Thunderers vs Scouts

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revolting_peasant
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Thunderers vs Scouts

Post by revolting_peasant »

I am playing a Dwarf faction in a campaign. I'm scratching my head wondering if I should "invest" in Thunderers at all.

For an inexperienced Knalgan such as myself, they are of limited use:

* Maximum variance in their attack damage - just 1 shot.
* Pierce damage type - not useful unless I'm fighting Drakes (which basically never happens) or wild beasts (which do appear occasionally, but those are never the stronger enemies). It's not even Fire damage, damn it!
* Ok ranged damage if they hit, low-ish melee damage.
* Same resistance and movement as most dwarves.

And I suppose that, in pairs, their damage variance evens out. But - what would I use such a unit for?

* Guard duty? Guardsman is much better in taking hits. It won't kill the attacker, but then - I can't count on the Thunderer for that either.
* Damage-dealing? Only as a gamble, and I'll need to have a "plan B" anyway - so might as well invest in that plan B to begin with.
* Reconnaissance or patrol? They're as slow as the Fighters.

If I had no alternative whatsoever for a ranged attacker, I would have no choice but to use them. But... there are the Scouts! Slightly less resistance, but they have a more consistent ranged damage (much more consistent in L2 and up), 20% more mobile, and a little less XP. And to top it off: Much better and better melee damage than Thunderers in L1 and L2 respectively; and they require a lot less XP to level: 30 vs 40, 60 vs 95.

So, why would I want Thunderguards in my army? Convince me I'm wrong!
Last edited by revolting_peasant on June 7th, 2022, 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thunderers vs Scouts

Post by Lord-Knightmare »

revolting_peasant wrote: June 6th, 2022, 8:16 pm I am playing a Dwarf faction in a campaign. I'm scratching my head wondering if I should "invest" in Thunderers at all.

For an inexperienced Knalgan such as myself, they are of limited use:

* Maximum variance in their attack damage - just 1 shot.
* Pierce damage type - not useful unless I'm fighting Drakes (which basically never happens) or wild beasts (which do appear occasionally, but those are never the stronger enemies). It's not even Fire damage, damn it!
* Ok ranged damage if they hit, low-ish melee damage.
* Same resistance and movement as most dwarves.

And I suppose that, in pairs, their damage variance evens out. But - what would I use such a unit for?

* Guard duty? Guardsman is much better in taking hits. It won't kill the attacker, but then - I can't count on the thunderer for that either.
* Damage-dealing? Only as a gamble, and I'll have to have a "plan B" anyway - so might as well invest in that plan B to begin with.
* Reconnaisance or patrol? They're as slow as the fighters.

If I had no alternative whatsoever for a ranged attacker, I would have no choice but to use them. But... there are the Scouts! Slightly less resistance, but they have a more consistent ranged damage (much more consistent in L2 and up), 20% more mobile, and a little less XP. And to top it off: Much better and better melee damage than Thunderers in L1 and L2 respectively; and they require a lot less XP to level: 30 vs 40, 60 vs 95.

So, why would I want Thunderguards in my army? Convince me I'm wrong!
I assume you're asking for the campaign-wise tactic? If so,

Keep 1-2 thunderers and focus more on Dwarven Scouts. Scouts are more reliable to some people who have bad luck in RNG. If it's Knalgan Alliance campaign, then Poacher should also be an option so you may invest XP for a Huntsman and/or Ranger as well.

Having 1-2 Dragonguards should suffice but if you clearly want to avoid them, then going all in on Dwarven Scouts is very feasible as well.

My THoT playthrough has mostly Dwarven Lords (10+), Dwarven Explorers (7-8), some Sentinels (2-3) and 2 Dragonguards, so you can see that I did not invest a lot in Dragonguards but cleared the campaign anyways.
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Re: Thunderers vs Scouts

Post by gnombat »

revolting_peasant wrote: June 6th, 2022, 8:16 pm If I had no alternative whatsoever for a ranged attacker, I would have no choice but to use them.
That's actually how it was before Wesnoth 1.8 (when the scout was added):

https://units.wesnoth.org/1.6/C/mainline.html#Dwarves
https://units.wesnoth.org/1.8/C/mainline.html#Dwarves

I think the thunderer is kind of an historical relic from the time when scouts were not available - nowadays the scout is almost always more useful.
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revolting_peasant
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Re: Thunderers vs Scouts

Post by revolting_peasant »

@gnombat: You write "almost always". When do you find Thunderers useful?

@Lord-Knightmare: In the campaign strategy you describe, you still invest in ranking up two Dragonguards. So, same question: What do you use them for?
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Re: Thunderers vs Scouts

Post by Lord-Knightmare »

In the campaign strategy you describe, you still invest in ranking up two Dragonguards. So, same question: What do you use them for?
I like to keep at least 2 of unit type's final advancement in my recall list. You can say...I am a collector of sorts.
Also, my only use for Dragonguards is when there are enemy units on very poor defense. Such as a troll on shallow water. High chance of not-missing.
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Re: Thunderers vs Scouts

Post by gnombat »

revolting_peasant wrote: June 7th, 2022, 8:50 pm @gnombat: You write "almost always". When do you find Thunderers useful?
Not often ... as you mentioned above, sometimes a ranged pierce attack is useful, so it may be wise to recruit some just in case. But usually with thunderers you'll just end up wishing you had more scouts instead.
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Re: Thunderers vs Scouts

Post by revolting_peasant »

Lord-Knightmare wrote: June 7th, 2022, 9:17 pm my only use for Dragonguards is when there are enemy units on very poor defense. Such as a troll on shallow water. High chance of not-missing.
A scout is ok in that situation too - and more likely to make it to the stranded troll with the extra movement point :P
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