I'm playing 3 player characters at the moment; a War Cleric, a Bladesinger, and a Divine Soul Sorcerer, with Shadowheart and Gale taking turns. My PCs:
Roknar Forgebreaker: Shield Dwarf, War Domain Cleric with the Sailor Background, took the Martial Adept feat. Going to make him a shield and spear warrior. Caelynn Amakiir: Half High Elf, Bladesinger Wizard with the Entertainer Background. She's got Booming Blade and a Scimitar. Dra'vex Dalavar: Drow, Divine Soul Sorcerer with the Urchin Background. He took Magic Initiate: Warlock- Eldritch Blast, Friends, and Hex. No Agonizing Blast because of no multi-classing yet. But this is the closest I can get to a Sorlock.
My Tav is a Shield Master fighter, due to his love for Laeze'el she is in the party but in this run I specialized her as eldrich warrior, I also always have Gale (I do like his approach to life ), in this moment due to the fact that I'm cleaning the Goblin Camp I have Will, usually I rotate Will/Shadowheart/Astarion (well not now, Tav was pissed with him so he took the chance to get rid of the pale elf )
I generally play front line fighters. My companions are Shadowheart, Asterion and La’zael. So far I haven’t needed Gale and he dies too often because the AI likes to target spellcasters. I’m sure Gale will substitute someone once we get level 5 and that sweet fireball.
Ranged weapon attacks seem the most powerful right now since they never run out and you can exploit the height advantage.
When I was playing for the first time I was a warrior. My team: Gale, Shadowheart, Wyll / Astarion (depends which one I needed more). Now I'm playing for the second time as ranger and my dream team is Lae'zel, Shadowheart and Astarion.
Constant: Tav, as a wood elf rogue Lae'zel as my muscle
Variable: Shadowheart Wyll Gale
Never: Astorion, who comes of as redundant and problematic vs my Tav (who at least doesn't take acid damage while crossing flowing water)
Lover of non-haughty elves and non-smutty lesbian romance "1404. I will not spoil the adventure's mandatory ambush by using the cheesy tactic of a "scout"." - From "Things Mr. Welch is no longer allowed to do in a (tabletop) RPG"
I'm currently playing Khyber a Female half-elf Ranger knight that isn't afraid to get in the face of her enemies and take them down. Also have Shadow Heart, Wyll, and Astarion. Khyber is the tank and I use Shadow heart for buffs, healing, and a partial tank as she has a 19 AC using weapon and shield and holds up pretty good in battle. Astarion for the rogue and ranged attacks as well as for Wyll and long-ranged attacks,
Maximus the battlemaster. Anlor the rogue Eleonor the ranger Wyll Gale Shadowheart
I just re-discover the game with a party of 6 and it's so much funnier. - Real ambush (3 group of 2 to attack ennemies) - More ressources - more fight between rests, real ressources management - More game, now I'm playing more during combats instead of being passive looking at ennemies
Of course it's easier but that's not a problem. I don't care that every encounter is not a challenge when I fight against the weakest creatures of the Realms.
But it's a little bit too easy I have to admit. It would be more fun and challenging without backstab/highground advantages, easy jump/disengage, dipping,... I would have to think about how to increase my %to hit through companions synergies and through the D&D rules. At the moment it's not necessary because of easy advantages.
I try to mix&match as much as possible, depending on the quest I'm doing; I take Astarion to the Teahouse, Wyll to the goblin's camp and Gale whenever I feel like it.
but I always keep Shadowheart and Lae'zel in my party. Ah, and I switch between 2 MC at the moment, one TIefling battlemaster fighter for my evil playthrough, and one Half-drow GOO warlock for my chaotic-neutral one. I'll probably try a new class/character to try and trigger some of the scenes that I haven't seen yet (I'm looking at both of you, Astarion and Gale).
I seldom use Lae or Astarion. You don't really need a rogue, when being able to open locks and disarm traps yourself, and I find all kind of soelkcasting too powerful, to use a simple fighter instead. SH heals my characters in fight and is responsible for crowd control, Gale and Wyll are my hard hitters together with my own warlock. Both my Tiefling and Wyll use their imp familiar too. I try to sometimes swap Lae and Astarion in for story purpose (and in Laes case for the Githyanki patrol), but I feel better in fights with my spellcaster.
I'm contemplating doing a wizard lady next playthrough, so that I can leave Gale a bit more in camp and use one of the two underused companions a bit more.
"We are all stories in the end. Just make it a good one."
I've been playing ranger in both playthroughs with urban background so I can pick locks giving me a class the companions don't have and the possibility to not Asterion. Leaves me with: Shadowheart - irreplaceable as she is the only one that can heal at all. Lae'zel - as I prefer fighting classes to spell casters either Gale or Wyll - meh
Having only 5 companions its not like there will be a lot of interesting combinations. Even with custom characters you are still stuck with the same classes. It's going to be a lot more interesting once additional classes are added.