Raiding is a major part of the game, whether you like it or not. In
order to change your characters into advanced jobs you need a variety of
items called 'Proofs'. These proofs are then assembled into 2 primary
items, Runic Proofs (For 2nd Job) and Valhalla Proofs (For 3rd job). The
Runic proofs are on the whole, quite easy to attain. They are available
on the market in full for a decent price, and their material items drop
off enemies on the main map. Valhalla proofs on the other hand, are
quite a bit more difficult to attain. They are not tradable on the
market, no enemies drop it, and they seem to be a fairly high priority
item for theft.
It is not just proofs which are in danger though, as any item with a 'rarity' amount can be stolen. Treasure Weapons, valuable materials, all of these are vulnerable to theft by grasping hands. So even if you personally are not that fond of attacking other people, you will nevertheless find yourself under attack. So being able to defend yourself appropriately is a key factor in progressing further into this game. While there are many ways to defend yourself, I will (for now maybe) outline 2 main strategies which people can use to effectively defend themselves from thieves.
The Guild Army
Before I go into these though, I should mention a very important issue. And that is the Guild Army. Depending on how many forts you have available, the guild army will range from being either a major part of your defence, to nearly your entire defence. For those who are unaware, when defending yourself from an attacker you are allowed up to a maximum of 5 units for your defence. If you have 3 forts, the guild army will supply 2 reinforcement units. If you have 1 fort, the guild army will supply 4 reinforcement units. If you have 0 forts, you auto-lose. So make sure you always have at least 1 fort up and staffed.
What the above means is when deciding what sort of units to put in your fort, the composition and strength of the guild army matters a great deal. In order to mount the strongest defence you are able to, you must attempt to align your fort units with what may potentially appear from the guild army.
Defence Buildings and their Stats
The information below was gathered from the Japanese wiki. Located at http://wikiwiki.jp/ein-herjar/
Fort Level 1 - +5% avoid
Fort Level 2 - +15% avoid
Fort Level 3 - +25% avoid
Big Tree Level 1 - +3/+3 Defence/Resist
Big Tree Level 2 - +4/+4 Defence/Resist
Big Tree Level 3 - +5/+5 Defence/Resist
Big Tree Level 4 - +6/+6 Defence/Resist
Big Tree Level 5 - +7/+7 Defence/Resist
Now, on to the 2 main strategies!
The aim of this strategy is very simple. Its based around the turn limit mechanic in forts, and is also one of the more commonly used strategies deployed by players (whether knowingly or unknowingly). The main goal of this strategy is simple: Play for time. The damage or power of your units here is not as important as their durability. Because this strategy is based around survivability, there are a few unit types you can use as your main defence. Below are a few examples of the units and specs you would want to use in this strategy:
Unit Type 1 - Servant
Weapon - Gaboi Spear
Armour - Plate Armour/Shield
Accessory - Cardinal Ring/SafeGuard Ring
Skills - Terror + Resist + Shield (If grabbing safeguard)
Reasoning - Why a Servant over any other melee class? The answer is simple - Gaboi Spear. There are basically 2 types of weapons available for Spear users, Long Spears and Javelins. Long Spears are just like any other weapon, but Javelins are different. Unlike the other melee weapons which only have 1 range, the Javelin is able to hit from 2 spaces away (similar to the dagger). Most of the time the Javelin is not a good weapon as it is significantly weaker than long spears so the range benefit isn't worth the tradeoff for damage. However the Gaboi spear is different in that it has a very respectable 17 attack. This ranged bonus means that a Servant is able to attack enemies without having to worry about any counters at all. The armour can either be plate armour for massive physical protection, or the shield for a balanced mix of both. If you choose the plate, this Servant will literally be unkillable by non-magic. Even if the enemy shows up with a 60 damage double/crit melee, your unit will be able to shrug off that damage with ease. If you choose the shield, he gains a nice amount of physical protection, but more importantly, gains high avoid and good magic resistance. Combined with the Cardinal Ring this would make your unit very durable against both melee and magic. Add on the Fort bonus and the Tree Bonus, and your unit will be extremely hard to hit (Thanks to Terror, Fort, and Shield bonus as well as native agi stat), have high physical protection (due to Plate/Shield, Tree Bonus) and be very tough against magic (Thanks to Resist skill, Shield, Cardinal Ring, Tree Bonus)
Unit Type 2 - Cardinal
Weapon - High-Range Rosario
Armour - Robe
Accessory - Mithril Ring/Holy Ring/LiathFail/Valkyrie Necklace
Skills - Resist + Shield + God Defence
Reasoning - A Sister class? Why would anyone want to use her in defence! you may ask in an incredulous voice. The answer is simple. High-Range Rosario + High Luck. The Sister classes have some of the highest luck stats among all the classes. This means that their chance of skill activations are naturally higher than any other class. Add on the fact that their native skill is Resist with their naturally high Int, and they are near impervious to magic. Physical protection is a worry, but that can be negated by the accessories above, as well as training combat Sisters. Sisters have naturally lower melee defences than other classes, but it doesn't mean they can't have somewhat decent defence. Why not Cardinal Ring? Because the primary benefit of the cardinal ring is the magic resistance (+4 defence from the ring only translates to +2 'real' armour). Since the Cardinal has Resist, Int, and Luck, there really is no reason to slot additional magic resistance. What is more important is to try and offset the Cardinals other weaknesses, mainly physical. The Holy Ring is a quest item which gives a mixture of HP, Avoid, and defence, and more importantly, Shield III skill. While I am usually wary of non-IV skills on characters, given the Cardinals Luck I think it is still very worthwhile to put it on her. The second choice is Liathfail. While this accessory doesn't grant any skills, it nevertheless provides a healthy boost to a variety of stats, in this case mainly Luck and HP (but the rest isn't bad). The Valkyrie Necklace is also a quest item, and it grants the ability to directly shave off any incoming physical damage. I don't really think anymore needs to be said about that item. Now, I included Mithril Ring above because those other items can be difficult to acquire (or used on more important characters). Mithril Ring is similar to Cardinal Ring, except it removes the magic resistance to grant some extra int. A properly trained and equipped cardinal unit is a force to be feared. It will be near invulnerable to magic, have high physical defence and a chance to block all damage, and be going around healing the other units for a fairly high amount. Healing 40hp on a low defence character = Not very useful. Healing 40hp on the Servant above = Very very annoying.
My next post will go into the other dominant strategy, which is based around the use of the Hawkeye (and is also the strategy which seems to be used by dRaven)