Monday, May 28, 2007

Dungeon Twister Characters: Multiple Uses Part II (Paladins and Dragons)

I'm going to preface this with the same warning I used last time: What I'm about to say is my analysis. There are players who are better than I who will disagree with every word I type. There are also players who can regularly trounce me who will agree with every word I type. Your mileage may vary.

This is my second entry on Dungeon Twister Character Strategy, and will cover Paladins and Dragons.

Base Set Average Movement: 3.62
Base Set Average Strength: 2.00

Paladins and Dragons Average Movement: 3.63
Paladins and Dragons Average Strength: 2.5

As you can see, P&D has a higher average combat value than the base set, and the average speed is up just a hair. I don't think of it as Power Creep, however, because the set of special abilities is so different.

Red Dragon: A very powerful piece. But also limited – the Red Dragon will never escape the maze. If your opponent reveals this Dragon, you'll need to scramble to get the Teleportation Ring to him for him to be useful. If you reveal your own dragon, then you'll want to put him in one of two places: A corridor with good line of sight so he can control that rank and/or file, or a chokepoint where your opponent has to get through. There are a few spots that occasionally fit both ideals, but they are few and far between.

For Free Choice play, I rarely take this character – his inability to move combined with the number of rooms where his breath doesn't have any sort of range makes him almost useless for my needs. On those rare occasions when I DO take him, I'll always include the Teleportation Ring in my collection of items.

Elf Scout: He's fast. Very fast. His Speed of 7 makes him the fastest character in the game, even when the other expansions are added to the mix. His ability to run across Trap spaces can be either very powerful or completely useless, depending on the rooms in play. Even when there aren't a lot of traps, his speed still makes him useful. He's an excellent retriever, and is the character in this set with the best chance to escape the maze. He also makes a very good ambulance – send him out to rescue your wounded characters and bring them to the Fountain or to your Cleric for healing.

In a Free Choice game, I'll occasionally use my Scout, but I'm more likely to use a Thief, as she is more well-rounded.

Ghost: Since I'm so fond of items, I don't use the Ghost anywhere near full potential. I usually use the Ghost to hang out in the Pentagram Chamber or to rotate rooms (which seem to be the primary uses for this character). Occasionally, I'll plant the Ghost on an object so that my opponent has to fight me in order to get it. He's also a fairly easy victory point if you just head towards your opponent's starting line.

In Free Choice play, I'm more likely to take the Spectre than the Ghost (for reasons I'll get into with my next strategy entry).

Golem: The ability to clear a path is a double-edged sword. Every wall I bash is another shortcut you can use, too. Even so, the ability to smash out a shortcut is useful, even though it's only 3x per game. A few sets from now, there will be ways to repair walls (or so Chris tells me). Pairing the Golem with a character who can repair walls makes for an interesting plan - open the wall up, send the party through, close it behind you.

I've also seen the Golem used as an ambusher - most people forget that he can smash walls. for two Action Points, I can smash your Cleric if you're not paying attention. I can also wait an action or two and trigger a group combat that is larger than you expected.

For Free Choice play, I will occasionally use the Golem. His Strength of 4 is nice, but I'd rather use a Troll, because of how much more useful the Troll's ability is.

Illusionist Lots of people use the Illusionist to throw up obstacles to impede their opponent's movement. I tend to throw up the Rubble square to block my opponent's Red Dragon's line of sight. I'll also use it to block critical passageways to slow my opponent's advance (which is what it was designed for). Don't forget that she's also a Magic User, so can use any of the Scrolls. There are 3 Scrolls in Fire and Water, and another one in Creatures of the Forest.

Weapon Master The second-most straightforward character in the set. I tend to use my Weapon Master in Group Combat against the Red Dragon. Her ability is among the most useful in the game, and she fits well into play with multiple expansions. Her abilities sync very well with the Mercenaries character abilities and objects.

I will nearly always use her in Free Choice play.

Paladin Here's a quick question for you: How many suits of armor can the Paladin wear? See, Dungeon Twister is not a simulation. It's a game. The Paladin can carry and use two objects – the Paladin can wear two suits of armor. I've seen a lot of people use the Paladin solely for Dragon-slaying. The 2 VP's are nice, if you can get them, but the Weapon Master is better-suited to it. I frequently see the used Paladin as a heavy ambulance, as well.

Pick-Pocket As I said a few characters ago – use of objects is essential. So is denial of objects – Magic Users lose a fair amount of their cool if they don't have scrolls to use, for example. My favorite trick to use with the Pick-pocket is stealing my opponent's key or rope, limiting their mobility – I won't necessarily hang on to it, either. I'll either drop it in the maze where they can't easily get to it or else I'll hand it off to another of my characters.


  1. Just a quick correction: For the Golem, its ability to bash through walls is usable 3x per "Game" (not per "turn") :-)

    1. Whoops! I knew that, too. Even when I wrote this.

      Corrected in the body of the post - thank you!