Northeners vs. Drakes (again)

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Northeners vs. Drakes (again)

Post by Yogibear »

I did a couple of tests on Blitz map, playing Northeners (me) against Drakes (AI). Here is what i found so far, recruiting different types of units:
- archers only: didn't stand a chance.
- goblins and assasins mixed: i won but it took me 50 turns.
- trolls only: not easy, but worked out best

Recruiting only trolls certainly has some advantages
- they are cheap
- they got many hitpoints
- they heal outside of villages

The biggest problem with trolls i think is the size of the map and the number of villages. If it is really small and movement is not such a big issue, then trolls are fine. If it gets bigger, their slow movement turns out to be a problem.

Having experienced that i played a multiplayer game on a 3p Random winter map. It was Northeners (me) against drakes and elves. Since that map is somewhat bigger than Blitz i recruited 3 Wolfriders, an assassin and 8 trolls. The drake player was playing quite cautious and we didn't get in contact for some turns. Then he left and the AI took over: The very next turn, i found 8 furious drakes breaking into my lines! The trolls did well, they were in good terrain and i think they killed two drakes until the first of them died. But about 2/3rd through the fight they were in severe danger to be overrun. So i violated the "don't put your leader in danger"-rule to help them out. This the result:
- 2 Wolfriders burned to dust (the third survived cause he arrived late)
- assasin ripped into pieces
- 4 trolls dead, 3 hardly standing, one very well (just levelled up into a rocklobber)
- Half my leaders hitpoints gone

The drakes consisted of: 2 burners, 4 fighters, 2 gliders and 1 fighter that got in late.

I also noticed that once the fight started there were no subtle tactics anymore: It was a brute deathmatch. Trolls and drakes were attacking no matter of day/night or terrain. Why so? Because the drakes can't afford the trolls to rest, it gives them a possible gain of 64 hitpoints retirement per turn. The trolls must wipe out the drakes fast because they have no ranged attack: If they do nothing then the drakes get many many hitpoints for free (they do anyway but the longer it takes the bigger the advantage is). So every unit with 20+ hitpoints, sometimes even lower went straight into battle again.

That was with average luck on both sides, in a fairly good terrain for the trolls and playing against the AI. It didn't even have the best time on the first attack (second half of the day). I don't want to know what an experienced drake player would have done to me in that situation. Even worse: That was not the whole drake force, the other part was fighting the elves.

So again: How can you defend against such a firepower? The "trolls only" strategy doesn't work well on such a map and the other units just get ripped apart too quickly. Any suggestions?
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Post by Jormungandr »

My (mostly theoretical, let me know how it works out) suggestion:

I would try a mixed line of trolls or grunts(depending on terrain) and archers.

Ideally, you want the trolls to soak up damage, then step aside for the archers to move in and kill the more melee-focused drakes (fighters, clashers, gliders). This may be worthwhile even against burners at night. Then move the trolls forward into the space cleared out by these dead drakes, and repeat.

During the day you may need to retreat to good terrain, and just defend. Attacking when your damage is so low and theirs so high will just cause you to hurt more from their counterattacks.
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Post by dalk »

strange, i never even considered using trolls against drakes just because of their slowness and the drakes resistances to impact.

Here's what i would do: always retreat during day. He can take villages then, but it doesnt matter: he wont be able to hold them during the night because of their low defenses. If he takes the villages, you also have an advantage: he loses one turn during day taking them with expensive units, while you could do the same with your 8 gold no-upkeep goblins during night.
also, against other factions, you'd want to get as far as possible with your wolf riders, against drakes, dont do so, caus if you get in reach of the burners or clashers during the first day, your wolf is lost. Things were a lot easier back when archers costed 12 gold without fire attack.
Bait tactics also work well against less experienced players.

But its true drakes are the hardest opponents for northerners.
I'll try some trolls as damage absorbers one day.
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Post by telly »

Its really very easy to win over drakes with northerners on most maps. Just recruit lots of cheap units, take more villages and massively outrecruit them. Trolls are the worst unit you can have though, because of drake impact resistance like dalk says. Stick to grunts, spearmen and assassins and its quite hard to go wrong.
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