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.

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 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). 

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.

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