View Full Version : Armor Break Strat Advice

03-14-2013, 10:08 AM
hi all

I'm currently playing an Armore Break team that uses big hits from my Bowmasters to finish off low armor units.

setup in the initiative order is as follows...


the Raidmaster and Shieldmasters have max armor break points and armor, while the Backbiter and Bowmasters have high/max health points.

the problem is when i play teams with max health and low armor my team usually gets stomped. my team just doesnt have enough damage output to compensate vs 4 or 5 max health melee units. it would seem that low armor units would be easy targets for a high armor break team like mine, but thats not the case.

Im also having difficulty getting RtF active before my Shieldmasters get gangbanged by archers and fast melee units.

I'm also wondering about puncture...if an opposing unit begins with low armor, and then i break it, the puncture bonus for my Bowmasters won't be as high as when the opposing unit begins the match with high armor, correct? that seems very counterintuitive. as it actually rewards low armor units vs puncture attacks. i'm thinking that the puncture bonus maybe should be based on the max POTENTIAL armor of units, rather than just the armor that a unit has at the beginning of the match. someone please explain this for me.

also looking for any advice about my team setup/initiative or tactics.


03-14-2013, 11:39 AM
I'm not sure if the focus on armor-break is really a valid strategy. If you leave strength untouched for too long, your melee-units get killed/maimes, while the enemy has low-ish armor, but still deals a lot of damage to your strength.

Yes, Puncture is based on the full start-armor of that unit and yeah, low-armor units are somewhat less susceptible against Puncture. But your archer is also likely to do sooner, more base damage. If you took the theoretical max-armor, archers would become way more powerful, because they could often start with 2-4 Puncture bonus.

03-14-2013, 12:34 PM
As GreenDread suggests, focusing on armour-break is not good enough on its own (raw strength is the easier option, but hopefully things might change a bit in the upcoming builds, so stay tuned). What I would advise is to add more skill-variety to your build which could benefit from some zone-control. First of all maybe swapping one of the bowmasters for a SS (or SA)? She would help to keep your enemies at bay and mind-bang their plans. Also, personally I wouldn't take a BB for a build that is more into defence than offence. It doesn't sound you have the units/skill to back him up when he chases into the enemy-controlled territory to do his run-through (of course I might be wrong on how you are using it). Maybe you could add a beefy TS instead, who would be easier to keep in formation and shift your opponents attention from those squishy archers (but don't try to rely on his special ability of course, just treat him as a meat-bag). Also, how about a provoker? They aren't that good at breaking as shieldmasters are, but a well-timed malice can make or break games, especially when you want to keep your archers in range and don't want your opponent to move/threaten them.

Slimsy Platypus
03-14-2013, 04:06 PM
This is quite similar to what I have been running. My Current Build in Davemo's Calculator (http://tbs-battle-planner.herokuapp.com/#W1sicm0iLDEsMTEsMTEsW1siYSIsMTAsNiwxMl0sWyJzIiwxM Sw2LDEyXSxbInciLDQsNCwxMV0sWyJlIiwxLDEsM10sWyJiIiw zLDEsM11dXSxbInJtIiwxLDExLDExLFtbImEiLDEwLDYsMTJdL FsicyIsMTEsNiwxMl0sWyJ3Iiw0LDQsMTFdLFsiZSIsMSwxLDN dLFsiYiIsMywxLDNdXV0sWyJzbSIsMSwxMSwxMSxbWyJhIiwxM iw5LDE2XSxbInMiLDEzLDgsMTNdLFsidyIsMiwyLDhdLFsiZSI sMSwxLDJdLFsiYiIsNCwxLDRdXV0sWyJzbSIsMSwxMSwxMSxbW yJhIiwxMiw5LDE2XSxbInMiLDEzLDgsMTNdLFsidyIsMiwyLDh dLFsiZSIsMSwxLDJdLFsiYiIsNCwxLDRdXV0sWyJzZyIsMSwxM SwxMSxbWyJhIiw4LDQsMTBdLFsicyIsNyw0LDddLFsidyIsNiw 2LDEyXSxbImUiLDMsMSwzXSxbImIiLDIsMCwyXV1dLFsic3MiL DEsMTEsMTEsW1siYSIsNywzLDldLFsicyIsNyw0LDhdLFsidyI sOCw3LDEzXSxbImUiLDMsMSwzXSxbImIiLDEsMCwxXV1dXQ==) Most of my unit choices here were simply to get some kills on the units so I can promote them later, but I have remained very effective with this setup.

First and foremost, be sure your build has a backup plan in case your opponnent simply guns for your archers. My best builds have had their kills really evenly spread out between my units, making them versitile and effective against a lot of approaches. I would advise not maxing your armor on your raiders and instead trying 10/11 or 11/10 variants.

Also, Raidmasters are a great unit, but I have found that they can be pretty difficult to make effective when using only one. If you approach with your Raidmaster and Backbiter, and you used Stonewall, it's really going to be wasted because they are just going to go for your Backbiter (which is a bigger offensive threat and worse for you). Because of this fact, I would reccommend either going dual Backbiters or dual Raidmasters. If you havn't tried a Backbiter specced 9/11/4/2/3 yet, try them out. They can still get a big hit with them, or break for 5, both of which are pretty good. Just be sure to set up a good hit with them before exposing yourself.

Shieldmasters are great units, and not just for their break. When I play mine, I like to keep mine intact as long as possible. If my opponent is using Thrashers or 1 break Backbiters, I funnel my opponnent to my sides (where I play my Shieldmasters) with Stone Wall. After using Rank 1 Bring the Pain, any hit they recieve from a melee unit will net you some advantage, the key is to choose very carefully whether to attract melee units to him (by not using the ability) and when to present your opponnent with hard choices after using it.

Playing 2 archers can be extremely difficult when you find yourself up against an all melee team. There are a couple ways to deal with this. The only archer that remains really effective when maimed is a sige archer. She also exists as a great tool for controlling your opponents Varl. It is often very easy to use Slag and Burn on your opposing Varl (leaving 2 sets of coals in between your archer and them) and stop them from advancing. Also, while playing a Siege Archer you can play them closer to the action, and if they get hit it, the melee unit is in prime location to get a hit in from your other archer. Alternatively, as suggested above, subbing in a Skystriker for one of your Bowmasters will give you better control of the board and help you protect your archers if a hole accidently opens up.

The key to being successful with your build is going to be playing a very good positional game. You want to block units very effectively to protect your archers. The positioning game is not very straightforward to learn, and I am still learning after playing > 300 hours. When playing my current build, one of the main reasons I lose is because I see good opportunities to approach with my Raidmasters while the rest of my team can't support them, which limits my ability to protect my archers. I would suggest simply trying a bunch of stuff out. I can confirm that your strategy can work, just find out how to get it to work for you and be fun by tweaking what isn't working to perfection.

03-14-2013, 05:17 PM
You have to ditch the Bowmasters. Getting killed is the biggest threat to an archer and not range, so being able to toss down something to keep people off of your archers on turns where they don't have a Puncture shot or a Armor-breaking shot using Willpower is pretty important.

03-14-2013, 10:05 PM
well, not sure about ditching the bowmasters. unless I make a positioning blunder they are usually my last 2 units, and they have WAY MORE kills than my other units combined. its not difficult for me to keep them alive.

if i change archers, i think it needs to be something that allows my Shieldmasters a better opportunity to engage and use BtP before getting gangbanged. probably a pair of SS would be better for zone control. I would actually like to try it and see.

the main problem i have is keeping my melee units up and running. it's too easy for opponents to triangulate on my slow Shieldmasters. Its not uncommon for them to get attacked twice before I have a chance to use BtP. I'm lucky if I have a second opportunity to use BtP with both of the SM.

now that BB got a nerf, i night need to replace it with a thrasher or another Raidmaster. anyway, the BB appears as the most obvious threat on my team so he usually gets focused first.

03-14-2013, 10:48 PM
I have a similar "theme" to the lineup I currenly run.. I have have RM,TH,BB,SM,SA,WH.. TH and BB have 2 breaks, Been experimenting withe the Raiders, Sometimes I run 2 TH or RM and 1BB and BM and SA.I prefer SA because of SnB. I like dealing armor + area damage. Having an offensive threat that doesn't require puncture to deal a lot of damage is very helpful. A Warhawk or Warmaster(sundering impact fits the armore damage theme too) fits the role well. I just like having the option to maim a unit without breaking their armor, plus these guys are devastating against low armor units and are the perfect finishers for high armor-break teams...

03-15-2013, 09:33 AM
I gotta agree with Tatski and Slimsy Platypus. Your main threats are the archers, so once that is identified it seems like it might be easy to open up your defense and get to them. You should have a great way to punish people who rush your archers. I find this most easily accomplished with a big warrior hanging back and protecting them. (He is behind your archers but in range to hit any melee that come to them.) This way you have more then just the bowmasters to clean up with. Also 2 RM's + an SM with 4 break should be plenty of break to start cleaning up. Make your enemy make crappy choices, and then punish him.
Good luck I like the armor break style.

03-16-2013, 09:56 AM
i've changed my initiative order, and replaced one SM with a base Warrior. the BB I've replaced with a thrasher. still haven't tried dual SS yet but i have 2 base archers i am promoting soon. learning how to maximize RM is tricky, but i love the fact that i can easily block enemy Varls from closing on my units. the thrasher seems like a good replacement for the BB, but I am even considering adding a second RM.

matches when I can get the first BtP hit with my Shieldmaster and fat armor break on my opponent's front line units makes such a huge difference in match outcomes. I do agree with some of the other threads regarding Shieldmaster's death. I think even when taking a death hit they should still get a retaliation armor hit vs melee units.

I've also changed how i initially position my units at the start of the match. I have a weak side and a strong side. the RM is positioned in the middle of the grid with the Thrasher next to him. then I have the Shieldmaster and warrior is the last on the weak side. I line up the archers behind the Shieldmaster. I've been having much more success with this formation. the RM goes first and is placed as a screen to stop the Shieldmaster from getting ganged. as the Shieldmaster advances, the Thrasher and warrior hang back and wait to see what develops. Archers usually advance on first turn behind the Shieldmaster.

this is the new lineup i've been using...


I think with two SS it will be pretty easy to set traps in front of or next to the Shieldmaster so at least melee units cant gang up on him. enemy archers still like to get early armor breaks on him though.

thanks for the advice and insights. i appreciate it.

03-16-2013, 09:17 PM
2 Skystrikers might be a bit too much IMHO.. Laying traps can also be tricky.. I dunno but I've been struggling to trap enemy units lately. I guess players I'm up against are good at guessing where the trapped tile is or I need to practice my trap laying skills:D. Remember if you miss traps layed by both of your SS it's kind of a waste of turns. But I've fought against impressive SS users and they're pretty annoying. You might want to mix it up a little bit. I still like SS I still use one on my other setup. What I like about the other archers is that they are fairly straightforward abilities compared to the SS and they can deal upto 5 Armor damage which set the next unit up for significant damage.

03-16-2013, 09:55 PM
Actually hitting your enemy with the trap should be seen as a bonus. SS are best when the force your opponent to do something (or not do something) even if they correctly guess where the trap is placed (Most common example: There is one attack path through which a unit I want to protect is vulnerable. I place the trap, and the opponent probably guesses it's location. That still blocked that path, forcing the enemy to chose a less-good move instead.

03-16-2013, 10:31 PM
Actually hitting your enemy with the trap should be seen as a bonus. SS are best when the force your opponent to do something (or not do something) even if they correctly guess where the trap is placed (Most common example: There is one attack path through which a unit I want to protect is vulnerable. I place the trap, and the opponent probably guesses it's location. That still blocked that path, forcing the enemy to chose a less-good move instead.
Youre right, and I should think of the SS more that way. I'm still trying to learn that sort of stuff. I'm currently practising zone control using Tireans RM/RM/SA/SRM/SS/WH lineup.. Effective zone control is not easy to execute. I just had my 2 winstreak after 5 Loses:D. SS is a very tricky unit to use. Placing a trap on the right tile requires a lot of thought and a misplaced trap could be costly..

03-16-2013, 10:34 PM
Honestly, I'm a heavy SS user just now trying to adapt to the 30 second timer - more than any other unit I think it's really hard to use SS correctly within the shorter time window. I certain have been creating much less complex traps with him since I went to expert mode.

03-16-2013, 10:41 PM
maybe instead of an armor break strat, I'll go with the most frustrating zone control team possible, lol. actually this is still kind of an armor break strat, just minus the Shieldmasters...

2 SS
2 Raidmaster
2 Strongarm

If I use Battering Ram and the unit hits a SS trap, does the trap activate?

03-16-2013, 10:54 PM
If I use Battering Ram and the unit hits a SS trap, does the trap activate?
Yep the trap will trigger... But your opponent will not lose a turn...

03-17-2013, 04:47 AM
Yep the trap will trigger... But your opponent will not lose a turn...

That can still be useful if you think your trap will not be activated anymore until the SS turn, or if it will do a good amount of damage on the rammed unit