first turn strategy

Discuss strategies of warbarons

first turn strategy

Postby kenc80 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:40 pm

First turn with minimum or medium money (under 750) I almost always start with a scout to build towards an early ghost castle or hero offer. Anyone do anything different? I like a scout first because he can catch up to the hero's first turn movement and assist with another castle attack or help in the ruin. Anyone do anything different? Lately I've been tempted to build an early wizard for the same reasons.

Ken
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Re: first turn strategy

Postby Moonknight » Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:59 pm

You're talking about 750 gold after hiring your first hero, right?

I like to try to get a second hero on the second turn, so I'd save at least 450 for the next turn.

My breakdown is probably as follows:
Scout - 40% (for the reasons you've already stated/mainly UL increase though)
Crow - 20% (still catch many players early on with a razing crow/many maps crows are needed for scouting instead of the scout)
Lt. Cav - 20% (good for distance/open land/sand)
Elf - 15% (still good offense/forest/anti-flyer)
Dwarf - 5% (when hills are involved early on)

~MK
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Re: first turn strategy

Postby Jeremy » Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:55 pm

Ghost castle? My brother won't touch Ghosts - razes them when he sees them.

Tell me the attraction of a unit that takes 3 turns and has very low strength. I know it's got some advantages, but that's some pretty big disadvantages to overcome.
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Re: first turn strategy

Postby LPhillips » Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:09 am

Jeremy wrote:Ghost castle? My brother won't touch Ghosts - razes them when he sees them.

Tell me the attraction of a unit that takes 3 turns and has very low strength. I know it's got some advantages, but that's some pretty big disadvantages to overcome.

1) Fast Flier (20 move)
2) 3 UL (highest of any)
3) 8% Ambush (extremely effective against enemy stacks, and also on defense)
4) Economical cost (850 gold medium-to-strong 3 turner)

The main thing that has changed for Ghost is the use of the Assassin hero. Ghosts now are invaluable allies, instead of being "OK" allies. It's also important to note that they're stack support units not front line combatants. Their strength is generally irrelevant, but it's not so low that they are useless in a fight.

I assume when you say raze, you mean plunder. At 40%, the units you can purchase from plundering a ghost city can't even come close to the ghost's ability. Being a fast flier with 3 UL is invaluable on many maps. Turning an Assassin hero into a super stack killer with a few 3 turn units is just another major bonus. That said, if you need the city for production (high income, low city count) it's reasonable to plunder them.

Ken, I find my starting strategy is entirely dependent on the map, starting units, and starting gold. The starting units play a huge roll in calling the early strategy. Say you've got a spider/sandworm/catapult/elemental, roads, weakly defended cities and lots of Open/desert/snow territory. That's a no-brainer for a Horse Lord in my mind. Lots of ruins above level 1? Paladin with scouts as you described, pushing for ghost. There's not much point in a Paly if the ruins are all level 1. There's a specialist that will do whatever other job you want your hero to do better than the Paladin can. I've won quite a few 1v1 matches with a well timed single stack push. Of course, the nasty little Assassin will put all the best laid plans to waste, so he's often a good call and that will also affect your unit choice. If your enemy is playing a game of "the best offense is a good defense" and uses Assassins to push-defend, you'll be in trouble with conventional heroes.

LP
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Re: first turn strategy

Postby smursh » Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:17 pm

A lot depends on the amount of gold you have, the map size, and ruin situation. On a map with a lot of high level ruins getting ghost early will allow them to be explored sooner. For large maps with lots of low level cities wizards are very good. In a team or FFA game where you may be close to an enemy crows can work to get a jump on your enemy, and even if you don't you can force him to keep extra defenders early just by the threat which will slow his expansion. Sometimes I purchase nothing so I can plunder my first capture and combine all the gold for 1 very good unit. The most important thing is to look over the map too see what units will be most useful early.
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Re: first turn strategy

Postby KGB » Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:31 pm

KGB's Turn 1 Tips:

1) ALWAYS decline the initial hero offer when the turn opens. Buy your hero when you know what you need and what you have.
2) Look over the starting units you have. Take an inventory of units with UL (Ghosts, Scouts, Crusaders, Wizards) or combat bonus's (Crusaders, Yeti's) or terrain bonus.
3) Calculate the gold you have to spend (initial gold - 500 for a hero) on production/save for next turn.
4) If the nearby terrain is open/roads send out your fastest unit/unit with biggest view radius toward the closest neutral cities (on maps with fixed production you instead look in the editor or click on the neutral to see what it produces). What you want to do here is ideally uncover 1 or 2 neutrals with 1-2 men to see what the defenders are so that you know which hero you might want. If the terrain is heavy (requiring a move bonus unit) then you can't do this step or can skip it. This is basically the scouting phase of your turn.
5) Purchase your hero. By now you know how much UL you have from your starting units, what the nearby neutral defenders are, how many nearby L1 ruins there are etc. So you know whether you need a Paladin for ruin picking or can just take a Barb + combine with some UL units you have for ruins or use the Barb to capture neutrals on his own (he can easily take Crows, Scouts, Lt Inf, Orcs, Lt Calv and quite a few others just by himself but on the other hand if you only have 1 direction to expand the Barb is not as valuable) or take an Assassin because you have a Yeti/Crusader for combat bonus's and want to start getting Gp Ambush going or a HorseLord for open/desert/ice or whatever you think works best.
6) *Think* about your capitol production but don't buy just yet. If you are in heavy terrain (woods, swamp, hills, desert, ice) the obvious thought will be a terrain bonus unit. If you aren't in that terrain the obvious thought will be a power unit (Wizard, Gryphon, Spider, Elephant, Pegasi). Sometimes it's a terrain + power unit (Kraken/Sandworm) you want to buy and others it's a flier of some kind (crow, eagle, ghost etc). It's perfectly OK to want a better unit than you have gold for because you aren't buying just yet.
7) Move the rest of your armies including the hero. Search ruins first then capture neutrals so that if you get gold from a ruin you don't need to pillage a city. Ideally if you uncovered a couple of neutrals you might be able to split your armies and take multiple cities. While you search ruins/take cities keep in mind the gold you need for the unit you want/gold you want to save for 2nd hero on turn 2. If you don't have enough gold you need to get some from a ruin or from pillaging. So when you decide whether your initial hero is going to ruin pick or help expand keep that in mind because he may need to search a ruin to get the gold you need for the unit you want.
8) The last thing you do is buy production. The reason you do this last is because if you had bad luck (hero dies, neutral resisted your armies) then you may want to change your mind from what you wanted in step 6. If my hero dies for example I *always* save enough gold for another hero offer on turn 2 even if I just buy a scout/crow. If a neutral resisted my stack or I lost a lot of units I always buy a 1 turn unit instead of a power unit. The other reason you defer until now is because you finally know how much gold you have to spend after ruin searching and pillaging. You very often find yourself jumping from 300-400 gold up to 1000+ allowing you to buy say a Gryphon/Sandworm/Pegasi instead of Lt Calv or Elf. This is why step 6-8 is so important to get done in the right order. One thing to keep in mind is NEVER EVER buy an average unit (Giant, Wolfrider, Hv Calv, Siege unit, Pikeman, Hv Inf, Minotaur, Crusader, Yeti-on-non-snow-terrain) on turn 1. You either buy power unit OR terrain movement unit OR the fastest moving 1 turn unit you can afford. The reason is that average units will have to be replaced in mid game and the money you spent on them will be wasted and the existing units obsolete. It's much easier to justify upgrading a capitol making scouts or Lt Inf or Lt Calv than one making Giants/Hv Calv/Wolfriders/Ram/Crusader/Minotaur etc.

Most of these steps are the steps you'll do in every game turn with of course other steps added for reviewing battles, negotiating NAP's, attacking enemies, upgrading walls etc. The point is to get in the habit of ignoring initial hero offers and deferring until later in the turn after you've scouted (and potentially attacked in areas far from where the hero would arrive) and only buying production at the end of the turn when you have the absolute best knowledge about what you need and how much you have to spend.

KGB
Last edited by KGB on Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:00 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: first turn strategy

Postby Lykurgos » Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:49 pm

KGB wrote:KGB's Turn 1 Tips:
snip
KGB


I've just reached the point where I can really appreciate these wise tips, thanks KGB :D
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Re: first turn strategy

Postby LPhillips » Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:31 am

Well, we agree on this strategy at least. It's the only way to open. I find so many people, even veteran players, purchase starting production without even scouting the map. In one game, I saw 4 players buy elves for forest movement on Crescendo without looking to see that the nearest cities provided them.

It is very interesting to note what heroes players choose to buy. If you have extra UL, it seems the Assassin is always the right choice. It's going to force the enemy to always fight at a full stack from early to end game, or automatically lose. Gone are the days of building a powerful small stack or moving fast heroes into enemy territory and hoping to accomplish anything. You're rolling a Las Vegas crapshoot employing any such strategy.

In fact, I find myself often confused lately about what can possibly be considered a good call as far as unit deployment. There are no hard counters at this point, and it creates a foggy mess for me. Overall strategy is still somewhat viable, but tactics are a washout. Now, I'm not complaining because I'm losing more. I'm not, really. But I do find it much less interesting lately. Push in with a Horse Lord + full stack? Assassinated. Want to use a Barbarian seriously? Assassinated. Attempted siege? Forget about it. Enemy tries to make a push on me with a considerable army? Miserable failure. The mere threat of my units in a city will bottle him up every time.

LP
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Re: first turn strategy

Postby kenc80 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:29 pm

LP you are correct. Assassination dominates everything. I recently had a 1v1 against bofa at crescendo. He had a +70 assassin in the desert city with 32 units of basically trash. I literally could not take the city with 15-20 full stacks. All my stacks had a mix of high level units. Greenies, ghosts, pegs, you name it. My base units were minos and couldnt even dent him with a few Big Red's scattered in and a mass of spiders as well.

It is what it is but the assassin rules with an ironfist in late game.

I like paladin heroes because I like ruin searching but its almost pointless and naively heroic to do so. The light brigade analogy comes to mind, or rather the final battle in the last samurai when they charge the machine guns.

The reality is that Assassins rule in this beta and anything less than high level assassins is toast in developed late game matches. You must kill him early or die trying.

It even renders my love for searching ruins pointless...whats the value in the -3 armor or a even the -5 mace when faced with an assassin.

Last thought. Bofa and I had an air battle recently (at crescendo) I had a Maxed Paladin +30/-5/10% with 3 greenies, 1 big red, 2 ghosts and I forget the rest, either pegs or eagles. I also had Narya (+10AA) & wizards charge (+10AA) He had his +70 and trash, like eagles, crows and maybe a few ghosts. I was absolutely slaughtered.

I mean, I get it, but darn. I know Assassination is to mitigate high level stacks like mine but I always pictured 3 or 4 stacks with ghosts attached doing it that way, rather than this +70 monster.

Signed,

the guy who brought a knife to a gunfight,

or,

the last naive & heroic paladin,

or,

Brave Sir Robin, I mean Brave Sir Ken





PS yes, I still want the +12 for big red
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Re: first turn strategy

Postby KGB » Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:12 pm

KenC80,

This really belongs in the other thread about Ambush.

kenc80 wrote:Last thought. Bofa and I had an air battle recently (at crescendo) I had a Maxed Paladin +30/-5/10% with 3 greenies, 1 big red, 2 ghosts and I forget the rest, either pegs or eagles. I also had Narya (+10AA) & wizards charge (+10AA) He had his +70 and trash, like eagles, crows and maybe a few ghosts. I was absolutely slaughtered.
I mean, I get it, but darn. I know Assassination is to mitigate high level stacks like mine but I always pictured 3 or 4 stacks with ghosts attached doing it that way, rather than this +70 monster.


I think a lot of players are misinterpreting ambush kills for regular kills.

In this battle for example you armies will look something like (assuming not blessed for either side):
45, 45, 55, 70, 70, 70, 70, 55 (Ghosts/Pegasi/Green/Red/Hero)
His will look like
30, 30, 30, 30, 30, 30, 30, 30 (assuming 7 Eagles, 1 Hero)

This turns out to be a 48% chance for him to win (70% ambush) with the winner (you or him) having between 1-3 units left. So you may have lost but it wasn't a slaughter, it was a 50/50 battle if these are indeed the right units.

Your AA items are useless since you are already maxed bonus wise. His Eagles do fantastic with their own +22 AA allowing them to fight at 30. That is the difference in the battle because if he doesn't get Eagle AA bonus (ie you had all ground units) then he fights at 8 strength (13-5 from your chaos) and your winning percentage jumps to almost 90%.

Assassination dominates everything. I recently had a 1v1 against bofa at crescendo. He had a +70 assassin in the desert city with 32 units of basically trash. I literally could not take the city with 15-20 full stacks. All my stacks had a mix of high level units. Greenies, ghosts, pegs, you name it. My base units were minos and couldnt even dent him with a few Big Red's scattered in and a mass of spiders as well.


And here you must have sent those 15-20 stacks in piecemeal (as in 1-2 at a time). Otherwise you should have taken that city quite handily or you misremembered what units he had (like a Unicorn or Devil or RD of his own in there). For example lets look at the classic trash defender (Hv Inf).

8 Hv Inf at 20 strength with 70% ambush vs 8 units at 25 strength (7 Giants + 1 Ram which I assume cancels walls). The Giants+Ram stack kills at least 3 units and as many as 6 if it gets lucky. So say 4.5 units on average. You'd need 6-8 such stacks to take down the city depending on your luck. If you have better stacks than that you can increase your kill ratio by an extra unit or two per stack. Of course if his HI are boosted by RD/Pegasi your kills drop dramatically but that's entirely due to regular combat, not ambush.

KGB

P.S. Lets not pollute this thread with discussions on ambush (forum needs a moderator other than Piranha/Snotling to re-post stuff where it belongs). If you want to respond, copy your post above and create a new post in the Game Discussion forum and I'll repost my response and we can continue there.
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