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!

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