How to play Drakes

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Wintermute
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Post by Wintermute »

anakayub wrote:On maps like weldyn channel, using all flying can allow you to overcome zoc and kill the adepts by outflanking via the channel (even after the changes, though it's more difficult). This strategy would be more difficult on a map like onis (less room to maneuver), and here I'd agree to use skirmishers. Gold is a factor as well, as on a small map like Isar's you don't have a lot of gold, and being gold efficient becomes very important.
I largely agree with anakayub's point that saurian use is map dependent. As he points out, on maps like Weldyn Channel using flyers to exploit your mobility advantage is a viable strategy. Here is a replay.
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Re: How to play Drakes

Post by Guo-Jia »

This topic seems to have been dead for quite some time now, and even though I don't consider myself an expert in this game I don't think everything has been said about "How to play drakes." I haven't been playing with drakes for long... but I think I noticed a few things.

First of all, drakes are all about specialization. This is true for all factions, but it's especially important for drakes, since drakes are so expensive. If you make a mistake in recruitment it may take quite a while until you can correct that mistake...
There are three big issues related to this:
1. The balance of saurians and drakes. This will affect who do you attack, when and where do you attack; in short it's extremely important. I often see people lose because they didn't use any saurians, and sometimes because they used them too much.
2. The balance of different kinds of drakes. This mainly means the balance between Burners, Gliders and Clashers/Fighters. Pretty easy, this one, but sometimes you see people losing because of recruiting too much of one of these. It just leaves you open for counters, for example if you lack in melee power you might be trampled by horsemen.
3. The differense between clashers and fighters. I think this one has been touched before, but it cannot be overemphasised. Fighters are for mobility and clashers hit harder and can also soak more damage.

Secondly, drakes are all about keeping your units alive. A drake burner worth 21g is *not* a sacrifice, never. Since drakes are more expensive than most other units (and they also hit harder), a single unit of this faction is more important than a single unit of some other faction, for example a Northener unit. Saurians, being a bit cheaper are also a bit more expendable, but it should be kept in mind that if you decide to view saurians in this way they are as agood as dead, being so weak.
This has two big implications.
1. Drakes are all about tactics. You have less units to spread over large are, and their weaknesses are also pretty easy to exploit. This stresses tactics over strategy.
2. Drakes are alla about waiting. Again, your units die with relative ease, so you should be the one deciding when and where to attack. If this means sitting on your villages, so be it, as long as it leads to victory.

Now I realise these aren't any grand stratagems, but I personally find it helpful to keep these in mind.

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Re: How to play Drakes

Post by 5dPZ »

I agree with most of wut Guo-Jia said.

And more about Saurian/Drake balance from my personal experience (which could be incorrect):

I tend to recruit less saurians (none or a few) when fighting chaotic factions (aka, orcs and undead), because they are just weak all time fighting them being in the same alignment. If I buy them, I mainly use them for their special (healing, skimisher) rather than their attacking power.

Saurians are more useful fighting with loyalists; because in almost all situations, lawful drakes are no match to loyalist piercing army any time (night included). So saurian can actually give drake the fire power to do offense at night.

The same theory works for rebel (treated as half-lawful) and dwarf (half chaotic).

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Pentarctagon
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Re: How to play Drakes

Post by Pentarctagon »

5Dpz wrote:If I buy them, I mainly use them for their special (healing, skimisher) rather than their attacking power.
it is unusual for saurians to ever be bought solely for their attacking power because, well, they physically aren't that strong.
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Re: How to play Drakes

Post by 5dPZ »

Pentarctagon wrote:
5Dpz wrote:If I buy them, I mainly use them for their special (healing, skimisher) rather than their attacking power.
it is unusual for saurians to ever be bought solely for their attacking power because, well, they physically aren't that strong.
They are quite powerful for drake-drake, drake-rebel and drake-loyalist in terms of attacking power.

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Re: How to play Drakes

Post by palloco »

Guo-Jia wrote:Secondly, drakes are all about keeping your units alive. A drake burner worth 21g is *not* a sacrifice, never.
Units eventually die. How you let them die is what will decide the outcome of the game. Sacrifices can be useful, no matter how expensive is the unit.
Guo-Jia wrote:1. Drakes are all about tactics. You have less units to spread over large are, and their weaknesses are also pretty easy to exploit. This stresses tactics over strategy.
Overemphasizing tactics over strategy usually leads to economical defeat. Especially with drakes.

Guo-Jia wrote:2. Drakes are alla about waiting. Again, your units die with relative ease, so you should be the one deciding when and where to attack. If this means sitting on your villages, so be it, as long as it leads to victory.
Drakes are all about mobility. Opportunities will not come by waiting.

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Pentarctagon
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Re: How to play Drakes

Post by Pentarctagon »

5Dpz wrote:They are quite powerful for drake-drake, drake-rebel and drake-loyalist in terms of attacking power.
while saurian augers are somewhat powerful against drakes because of their cold attack, the skirmishers pierce doesn't get a bonus (unless they are strong) due to the fact that their base damage is only 4. then at the same time, they are weak to almost any type of retalitory attacks that they take from the drakes (assuming that the clasher uses it's blade attack and not it's pierce attack).
saurians are not powerful against elves because a) woses b) fighters have a blade attack that has the same number of strikes and one more damage c) no unit is weak to cold and d) a mage and a saurian auger deal the same amount of damage to each other at night.
saurians are useful against loyalist cavalry, particularly horsemen, since they have a charge pierce attack and are weak to pierce. while saurians use pierce and are 20% resistant to pierce as well as having better dodge. also, there are usually a decent amount of spearmen, which also use pierce attacks.
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chaoticwanderer
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Re: How to play Drakes

Post by chaoticwanderer »

^Yes, but Pent, the thing is, if the Drake player is on the offensive, he gets to chose the engagements, to an extent. (Relating to Drakes v. Rebels) Ideally, they would target mages and/or with skirmishers, and target fighters with augers. But obviously, everything depends on the map, units on hand and all those other factors.
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Re: How to play Drakes

Post by Pentarctagon »

hey, good to see you on the forums choaticwanderer. :D
choaticwanderer wrote: if the Drake player is on the offensive, he gets to chose the engagements, to an extent.
Usually the person who is on the offensive gets to choose the engagement, regardless of which faction they are playing as.
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silent
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Re: How to play Drakes

Post by silent »

Pentarctagon wrote:
5Dpz wrote:They are quite powerful for drake-drake, drake-rebel and drake-loyalist in terms of attacking power.
while saurian augers are somewhat powerful against drakes because of their cold attack, the skirmishers pierce doesn't get a bonus (unless they are strong) due to the fact that their base damage is only 4. then at the same time, they are weak to almost any type of retalitory attacks that they take from the drakes (assuming that the clasher uses it's blade attack and not it's pierce attack).
saurians are not powerful against elves because a) woses b) fighters have a blade attack that has the same number of strikes and one more damage c) no unit is weak to cold and d) a mage and a saurian auger deal the same amount of damage to each other at night.
saurians are useful against loyalist cavalry, particularly horsemen, since they have a charge pierce attack and are weak to pierce. while saurians use pierce and are 20% resistant to pierce as well as having better dodge. also, there are usually a decent amount of spearmen, which also use pierce attacks.
No, no, no

Saurian skirmishers are awesome against rebels. Any rebel player who gets either woses or mages against a drake player is throwing gold away, since both are so easily killed by the drake player. They're very good at resisting archers, killing scouts, killing merman hunters and can hold well in several terrains.

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Pentarctagon
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Re: How to play Drakes

Post by Pentarctagon »

for woses, that is probably true and a bad statement on my part. however, for mages it is not as true partially because mages have better movement than woses and partially because they are not weak to fire. whenever i am fighting drakes, i usually make one mage for the saurians. i have the archers swarm a drake or two with ranged attacks, attack the saurians with my mage and then finish them off with elf fighters. during the day, a mage can actually kill a saurian in one turn with 10-3, and even at night 6-3 magical against a unit that usually doesnt get close to 30 hp but gets 60% dodge on most terrains is definitely useful.
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csarmi
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Re: How to play Drakes

Post by csarmi »

There is an easy counter to skirmishers by rebels. Fighters, fighters, and fighters. Simply put, the same works as vs the dragons.

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Re: How to play Drakes

Post by Velensk »

I wouldn't say that elvish fighters are the counter to drakes. Drakes resist blade and have enough hp that fighters are unlikely to kill them quickly and very likely to get hurt from retal. They do work fine on saurians, but only if the saurians arn't in good terrain. At night saurians do have the magical firepower to push elves out of good terrain if they can flank them (and skirmishers makes flanking fairly easy), however they do not have the durability to survive much counter attack unless they are in cover or are covered by drakes afterward.

Archers are good at killing most drakes (especialy if dex) but die to them very easily unless in cover or at night. Archers are not so good at removing saurians from good ground. A mage is extreamly good at removing saurians from cover, but is next to useless against drakes and very expensive/vulnerable.
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Re: How to play Drakes

Post by silent »

I'd agree with csarmi in regards to saurian solutions

Fighters for burners and saurians
Archers for everything else

Mages are far too vulnerable to justify a recruit, given the drake's mobility, and the fact that unless whatever goes to protect them is hiding in a forest, will probably be crushed in the mage's place. I would also dislike the idea of trading a 20g unit for a 15g unit too, given the saurian has skirmisher, and can quite easily sneak round to take down the mage.

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Re: How to play Drakes

Post by Pentarctagon »

silent wrote:Mages are far too vulnerable to justify a recruit, given the drake's mobility, and the fact that unless whatever goes to protect them is hiding in a forest, will probably be crushed in the mage's place. I would also dislike the idea of trading a 20g unit for a 15g unit too, given the saurian has skirmisher, and can quite easily sneak round to take down the mage.
a single saurian cannot take down a mage in one turn, even if it's night. also, i am not talking about trading a 20 gold for 15 gold. if they attack during the day, then the saurians are going to be at a disadvantage and can be one turn KOed. if they attack during the night, then the drakes are going to be at a disadvantage. also, the drakes 30% dodge compared to at least 50%, and up to 70%, from the elves is pretty significant. and if there are no saurians or it's not worth the risk, i simply retreat the mage and wait until next time. mobility only goes so far against a strong defensive line.
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