Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Kill The ________ First!

I get a lot of e-mail that (basically) consists of, "I'm playing Dungeon Twister, and my opponent as [CHARACTER] and [CHARACTER]. Which one should I wound/kill first?"

Believe it or not, it's not always that easy.

But here are my thoughts on Characters You Need To Kill.

First of all, my standard disclaimer: These are my opinions. There are many many players who are better at the game than I who will disagree with me. Take my advice with a grain or two of salt.

The first question you need to answer is this: What is your opponent's play style?

When I'm playing my friend Gahan, I know that he likes to get points by killing my characters. This means that his Hitters need to be the first characters I have to deal with. Geoff, on the other hand, finds more prestige in points scored through escape, so I need to deal with his Runners first. Or block him up so his runners can't escape.

If you don't know your opponent's play style, then look at the characters they have chosen and extrapolate as best you can.

This week, I'm going to talk about dealing with opposing Hitters.

So who are the most dangerous hitters in the game?

1) The Berserker, from Mercenaries. She gets less powerful as the game goes on, but the ability to throw two combat cards is huge. I recently played a game in which I was able to wound three opposing characters by using the two-handed sword and burning two high combat cards.

For all that she's a great Hitter, she's not great when defending which makes her an excellent high-priority target.

2) The Dragons. There are Dragons in four sets (and there is a fifth promo dragon, as well). Most of them have a base Strength of 6. The Undead and Gold Dragons are more dangerous than the Red one most of the time (because the Red one needs Line of Sight in order to kill you). Of the two, the Gold Dragon is faster, but the Undead Dragon is harder to kill due to its special. The Ice Dragon is tricky to use effectively, but its Strength of 5 is still pretty terrifying. And its special ability will frustrate you to no end if you are its target.

To deal with Dragons, you really need a DragonSlayer. You can do it without one, but it means either waiting until your opponent is out of good combat cards (by which time the Dragon has already torn through your forces), using another Dragon, using a Berserker, or attacking in Group Combat. The DragonSlayer is by far the best way to deal with an Undead Dragon (unless your Group Combat includes an Assassin).

3) The General. Mercenaries added a bunch of marginal hitters to the game - with the General in the room, however, even marginal hitters become a threat. If your opponent is fielding a General, he should be a priority. Maybe even a higher priority than the Dragons, now that I think about it. The General is equivalent to giving a sword to every character in the room.

4) The Mummy. Strength 4 and Speed 3 is a decent Hitter with a good Speed. He's Undead, and there aren't enough Undead characters to justify bringing a Holy Cross most of the time. Torches are easy enough to get that you can usually drop him to 0 Strength in a pinch.

Try to keep the marginal hitters (Strength 3) from getting any weapons, if you can.

Honestly, those are the biggest threats - the other Strength 4 characters (Troll, Golem, Dwarven Troll-Slayer, and Mammoth) are scary, but they're slow enough that you should be able to run away from them most of the time.

Keep in mind that standalone play makes some characters more effective - in Fire & Water, for example, the Barbarian is an extremely effective Hitter.

The Assassin is scary, but only in group combat. Her Strength is just too low to make her an effective Hitter. More on her later.

So how do you deal with these Hitters, once you catch them?

1) Group Combat, Group Combat, Group Combat. If you can include an Assassin in your group, so much the better. If you have a force of Runners, it shouldn't be too difficult to get into a good position for Group Combat.

2) Standing a Cleric behind someone can keep that someone alive. It also allows you to throw low Combat cards in hopes of burning off your opponent's better combat cards. Similarly, if you can stand next to a Fountain of Youth, you can heal yourself if you lose, no Cleric required.

3) Push him around. The Ring of Repulsion is great for pushing opposing characters into traps and other hazards. You can also push them away from the Fountain of Youth so that you can get the coveted Fountain spot. The Banshee is less efficient, but has a longer range.

4) Control him. The Charm Scroll is excellent for putting characters in inconvenient positions (even if you can't run him into one of the legal suicide spaces), and any Magic-User can use it. If your opponent has a lot of Hitters, he's not likely to have many Magic Users who can take advantage of this item.

5) Fireball. Yes, it's a one-shot, but you can take out that pesky ... um ... anything with that one shot. Provided you can get your Wizard in position to use it.

Hopefully this is enough to get you started. At some point in the (hopefully not-too-distant) future, I'll talk about blocking your opponent's Runners up (and killing them as well).

1 comment:

  1. Excellent article -- keep the DT strategy discussions coming!

    Another scary hitter is the Weapons Master. Even though she only has a strength of 3, her special ability makes it impossible to bluff and make your opponent play higher cards.

    I agree that group combat is the best method. I need to become better at moving my cleric forward so that I can try the second strategy.

    Thanks for the great insight.