Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dungeon Twister Characters: Multiple Uses Part V, Fire & Water

I'm going to preface this with the same warning I used last few times: 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 fifth entry on Set-By-Set Dungeon Twister Character Strategy, and will cover Fire and Water.

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

Fire and Water Average Movement: 4.25
Fire and Water Average Strength: 1.62

As you can see, F&W has a signifiantly higher average speed than the base set, and the average strength is down dramatically. This is the fastest set in the game, being 13% higher than average. It's also the weakest in combat, at only about 68% as strong as the overall average. These numbers, by the way, do not include terrain bonuses to Strength (the two Elementals in this set have such bonuses).

Were it not for the speed, I would argue that this set was almost all Specialists. As it is, I see seven Runners (most of whom can also serve as Specialists, one can double as a Hitter) and one Specialist. There are some very powerful characters in the set, even if you don't dig too deeply.

The new items in the set are game-changing, especially the Ring of Repulsion. You'll see what I mean after a play or two.

Magophage: Were it not for the speed of the character, I'd mark the Magophage as one of the more unusual Specialists in the game. His ability has necessitated a list of what is magic and what is not in the game, and is fundamentally game-changing. With clever placement, you can use him as a shield for friendly characters. Explanation of this actually requires an image:
Magophage as Shield
The Acrobat doesn't have to worry about the Scroll of Confusion, as he is in the Magophage's null-magic area. It's also worth noting that the Magophage's placement denies healing to the Prophet, should he become wounded.

In fact, the Magophage is all about denial. I tend to park him near a Fountain of Youth if my opponent doesn't have a Cleric to deny the use of the Fountain to my opponents.

Acrobat: Next to the Thief, the Acrobat is the best mover in the game. In a set lacking in Hitters, the Acrobat can be fairly easily moved into flanking position to trigger Group Combat. The Acrobat is also excellent at item (and wounded character) retrieval.

Barbarian: The set's sole Hitter - and an effective one. He can't use any magic items, but - let's be honest - that's not a huge loss, especially when he gets +1 Strength versus Magic Users. In Free Choice play, the Barbarian is an excellent fast-moving Hitter.

Fire Elemental and Water Elemental: There are three rooms in this set which contain Lava spaces and three which contain Water spaces. In tournament-legal play, there are seven rooms containing Lava and seven containing Water. Two of those seven contain both. That's out of 72 tournament-legal rooms. There is also room pair P2, which has lava spaces. The Water Elemental is slightly weaker than the Fire Elemental, however - the Fire Elemental can carry wounded characters in its native element. Beyond that, they're too weak to be good Hitters - in their (sparse) native element, they're decent hitters, but not phenomenal. In fact, I rarely use these characters in Free Choice unless I'm being cruel to my opponent and choosing rooms containing their element. I say that it's cruel because (with one or two exceptions) these seven rooms per element are nasty. Keep in mind, however that these two characters are still only mediocre in a fight.

Courtesan: Remember waaay back when I started this series? How I mentioned that I tended to use my Troll more or less as a Living Wall? The Courtesan is better at this than the Troll. A lot better. There is no better Living Wall than the Courtesan. She's the best Blocker in the game.

Prophet: He's a decent Runner, with Speed 5, but the Prophet should nearly always be on your starting line if you choose to use him. The ability to align an unrevealed room in the direction of your choice cannot be emphasized enough. Remember how I love the Mechanork? Paired with the Prophet, he's nearly twice as effective - it means that rooms will start to your opponent's disadvantage. Then the Mechanork can keep them that way. In Free Choice, they're a powerful combo. The ability of the Prophet to use Scrolls and other Magic-User Only items is icing on the cake.

Telekineticist: Another item-retrieval specialist. She can also function as an anti-retrieval specialist - she can move items to more difficult locations to keep them out of your opponent's hands. In fact, she is a better choice for this than many characters for two reasons:
1) She can easily move hard-to-reach items to even harder-to-reach locations.
2) She can deny items to your opponent without having to actually reach the object in question. She also doesn't have to be near the opposing characters, keeping her relatively safe.

1 comment:

  1. Eric, love your views on Fire & Water. I've played a handful of times and have come to enjoy the Acrobat and Courtesan for the very reasons you've stated here.