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Alex
02-24-2013, 08:03 AM
RAIDERS



The Raider is a team player. He’s good at damaging armor, has decent strength, a fair amount of willpower and is the most mobile unit on the board.
PASSIVE ABILITY: SHIELD WALL. By standing next to an ally, both the Raider and the ally gain 1 armor. This lasts as long as the Raider is adjacent to the ally. This effect multiplies when standing next to multiple allies, and creating defensive formations can be hugely important in battle. An ally can gain multiple bonuses if standing next to multiple Raiders.
Shield Wall can cause an ally to have higher than their usual maximum armor.


THRASHER

http://i48.tinypic.com/2vunfq1.jpg


The Thrasher is an all-purpose Raider whose ability gives them a couple unique strategies in combat.
ACTIVE ABILITY: BLOODY FLAIL. The Thrasher strikes multiple times, randomly hitting his opponent for 1 strength or 1 armor damage. On the last hit, Bloody Flail does damage equal to 1 plus 1 for each ally standing adjacent to him. This last hit will randomly damage strength, armor, or miss completely!
Bloody Flail always does direct damage on every hit, bypassing the enemy’s armor. This allows the Thrasher (if lucky) to do up to 4 str damage or more even on an enemy with high armor, potentially letting them knock out an enemy you would otherwise have to waste turns to knock down his armor.
Due to the way Bloody Flail works, Thrashers can be a menace even when close to death. Make sure to keep a couple Willpower around to make sure you can always use his ability.
It really behooves a Thrasher to keep his allies close. Due to his passive, he gains armor by standing next to allies AND does extra damage based on how much allies are adjacent when using his active ability.
Be careful when using Bloody Flail on a Shieldbanger. You’ll lose armor for each hit you make!


BACKBITER

http://i45.tinypic.com/bhawrr.jpg

The Backbiter's primary role is as an archer-killer. He uses "Run Through" to pass through enemies, lowering their armor by 2 points before doing a normal strength attack. With naturally high movement and the extra mobility of the Run Through ability they're the most maneuverable unit on the board.


The Backbiter does 2 armor damage to each unit he runs through before the normal strength attack.
The Backbiter can run through two tiles - a single varl or two humans lined up in a row. At higher ranks, they'll be able to run through even more tiles!
Backbiters can ruin your opponent's day when they suddenly strike someone who they believed was safe. However, getting ahead of their team puts them in enemy territory with no friends for protection. They're best used when surprising your opponent.
Though they will damage their armor, backbiters CAN run through friends. Use this knowledge to trick your opponent into thinking he's out of danger.
The Backbiter can be hit by Rain of Arrows before finishing his ability. If he lands on a trapped tile he'll be stopped in his tracks.
While very strong and highly mobile backbiters tend to have average strength at best. Keep them safe early in combat to retain their advantage later in combat.


RAIDMASTER

http://i48.tinypic.com/ao3k8h.png

The Raidmaster, a master fighter with numerous battles under his belt, leads the charge. With his ability: Stonewall, the Raidmaster deftly deflects and repels enemy blows. He resists up to 3 armor or strength damage from any attack while the ability is in effect (1 willpower). The damage resist increases at higher ranks


Units that attack him must in a single strike do more than 3 damage of any type to affect the raidmaster. Example: A Backbiter must break the raidmaster for a total of 4 break (3 with 1 willpower boost), to do 1 armor damage to the raidmaster
Remember that incoming damage is reduced first by armor (including any armor bonuses from the Shieldwall passive!) and then by the Raider's Stonewall ability - stack both abilities to minimize the damage taken.
A raidmaster must use up his turn to defend, so be careful when deciding whether to attack or defend. Timing is of importance. Attack too soon and the raidmaster will be retaliated upon without achieving his objective, attack too late and his allies will be much weaker and the tide of battle will have turned.

Alex
02-24-2013, 08:28 AM
ARCHERS



Archers are glass cannons - they can dish out more damage than anyone else on the board in the right circumstances, but they are also the most frail units.
Archers cannot target enemies standing next to them.
Archers have a range of 5 tiles away but they can move and shoot on the same turn. Their movement of 3 essentially gives them a range of 8.
PASSIVE ABILITY: PUNCTURE. The Archer’s strength increases 1 point for every 2 points of armor that her target is missing. This ONLY triggers if the Archer has not moved on her turn. Example: An Archer with a str of 7 attacks a Warrior with an armor of 6, but his armor started out at 14. Usually 7 str vs 6 arm would only do 1 damage. However, Puncture calculates that the Warrior has lost 8 armor, which adds 4 strength to the Archer’s attack. With Puncture she will do 5 damage instead of 1.
Make sure to keep your archer behind a well-armored ally to protect them while keeping them in range, getting the most out of their Puncture ability.
Due to their ranged attacks, Archers are the only units who don’t suffer armor damage when attacking a Shieldbanger.


SKY STRIKER

http://stoicstudio.com/uploaded/tutorial_archer.jpg


Sky Strikers control movement on the board with their active ability. They can prevent an entire team from moving, protect an ally from getting attacked and play mind games with your opponent causing them to second guess their options.
ACTIVE ABILITY: RAIN OF ARROWS. Select one tile on the board. The Sky Striker will fire into the air. Any enemy who walks over the trapped tile will get hit by the arrow, doing normal strength damage and stopping them in their tracks, making them lose the rest of their turn. It gains the Puncture bonus if the Sky Striker does not move beforehand.
In the hands of an expert, Rain of Arrows can be one of the most devastating abilities in the game. Not only can it stun an enemy, causing him to lose his turn, but by forcing the opponent to consider a wide area, they may be unwilling to move any of their characters. They’ve essentially lost several turns.
If nobody walks into your trap, Rain of Arrows will trigger at the start of your Archer's next turn. Both players will be able to see where you placed it.
Rain of Arrows won't hit allies who walk through them. However, an ally who ends his turn on a trapped tile will be hit when the arrow comes down on her next turn. Keep allies out of the way!
Rain of Arrows will trigger immediately if the Sky Striker dies with an arrow in the air.


SIEGE ARCHER

http://stoicstudio.com/uploaded/tutorial_siege.jpg

The Siege Archer attempts to direct movement more subtly on the board and discourage turtling tactics. She uses "Slag and Burn" to lay down a 5-tile cross of flammable slag on the ground, and lands a flaming arrow in the center. This causes the slag to catch on fire and leave burning coals behind. Units caught in the brief outburst suffer damage (area of effect), while a unit standing on the center tile and hit with the arrow suffers the Siege Archer's break as well as the 1 strength damage.


Units standing in the center of the area take 1 str + arm damage immediately from the initial shot.
The burning coals left behind damage units that pass over them for 1 str damage.
Slag and burn hits all units in the area, friend or foe.
Unlike Rain of Arrows, it can be applied even to tiles that are already occupied.
The ability leaves burning coals in relation to the level's ability. Rank 1 leaves 2 coals, rank 2 leaves 3, rank 4 leaves 4 burning coals (thereby surrounding a human target that the ability is used on)
Varls are especially enticing targets because even at rank 1, a Varl may be unable to avoid the 2 burning coals, especially if the Varl is in formation. However, Varl do not take multiple hits from the ability, only the 2/1 damage.
When multiple siege archers are on the board, things really heat up (sorry about the pun). More siege archers means more coals, leaving a fiery path to trod through before reaching your team.
Even if you don't hit them for damage, use Slag and Burn to herd your enemies. By discouraging them to move to certain area, you may trick them into stepping into Rain of Arrows or cause Raiders to separate and lose their Shield Wall bonuses.


BOWMASTER

http://i50.tinypic.com/119noew.png

The Bowmaster, with keen eyes, steady aim, and honed technique, lets loose arrows farther which always find their mark. With her ability, Bird of Prey, she can extend her range farther than other archers (up to 7 tiles, whereas normal archers have a range of 5). This allows the Bowmaster to stay further away from the skirmish and in greater safety, or conversely, stay where an normal archer would, but able and waiting to pick off more potential target with puncture.


Bird of Prey never misses, it will always do at least 1 strength damage.
The ability uses the bowmaster's strength attack, and this can be added on to by puncture, if the bowmaster has not moved.
She has as much break as a Siege Archer, making her normal attacks, whether strength or break, highly flexible. However, she gives up any ability to control space or territory unlike her peers.
Higher ranks provide more range to Bird of Prey, rank 2 8 tiles, rank 3 9 tiles! This gives her attack almost unparalleled reach (save for the swift backbiter's rank 3 run through)

Alex
02-24-2013, 08:41 AM
WARRIORS



The Warrior is the heavy damager of the group. Varl have higher strength and armor than other classes but lack in willpower. Keep him in good health and he’ll clean up in the last half of the match.
PASSIVE ABILITY: HEAVY IMPACT. When hitting an enemy for strength damage, the Warrior creates a shockwave that does 1 strength damage to enemies standing next to his target. Because enemy Varl can have 8 adjacent tiles, this can sweep across the enemy team when used smartly.
Despite (or maybe because of) their intimidating appearance, Warriors are often the first ones to go down in battle, because the opponent will make a concentrated effort to take them out of the equation. Keep your Warriors well defended - taking hits is what the Shieldbangers are for.


WARHAWK

http://stoicstudio.com/uploaded/tutorial_warrior.jpg


The Warhawk is a devastating fighter who can cause more damage output than any other class on the board when used correctly, but also loses effectiveness quickly as his strength diminishes.
ACTIVE ABILITY: TEMPEST. The Warhawk does a spin attack with his sword, causing normal strength damage to multiple adjacent targets.
When using Tempest, damage will be dealt to the targeted unit and the next clockwise unit, regardless of whether it’s a friend or enemy. If standing next to multiple enemies, use this to decide which two should take the hits.
The Warhawk’s passive will take effect when using Tempest. By hitting two units who are standing next to allies of their own you can cause a chain reaction of destruction across the entire enemy team. Watch the damage numbers fly!


WARLEADER

http://stoicstudio.com/uploaded/tutorial_warleader.jpg

The Warleader is a grizzled veteran of the battlefield with an emphasis on strategic decision making. The Warleader uses Forge Ahead! to move an ally up in initiative and grant them willpower. This class is probably the most nuanced unit in the game, changing the dynamic of the entire team in ways that can sometimes be unpredictable but extremely powerful in the right hands.

Forge Ahead!: Move the selected ally up to next in initiative (after the opponent's turn, of course).


Forge Ahead! only works on adjacent allies, and ends the Warleader's turn immediately after using it. At higher ranks, he'll be able to shout commands from a distance
The selected ally moves to next in line and all other allies slide down one space.
The change to initiative is permanent, so be careful about changing the strategy of your team as a whole.
The Warleader isn't the strongest or most armored warrior, but his experience in combat and his high break options make him highly useful late in a match or even when maimed.
Forge Ahead! has a ton of potential uses. Move allies out of harm's way, slingshot powerful allies like Warhawks quickly to the back lines, or give your archers guerrilla tactics.


WARMASTER

http://i50.tinypic.com/x25cup.jpg

The Warmaster, with brute force crushes his opposition. Having up to 17 strength, the warmaster is a hard, hard hitter, able to fell a raider in a single strike. Be forewarned, to wield this monstrous strength the warmaster must give up the armor which both protects and burdens other fighters. Yet even when hurt, the warmaster still wields his axe with such skill that his enemies always come out scarred. His ability: Sundering Impact, does strength damage and an additional 1 armor break and 1 strength damage to the target and to enemy units adjacent to the target.


Sundering Impact is like an improved Heavy Impact, dealing 1 armor break and 1 strength damage to enemies adjacent to the target, as opposed to 1 strength damage only. This effect improves as the ability ranks up.
Sundering Impact never misses, and will always hit the target for at least 1 armor damage and 2 strength damage (1 from the warmaster's strength, and the +1/1 from the ability). This will happen even if the warmaster is at 1 strength versus whatever armored adversary.
With 17 strength, a warmaster can hit for up to 19 strength damage with 2 willpower.
Warmasters can be built to be break units, with up to 3 break stat that can be invested into, unlike the warhawk's 2

Alex
02-24-2013, 08:56 AM
SHIELDBANGERS



The Shieldbanger’s primary goal is protect his allies. Between his high armor rating and preventative passive ability, he should be your frontline defender.
PASSIVE ABILITY: RETURN THE FAVOR. On any adjacent hit, the shieldbanger will counter attack, doing 1 armor damage for each hit that he takes. This can trigger multiple times in a single turn if the enemy does multiple hits.
Shieldbangers know how to use armor... and abuse armor. They can have the high Break (armor damage) stat and contribute break damage by damaging units that attack them. Team them up with Raiders to make them nearly untouchable against low-strength foes.


PROVOKER

http://stoicstudio.com/uploaded/tutorial_shield.jpg


The Provoker’s role is prevention and crowd control. By harassing enemies, the Provoker is able to keep his allies safe and mess with the opponent’s plans. With his incredibly high armor, this usually turns a devastating attacking into little or no damage at all.
ACTIVE ABILITY: MALICE. The Provoker causes an adjacent enemy to attack him on the next turn, preventing the targeted unit from taking any other action. When used well this can nullify a dangerous enemy or disrupt an opponent’s entire strategy!
Malice causes Return the Favor to trigger, guaranteeing some armor damage in return.
Malice can be one of the hardest abilities to figure out. It’s often very tempting to do a lot of armor damage instead, and when used incorrectly it can severely damage your Provoker. However, in the right circumstances it can also be the most powerful ability in the game. Keep practicing and you’ll learn when it does and doesn’t make sense to use it!
Higher ranks allow the Provoker to Malice from a tile (rank 2) or 2 (rank 3) away from the target. When this happens, the Maliced unit takes the shortest path to the Provoker. Use this to draw enemies out into the open or onto traps!
Archers who are Maliced take a step away if possible to take a shot at the Provoker.



STRONGARM

http://stoicstudio.com/uploaded/tutorial_strongarm.jpg

The Strongarm is the brute of the Shieldbangers. He gives up some armor for higher strength, and uses his massive shield to bash into an enemy, doing armor damage and knocking targets back, even through other characters on the board. He can use this ability not just to move enemies around the board, but also to propel allies forward and knock characters into and out of traps.

Battering ram: Do 1 armor break to the target and knock them away 4 spaces, through any units standing in the way. He cannot use the ability if the target destination is already occupied.


The Strongarm can use Battering Ram on enemies or allies, doing 1 armor break to either.
The target gets pushed through anyone standing in the way, dealing 1 armor damage to the target for each unit he passes through. The unit being passed through takes no damage.
Battering Ram makes the Strongarm very versatile. Use it to push an ally like a Warhawk forward 3 spaces, setting him up for a quick blitz, or through a protective wall. Or use it to push an enemy Provoker (for example) behind his own allies, taking him out of the frontlines and forcing him to make his way back into the battle.
The Strongarm is great at breaking up formations and knocking enemies away so that they stay out of range to reach your weaker allies.
Battering Ram can also help you move allies out of harm's way, for example pushing an archer out of an incoming raider's way.
Pushing a character through an area that has been trapped by something like Rain of Arrows will cause the effect to trigger, as long as the target could normally stop on that location.
As a high-strength shieldbanger, the Strongarm benefits from his passive, punishing opponents more often than before as they try to whittle down both strength and armor. Raiders have a hard time using their abilities against the Strongarm.
Battering Ram will push as far as it can, when the landing area for the target unit is occupied. Ramming to push a unit back like this can still be useful if it keeps the enemy away from something behind the Strongarm.


SHIELDMASTER

http://i50.tinypic.com/egiuq.png

The Shieldmaster takes retaliation to another level. His shield, armor and technique have been so crafted and developed to make his attackers suffer for every strike they attempt. As other shieldbangers do, he not only Return(s) the Favor, he pays it back with interest. His ability, Bring the Pain, causes his melee assailants to suffer 2 armor break after the shieldmaster strikes a foe using his break. Woe to the thrasher who flails desperately against the shieldmaster...and finds his own armor instead in tatters.


The ability activates like an attack, the shieldmaster must first strike a target for the buff to take effect.
With high armor and high break, the shieldmaster can be a major pain for opponents to fight against, having to choose between being broken with the shieldmaster's attacks, or attack the shieldmaster and be broken anyway.
Be cautious of archers, they will be the natural enemies of shieldmasters, raining arrows from afar, where the effects of the shieldmaster's ability cannot reach.


FOR MORE, CHECK OUT: navik659's Video Guide for Units! (http://youtu.be/ypUFZBzDV3Y)

Slimsy Platypus
02-24-2013, 10:13 AM
This is great info. It would be nice to get this provided in some way in-game for players that may never come to the forums. Possibly a pdf style document formatted exactly like this accessible through the options menu (similar to how the marketplace window pops up)? Perhabs via a "looking for work" board of sorts in the mead hall.

This was exactly the type of information I was looking for ingame when I started playing but just wasn't there (i.e. the hard numbers for movement ranges, attack ranges, and an accurate and clear description of abilities). Thanks for getting this together!

Jorgensager
02-24-2013, 12:17 PM
Very nice. Will you update the first post's images to display the base class of Thrasher and Backbiter as "Raider" instead of "Axeman"? I assume you had a name change in there during the beta ;o

raven2134
02-24-2013, 12:53 PM
Ahhh, nice of you to notice that...not sure if we can still update that, the images are from stoic and they've been pretty busy :). Pretty sure we can let that one slide :D

Jorgensager
02-24-2013, 01:31 PM
Well, since the background is a single colour, all you need is to know the font, and it could be done with any basic image editor.

Jorgensager
02-24-2013, 01:48 PM
Actually, consider it done:

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z54/brotheroflink/tutorial_axeman.jpg
http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z54/brotheroflink/tutorial_backbiter-1.jpg

raven2134
02-24-2013, 02:02 PM
HA! thanks :)!

Jorgensager
02-24-2013, 02:04 PM
Hehe no problem! Since I'm on a Mac I unfortunately can't brag about having mad Paint skillz... but mad Preview skillz did the job just fine! ;)

raven2134
02-24-2013, 02:08 PM
Check up top ;)

Jorgensager
02-24-2013, 02:16 PM
Check up top ;)

Will a simple "+1" to this be considered spam? :D Thanks!

RobertTheScott
02-24-2013, 07:50 PM
There seems to be a contradiction above; the backbiter is said to do 1 armor damage in the general description, and 2 armor damage in the text describing run-through. Might be worth fixing.

tnankie
02-24-2013, 09:11 PM
Great post/thread.
Other than Robert's catch, I'd add that the raidmaster description implies stonewall gains power through shield wall. Is this actually the case? reading the later text and knowing the game a bit I think the implication is that stonewall + shield wall makes it much harder to do strength damage but it doesn't increase the resist threshold. Just a little unclear.

And that is it, I honestly thought I'd catch something else but no, looks good.

sweetjer
02-24-2013, 09:37 PM
@tnankie, afaik, shieldwall will add the normal buff based off adjacent units to the base armor value of RM and then the calculation for dmg is made, the stonewall resist effect is incorporated at the end. I think the vagueness in the description is because shieldwall effect varies based off how many units are adjacent. I'll try to reword it when I have my full brain available.

@Robert, fixed the run thru description.

thanks for the callouts. we want this to be bullet-proof for launch.

raven2134
02-24-2013, 09:39 PM
Regarding the Stonewall description...

The idea is under the scenario:

10/10 Raidmaster if attacked by a Warhawk with 16 str while under the effect of stonewall, will only take 3 str damage (16-10=6, then reduced by 3 resist for 3).

10/10 Raidmaster, if buffed with another raider providing shieldwall to 12/10, and then attacked by a Warhawk with 16 str, will take only 1 point of damage (16-12=4, then reduced by 3 resist for 1).

erom
02-24-2013, 09:53 PM
Something like:

"Remember that incoming damage is reduced first by armor (including any armor bonuses from the Shieldwall passive!) and then by the Raider's Stonewall ability - stack both abilities to minimize the damage taken."

raven2134
02-24-2013, 10:21 PM
Nice one erom. We'll put it in!

tnankie
02-25-2013, 02:52 AM
Erom's phrasing is good.
I think Slimey makes a good point about it would be nice if min/max stats + movement were available outside the game.

stoicmom
02-25-2013, 08:33 AM
Me too. Just lazy i suppose. i took the time last night to draw the proving grounds chart by hand so i can reference where all my units are with kills, etc. Helped with choosing who to upgrade rather than having to go through all three rows. i came here and went back and forth to help get who's who straight for upgrades and teams. Any way to put this information in Strand would be greatly appreciated. I do have a small understanding of your time constraints over prioritized tweaks to the game. Thanks for all you do.:)

Bloodaddict
02-25-2013, 11:43 AM
Great overview, but I think I found a bug:

"Battering ram: Do 1 armor break to the target and knock them away 4 spaces, through any units standing in the way. ...

Battering Ram makes the Strongarm very versatile. Use it to push an ally like a Warhawk forward 3 spaces, ..."

raven2134
02-25-2013, 12:09 PM
3 Spaces because the Warhawk is 2x2 tiles. A human is only 1 tile. :) The landing zone is 1 tile closer to where the Varl originated from, because of his size.

Bloodaddict
02-25-2013, 12:19 PM
So, does it mean it is like this?


xxxxxxxx
SSVVxxxx
SSVVxxxx
xxxxxxxx

=>

xxxxxxxx
SSxxxVVx
SSxxxVVx
xxxxxxxx

-------------


xxxxxxxx
SSHxxxxx
SSxxxxxx
xxxxxxxx

=>

xxxxxxxx
SSxxxxHx
SSxxxxxx
xxxxxxxx

S: Position of the Strongarm
V: Position of the Varl pushed
H: Position of the Human pushed
x: Empty field

raven2134
02-25-2013, 12:23 PM
I think I need to check. The ram should clear a varl through another varl if directly adjacent. A human can be cleared through 1 varl and 1 human adjacent.

Ok, based on your illustration,the spacing should begin after the tile the unit is on, counting until the one the unit lands on, the farthest. Ie put both 1 tile farther.

A human occupies the tile on the 4 space from where he is. A varl occupies the 3rd and fourth space from where he is.

Slimsy Platypus
02-25-2013, 12:38 PM
Regardless of hitting a human or Varl, Battering Ram will alwsys leave 4 adjascent tiles between himself and his target. The way I remember this is recalling my willpower-less SB not beingable to return to the Strongarm :)

Bloodaddict
02-25-2013, 12:55 PM
Regardless of hitting a human or Varl, Battering Ram will alwsys leave 4 adjascent tiles between himself and his target. The way I remember this is recalling my willpower-less SB not beingable to return to the Strongarm :)

So, if that is true, I think the description should be updated and talk about 4 all the time.
BTW: Was this changed recently? I think I had a StrongArm at some stage in Beta and it always left 3 tiles between him and the one he pushed.

piotras
02-26-2013, 06:06 AM
So, if that is true, I think the description should be updated and talk about 4 all the time.
BTW: Was this changed recently? I think I had a StrongArm at some stage in Beta and it always left 3 tiles between him and the one he pushed.
Don't think so, there were changes over pushing 3 or 4 spaces away and the amount of break done on initial push. I agree that it can get quite annoying having to calculate it on the go how far BtR will push, especially with a varl and crowded space on expert timer. Rather than count tile by tile I find it quicker to imagine three varls standing in line in the direction of the push - first is the one you push, middle is where you want units to be to pump the break and the last 'varl-space' needs to be clear. Hope you get the idea ;)

Humblerbee
02-26-2013, 04:21 PM
I upgraded to a Warleader, because I thought Forge Ahead sounded awesome, but the limited range, the fact that it ends his turn to use, it seems largely underwhelming. I upgraded a Skystriker next, because I thought I could maybe lay down rain of arrow in two spots early in the battle, but then I found using Forge Ahead destroyed the current Rain of Arrow, so it ended up having no synergy after all and was a huge waste of valuable turns (as well as my renown!) But I'm saddled with the classes I've promoted, and I figure I should try to make the best of it and see how to use them.

Currently I just use the Warleader as a powerful armor breaker early, but speccing for that makes him squishy and he'll die quickly afterwards, with 10 armor and 8 strength or 9 and 9. He's useful because he allows me to just tear into the enemies and kill/maim them early, especially since I run an archer heavy team with my Skystriker and 3 archers. However, I feel like a Warmaster or something would be more effective as he can armor break almost as well, but with much higher strength for killing power and bulk. It's just that if I'm not making use of the Warleader's ability, he's a sub-par class choice, yet his ability seems so underwhelming. Why spend a turn doing nothing but changing my unit order when I could be actively using the turn to shred my enemies to pieces? I can move a unit back up to the front of the unit order right after it acts, but again, most any situation where I'm standing next to them, doing that, it'd be more effective to just have another unit acting, especially if it's one of my varls like the Warleader.

It's the same for the Skystriker, her ability is very situational and only works if they aren't within combat range- if they are, just hitting them directly is more effective. I find myself using her as a standard archer with her only redeeming value being her higher exertion allowing for stronger willpowered attacks, but all of the promoted archers share that. Again, if I'm not using her ability she's a poor class choice, as something like a Bowmaster offers better armor break, and an ability which allows her to attack from long range and never miss, which is very useful when maimed.

Can you guys offer any tips as to how to effectively use a Warleader or Skystriker to maximum effectiveness?
How should I be using Forge Ahead?
Should I even be using it, or should I just use the Warleader as an armor breaker?
What kind of team should I build around a Warleader?

sweetjer
02-26-2013, 04:44 PM
You definitely chose two sort of "advanced" or "finesse" classes as your first two upgrades, but fear not. My advice is to use them for what they're good at. instead of rushing frontline with WL as an early breaker, try to bait the opponent into a rain of arrows where you can then break safely when they are stopped in front if your own line rather than you overextending next to theirs. Not sure if you actually are rushing front with the high break WL but thats a common strategy with that unit. With the skystriker you want to use the rain of arrows strategically to protect high asset units, bait the opp into a bad position, and steal turn advantages back. You dont want to throw it out as a threat in any random spot, there is a logic to setting up good RoA traps. I'm not the best at it, but I love RoA. I think SS is my favorite unit next to maybe the backbiter. Warleader gets better as it goes, as Rank3 lets you forge ahead any unit on the field regardless of their distance from the Warleader, which makes him incredible for certain backline breaching combinations with raiders or even hit and runs with archers. Rank+ abilities should be coming soon. Both are incredibly powerful and versatile units once you learn to use them, so keep at it.

Humblerbee
02-26-2013, 05:44 PM
You definitely chose two sort of "advanced" or "finesse" classes as your first two upgrades, but fear not. My advice is to use them for what they're good at. instead of rushing frontline with WL as an early breaker, try to bait the opponent into a rain of arrows where you can then break safely when they are stopped in front if your own line rather than you overextending next to theirs. Not sure if you actually are rushing front with the high break WL but thats a common strategy with that unit. With the skystriker you want to use the rain of arrows strategically to protect high asset units, bait the opp into a bad position, and steal turn advantages back. You dont want to throw it out as a threat in any random spot, there is a logic to setting up good RoA traps. I'm not the best at it, but I love RoA. I think SS is my favorite unit next to maybe the backbiter. Warleader gets better as it goes, as Rank3 lets you forge ahead any unit on the field regardless of their distance from the Warleader, which makes him incredible for certain backline breaching combinations with raiders or even hit and runs with archers. Rank+ abilities should be coming soon. Both are incredibly powerful and versatile units once you learn to use them, so keep at it.

Yeah, it seems like a defensive combination of utility classes that rely on smart tactics, which is probably why I'm having trouble with them since I'm just using them mindlessly with aggressive zerg rushes on the opponents. The problem is I find a lot of the time if I don't approach the opponent won't either, leading to camp fests on opposite sides of the board with no clock and no progression. This is especially bad when I'm running an archer heavy team as they don't want to have to approach into the hail of arrows. I suspect it changes with more experienced opponents at higher team levels, but I'm not eager to go against higher level teams when I already struggle with level 1 and 2 teams as is.

What do you recommend teaming up with a Warleader?
Which should I have for my other Varl, a Shieldbanger or Warrior?
How should I split the 4 other slots, between Raiders or Archers?

raven2134
02-26-2013, 08:09 PM
Hi Humblerbee, a 4 archer team (did I understand right?) is a tough to play for people new to the game, and yes, people that haven't fought it...well even people that have, won't be rushing in more often than not.

That said, there are units that would be good at going at you, like the raidmaster.

For the warleader, warriors and backbiters tend to synergize pretty well.
I'd recommend you try dividing the 4 other slots between archers and raiders both.

erom
02-27-2013, 10:12 AM
Yeah, 4 archers is a very archer heavy build (seriously, you are talking like... maybe 1% of the playerbase runs that) because protecting that many archers is something only a skilled player can do.

I love archers, they are my favorite units, and even I usually run 2 archers because I can protect them better than 3 archers (which is a real challenge to protect). I wouldn't even try 4 till I had a lot more experience.

Skystrikers are, in my opinion, the best unit in the game. The trap takes away a turn from your enemy, while still doing damage. That's massively powerful. Hit with 2 or 3 of them over the course of the game, and the turn advantage will have swung so far in your favor that it will be very hard for them to recover.

Often you are better off laying a stun to break an opponents combo even if you had a target in range you could just shoot.

As for warleaders... well, I stink at using them, so follow the suggestions of the people above me!

GreenDread
02-27-2013, 02:56 PM
Since Siege Archers were nerfed, I would try to combine the warleader with one wor two kamikaze backbiters (low armor, high strength, high exertion and break). You let the BB act before the WL, let him break armor, then forge him ahead and use his special next turn. It's a bit situational, because you dont want the BB to get maimed between his turns, but if it works, it's quite effective.

Flickerdart
02-27-2013, 05:20 PM
Skystrikers are powerful when used correctly, but their usefulness varies depending on who you face. Unexperienced players will barrel forward into her Rain of Arrows, but players who have encountered her before will be more careful. Therein lies their weakness - you can bluff them and place the Rain not in the obvious place, but in a place they would never think to consider.

Warleaders work well with many specialized units on your team. If you have a Raidmaster and a Backbiter, and your enemy has just made an opening for his Warhawk to plunge into, call on the Raidmaster to plug the hole. If the enemy has brought his archer into range to try shooting your guys, call on the Backbiter to chop her up.

I don't know if Forge Ahead still grants Willpower to the target unit, but if so, it's also useful for spreading it to units that need to use their special.

Humblerbee
02-27-2013, 10:28 PM
Thanks for your advice guys! I've since picked up a Backbiter as my third promoted unit, and I'm loving it, and putting my other units to better use now. I've decided instead of playing defensively with traps, I play very aggressive. I like to have my Skystriker go first, and have her move just outside of attack range, laying a trap directly in front of the highest threat enemy. I have my Backbiter and Warleader immediately charge out to tear into my opponents armor with their high armor breaks and exertion, they can deal 6 or 7 damage each to an enemies armor on their first turn, leaving them highly exposed.

Basically my strategy is highly aggressive armor break assault early, and making good use of Puncture to give me strong killing power. I plan to eventually have a team of 1 Warleader, 2 Backbiters, 1 Skystriker, 2 Bowmaster.

BrainFreeze
03-02-2013, 09:28 PM
I have a question about malice - what happens if provoker and target are not in melee range on target's turn (provoker went away due to turn advantage, target(or provoker) was thrown away by strongarm). Does unit just lose his turn? Or he moves and attacks? Or malice simply expires?

What if provoker already dead?

raven2134
03-02-2013, 10:06 PM
If the provoker is alive and is able to walk away, unless the maliced unit is an archer, the maliced unit will lose turn. If the maliced unit is an archer and the provoker moves away, he gets shot.

If the provoker dies, malice is no longer in effect, and the target unit may act.

Gygu
03-05-2013, 05:23 PM
Can somebody tell me how the shieldmaster works? His description is not very clear. Also how does the birds of prey work and does the bowmaster get additional range as a passive skill? Also I think this post should be sticked.

franknarf
03-05-2013, 05:34 PM
It's indirectly stickied, check out the one that says MUST READ (http://stoicstudio.com/forum/showthread.php?868-Welcome-to-the-Factions-Discussion-Area!-A-MUST-READ-FOR-NEW-VIKINGS!)! I haven't watched it yet, but there is also a fan-made video guide to the units (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypUFZBzDV3Y&feature=youtu.be) which you would find if you went through the network of links in that sticky.

Bloodaddict
04-03-2013, 04:33 AM
Hi, any chance that the initial info in this thread gets updated with respect to new ranks? I guess, that it is not obvious to everyone, e.g., how the provoker skill on level 2 and 3 works (at least it is not for me...).

Aleonymous
04-03-2013, 06:15 AM
Hello Bloodaddict. The Rank-{1,2,3} Provoker can Malice a single enemy unit at a tile-distance of {1=adjacent,2,3}, respectively. Malice forces {archer,melee}-units to {move-away from,engage} the Provoker, respectively, in order to do a regular Strength attack.

You're right. The unit-guide in the Thread/Forum should get updated/stickied or else "outsourced" somehow :). But, keep in mind that, as the game is still in a balancing & fine-tuning process, there's a lot of small changes (nerfs & buffs alike) with every new Build.

raven2134
04-03-2013, 07:10 AM
We'll look into it in the coming days :p. Hadn't crossed my mind to update this :)

Bloodaddict
04-03-2013, 07:18 AM
Hello Bloodaddict. The Rank-{1,2,3} Provoker can Malice a single enemy unit at a tile-distance of {1=adjacent,2,3}, respectively. Malice forces {archer,melee}-units to {move-away from,engage} the Provoker, respectively, in order to do a regular Strength attack.


Thanks! So that means that the initial info is even wrong now? There it says "Archers can't hit adjacent enemies. When Malice is used on an Archer they'll simply lose their turn." So with rank 1 Malice archers would now first run, than shoot? And at lvl 2/3, do they shoot directly or do they always run first? And how far do they run and in which direction? And if melee units approach, do they always use the shortest path? Or do they avoid e.g. coals? Lots of detail questions... ;)

Edit: Raven, I was typing while you posted, so looking forward to the updates!

Aleonymous, I don't expect you to answer them all (but would be glad if you could! :) ), but maybe someone who has the info and the permissions can update/correct the initial post.

(I guess there is no need to say, that this info would be excellent to have in-game! Someone provoking could even say that it should be obligatory to have it in-game... ;) )

Edit: Raven, I was typing while you posted. So, I am looking forward to the mentioned updates!

franknarf
04-03-2013, 07:37 AM
Some questions:


What happens if a unit is Maliced by two PKs?
What happens if the unit is out of range (because they've been pushed by a SRM)? Do they just run as close as possible without using WP?

Aleonymous
04-03-2013, 07:56 AM
Yeah. Provoker's Malice really seems a tricky one! I admit that I haven't really tested a Rank>1 Malice, so I'll not attempt to answer. The info I provided what an "averaging" of observations made.

Regarding Bloodaddicts & franknarfs specifics, I guess playtesting & dev-feedback could help sketch-out the algorithm. If we had the AI ready, we could answer more safely. Nevertheless the core-idea seems simple. Here's how I'd do it
[DISCLAIMER:The following is pure speculation!]
(1) If the is a clear-path to engage, go show him!
(2) If there is hazardeous one, i.e. coals, take that one, regardless of the cost [You're absolutely Maliced!].
(3) If there's no-way to engage, just move as close/far as possible (melee/archer). Between two choices, take the shortest path, tile-wise speaking.
(*) Adjacent Maliced-archers prioritize to get to a range of 2-tiles first (and then 3,4,5).
(*) In no way are you to spend WP for an exertion-run.
(*) In no way are you to spend WP for an ability-attack [You're too Maliced for that!].
(*) When Maliced multiple times, "highest-ranked malice first" then "last-come first-served".
[DISCLAIMER:The above is pure speculation!]

But, lets hear the "Specialists" on this...

Butters
04-03-2013, 09:17 AM
Yes, malice is very tricky.



(1) If the is a clear-path to engage, go show him!
(2) If there is hazardeous one, i.e. coals, take that one, regardless of the cost [You're absolutely Maliced!].
(3) If there's no-way to engage, just move as close/far as possible (melee/archer). Between two choices, take the shortest path, tile-wise speaking.
(*) Adjacent Maliced-archers prioritize to get to a range of 2-tiles first (and then 3,4,5).
(*) In no way are you to spend WP for an exertion-run.
(*) In no way are you to spend WP for an ability-attack [You're too Maliced for that!].
(*) When Maliced multiple times, "highest-ranked malice first" then "last-come first-served".

My testing was very limited but your rules are consistent with it.
Melee units always take the shortest path and will run through coals (and RoA :p ).
Archers will step back 1 tile ; if that tile is blocked, they will walk to the nearest tile in range 2.
I have yet to encounter a situation where the maliced unit is unable to get to the PK, so no result on if/how they move in that situation. For archers though I think (3) is moot (if they can get to range to, then they can engage ; if they can't, I suppose they'd just stand still, not move "as far as possible" - which if they can't engage is range 1 from the PK, which is where they are already).

Aleonymous
04-03-2013, 09:48 AM
OK. So rules (1)+(2) are actually one: "Use the shortest-path, regardless of visible hazards". And, yes, rule (3) for archers is "self-void", so it degenerates to an archer-specific rule: "When a Maliced adjacent-archer is trapped, she does nothing". The latter is consistent with the melee-rule for malicing adjacent units: "Simply attack!", being the most-important use of Malice anyway.

My general outline was that the Maliced units lose their nerve and perform reckless & desperate actions (potentially pointless too!) to get to their goal, i.e., attack the Provoker.

Synergy of Rank-1 or -2 Malice (applied at melee units) with RoA should be really devastating combo!

Butters
04-03-2013, 09:17 PM
Synergy of Rank-1 or -2 Malice (applied at melee units) with RoA should be really devastating combo!

It's a lot of setup and wp spent, but it sure is a satisfying move ^^
Setting it up to have RoA do puncture damage seems very challenging though.
In the end I'm not sure it's really that devastating. It could be in late game, but there are so many imponderables that could go wrong...

Arnie
04-03-2013, 09:20 PM
Some questions:


What happens if a unit is Maliced by two PKs?
What happens if the unit is out of range (because they've been pushed by a SRM)? Do they just run as close as possible without using WP?


Latest Malice will overwrite the first.
If a unit is knocked out of range of attack after being Maliced then they will try to path back to hit him. Archers will move close enough then shoot when in range. Nasty as sometimes you can get units to path further away from him in an effort to work their way around a blockade.

Arnie
04-03-2013, 09:22 PM
Yeah. Provoker's Malice really seems a tricky one! I admit that I haven't really tested a Rank>1 Malice, so I'll not attempt to answer. The info I provided what an "averaging" of observations made.

Regarding Bloodaddicts & franknarfs specifics, I guess playtesting & dev-feedback could help sketch-out the algorithm. If we had the AI ready, we could answer more safely. Nevertheless the core-idea seems simple. Here's how I'd do it
[DISCLAIMER:The following is pure speculation!]
(1) If the is a clear-path to engage, go show him!
(2) If there is hazardeous one, i.e. coals, take that one, regardless of the cost [You're absolutely Maliced!].
(3) If there's no-way to engage, just move as close/far as possible (melee/archer). Between two choices, take the shortest path, tile-wise speaking.
(*) Adjacent Maliced-archers prioritize to get to a range of 2-tiles first (and then 3,4,5).
(*) In no way are you to spend WP for an exertion-run.
(*) In no way are you to spend WP for an ability-attack [You're too Maliced for that!].
(*) When Maliced multiple times, "highest-ranked malice first" then "last-come first-served".
[DISCLAIMER:The above is pure speculation!]

But, lets hear the "Specialists" on this...

Very nice stuff. Kudos.
On a related note, when we first put this in we made units use WP to try and get to him, but it was OP. Sometimes units would use 3 WP trying to work their way around a blockade of units. :)

Aleonymous
04-04-2013, 03:31 AM
So, you're confirming that Maliced units actually try to circumvent visible hazard-tiles (coals), preferring detours to a straight way through fire & blood?


Sometimes units would use 3 WP trying to work their way around a blockade of units. :)

Yup. It seems terribly cruel to "rob" a unit of 3WP with a 2WP-Malice... Needless to say that pulling units into RoA (and/or SnB? [see question above]) is already bad-enough, not even counting the skip-turn and RtF!

Butters
04-04-2013, 03:35 AM
So, you're confirming that Maliced units actually try to circumvent visible hazard-tiles (coals), preferring detours to a straight way through fire & blood?

I don't see anything in Arnie's reply implying that...
I'd wager they do so only when choosing between two paths of the same length. If the straight line has coals, they will still take it. That's nothing more than my own guess though.

Arnie
04-04-2013, 08:28 AM
So, you're confirming that Maliced units actually try to circumvent visible hazard-tiles (coals), preferring detours to a straight way through fire & blood?

No. They will run through coals, I was referring to a blockade of units.