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View Full Version : Aggressive Big Hitter build - Advice?



delta_angelfire
03-17-2013, 10:33 PM
So I'm still pretty new to the game of course (heard about it from CAD) and I was looking for advice from more experience players. I just got my 20th game achievement and am settling in on a team that's proven fairly effective for me so far.

1) Warhawk 8/ 16/ 4/ 2/ 1
2) Warleader 9/ 15/ 5/ 2/ 0
3) Thrasher 11/ 12/ 4/ 1/ 1
4) Thrasher 11/ 12/ 4/ 1/ 1
5) Bowmaster 4/ 8/ 9/ 3/ 2
6) Bowmaster 4/ 8/ 9/ 3/ 2

Depending on the enemy initiative, I may change my opening positioning.

Normal: Warleader Front line, one edge of the battle field, Warhawk 3 spacers towards the center, both thrashers between them, and both bowasters behind the Warhawk.

-If enemy setup is within striking distance and bunched close, Rush with WH and potentially use WL to use him a second time. BM's hunt enemy archers or can be used to screen for heavier hitters since they are intended primarily for Armor Break and can do that just fine even at 1 health.

-If enemy is out of range stay out of range and try to ping with BMs until they engage

Defensive: If the oponent initiative starts with a Raider or Warrior type unit, I set up all my units one additional space bhind the front line. Then follow the "out of range" strategy above.

So my questions are, is this a good setup? I've been on a streak of 5 wins since i started using it But I'm curious as to what more competitive players think of it. What builds do I need to particularly watch out for? I've seen Provokers, Strong Arms, 3x Siege Archer, and even 2xWH 3xThrasher, but none seemed particularly synergistic. What are the stronger builds that I should watch out for?

Butters
03-17-2013, 11:05 PM
This has probably been an effective build as "lower" levels (no offense meant). I doubt it's going to do great against seasoned players.
Here are my personal thoughts on it, certainly not to be taken as gospel as there are heaps of better players than myself so I might me talking out of my back end (although if credentials are needed, I have 100+ games under the belt and have been in top40 elo since release, so I do have a vague idea of what I am talking about).

- Opening with a warhawk is very risky. Most people will see him first in your roster and deploy a couple of rows behind to make sure he doesnt connect on the first turn. Even if he does (maybe with a push from the warleader), he will be incapacitated shortly after, no question. And a 16 attack on two units with some splash dmg (ideal case) is still a much weaker thing early game when most enemy units have 12+ armor with shield wall. Most players (me included) put the WH on the back line and have him come in only after some armor damage has been dealt, when he can maim into uselessness or kill outright on his first attack. It also gives you the opportunity to trash any BBs who wander behind your front line to get your archers. Regarding stats, I usually run him 9/16/3/2/1 (+1arm/-1wp) but your build makes sense.
- Warleader is probably the least used unit ATM, with reason. His ability is really effective only in a very small number of occasions, and can potentially put you in a difficult position later by screwing with your turn order. If his main usage is to boost your WH for a blitz attack, which I advised against earlier, you'd be better off with a warmaster instead IMHO.
- Your trasher setup is good, nothing to say about that.
- 4 arm on your bowmasters seems very risky. Any unit getting to them will maim them into oblivion, many will one-shot them. It that works for you, it's oool, but I'd advise going 6/8/7/3/2 instead.

On the other hand, I'd be hard-pressed to give you an alternative setup based on these remarks, because that'd probably make a 2TH 2BM WM WH, which is kind of a cookie cutter build. And completely different from what you're starting with.

regarding builds to look out for, 3TH2WH is still of force to be reckoned with in the right hands, although not as effective as the defunct 4TH2WH (thanks Stoic for that !). Not the most fun thing to play though.
Against this particular build, I'd say anyone with a Raidmaster duo (which is rather popular these days) is going to give you a hard time. 3RM + 2 warriors is likely to run you over, but I don't see anyone using that around (it's fun !). Two shield varls + 3 archers would also probably be a challenge.
My current build may also enter that category, but I won't talk about it until I at least end my current streak with it ^^

delta_angelfire
03-17-2013, 11:28 PM
Cool thanks for the tips! The WL is actually my oldest Warrior, been in every battle. His original purpose wasn't to boost the WH but it seemed to be a nice synergy every one in a while. I don't usually end up using that though but maybe 1 in 3 or 1 in 4 games if I think I can trade my WH for a significant amount of damage (~12 total and a follow up ~6 the next turn). WL has more often been my main threat remover thanks to high move/will/ex (even after I brough down ex from 3 to 2). The ability to drop his armor break to 0 helps make him more efficient I think than the WM.

BMs are not really intended as damage so I'm fine with them getting brought down to 1-2 life as long as they get their 5 armor breaks off on any Shielders. I want them to just drain their will ASAP then use them as meat shields. My Thrashers actually seem to get the most mid game action and the low Will/Ex hasn't seemed to hurt them. I was running a 3rd BM for a while but since my second thrasher I've had a lot more units surviving to the end of battle. I don't really like WM because even though he has a high strength cap, it seems crippling to spread points out to get him that high. I haven't been able to try one yet though so who knows?

Might take your advice about the BMs. I run through their will quick but i tend to end up doing alot of Overkill later. Will have to learn to be more tactical in how much WP I spend on them.

EDIT: Finally saw my first raidmaster today. They seem neat, but not too difficult to press on other fronts. I'd have to try them sometime.... when I have a couple hundred more renown for new troop s and upgrades :-)

Butters
03-17-2013, 11:45 PM
re WL vs WM : you do have a point that 0 break is an advantage for the WL. However the WM's ability is not to be underestimated, as it makes the WM useful even when crippled to levels where the WL would be plain useless. It's a guaranteed 1/2 damage on your target, plus 1/1 on adjacents ; that's very significant in end game.

You should definitely try to shave off the WP from overkills. You can probably get away with it now (esp since you seem to use your archers as meatshields) but the sooner you master that you'll have that much more ammo against the really good players.

You might want to reconsider using your BMs as punching bags, BTW. You do have the 8 starting hp and the BM skill (with puncture obviously) that allows them to be the most deadly late game unit around, so you should use that. But then you'll have to protect them from maiming, which will limit your other unit's movement, so I guess it's a trade off.

SunAngel
03-18-2013, 01:44 PM
Butters has really good points about your build and I have experienced the same at a high level of play. Keeping your primary warrior behind your lines is ideal, pulling him up to the fight only when he can hit hard without being maimed instantly after. I use a 17 strength Warmaster, and many of my games end with the Warmaster above 10 strength. Warriors are great late game, especially with their low armor so that archers can't get high puncture hits.

On the topic of Warmaster vs Warhawk vs Warleader, they each fulfill certain roles.
-The Warhawk has high damage output and can completely eliminate or maim multiple units at once, but once maimed the Warhawk is weak.
-The Warmaster can hit harder than a Warhawk on a single target (17 strength max; WH only has 16 max) and his ability gives an extra 1 strength damage and 1 armor damage on the target and all enemies adjacent to the target, making the Warmaster better against high armor or high strength targets. As Butters said, the Warmaster's ability assures at least 2 strength and 1 armor damage on the target, making him strong even when maimed.
-The Warleader is one of the most difficult units to use because he requires planning, decision-making, and intuition. He can be the difference between losing a unit or killing a unit, allowing a change of plans on the fly. However, he can be the most useless unit in the game. At high levels, I've only seen one player use a Warleader to a great extent, and that's with 4 armor break and positioning his units so that he can Forge Ahead! whatever will cause a great deal of damage or stop an enemy's advance.

Each warrior has its uses, although I believe Warleaders are more risky to use. If you want to play a planning and position-intensive style, you'll have a great time with the Warleader even as you climb up the rankings. I think it'd be a lot of fun, but I believe it would take longer to gain a substantial amount of elo if you're forced to learn how to play near-perfect planning/position games (as I imagine will be necessary vs seasoned players).

On Bowmasters, I agree that 4 armor is just not enough. If I see you constantly armor breaking with your archers, I'm going to come around and 1-shot them. No questions. If I let them live for some reason (perhaps I want to maim your Warhawk before I kill off one of your units), I can still maim your archers before they can do much damage late-game. Having 6 armor will make the archers worse targets and the enemy is likely going to try to jump on them whenever they get the chance. Forcing your enemy to spend 1 or 2 turns on your archers is incredibly useful in your composition. If they maim your archers, you can continue to armor break. If they don't, your archers will start puncture hitting for crazy damage late-game. Ideally, plan for if your Warhawk and Thrashers are focused and your Archers are not. I doubt you'd just throw them away late game once they don't have willpower saying "I only used them for armor break".

On a side note, if your archers are literally pure armor break, take off 1 or 2 strength and put it on armor or willpower if possible.

Otherwise, your build looks like a lot of fun! I'd have fun if I met you in battle!

Jade Dragon
03-18-2013, 08:52 PM
On a side note, if your archers are literally pure armor break, take off 1 or 2 strength and put it on armor or willpower if possible.

Come on. I know that his armor is low, but if you're ignoring all the other stats and are determining whether to add to strength or armor, add to strength. Particularly if you're an archer, where your armor is always going to be low and you need to strength for non-armor attacks (just because they're designated armor breakers doesn't mean they should only break armor. Remember, plans last until first contact with the enemy. Or anyone you didn't consult with beforehand, for that matter).

SunAngel
03-18-2013, 10:13 PM
Come on. I know that his armor is low, but if you're ignoring all the other stats and are determining whether to add to strength or armor, add to strength. Particularly if you're an archer, where your armor is always going to be low and you need to strength for non-armor attacks (just because they're designated armor breakers doesn't mean they should only break armor. Remember, plans last until first contact with the enemy. Or anyone you didn't consult with beforehand, for that matter).

I wouldn't say strength is better than armor on every unit, though it certainly is on archers. I addressed why he should have armor in the paragraph previous to the one you quoted, stating that allowing the archers to be tanky enough to survive a few hits is useful. Plus it makes them stronger lategame if they are ignored, since the enemy is forced to armor break first if they have 6+ armor. However, if he's using the archers for armor break and tanking (as one of the options pointed out earlier), lowering strength and increasing armor will make them seem like worse targets to spend a turn attacking (not a big threat early on, still have enough damage from puncture lategame if they are ignored). A couple extra strength on an archer matters most early game when you're trying to hit high armor strength units, but armor is better lategame if the archers are armor breaking most of the early and midgame.

delta_angelfire
03-19-2013, 12:54 AM
the other thing my archers do is try to cripple other troublesome archers. against 6 armor 8 str archers, they can still do 5 damage crippling them pretty hard and can double team to take out a sky splitter which is my biggest annoyance usually. I also have a tendency to take 90% and sometimes 80% shots with them and higher strength seems to keep me in that range more since alot of big hittters seem to have 9-10 armor and i like to cripple strength first.

netnazgul
03-19-2013, 01:31 AM
4/8 archers are very vulnerable characters to use, and 11str thrashers (or 10str backbiters) will be their certain death, cause with 4 armor it's a one-hit kill. Even if they are not killed, any archer will surely finish them, especially bowmaster using Bird of Prey. Assuming that archers are your main armor breakers with all that willpower - killing them in the early game is a sure loss to you.

SunAngel
03-19-2013, 01:34 AM
the other thing my archers do is try to cripple other troublesome archers. against 6 armor 8 str archers, they can still do 5 damage crippling them pretty hard and can double team to take out a sky splitter which is my biggest annoyance usually. I also have a tendency to take 90% and sometimes 80% shots with them and higher strength seems to keep me in that range more since alot of big hittters seem to have 9-10 armor and i like to cripple strength first.

I like to have an 8 strength 3 exertion Archer for the same reason. They're great for limiting damage potential of targets you can't hit with one of your high strength melee units, or killing them outright as you said against Skystrikers. Having low armor Archers is fine if their main strength hits are in the early game.

Netnazgul makes a good point as well. If your archers are for armor breaking yet killed quickly, suddenly you're far behind. The best counter for this would be to have 2 max strength Warriors (Warmaster or Warhawk), since if your archers are killed, your Warriors get their turns quicker and don't have to worry about whether the enemy's armor has been broken (17 strength is still going to greatly weaken any average 9-14 armor raider or shieldbanger).

delta_angelfire
03-19-2013, 11:02 AM
All things considered I don't actually armor break alot. Usually only against High Armor Shield Varl. The strength of my build mostly lets me deal direct damage with my big varl getting in the first hit for 5/6 damage each. After that - Splash Damage, Tempest, Bloody Flail, and Bird of Prey ping them through their armor.

See game here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBlkCZvCgys)
Not my best game I know, but at least gives some idea of my tactics. Hit big targets first, get them under my armor level, then whittle down multiples at once usually.