Undead Cookbook - A Strategy Guide for My Brother

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UK1
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Undead Cookbook - A Strategy Guide for My Brother

Post by UK1 »

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Last edited by UK1 on January 24th, 2010, 5:42 am, edited 6 times in total.
"Hey you, bats should be nerfed."
"Why?"
"Because I lost a game to bat swarm and I'm bitterUhm... clarity... and... consistency? Yeah yeah that sounds good. Clarity and consistency."
Do not. Nerf. The bat.
Yoyobuae
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Re: Undead Cookbook - A Strategy Guide for My Brother

Post by Yoyobuae »

No bats?

Do not understimate the power of bats to threaten enemy villages, forcing enemy units on village guarding duties instead of being on the field.

I don't think I've ever seen any good player neglect bats, in any matchup.
Eskon
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Re: Undead Cookbook - A Strategy Guide for My Brother

Post by Eskon »

The smaller the maps and the more ghosts, the more you can do without bats, but I tend to agree. It's hardly possible to boil any matchup down to recruiting just three units, even if one of those units is the all-purpose awesome dark adept.

I think overall your brother or anyone will learn more by trying out each unit and realizing their strengths and weaknesses. But it's a good start to realize the standard dynamics.
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bumbadadabum
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Re: Undead Cookbook - A Strategy Guide for My Brother

Post by bumbadadabum »

To make it even more like cooking, I also don't completely follow a recipe. Good guide, but I will add something I like.
UK1
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Joined: January 4th, 2010, 7:34 pm

Re: Undead Cookbook - A Strategy Guide for My Brother

Post by UK1 »

Yea I have thought about bats. But the cake guide is not about map strategy, it is about fighting specific factions. Bats are less of a faction-relative strategy and more of a map-relative strategy. That is why I chose to leave them out. I also mentioned that you could add things if you wanted to. This includes bats. I will address bats later when addressing map strategy because, in my opinion, that is where they fit into best.

Edit: I just wanted to elaborate actually. The second chapter addresses what units you should use to fight which factions. In fact I think that was well disclaimed. Bats are not used to fight factions and there is no varying strategy as per the faction that you are up against. They are scouts. You take villages with them. Occasionally they serve a martial purpose (e.g. trapping enemy troops) but for the most part they are a non-martial unit. The second chapter is purely martial. It would be stupid to say "Take villages with bats" in each "Recipe Explained" section for every single faction in regards to vampire bats. It is just a waste of time when I can address it later. I can assume that 90% of even the new players reading this know what bats do. And frankly, it is one hundred percent possible to win without bats. Especially on some very common maps such as clash (partly effected by which player you are) or Castle hopping, or even Forest of Fear, Morituri and Weldyn Channel. In fact, weighing the benefits of bats vs buying good defending/attacking units bats sometimes hardly pay for themselves! If you had an extra 2g or 3g after the bat you could have recruited a skeleton or ghoul. What if the opponent decides to attack your villages that the bat took? Either you divert your army or there goes your economy that you adore so much. You have to weigh the costs and benefits of bats a lot... they may seem like a shoe in but they aren't always. But I will try to take into account what you said when I write the part of the book that actually includes bats. And no. They are not fundamental to undead. They are an auxiliary unit.

Just to re-emphasize: Bats are not a one size fits all unit. It I tell people to recruit bats on dwarves what happens if they follow this for Isars where bats are almost useless? So that there is NO MISUNDERSTANDING: Bats are useful as per the maps they are on, NOT as per the faction they are up against thus they were not included in chapter two, the cake guide.

Eskon addressing your "No strategy can be boiled down to three units" thing. No. You're wrong. It definitely can. Loys when i get them up will require four, but your army shouldn't be a mess. If there are units that work well, use them. Don't use units for a unit's sake. For instance: take the Drake recipe. What else would you have me recruit? First of all bats are likely to get shot down... Skeletons? Oh for saurians right? Like adepts and archers can't take care of that just as well... Skeletons just get burned easily and that's about it... so no bats and no skellies what about ghosts? The ghost that takes a burner and a fighter to kill during daytime? And does relatively little damage compared to the 1.25 adepts it could have purchased. Yes it's mobile but does that really matter? It can't possibly engage til you have killed enemy burners which would mean you have already won. There's very little profitability in recruiting ghosts vs drakes. Oh i know walking corpses right? Nothing like a good ol zombie drake. It's just totally ludicrous to say that you can't recruit three types of units even though they do the job really well. I frown upon recruiting extra units for units sake when there is no need.
"Hey you, bats should be nerfed."
"Why?"
"Because I lost a game to bat swarm and I'm bitterUhm... clarity... and... consistency? Yeah yeah that sounds good. Clarity and consistency."
Do not. Nerf. The bat.
Caphriel
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Re: Undead Cookbook - A Strategy Guide for My Brother

Post by Caphriel »

I think you're pretty much wrong about how to play against Knalgans. That many ghosts and ghouls leaves you with very few units and very little damage dealing abilities. You'll get run over by a Knalgan using mostly outlaws and a few ulfs and gryphons. All three of your units are ulfable during the day, and are vulnerable to backstab always, and considering that you're using the three most expensive units the undead can field, you're not going to have enough units to prevent backstab with ZoC.

I also think you're overestimating the number of HI a loyalist player will use against the undead. Many loyalist players will use none and will use exclusively mages for skeleton killing. Generally against the loyalists an undead needs more skeleton archers than skeletons, because the loyalist will field a good amount of cavalry, which resist blade and cold, but are weak against pierce.

On the topic of bats, they're an excellent unit for killing mages, finishing off wounded units behind enemy lines, killing mages, filling hexes the enemy might want to use, killing mages, and killing mages. At night, of course. I'm exaggerating slightly, but they're the most maneuverable undead unit, and at night they're great for getting in that last bit of damage from that hex none of your other units can reach. Also, because they're level 0 and have no upkeep cost, they'll pay themselves back over time if you have more units than villages, and they're much better scouts than ghosts when it comes to seeing through the fog. I agree that you probably don't want to recruit bats in a ratio, but the undead player probably does want to have a couple on the field, or more depending on the map.

And don't bother worrying about Isar's Cross when writing general tips; Isar's Cross is known to be both different from other maps, and imbalanced/luck dependant/etc.

And where's the love for corpses? Plague is great against the drakes and dwarves, because zombies pick up the characteristics of the original unit. Perhaps you were unaware that drake zombies get 50% fire resistance?

I realize (or at least hope) that you're oversimplifying to make things easier for beginners, but you should make it clear that one recruiting pattern does not always fit each matchup. If you stick to your ratios while your opponent adapts and counter-recruits, you will lose almost every time. The Knalgan matchup is the most obvious, but I'm sure that recruit ratios could be developed for the opposing factions that will have an advantage over yours (Like a mage/cavalry/spearman/fencer loyalist army, that will maul your low-archer army during the day and escape easily at night). There's more than one way to play each matchup, and usually more than one way to respond to your opponent's actions, too. I respect what you're trying to do here and the amount of work you've put into it, but responding with aggression and sarcasm to input from more experienced players isn't going to improve your guide.
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wesfreak
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Re: Undead Cookbook - A Strategy Guide for My Brother

Post by wesfreak »

drakes resist impact, and are very mobile. they also do higher damage, in general. Walking corpses do impact, are slow and have very little hp. Also, undead in general are not mobile: these things make it very hard to catch a drake with a walking corpse, and also hard to zoc drakes (lack of mobility). I think it might be better to get half an adept than a walking corpse; and even if they are bought then the number of them would be too small to deserve a ratio.
5dPZ
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Re: Undead Cookbook - A Strategy Guide for My Brother

Post by 5dPZ »

Nice guide overall, but here's my 2 cent on unit recruit
Baked Alaska: Drakes
1/4 Ghoul (round up)
1/4 Archer (round down)
1/2 Dark Adept (base)
IMO, too many DA. DA is good vs drake, but it is too fragile. 50% DA is too many to protect from usually. I would down DA a bit, up Archer a bit with an occational skeleton.
Chocolate Cake: Undead V Undead
But nonetheless here is the recipe:
1/2 Adepts
1/2 Ghouls
Alternate recipe: (same idea though so it will be in the same cake recipe.)
1/2 Adepts (base)
1/4 Ghouls (round up)
1/4 Walking Corpses (round down)
A couple skeletons are also nice, just don't use them for defence.
Coffee Cake: Dealing with Dwarves
Let's face it: Dwarves can just ruin your day. They are quite nasty for skeletons and are resistant to most of what you can throw at them. Let's take a look:
1/3 ghosts (base)
1/3 adepts (round up)
1/3 ghouls (round down)
Too many ghosts. They won't hold vs dwarves. Down ghost and buy some skeletons.
Loyalists - Cheese Cake
Alright loyalists are odd to tackle as undead. You have great resistance to two of their main units (spearmen and archers) but they also have two main units that your main units are very weak against (HI and mages). It's really about finding the balance between taking advantage of your strengths against loyalists while avoiding their strengths against you. A general recipe could be:
1/4 Skeletons (round up)
1/4 Adepts (base)
1/4 Archers (round down2)
1/4 Ghouls (round down1)
This is pretty solid.

Nice job Uk, keep going
UK1
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Re: Undead Cookbook - A Strategy Guide for My Brother

Post by UK1 »

Caph (regarding the Knalgans)- You're right. Holy crap you're right. I need to tone that down. I was just going through the motions kind of in the calculation.
(regarding bats)- Yea I'm including them later on. I was kind of half joking about isars. I'm kind of aware about the luck imbalance.
(regarding walking corpses)- I devoted an entire section to them for vs undead. And I knew that they picked up the traits of the zombified unit in that they got the same kind of movement and terrain defense. I was totally unaware about the resistances. That is totally new to me.

Wesfreak - (regarding walking corpse) Well in regards to drakes I just feel they aren't worth the gold as you touched on. I don't know if you were responding to my joking about them or to Caphriel seriously recommending them. I like WC. I like their usefulness of course, but I'm hesitant to use them on drakes. That is just my stance.

5dPZ (regarding general Drakes) Yea hard to work that into the ratio. That just kinda falls under "Change the ratios according to taste and situation" I'm afraid. I already have so many side-blurbs that I'm hesitant to add another one addressing just how to swap out units in the ratios. I figure players will just do it. Also I like saturating my army with DA against drakes because you can just condense THEM and spread out your blockers so that you have very minimal casualties on the DA. IMO it is more important to make sure that you have enough DA to make them pay for an attack than it is to make sure you don't lose any. I think spreading out two ghouls and an archer out over two hexes each could cover it, but I'll probably add a side note to the effect of what you said.

(regarding skeletons vs undead) Uhm. IDK I can add it as an alternate strategy but I have never used skeletons against undead (unless it was from recruit) and I think it hurts more than helps, but you could be totally right. I'm perfectly open to adding new ratios. Just not sure how to write a strategy for it.

(regarding knalgans) yea I see that now and that's already been addressed by someone else. It's a problem I'm fixing it after this unnecessarily long post haha.

In a day or two I'll try and figure out a way to get links and separate threads. IDK if there is a rule regarding that whether it is restricted, banned, frowned upon or what have you. The 60,000 character limit seems prohibiting however. Worst comes to worst I make a McWebsite for it.
"Hey you, bats should be nerfed."
"Why?"
"Because I lost a game to bat swarm and I'm bitterUhm... clarity... and... consistency? Yeah yeah that sounds good. Clarity and consistency."
Do not. Nerf. The bat.
Caphriel
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Re: Undead Cookbook - A Strategy Guide for My Brother

Post by Caphriel »

Wesfreak: I tend to agree that they're not useful for offensive purposes. See below.

5dPZ: Too many adepts? Undead can go all adepts against drakes and win. I think he's got too many ghouls and archers, and not enough dark adepts. Also skeletons can be a good choice for finishing off burners, but not more than one or two. Keep in mind that the undead will never catch the drakes at night unless the drakes let them, so units that are effective during the day are a must. Skeleton archers do a puny 5-3 during the day; that's not going to scare off a burner. Better to use ghouls for blocking and DAs for counter attacking, maybe a skeleton or two if the drake has a lot of burners and you can't afford to wear down all your adepts attacking them.

On that note, corpses are useful as blockers during the day, especially when the drakes have more burners. Even if each burner kills a corpse when it attacks, that's a lot of damage it's not doing to something more expensive. The undead are going to take casualties during the day in most cases, and judicious use of walking corpses can reduce the damage taken. If it takes them two units to kill two corpses, or two units to kill one DA, you've lost the same amount of gold worth of units, but you weren't paying upkeep for the corpses, and the experience the drakes gained is spread out more. If they manage to plague a drake and you gain a higher-HP, fire resistant WC, that's just an added bonus. And if the drake player attacks your ghouls melee, and lets poison wear down his units in order to keep attacking, they become pretty easy corpse bait.

Again, I'm not saying that this strategy is always effective and that the undead should always have WCs against the drakes, just that they do have valid uses.

Ninja'd by UK1, but I don't think anything above needs to change. I'd already answered your question about why WCs...
Aha. Skeletons against the UD are good DA killers; they can pack more damage into a hex than corpses or ghouls can. They're also not bad against ghouls, at night. They give you more offensive power in exchange for defensive power, which is a tradeoff that each player needs to evaluate during each game.
5dPZ
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Re: Undead Cookbook - A Strategy Guide for My Brother

Post by 5dPZ »

Caphriel wrote:5dPZ: Too many adepts? Undead can go all adepts against drakes and win. I think he's got too many ghouls and archers, and not enough dark adepts. Also skeletons can be a good choice for finishing off burners, but not more than one or two. Keep in mind that the undead will never catch the drakes at night unless the drakes let them, so units that are effective during the day are a must. Skeleton archers do a puny 5-3 during the day; that's not going to scare off a burner. Better to use ghouls for blocking and DAs for counter attacking, maybe a skeleton or two if the drake has a lot of burners and you can't afford to wear down all your adepts attacking them.
This is arguable. Adepts are not as fast as drakes so it is usually the drake player pick where and especially when to fight. You will need some safeguards for your DAs. And you need to be prepared that the safeguards can be penetrated due to drakes' high attack power, so you need more safeguards. Depend on the size of the map, 1/2 DA can sometimes be hard hold off an attack (mostly during day) and give effective retaliation (which might be followed another DAY light turn for the drake player).
Caphriel
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Re: Undead Cookbook - A Strategy Guide for My Brother

Post by Caphriel »

It's also map dependent (I've seen it done on Fallenstar a couple of times, but nowhere else), and doesn't work against all drake recruiting patterns, I'm sure ;)
Yoyobuae
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Re: Undead Cookbook - A Strategy Guide for My Brother

Post by Yoyobuae »

Caphriel wrote:Undead can go all adepts against drakes and win.
From the drakes perspective, what would be a good counter for this?

Obviously, it would be really hard to avoid heavy loses on the drakes side. So I'm guessing minimizing gold loss and a good melee offensive will be important against semi-cheap/range-only adepts. Speed should also be useful.

So maybe drake fighters and saurian skirmishers? Fighters do the damage, skirmishers help and make cheaper fodder (can ZoC too, when needed). Saurians will die more easily than fighters, though. But they'll hit harder at night: drakes may need to start off the at attack early, at 2nd watch, specially if P2 and if DAs are spread thin after night time push.

At daytime, would burners covering the more dangerous spots (specially if DAs don't have terrain they can use) be a good idea to deter counter-attack? DAs need at least 4x hits (or 5x if resilient) to make the kill. That's 2 or 3 DA severely toasted, if they decide attack anyway.
UK1
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Re: Undead Cookbook - A Strategy Guide for My Brother

Post by UK1 »

Ah I see trying to poach me for Drake strategies eh? XD

I would go clashers and fighters and just delay to high heaven til you can make an attack at dawn (if you are second player) or early day (if you are first player) I would just make sure it is day when your opponent strikes back cuz those adepts are already doing 12-2 damage... Perhaps that as well as proper placement and usage of hills (on which Clashers get 1mp) could minimize casualties.
"Hey you, bats should be nerfed."
"Why?"
"Because I lost a game to bat swarm and I'm bitterUhm... clarity... and... consistency? Yeah yeah that sounds good. Clarity and consistency."
Do not. Nerf. The bat.
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Skrim
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Re: Undead Cookbook - A Strategy Guide for My Brother

Post by Skrim »

UK1 wrote:Ah I see trying to poach me for Drake strategies eh? XD

I would go clashers and fighters and just delay to high heaven til you can make an attack at dawn (if you are second player) or early day (if you are first player) I would just make sure it is day when your opponent strikes back cuz those adepts are already doing 12-2 damage... Perhaps that as well as proper placement and usage of hills (on which Clashers get 1mp) could minimize casualties.
I don't know what effect terrain usage would have against an all-DA force - as it is, all their attacks are magical, so your dodge rate will always be 30%. If anything, you'd want to keep the enemy DAs off of good terrain, because your attacks are not magical.

I'd still choose Fighters with a couple of Skirmishers thrown in, because both these units are decisively faster than DAs and can run away as night falls - since they would get decimated by those Chill Waves at night. A few Burners might also be useful to hold key locations.

Clashers, despite doing higher damage, have a couple of disadvantages compared to Fighters, in that they're more expensive, they're slower, they get hindered by forests and water, and their improved physical resistances are worthless against an opponent who doesn't use any physical attacks. They also have no token ranged retaliation like the Fighter, so Adepts, no matter how badly injured, could still blast them at daytime with no trouble.
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