Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Combo buddies - bffs

So, new day, new team, new gimmicks. :) you've heard of the Shaolin by now, I hope, and the combo system. In short, each new Shaolin attacker gets bonus damage when attacking the same unit within the same turn. Combos. Big flashy numbers on the screen, you know you want them shiny numbers.

Unsurprisingly, the best unit to start a combo with is the one that has 3 range and debuffs resistance. The poisoner.

Lookkit all that sweet, sweet range. The other units, though, are a lot more piddling on range. Still, you need at least one other unit if you want a combo, so you need to move another unit in range. Like the windblade.

See right there? That's combo goodness coming up. So, keeping in mind that the windblade has 2 range and 2 move, here's where you want to end up (the green targets) and where the windblade can be standing the turn before if you want a combo next turn (the shaded green tiles).

Nice. Now (and this ties in with my previous post about the white and black tiles), notice that the windblade likes to stand on the black tiles, when the poisoner stands on the white tiles (and by inference, the target is on a black tile). This means that the poisoner and the windblade are far less likely to be fighting over turf. For example, the poisoner and the windblade can "leapfrog" over one another to get in range, much like in this example, or the windblade can be standing in front of the poisoner to shield the squishy poisoner. Paris Poisoner and Wendy Windblade - bffs.

When taking about meat shields, you immediately think of the monk. However, the monk has 2 move, but only 1 range. What does that mean? That means the monk has to be a lot nearer to the enemy than the windblade to start with, and only has 3-4 possible attack angles. Bt the worst bit is, if you want to make full use of the monk's stumpy range, the monk has to be on the white tile, same as the poisoner! You'll come across this quite often if you play SL regularly - either your poisoner can get into position but your monk can't, or your monk is in position but your poisoner gets blocked. And this is why. So Paris poisoner says to Micole Monk - TTYN. Ok not really because SL needs every last resource it can get, butt you know what I mean.

The shadow. Ah. I ran out of green so I used grass clippings instead. Range 3 move, range 3 attack, range 3 stomp, and a big buff body means that he should be poisoners bestest friend ever, except for just one tiny thing - he does PIDDLING damage. Even with the combo and poisoner debuff, he only does 320 damage. What? Ugh. He hits as hard as a Phantom. Dude gets made fun off at the super unit parties all the time, even level 0 Wraith picks on this guy at the buffet. Anyway, super easy to get combos with him, but even getting combos don't mean much. Still, poisoner packs a hefty punch by herself - just save the last hit for shadow dearest to get the combo so he doesn't feel left out.

Ok ok I'm being mean, it's a valid tactic to do move, poisoner attack poisoner attack, shadow attack (800 units die here) and shadow rez. But generally, unless you get him in front first to get tanky, you're going to have to do a lot of work.

Right, so you may have noticed in the pictures above, the target cleric didn't actually bite it. Which is why combos kinda suck right now. In order to get the 2 hit combo kill, you need to sword the poisoner. Which you should do anyway, because who else are you going to sword, the shadow (haw haw haw). I personally find naked sworded poisoners useful generally, as throwaway assassins combined with dragon, against those dangerous +3 units. Even better if you can stomp with bamboo and somehow save the poisoner, but rot now..... Meh.

 

 

 

Just grab your combo buddy / and say these magic words: / "f*** you combos! / you don't do jack for me / i cant get no combos / 'cause it's just too hard!"

 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Oh My Damage Calculator! A Hero Academy Damage Calculator

I've been busy recently! I used to study programming, when I thought I wanted to be a computer engineer, but I took a degree in something less outsourceable in the end. I always wonder if I'd be happier as a programmer, though, and so I decided to flex those long atrophied programming chops and do up.. *drumroll*


A Hero Academy Damage Calculator!


It's fairly basic as apps go, no fancy nothing, but I'm happy just knowing that I did it. =) Remember, you can add this link as a link on your homepage, and nestle it next to your Hero Academy icon! Let me know if you like it, or if you find any bugs - leave a comment! I'll (try to) fix it!



NOTE: Please check the version number at the bottom of the calculator with the version list below - if you don't have the latest version, you may have to clear the cached website on your phone or computer. On iPhones, go to Settings / Safari / Advanced / Website Data, and delete the stuff under tabbynat.github.com.



LAST UPDATED

Ver v1.4.2.4 - 21 / 12 / 2013
Fixed damage modifier for archers and grenadiers

Ver v1.4.2.3 - 24 / 2 / 2013
Fixed Shaolin converted units dragon scale physical resistance.

Ver v1.4.2.2 - 15 / 2 / 2013
Gunner ranged damage fixed
Multiple paladin aura damage bonus is now multiplicative instead of additive.

Ver v1.4.2.1 - 9 / 2 / 2013

Updated version numbering convention to match HA patch numbering
Updates to match HA balancing v1.4.2 patch changes.
Added Grenadier Melee attack

There's a strange intermittent bug with the max hp display. Please consider just hitting the refresh button when changing target teams etc.

Ver b0.6.1 - 5 / 1 / 2013

Implementing bugfix log

Fixed Annihilator damage type

Fixed Heavy melee damage bonus

Fixed display bug for max HP

Added support for Shaolin Shadow converted units





Friday, December 7, 2012

It matters if you're (on) black or white

You might have noticed that on most of the maps, some of the tiles are lighter and some are darker, arranged in a chessboard pattern. I think that's no accident!

 

When you're learning how to play chess seriously, one of the first things you learn about the bishops (other than the fact that there are two of them) is that there is one bishop on the white tiles, one bishop on the black tiles, and the bishop on the white tiles NEVER can move onto the black tiles. Fascinating! But, you say, in HA units can take 1 step or 2 each turn, so that situation never arises. That true, but if you pay attention to what units work better on what tiles, you will find yourself having just the right units in just the right places when you really need them.

 

This comes out most obviously with the spy and the pyro from TF2 - both units have 2 move, but the pyro works best at range 2, whereas the spy works best when stabbing from behind. We'll have each nit start 1AP away from the deploy tile - most often, a player will deploy a unit and spend at least 1 AP clearing it off the deploy tile so those units don't clog up the deploy area.

The target wizard is standing on a white tile, so by starting from a white tile, the pyro only needs to take 1 AP to move into ideal range.

 

The spy, on the other hand, would prefer to start from the black tile when targeting the archer on the white tile. The spy gets full use out of each of his AP spent moving.

 

What if the pyro was on the black tile instead? Here you see that the pyro has to take a half-step in order to get the wizard in range, thus leaving no AP left to stomp.

 

Whereas the spy, when starting from the white tile, doesn't gain any AP advantage from starting one tile further in front - he has to take a half step forward.

 

This might seem obvious when we're dealing with a target and units already on the board, but where this concept really comes in is when you have a tile you really want to protect, like the sword tile on the teleport map, or a gem tile. Lets say you really really wanted to protect the gem tile marked below.

 

Clearly, you would want to have the spy on the black tile, and the pyro on the white tile, since the important location is on a white tile. So next time you're deploying your units, consider the prime spots on the map, and which units should cover which squares!

 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Run stumpy run

So, you know those new speed boost tiles on the Shaolin map?

 

Yeah, they say they add 2 to the range of the unit standing on them. They lie. Dwarves get THREE bonus range. What does that mean?

Check that range.
What this means is, never, EVER, leave that sword tile open against dwarves. Never. Ever.

 

This post has been brought to you by the People Against Ethical Treatment Of Runts.

 

 

 

Cy(stal) More!

He ain't heavy, he's my crystal killer!

 

Ok, now that the crappy puns are out of the way, I wanted to do a lightweight post about crystal killing as TF2, my other favorite race. Most people think that the demo is the best crystal killer, and that's kinda true, but under certain circumstances, the heavy's ability to hit two crystals at once for full gem tile damage really helps. What does that really mean?

 

So you see here, the demo is hitting both crystals at once. Great! But what's that, he's only doing 250 damage per crystal? What's that about? Isn't he supposed to do 100+300 damage? You see, the thing is, the demo does 50% splash damage, and that 50% applies to the bonus gem damage as well. So, what you're doing is really (200/2)+(300/2), which coincidentally is 250 damage, as in the screenshot.

What does this have to do with the heavy? Glad you asked!


Check out that hunka burning crystal! What's happening here is that the heavy does full damage on splash, which means that the bonus damage isn't reduced by 50%, unlike the demo! So you're really doing 100+300 per shot, and this only goes up by 50 per chained shot.

These are the spots the heavy can do all that damage from, with the help of a friendly (?!) knight. By the way, I missed a spot - can you find it?

If your opponent is crap enough to let you stand in one spot and wail on that crystal, you can actually take off more than half the total gem life in just 5 AP - I'd like to see the demo match that!

 

You can also do the same thing on the tribe map - even better, given that you have 2 gem tiles to play with! Remember that the scout can reach the gem tile on your side in just 1 AP from the spawn tile, and that he spawns for free!

 

If your opponent doesn't catch on, you can just about take out 2 crystals, and the thing is, it's actually not all that uncommon to find a unit in that exact spot. Before they buffed the health of the crystals, you could even take out the 2 crystals entirely in one turn! That was a buff sorely needed.

 

So! Don't overlook the heavy when crystal killing, and enjoy the new Shaolin team!

 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Angry Dwarves. Or dwarf.


Hey, Heroes need day jobs too.

Anyway, I'm kinda running out of ideas about what to post. I've got another idea for a post about spacing and whether to stand on the dark or light squares, but I'm not sure if I even make sense. =p So if you've got a burning question or an idea for a topic, let me know and maybe I'll do a post about it, if it catches my fancy. =)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Video Replay: tabby_nat(DE) v Kosamoe(CL)

Hi guys! I haven't had any new replays for a while, so here's a new trick for y'all - I recorded video clips of a league game and put it together to make a whole 40 minute game replay!

Apologies for the video quality (I didn't realise the wifi in my room was that bad) and for the commentator voice quality, though. ^^;

Hope you guys enjoy it, and if you have any comments or suggestions, please let me know!



Thursday, August 30, 2012

What to scheme when you're scheming

One very common issue a lot of new players face when they try to improve from beginners to intermediates is that they never really have a plan on how to proceed with the game, but rely on the opponent making mistakes which they can hopefully recognize and punish.

Yes, it's pretty easy, and after playing for a while you soon begin to recognize when you can punish, and how to keep yourself safe. But when these sorts of players somehow get handed the advantage, when they get some breathing space, when they somehow gain initiative, they tend to waste it by mindlessly attacking a crystal, or making a few meaningless hits and backing off, or throwing more units out there.

I've therefore picked a situation in one of my recent games, where i managed to get into a neutral position, after he took out one of my units in a trade. I had quite a few options open to me, and I'll go through each of them and my throw processes through each one - hopefully, you'll find this setting out of thought process helpful!


So this is the position at the start of my turn - since we're doing a DE v DE, I've set out all the HP counts just so you guys can follow along. =) I had a VM protecting my equipped imp on the bottom, who got taken out by the opposing imp and phantomed. So it's my turn now - apart from my buff imp being in danger, who I need to take care of, there's not much else threatening at the moment. I can't see any obvious moves to make, either. How do I make something happen? What's my plan?

At this point, I know that he's used both his soulbombs (this game was done pre-patch, so no handy reinforcement count for me!), he's got 1 scroll left, and one more imp in his hand.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Puzzle No. 4: Mind the gappe please, mind the gappe

Right, so the new TF2 map has been out for a while, but I haven't really gotten too many games on it yet. I know, I know. Each map has its own little gimmicks though, and the TF gimmick is pretty big! The crystals are far back and spread apart, and it's hard to get anything going. So, noticing that people tend to clump their units up, I tried getting some VM splash going.


Can you spot my mistake?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Splash My Void Monks

Alright, I've noticed some people coming here through a search on how void monk splash actually works. And, to my great embarrassment, I don't have any post on that! Even though I have a post on that hairy gunner (dashing monocle regardless)!

 

Well, I'm about to remedy that!

Ok, this is the basic T shaped splash that you may have heard about when people talk about void monk splash. It's easy to see why! Really quite straightforward.

The numbers for the splash, both with and without a sword. Ne that the splash is exactly 2/3 of the initial damage! The initial damage doesn't affect the splash damage, however.

 

Right, so that's it for void monk splash! But before I leave you, here's a little bonus. :)

You ever get that feeling? Where you just want to pop a scroll and dragon smash 4 hapless Council units to the nearest constellation? And when you pop that beastly combo off and when the dust settles, you get 1 KOed unit and 3 other sniggering units? Yeah. That sucks.

 
This is what you shoulda done. Pop one off in his face first, and then scroll up with that combo. Watch those dazed faces with Xes on them. You're welcome.

 

 

 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Puzzle No. 3: The Impala

Er, I mean, the impaler. So anyway.

Here's a situation which came up in a game recently, and I was dum enough not to have taken a screenshot while I was playing. So I had to recreate the situation, but my test account doesn't have DE because I'm CHEAP. So let's pretend.


Right then. Wraith dearest has less than 1350 HP (read: can be KOed by a scrolled Impala in one hit) and is fully fed, and so deals 600 damage per hit. The imp has 1050HP (read: can be KOed by the wraith in 3 hits + 1 soulbomb). Your opponent MAY have a soulbomb, but no priestesses. WHAT DO YOU DO?







Ok, so here's what I did.


I basically bet that my opponent didn't have a soulbomb. If he did, though, bomb + whack + whack + whack + nom and.. I'm in a very very sorry situation. What was the better solution, though?


After an hour or so of praying for no soulbombs, I realised I screwed up and could have avoided all that by following my own advice and THINKING about how imps function. Why let the wraith bash on you once he's up and running again? You have range, use it! So now, we've got bomb + MOVE + whack + whack + whack. Now my imp is KOed, but see that soulbomb there? That means I get to rez and OFF THAT GUY. Whew.

As it turns out in the game, he didn't have a soulbomb in hand (although he did have one in his deck) and so I scraped another win. Go me, but I should probably stop gambling and start thinking about where I park my Impala (yeah you knew this was coming).



Friday, July 20, 2012

Map tips: Tribe map


EDIT: AUGH! My blogging software screwed up on me and no one told me? Geez you guys. So if you're confused, here it is. WITH TEXT THIS TIME.

Ok, I actually did this picture up some time ago, but never got around to posting it up. So here it is! :)

A: DE has the advantage of being able to grab either gem tile in 3AP starting from a dead stop. So abuse this! If you opponent ever leaves his gem tile open, that's your cue. Pop a VM, grab that tile and abuse his gems like they were red headed stepchildren. On the flip side, THIS IS THE TRIBE MAP. Do NOT leave your gem tile unoccupied! Or you'll be the one waking up with a sore bum in the morning.

B: Imps are kinda boring most of the time, but on this map they are good for 1 thing. Or 2 things, they are pretty boss at killing gems. But yes, you can pull your opponent's gem tile guard off, move the imp onto the recently vacated gem tile, and hit that gem for x2 gem bonus damage (you did keep your own gem tile occupied, right?) This is pretty much a sacrifice of the imp, but it's practically a forced move for your opponent, because if he doesn't take care of that imp, he is definitely going to LOSE that crystal.

C: Usually, the corners of the map aren't very useful, and you never want to have any units in those corners because those units will never become useful where they are. But on this map, priestesses can be surprisingly useful in the corner! They can heal/rez whoever is on the helm/gem tile, and reach the other helm/gem tile by spending 1AP to move forward. Plus, the gem protects the priestess. This is especially good because there's so little usable space near the deploy tile - the attacking units are better placed forward. I guess this works for engineers too - you can bubble the helm/gem tile.

D: This is a good spot for those 3 range units (like the necro), but not because of the usual reason that it's a sword tile and necros are good with sword tiles. Necroturrets don't really work too well because the area that the necroturret covers isn't really important at all. You can't hit the gem tiles, you can't hit the crystal, you can't even hit many positions from which people can hit your gem! But you can however do a peekaboo - ready to move out from behind the gem and hit your opponent's middle crystal for major damage any time you control 1 or both gem tiles. The other big thing is that it blocks your sword tile. That sword tile is more dangerous to you than helpful for you. Like I said, even a necro on that tile can't hit much of anything interesting, much less an imp. On the other hand, the lack of space means that your stuff is usually clumped around the deploy tile, and in particular around the sword tile. A VM or chief can run in, take the sword tile and ruin your life. So you have to leave something there, and it may as well be a necro.



E: This is where most of your stuff is clumped up. This is also where, if you have units, grenadiers, gunners, wizards, witches, rocket dwarfs can splash your crystals and your units at the same time. This is bad, because you're pretty much forced to heal up and ignore the splash, or trade for the grenadier or whatever and eat the crystal damage or any other splash. On the other hand, it's really really hard to avoid having units in this area, so you're going to have to balance leaving units there and risking splash, or spending the AP to move off.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The 3 resources of Hero Academy

The 3 resources of Hero Academy 

Yeah, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? All burned out from the last batch of replays, the Dark Elf Tournament I’m in, and WORK (gotta pay the bills).

Anyway, today I wanted to talk about the 3 resources of Hero Academy. Most of the time, we only really think of resources in Hero Academy as units and items – if I swap a unit for an equal unit, that’s a fair trade for resources. But there’s really 3 different kinds of resources: Units, Action Points (AP), and Crystal. I’ll go through each of them in turn.



Units 
You guys know about units right? Those guys at the bottom of your screen. Lose all of them and you lose. If you have to lose a unit, make sure that your opponent loses as much, or more.

AP
AP as a resource? What? Well, yes. Remember, you only get 5 AP, and you literally need AP to do ANYTHING. Make sure that each AP you spend, makes your opponent spend as much AP or more. For example, if you attack but don’t kill a unit, make sure that your opponent needs to spend as many AP to heal up that damage (e.g. don’t use 3 AP to do 600 damage when your opponent only needs 1 AP to heal up). 

Crystal
This is actually a rather unique resource, in that you can heal damaged units, you get 5 AP each and every turn, but you can never reverse crystal damage. If you are in a deadlock situation, and you can even deal 50 damage to a crystal each turn and your opponent can’t, eventually you will win. Also, it’s unique in that you almost never notice that damage immediately. Crystals have so much health that you can use them to tank for a few rounds (tribe map excepted) and not notice it, but at around the 50% crystal health mark, crystal gets a lot more important.

 So far, nothing controversial (I hope!). Almost all HA players that read this blog will know that losing more of a resource than your opponent (e.g. trading a sworded imp for a naked imp, or trading 3AP of doing damage for 1 AP of healing up all that damage) is BAD. Well, in most circumstances, anyway. But what is really interesting is valuing trades between DIFFERENT resources.

Trading Units for AP
Take for example, a trade as follows – 1VM for 4 AP. Whaaa? How does that make sense? Simple – make 4AP worth of moves , and on the last AP, move your VM into the face of a sworded necro (assuming that the necro can’t run, of course). You’re offering your opponent a trade – I give you a VM for “free”, but you have to spend 5AP killing and stomping it. And I get to move again. Now, why would you want to make such a trade? Maybe you’ve just drew a whole bunch of units in your hand, and you need enough time to helm and sword them before the necro gets set up on the sword tile. Maybe you’ve taken the gem tile with a naked imp, who is in range of a necro, and you need to keep that imp alive for just one more turn so that your necro can start blasting. Those are all situations where you need more than 5AP, and one way of getting more than 5 AP.

Trading Units for Crystal
This is easy, people do it all the time, it’s called crystal diving – you sacrifice your unit by running in and whacking the crystal, and ending your turn in range of the counter attack. The reverse is hiding behind crystals – using the crystal as a damage sponge to protect your unit.

Trading Crystal for AP
This is where you ignore someone whacking on your crystal in order to get more units out, or equip units, or move somewhere important. Or conversely, attacking crystals – every attack is an AP that is not immediately useful, most of the time.


 I won’t say that all this is super important information, but it’s good to think about these things if you want to up your game, and you feel like you’re stuck at the unit trading level. Open your eyes to each of these 3 resources, and the trading of one type for another, and when you need one of some kind of resource or another, keep in mind the possibility of trading one for the other.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Rayje (DE) v greatgonzales (CL) - Grand Finals Reegan Memorial Tournament Game 2

Hi everyone! Looks like we've got the second match between Great Gonzales and Rayje - this one ended so quickly, we didn't have the time to do a live replay! (totally not because I was so slow. Ahem.) Can Rayje give GG some payback for the previous game? Let's find out!

Move 1
Alright, we've got the tribe map. If you've ever played on this map, you know how good (bad?) it is for crystal rushes. Rayje decides to start on the bottom, away from his gem tile. Ooo I don't know about that. Is he intending to contest GG's gem tile with the imp? The middle and bottom crystals are still up (obviously), so that's 600 physical damage - the imp can take the tile but not hold it. At the same time, he's going to be behind in covering his own gem tile. Dicey!

Move 2
GG opens with 2 wizards and the ninja. Very early ninja, which is actually not too bad - it's hard to threaten the ninja this early, and you have him out so you can upgrade him, making him pretty beefy next turn (at least 4 hits with a 300 damage unit). He doesn't have any clerics in hand, though, which must be pretty worrisome - any damage is going to stick for a while.

Move 3
Rayje takes the wiz, but summons the wraith to stomp, so that GG can't take the imp back with the ninja! This is getting exciting! GG can hit the wraith with 2 crystals, 1 move and 1 hit from the wiz, and then stomp, but that opens up the opportunity for the imp to move in and kill the ninja. That would be the ideal move, if Rayje smells that GG doesn't have any pots or clerics in the back. Is GG willing to bet it? If not, he'll have to dodge the ninja, and make a threat some other way - maybe move the ninja, shield the ninja, pull out an archer to kill the wraith.. something to turn his hand over while keeping the ninja 2AP away from the imp.

Move 4
GG shows that he's made of sterner stuff than I am, and goes for the top gem. MEGA bluff - if Rayje ignores this, GG can kill the top crystal. On this map... It's probably not a good idea to trade 1 crystal for 1 ninja.

Move 5
Rayje agrees, and reclaims his gem tile with his imp. Still, he's up 1 wiz for free at this point, and GG still has to spend AP to deal with the wraith hanging around in his territory.

Move 6-7
I think we're missing a move here, but it's clear what happened. GG took the time to bring out the archer and shielded it, and took out the wraith. Then, Rayje soul bombs everything of GG's on the lower half, and uses the raised wraith to work on the middle crystal some more. 

Move 8
GG swords the archer and takes out the wraith again. So they're about even on crystal, but GG's damaged crystal is the already vulnerable middle crystal, whereas the hard to hit top crystal for Rayje is already half down. On the unit front, they're about even as well, trading a bare wraith for a wiz, wizards being key crystal killers and the wraith being, well, a big lunk of super-not-very-useful.

Move 9
Long distance imp sniping. GG's managed to scrounge up a pot by now, though.

Move 10
Good ol teleport. I'm wondering why GG chose to swap with the relatively more high value archer than the wiz, though. Also, if he wanted to sac his necro, he could move move move shoot stomp, thus leaving phantoms to waste AP.

Move 11
Monks are speedy and have splash damage. Always good to remember. Not so easy to see coming, though.
Move 12
GG turns more cards. Move along.

Move 13
Rayje upgrades the necro, and shields him with the priestess. Not a bad idea - the necro can still 3 shot the archer, even if she has a shield on. Rayje can't do it from this position, though, so there's some maneuvering to be had first. With the archer at the bottom, its going to be hard to take both gem tiles and force a crystal kill win that way. If Rayje was going for a crystal kill, he could also have placed his necro behind the middle crystal to play peekaboo once he got a unit on his gem tile. If he's going for a TKO, then he should consider punishing GG for not having any clerics out.

Move 14
And the clerics are out. =) With 2 sworded archers on the map, and the knight on the gem tile, I'm not sure if ANY strategy is going to work at this point.

Move 15
Rayje's not giving up though! Tougher stuff than me, that's for sure. The first order of the day appears to be to get an imp upgraded and slowly move it forward to where we can get some hopefully uncontested kills, preferably units with bows on. Notice how the middle crystal stubbornly blocks the way? I'm wondering if placing the VM 1 square nearer, aiming to kill the middle crystal and splashing the archer, might help. To top it off, Rayje's hand is really terrible now- full of equipment to take hits, but seriously - nothing can really stand up to a sworded archer. For reference, the VM will go down in 3 hits with or without armor, and vanilla 800 hp units need 2 items to last a measly 3 AP. Not good.

Move 16
GG doesn't have to take any risks - nothing's threatening him directly now, so he's content to take out most of the bottom crystal, peekabooing with the bottom archer.

Move 17-18
Rayje moves his VM up somewhere (in front of the middle crystal?) blocks his gem tile with the priestess, and spends the rest of his AP equipping his necro. GG responds by taking out the VM with the forward archer, and fireballing the whole mess to stomp.
Move 19
Rayje moves the necro up and takes out the forward archer! Excellent move - this was why he spent the time buffing up the necro. Now, the necro can take 3 hits from the sworded archer before dying, and if the archer stomps, it's open to getting counter attacked by the sworded imp. If the cleric moves forward to rez the buffed archer, then either the archer or the cleric will be left in range of the necro (which means lights out!).

Move 20
GG avoids all that mess and does the forcing move - the wiz dives in and takes out the top crystal. Rayje has to respond, or he'll lose the middle crystal right there.

Move 21-22
It looks like Rayje took out the wiz with the imp, and phantomed the corpse. With the remaining 2 AP, he brings out... another necro? On the sword tile? GG shows what he thinks about shielding the crystal with a necro and punches right through, using a scroll and dealing significant crystal damage.

Move 23-24
Rayje heals the necro back up and takes out the archer, but the cleric waltzes in, touches the crystal and it's good game GG. :)

Looking back at the course of the game, it seems like this all started in move 4, where Rayje left his gem tile unprotected. Up to that point, he had a good attack going, but a wiz on that tile forced him to thin his units out too much, ending up with only 1 necro on the map, giving GG LOADS of time to get set up and in a commanding board position with forward knights and two sworded archers. Rayje spent another 5AP killing the ninja (which was really necessary), but by sacrificing the ninja GG got another 5AP to improve his position. On this map in particular, speed is essential. If you give your opponent 5 free AP to set up a gem kill, you are going to pay for it in spades, and not necessarily in crystal health, either - notice that the wiz didn't actually do all that much damage. The damage was forcing Rayje to back off his imp, giving GG time to improve his position. My advice - spend the 3AP to get a unit out and on your gem tile, or you'll really regret it later on this map, whether it's having to delay your attack at a crucial point to save your gem, or something else.

Hope y'all enjoyed the replay!