for mage/thief and the fighter/mage/thief since you can backstab away without fear of being detected.

    Submitted By: Clement

    Trap Before Hostile

    This one works quite nice when you are about to encounter an NPC that is about to strike after an initial dialogue. Just before you initiate the chit-chat, have your thief (thieves) walk around a bit and set as many traps around the baddy's feet as possible. If the setting fails a bit too often, it is worth reloading. When they are standing in a group of some 5-10 traps and the PCs are strategically deployed, have the protagonist do the talking. Eventually the NPC goes red which triggers all the traps. If they don't die at once, finish them with a well-aimed blow or a magic missile. I used this quite successfully on Firkraag as well as on some other mean bastards.

    Submitted By: Irvo

    Maximize Area Effects

    One tactic I have found very effective is to cast Cloudkill on a group of monsters from just out of sight. Many monsters will just sit in the cloud and die. If Cloudkill is not enough, I also cast Fire Storm, Ice Storm, Incendiary Cloud, Death Fog, etc., to do more damage in as short a time as possible. If the monsters tend to run at you through the cloud, or take another way around, cast Stinking Cloud, Web, and/or Entangle first. Stinking Cloud will make almost every monster fall unconscious once or twice before getting to you. You can also throw Fireballs into a Stinking Cloud while everyone's unconscious.

    I've used the area effect spell approach to excellent effect against everything but vampires (who aren't affected by poison) and dragons (whose magic resistance causes problems). I used to think level 2 spells were mostly a waste until I started using Stinking Cloud in combination with other area spells.

    Also, when the bad guys do finally close with you, don't forget the 3rd level priest spell Holy Smite. It's like a slightly weak Fireball, but you can cast it right on top of your party and hurt only the bad guys (unless you have an evil party).

    Submitted By: Brad Daniels

    Cheap, But Effective

    Whenever you face one of the really mean opponents (dragons and liches come to mind...) they usually start out neutral, at least for a few seconds (light blue circle). This is what you do:

    1: Pause the game immediately
    2: Use the "speak to" icon and click the baddie
    3: Make sure you have the "autopause when spell is cast" option turned on
    4: Order your characters to attack in whatever appropriate way
    5: Make sure that at least 2 characters are casting spells (it doesn't matter if the spell will affect the enemy)
    6: Unpause

    What should happen is that the baddie just stands there dumbly while you merrily hack away. Then the fun begins... The first spell is cast and the game autopauses:

    7: Select the character that cast the spell and select the "speak to" icon, then click the baddie. Then make that character cast another spell
    8: Unpause
    9: Repeat 7 in nauseum until enemy is dead...

    This tactic is SOOOO cheap but it is incredibly effective. I discovered it after getting slaugtered mercilessly by a lich for 4 hours. One minute later he was just a pile of bones :-)

    Please note this doesn't work against a certain demilich, since for some weird reason he becomes immortal (I watched him stay at "Almost Dead" for half an hour doing nothing while my party kept chopping him)

    Submitted By: Hyena

    Monks and Cloudkill

    About midway throgh SoA this becomes a pretty good strategy. At level 14, a monk gains magic resistance (42% or whatnot) and, interestingly enough, he becomes immune to Cloudkill as a result of this (at least mine did). So, for those enemies that are susceptible to Cloudkill, but have many hitpoints, you can send in your monk to wail on them for a bit, all the while they are taking damage while the monk is unscathed by the spell. This is also helpful against Rukh and other enemies who enjoy swathing themselves in that particular spell.

    Submitted By: Kuronekosama