Knalgan vs Loyalists

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Knalgan vs Loyalists

Postby batoonike » January 11th, 2018, 4:29 pm

This is triggered by someone saying that one of the more troublesome match-ups is Knalgan vs Loyalists. Which one is considered to be in better position on standard maps and why? Any tips for either race? I've read the general how to play guides of both but these are super generic. It basically says that knalgans need to make a bunch of thunderers.
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Re: Knalgan vs Loyalists

Postby Krogen » January 11th, 2018, 7:01 pm

That someone was probably me, i said it somewhere not long ago.
In short, Loyalists vs Knalgans is the worst matchup ever, because Loyalists have a decisive advantage against the Knalgans. The main reason is that the Knalgans can't attack properly. The Loyalists will decide when and where the battle takes place, and the opponent can only answer to that.
Loyalists will rule the map. Both sides has 2 scout-like units: Horseman+Cavalryman vs Footpad+Gryphon Rider. Both in cost-effectiveness and actual power, the horses will dominate the birds and pads. Which means instantly after the start, the Knalgans are pushed back, they have to go defensive. Even if the defense is proper and the Loyals can't just run them over at second day, the dwarves with 4 or 5 mp will not be quick enough to launch a counter-attack during the night. The Loys will just retreat a bit and return next day all the same, probably supported by Mages by then. And Mages will break the line. Even in positioning before the battle the Loyalists are far better. They have these powerful horses with 8 and 9 mp. Even their core, the Spearman is quicker than most of the dwarvish forces. The outlaws can actually keep up with them, but they are not powerful enough to withstand an attack. Retreating isn't a good option either. Loys will just take the vills the Knalgans gave them and sit there. Knalgans are horrible in retaking villages.
Most of the time, the Knalgans will die a slow death. Only serious luck or fatal mistakes from the opponent can turn the tide.

Probably the most popular counter-argument is that Knalgans can go HODOR, problem solved, they can go offensive. And it's actually true, outlaws are quick and cheap enough for a good rush, they can gain enough advantage first night. But in competitive matches it's usually Random vs Random. And a good HODOR rush starts at turn 1, which means you have to know from the start what your opponent can bring to the table, to counter Loyalists. And let's say the opponent didn't get Loyalists, he got Northerners. End of story, you are doomed. To me, it's not a solution to go HODOR from turn 1 because MAYBE the opponent got Loyalists. You can counter one problem, but cause another, probably even bigger one. Imo it's not a good trade that you have a chance against Loyalists (just a chance, not advantage, Loy can still beat a HODOR rush), but in return, you almost instantly lose against Northerners and probably Rebels too.
If you go mix, then you'll not have enough outlaws to gain advantage during first night, and it's all the same.
Narrow maps might give some more chance to the Knalgans. But usually that's the only advantage of narrow maps, they are harmful for most other matchups.

That's my opinion about Loyalists vs Knalgans. And unfortunately i don't even have a good idea about any solutions.
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Re: Knalgan vs Loyalists

Postby Calm » Yesterday, 10:51 pm

Hi Krogen, I don't have a ton of experience with the matchup, but I guess I'm an instinctive arguer, ha.

It seems to me like while it's true that the Knalgans can't really attack well, Loyalists will have problems there too if the Knalgans play it right. While it's true that Loyalists can break Knalgan positions with mages, it will likely require *multiple* mages to kill a dwarf in one turn, which is prohibitively expensive to do with the escort to do so safely, and have enough units for map control.

In fact, I think the Knalgans struggle to attack in *all* matchups, and that this is part of their intended design. I think the idea is carefully place your dwarves in places that meet the magic balance of: far enough forward to be something of a threat, on hilly enough terrain to retaliate at advantage or at least parity, and far back enough that they can't be swarmed. Then at night, the outlaws do the "attacking," which in reality is just cleanup.
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Re: Knalgan vs Loyalists

Postby Velensk » Yesterday, 11:41 pm

The problem Krogen is describing is one of control rather than strictly being a matter of power or even strictly offense.

It's not even that knalgans cannot attack loyalists under the right conditions, it's that when both players are playing well, the knalgan can never expect to be in position to create those correct conditions. Whereas although loyalists need specific conditions to break knalgan defenses, they can achieve those conditions very reliably. Loyalists don't need to break knalgan positions quickly, they simply need to be able to exert enough pressure that knalgans have to stay far enough back that attacking is never practical. At this point, they can afford to save up for whatever tools they need and dismantle dwarves defenses piecemeal. On most maps, this isn't too hard for the loyalists to achieve this before knalgans reach a sufficient number of guardsmen that they stop having to retreat as far back to not be slaughtered at day (and even then, the loyalists still have a lot more flexibility).

I would argue that the undead vs knalgans matchup is still a more problematic match-up but Krogan's points are very valid.
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Re: Knalgan vs Loyalists

Postby Krogen » Today, 1:52 am

Exactly.
I used to be a big UD vs Rebel and UD vs Knalgans hater, but now i see it differently. I'll focus on the latter, since not everybody agrees if the first one even has problems, and i don't want to start that argument, not here. While UD has a hard time against Knalgans, there is one thing that can be said for sure: they can attack, they can take the initiative. They can make things happen, even when ulfs are nearby. They can be threating enough to at least put the Knalgans on the defensive for the night. So if the Knalgans don't attack them, they can certainly expect a counter or at least some pressure.
Meanwhile in Loys vs Knalga, thats not the case. If the Knalgans don't prepare for a Hodor rush (which is not a right strategy against a random opponent), there is just no hope for them to even threaten a Loyalist player, who's playing properly. Yes, their defense will be stronger and stronger, but they can only wait for the inevitable, the Loyalist offensive. As said above, they can't create the right conditions for an attack worth trying.
That's why i consider it the worst matchup. I've played both and i would certainly go with the UD vs Knalga rather than the Loys vs Knalga. Even when im Knalga against UD and i have the advantage i have that thought in my head: "If i don't make this happen, my opponent will." When im Loy against Knalga, that just disappers. I know i can plan this out the way i want to. Ofc i can't do everything, i can't wait for eternity, because a Guardsman wall is indeed a pain. But the battle will take place whenever and wherever i decide to, that's guaranteed. And to me, that's the biggest possible advantage.
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Re: Knalgan vs Loyalists

Postby ElderofZion » Today, 6:44 am

How often do you see knalga vs loyalist won for knalga compared to ud vs elves or ud vs knalga won for ud? Exactly, some don't remember ever seeing knalga win this or remember some old game while it is not as radical for the other 2 matchups.

I did win it a few times (like... 3?) but lost way, way more and the biggest problem for knalga are 2 units: horsemen and fencers. Obviously spamming these 2 units exclusively is not very likely to win you the game but they give loyalist all the tools to break any defense, except the most carefully prepared, campy and full of thunderers and guards defense. And you will still need luck to defend against a strong loyal dwarf slayer force if the loyal doesnt spam a lot of spears and instead invest in more offensive units.

Fencers can create a lot of chaos in dwarf line and they can bypass campy dwarf positions threatening to take villages and trap units, they also can kill ulfs at day. Horsemen will give loyalist as much damage output as he needs to kill thunderers on hills or guards with mages help, and definitely any unit standing on flat at day. Mages also could be considered problematic units but they are fragile, take retal from thunderers, are countered by ulfs and you will need some time to get the gold to recruit a lot of them, they are known to not be a very cost efficient unit.

Fundamentally the crushing advantage of loyal is the insane damage output it can field against dwarf and all dwarf can do is to sit and wait for the punishment to come, fencers can slip by the dwarf defensive line, backstabbing units and creating chaos, and dealing with them using dwarf's relatively poor damage output for the unit cost is not easy unless you have survived rush and have a big thunderer, guard and ulf army, this combined with the damage output of horsemen, mages or even spears makes defending extremely hard.
However if your are extremely persistent and loyal is very defensive, you can make a huge dwarf army which is very difficult to crack, then you can attack and actually win and its not that hard, but it has only happened to me ever once.
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