Monday, January 30, 2012

The Ninja Bomb

Today I am writing about the Council strategy I call the "Ninja Bomb".  It's one of the most powerful Council configurations you can use.  It involves a dual-wielding Ninja, sitting next to your priest safely within your territory, and a heavily armed Knight with a Shield and Helm deep in enemy territory.

The Knight has 1440 health, 40% armor and 20% magic resist.  This makes it virtually unkillable in a single turn to just about everything in the game.  Think about it, 1440 health can withstand:

  • 5 hits from any 200 damage unit (600 or 800 damage)
  • 5 hits from any 200 damage unit even when it's standing on a Red Sword (900 or 1200 damage)
  • 5 hits from any 300 damage unit (900 or 1200 damage)
  • ANY unit spawned in from the spawn locations.  An Archer/Impaler spawned in, given a weapon, and then a scroll.  (Spawn, weapon, scroll, attack, attack is 1800 damage, exactly 1080 after resists).  The only exception to this is a Ninja.  If your enemy still has their Ninja, just don't end your turn next to a spawn point.

Once you have your Knight in enemy territory, and your Ninja safely on your side, you can set up turns that look something like:
1. Swap Ninja and Knight
2. Ninja Attack
3. Ninja Attack
4. Stomp
5. Swap Knight back in for Ninja

If your Knight is injured, you can substitute a priest heal for Actions 2-4.  If there's no risk of healer intervention you can skip the stomp.

In pretty much every game I play as the Council I try to set up a good Ninja Bomb situation.  More and more of my Council opponents are doing it as well.  And, as this screenshot shows, a lot of my Council-Council games have double Ninja Bomb setups.  In this screenshot you can see my opponent has planted a Knight deep in my base, and I have my Knight (I haven't drawn a helm yet) in his endzone.

A few Ninja Bomb tips

  • If you can end your Knight on red swords, the Ninja can do some crazy damage when he pops in.  A Ninja standing on a Red sword can 1-shot 800 health units.
  • Ending your turn on the enemy shield is incredibly effective as well, it renders your Knight completely immune to everything short of Archers standing on red squares.
  • Use your Knight's knockback to set up favorable positioning for a future turn
  • Enemy archers are typically the biggest threat, get up in their face to make it difficult for them to shoot for maximum damage.
  • Sometimes the best approach isn't to swap, but rather run straight in with your Ninja, and then on a subsequent turn you can port in a Wizard or an Archer to apply damage from the front while you continue to set up devastating bomb configurations.
  • Swapping for a second Knight back at home can allow you to keep up pressure at opportune moments without having to stop and heal.

Playing against Ninja Bomb

  • Sometimes you can suicide a unit with a weapon and a scroll to dash directly at the ninja and stomp it.  If you ever get this opportunity, take it.  Losing a few units to take out a sworded Ninja is almost always worth it.
  • Try not to have any of your units end their turn next to the Knight.  You opponent wants nothing more than to port in and already be in melee range of a target.
  • Even though you can't take the Knight out in a single turn, try to plink a little bit of damage onto the Knight.  Do NOT shoot the knight more than twice if you can't kill it.  Your opponent will simply laugh and heal the damage away with a priest.  But if you spend 1 or 2 actions to plink the Knight your opponent will be forced to use an action to priest-heal it.  This will make it fairly difficult to have enough actions to stomp and still get the Ninja out to safety.  If your opponent doesn't keep the Knight topped off, the Knight will eventually be in health range to be bursted down.


  1. Thanks for the useful tips.

  2. another way to use this is if a piece is injured in the field, you can swap it with ninja so that cleric can heal it. It's a bit more defensive but comes in handy once you have the ninja and the cleric safely ensconced in your territory.

  3. good stuff man -- I've been using this effectively for a while when I play as Council. sometimes even getting multiple kills against wounded enemies, and dropping the firebomb to stomp for pure humiliation. good to see someone made a name for it. :) hit me up if you wanna play sometime, same name.

  4. Matt: Good call on the swap to heal. Ninjas are so good!

    I'm currently on a receiving end of a Ninja Bomb as the Dark Elves. I haven't drawn an Impaler, or a Wraith, and man - sucks to be on the other side!

    I'm about to try another approach to deal with it, rushing 3 units forward on the board at once. I think that'll help. The theory being maybe I can put pressure on the front, or maybe this will make it easier to get a unit within range to suicide on the Ninja? Not sure - I think I'm going to lose this one.

  5. Also note, upgraded Wraiths can take the knight down.


  6. A knight with a shield has 40% resist, not 20%. A knight with a shield on a shield tile has 60% resist.

  7. Oh good point yes, knight with shield has 40% phys resist. Totally messed up when I wrote the original article.

  8. Just found your blog and love it! More Hero Academy posts please :D