Utilising northerners (esp. Goblins?)

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irrevenant
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Utilising northerners (esp. Goblins?)

Post by irrevenant »

I admit to being a nigh-total multiplayer newbie.

I like the northerners, and I've played them as the ravening horde they seem intended to be based on the recruit prices with mixed success.

I basically have two questions:
(1) The "horde" approach seems to provide the enemy with a lot of xp-fodder, making him increasingly dangerous. How do I minimise this?

(2) What exactly are goblins useful for? They seem to be very much an extreme case of question #1.

Thanks.

[edit] P.S. I've looked at http://www.wesnoth.org/wiki/PlayingOrcs but it doesn't answer the xp-concern, and doesn't mention goblins at all!
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Post by Yogibear »

The horde approach works best with hard-to-kill units like grunts or trolls (especially trolls because of their regeneration).

I have very mixed feelings about goblins. Their obvious advantage is that as level 0 units they don't cost you any upkeep (which you probably know). They have an excellent melee attack (well, for a level 0 unit, that is), but they are easy to kill. Since i tend to keep as many units as possible alive, I don't use them often, but maybe i am not experienced enough in playing northerners.
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Vlys
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Post by Vlys »

I am not very experience either, but I think goblins are good vs drakes?? They have the only melee pierce of the northerners(I think).
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Thrawn
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Post by Thrawn »

goblins are cute and cuddly, obviously, and make for great use as shields--a line of them will protect troops, give out no xp until dead, and if killed give only 4. They also have the most potential in the future for more upgrades, as they are rather underdeveloped. Use them to put your enemy where you want him--lone weak units generally attract enemies, and you can then ambush the opponent--if you use shroud.

Does this help?
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Post by Steelclad Brian »

I tend to use them to supplement attacks with other more conventional units (grunts and whelps). They're just a nice cheap glass cannons that can supplement an attack. The fact that they're the only melee unit with a piercing attack on their side makes them nice to have around.

I'm not sure I'd use them as cannon fodder though, at least not in the sense of them forming a screen to protect nastier units in the back. They have no zone of control, and Northerners have Trolls, which are awesome front line units.
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Post by Doc Paterson »

Steelclad Brian wrote:They're just nice cheap glass cannons that can supplement an attack.
Glass cannons. What a lovely mixed metaphor. :P

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Glass Cannons

Post by jonadab »

Doc Paterson wrote:Glass cannons. What a lovely mixed metaphor.
It makes sense, if you think about it. Cannons are useful for attacking, but weak on defense; glass ones, doubly so. On a semi-related note, I do find goblin spearmen to have value against mounted units.
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Post by irrevenant »

Glass cannons is a good analogy, but where it falls down is that cannons are ranged. Goblins are glass and only useable when they're in the thick of the action. :?
mameluke
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Post by mameluke »

Hi, sorry that I digged this out of the history.
But I have exactly the same problem, AND I USED THE SEARCH FUNCTION :P

I actually never use Goblin Spearmen!

Are there any players that use Goblin Spearmen?

Do you follow this advices?
Thrawn wrote:goblins are cute and cuddly, obviously, and make for great use as shields--a line of them will protect troops, give out no xp until dead, and if killed give only 4. They also have the most potential in the future for more upgrades, as they are rather underdeveloped. Use them to put your enemy where you want him--lone weak units generally attract enemies, and you can then ambush the opponent--if you use shroud.
Yogi Bear wrote:I have very mixed feelings about goblins. Their obvious advantage is that as level 0 units they don't cost you any upkeep (which you probably know). They have an excellent melee attack (well, for a level 0 unit, that is), but they are easy to kill. Since i tend to keep as many units as possible alive, I don't use them often, but maybe i am not experienced enough in playing northerners.
Steelclad Brian wrote:I'm not sure I'd use them as cannon fodder though, at least not in the sense of them forming a screen to protect nastier units in the back. They have no zone of control, and Northerners have Trolls, which are awesome front line units.

The How to play Northerners says:
http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11139
Knalgans: Do not recruit Goblin Spearmen when fighting Knalgans. Their hp is too low for them to deal any significant damage before they die.

Loyalists: 1 or 2 of these guys might not be a bad idea against Loyalists. You can use these guys against mounted units and Bowmen at night, or Mages at most times. Their low hp makes them extremely vulnerable though, so recruit with caution. Getting 1 on the first turn may free up enough moves for one of your other units to take advantageous frontline positions instead of village-grabbing.

Undead: Surprisingly, these guys can be effective against Undead, and here's the reason: these guys make pretty decent Adept killers. If your opponent loves Adepts and money is tight, or you just want to keep a high income, recruit a modest number of these guys to counter-attack.
I personally think, why should I recruit Goblin Spearmen when I have cheap Grunts?
I don't see any problems with an elf-woman hitting somebody with a mace...
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Post by gotrek860 »

Goblins can become rouser...which will be your only unit with leadership that comes so easily...
They cost 8 gold...what do you expect?
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Post by Soliton »

http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic. ... 989#234989
You'd need to get the appropriate version to view it though..
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TL
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Post by TL »

One of the weaknesses of northerners is that recruiting hordes of grunts kills your income faster than anything else. In a long match, recruiting 3 goblins instead of 2 grunts means you may very well eventually save enough to buy an extra 2 grunts anyhow--and you'll still have the 3 goblins. Goblins are an inexpensive way to cover villages from thieving scouts, are great for finishing off seriously injured enemies and in a pinch can do reasonable damage as kamikaze troops.
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Post by JW »

Soliton wrote:http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic. ... 989#234989
You'd need to get the appropriate version to view it though..
I'd be very interested to hear what's in this replay, but don't have the effort to exert to get the appropriate version with school, other projects, etc. Would anyone post some of the tactics used in this match please?
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Post by Thrawn »

@mamaluke:

maybe this can help? It isn't very in depth, faction specific wise, but I think I do a good job talking about playing orcs in general
...please remember that "IT'S" ALWAYS MEANS "IT IS" and "ITS" IS WHAT YOU USE TO INDICATE POSSESSION BY "IT".--scott

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Post by Nebiros »

irrevenant wrote:I basically have two questions:
(1) The "horde" approach seems to provide the enemy with a lot of xp-fodder, making him increasingly dangerous. How do I minimise this?
Kill their exp by killing the units that have it. The first law of northerners (IMO) is: zone of control them first, before you do anything else. You have superior numbers and cheap units that are hard to remove from ZoCing positions, so use them.

Once they're trapped, it doesn't matter if they get 8 exp, as long as you finish them off before they can get the rest for a level.

This means you need to be extra careful with the units that form the trap; often I just move into position and don't attack, if I might be seriously hurt by the counterattack. Loitering is a counterintuitive but, IMO, important tactic for northerners. Dusk is a great time to loiter - anyone who tries to take a shot at you risks being attacked, or worse, ZoC'd, at night. Loitering around a poisoned enemy is especially powerful - you don't have to do anything but keep them out of a village until they're ready for the killshot. On many maps nagas can loiter in fords and bridges and help defeat the enemy in detail, or cut their line of retreat.

Which brings me to the second law of northerners: Superior numbers also mean more fights take place at a range of your choosing. So don't melee against a melee unit, and don't use ranged on a ranged one. Clashers and skeletons can get away with taking on melee enemies head on, but with few exceptions you will lose that kind of straight up fight. But if you restrict their movement with ZoC from trolls and grunts, wear down their melee units with poison and fire arrows and beat up their ranged attackers with grunts, you'll do pretty well.

And the third law of northerners: You have regen and poison. Nobody else has both of those things and some factions have neither. This means that stalling often helps you, especially when it's not night. You do have to watch the village count though.

All this loitering and stalling can confuse and frustrate your partner in team games, if they're used to more straightforward offensive factions. Don't let them throw you off your game if this happens. It's easy for a northerner player to defeat himself by over-aggressiveness - just like most of the campaigns.

Fourth law: Don't fight one on one. Your units aren't up to it. Teamwork is useful for everyone, but it's *essential* for northerners; leave dueling to the duelists.
(2) What exactly are goblins useful for? They seem to be very much an extreme case of question #1.
Actually, as level 0s they give out relatively little exp. Most of the uses of goblins derive from their cheapness and expendability.

The main use I normally have for goblins is to sit in a village that I don't want someone to run in and grab. Or occasionally sit on a patch of mountain you don't want an enemy sitting on - or a patch of swamp you need occupied for some reason (such as reducing the exposure of a more valuable unit). That way you don't have to tie up/risk a more valuable unit doing those things. One-hex bridges and fords are good for this too - even without ZoC, making the enemy go around slows them down.

If you can grab a village and don't have any wounded non-trolls that want to grab it this turn, that's good work for a goblin too. Sometimes I deliberately put a goblin in a village where I know he could be killed, in order to keep poisoned or wounded enemies out for another turn or two. This is especially good against a fast enemy who can't stop and fight the goblin without being overtaken by other units - they'll be forced to run past the village and let you keep it.

You can finish off critically wounded enemies with them to free up a bigger unit to move somewhere else, if they happen to be in a suitable position.

They can also harass mages, adepts, bowmen etc., if a stronger melee unit isn't available (or it would be too risky to put one in a particular hex). Goblins are a poor use of valuable frontage, but they can be a good use of worthless frontage (that would make an expensive unit too vulnerable because it's bad terrain, surroundable, etc.).

Sometimes you can position them so that they die instead of something more valuable. Even without a ZoC, enemies can't go *into* the goblin's hex without stopping to kill it first, which may be all you need (especially combined with other units' ZoC that leaves a narrow gap or a 1-hex bit of unguarded flank). Occasionally they will even surprise you and dodge enough swings to live (or the enemy won't bother sending a valuable unit in to attack when the prize is so small).

A sufficiently reckless enemy will put their own, more valuable, units in bad terrain and/or stay in contact in bad ToD in order to kill a goblin, setting up a trade in your favor; but a wiser enemy won't take the bait, so don't count on it.
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