Friday, May 24, 2013

Basics: Numbers are Important!

Throughout this blog, I'll be talking about numbers. A lot. Some of you might be put of by this - man, I don't want to have to pull out a calculator every time I play! Yeah, I understand, but nevertheless, numbers mean the difference between staying alive with 5hp and getting KOed.

Thankfully, most of the common situations in HA don't require too much calculation. Take a look at this.

Is shows you how much damage a 300 physical damage attacker does in 1 shot. It's 300 on most units, as you would expect. But what's this? The archer only does 240 damage against a knight? That's because of physical resistance of 20%, which generally. A few of each team's units have.

A generic unit has 800 hp and no resistances. The keen eyed among you might realize that that means that an archer can kill this generic unit in 3 hits, for 900 damage! But what about if the archer has a shield and helm on, which makes gives her 20% resistance to magic and physical damage, and increased health? That 20% resistance means that each shot will do 240 damage, same as to the knight. And 3 x 240 is only... 720 damage. So the archer can no longer kill in 3 hits. But if you add one more hit, though, that would be a total of 960 damage, and the generic unit, with both shield and helm, have exactly 960 hp!

Look at that!

The more you play, the more obvious these number thresholds become. So watch out for them.

For 0% resist and 200 damage, the numbers are 200, 400, 600, 800 (generic unit gets KOed here), 1000.

For 0% resist and 300 damage, the numbers are 300, 600, 900 (generic unit gets KOed here), 1200 (almost all units get KOed by now), 1500

For 20% resist and 200 damage, the numbers are 160, 320, 480, 640, 800 (unupgraded Void Monk gets KOed here)

For 20% resist and 300 damage, the numbers are 240, 480, 720 (low hp units like shielded but not helmed poisoner and annihilator get KOed here), 960 (most dual upgraded units KOed here), 1200.


Keep track of the important numbers ( you'll get a feel for them eventually) and you won't have to keep whipping out the calculator! :)


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New Player Guide to Hero Academy

Hi there! You're here because you're a regular reader of my blog (in which case, hi again!), or you're a new player who's just found Hero Academy!

Well, if you like asynchronous turn based strategy games that you can play on your iPhone, you're in luck. because this is the best one yet. I should know, I've been playing this for over a year now. =p

So, what is Hero Academy like? It's kind of like the old-timey turn based strategy games like final fantasy tactics, crossed with chess, that's playable whenever you have a spot of spare time. Since it's asynchronous (each player takes his turn, and there's no time limit), most players tend to play 10 games or so at a time, so you always have turns to make. If I'm playing a tournament game or a league game (more on leagues later), I can take up to 20 minutes on a single move, and I commonly close the game to think about my response before coming back half a day later to see if I still think that move was a good idea.

If I had to compare it to other games, I would actually compare it to turn based Street Fighter, of all things! As opposed to Outwitters (another fine asynchronous strategy game), which is more like a turn based Starcraft.

Your aim in this game is to destroy your opponent's crystals, or KO all of your opponents units. You do this by killing his units and attacking his crystals. But if you're reading this blog, you know that already. ;) How you get to the end point of killing his crystals and his units, though, is by limiting his options, creating threats, and making favourable trades.

How to get good at Hero Academy
You might be overwhelmed at first, but here's a few tips:

1. Learn what everything does. You can do that by clicking on the question mark and then on the unit or item. You can find out what your opponent's units do too! Don't rush, though. There's a saying in Go or Chess, lose your first 100 games as fast as you can. ;) Trial and error is great too! There's always a time for learning.

2. Think ahead. Well, start by thinking about the move you have in front of you, and then think about what happens after. This is where the undo button comes in handy!

Basics: Take it back! The undo button!

3. Think strategically. After playing for a while, you'll notice certain patterns - where to stand, where not to stand, which units are most effective against which race, and so on. If you lose to something, think about why you lost to that, and do better next time!

4. Think tactically. This is the other side of the coin - sometimes, there'll be trick plays and gimmicks that your opponent doesn't know about or didn't see at the time. If you can see these moves, you gain a BIG advantage! You'll need a lot of experience, though. =)

External Links You Should Know About
The Official Hero Academy Forums on Robot Entertainment Website - lots of interesting information here, and the place to talk about the game with your fellow players!

The New Player Assistance Thread on the Forums - Sign up here to play teaching games against people who (mostly) know what they're doing! There are also guides for all the teams here, so that you know what to do to get started.

The Robot Entertainment Fans Player League - Sign up here if you want to play in a player-run league. The ingame stats are a bit rubbish, but this League uses an ELO ranking system to make ladder climbing a bit more.. interesting!

This post is going to be a collection of the new player help guides that I'll post in the future - I'll come back to edit this post to add new links to posts which I think would help new players, so feel free to send a link to this post to your friends that want to get into Hero Academy!

Basics: Take it back! The undo button!

One of the best things about Hero Academy is not its variety of playstyles (although that's great), is not its depth of play (which is excellent), is not its funny and emotive characters (they're funny!), but the undo button. Huh? Yes, the undo button. You don't know how much you miss it until it's gone. The undo button lets you try out a turn before committing to it, so that you know where you'll end up, and how everything will look before you press the submit button. You can use it to figure out how much damage you'll do to a certain unit (if you don't feel like breaking out the calculator). You can use it to figure out if you'll actually kill a unit with the scroll, or without the scroll. With the sword, or without the sword. With both the sword and scroll? With both sword, scroll and fireball? The undo button is there to let you experiment without consequences! I have to say, I use the undo button at least once every turn, most of the time. Here's a video that shows you just how you can use the undo button.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Game Replay tabby_nat(DE) v KevinSpinti(DW)

Hi all!

This is a game between me and KevinSpinti, both of us are in the league, Kevin being ranked around 1450 ELO. An interesting game! I hope you enjoy. =)

Move 1
I don't like this map against DW. If you want to use the sword tile, you have to clump up between the crystals. One standard tactic for DE is to have a necro on the sword tile, and an imp either behind the top crystal or near the shield tile to be in position to swoop in and drag units into range of the necro.

However, this means that you'll have at least an imp and a necro within splash range of the top crystal. Add a priestess, and you're not going to be able to recover from grenadier splash.

I really think that these original maps were not designed with DW in mind. >.>

So anyway, DW - this match is tough for DE. DW has 2 scrolls and 2 drills, and you can only have 3 monster units. The aim is always then to force DW to spend that stuff early - VMs are good for this, as are helmed imps. These units take 4 hits to kill normally, so DW has to spend a scroll or drill, and then you gain the advantage. Notice how I'm ignoring the gunner when I say 4 hits - although the gunner is technically a 300 damage physical damage dealer, it's quite easy to avoid him, so position yourself accordingly.

My early game aim is therefore to get a helmed imp or VM in his face, create some threat and force him to spend stuff early so that I can wreck his face with my +3 monster VM in the end game. :)

Looking at my hand, the imp/necro combo is still good, so I go with that opening for now. Lets see what kind of an opening Kevin has.

Move 2
Kevin comes out with a grenadier and 2 engineers. I'm hoping this means that he's trying to flip cards due to having rubbish in his hand. Usually, DW will deploy their pallies early to get maximum benefit from the aura.

Kevin: not a great opening draw here. Grenadiers are usually the MVPs for dwarves on this map due to the AOE with the crystals near the middle, so I put a shield on the grenadier and put him in a spot where he can jump out for a quick 3 crystal hits. This will put some early pressure on Tabby, especially if i can control the crystal boost square. I'm hoping for a sword and a paladin on my next draw.