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  #1  
Old April 4th, 2007, 08:57 PM

MaxWilson MaxWilson is offline
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Default Helheim dirty tactic

As soon as I got the full game I started a game as Helheim just to see what everyone was so excited about with the sacreds. I keep starting other games but then fun tricks occur to me that wouldn't work without Helheim's combination of paths (the only path I wish it had and doesn't is Astral) so even without dual-blesses I keep coming back to it. Here's one I haven't tried yet but which seems quite dirty.

For a long time I didn't know what to do with the Air-1 Svartalfs beyond using them as inferior earth or death mages. Then someone pointed out that the +350% affliction chance from death-9 applies to spells as well as weapons, and suddenly possibilities... emerged. The E3A1 Evoc-7 spell Rain of Stones claims to be pretty much equivalent to Blade Wind except that it covers the whole battlefield. It's not. Unlike Blade Wind, shield-equipped units still take heavy damage. It's usually not enough to kill them, but most units in the army will take 3-7 points of damage even with Prot 12. Combine that with a D9-blessed Svartalf (which requires astral mages to forge Shrouds of the Battle Saint for 5 pearls, available at Const-4) and pretty much the WHOLE BATTLEFIELD is going to be afflicted. Of course that includes your own forces. I can therefore see two scenarios:

1.) Soften up enemy armies the turn before attack with a blessed air Svartalf placed on the back of the battlefield, scripted to <Summon Earthpower, Rain of Stones, retreat>. If you want to save the Svartalf, add Ironskin in there first and give him three Earth gems instead of one to reduce his fatigue enough to still be able to retreat. Or write him off and save the gems. Cost: 5S, 1-3E, in exchange for annihilating an enemy army of arbitrary size as a useful force.

2.) Research Enchantment-4 and use a Winged Helmet or Bag of Winds to boost him to A2. Then cast Cloud Trapeze to drop said Svartalf onto an enemy army in the magic phase before normal movement takes place. Follow up if possible with a normal army attack on the same turn to wipe out the pathetic remnants--they'll still be low on hitpoints and probably morale. This tactic would work even without the D9 blessing, but the synergy is that even if the enemy out-foxes you in the movement phase (causing your regular army to miss), your Svartalf will have done more than just killing off 20% of the force with Rain of Stones. He'll have crippled the whole army. Cost: 28A, 5S, 1-3E. Hopefully you get to reuse the helm and shroud so the marginal cost is 3A, 3E, for a cruise missile that can cripple armies of arbitrary size.

I'm dying to test this out, but I understand the #startspell map command is broken so I can't use Gandalf's test map and I haven't had a chance to do it in a game vs. myself. It occurs to me that the cruise missile variant wouldn't work vs. armies with lots of Paralyze, etc., in which case you'd probably add a couple of castings of Call of the Wind to provide extra targets, and give him Earth Boots to eliminate one round of delay.

-Max

Edit: Of course, in practice you've got Dwarven Hammers so the cruise missile variant only costs 20A, 3S, 3E, and the regular is 3S, 1E. Plus 180 gold for the Svartalf. : )
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Old April 4th, 2007, 09:33 PM

MaxWilson MaxWilson is offline
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Default Re: Helheim dirty tactic

Okay, so I tested this and it looks like I overestimated the damage Rain of Stones does against armored troops. Out of an army of 100 Ambibate nobles I tried this on, fully 38 survived with no afflictions, and some weren't even wounded. But 24 were killed and 46 were afflicted. Even Flames From the Sky won't get you that affliction rate.

-Max
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Old April 4th, 2007, 10:28 PM

Micah Micah is offline
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Default Re: Helheim dirty tactic

12 chest prot vs 14 damage...I'd think it would be biased to head hits, which would be 15 prot instead, but it's hard to tell without a mod or a lot of living pillars.

The chance of getting a 0 damage body hit is 38% though, according to the table, which is pretty close to what you got.

No idea how 24 of them died though, that seems like a really really high number.
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Old April 4th, 2007, 10:52 PM

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Default Re: Helheim dirty tactic

38% had no afflictions, but when I watched the battle replay a lot of those were from little 1-2 point hits, and the occasional unscratched guy. I did run it a couple of times and 25% dying is about par for the course; maybe it's not really 14 damage. Or maybe it's armor-piercing; one Ironskinned Svartalf with Prot 20 took 11 points of damage and died, which is a lot more plausible with AP than normal attacks. The thing I was most surprised about, though, is that shields don't help. Blade Wind does almost nothing to Ambibate Nobles, but Rain of Stones stomped all over them and I presume it will do the same to any medium infantry (or EA heavies).

-Max
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Old April 5th, 2007, 12:23 AM
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Default Re: Helheim dirty tactic

it comes from above, maybe it hits the head (thus taking into account mostly their helmet)
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Old April 5th, 2007, 12:42 AM

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Default Re: Helheim dirty tactic

Wish,

Micah pointed out that the Ambibate Nobles' protection is actually *better* on the head (15 vs. 12), so 14 damage should be negligible. And the Ironskinned Svartalf's Protection was 20 on both head and body.

-Max
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Old April 5th, 2007, 01:05 AM

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Default Re: Helheim dirty tactic

Critical hits? There's probably a base chance of getting them.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 01:13 AM

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Default Re: Helheim dirty tactic

Not according to the rulebook Sombre...unfatigued units can't be critted.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 02:27 AM

MaxWilson MaxWilson is offline
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Default Re: Helheim dirty tactic

Yeah, the critical hit might explain the Svartalf casualty (his fatigue was 70-something after casting).

-Max
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Old April 5th, 2007, 04:30 AM
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Default Re: Helheim dirty tactic

hmm, weird.

I noticed svartalfs are also well suited for wind of death. (and you throw twiceborn on them, and the sacrifice results in them comming back stronger.)
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