Friday, April 11, 2008

Kongai: Higashi Get (4/11/08)

I went a bit long in talking about Higashi that I forgot to talk about getting Higashi. Who, again, is a nice card to have. Not super-amazing but he fits real well into a lot of decks and he's a card you can build the rest of your collection around.

This week's challenge, though, involves Warlords. Which, for me anyway, is a nice step up from last week's Thing-Thing Ugh. But strap yourself in because it'll take a little while.

Warlords is one of those games where you build units and send them towards your opponent's side of the screen while your opponent does the same. They meet in the middle and battle it out and, as one side fares better than the other, the line of battle slowly shifts. I call them the Kamehameha Duel games since they're like fighting with two firehoses aimed at each other.

This game, though, is a little more deep than that since you have multiple rows and different units and stats to upgrade. And even different factions with their own inherent bonuses to select at the start.

You'll pick one of those several different factions - from the Human Alliance to the Night Elves to the Mountain Trolls - and start out with a bit of territory. To beat the game, you'll need to conquer 25 other territories all held, at the start, by the other factions. You'll pick a territory to invade - there's an indicator of its relative strength to help you decide - and you'll head into the battle screen where your little men will settle matters for you. Winning a battle earns you gold which you can spend to buy new troop units or to upgrade them.

It's a pretty fun little game although the battles tend to drag on a bit long for my tastes. It takes a while to fully destroy your opponent even long after the issues been decided.

The goal of the challenge, though, is to conquer 10 of those territories. And that's really not hard at all - it'll just take you a few hours of your time. Not as much of an investment as, say, Balloon Invasion but you won't be earning the card just for logging in.

I'm sure there are other ways to go but here's how I did it.

The key to this game is finding units that are cheap, quick, but strong which you can pump out and flood the map with. Not only should they steamroll your opponent but because they build quickly you'll have your Charge! special ready more often so you can send a complete top to bottom column of units at your enemy.

Looking through the various options, I found the Undead to be the best choice. They get a very large - +3 - bonus to Halberd and you have just enough money to buy Halberders off the start. At early levels they'll slice through their opposition and by later levels you'll have earned enough money to make sure they keep doing so.

In battle you want to pick one row and just pump your units into it. Make sure to watch what your opponent is doing and send one or two units at them if they try and slip someone by in another row (The tricky night elves seem fond of this) although it mostly doesn't matter. If you concentrate on massing your forces in one line the AI seems to respond by doing the same - and the idea here is that your forces are probably going to be better and will slowly but surely push them off the map. And once you start rolling you'll more than make up for the damage that any stray units cause. The only thing you'll really have trouble with is if they start building a lot of ranged units (As the Southern Orcs seem fond of doing. If they have enough Axemen they'll blast your units apart before they even get close.) in which case, change rows and try again.

Once you have enough money to upgrade, invest in Speed and Armor so your troops will last longer and can march across the field faster - this was absolutely crucial for me since the. game. is. so. slow. And once you've saved up enough buy either the Flailers or Mounted Halberders. They're nice high damage units that are perfect for a Charge but are too slow building to be your staple units. And once you're mega-rich you can start making your Halberds even better, too.

Pumping out units like that beat the game for me. You might have a better idea to pursue, well, there's something so right about a horde of shambling bones swinging their scythes as they march towards victory but by all means, do your own thing - I hear the Mountain Trolls' Spearmen can work just as well, plus, Giant Trolls.

Whatever you do, though, you'll want to head to the options and toggle the auto-send to on. That way your units go across the screen as soon as they're ready not when you've pressed the spacebar. It makes it pretty easy to just sit there, keeping an eye on your game, while you do something else. Like, say, write a blog post.

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