Dodgy characters as leaders

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Tryptic
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Joined: August 19th, 2009, 4:14 pm

Dodgy characters as leaders

Post by Tryptic »

"The best defense is to not get hit."
-Magic the gathering card, fend off

I started this post as a response to the ulfserker conversation, specifically the archer problem: an elven archer sitting on a forest space, in range of more than one of your villages. Do you attack him with your ulfserker? Someone suggested you let the archer take your village and then ulf it. At first this doesn't look like such a good idea, but I've come to realize it's very smart. Something that's been hammered into me from my career playing EVE online is that a change in a high percentage is better than the same size change in a low percentage. Allow me to explain:

If you attack a 70% defense, your chance to hit is 30%.
If you attack a 60% defense, your chance to hit is 40%, an increase of 133%.

The difference between 60%->50% is 40%->50%, an increase of 125%.
The difference between 50%->40% is 50%->60%, an increase of 120%.
The difference between 40%->30% is 60%->70%, an increase of 116%.
The difference between 30%->20% is 70%->80%, an increase of 114%.
The difference between 20%->10% is 80%->90%, an increase of 112.5%.

Although it doesn't look like much, the difference between 60% and 70% is the biggest shift in the game, unless the enemy has marksmanship or magic. Everything I say in this post comes with the disclaimer, "unless the enemy has marksmanship or magic"

Now, the ulfserker problem takes that little difference to the extreme because you attack over and over, and the slightest advantage gets blown into epic proportions. It's the whole reason why ulfserkers were balanced with low dodge even on mountains, to keep the terrain labeled under "factor" rather than "killswitch."

Now, there are lots of units like the elf archer, or certain dwarves, that get 70% on specific terrain, and these are all good. There are also units like bats (mmmm, bats...) that get good dodge everywhere (except flat villages, boo!) but what I want to focus on are footpads, thieves, orcish assasins, and fencers; units that can get good dodge in many situations, especially villages.

Now, all of these units have their niches, even if the footpad's niche is "inexpensive." But they all seem to have resists that scream "I was nerfed! It hurts! Oh god, the pain!!!"

Were these units overpowered at some point, then nerfed? Or did they start out with crappy resists like that? I ask this because when you first look at them, you say "cool dodge!" but then after you use them a bit you find that operationally they're no different from any other unit as far as durability goes. If you play random and get a dodgy leader, consider yourself screwed.

Can you people tell me why I'm wrong about that screwed comment? How do you play a dodgy leader correctly?

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Pentarctagon
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Re: Dodgy characters as leaders

Post by Pentarctagon »

best strategy: don't use your leader in the front lines if you don't have to. though the rogue is good when you have a cluster of units and you start off a charge/counter attack with your leader backstabbing (which often will severely weaken or even kill that unit. great way to start a turn :D ). you just have to make sure the rest of the attack goes well though, cause otherwise your in a really bad position.
99 little bugs in the code, 99 little bugs
take one down, patch it around
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Yoyobuae
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Re: Dodgy characters as leaders

Post by Yoyobuae »

Hehe, at least its not like saurian leaders, 29 HP on leader = ROFL.

I frankly can't see how nearly all drake players I "observe" nearly ignore saurian skirmishers. Augurs are a bit more popular, but still. A drake army's damage output sure is impresive, but it is also impresive how much damage they take in return:
The difference between 60%->40% is 40%->60% => taking 150% the damage or having 66% the amount of HP.

Luckily (unlike footpads, thieves, orcish assasins, and fencers) saurians get some rather sweet resistances.

Because of this my initial recruits include 2x skirmishers and a clasher. The skirmishers will at least be useful as fodder. They tend attract lots of attention that otherwise my drakes would be getting.

Also note that all low HP/high defense units will tend to better at healing back the relatively little damage they take (if luck permits).

Another thing I noted recently: low HP means low number of strikes to make the kill. Low number of strikes means a MASSIVE change in chance to die if one less/more strike is needed (ie. when traits change the max HP, time of day changes, etc).

For example:
2x Orcish Grunts attacking a Thief@70% def (at dawn/dusk) -> 34.83% chance to die
2x Orcish Grunts attacking a strong Thief@70% def (at dawn/dusk) -> 8.37% chance to die
Last edited by Yoyobuae on August 20th, 2009, 9:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Max
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Joined: April 13th, 2008, 12:41 am

Re: Dodgy characters as leaders

Post by Max »

Yoyobuae wrote:The difference between 60%->40% is 40%->60%, an increase of 150%.
that's an increase of 50%, not 150%...

Yoyobuae
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Re: Dodgy characters as leaders

Post by Yoyobuae »

Percentages are misused a lot like that, I personally dislike the "20% discount", "30% more", that is so frequently used in RL.

Used like that it can be so decieving (and sometimes ambiguos). For example, which one is better:
  • dealing 50% more damage
  • recieving 50% less damage
Dealing 50% more damage means dealing 1.5 times the damage. Recieving 50% less damage means taking 0.5 times the damage, which means it will take 2.0 times the damage to achieve the same.

I copy/pasted that line. I fixed it now.

Caphriel
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Re: Dodgy characters as leaders

Post by Caphriel »

The dodgy leaders are in fact very good, not because of their high dodge and associated weaknesses, but because one causes poison and the other has skirmisher and backstab. Also, if you engage briefly, a dodgy leader has a higher chance to emerge unscathed and therefore not need to run off to heal to avoid being whittled down. But it is also more vulnerable to being smacked by bad RNG.

Yoyobuae, I, personally, avoid skirmishers like the plague because they are fragile, and their damage output is terrible unless they are strong. I'll use a few in most matchups, certainly, but they don't have the durability or damage output to be a primary unit.

Yoyobuae
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Re: Dodgy characters as leaders

Post by Yoyobuae »

Yeah, I guess skirmishers are somewhat fragile, but then all drakes are somewhat fragile too. :?

Heh, I think maybe it is because of the kind of games I play. I always pick drakes: guess what damage type I always end up facing? I play Isars a lot too, not much room to maneuver drakes out of harm's way.

So slowly I have been forced into playing with more saurians. It was either that or hide in my corner during every night, and rushing forward to do damage during the day. To me that seems like a single-minded strategy, and predictable.

I do have noticed something, a small increase in damage from the enemy (like leadership and/or time of day bonus) can potentially sky rocket an skirmisher's chance to die. So they need special care positioning them. But in many of the cases where a skirmisher might be in danger of getting killed, simply replacing a clasher usually solves the problem.

So what I'm saying is that the combination of clashers and skirmishers can work rather well.

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ParadiseCity
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Re: Dodgy characters as leaders

Post by ParadiseCity »

Yoyobuae wrote:Yeah, I guess skirmishers are somewhat fragile, but then all drakes are somewhat fragile too.
Are we talking about the same giant, fire-breathing, flying drakes here?

Apart from that, i use skirmishers like fencers, just get one to annoy the enemy. And maybe get some villages too. Combat related though, they really arent that good. For 2 more gold you could get a drake fighter with better movetype, attacks, and resists (mostly).

And while rushing foward is a predictable strategy, unless you are playing loyalists it really does work well.
"The harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -Thomas Jefferson

Yoyobuae
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Re: Dodgy characters as leaders

Post by Yoyobuae »

I don't know then. Maybe it's just my imagination.

Caphriel
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Re: Dodgy characters as leaders

Post by Caphriel »

Yoyobuae wrote:I play Isars a lot too, not much room to maneuver drakes out of harm's way.
Start playing some bigger maps. Picking drakes on Isar's allows your opponent to easily counter-recruit.

Yoyobuae
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Re: Dodgy characters as leaders

Post by Yoyobuae »

Caphriel wrote:
Yoyobuae wrote:I play Isars a lot too, not much room to maneuver drakes out of harm's way.
Start playing some bigger maps. Picking drakes on Isar's allows your opponent to easily counter-recruit.
And that's exactly what I wanted. :D Then I can practice my "counter-counter-recruiting". :lol2:

Playing Isars showed me (in a rather painful way) which are the shortcomings of Drakes.

I guess I was just being stubborn too, I just didn't want to accept defeat: "I can win on small maps, so I'll just run away and play bigger maps, where I'll have it easier". It's just not my style. :D

But it is true I should start playing more in bigger maps, so I can now learn to make use of the strenght of Drakes: mobility.

donkey_noob_trash1
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Re: Dodgy characters as leaders

Post by donkey_noob_trash1 »

Yoyobuae wrote:
Caphriel wrote: Start playing some bigger maps. Picking drakes on Isar's allows your opponent to easily counter-recruit.
And that's exactly what I wanted. :D Then I can practice my "counter-counter-recruiting". :lol2:

Playing Isars showed me (in a rather painful way) which are the shortcomings of Drakes.

I guess I was just being stubborn too, I just didn't want to accept defeat: "I can win on small maps, so I'll just run away and play bigger maps, where I'll have it easier". It's just not my style. :D

But it is true I should start playing more in bigger maps, so I can now learn to make use of the strenght of Drakes: mobility.
I started playing bigger maps regularly some time ago (7 to 8 months ago) and have never looked back. Not that Isar's sucks, but once you've played some Xanthe, Paths of Daggers, and to a lesser extent Clash and Loris River, you will come to appreciate the depth of strategy that is available to you. Isar's can be fun, but there are just too many imbalances with that map to have great matches. The difference between Isar's and Daggers is like the difference between tic-tac-toe and chess.

Anways... that's my two cents...
"Oh noes, I'm trapped by corporeal beings!" -Caphriel (in a discussion about ghosts and ZoC)

Yogibear
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Re: Dodgy characters as leaders

Post by Yogibear »

Well, i wouldn't say you are screwed with a dodgy leader, it is just that when the fight gets close to him (or vice versa) you will have to be a lot more careful than usual - or knowingly take a risk to die.

I experienced that with a rogue: It was in the first few turns when fighting started and i got under pressure from dwarves, using a gryphon and some support units. I trapped the gryphon with my leader on 60% def terrain with about a chance to die of 10-15% (was a bit difficult to calculate, since some more units were involved).
Now what should i say: The gryphon hit two times, the dwarven fighter killed me - game over. That's simply the risk you take if you actively involve your leader into fighting.

You can be more careful, though. For example, you can attack and poison with your orc slayer a unit that has no ranged. Then you make sure, you can only be attacked from one hex. That is enough, not counting very special situations (like ulfs or suicide attacks), your leader won't be in trouble.

However, you can experience that with many other leaders, too. I remember to have lost a lieutenant to hard hitting drakes (he was on 60% def as well). Also every leader with a considerable resistance weakness (like pierce/cold for drakes or fire for undead) is in danger (think of horsemen vs drakes).
Smart persons learn out of their mistakes, wise persons learn out of others mistakes!

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