Sunday, January 29, 2012

Winning with a Wraith that never attacked

I recently lost a Hero Academy a game to an Empowered Wraith that never took a swing.


Here was the early board position about 4 turns in:

I'm playing purple on the left, and my enemy is orange on the right.  As you can see, the enemy Wraith at position A was pre-scrolled.  Pre-scrolling means my opponent had used a scroll on his Wraith but had not yet attacked with the Wraith. To be clear, generally speaking you almost never want to pre-scroll.  Pre-scrolling

  • Gives up the element of surprise
  • Leaves your unit vulnerable to being pre-emptively attacked and killed without you ever gaining the benefit of the scroll.  
  • vs. Dark Elves even if you can't be killed, it presents your opponent with an opportunity to hit with a Priestess debuff your pre-scrolled unit.  The Priestess debuffs any unit she attacks to deal 50% less damage on it's next attack, which means the 50% damage debuff will mess up your pre-scrolled attack.
In this case, however, pre-scrolling the Wraith made a lot of sense because it set up the potential to
Action 1. Move out
Action 2. Kill an enemy in swing
Action 3. Devour
Action 4. Move back to safety

This even leaves 1 extra action to spare which can be used for an extra move at the front or back of the action set, or an extra attack as needed.

To compensate, I positioned all of my units to be outside striking range of the empowered Wraith.  The Orange area is how far the Wraith can get in 1 move, the Purple area is after 2 moves and the Red area are all the spots the Wraith could melee attack on Action 3.

Here I was thinking I was so smart for staying free of the Wraith's zone of control, denying him the sweet use of his scroll and Wraith.  The problem?  The Wraith threat created such a huge sphere of influence, it enabled the rest of his army free reign over the board.  My opponent used my passivity to attack my crystals directly with Sworded Sorcerer from position A and B.

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit, but the game ended about 5 turns later from continuous crystal damage. I spent so long trying to maneuver around the empowered Wraith, I wasn't putting enough pressure on his other units.  When I finally realized the imminent threat of continuous crystal damage, it was too late to do anything about it.

In essence, the threat of the Empowered Wraith over multiple turns was far greater than the damage I would have incurred if I had simply allowed the Wraith to attack and devour one of my units.

I would have been far better off rushing forward with multiple units at once, allowing the Wraith to devour, accepting the loss but putting forth serious pressure in return.

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