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How to beat a magic-heavy Undead army?

 
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UltimaGabe
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:38 pm GMT    Post subject: How to beat a magic-heavy Undead army? Reply with quote

So, I taught my brother-in-law how to play Dragon Diceâ„¢ yesterday, and we've played a couple games so far. He tried out Undead, and once he had the hang of magic, he began taking full advantage of it.

Our most recent game went like this: 36-health game, no Dragonkin of magic items or Eladrim. Just a bunch of undead )him) vs. a bunch of ferals (me). He started off by putting all but two health into his horde army, and thus winning the roll to go first. All three terrains wound up at 3, so kind of middle-of-the-road.

As soon as he was able, he pulled all of his units into the reserves, and began casting magic. Every turn, he was summoning a dragon (or two!) to whichever terrain of mine had the most people. Most rounds I was able to fight them off (and since I was playing Ferals, my forces didn't start dwindling for a while (though once they started, they fell apart hard).

My problem is, as much as I could try to fight back, there was nothing I could do to hurt him. I spent every round maneuvering the terrains uncontested, but to do so means I have to forego casting any magic at all (meaning I couldn't use any Breaths of Life to supplement my Feralization, meaning once my units started dwindling I couldn't stop it) and there was literally nothing I could do to hurt him. I could have chosen to maneuver down (or just not maneuver up) to try and use magic of my own, but his biggest damage-dealing tactic was summoning dragons, which I couldn't do (since he was in the reserves). I did hit him with a couple lightning strikes at the beginning and took out a Lich and a Carrion Crawler, but once a round passed where I hadn't killed both his dragons he just used that magic to bring them back. I ended up having to abandon two terrains just so I'd have a fighting chance at surviving the dragons (which, to be fair, I did for quite a while) which meant I had almost no chance of winning by taking terrains, because my only hope was to either slowly move units by retreat/reinforcement (giving him two rounds to take out my units with Finger of Death) or hope to get to the 8th face and then cast Path (which I didn't have a chance to do). We both knew he can't double ID icons from the reserves, but he was rolling so many dice that it didn't matter. (Once I abandoned one terrain, he swooped in and used its low face to cast magic with doubled IDs.) When the game ended, all of my units were dead, about a quarter of them were buried, and every single one of his were alive (technically speaking, of course).

Can someone tell me what I should have done in this case? The entire game I was on the defensive, since there was nothing I could do to to attack him the way he was attacking me. I could have done the same tactic as him (though not as effectively since he's got the advantage of stepped damage, while Feralization requires a terrain) but then the game wouldn't have gone anywhere, with him eventually beating me through attrition. I'm sure there's ways I could have specifically built an army from the beginning to beat that tactic, but there has to be a way to combat it without knowing the other player's tactics ahead of time. And the thing is, the more I thought about it, I realized that I do the exact same thing when I'm playing Undead (as does another friend of mine) because it's so dang effective!

I'm sure you guys out there have experienced (or used) this tactic before. What can you recommend? My brother-in-law said he's purposely going to avoid this tactic next time, but I don't think that should be necessary.

Help me!
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chuckpint
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:15 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, let's start with all the ways the rules got broken here....

First of all, the largest army you can have in any starting army is half the total health. So in a 36-health game, no army can have more than 18 health.

Second, look at what spells can be cast from reserves. No spells that target another player's army, another player's units, any terrains, or other player's DUA can be cast. Summon Dragon targets a terrain. So it cannot be cast from reserves. Page 14 of the rules under "Reserve Magic" calls out specifically what spells can be cast from reserves. You won't find Summon Dragon on that list. You also won't find Finger of Death.

So he should avoid this tactic, because it's against the rules!
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My collection is 21,500 Dragon Diceâ„¢, 20,000 Daemon Diceâ„¢, and others (too many to count).
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UltimaGabe
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:50 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

chuckpint wrote:
First of all, the largest army you can have in any starting army is half the total health. So in a 36-health game, no army can have more than 18 health.


I am aware of that- his army was only 18 health of magic units. That's still a LOT of magic.

chuckpint wrote:
Second, look at what spells can be cast from reserves. No spells that target another player's army, another player's units, any terrains, or other player's DUA can be cast. Summon Dragon targets a terrain. So it cannot be cast from reserves. Page 14 of the rules under "Reserve Magic" calls out specifically what spells can be cast from reserves. You won't find Summon Dragon on that list. You also won't find Finger of Death.


Ah, you are absolutely correct. For some reason I completely forgot that.

That being said, let's say the player instead parks his massive 36-health army at one terrain and doesn't budge. With the exception of doing the same with my own people (instead of splitting up my people in order to take two terrains) how do you combat this the best?
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chuckpint
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:16 am GMT    Post subject: Re: How to beat a magic-heavy Undead army? Reply with quote

UltimaGabe wrote:
He started off by putting all but two health into his horde army, and thus winning the roll to go first.
This is the part I was referring too where you could only have a maximum of 18 health. The Horde, Campaign, and Home starting armies each have to have at least one health, but no more than half of your total health. So you can't have "all but two health" in the Horde, at most 18 health. Of course, after the game starts, you can move all your units to one terrain. But you can't start the game that way.

Putting all your units into one army is called "turtling". See this thread for more discussion about how to counter it:
http://sfr-inc.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=3726
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You can never have too many dice.
First Place at the first ever Daemon Diceâ„¢ sealed starter tournament.
Battlefest tied for first GenCon 2012
Single Race Champion GenCon 2008-2009, Sealed Box Champion GenCon 2007,2009,
My collection is 21,500 Dragon Diceâ„¢, 20,000 Daemon Diceâ„¢, and others (too many to count).
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cliffwiggs
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:18 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

For my two cents.

If someone parks a bunch of mages on a terrain, take the fight to them.

if it is a low number, you can out maneuver them and get them off magic.

if it is a high number (ie 8 ), they will get double saves, but mages don't save well to begin with. So let the blood bath begin!

You only need one lone soldier to survive the battle to declare victory.
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UltimaGabe
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 2:26 pm GMT    Post subject: Re: How to beat a magic-heavy Undead army? Reply with quote

chuckpint wrote:
This is the part I was referring too where you could only have a maximum of 18 health. The Horde, Campaign, and Home starting armies each have to have at least one health, but no more than half of your total health. So you can't have "all but two health" in the Horde, at most 18 health. Of course, after the game starts, you can move all your units to one terrain. But you can't start the game that way.


Oh, my mistake. I was not aware of that- I'll keep that in mind next time.
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