Wednesday, February 17, 2010
As you can see, the ranger does not cost any commands to deploy, and also acts without using any commands. Due to these attributes, it is generally a good idea to deploy your ranger on your first turn When deployed during your first turn, the ranger will allow you to gain board control early on while still allowing you to use all of your commands on getting units out.
The ranger is also a great answer to early scout pressure. Since the ranger has 3 commands and 3 range, it can hover outside of the striking range of the scout, get in range, and still have enough actions to both trigger the scouts dodge ability and deal a lethal blow.
The wolf is also a nice add on to the ranger. While it is neither a high damage or high life unit, it can move large distances rapidly and therefore reinforce where needed or threaten weak parts of your opponents army. Like mentioned in Mongolian's post, the ranger can summon infinite wolves if paired with an abjurer.
Last but not least is the ranger's ability to switch to melee mode. Probably one of the more neglected skills in Zatikon, it is definitely very useful in certain instances. At times, someone may have your ranger cornered, or you may be playing with your back to your castle, on top of that they may have parked a unit such as a general 1 space away from your ranger because they did not take the rangers melee skill into account. You may have just attacked the general 3 times with its ranged attack, and only do 3 damage. A much more effective move would be to use 1 action switching to melee, and attack the general twice, doing a total of 6 damage, which is more than enough to kill it. Overall, many seem to hesitate to switch their ranger to melee mode because it uses 1 action, and the ranger can hit and run much more effectively when in ranged mode. With proper support though, such as shield maidens and acolytes, the extra 2 damage that the ranger gains from its melee mode switch give it the power to easily dispatch your opponents hardiest units.