How to play Northerners

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How to play Northerners

Postby JW » May 4th, 2006, 10:11 pm

How to play Northerners:
:arrow: Back to The "How to play..." Series.

Quick links:
General Northerner Strategies
Northerners v. Knalgans
Northerners v. Loyalists
Northerners v. Undead
Northerners v. Rebels
Northerners v. Drakes
Northerners v. Northerners


General Northerner Strategies:
On the first turn when you have a random opponent it is good to get a mixture of units that will be good in any situation. A Wolf Rider, a Grunt, a Whelp, an Archer and an Assassin recruit would be an example of such a recruit. When you discover what faction your opponent is, go to the appropriate section below for more advice.

In general, Northerners will win by mass. Northerners are the cheapest faction and need to utilize that advantage. Poison will be a crucial strategic element as Northerners have the only ranged poison in the game. Grunts and Whelps will be the meat of your army, but make sure to recruit Grunts or Assassins to hold villages, as Whelps do a poor job of this with 40% defense.

Northerners level quickly on the whole compared to other factions, so try to level any unit as they all grow in power quickly. Nagas upon level actually fare rather well on land, and Trolls will double their damage. Levelling Grunts gains you a great number of hp, but they are a tad slower to level than the other units at your disposal. Wolf Riders also do well as Pillagers to slow your enemy, and Assassins become better than Grunts at dealing melee damage. Try to focus your xp alotment to gain an advantage.

Your lack of ranged combat will mean you will be vulnerable to ranged counter-attacks. Plan accordingly and have some Assassins nearby to help defend against retaliation. Trolls are good for frontline blockers for their Regen, but keep them in hills or mountains where they have decent defense.
Last edited by JW on May 8th, 2006, 6:10 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby Yogin2 » May 4th, 2006, 10:35 pm

A couple notes to add about general northerner strategies:

(1) grunts vs. trolls. This is highly map dependent. Trolls are good in hills and mountains. Nowhere else. If you see an opportunity to park a troll or two on mountains, then they're definitely worth it. But mountainless maps and maps without many hills, you definitely want to go with grunts. A lot of people think the 12g vs. 13g difference is negligble. It's not. Grunts are cheaper and more versatile overall.

(2) Poison. This is the northerners' specialty. Northerners don't get magical, and don't get ulfs. They get poison. Use it to dislodge tough opponents(eg. dwarves on mountains), use it on counter-attack, use it to disable scouts.
<sapientx> [The heavy fighter]'s like a cross between an HI and a mage
<sapientx> I couldn't decide whether to guard him or put him on the front line
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Postby Flametrooper » May 5th, 2006, 12:01 am

When you get to vs. loyalists and vs.rebels, remember to mention use assasins versus things like HI and woses. Poison stops a wose regenerating, and they are way too slow to reach a village in time. HI even better because they don't regenerate in the first place.
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Postby Soliton » May 5th, 2006, 12:18 am

Flametrooper wrote:Poison stops a wose regenerating, and they are way too slow to reach a village in time.

Neither would it help them.
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Postby Yogin2 » May 5th, 2006, 1:26 am

Flametrooper wrote:Poison stops a wose regenerating...


So in essence, the first assassin that attacks a wose that turn does 3-3+8 damage(2-3 @ day, 4-3 @ night). Whereas an archer would do 8d2 @ day, 10d2 @ dusk/dawn, and 13d2 @ night. Considering a wose is typically on 20-30% defense, I would take the archer at all times of day. I would probably take the assassin _only_ if it was daytime, and the wose was in the forest. In general, as northerners, I wouldn't be anywhere near a wose during the day. Oh, fwiw, grunts at night are also spectacular wose killers.
<sapientx> [The heavy fighter]'s like a cross between an HI and a mage
<sapientx> I couldn't decide whether to guard him or put him on the front line
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Postby Flametrooper » May 5th, 2006, 2:14 am

The point of the assassin, though, is not to damage. The point is to poison. You bring in your archer and whoop it's mossy wooden butt after you've got it poisoned. Anyway, let's get back on topic...I think Northerners vs. Undead is next.
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Postby Yogin2 » May 5th, 2006, 3:05 am

Flametrooper wrote:The point of the assassin, though, is not to damage. The point is to poison.


And what exactly does poisoning a wose do besides prevent it from gaining 8hp the very next turn? In effective, causing 8 damage?
<sapientx> [The heavy fighter]'s like a cross between an HI and a mage
<sapientx> I couldn't decide whether to guard him or put him on the front line
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Postby JW » May 5th, 2006, 4:09 am

Northerners v. Knalgans
You'll want Poison to take these guys down. Take as many hill and mountain hexes as you can, and keep trolls in your front line during day to Regen.

Orcish Grunt: 12 gold village holders nighttime siege artists. Their damage, defense, and moves are better than Trolls, so having a few of these to search and destroy are a necessity.

Troll Whelp: A good choice against Knalgans for their high hp, 20% resistance to Blade and Pierce, and their ability to Regen. The extra gold will be worth it if you keep these guys on the hill and mountain hexes your opponent will want to take. A rotation of these guys will keep your front line from crumbling, and will keep Thunderer damage to a minimum. Level one of these and your damage will double.

Orcish Archer: Recruiting one of these to poke at Fighters and Guardsmen may prove useful, but more frequently you'll want to spend your gold on other units.

Goblin Spearman: Do not recruit Goblin Spearmen when fighting Knalgans. Their hp is too low for them to deal any significant damage before they die.

Wolf Rider: Your scout unit, you can use these to grab crucial hilly areas before Dwarves can reach them. If you can get him to level, the ability to slow Dwarves may prove exceptionally useful. Recruiting more than one of these may prove too costly though.

Naga Fighter: Recruit if there are important water or swamp areas you can control. Their neutrality and high defense will serve you well for 14 gold.

Orcish Assassin: A necessity against Knalgans. Poisoning any Dwarf will add up. Poisoning Gardsmen will add up faster. A couple of these to annoy and drive back Dwarves from their homes are a necessity.

A first turn recruit you'll want a Grunt, 1 or 2 Whelps, 1 or 2 Assassins, and possibly another Grunt, a Rider, or Naga. Don't be afraid to Poison Dwarves even in daytime if you can do so from favorable terrain. If you see Ulfs are nearby, you'll want to take them out with Grunts.

You'll want to use Whelps to go after Thunderers, and you'll want to take them out first generally, as they'll be the easiest units for you to kill. Have your Assassins Poison the Fighters while this is happening. Try to ignore Guardsmen if you can, because they will take too much effort to kill.

Don't be afraid to sacrifice a Grunt to take a shot at an open Ulf if the opportunity arises and the CTK is sizable. The 7 gold difference in cost is worth the risk. If you can't finish it with one Grunt, 2 should do the trick. This will be a game of push and pull. You'll have to push at night and prevent them pushing at day with the Poison you plant. You shouldn't need more than 2 Assassins, but you will need to use them a lot.
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Postby Flametrooper » May 5th, 2006, 4:26 am

Aside note: Your link-thingy in the ifrst post is broken: "Northerners vs. northerners" links to the "northerners vs. knaglans" post. :?
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Postby JW » May 5th, 2006, 5:34 am

Northerners v. Loyalists
Attack at night, defend at day. This will be a constant theme. Spearmen and HI will be what you see the most of, likely. Don't be surprised to see Bowman as well.

Orcish Grunt: Cheap village holders again. Good units to take out Mages and Bowmen. At night you will do 11-2 v. 5-3 against Spearmen, but keep them on villages or mountains during day. These are your big time hitters, so save them.

Troll Whelp: Again, a coulpe of these guys in mountains should survive to deal a good amount of damage. Don't recruit too many, as their damage is too low to justify having a bunch.

Orcish Archer: 1 or 2 of these guys will benefit you a lot, as they'll be your best weapon against HI and the 2 mounted units. If you overrecruit these guys Spearmen should take you over.

Goblin Spearman: 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.

Wolf Rider: Good to scout and to trap and attack Bowmen and Mages. If you can level this guy, make him a Pillager to demolish HI and have the option to slow. Otherwise his use is limited to finishing weak units at night.

Naga Fighter: The battle of the seas will be tough, as it is pretty even. Recruit water forces appropriately, and know that if they level that they will become even more useful as they can be used even on land.

Orcish Assassin: Again, another crucial element to your attack. You'll want to Poison HI, Spearmen, and their ranged attack does a decent 4-3 to mounted units when it isn't day.

A first turn recruit should consist of a Grunt, an Assassin, an Archer, and a mix of other good units. Take out Mages and Horsemen first, as they will deal you the most damage with the least amount returned. Poison HI and shoot them with Fire. Poison Fencers if you can, or just beat on them with whatever you have at your disposal. Shoot Cavalry down, and deal with Spearmen however you can, using Poison on them often as well.

Again, fight off daytime offenses with Poison, and try to keep a Whelp or 2 up in the front in mountains to regenerate. At night, lead with Grunts and use Archers appropriately. Posion whatever is left standing, and be ready to retreat as dawn breaks.
Last edited by JW on May 5th, 2006, 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Krytain » May 5th, 2006, 5:37 pm

I have a question about the Northerners vs Loyalists, you post that you should only buy a few units of each, I understand this, because the loyalists have a unit for pretty much anything. So you should see what the opponent has before really decided what kinda units you should get a little bit more than the others
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Postby Gauteamus » May 5th, 2006, 6:01 pm

[warning]
This post contains no tips on how to play Northerners!!
[/warning]

Great job though, JW!
This series may well be the standard reference we all have longed for.
Hope to contribute more constructively later.

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Postby JW » May 8th, 2006, 6:05 am

Northerners v. Undead
Unfortunately one of your major weapons (poison) won't work against these guys. Also, Undead deal more damage than you do at night. If that wasn't bad enough, you only have one level 1 unit that can attack with Fire, and your only water unit is weak to Cold. Things are looking pretty grim, eh? Well here's how you fight back:

Orcish Grunt: These guys are the perfect Adept killers. 12-2 at night, 3 hits will kill them. They will take 4 hits to kill you unless you get a Quick Grunt without Resiliant. You get 4 Grunts for 3 Adepts cost-wise, but don't buy so many; you'll probably only want as many as 2 at first as you'll need other weapons as well.

Troll Whelp: A necessity. These guys are skeleton killers doing +20% damage as well as resisting 20% from them. Their Regen also prevents Ghouls from doing nasty Poison damage to them. These guys are good to attack anything except Ghosts.

Orcish Archer: Another necessity. You'll have to recruit at least 2 of these to account for Ghosts. These guys are also good to kill Skeletons and WCs, and you'll want to use these on Ghouls too.

Goblin Spearman: 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.

Wolf Rider: If you need a scout, this is your guy. He will have limited uses outside of scouting, but he will make a decent Adept attacker, a good choice to melee Ghouls as he can run away to heal, and if he levels, the Pillager will cause mayhem for your opponent.

Naga Fighter: Only get if you have to have sea-villages. They can't attack Ghosts, but they do counter-attack Adepts well. Even so, they don't counter-attack as well as Grunts, nor will they live as long (and they are more expensive).

Orcish Assassin: Simply don't recruit this unit if you're fighting Undead. The only unit you'll be able to Poison you won't want to.

A first turn recruit should consist of a Grunt, 2 Whelps, 2 Archers, and either a scout, or another Grunt, Whelp, or Archer. Keep your highest hp units in front at night, as you'll be counter-attacking, not attacking, under most circumstances. Surround your opponents attacking forces before they try to retreat at Dawn. Surprisingly you'll actually have the advantage then. With the decreased damage done in the daytime your Regeneration will be far more effective - it will heal the damage from nearly twice as many attacks. Because of this, make sure to replace your Whelps as soon as possible if they die, and do whatever you can to keep them from passing.

Use your archers to kill Ghosts as fast as you can. Their ability to Regenerate against the rest your units attacks makes them virtually indestructable to other sources. The loss of a 20g unit will also set the player back quite a bit monetarily. After the Ghosts are gone, use your Archers on any Skeletons there are - you'll want to prevent them from using their melee if possible. Also, killing Bats and WCs is always a good way to make a quick monetary gain on your opponent.

Your Whelps should go after Archers for maximum damage, but you'll really want to kill Adepts before you kill anything else. If your opponent doesn't have any, you can't get to them, or your Grunts already took them out, go ahead and melee some skeletons or a Ghoul.

One major thing you'll want to do in defense is put your front units on hexes where your opponent will have to attack you from bad terrain. The reason is you'll want to hit Adepts as easily as possible, and they should always be what comes at you first.

Keep in mind that your units are cheaper than your opponents level 1 units, and his level 0 units die extremely easy. Don't be afraid to trade unit-for-unit with Undead if you have to: you'll be on your way to success quickly.
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Postby Rhuvaen » August 1st, 2006, 9:12 pm

I'd like to see the Northerners vs Drake installment of the series soon. Is it just me or is that the hardest match-up for Northerners?

I find that playing versus Drakes against a good player who knows how and where to concentrate his attack and when to retreat units, more often than not I cannot concentrate enough damage to kill his units while he can. Mobility sure is on the Drakes' side in this one.

A good drake player will recruit nearly 50% Skirmishers, lots of Burners and an odd Fighter or Augur (or in some cases a Glider for the last one). The Burners weaken anything without ranged weapons (and also the Orcish Archers attacking them), and the Skirmishers can - especially when they rotate in and out and concentrate on those units weakened through attacking Drakes - finish up pretty much anything. The two pierce units I have at my disposal - the Orcish Archer and the Goblin Spearman - both are inferior to the Skirmisher, never mind that the latter's low movement is unlikely to get them into a good position (or out of a bad one).

The Orcish Assassin surely comes in handy when facing Drakes - but poisoning Skirmishers in high defense terrain is an uncertain affair and poisoning Burners might leave the Assassin severely weakened. When the Drake player fields lots of Skirmishers the unit pales in comparison. It doesn't really help deal the damage to finish off the enemy, but merely delays him. Still a very good unit, especially defensively.

The odd Wolfrider can really help with the mobility disadvantage, covering flanks and such but against such a ranged-heavy faction it's a cheap target and its fire-wielding advancement is less useful against Drakes than any other faction.

The Naga, too, cannot really deal enough damage to anything but Augurs to justify a recruit unless you plan to defend water-only areas. Trolls don't need mentioning (maybe they rule against saurians in the mountains :D).

One unit that I feel I don't quite recruit enough is the Orcish Grunt. They compare quite favourably in terms of hp with the enemy and at night can deal a lot of damage, often having much higher CTK against those Skirmishers than the other fighters. They last a turn or two on the front even against a determined assault, although they get a lot of ranged damage for nothing from burners and skirmishers - but that also means they can return the favour when it's their turn (hopefully not during the daytime).

The Orcish Grunt is the one capable damage-dealer, but only at night. That's the time the saurians are also more powerful. Together with leadership, the Drakes can almost even out the odds again... Still I recommend an unusually high number of Grunts (along with the spearmen).

All in all I would say these effects are relatively subtle, but over the course of a game I continuously find myself losing a war of attrition. The Drake player can get a kill in any turn, or he can decide to do a lot of damage for little or no cost. The Northerner player will always get return damage for the kills he makes (except against augurs), and on anything but small/bottleneck maps cannot withdraw or guard his troops from being taken out afterwards. The Drakes take what they want, the Northerners what they can. That little difference does make the game a lot harsher for the Northerners.

It's ironic because the Skirmishers used to be on the Northerners faction. Traitors! :lol:
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Postby Noyga » August 1st, 2006, 11:14 pm

This is how i would typically use my Northerners :
Most wanted targets :
Troll -> Skirmisher, Fighter, Burner
Grunt -> Augur, Burner, Glider
Spearman -> Augur, Burner, Glider
Archer -> Skirmisher, Clasher, Fighter, Glider
Wolf -> Skrimisher, Augur, Glider, Burner
Assasin -> Skirmisher, Clasher, Fighter, Glider, Burner
Naga -> Augur + anything from water.

Easy to kill units like the Archer should avoid to stay too much in the front line.
I disgree about the unusefulness of the pillager. Slow is great tool and fire can still be exploited vs saurians.
Naga are the most accurate unit (since they have more strikes). They can be used if minimizing the risk of failure is important. Btw use them wisely, they are really vulnerable outside of water.
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