ten Warbarons commandments

Discuss strategies of warbarons

ten Warbarons commandments

Postby strach » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:40 pm

These are my 10 commandments. I would gladly hear which of them you find right, and with which you disagree.

1. Expand as quickly as possible. The most important thing in the early stages. More castles means more armies, and more money, and that means… more castles, and more money, and more heroes. At early stages you can get from linear progression to the geometrical progression (don’t know if that are the right terms): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 … vs 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 … To achieve this you have to:
2. Be active. Don’t sit in your cities. Get your armies to the frontlines. Generally you can leave just one unit (HvI) to defend your inner or rear cities (on some maps in the first few turns you can leave them unprotected – bur be careful with that). The rest of them should immediately march (early stages) or be vectored (later) to the frontlines or defend the crucial cities. If your scouts warn you about a danger (if you scout well that will be 4 or 5 turns earlier), you will manage to produce enough units to defend your cities or to attack and weaken the army heading towards you rear. For example: player A has 20 cities and 120 armies, and player B has 15 cities and 90 armies. That gives 6 units per city. But if player B will leave only one unit in his 10 inner (or rear) cities (those that away from the main warfare activities) and get the rest of them to the frontlines – he will be able to send 80 armies to fight his opponent on the frontlines – where player A will have only about 40 armies. It’s not how big your army is, it’s mainly about where it is.
3. Scout (this is what KGB taught me, due to the fact that I always played W2 were there was no FOW). Crows (Light Calvary on open maps) are your eyes and ears. They will tell you about your opponents plans (if he is coming towards you with a hero stack or just sits in his cities). The other thing is that you should never attack a large stack or a city (especially with your hero) when you don’t know what hides there. What looks like a stack of six LI or Orcs might be 4 pikemen +dragon + LI (fight order!). A nasty surprise which will cost your hero’s life.
4. Plunder. Generally (at first stages) I plunder almost every city with good production – and use the money to buy heroes with good allies. Exceptions are (a) when I already have a lot of money, (b) when the production corresponds with my tactics (i.e. elephants or unicorns on the open maps, pegasi when I have a lot of HvI in nearby cities, catapults – when I’m planning an invasion etc).
5. Buy heavy infantry. After plundering the best choice in 90% cases is HvI. It’s cheap, it relatively strong and quick, and it’s a great cannon fodder for you hero’s stacks (Hero + Dragon + 6 HvI etc). In port cities – if you plan a lot of ship battles the best choice would be pikemen or dwarves (max strength on water plus they lousy movement is insignificant on water).
6. Loot the ruins. In level three ruins you can get over 1000 gold and even around 2000XP points. Use that gold to buy another Hero.
7. Be careful with your heroes. My style of play is based on hero actions (plus taking control over the water), that’s why I never want to lose them. Never fight under 90% fights with your hero at the early stages (note that if the percentage is over 90% you will win the battle with at least 1 unit left – and that will be your hero).
8. Upgrade your hero wisely. Be patient. Wait till you have 35 points to buy command or 45 for negative stack. If you know your hero has some “safe” battles ahead of him – you can even wait to have 90 points and buy –2 negative stack (deadly weapon). Buy base strength only if your hero is in great danger (i.e. you have won an enemy city, but are left with only a hero in it).
9. Think few turns ahead. Like in chess. What’s good in 3 next turns may not be as good in 10 turn perspective. For example: if you will go with your hero to a corner of the map you will have to get back from there. If your opponents are fighting each other – it’s good to power up your self and then attack one of them form behind than to immediately join one of them etc.
10. Read statistics. Check who is the strongest one and who is the weakest. Who has lost heroes, and whose heroes has reached higher levels. It’s always better to attack the weak one (look also at their win/loss ratio!), than the strong one. Don’t engage in an early war with your neighbour if you are not sure that you can squash him. But if you see that one of your opponents is expanding too quickly convince others to join forces against him. In most cases players do that waaaaaaaay to late (when the best players has a huge advantage). I lost a lot of games because other players didn’t want to team up against the most powerful one, and won some where my opponents could have beat me easily but were fighting wach other.
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Re: ten Warbarons commandments

Postby KGB » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:49 am

Strach,

This is a good list. My only complaint is that it's really the 10 commandments of Beta3 rather than the 10 commandments of Warbarons. That's because about 3-4 basically apply to Beta3 only and will have to be re-done for Beta4 and beyond once the rules change. But it's definitely a good start.


Once upon a time about 10 years ago, one of the greatest Warlord players ever (a much better player than me) wrote a post called 'Hugh's Ten Commandments' during the height of DLR. That list became the bible of DLR in terms of tips to improve your play. I'm posting that here from Warlorders.com with some of the 10 slightly re-done to reflect the differences in the 2 games (DLR had simultaneous play in addition to the PBEM format of Warbarons). You can see the overlap between your list and his original one.

1) Scout - Have Bats/Lt Calv everywhere. The more you see the more sound your game play will be. I am no better than anyone else, I only make better choices because in general I have more information. If you have Bats/Lt Calv placed here and there throughout your homeland, just by simply clicking on the army report you'll be able to see almost everything as the Bats/Lt Calv viewing range will clear all the fog your cities do not. Make sure to place and leave a unit sitting on an anchor so that enemy stacks can not land without you knowing it. Similarly kill enemy scouts whenever possible without showing and compromising too much of your own strength (Ie if a hero stack finds a lone enemy bat just use a single dragon to kill the bat rather than the whole stack to hide the fact you have a hero stack there).

2) Spread out as fast as you can - Take the biggest chunk of the map (The middle first then work the sides in 1-1 games). The more targets you possess the more it makes it difficult for you to be systematically eliminated by strong stacks and heroes (especially if they are very far apart). I use Bats/Hero or Bats/Pegasi or Lt Calv/Pegasi or blessed Bats/Lt Calv and attack cities with but +1 city defense/weak defenders. This way, 90% of the time, I will be able to get far reaching cities very quickly.

3) My Hero shall die on MY terms - Move your hero near the very end of your turn after all your scouts have moved and you've scouting enemy cities full of defenders. Always consider his vulnerability when leaving the hero out in the open or in a freshly conquered city. It should be a very rare occasion when your heroes are killed by your opponent instead of by your own hand.

4) Fight Order - I change fight order corresponding to what I am attacking. Simple stuff like putting Elves/Wizards up front when attacking fliers (esp neutral city fliers). Intermediate level is putting Elementals up front against anything because of their +3 combat bonus (and slow move) which reduces losses. In the early turns putting your strongest unit up front will lower your losses which means more units live which means faster expansion. Advanced things include fiddling with my own just for fun to give my opponent different 'looks'- so he will need to scout me to see where my heroes have gone or where my Dragons/Devils/Archons are etc. Many times you can prevent your own fliers from meeting enemy archers by adjusting your fight order.

5) Defense - Have strong defense in cities only as appropriate otherwise a couple of Lt Infantry is fine. The object here to assess what your city defense is meant for: (A) to defend vs. Bats or other scout units (B) to defend vs. good non-hero stacks (C) vs. hero stacks.

For (A) all you need is 1 or 2 Lt Infantry or 1 Pikeman/Dwarf. Having more accomplishes nothing, as even 32 Hv Infantry won't beat a good non-hero stack (Dragon/Siege/6 Spiders/Minotaurs/Demons all blessed).
For (B) you need at 8+ men with bonus's (city or stack or both), L6 walls and potentially a hero. If a strong enemy hero is nearby, don't put up a defense of type (B) as once again such a defense accomplishes nothing as the hero will smash it.
For (C) you require an Archon or Devil (ideally both and possibly a Unicorn) and a good hero plus and at least 10 more men of your own. Or 4 Ghosts and a horde of units (ideally Orcs).

Do not hesitate to raze a city to deny it to your enemy if you can't put up the right kind of defense needed. Better that no one has the city than your opponent does especially if the city has valuable production.

6) Vectoring - If I capture a city, it'll take 2 turns for my armies to get there by vectoring. (TIMED ONLINE TURN ONLY - So I'll take it out with a few seconds left to give my opponent essentially only 1 turn to get there as he'll have almost no time to react that turn). Similarly if you are about to attack a city which I've owned for 2 turns with your hero, assume the worst and I have all my Ghosts/Spiders/Minotaurs/Pegasi etc there and vectoring in.

Move your vector points frequently. Don't spend multiple turns walking across the map. Slower units (Pikeman/Dwarves and potentially up to 12 move units like Hv Infantry/Medusa) especially should be vectoring and not walking. I often have 1-2 cities of Pikeman vector units for defense only and after 1-2 turns I move the vector to another city allowing the defender to leave once the vectored units arrive. Units that take 2+ turns to make should be micro-managed so that on the 'off' turns they aren't using up 1 of your 4 vectors to a front line city (non-front line doesn't matter). A couple of times I have had 8 spiders vector to 1 city by alternating the vectors so that 4 Spiders arrive a turn.

7) Army Set/Production - Have production that can cope with any enemy production and ANY situation/map. Avoid penalties and redundancy in your production until late game or you have lots of cities (ie do not buy a 2nd Pegasi before getting a 1st Medusa or a 1st Siege unit). Do not let your overall game strategy/play rely on getting a certain type of production. Learn to adjust to minor flaws/deficiencies that come with every map/game situation. If you really use Pegasi heavily in your game strategy, make a point of building them early so you have them. Don't hesitate to pillage cities early of production you won't use/need for a long time (Elementals/Pikemen/Dwarves) if ever (Elephants on a map with little/no open terrain). The goal is to be one step ahead of your opponent on production (first to get Pegasi, first to get siege, first to get dragons etc).

8) Quests (Beta4+) - Quest often and as much as you can. In DLR there were different quest types (easy/medium/hard) available. Until we see Beta4+ its hard to write about which to take and when but know that Quests were more important that just about anything else (as they were in War2). DLR/War2 only allowed 1 active quest, not sure if Warbarons will do that or 1 per hero. Depending on what's allowed that will determine what gets written about questing in that regard.

9) Game Stage - Know the stages of the game (Early, Middle, Late) and learn to recognize the transition from one to another and prepare/act accordingly. The early game features expansion against neutrals and ruin searching and typically lasts from turns 1-20. The middle game features consolidation of cities and production and war with 1-2 opponents and typically lasts from turns 15-30. The late game features showdowns between strong heroes, well defended cities and lots of strong stacks and is typical from turn 30+. By knowing where the game is you'll know what you can and can't do. For example in the early game a couple of bats can often sneak in and raze and enemy city or two or your hero can catch an enemy hero with only 1 army and kill him. This can cripple an opponent early and allow you to finish them off before anyone else is the wiser. At the same time your own hero can travel lightly in order to win the race to ruins. In the middle game if you are the first with a new production type (Pegasi/Siege etc) or get Devil/Dragon/Archon allies be prepared to use it ASAP to take full advantage while you can before everyone has them. You'd be surprised how many people have woefully underpowered hero stacks in the late game.

10) Bonus's - Finally, the key component of the game: combine bonuses. Non-hero stacks apply pressure and can do equal or more damage than hero stacks. I remember once DrDommo's super hero stack attacked a 8 non-hero stack of mine, and I didn't even take a loss. Understand all the bonus's (positive, negative, hero, fortify (city walls), terrain) and know what cancels each one. Understand that bonus's don't stack so having 2 Pegasi or 2 Dragons or 2 Devils in a stack is pointless and that you should split such units off into other stacks.

KGB
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Re: ten Warbarons commandments

Postby strach » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:28 pm

The thing which interest me the most in these commandments you posted is the question of production. As I wrote – I plunder almost everything that can give me gold and use it to buy heroes with good allies which I use along with HvI. This is a really good strategy at the early stages which enable you to spread out as fast as you can – which is my number one goal. But as the game progresses your opponents which have chosen quite the opposite path (producing all these 2 and 3 turners) – are becoming more powerful and if you lose a hero or two – you are stuck with tons of castles protected only by weak (in such case) HvI. Recently I won a game on 8K without having almost anything except HvI (plus good heroes), but that doesn’t always work that way – so there is a point at which I have to modify my strategy at start thinking about buying some better production (there’s another reason to do that – at late stages it is really hard to win enemy cities with HvI – since even with +4 bonus it has only strength of 7). So the thing which I’m thinking most right now is how to master my strategy by choosing the right time to buy production and the right type of it. Of course the advice you gave that you have to have a whole range of different units is an obvious one – but good only for maps like West Illuria – when you have plenty of gold. Most of the time I cant afford buying 2 types of units in 1 game (i.e. spiders and pegasi or pegasi and catapult).

The other interesting thing is “fiddling with fight order”. There are some easy traps (come near a city with a good “in field” hero stack hidden under an orc or elf), and some which you can employ against better opponents (recently I did a nice one: came near the city with a stack of orcs – he checked what was in it and killed it, then I did it again – he checked it and killed, then I did it again – this time he didn’t check it – maybe he thought I didn’t know what I was doing – and he lost his stack). But that’s a good advice to constantly change your fight order so your opponent never knows what kind of armies do you have. Got to think about it.
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Re: ten Warbarons commandments

Postby KGB » Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:37 pm

Strach,

I suspect much of what you, me and others do in Beta3 (pillage, buy HvI and wait for gobs of heroes) won't translate to Bet4 and beyond. That's why the commandment talks in more general terms about production as opposed to doing something specific. Typically I buy Pegasi first, Medusa second and Siege third when I am going to buy a bonus unit and don't have any yet. But obviously that's not set in stone.

The transition you spoke of (HvI to better units) is basically commandment #8. In some games (like the 8K game you referenced) you won't need to do much transition. In other games you will definitely need to do so. Getting better at this part of the game requires lots of experience. The more you play, the more you get a feel for knowing which games will require you making better units and which won't. So much depends on the game (1v1 or a large FFA or a team game), your heroes, your opponents heroes, your city/army total relative to theirs, what production you know they have vs what you know you have etc. Players just need to be aware that there are 3 different stages of a game that require different short term goals / tactics. Since Beta4 promises more gold (plus disbanding unwanted armies) and fewer heroes, in theory we'll all have more money to spend on production upgrades.

The other thing is that if you lose a couple of heroes you won't be as badly stuck in Beta4 and beyond in terms of HvI defense. That's because as part of commandment #5 you'll self-raze anything you can't keep. Right now if you have 3 cities and 12 men you often end up with 4 in each which lets the opponent take them 1 at a time with out a lot of risk. With self-raze you'll stick 12 in 1 city and raze the others forcing the opponent to tackle a much more difficult city. This gives you a chance to get back in the game.

KGB
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Re: ten Warbarons commandments

Postby kenc80 » Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:38 pm

i saw that post by Hugh over at your place. is he really back? is it the same guy? I wish he played PBEM. however, with the simultaneous team turns here in B4, I wonder if he would consider trying it.
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Re: ten Warbarons commandments

Postby Moonknight » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:08 pm

I wonder how team play affects the commandments...Scouting is of less importance (and the burden can be shared).
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Re: ten Warbarons commandments

Postby Moonknight » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:40 pm

Wanted to bump this thread up for new players...
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Re: ten Warbarons commandments

Postby tabanli » Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:49 pm

I think Hugh's commands were very important when maps were large and people fighting decent. Which means that everybody was slowly developing for the epic hero battle or critical invasion. Then the destructive warfare began and Hugh's 7'th command was no longer valid. (7) Army Set/Production - Have production that can cope with any enemy production and ANY situation/map). Map became the most important parameter in the game besides the skills and expertise.

You have to have your production, hero choice and strategy matching the map. You can't have one fits all.

Know the map, know the map, know the map.

In every map,there are some units that I need. I never plunder them. In different maps, I need different units.

For example in Battlefield, I always plunder Eagles and Dwarfs and never plunder other 1 turn or 2 turn units. I always try to get an elephant early.
But in island games, I always plunder elephants and I never plunder Eagles and Dwarfs.

Obviously HI are the best defenders but if you invest on Heavy Infantry in the map 8 kingdom too much, you will soon bankrupt be cause of the upkeep. So every map is different.

WARLORDS DLR NOTES:
Bugra was the first to figure out that in a medium map with no island, you can start with Elephant, Liche, Siege Engine, Elven Cavalary and send it towards the enemy capital. You will either capture the capital by the turn 5 or force your enemy to stop expanding and return back. This was the equivalent to L2-L3 Barbarian rush.

Then Glod of Glod figured out that you really don't need the capital. He started with 10-15 Elven Cavalry+7 Peasants and send towards enemy land. Suddenly you have small troops coming from everywhere. You can have his capital but he will get everything else. He beat me, bugra, hugh the hand, irish hand and pretty much everybody else in the board.

Then Wooger figured out that you don't need big bonus units (Dragons) at all. You just need to gather small bonus units very fast.

But if you are playing an Island game, non of the strategies above will work. Everybody will have sufficient time to develop defense and the better Hero stack will force the game.
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