Loyalists v. Rebels- How do you defeat the Shaman?

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LittleCaesar
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Loyalists v. Rebels- How do you defeat the Shaman?

Post by LittleCaesar » July 13th, 2016, 6:46 am

Hey everyone, a friend and I regularly play 1v1; he prefers Loyalists and I prefer Rebels. Until recently, he won every game, mainly because his spearmen could go toe-to-toe with my archers, and my main answer, the wose, just got nuked by mages.

Now however, I've been supplementing my army with a hefty number of shamans used offensively (maybe 20% of my army are shamans?), and I'm winning each game. The shamans' "slow" ability is crippling his mobility and his offensive power, allowing my archers (with a wose or two) to dictate the pace of the engagement, and shred his army apart at opportune moments. Neither of us can figure out a good counter- it seems that cavalry and fencers are too vulnerable to archers, mages and archers get slowed, and horsemen are too expensive.

How would you counter an Elvish strategy that relies heavily on shamans? I'm sure there is one; every unit has a counter in every army. Any suggestions most welcome!

Thank you in advance!
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Re: Loyalists v. Rebels- How do you defeat the Shaman?

Post by Aldarisvet » July 13th, 2016, 9:54 am

Before you attach some replay here it is hard to say anything because we even do not have an idea which map do you use.
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Re: Loyalists v. Rebels- How do you defeat the Shaman?

Post by Velensk » July 13th, 2016, 11:38 am

As the above said, hard to say without seeing your play. The game and that match-up in particular is more about how you play it than the exact composition used. That said if you are looking for general advice,

The way you defeat shamans is by killing them.

I'm not really even joking. If you're going that heavy on shamans you should be a touch short on breaking power, he should be able to hold off, pressure you back during the day, and let the forces build until there's not enough forests and the elves are forced to fight in the open. At day it only takes a couple full melee units that aren't reachable by shamans to make them pay for exposing themselves to slow you (as generally a full health shaman can be killed by one slowed unit + 1 non slowed cavalry/spearman/fencer or even just one unslowed horseman by itself depending on traits).
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Re: Loyalists v. Rebels- How do you defeat the Shaman?

Post by Yomar » July 13th, 2016, 10:36 pm

Just the other day I saw a good Rebels player using exactly this tattic and indeed he won a good amount of games, but with this I don't say rthat there are no counters, in fact I played a couple of matches against him, both times I got Loyals and both times I won, the trick is attacking at the right time, force him on open ground (when possible) and kill the druids, as already others said they are weak and have little HP, and relatively easy to kill (at least if they are not in forests).
It depens also on wich map you play, in some Rebels may can be a little advantaged, for example on a random generated map with a lot of forest hexes.

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Re: Loyalists v. Rebels- How do you defeat the Shaman?

Post by iceiceice » July 14th, 2016, 6:56 pm

Usually I think Loyalists have the advantage in this matchup.

It's very, very difficult for the elves ever to attack. Spearmen have a lot of HP, realistically to attack you are going to have to put a bunch of elves on the flat. And then they will just get owned.

Horsemen are extremely effective for the loyalists in this matchup. At all times of day, you can deal massive damage to shaman and archers on the flat, from a single hex.

At day, you can charge archers in the trees with a horseman, and have about a 50% chance to get one hit. Then finish with a spearman. Only two hexes required for about a 50% kill, in most situations. You can usually find a way to break through an elvish line by repeating tactic in a few spots.

Here's a ladder game I played like two years ago that I remember. In this game I don't think there was anything the Rebels could have done to win. Partly that has to do with the map though.

http://wesnoth.gamingladder.info/gamede ... %3A02%3A53

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Re: Loyalists v. Rebels- How do you defeat the Shaman?

Post by ForestDragon » July 15th, 2016, 5:30 am

iceiceice wrote:At day, you can charge archers in the trees with a horseman, and have about a 50% chance to get one hit. Then finish with a spearman. Only two hexes required for about a 50% kill, in most situations. You can usually find a way to break through an elvish line by repeating tactic in a few spots.
umm... elvish archers have 70% defense on forest, so it's not very likely for a horseman to hit them there
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Re: Loyalists v. Rebels- How do you defeat the Shaman?

Post by iceiceice » July 15th, 2016, 6:46 am

Well, think about it.

If you have a 30% chance to hit, and you attack twice, the chance that you miss both is 49%. So it's slightly higher (51%) that you hit at least once.

If you do hit once, you do something like 25 damage iirc, and even a strong elvish archer only has 34 hp. So after that, one hit from a spearman kills her.

It's not at all a certain thing, but if you do this to three archers for instance, odds are you will kill at least one. If the positioning is right, that opens up more hexes on other units. Most MP maps don't have thick, solid blocks of forests, because then the elves really are too strong.

Sometimes, the archer only has 28 hp at max health. So then the finishing unit can be a fencer, which gives higher odds of a kill. It all depends on the positioning.

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Re: Loyalists v. Rebels- How do you defeat the Shaman?

Post by Velensk » July 15th, 2016, 4:57 pm

I would not wish to stake my hopes on hitting an archer in a forest with a horseman but iceiceice is correct that the odds of getting a single hit are better than you might think (but again, not good enough that it's a risk you want to be taking if you can avoid it).

I'm not sure I agree that this match is loyalist favored (at least not since cavalry nerf) but I will say I think it's pretty map dependent and also, it is a match where the onus to attack is on the rebels. However, I don't think the rebels odds on offense are as bad as you might think. If the rebels can suppress the cavalry they're more mobile and if they can attack at night they can do very cost efficient damage and continue the fight into the day. They can't afford to let the loyalists get all of their tools into place but before they have them they have a decent amount of control and shamans can make any early engagements risky for the loyalists.
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Re: Loyalists v. Rebels- How do you defeat the Shaman?

Post by iceiceice » July 17th, 2016, 12:24 am

Reading what I wrote again:

I think the point I was making its that loyalists of have tons of breaking power, so after a point elves are going to have a very hard time to defend.

But yeah I don't think it's a sure thing by any means, I don't think it would be on a short list of "most imbalanced matchups".

I'm just saying that I prefer to play loyals here. Like velensk says, if you can somehow suppress the horses, then you are faster. But on a big map it's pretty hard for you to do this. It's more likely that you will feel forced to make woses to help fight the spearmen, but they are quite slow so you have some logistical problems figuring out how to attack, at least on most maps.

The best chance for rebels in this matchup, IMO, is to put on a lot of pressure at first night -- don't have to take vills, but you want to push him way back before day. Then really what you want to do is defend, and for him to attack you badly. If he makes a premature attack, or doesn't get his hits, or whatever, then you can win with a counter attack basically.

I remember another game I played as rebels vs loyals on elensefar courtyard: http://wesnoth.gamingladder.info/gamede ... %3A17%3A51

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Re: Loyalists v. Rebels- How do you defeat the Shaman?

Post by LittleCaesar » July 19th, 2016, 3:11 am

Thanks everyone for your advice, that is really helpful! I'm keen to have a rematch with him now, and switch factions, now that I'm armed with this knowledge. :twisted:

It seems like the general consensus is to exploit the considerable diversity of offensive troops the Loyalists bring to the table (horsemen, fencers, etc.) and to simply launch tight, well-planned assaults. Those are two things my friend hasn't been doing recently, so that makes sense. He's currently fond of fighting a "guerilla war" where he spread out his troops and claims all the villages, hoping to sap me of gold. Problem is, he's then so thinly scattered that I can overwhelm him piecemeal with my local numerical superiority. Who needs fresh recruits when all your enemies are dead? I don't think there are many factions that can beat the Rebels at fast and fluid skirmishing but it's definitely not the Loyalists.

Yet, when he does launch concentrated assaults upon my main battleline, he becomes very hard to stop, which is what you guys have been suggesting!
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