Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wyrms: The Hydra

When most people come into the game, the first type of unit that really catches their eye is the wyrms. Unfortunately, most of these units(especially the dracolich) become less and less impressive as you gain more experience.

The Hydra is not one of those units.

Value:Very High
Strong against: Almost anything/
Weak against: Mimics(like all expensive units), artificer + changling
Best Paired with: Sergeant is a must; mourners, confessors, strategists, changling(against AI)

The Hydra is one of the few very expensive(costing over 400) units that doesn't cause an experienced player to throw their hands into the air in frustration when drawn in random; even without its soulmate, the sergeant, it's a tank complete with serpent turrets smashing its way up the field. Of course, it is very command intensive without a sergeant; it costs five commands just to deploy all snakes from a full health Hydra.

Now, pair it with a sergeant and it becomes a nearly unstoppable force, to the extent that there's typically something of a "gentlemen's agreement" in constructed and 2v2 that neither player bring a sergeant/hydra setup.

Of course, most players do not have such an agreement with the AI. When playing single player, my setup is always the following(I almost always win in less than 5 minutes):

Changling x 2
Gate Guard or Acolyte

Deployment order: Sergeant/Changling --> Hydra --> Strategist(Changling can precede the strategist if your Hydra's snakes aren't going to get attacked that turn)

The Hydra can destroy almost anything within range; its snakes block the AI's units' path and, most importantly, provide fodder for changling swaps. The changling is used to swap for the AI's best units; typically, the AI will then proceed to trade the changling for a serpent, letting you repeat the process over and over, grabbing valuable units in exchange for serpents. In any round, the AI will destroy many of your serpents, feeding commands to your strategist, allowing you to move all of those serpents and stolen units.

I would typically advise using the 'new unit' button when you're new to the game and doesn't have almost all of the units; however, it might be worth the money to directly buy a sergeant, a changling, a Hydra, and a strategist: this setup makes single player a cash cow.

Some warnings: Be very, very careful about heretics and warriors- heretics and warriors(or something that can be used to 'de-activate' them before they reach your snakes) should be changling swap priorities. I've occasionally carelessly let an ascendant warrior cleave through my snakes all the way through to my Hydra.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lunaraia's School for Zatikon Beginners

School for Zatikon Beginners
Good Morning, Day, Afternoon, Evening and or Night, Class!

I am Lunaraia, a player of Zatikon, and as you have most likely noticed there is no official guide to this game, so I decided to make one to help both new and experienced players get a deeper understanding of the game itself

Code of Conduct

- In Zatikon everyone plays to have fun and as such it is expected that you keep it friendly at all times, insults and the like are frowned upon by the community in general, but friendly banter is common; we are friendly not strict.

- Cheating is as far as I know impossible, and if you find a way to cheat please report it at once, it is considered VERY rude to cheat in Zatikon and in doing so you will more often then not find yourself without anyone to play with.

- Inviting people is a good way to find someone to play with, however due to the way the chat windows are programmed simply pressing enter while chatting with someone else will cause you to accept an invite too resulting in what is called 'Dragging'. When it occurs the match the player left goes completely berserk since it is now in effect missing a player, so common conduct is that you either wait till they are done or send a chat where you ask if they want to play, instead of just sending an invite. It can be quite frustrating if you are in a coop and are 2 moves away from victory then you get 'dragged' out and into another type of match.

Main Menu

The Main Menu is quite simple. In the top left you have the credits button. It shows you the credits.

Underneath the credits button is the account button, it allows you to change your password and is also the place where you write the key code to upgrade your account when you get an expansion. Upgrading allows you to use more units and you get 10k as a thank you present from Chronic Logic for upgrading, this happens every time you upgrade.

Under the account button is the refer friend button, this options allows you refer a friend via email. If that friend upgrades his/her Zatikon account you get 5k gold to spend on more units.

Underneath the refer friend button is the mute button, it should be pretty obvious what this does, 1 click and no sound, this can only be used on the main menu and disables both music and SFX.

Single Player

In the bottom left is the single player button, more about that in 3rd Class of this Course, for now let's move on.


To the right of the single player button is the constructed button, this puts you a search mode for playing a constructed game, a game where you play against another player in a ranked match using an army you have created, more on that in 3rd class.


To the right of the constructed button is the random button, the random button initiates a search for a player opponent for a ranked random match. The difference between constructed and random is that when you play random you are given a randomly generated army.


The bottom center of the screen is home to the cooperative button, in cooperative you and another player play against the AI together. The rewards in cooperative are usually higher than in constructed or random. As with single player, the higher the level the AI is, the more gold you get. It is also worthy to mention that higher level players get a gold bonus for playing cooperative with a lower ranked player.

2 vs 2

In the center of the screen is the button that is called the 2V2 test button, this starts a team match between 4 players, in effect it's like cooperative mode except that is against a team of other players. The match up is as follows: The first and second players that enter the search queue on Team 1 while the third and forth on team 2. Also in 2v2 test the last one who enters the search queue is the one that starts out with summoning, no matter the rank of the players. In Constructed and Random the one with the lowest rank (highest Number) is the one that starts out.

Edit Army

The button to the right of the cooperative button is the edit army button, this button is used to edit your army for use against the AI and other players in constructed or cooperative modes, more on this button in the 2nd Class.

Army Archive

The button to the right of the edit army button is the army archive button. This button allows you to store an army you have made in the edit army screen so you can easily load it later. There are a total of 10 slots as of right now. Please note: There is a bug that prevents some Mac users from using the button without the game client crashing on them. It is in the process of being fixed.

New Unit

The right-most button in this game is the new unit button. When you press this button you spend 100 gold and are given a random unit, however this unit can belong to an expansion regardless whether you own the expansion or now, so you may end up with units that you cannot use. As you get more units it gets cheaper to buy each unit in singles instead of hoping to hit it with random buying.

Current Rank and Gold

In the top center of the window is your current rank and your current gold . You get gold by defeating the AI in single player and by fighting against other players. You start out gaining only small amounts of gold per single player victory. The AI increases in difficulty as you defeat it and the amount of gold you earn per victory increases with the level of the AI, so after a few victories you are able to begin to earn the gold you need.

Player List

In the small window to the right are a list of all the players and their current rankings. You can double click on it to open a small chat window for private chats, you can also use the invite menu to invite that player to a cooperative, constructed or random game. Keep in mind that invited matches are not ranked, so it is a great way to practice and play with friends without having to worry about losing ranking points. Also this window shows the players current status, if you see a symbol of a guy with green shirt and brown hair then the person is in the main menu or in one of the sub menus, if it is a red X symbol then they have connection problems and if the symbol is 2 crossed swords then he is in a match.

Zatikon Chat

The window to the left is the general information window is the chat window. As the name implies, you can chat in it but it will display who’s fighting whom or what, and it tells you how said match ups went. It is also a great tool to network with other Zatikon players and very useful for setting up team games.

"Until next time students"

Welcome Back, Students, I hope you are eager to learn more! In today’s Class we are going to look at the edit army and I will explain the stats of the units. Well without further delay let us begin

The Edit Army Menu

The first thing you will notice about the edit army menu is that is it divided into parts.

The first part covers the leftmost 1/3 of the screen and is where your army is listed. The middle 1/3 of the screen is the unit stable containing all your units divided by class; the classes will be explained later.

The third part of the screen is divided into 2. The top portion displays a units statistics and abilities when you select one from the stable. If you wish to add that unit into your army, simply click the add button. For more in-depth information about the abilities check out that part of the blog, or simply hover your mouse over that unit's ability for a few seconds.

The bottom part of the right-most 1/3 are the menu choices, from top to bottom they are:

- Save and Exit: This choice saves your current army, even an empty one and exits to the main menu

- Sell all Extra Units: This little button is particularly useful. There is an army limit of 1000 points, by clicking this button it will sell any excess units that you own within each unit type without you having to comb through every class to look for them.
Example: A knight costs 200 points, if you own 6 knights, there is no way to use all of them, even if you were to create an army entirely of knights. The sell all extra units button will instantly remove excess units such as these.

- Clear: This button clears your current army allowing you to build a new one, you can remove single units by double clicking their tabs in the left-most 1/3 of the screen, or alternatively you select them from your army pool and then by click remove on the right most 1/3 of the screen.

- Cancel: This cancels everything you have done and returns you to the Main Menu

Buying Single Units

Buying single units is not recommended for beginners, since beginners would benefit more from using the new unit button on the main menu, but if you absolutely want to buy a unit you will need the amount of gold they ask for. Also note buying a unit whose name is in red is useless since you need to first purchase an expansion to use those units.


The stats of the units are one of the single most important aspects of the entire game; not knowing a units capabilities can make the difference between a good game and a frustrating beat down, so without further delay on to the explanations:


Actions are the extremely important as they dictate how many things a unit can do per round, if a unit has 3 actions it can: move 3 times, attack 3 times, use 3 skills, use 3 spells or any combination of those, keep in mind however that some abilities do not cost actions.


When a unit's Life reaches 0 it's dead, all in all it's the units HP.


Only units that have attacks (red columns) have a power rating, some units like the Channeler do not have a power rating but a set amount of damage she can use with her attacks. Power is the raw damage a unit would inflict on each attack against an unarmored opponent


Armor is the defense rating of your units. At no time can you have an armor rating higher then 2. Armor does not protect from obliteration attacks or insta-kill abilities; most abilities that act as shields will not protect from those.


This stat is only visible in the edit army, and shows the cost of summoning that unit without some sort of reduction to it's summoning cost

Ability Types

In Zatikon there are several abilities, they are coded by color and I will describe each ability here


The blue abilities are movement. These comes in 4 versions and 1 passive move ability

- Move to target location
Range: 1
Cost 1

This is the standard movement for most units. With this movement type you use one action every time you move

-Move to target Location
Range: Varied
Can be one 1/1

This movement type works in much the same way as the previous type, but can only be used once. The range varies from 3 to 5 and the units that have this movement type cannot move over other units in their path.

- Jump to target Location
Range: Varied
Can be done 1/1

This ability is only for units that can fly with exception to the war elephant. If this flight is granted by wizard then ranged units are restricted to flying only 2 squares at a time instead of the usual 3. Units with this ability can move over other units, as long as there is an empty square to land on within range.

- Jump to Target location
Range 2
Cost 1

This ability are as far as I know only seen on the wolf unit, this unit is summoned by druid or deployed by ranger. The wolf can jump once for each of it's commands, and is the only unit capable of doing so.

- Movement does not Cost Actions

This ability is only seen on the movement types of 1/1 it is Dark Blue in color making it as a Passive Movement Ability.


Red abilities are attacks. There are 4 types of attacks and there are also red passive abilities

Explosions are an attack that cover a 3X3 area with the center on the square you select, these kind of attacks can hurt friendly units.

Hack and Slash: This is the normal attack and costs 1 action per use, unless stated otherwise in the attack description.

Obliteration attacks are an insta-kill, the only thing that can prevent the unit from dying instantly are: Aegis, Dodge, Parry or Berserkers Die-at-end-of-Turn Ability. NOTHING else can prevent the destruction of the targeted unit, since the attack simply squishes the target similar to an egg is crushed by a mallet wielding ogre.

The Line Nuke:
This attack can only be done by the Warlock and is unique as it hits anything on a direct line up to 6 squares away, friend or foe alike, just click the square you want the attack to reach to, (clicking 1 square away and the attack goes 1 square click and the end of the attack range and it goes all the way)

Red Passive Abilities:
These attacks only trigger when certain criteria is met, these criteria are explained by the ability


Green Abilities are skills and are so varied that I cannot give a description of them, if the skill is hostile in nature they can be evaded by units that have: Aegis or Dodge, parry won't help since it only triggers on attacks. Inorganic units are unaffected since they are immune to any and all skills, friendly and hostile alike.

Passive Green Abilities:
These abilities trigger when certain criteria are met, like summoning an Assassin.


Purple abilities are spells. They have a high variety of abilities, some change the rules significantly, spells ignore dodge and parry, but not aegis. Only spells cast by an artificer have any affect on inorganic units, and only friendly ones at that.

Passive Spells:
These spells are always active, or trigger when their criteria is met, depending on the type of spell


Passive Abilities, these abilities cannot be negated as long as said unit are on the field, since they are mostly defensive in nature they are not subject to the inorganic immunity, as seen by both parry and dodge working against inorganic units.

The only Grey Abilities are seen on the Mason’s Wall, and are used to destroy it, costs 1 Command to do so, commands will be explained in the 3rd Class.


When you are setting your army up you have 1000 points to recruit units with. Every unit has a cost which comes out of those 1000 points, you can have an army worth less then 1000 points, but you cannot have an army with more then 1000 points in it, so you can have 2 Mages and 2 towers for a total of 1000 but you cannot have 2 Wyrm Class units since they all cost 550


Archers are your run of the mill long distance units, they generally have few abilities. All archers have 2 action points and a minimum range of 3.

Black Mages

Black Mages all cost 350 and have either devastating abilities or extreme range and damage, or worse yet, both. All Black Mages can only either move or use their abilities but they cannot use both, also all Black Mages have 2 hp.


Clergy units are healers and defenders. They also have 1 unit capable of converting enemies. They are also the only class except wyrms that have a unit with a cost of 550.


Commanders are your main support troops, their main focus is to increase the amount of commands you can use per round and lower the cost of summoning units. In fact apart from 1 building in the structures class they are the only units that can lower summoning cost and increase commands.


Cultists excel at disrupting a well entrenched enemy defensive line. They also feature one of the 2 400 cost units units in the game, the possessor. The said unit is capable of tearing an army apart on it's own, unless your opponent has a way to be rid of it apart from killing it with an inorganic unit.


The main focus of the horsemen is moving long distances. They can move without using actions, which is a huge advantage. They all have in common the fact that they all can move at least 3 squares and still be able to attack. If flight is cast on a horseman it is subject to the normal limitations of range.


A headache in a bottle, nature's main aim is to stop the opponent from moving. They are the natural enemy of horsemen (pun not intended) since horsemen can only move once per round.


Scouts are rush units with the main goal of infiltrating enemy lines and striking quickly. They all have low costs and high action points and also different ways to really mess things up for the opponent, including dodge, poison, insta-kill and costing no commands to use.

Shape Shifters

Shape Shifters are actually one of the few classes that work best when played together with other units from the same class. They also feature 2/5 units with an effective range of 6, their main focus is to either mimic enemy units or otherwise change the playing rules by transforming into units with other abilities. Please note shape shifting does not cure poison, but will otherwise cure the unit of all status ailments except conversion.


Siege units have extreme destructive capabilities, but apart from the golem and mason they only have 1 action point. Units with dodge can tear them apart without much problem, on the other hand they also have extreme reach and apart from the mason they are immune to skills and spells. They also have the only units with the "obliterate" skill


The jacks-of-all-trades, they have a multitude of passive (black) abilities but no spells or skills worth mentioning. All of them except the pikemen have one range.


Structures cannot move, end of story. Structures occupy the heavy support role and have the unit with the longest auto attack reach in the game.

White Mages

While mages have the capability to change game play on a fundamental level. No white mage should be underestimated, their wide range of stuns, summons and spells in the hands of a capable player makes for a formidable obstacle to overcome.


The wyrm class units are insane, as they have very unique abilities or stats. They cost 550 points for a reason, they change the game play to an extreme level; skills such as resurrection or conversion upon death are extremely powerful. All Wyrms cost 5 Commands to summon and have a maximum of 2 actions. As such, when a player decides to use a wyrm in their army, they generally choose units that either protect the said units or particulary benefit from its abilities.

"Well would you look at the time..."
"See you next time, Students!"

"Welcome back!"
"Take your seats and we will begin"

Todays lesson will be about the battlefield itself, the importance of commands, how to summon the units and the goal of the game in general. This will most likely be the last class since the topic of units is not a part of this beginner guide, and as of such I will only go into detail about the invidual units.

The Battlefield

The battlefield is the most important aspect of the game, it is 11X11 in size and in the center of the bottom and top lines of the field are 2 castles, the bottom castle is yours and it is your goal to protect it while at the same time attempting to capture the enemy's castle, the castle is captured when you move one of your units atop of it, however the unit has to survive the movement, so if something causes your unit to die as it moves onto the castle it is not captured and the game goes on. Ways this might happen are the autoattack of pikemen, snakes and towers.

Castle Defense
To help you defend your castle you have 2 units that can increase the chance of sucess you have the gate guard, and the abjurer. The Gate Guard is able to walk onto your castle, and is the only unit capable of doing so. The abjurer can seal the castle gate, this creates a square that is slightly colored as the background of your units, blue for and green for friendly, red and yellow for hostile. The blockade lasts for 2 turns and prevents anything from moving onto the castle square, it is also immune to all forms of damage, so don't bother trying to attack it. It is worth noting that the abjurer's seal gate skill is rarely used.

Turn Length
You have a timelimit of 1 min and 30 sec to finish your turn, most people are capable of finishing well within that time. If you're in a tough spot it is useful to have that much time to think. If time runs out you automatically end your turn, there is no way of undoing your mistakes, so don't rush in.


Commands are without a doubt the most important aspect of the game. By default you have 5 commands, when you first start out you have to summon your units, every unit has a summoning cost from 0 to 5 and this costs comes out of your available commands. If you do not have enough commands to summon something you have to wait until your next turn. By summoning certain units you can increase the total amount of commands you have or lower the cost of summoning a unit, some units allow you to do both at the same time.

Deploying your Army

To summon a unit you simply have to wait for your turn to begin, when it does the green window to the right of the battlefield changes from showing tactical or unit information to displaying a list of units not unlike the one you saw in your edit army screen. These units have a cost beside them that indicates the ammount of commands needed to summon them. As previously explained, simply click on the desired unit and look on the field, if you have enough commands to summon the unit the squares beside your castle should light up with a blue color, indicating where that unit can be summoned. Some units can be summoned further away from the castle. Scouts, assassins and all buildings can be summoned further away, all other units are restricted to appear next to the castle itself. The gate Guard can be summoned directly onto the castle.

Summoned units are afflicted with, out of a lack of better term, summoning sickness, they cannot act the same turn that they are summoned. However units that can auto-attack are capable of doing so as soon as you end your turn, you will also notice that newly summoned units are greyed out, marking them as unusable.

Ok so now you have summoned your units and plan to use them, well don't go overboard just yet, commands limit the ammount of things you can do per turn and not keeping an eye on the amount of commands you have can be disasterous, everytime you order a unit to do something you use up 1 command. Also passive abilities do not cost commands when they activate.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Beginner’s Blog #1

Welcome fellow Zatikon Players

This is a beginner’s blog. A beginners, as in that I’m a beginner to Zatikon. A beginners, as in that this is my first ever blog I have ever done. A beginners, as in that the people I expect to read this will be beginners to Zatikon too.

Being that I’m a beginner to this game, I don’t really know what I’m talking about. But what I will do is create an illusion that I do know what I’m talking about. If for some strange reason you don’t fall for that illusion then please visit one of my fellow Zatikon blog team members, who are all very well informed on Zatikon and should be able to give you very good advice on the game.

OK, let’s begin beginners:

sgainford vs AI (level 25)

Playing the Artificial Intelligence is a great way to start off and learn this game. First off, you will begin playing the AI in its lower levels, which means you can make many mistakes, which you probably will, because you’re a beginner, but will still be able to win. But don’t get too confident. The more you play the AI the stronger it gets. The AI also has unlimited units and actions, so you need to reach its castle as quickly as possible because it won’t run out of units.

Playing the AI is also good because if you lose to the AI you don’t feel as bad as losing to a human player. If you lose to the AI you can just switch off the computer so the damn thing can’t even think anymore and go grab a beer and watch some TV. However if you lose to a human, he can go grab a beer and watch TV also! And he will probably have a big fat smile on his face and do some big belly laughs, which the AI can’t do; or at least I hope my computer is not laughing at me.

On my side of the ring I have the following units:

Fire Archer

The first thing you will have to do in this game is deploy your units. How you deploy your units is very important. You are limited to how many units you can deploy each turn, by only having 5 squares to choose from on the board, and how many commands it cost to deploy your units. In this particular game I deploy first my Tactician, which means by next turn I will no longer have just 5 commands, which is what you start off with, but will have increased my commands to 6 because of the Tacticians ability to increase my commands by 1. It would have been a blunder to deploy my Tactician last on the board, for then I would miss having 1 command advantage each turn that he was on the board. So any time you have units that will increase your commands when deployed, make sure those are the first units you get out on the board (please see the blog article ‘Gaining More Commands Every Turn’ by my fellow blog team member Mongo for more information on the importance of commands).

I next deploy my Archer. Using an Archer will quickly help you gain an understanding about range in this game. Range is of vital importance and if you ever want to improve your rating in Zatikon you will need to get down what range the units have. Zatikon helps you out with this: click on a unit and information about the unit pops up. In a highlighted blue box you will have what range the unit can move to and in a highlighted red box you will have what range the unit can attack to.

There are some really ugly beasts in this game, which probably smell very bad also. The last thing you want is to have your opponent's disgusting looking units close up to you, and you definitely don’t want them walking around in your nice clean castle. I like to have my opponent's units as far away from me as possible. I find the best way to do that is to stick an arrow right through their skull. It might not be a very polite thing to do, but I think the beasts shouldn’t be getting up all in your territory, especially without taking a bath first!

The Archer has a nice attacking range of 4. And the Archer doesn’t just have an attacking range of 4 diagonally, vertically or horizontally like some units have, but can attack any square within 4 squares of himself. To see who you can attack with the Archer, just click on him and a red boxes will pop up to show you what squares you can attack. What is also great with the Archer is that if you have a clumsy ally that foolishly stumbles in front of you, you can still attack your opponent’s units -- unlike some units the Archer cannot be blocked by his own units when attacking. The problem with the Archer though is that he never listened to his mother when she said "Don’t go out of the house unless you have your armour on.". So the Archer might be happily shooting arrows at his opponent’s units, laughing away, and then he gets a little scratch from an arrow himself and he falls down dead because he doesn’t have any armor on. To try to equal out this weakness you can put a stronger, more protected ally in front of the Archer so that he can give the Archer some protection. And again, the Archer can just shoot right over the Ally unit in front of him and still attack the opponent’s units.

I then deployed my Fire Archer. This unit has one less attacking range than the Archer (3 instead of 4) however makes up with that by having every square within one range of the original attacking square explode for a power hit of three points. This is brilliant when your opponent’s units are close together holding hands. Shoot your fire arrow at them and their hands will blow off, and hopefully their heads too. But again, this unit has no armor so tread carefully.

The AI releases his units and I release the rest of mine. He charges at me with his Paladin and his own Fire Archer. They both foolishly step into my Archers territory. His Fire Archer is quickly extinguished with an arrow in his skull by my Archer. I take a few shots at the Paladin as he approaches, weakening him, and then finish him off with my Dracolich. Many times your Archer will not be strong enough to kill your opponent’s unit right off, however a good strategy is to weaken the unit first with your Archer and then finish it off with one of your stronger units. Also, take heed of the AI’s blunder and learn the following principle: don’t go charging into battle unless you have the necessary backup!

The AI then released a Magus on me, which makes it the first time I have ever played against a Magus. My first impression was ‘what can this old man do to me, with his gray beard and cane? I mean the guy can hardly walk, with a 1 square move to target location and only 1 action.’ Then this old man transforms himself into a Spirit. And the Spirit is indestructible! Then the scenario became "Everybody run for your life! There is some nut case running loose who can’t be destroyed!". Luckily this Sprit’s range is quite low, only having 1 move to target location range and 1 attack enemy unit range. It was a bit strange though, because I was completely beating the AI but at the same time was still running away from him, because of the Spirit. The Spirit definitely made me make haste to the opponent's castle.

Once you get your Archer units within attacking range of your opponent’s castle, there is no reason to go any further with your Archers. This will only put them at risk. The AI released a few more units from his castle, but as soon as he did I just killed them with my Archers. I then took shots at his Gate Guard until he died, then cruised into his castle.


Summary of things discussed and learned in this game:

• Archers are great range units but are fragile, so be careful.
• Don’t rush into battle unless you have the necessary back up.
• Just because a unit has a gray beard and cane, doesn’t mean he can’t kick ass!
• Get your archers within attacking range of your opponent’s castle, then go no further. When your opponent releases another unit from his castle, just put an arrow in his brain.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Actions per turn: 1
Hit Points: 2
Power: (can not attack)
Armor: 0
Cost: $350

The Abjurer is one of my all time favorite units. It costs just as much as a necromancer or a warlock, but is it really worth the price tag? Yes, because it's one of the few units in the game that let's you attack at a range 6, can act as a summoner, acts as a healer and can give your troops +1 armor for a turn. So let's run down exactly what each of it's special abilities do.

Army gets +1 Armor (max 2). Costs 1 action, lasts 1 turn
The main use for this ability is for extreme defensive positions and stalemates. This ability should be used as a backup ability as 90% of the time the Abjurer should be used to unsummon units. The +1 armor ability gives all units who have 0 or 1 armor an extra unit of armor; but as with all units in Zatikon, they cannot have more 2 armor. Typically, in end game scenarios, it comes in handy not only when you have another summoning unit like a barracks, but if you also have a significant amount of foot troops. As such the +1 armor will give you that much more of an advantage in any offensive/defensive position.

Seal the Castle Gate. 1 action, lasts 2 turns
I have yet to ever come into a scenario that ever used this ability. The main reason is all random armies come included with a gate guard, which supplements this ability. Ideally, this ability has to potential to be useful if it lasted for 4 turns, but at 2 turns, if your using this ability, you have probably already lost at this point seeing as your opponent has already broken down your lines so severely.

Return target to their castle, cast anywhere within 5, 1 action
This is the Abjurer's best ability in the game: unsummoning! Anywhere within 5! Range 5 for means that you can pretty much cover most of the game board; this in turn means your abjurer will be able to consistently provide support for the bulk of your units. There are 4 ways to use this ability:

#1 to unsummon an enemy piece. Your goal with an abjurer is to setup a defensive line first before using the #2 ability. Therefore this part of it's ability is to help zap back units back to the opponent's gate just to stall your opponent. Ideally, you don't want to be using this ability the entire game as all your other units on the board should be striking out offensively or defending the area within 5 that the abjurer can cover.

#2 to unsummon an ally piece. After setting up a decent defensive position, your ready to start pushing forward to attack. The best units to use in conjunction with an abjurer are other long range units like an archers, rangers or horseman, but also standard ground troops can be used. You can safely move up your units make an attack, then simply unsummon any damaged or threatened ally unit. This means, you will be able to penetrate a range of 6 as the abjurer reaches 5 spaces and your other allied unit will reach the 6th line.

#3 unsummoning is healing. Once an ally is damaged after an attack, just move it within 5 of the abjurer and then bring out that unit from your base fully healed again!

#4 unsummoning also means summoning! Currently, in the game there is only 1 unit that this works with: the Ranger. Normally the Ranger only gets 1 wolf to summon, but with the abjurer, you can unsummon him and then refresh the ranger's ability to make another wolf upon redeployment, which means having an infinite amount of wolves. Just be advised, it's better to establish a defensive line and push a little forward before you start using this #4 ability, but every scenario in Zatikon is situational.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Gaining More Commands Every Turn

Every player in Zatikon starts off with the default 5 commands. But, that doesn't mean that you can't gain extra commands every turn! Commands are the things needed to move a unit, attack, use a special ability and to do just about anything in the game. Generally speaking, the player who has more commands in a game has a huge advantage, but this isn't always the case. The ideal in every game should be to have 7 commands or at least 6. Once you go above 8 commands per turn, it's not going to be significantly helpful. So, how can you gain more commands per turn? here are the few units that can help do that:

Tactician, General, Command Post, Strategist and Sergeant.

Every Tactician you have in play will give you 1 extra command. That might not seem like that big a deal, but it helps out dramatically. Plus, he's as cheap as they come as he only costs $50. The drawback of the tactician is that he can't attack or defend, but all your other troops will be very excited to see him on your side of the battlefield.

The General, in addition to giving you 1 extra command per turn like the Tactician, also let's you deploy all your troops for -1 command. Deployment is what it costs to bring a unit onto the gameboard, so the sooner you can deploy your stuff the better off you are. The general is also a well rounded unit as he has 4 hit points, 3 power and 2 armor. Basically, he's a run of the mill defensive backup unit that helps you deploy everything faster and gives 1 extra command per turn.

Command Post:
The Command Post like the General, lets you deploy all your troops for -1 command. The Command Post can also store up to 2 commands per turn and has no limit to how many commands it can store. Once you activate the Command Post, you will use up all those commands for 1 turn and be able to use way beyond the normal 5 default commands. This helps in doing attacks/defense moves that would normally be impossible.

The Strategist is also similar to the tactician in that it costs $50 and it can not attack or defend. But, instead of just gaining 1 command per turn, the Strategist gives you +1 command for EVERY attack your opponent makes on any of your units. So, as you can imagine, that could mean a lot of extra commands. I think overall, the strategist is just as useful as the tactician, it mainly depends upon what game mode you are playing and what units you and your opponent are using.

The Sergeant is a normal weak unit with 1 great ability. The Sergeant lets any other unit perform all their actions for free. So, all those free actions can definitely add up, especially with the fact the sergeant only costs $50. Additionally, Sergeant has 2 actions per turn, so this means you can technically let 2 other ally units perform both their actions for free if they are standing 1 space away from the sergeant. Last but not least, unlike the strategist and tactician, the strategist at least can attack but it's rarely ever used for doing so.