I never used Skeletons before this run. And I didn't plan using them on this one too. But I couldn't get low ali units without them so I hired a few. They're not bad. Put them in the front row, give them an axe of wyrm (you can find them by killing Earth Dragons lvl 8 in Alba) and watch. Level 25, my Skeleton Hendriksen does more damage than Asnabel at the same level. Plus, Skeletons can't get petrified nor asleep. I don't know if they can be paralysed. Should I mention they never die unless hit by Virtue attacks ? Just avoid Paladins, Dianas and Angel Knights if you have nobody behind the Skeleton. They're really great to use axes. To me they're better than Saturos.
I keep hearing you can get axes of wyrm at Alba, but I've never gotten anything but a heal seed. How many hours will I have to wait before I get even one axe of wyrm there? I just got mine at Vert Plateau... I think I got the first on the second earth dragon I came across, which was a huge improvement over Alba.
Anyway, Saturoses are pretty bad. They're basically valkyries stat wise and ability wise. A skeleton may only get +1 STR over the Saturos, but over time that adds up, and plus they are so much more useful due to being able to regenerate, never fall asleep or get paralyzed, etc. Actually, they can be petrified... it's just pretty rare. And if you give one the robe of abyss, you basically have an invincible character, since virtue attacks will probably never do more than 1 damage.
I've often used skeletons (and ghosts) for cockatrice fighting... but now that I'm going with all flying characters, I am using cockatrices themselves instead.
I just got lucky and found a couple of axes of Wyrm in Alba because it's where you can find the weakest Earth Dragon so the easiest to kill. I spend a lot of time to find these babies, but they're worth it.
Are you sure Robe of the Abyss protects Undeads ? If true, I'm done for another playthrough.
The skeleton on the screen, Hendriksen, he's gone. Taken by an evil Paladin. I've never been so sad to lose a character in OB 64.
It doesn't protect undeads from dying, but it gives you +50 virtue resisitance. That paladin would probably have done 1 damage (which most likely wouldn't have losted your poor character). Bloodstained robe gives +15 virtue resistance, for perspective (since you had that equipped in the picture, anyway).
The other thing to watch out for, though it hardly ever happens, is wind-fire magic. I once had 3 skeletons all ghosted by a couple sirens. Talk about sadness. All of a sudden I had a group with 4 ghosts in it. Which is not very useful. =(
Oh... and one nice thing about skeletons is later in the game when you are sitting on piles of cash, you can just train a leftover low-level guy as a fencer/swordmaster or fencer/black knight (fencer is just far and away the best low-level class... STR +5 and DEX +5 per level, for a cost of 250 in equipment). Depending if you have it, you can equip saint's garb, the celestial veil, and the yu-giri for +2 Str, +2 HP, and +1 dex per level in addition (or for a black knight, firecrest, freude helm, and armor of death give +1 to ALL stats and an extra +1 to men and dex). Once he gets trained a ton, and is a super powerful dude, send him on a lone mission to die. Once he's a zombie, it's usually no trouble to have him find a fireball to get hit by.
Undead are not bad. I love to have a Ghost in my aerial unit (Sheen, hawkmen, and a ghost and hawkman in the back). He takes a lot of the hits but usually can't be destroyed, and his sleep is almost always effective. Sure, I could put a sphinx in the back, but I don't really want one. Other than that, I'd way rather have a Ghost than some minimal damage from a mid or backrow hawkman.