Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Strong against: Low HP, low armor, low power armies.
Weak against; Things that stun(e.g. rogue), dodge(e.g., rogue), or 'incapacitate'(e.g. geomancer),
Best Paired with: Healer, abbey, and artificer all work decently with the dragon.
The dragon is one of the few units I recommend playing before deployment cost reducers like the general are down, if you have to make such a choice. This is because the dragon becomes increasingly feeble as more units enter the field; after a certain point, your dragon will probably be annihilated right after sticking is smoke-exhaling nose near your opponent's side. It simply will not be able to take down units fast enough.
Its effective attack range of 6(including 3) and movement speed of 3, however, makes it excellent for putting very quick pressure on your opponent; low power, low HP units are typically the first units your opponent will deploy. With some luck, you'll be able to land a crushing explosion on a white or black mage, along with a number of fodder units.
Unfortunately, even with only 2-3 turns before your dragon is a threat, your opponent will typically be ready for it.
Strong against: Armies with low power and/or little in the way of commands
Weak Against: Armies with units that do not 'kill' units, but typically remove them from play for an extended duration, if not for the entire game(e.g., geomancer/witch), higher level AI.
Best Paired with: High armor, high HP units, heretic.
While its other abilities are certainly nothing to spit on, the FS ability to raise army-wide reduction by one is, insofar as I am concern, its most potent one. It is the only way any unit can reduce more than 2 incoming damage. Most units in this game do 3-4 damage; these units now make no, or a very small, dent in your already two armor units(footman, warrior, etc). Very few have five or more power, and these tend to be clumsy and expensive, so that it's hard to land multiple powerful attacks on units that now have an effective three armor.
Some things to remember about fighting a feathered serpent army:
-If you didn't kill a unit, you might as well have not damaged it at all. It's getting a full heal next round.
-If you didn't kill at least two units, your attack was only a minor setback for your opponent, as he can just put the dead unit back on the field. On the other hand, you probably exposed your attacking units to a great deal of harm-and you can't get them back.
-It takes quite a few commands to successfully take out two mitigation-buffed units.
-DON'T FORGET that all of your opponent's organic units reduce one extra point of damage per attack.
FS armies have one weakness: they probably don't have that many pieces on the board, since the FS cost 550 points. This means that you can often maneuver around your opponent's pieces to knock out the FS(warning-the FS is a slippery unit)
Otherwise, you will likely have to slowly advance up the field in a conservative offensive formation: acolytes, units with dodges, masons, and/or healers are necessary to make this happen. Guard witches, geomancers and the like closely; they are your greatest asset.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
When I was new to Zatikon, the Dracolich seemed like one of the most impressive units in the game. Someone pulled one out in coop, and, after most of my units were mostly wiped out, proceeded to defeat the AI essentially single-handedly. I proceeded to request that my coop partners bring a Dracolich, and kept hoping the new unit button would bring me one.
At a certain point, however, I started losing coop games and the honeymoon was over.
Value: Very Poor
Strong against: Early AI
Weak against: Higher level AI, competence
The problem with the dracolich is this: you need to actually kill something for its most potent ability to be of any use. A dracolich costs 550 points, more than half your army; as you’re bound to discover, this doesn’t leave that much room for units that can kill something(with an effective attack range of two, the dracolich just doesn’t fit the bill). It also doesn’t leave much room for command units, so that, in the event you manage to kill a lot of the AI’s units, you can barely use them.
Early AI typically sends in only a couple ‘weak’ attackers, who you can typically kill and resurrect fairly easily. However, at higher AI levels, the AI swiftly swarms you with units that are not only normally strong(like dragons) but also have empowerments(Arcane, rampaging, etc). Any units you manage to kill will be promptly re-killed, and you will soon be overwhelmed.
Drawing a dracolich in random is typically a death sentence, as your opponent almost certainly got more value for their 550 points. You only have 500 points left(excluding general and gate guard), and chances are a substantial chunk of those points went into one or two units. Your opponent should have absolutely no problem maneuvering around your three mildly threatening pieces, and typically needs to be playing sloppily to allow one of their units to die. If one of their units does die, chances are they will be able to rekill it before you get a chance to use it. They’ll push your back to a wall and go for the kill.
If this wasn’t already clear, make sure that you bring enough units to not be easily outmaneuvered by a player or swarmed by the AI if you insist on using a Dracolich(A mason would probably be helpful)
And lastly, a ‘fun’ fact:
If both players have a dracolich on their side, there is no limit to how many times a unit can be resurrected. In one game, in which I had a dracolich and my opponent drew a mimic(and mimicked the dracolich), we must have swapped control of this poor footman some twenty to thirty times. It took me an hour and a half to eventually beat my opponent as I slowly won the game of reversi, making for what remains the longest Zatikon match I’ve ever played.
Thanks to Mongolian for the random construction points correction.