Need advice for Drakes on Small maps

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5dPZ
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Need advice for Drakes on Small maps

Post by 5dPZ »

I need some advice for drakes on small to medium sized maps for MP play.

Please restrict this discussion to maps range from Isar (small end) to Clash (medium end). I hardly play any maps bigger than Clash.

Here's dilamma I have for drakes:

Pros of drake: high mobility, high attack.
high mobility: this hardly work on small maps, there is hard anywhere to run, or anywhere to hide.
high attack: again, on small maps, good players tend to Zoc their units well, so drakes have problem making a kill without good luck.

Cons of drake: low def, high cost, no village holder, no water units
low def: easy to kill, any drake with 3 open slot or even 2 sometimes can be killed by enemy.
high cost: while drakes are getting killed easily, it's hard to replace them - in a economical way.
no village holder: can't defend my villages means loss of money. That's not good. Especially when all units are expensive.
no water unit: gives drake some disaventages, esp on small maps.

When I use drake (again, on small maps), I tend to go into a bad cycle
No where to run - got forced into a fight
low def - drakes get killed;
high cost - get outnumbered;
no village holder - lose villages -- end of game.

This loop feed back on itself. So I usually can't turn the table like I would if I use other factions. because drake simply can't hold the ground once the things turn bad. It goes into a bad loop.

Also, when I have normal luck, when I manage to kill a couple units. I can easily lose 1 or 2 units during enemy's retaliate attack due to drake's low def and sauron's low hp, and thus have a disadventage on gold count.

The irony is that the best counter for drakes (that I see people recruiting when they are fighting drakes) are often the cheapest units of the faction:

Loyalist: spearman (14g), merman (14g), archer (15g, soon to be 14g).
Rebel: fighter (14g), archer (17g), shaman (15g)
Dwarf: thunders (17g), poacher (14g), thief (13g), guard (19g)
Undead: adept (16g), skeletons (14g, 15g), ghoul (16g)
Orc: grunt (12g), goblin (8g), archer (14g)

We can see that compared with the price of drake and saurons, most of those units are cheap - TOO cheap (or we say drakes are too expensive).

So far, almost all game I won with drake on small maps are either due to extreme luck, or newbie enemy. There is hardly any wins if my enemy has a good idea how to fight drake.

Please give me some advice. I don't think a faction should automatically lose on small maps.

Velensk
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Re: Need advice for Drakes on Small maps

Post by Velensk »

Use many saurians. They have good defence on most terrains and resistance to the peiricing that drakes are weak to. Also the skirmishing ability/magic/healing is very usefull on smaller maps. Saurians also cost less than drakes and can hold some types of villages.
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5dPZ
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Re: Need advice for Drakes on Small maps

Post by 5dPZ »

Velensk wrote:Use many saurians. They have good defence on most terrains and resistance to the peiricing that drakes are weak to. Also the skirmishing ability/magic/healing is very usefull on smaller maps. Saurians also cost less than drakes and can hold some types of villages.
The thing about saurons is that they are STILL more expensive than most units they are fighting. And they die very easily, thus I will lose in the economical way sooner or later.

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Re: Need advice for Drakes on Small maps

Post by Yogibear »

As you pointed out right, drakes need to be able to rely on their mobility as that is an essential part of the general drake strategy (hit and run). From that it follows directly that if drakes lose this advantage due to small maps, they are not balanced anymore. This is one of the reasons why every mp developer will tell you that isar's is not well balanced, especially for drakes. It matches exactly what you experienced.

Clash on the other hand has a lot more space to use, sufficient enough for drakes to be played well. If you have difficulties there, you should post a replay and we can give you some more specific advice.
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jb
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Re: Need advice for Drakes on Small maps

Post by jb »

As Yogibear pointed out, Isar's is not a balanced map and the factions will not be balanced for that map. Isar's is only included in the game to avoid riots were it to be removed. That being said, don't be afraid to literally hug the edge hexes of the map until ToD turns in your favor.


Again as Yogibear pointed out, clash should have no problems. I noticed in one of your defeat cycles you wrote:
no village holder - lose villages -- end of game.
This is not true. You can easily run away and give up a few vills for a turn or two, wait for better ToD, then reclaim those vills.
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5dPZ
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Re: Need advice for Drakes on Small maps

Post by 5dPZ »

jb wrote:As Yogibear pointed out, Isar's is not a balanced map and the factions will not be balanced for that map. Isar's is only included in the game to avoid riots were it to be removed. That being said, don't be afraid to literally hug the edge hexes of the map until ToD turns in your favor.


Again as Yogibear pointed out, clash should have no problems. I noticed in one of your defeat cycles you wrote:
no village holder - lose villages -- end of game.
This is not true. You can easily run away and give up a few vills for a turn or two, wait for better ToD, then reclaim those vills.
I am not refering to only Isar, but other small maps in general (ex. Moritori etc).

Giving up villages is ok for a couple of turns, but on small maps vs good players, they will take those villages in their favor of day, and fall back to their own villages in my favor of day (but not giving their own villages up), so it's still risky to assault their villages. The result is that they occupy my villages for 2 turns per day while I can't occupy theirs any time. Combined with their cheap units and my expensive ones, after a couple days, we don't even need to fight to see who's going to win.

Velensk
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Re: Need advice for Drakes on Small maps

Post by Velensk »

The saurian advice I gave you was for isar's cross. I assure you that if you play correctly drakes are not underpowered on most small 1vs1 maps. It's not the simplest thing to explain it'd be easier to demonstrate. Would you happen to be available for a match sometime tomorrow on the 1.5 server?
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svek
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Re: Need advice for Drakes on Small maps

Post by svek »

This discussion seems mostly over by now, but I'll just add something anyways...

(And I'll assume it mostly concerns Isar (and Morituri, but I'm not that familiar with that one) - you shouldn't really have these problems on other maps...)
5dPZ wrote: Giving up villages is ok for a couple of turns, but on small maps vs good players, they will take those villages in their favor of day, and fall back to their own villages in my favor of day (but not giving their own villages up), so it's still risky to assault their villages. The result is that they occupy my villages for 2 turns per day while I can't occupy theirs any time. Combined with their cheap units and my expensive ones, after a couple days, we don't even need to fight to see who's going to win.
If this is what happens, you're being way too passive... If they hold your villages for 2 turns you should be getting kills when they're retreating.
As drakes on Isar you defend mostly by threatening to kill things, not by holding terrain. You can't really afford to be passive, either.

And fwiw I mostly disagree with the saurian advice. Against anything but loyalists skirmishers aren't a very good buy (IMHO, at least) - one should be plenty (I personally usually don't bother to get one at all). Augurs are good, though.

cmonyiman
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Re: Need advice for Drakes on Small maps

Post by cmonyiman »

I'd also like to add that Isar's Cross and Morituri are 2v2, if both of you choose random, you get ~1/36 chance of getting 2 drakes. It is known that having 2 same factions on this kind of map gives you certain disadvantage, so it is not only for drakes but generally speaking. Now, suppose your ally isn't drake. Then you don't get disadvantaged at all, you could even be advantaged. In these situations all you need to do is a small teamwork.

Radament
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Re: Need advice for Drakes on Small maps

Post by Radament »

My advice would be: extensive use of your leader. On small maps they get into combat more often and have incredible damage output per hex. A slasher can, under given circumstances, gobble up a spearman in one attack, if i recall correctly.

But really, instead of playing isars you could as well roll dice and see who wins.

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Re: Need advice for Drakes on Small maps

Post by Doc Paterson »

Radament wrote: But really, instead of playing isars you could as well roll dice and see who wins.
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Argo
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Re: Need advice for Drakes on Small maps

Post by Argo »

Radament wrote: But really, instead of playing isars you could as well roll dice and see who wins.
you cant be more wrong.

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Re: Need advice for Drakes on Small maps

Post by Turuk »

Argo wrote:you cant be more wrong.
Good thing you provided a detailed and reasonable response then.
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silent
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Re: Need advice for Drakes on Small maps

Post by silent »

I can really only provide you general advice but I feel this should help you

1. I didn't see you mention anything about drake gliders so I'll state the obvious. Don't recruit them at all because they aren't needed on small maps. For 1 gold extra, drake fighters, especially if they're quick but even normal fighters will do just fine as scouts and prove to be a difficult unit to take down.

2. Drakes have the most terrible defensive bonuses on any terrain, of all the factions. Therefore you should force your opponent to fight you on open ground while you occupy terrain which they could use for a better defensive bonus. Holding this terrain will help you land those massive blows the drakes are so good at handing out to opponents if they can land them. If you're playing on any sort of map with a specific dominant terrain other than grassland, don't play that map as you'll most likely lead yourself to slaughter. This advice is especially important against the knalgan alliance as the outlaws will prove extremely difficult to hit outside grassland.

3. This is probably just personal preference, but I think your leader should be the drake flare, or if you play age of heroes, drake flameheart. That way, if you are besieged, you'll at least get an extra 25% damage bonus for your lower leveled drakes.

Hope this helps

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