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.


Move 3
Helms and swords are cluttering up my hand, so I deploy a VM on the shield tile and equip him with a sword. This lets the VM generate reasonable threat (especially with no pally to heal up harassment damage) while the shield tile makes him super tough against drills (down to 360!). Im hoping for a soul bomb, pot, or priestess in my new tiles, so that I can save the VM if Kevin goes all in as a gamble against my VM, hoping that I can't rez and retreat.

I'll probably deploy the wraith near the gem tile on the bottom to get some noms if the necro or other fodder gets KOed.


Move 4
Kevin had a pally. Don't know if he just drew it or he had it all along, but he has one now. I have to pressure soon or face the dwarven fortress.

Kevin: well I got my paladin and sword, but not much other offense. Tabby put that VM in a great spot. He is basically immune to a drill there. I need to get my paladin out and armor up to withstand any attack he mounts while I get further developed. Even if Tabby has a scroll he can do no better than KO my grenadier which I can heal with the paladin.


Move 5
I decide to run my imp across the map, take the sword tile and threaten the grenadier. With a helm, the imp is nigh-unkillable by the 200 damage grenadier, and the imp generates a lot of threats - I can take out the pally, grenadier, engineer, etc. Kevin has to spend a scroll or drill on a bare helmed imp if he wants to solve the problem, and even if he does, my VM is in place to attack whichever unit stomps.

Move 6
Kevin spends a drill to kill the helmed imp. Score! :) still, I spent a lot of AP moving across the map, and had to sacrifice a helm and an imp, so I'm down on development - grenadier is +2, pally is +1, 2 engineers on the board..

This means that I need to put more pressure on to force more items out of DW until an annihilator or gunner comes out to ruin my party. That heal takes the grenadier juuuust out of kill range for the VM. :(

Kevin: I guess I shouldn't be surprised by Tabby's aggressive move; you need to be aggressive early to beat the dwarves. Luckily I have a drill to use to kill that imp. I'd rather save my drills to kill monster VMs or use for crystal damage if I go the crystal kill route, but I need to kill that imp and turn some cards.
My first 4AP are obvious. Drill, attack twice with the grenadier, and heal him once.

Now the last AP took a lot of thought. I'm pretty sure Tabby doesn't make that aggressive move without a soul bomb, so if I don't stomp he can revive the imp. 3AP to KO and she can stomp my grenadier.

If I kill the imp and the VM comes in for some damage on my paladin or engineer. I take the worse end of the trade and am behind in development. So I must stomp the imp. If I stomp with the engineer, the VM comes over and can KO my grenadier. Then I need my other drill and 5AP to revive and KO, but not stomp, the VM. If Tabby has a soul bomb I am toast. So instead I stomp with the grenadier. Now if the VM comes and KOs the grenadier (1AP to move, 4 to KO) the engineer can step on the attack square and KO the VM in 3AP and stomp on the fourth.


Move 7
The safe option to take now would be to try and turn cards, deploy my wraith, maybe equip my VM with a gem or something (notice that I don't have any healing on the board). I'm worried that its too slow, though. However, I don't want to be stuck with a hand full of equipment and only a necro to equip (necros are generally fodder in this matchup, as they don't have the burst damage necessary to take down units, no splash, phantoms are easily splashed out, and they compete with grenadiers for optimal range - not a good idea).

I think the need to pressure is more important. I pre- equip the VM with a gem, because of my lack of healing - if he somehow KOs my VM without stomping, I can soul bomb, heal up significantly and hopefully get some other compensation, like taking out the weakened grenadier, or pally, or something. Maybe I'll get lucky and receive a scroll? *hopeful*

Still, DW will have a hard time KOing the VM. He can do so by moving the grenadier off the sword tile, moving the engineer on, scrolling and attacking twice. Or deploying the annihilator, moving, attacking once, drilling, then stomping. Worst case scenario for me, but he has to have both the annihilator and drill in hand. My compensation will be taking the stomping grenadier with the necro (no other units in range to stomp), but then I'm left with a necro and a wraith for the next turn, and a hand full of equipment. >.>

Another possibility is that DW retreats and heals up (3 ap) and has 2 AP left for development. That's also a bad look for me. I might have to take out middle engineer with VM and stomp with wraith, partially damaging pally and threatening to kill and nom with wraith, but depending on what kind of development Kevin does, this may not be effective (e.g. If he deploys an annihilator and shields, I have no option but to retreat, or lose my VM for inadequate compensation).

Move 8
Kevin retreats, heals up and equips a sword, and bubbles twice. The bubbling is basically wasted AP for Kevin if I stick to the plan and take out the middle engineer with the VM (pally bubble gets popped by splash, grenadier bubble gets popped by death of engineer. However, if I stomp with VM, grenadier can take me out with enough AP to stomp. Makes me wish I'd saved the wraith for the remote stomp. >.>

Kevin: I didn't consider that Tabby would not KO the grenadier. I suppose he thought that not seeing any physical offense that the VM was safe. He is right. I need to back off, heal up, bubble up, and give the grenadier a sword. This at least will allow me to KO the VM in 3 AP with a drill and the grenadier, and lets me turn a card. I'm in a rough spot now. If tabby wants he can take a lot of crystal HP. If he has the second helmet to put on the VM I am toast.


Move 9
My hand is looking terrible now, though. I could potentially not stomp and try to turn 1 card (deploy priestess?) but if grenadier retreats and KOs the VM, I won't have enough AP to continue pressuring (soul bomb rez, chase, attack attack leaves the grenadier with 175 hp) as he would be able to rez without spending much additional AP, and being too close to the deploy tile could lead to annihilator drill kills easily.

Or, instead of deploying the priestess, I could equip a helm, but then the VM becomes a juicy target for a drill kill.
If only I had a scroll!

I decide that turning cards is more important, and equipping the VM with one of my remaining 2 helms makes it too valuable to be drill bait if he has a drill and an annihilator in hand, so I KO the engineer and deploy the priestess. If I don't get a scroll, and he KOs my VM, I'll just have to soul bomb, retreat and heal up, and be satisfied with the advantage of the engineer. Not much of an advantage though.

Move 10
I manage to draw my last helm. Figures.

Kevin spends his last drill and takes out my +2 VM. He now has no drills left, which makes his annihilator a lot weaker (synergy with the gunner is a lot harder to get than your think), and I can safely make my +3 monsters.

To recap, up to this point I have lost 1 full set of equipment, a VM, and an imp. This was traded for 2 drills and an engineer. It's not a horrible trade (think of it as using 2 drills on a +3 VM and swapping an imp for a engineer), but it's not great either - I had to spend the AP to move across the field whereas Kevin just had to defend, and he gained an AP advantage from that, even though on items we're kinda even. This translates into him being able to position and deploy important units, and get his important units equipped.

Kevin: gotta kill the VM. Move, drill, attack twice, stomp. Crisis averted.

Move 11
Sadly, I don't have any VMs on the field or in my hand - they are the prime target for getting equipment, especially on this map, where bunching around the crystals is common (free splash on the crystals). Imps are a decent choice, and may be my only chance of dealing with +2 pallies with bubbles.

I have neither, though.
What I do have is a necro (no) priestess (no) and a level 0 wraith (probably no). If Kevin were any less of a player, or if I were going up against any race other than DW, I would move the necro onto the sword tile just to block it, and swap some items. I don't have the luxury of time in this game, though. It seems like equipping the wraith is my only option..

Now, the L0 wraith is no longer a terrible unit, but it still very much is a gamble. If you can't feed the wraith, it's just a crappy melee unit with no physical resistances. And by telegraphing my intentions by equipping the wraith, Kevin will be trying his best not to allow me to feed that wraith.

I also only have 1 remaining set of equipment, which I must reserve for a VM. This means that my anti-+2 pally insurance is going to be this wraith. If I can't make him work, I'm done for.

The alternative, however, is to have Kevin take control of the entire board with his +3 grenadier while I have a vanilla wraith, necro and priestess on the board. Completely non-threatening.

Ah well. Let's roll the dice, thank RE for buffing the L0 wraith and get some cards turning! :)




Move 12
Kevin deploys and swords the gunner, helms the pally (for a +2 pally - ugh), moves the +3 grenadier away from the sword tile, and opens up the bottom deploy tile.

Basic defense for DW, since I don't threaten anything his turn, he wants to slow the game down and get his fortress started.

Kevin: I'm very happy to see a gunner. That Wraith is getting big and physical damage is the only thing that will bring it down. With no drills I will need a good fortress with the sworded gunner i bring out to act as a deterrent.



Move 13
I have to score some real advantages soon, before DW fortresses up. I can really use the top shield tile, either by parking a VM or imp there (threatening splash in conjunction with the gem tile or threatening to scroll kill the gunner). Even the sworded gunner will need 3 shots to take out a unit on the shield tile, and with a priestess backing that unit up, the gunner can't easily take that unit out. Also, the wraith can take out whichever unit stomps (only the gunner is likely to be in range), and the wraith would not be kill-stomp able by the grenadier.

I decide to go with the VM on the shield tile - the imp threat can be dealt with by just shielding or bubbling the gunner, which he may already be intending to do, and is a simply 1AP operation, whereas crystal splash is forever. :)


Move 14
As expected, Kevin equips his gunner. The second pally makes a showing too. And here I am without a scroll or any form of burst damage. :/

Kevin: I need a threat to the wraith. A +3 gunner will help! I add a full kit to the gunner and build a small fortress. If i can surround my gunner with other units I can safely prescroll him and chase that wraith away! After staving off Tabby's initial onslaught I feel good about my position now. Another paladin will be a nice addition to the fortress now...

Move 15
My long term plan is to get a +3 VM, so I helm the VM, bring out the other VM and park him in the back, deploy an imp to ensure that I get a fair exchange for the wraith if Kevin goes for it, and pray that I get a scroll. There are no meaningful short term threats at the moment, except for the long term threat of me having to deal with a DW fortress (which I do not want to do!)


Move 16
Kevin deploys his second pally (ugh), takes the sword tile with his +3 grenadier, and generally turtles up. He's still not really generating any threats, except for the long term threat of getting a DW fortress. This means that I have some space to act, but I need to do it quickly, and pressure him at the same time, so that he can't just sit back and make himself unkillable. He's well on the way to that already! Kevin: hey, I got my second paladin. Tabby put an imp behind her wraith as insurance. Now if I scroll-kill-stomp him he can scroll-kill stomp back, even a +3 gunner with a bubble! I would much rather go in with just a +1 gunner of debuff with the annihilator first. Either of those moves will make Tabby take further action, either retreat or fortify defense. I use my second paladin to make my fortress stronger and bring my gunner in a position where he can get out to cover my front line in 1 AP. That should be enough of a deterrent agains tabby leaving any units there.

Move 17
The safe move would be to advance the VM, take 3 shots at the grenadier (splashing the gunner, breaking the bubble, and doing some crystal damage) and then retreating. However, this doesn't flip any cards, and my hand is pretty ugly now. I have 2 soul bombs I need to get rid of, and no scroll, which I will need to make a dent in the +3 gunner and grenadier.
I consider taking 4 VM shots and leaving the VM there - Kevin will need to leave his units unhealed if he wants to stomp (he can kill in 2 hits by moving gunner to sword tile, or in 4 by not moving), and if he doesn't stomp, I can soul bomb and do good crystal damage to both crystals. If he does kill stomp, my wraith can take out a weakened unit (probably gunner) and get his first nom in compensation. If he doesn't stomp, I get to use my soul bomb to both increase hp, damage 2 crystals and rez, so that's a full use, and I get to spend my pot too, to top up my VM and get under way for a monster VM.

This is pretty risky, however.. My plan is to get a +3 VM, and if Kevin is in a mood to trade or spend a scroll on my helmed VM, I lose this VM and my last helm, and only have 1 VM left. Not ideal, especially with helms being at a premium against DW.

What are my other options, though? I'm thinking of whether I can sacrifice a necro to do some crystal damage and tempt a kill without stomp to feed my wraith, but there's nowhere I can stand that would not expose my other key units to massive amounts of splash.

Kevin can also choose to ignore whatever I do and spend a scroll to take out my +3 wraith and stomp. I then have to take out his gunner with the imp and stomp (to avoid pally advancing, rezzing and beering, which I would have no answer for). I would then have to commit to a crystal kill via VM splash, as I would have no burst damage left, and would not be able to take out a DW fortress. Alternatively, sword the imp instead of the VM, but with no more armor, it's a very squishy imp.

On balance, I suspect that Kevin will not stomp my VM and sacrifice a +3 unit or spend a scroll on just a helmed VM (DW should be able to defend to a win) so I go with the 4 hit VM move.


Move 18
And I'm right! Phew! Kevin either doesn't have or isn't willing to spend that scroll, and chooses to KO the VM and heal the grenadier instead of stomping (if he didn't heal, the wraith would have been able to kill the grenadier, eat and leave). I'm really happy because I get to spend my soul bomb now, and get multiple effects out of it!

Kevin: not sure what Tabby is up to here. She left her VM to be KO'd. I am positive he had a soul bomb and probably a scroll in her had, so he will res him and do. More crystal damage and force me to maybe make the same turn over again. Is he going for a crystal kill? My gunner behind the the grenadier keeps the wraith threat away, unless he wants to trade a +3 wraith and a scroll for a +3 grenadier...

Move 19
I love moves like these - I spend the soul bomb, take 2 shots at the grenadier, retreat and pot.

I got full use out of that soul bomb - I did massive gem damage (400 to 2 gems for a total of 800), rezzed my VM, increased the base hp of many of my important units including my other VM and wraith, and cleared my hand! Phew! Now Kevin has to spend time healing up and letting me splash him next turn again. =)


Move 20
As expected, Kevin spends his AP healing up and bubbling the crystal. And deploys another engineer.


Move 21
Again, no immediate threats to me, so I get to do what I want. And I want gem damage! Without a scroll I can't produce meaningful burst damage, especially against DW, so I decide to keep splashin as long as Kevin will let me. I briefly think about running the top VM in again, but if I spend my last soul bomb, my bottom wraith will be vulnerable to the +3 gunner to E6 and taking out my wraith without stomping. And I wouldn't be able to take the gunner in return without a scroll, the best I would be able to do would be to KO without stomping, and the pally could easily move down to rez and beer, leaving me wayyy behind. Of course, I could take the risk that he isn't holding a beer, but the wraith is my last hope of burst damage - if I lose the wraith, I pretty much lose the game.

Then, I notice that I have a naked VM sitting in the back. Why didn't I use him before? I have no idea. Naked VMs are surprisingly durable, taking 4 hits from any 300 damage unit, or 3 hits from any 450 damage unit. They don't do great damage, true, but I only really care about gem damage now, and getting enough damage on the grenadier and gunner for my wraith to be a 2 hit kill threat. So, I run the naked VM in as a sacrifice for more gem damage.


Move 22
Kevin moves grenadier off the sword tile (finally!) and 2 shots the naked VM. I could move the wraith to take out the grenadier and get a nom, but that would certainly be a bad trade with a +3 gunner running loose and me without any burst damage. I haven't seen the annihilator either, and bubbled +3 annihilators are ROUGH to deal with.

Kevin: gotta kill this VM. I am going to take a bit of a chance here. If I don't get that gunner on the attack square, these VMs are going to harass me all day. If I leave the gunner there, tabby can scroll kill and eat him with the wraith, but if I could come right back and kill-stomp her wraith with a scroll. I am going to take the chance that tabby will assume I made that move as bait for his wraith. We will see if it works out. A safer route would have been to just KO the VM and heal the grenadier, to make tabby use a soul bomb or feed the wraith. Or I could have used the beer to heal the gunner and try to actually get the scroll in my hand. With two beers left, I should have made that move as it helps turn cards too. This, of course, is what I am considering in the seconds after hitting the submit button...

Move 23
Now I'm thinking seriously about going all in for a gem kill. So far I've been making dual use moves, not aiming for max gem damage or concentrating on getting unit kills, but if I still don't get any scrolls, a TKO might not be an option any more. And if I spend that last soulbomb, I can take out the top crystal, and force him to spend some time taking out the VM to boot.
Alternatively, I could take the nom with the wraith, but to avoid the gunner scroll kill I would have to retreat pretty far back, and there's nowhere good to retreat to without opening up my team to a whole bunch of splash from the grenadier. There's almost literally nowhere from columns 1-4 that I can stand, and colum 5 is vulnerable to a scroll gunner. And without a wraith, I probably won't be able to break the DW fortress.
I decide to go for the gem - I deploy the priestess (always remember to deploy before dropping the soul bomb - then the deployed unit benefits from the HP boost as well), drop the soul bomb on both crystals again, move the VM up to take 2 shots at the crystal, taking it out and threatening to allow the wraith to kill/nom the gunner.

This is a very important threat - if I can take out the gunner, I can stand adjacent to the sword tile without fear of the grenadier, and with 30% magic resist wraith and a 40% magic resist VM, I'm not too worried about grenadiers anyway. If I get a SCROLL (darn scroll) I'll take out the gunner no question. IF I get a scroll. Darn scroll.

Move 24
I didn't get a scroll.

Kevin beers his gunner, gives his grenadier 1 heal, takes out the VM and stomps with the grenadier (to prevent my wraith from getting a free nom). The beer is something I didn't account for (but should have!) This means that if the gunner scrollkills my wraith, my imp can't kill stomp the gunner.

Additionally, the forward grenadier ensures that if the gunner moves to say E7 and 4 shots the wraith, if the priestess rezzes and the wraith retreats, the grenadier will have me on the back foot with splash damage. There is no retreat, I need to go in somehow.

Kevin: I guess tabby is going for a crystal kill. I need to focus on crystal defense. I'll leave my gunner on the assault tile so I can kill and stomp anything that comes nearby. I heal him with a beer to quell the fear I exhibited last turn. I have to bubble the crystal and then I kill and stomp the grenadier. I need to work on surrounding the crystal with my upgraded units and my paladins. A scroll would really be nice...

Move 25
I thought about this move for a long time. Kevin still has 41% crystal health left, and has pretty good control of the board. If the next move I make isn't a big enough threat, Kevin will just take out my wraith and turtle into a DW victory. I need to go in, but without a scroll I can't get enough burst damage against a DW army to take anything down. If I had a scroll here, I perhaps could spread some damage around, remove the gunner beer buff and threaten to scroll kill, if I could take out the gunner my +3 VM might have a chance etc.. but with no scrolls, that's not an option.

In order to turn my cards, I would have to deploy, making myself more vulnerable to splash, or to spend time equipping the VM, and no be able to generate enough threat to prevent the gunner at E7 move. And at any time, if Kevin has a scroll, he can take out the +3 wraith and leave me to kill myself against the DW fortress.

I have no choice to go in for a crystal kill, then. There is probably not enough time to deploy additional resources, so I have a wraith (somewhat bigger melee damage), VM (penetrating damage, hard to kill), imp (drag ability to open attack angles), necro (3 range damage) and priestesses (2 range damage). I decide to go in with the wraith first, as a big sack of HP, Kevin will have to spend some time to kill the wraith (wraith needs 3 shots to kill). If he scrolls, 2 AP kill. Next, the VM. The aim is to tie Kevin up in spending AP killing the immediately most threatening unit, so that he can't in the same turn take out another threat - I need to maximise the number of threats I have. And I need to be able to keep the gem tile at all costs!


After 4 hits, the bottom crystal is down to 2400 HP. If Kevin leaves the sword tile unoccupied, my necro can do 900 damage without the gem tile, or 1800 with, less paladin resistance and bubble protection. Hopefully I have enough threats, I can't read this situation to the end!
Move 26
Kevin moves the gunner down, takes 3 shots, and bubbles the gem. I realise that if I move the necro over to Kevin's sword tile, the gunner can take out both the necro and the imp with 1 scroll. That's tough! But then, should I keep the helmed VM around to try for an unkillable +3 VM to harass the crystal to death? It's harder than you think, especially against dwarves, and especially since the annihilator and 2 scrolls are still in the deck.

Kevin: I have to kill the wraith here, and with only 2400hp left on my crystal I need two bubble it rather than protect my gunner. Tabby will likely use a scroll to kill-stomp my gunner now, but at least I can kill the imp and take some of the pressure off my crystal.

Move 27
If I use the VM positioned at C8, though, the grenadier can't use the sword tile effectively, and he'll have to move his gunner back up on the sword tile. I'd prefer that than a grenadier on the sword tile.. but this means no more +3 VM.

I go for it. VM to C8, 3 hits on the crystal, going for the kill!
Move 28
As expected, Kevin moves the gunner up and kills the VM. I'm surprised that he stomped, though. Why? I don't have enough AP for the top priestess to come in and do anything significant.
Kevin: more crystal HP lost! KO the VM with my gunner and bubble the crystal are the obvious moves here. Unfortunately I need to stomp the VM or tabby will make him a phantom with the necro and do another 760 damage to my crystal. The game is lost at this point unless tabby makes an error.

Tabby: Ooh. Error here, I think - although healer rez ignores line of sight (meaning that heals can't be blocked by enemy units) "stomping" actions such as corpse explosion, or necro phantom, or Shadow range rez ARE blocked by LOS. So my necro couldn't have made a phantom. Protip for DE! =D

[Kevin: Crap! In a game that was decided by just a couple hundred cyrstal HP, or in other terms just 1 or 2 AP, this one really stings. I would have used the extra AP to bring out another gunner on the bottom deploy tile as other body to get in the way of the crystal rush.]


Move 29
This is a bit of a breather, I have to plan my next attack. The most direct attack would be imp to E7, priestess to crystal tile, and I get 2 attacks on the crystal, one to pop the bubble and 1 to actually do damage. The next is to move necro to D5 or D6, and get 3 shots off on the crystal. However, all these options are easily dealt with by the gunner in the case of the imp move, or by the grenadier in the case of the necro move. I absolutely cannot allow 2 of my units to be splashed at the same time, as this would allow DW time to sit back and get back in the game.

My other option would be to increase my possible range of threats - imps are invaluable in crystal killing due to their ability to pull opposing units out of the way, advance, and then hit the crystal. It's not grenadier lobbing, for sure, but it's DE after all, can't have them be too good at crystal killing now can we </sarcasm>.

I therefore decide to bring out my other imp, sword it (so that when my scroll finally comes, I can make a credible non-gem tile threat against crystals), soulstone my forward imp (giving my 960 HP, enabling her to take 3 ranged shots from the gunner, or 2 melee shots), and advance my priestess so that it is within rezzing range of the forward imp.

Note that in this configuration, DW can't kill all my threats in 5AP - forward imp can be scrollkilled and stomped (at this point he has fewer than 10 reinforcements, and I'm reasonably sure he has at least 1 scroll), grenadier can't splash everyone, gunner can't splash everyone, etc. If he kills with the gunner and doesn't stomp, I can rez the imp (for gem bonus) advance the necro and get 2 shots off on the crystal (for at least 500+ damage with the sword tile). He will then likely have to spend the next turn killing my necro and finishing off the imp again, leaving me with hopefully enough time to finish off the crystal.

I'm most afraid of him moving the gunner to say D6, scroll killing my forward imp, and moving the grenadier to the sword tile, or something like that. This blocks quite a few routes to the crystal, and I don't have much time left to scroll kill his units and try to clear the field.

With this move, the crystal has 1420 health left. With the crystal, I do about 500-600 damage per hit, less a tad for pally resist aura. I therefore need at least 2 good solid hits, and a few non-boosted hits to kill the crystal. Let's see his response!
Move 30
I have to say, I was not expecting this. Kevin deploys a new gunner, moves the gunner up, moves a pally to guard the crystal, and moves the grenadier down. He's obviously spending all his AP to block the crystal, but in doing so, he's not spent a single AP dealing with my threats. I'm definitely ok with that!


Kevin: not much to do here. Tabby added the soul gem to get her imp on the crystal boost to 4AP to KO, a huge and smart move at this point. I build the best fortress I can around the crystal, but it is too little too late.

Move 31
Oh, I finally draw my scrolls. Sweet. >.>

So now Kevin has blocked off his crystals. That's standard crystal protection 101, but I've prepared for this and kept imps in reserve. The most straightforward move would be to drag the grenadier forward, advance, and hit the crystal 3 times, but that only deals a bit under 600 damage, Leaving at least 800 damage to go. Either gunner can take care of the forward imp and stomp, leaving the only draggable units as the +3 gunner and the forward pally. Of these, the gunner is the better target, as then I'll get the sword bonus, but remember, he has scrolls. So he can scroll, attack imp, kill imp, stomp, and then bubble (even if he doesn't stomp, he can't take out my other imp as well).

This means that my straightforward attack would not be enough, or at least, I can't see a clear path to a crystal kill from here. I therefore have to set up more threats (the story of trying hard to get a CK)!

I therefore drag the grenadier, move forward, move the sworded imp forward as well, and attack the crystal twice, popping the bubble and leaving the crystal with 900 ish HP. Grenadiers have a melee penalty, so he can't do anything, and at most he can only kill the forward imp next turn.

I considered if he could scrollkill the forward imp (2AP), move to D6 (1AP), and then scrollkill the sworded imp (2AP), but even if he did that, I could rez the sworded imp, move forward to E7, attack crystal x3 or scroll kill the crystal outright, so it's not a winning move.

The best move would be to killstomp the forward imp, and try and reinforce the fortress - if I move, drag, move the sworded imp, I have only 2 AP left to attack. This means I need at least 1 more threat to score the last 500 or so damage that I need.

Move 32
It seems that Kevin was as unlucky as I was in the draw. =) he finally scrollkills the forward imp, and tries to block.
Kevin: I finally got a scroll, but its too late. Tabby can win with the necro and the imp given where his healers are.

Move 33
My second to last threat - necro to B8, attacking the crystal twice, taking it down to 370hp. If the +3 gunner 2 shots the necro, he doesn't have enough AP to stomp AND take care of the sworded imp. If he moves the grenadier and doesn't stomp the sworded imp, next turn I can rez the sworded imp, drag the pally, move and take out the crystal in 1 shot. If he stomps the imp, he doesn't have enough AP to take out the necro. If he doesn't stomp the necro, my top priestess can move and rez, leaving 2 AP for the necro to take 2 shots at the crystal for the win.



Move 34
Kevin resigns. =)

Kevin: no way to avoid this. Gotta resign. I have to say this is probably the quickest loss I can remember having, and via crystal kill from DE no less...

Great game! Poor draws by both players (both our scrolls were buried, and he didn't appear to get his annihilator until late, whereas I had plenty of equipment and no units in the beginning) meant that we played a relatively low economy game, and I'm not sure that I could have won if he'd drawn his scrolls earlier and managed to take care of my early game threats. Still! Good game, Kevin. =)

[Kevin: Great game Tabby! Reading through your comments you went the aggressive, or riskier, route every chance you could. I think that was a key to your win. Looking back one option would have been to go for a trade to get your wraith off the crystal boost, but I almost always had to deal with your units in my face. Obviously a scroll at some point would have helped, but you were in the same boat. To clarify, I never even saw my annihilator. He would have helped too, with the knockbacks and debuffs. Oh well, that's how the cards fall sometimes and you made the most of the situation. This was lots of fun. I'm curious to hear from the commenters what they would have suggested I do differently.]


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