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I’ve made my 4 team members into the “A-team” with BA as my tank/close weapons expert.
He has 14 AC (w/ Self defense) with 21% evade currently; it’ll be at 15 AC once I have the best heavy armor for him. Combine that with his leader, Hannibal’s infuriate perk, enemies will miss about 26.5% of the time if multiplicative, 28% if additive.
So more than a ¼ of the time the enemy misses, more if you debuff them with targeted shots or using the Face Ripper (if you were smart enough to keep it, I don’t remember if I did-debuff is "Face/Off", -2 CI & -20% to Hit).
The other times when they do hit, they’ll probably do 0 damage. Zero. Nilch. Nada.
Unless they crit... but BA will have the Weathered perk so he will take -15% less damage from crits. And then he heals it back passively with Stimpak.
In short, he’s a major damage sponge. Or in BA’s case, that's Sergeant First Class Damage Sponge to you, FOOL.
Here’s his general set up and build: (I’m about halfway done with LA so he’s mid 30’s)
Thick-Skinned (+2 base armor/ -30% base combat speed)
Hardened (+1 base armor)
Reinforced Plating (+1 armor when wearing heavy armor)
Self Defense (+1 Armor in close quarters when a bladed melee weapon is equipped)
Healthy (+1 CON per level retroactive))
Weathered (-15% damage taken from critical hits) (at level 40)
Ghost (Immune to ambushes)
Stimpaks (+2% hit points automatically healed each combat turn)
Hit the Deck! (-15% from explosives)
Glancing Strikes (Melee attacks of opportunity unlocked, allowing you to attack enemies passing by, dealing 50% of normal damage.) Took this because he'll be in melee range almost always and some enemies will run giving a free attack.
Quick Reflex - +3% evasion
Inverted four-leaf clover (+5% chance to hit, +5% chance to evade, -1 luck)
Proton Axe (3 ap b/c of leather grips) / Combat Machete (2 ap b/c of leather grips)
He’s been a blast to have alongside my insane sniper, ‘Howling Mad’ Murdock who has 20 CI and just nutso damage. His major weakness is his combat speed which I made sure to make the stats as high as possible to counter both the quirk speed debuff and the heavy armor speed debuff. As a result, his combat speed is about average, which is still very usable. If you don't prop your tank character's combat speed up, you’ll have a tough tank that can never close the distance and then you basically just have a slow, invulnerable, paperweight.
I recommend everyone have at least one tank in your party. They’re just too much fun. Just remember to focus fire the enemy energy wep users or take off the heavy armor prior to large energy weapon fights.
One last thing, to really take advantage of the perk Stimpaks, you need three things: A LOT of health, as many turns as possible, and to take AS LITTLE damage as possible per hit. Why? The more health you have overall, the more 2% actual equals to per turn healing. The more turns means the more you see that 2% stimpak healing so you will need decent Combat Initiative (CI) to get as many turns as possble. And if you have really high AC and the perk Weathered, when you actually do get hurt, it won’t be for much so that per turn healing will be a bigger % of the damage you took, possibly healing you in only 1 or 2 turns.
I would never suggest taking Stimpaks for a low health, low armored Ranger. Not ever. So don’t ever use this on a typical lightly armored medic.
NOTE: Can't seem to get spoilers working. Putting Attribute discussion down here for now.
This deserves its own section because it's complex and takes time to figure out. It's under spoilers because it may or may not appeal to the random player. I draw a lot of my stat building inspiration from this thread. AyeBraine does a very good explanation of the general stats you want to aim for and for what build types.
Strength 7 because that's the min strength you need to wear the best heavy armor in the game, Pseudo-Chitin Armor. You could in theory go less than 7 strength and just deal with speed debuffs of -0.2 per -1 str, but you already have -0.3 from the thick skinned perk and -0.6 from the heavy armor by default. Since this character is melee, not ranged, you really can't afford to lose any more combat speed.
Full speed should explain itself, but it's there for a number of reasons. #1 As mentioned above, heavy armor hurts your combat speed so you need to counteract that as much as possible through stats. #2 Speed helps tremendously with Combat Initiative, which is king in this game. Only stat that helps more with CI is Awareness, hence why I put a 5 point in it to make it to 6 Awareness. #3 Speed helps boost AP along with Strength,
Awareness and Speed both also have a great side benefit of boosting evade. Hence why BA's evade is so high (along with the trinket).
Intelligence is set to 4 because Int 4 is frankly the best bang for the buck AND this tank actually needs a lot of side skills in order to get all the useful perks for his build: Alarm Disarming 6 for Ghost and Quick Reflexes, Weaponsmith 8 for Reinforced Plating, and Medic 7 for Stimpak. Intelligence also helps boost AP along with Speed and Strength.
Coordination is set at 2 to further boost AP by +1.
Luck and Charisma are both dump stats for this character. Luck, because it's a dump stat for EVERYONE and charisma because that's Hannibal's role, not BA's.
I believe his starting build was Coordination at 1 and Awareness at 4 (and then everything else as you see in the screenshot- 1,1,4,7,10,4,1). I then added a point to coordination and 2 to awareness at levels 10, 20, and 30. He'll probably make it to level 40, if not 44. Not sure where I'll put those next two points. Possibly more 2 more to awareness for 1% more evade and +2 to CI.
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