Looking for Strategy Guide on Undead

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Looking for Strategy Guide on Undead

Post by Sarcasm » February 10th, 2019, 11:46 am

Hey it's been awhile since I've been to Wesnoth and i was wondering if there was any material I can read/watch to improve with the Undead. I seem to recall the 'How to Play...' series (think that's the right name) being a bit controversial regarding Undead. Am i just misremembering this or is there somewhere else I should look for an in depth guide on Undead?

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Re: Looking for Strategy Guide on Undead

Post by mxb2001 » March 6th, 2019, 4:37 pm

I always seem to do best with undead so perhaps I can offer some tips.

1. Skeletons are your friends. Their weaknesses can be ameliorated by being aggressive. Enemy mage/troll coming to burn/smash your skellies? Attack them! Undead hit hard (except ghost) so attack.
2. Ghouls never live long so make sure to poison as many units as possible before they die. Once again attack!
3. Adepts are your cavalry, send them in to attack melee units that are weakened.
4. Ghosts are special, best used in packs to swarm the enemy. Cost makes this difficult.
5. Bats are only for grabbing villages/scouting natch.
6. Corpses are best brought in later, also like (slow) cavalry. Hit units they can kill with 1 blow, keep it (don't build more than 1) out of the way unit then.

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Re: Looking for Strategy Guide on Undead

Post by ElvishMystical0 » May 20th, 2019, 10:21 pm

I'm not a veteran player by any means but I have some experience of playing Undead against the AI and can share some of the things I've learned.

I feel it's best to start with the bigger picture. The Undead are an offensive faction which are chaotic dealing mainly blade melee and cold ranged, resistant to blade and pierce, but vulnerable to arcane, fire and impact. Their strength comes from their attacks at night.

Unlike other factions which are dependent on terrain, such as Rebels (Elves) and Knalgans (consisting mainly of Dwarves) like Drakes, Loyalists and Northerners the Undead are dependent on time of day - dealing the most damage at night (25% more damage) and least during the day (25% less damage).

For me the staple units of the Undead are the 'bones', i.e. the Skeletons and Skeleton Archers. These are not heavy hitters by any means but rather like Elvish Fighters they deal damage consistently. While they are resistant to pierce and blade, the drawback is they are vulnerable to arcane, fire and impact. Two hits from a decent Dwarvish Fighter and even a Footpad and they're either dead or red in terms of HP. They level up into Revenants or Death Blades (Skeletons) or Bone Shooters (Skeleton Archers) where they become more seriously offensive, but don't become heavy hitters until lvl3 - Draugs, Death Knights and Banebows. All your Skeletons have the 'submerge' ability where they can conceal themselves in deep water.

The thing about the Undead is that they are offensive, and it's hard to play them defensively. The key to playing Undead for me is working out a strategy against an opponent based on how you back up and support your Skeleton army.

It's easiest to back up your Skeletons with Cold - both ranged and melee. The first Cold option is with Dark Adepts. Dark Adepts are human, like Mages, have no melee attack, but have a chill wave and a shadow wave both of which deal cold damage ranged. Dark Adepts are very vulnerable to many units - Dwarvish Ulfserkers, most fighters, Thugs, and Mages, until they become lvl2 Dark Sorcerers/Sorcereresses and can withstand melee attacks. Levelling them up further gives you Liches with a drain melee attack and the submerge ability, or Necromancers and a melee attack with plague.

Unlike most of your other units the Dark Adept lines are vulnerable to poison and drain.

The other Cold option are Ghosts which have a melee Cold attack which drains and also a ranged cold attack. They're not as vulnerable as your Dark Adepts, deal less damage, but they have few hitpoints and come off worse to most other ranged units. They are however very mobile, they fly, and enjoy 50% defence across the map. They can be used as scouts and village grabbers where you are likely to lose Vampire Bats, say to Orcish Grunts, Dwarvish Fighters or other units.

However levelled Ghosts become offensive units, either Wraiths or Shadows. Wraiths have a draining baneblade attack (melee) and ranged cold, and are hard to hit, which can cause a serious problem to many factions. This becomes even more so when they level up further into Spectres. The other option are Shadows which have a single claws attack (melee, blade) and come with the backstab ability and nightstalk, so they become invisible to your opponent at night.

You do also have other alternatives to Cold to back up your Skeletons. For one you have Ghouls, which have a fairly damaging claws attack (melee, blade) which poisons. Ghouls are good defensive units, especially if your opponent is melee orientated, they can hold villages, occupy swamps, and usually by the third strike can deliver poison to an enemy unit.

Then you have Vampire Bats which have fangs (melee, blade) and a draining attack. These are your most mobile unit, great for scouting and grabbing villages, softening up melee units and or finishing them off. They are lvl0 so don't incur upkeep, but can level up to Blood Bats (level 1) and eventually Dread Bats (level 2) which have a melee attack comparable to a Wraith.

Finally you have Walking Corpses, which are lvl0 and deal impact damage and plague. These are slow, cheap (they cost 8 gold) and a few of them together can be a serious counter to melee units.

Time of Day is important when playing Undead especially against other Time of Day dependent factions - Drakes, Loyalists, Northerners and the Outlaw contingent of Knalgans. During the day all factions are stronger against you, including the Chaotic factions, but during the night you are the strongest and can deal the most damage. Night is when you need to be going after units and going after kills.

During the day your units aren't that much so if you have to fight during the day you're going to have to find ways of countering your 25% disadvantage. You can of course recruit additional units but you can also make use of your decent mobility and use the terrain on the map to your advantage. Your Bats and Ghost units can fly so during the day you may need to be seeking out water, swamps, and other areas on the map; where your opponent loses their terrain advantages. Forests, hills and mountains are generally not good places for the Undead during the day.

I also find that you have to prioritize your kills when playing the Undead. Against Loyalists you have to take out the Mages and make sure horse units don't level up. Likewise against Northerners you have to take out the Troll units and Orcish Archers and prevent Wolves from levelling up. Against Rebels you have to worry about Woses and keep Elvish Shamen from levelling up. However against other factions, such as Drakes and Knalgans, you have to field additional units, such as Ghosts.

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Re: Looking for Strategy Guide on Undead

Post by pauxlo » May 26th, 2019, 11:08 pm

Hi, some small corrections:
ElvishMystical0 wrote:
May 20th, 2019, 10:21 pm
It's easiest to back up your Skeletons with Cold - both ranged and melee. The first Cold option is with Dark Adepts. Dark Adepts are human, like Mages, have no melee attack, but have a chill wave and a shadow wave both of which deal cold damage ranged. [...]
The other Cold option are Ghosts which have a melee Cold attack which drains and also a ranged cold attack.
The dark adept's shadow wave and the ghost's draining melee attack are not cold, but arcane (i.e. "anti-magic").
Good against other undead (i.e. in mirror matches – though the drain doesn't work there), and also (to a lesser degree) against elves and drakes. Bad against humans.

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Re: Looking for Strategy Guide on Undead

Post by Krogen » May 29th, 2019, 11:43 pm

If you want to have any success with Undead in multiplayer, then Dark Adept has to be your core unit in all matchups. If your opponent(s) knows the basics, and you don't have a decent number of DAs, your skeletons might as well just go back to their graves.
"A lion doesn't concern himself with the opinions of the sheep." - Tywin Lannister

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Re: Looking for Strategy Guide on Undead

Post by AOW » Yesterday, 5:20 am

As far as I know, Japanese have a relatively complete set of tactical information about the undead.

Wesnoth undead Research Institute (English page included or you can use Google translator)

Now there is no staff to maintain, the version is backward, but it still has reliable reference value.
Come and take it!

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Re: Looking for Strategy Guide on Undead

Post by Yomar » Yesterday, 10:26 am

Do you already gave a look to the "How to play Undead" strategy guide?


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