Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Assassin

In my opinion, the assassin is one of the most unique units that Zatikon has to offer, its unique method of deployment and its 1 time stun can be used synergistically with a large amount of units.

The assassin is essentially a paper cannon. Its extremely low life and action points coupled with its nonexistent armor make it a sitting duck after deployment. Do not be mistaken though; the "Stuns all surrounding units upon deployment" gives you the opportunity land a large stun on your opponents troops, which allows your units to move up and get in advantageous positions that they otherwise would not be able to get into without taking large amounts of damage. On top of this, if you can keep your assassin alive after deployment, you have the opportunity to take out 2 units within 1 turn.

In order to use the assassin effectively, you must first choose which unit you would like to deploy it on.
I personally prefer riders, due to their ability to close large distances instantly, and deliver an assassin deep into enemy lines. If a great opportunity to use my assassin presents itself, it is best to try to deploy the assassin on the unit that has the opportunity to do so, given the cost of taking that unit off of the battlefield is worth the strategic advantage that is provided by the deployment.

But undoubtedly the hardest, yet most satisfying part of using the assassin comes with where to deploy it.
Clumped up units offer a juicy target for 1 large reason, you can use your opponents stunned units against them. Tightly clumped stunned units create a wall, and if your opponent lacks units with the ability to attack over units and their friendly melee units are far enough away or blocked by the wall, you will be able to use the assassins "Kill enemy unit" ability.

The classic Zatikon standoff.

As you can see, I have used my knight to take out that footman and burn one of the pikeman's action points, I have then moved my footman up to burn the pikeman's second action point.

Boom! Since I was able to peel open a gap in my opponents lines with knight, and burn the pikeman's action points with my knight and my footman, I was able to move my rider in there and deploy the assassin on him. I have sacrificed my knight and my footman to take out his archer and warrior, but I have gained the strategic advantage by retaining my archer.

There are of course many more ways that the assassin can be used. some interesting ideas are to pair it with an abjurer, and recall the assassin upon deployment, which allows you to use the abjurer to act as an enchanter. You can also use the assassin to take out lone units who are attempting to flank.

When your opponent knows you have an assassin, they are much more difficult to use. The best way to incorporate an assassin into your army is to have a large amount of low cost units. When you have only a few high cost units out on the board and an assassin waiting to be used, it is fairly easy for your opponent to see that you are hiding a unit. If you have a large amount of low cost units, sometimes your opponent gets lazy and does not take the time to count the total point value of fielded units, much to his detriment.


  1. Great post! I've been victim to quite a few losses at the hands of a hidden assassin. Usually at the hands of a knight I've dismounted next to my castle, rallied the troops around, and felt the stun of my opponents victory next turn.

    Shield bearer into an assassin? Scouts into assassin? Assassin Diplomatic Immunity? Feathered Serpent reborn assassin.....

  2. The moral of the lesson with Assassin is count your opponent's total # of points! Not expecting this little bugger to be dropped on you can be a deadly sin. Unfortunately, he has single handidly caused many players to be upset due to his stun.

  3. I'm almost always too lazy to point count.

    Occasionally I'll eyeball the field and notice that my opponent's army seems a bit thin and get paranoid, but chances are you'll catch me by surprise. That said, in defensive standoffs, I generally position my army so that any dropped assassins can be taken out before the slaughter my stunned units.