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Strategies for Army Building

[IMAGE]King Falladir's Knights

More than all other races, the Knights offer many possiblities to combine disks into a powerful army: many Knight-Disks have functions by which other friendly disks can be influenced directly or indirectly, and a skillful use of these abilities may give a player quite an advantage.

Usually, the central element of a Knight's Army will be the Standard Bearer. This disk gives all Knight-units within 30 cm a bonus of +1 on AT, D and T and thus means an immense increase of the army's power - especially if the player has mastered a good placement and movement of his units, keeping them within the 30 cm diameter of the Standard Bearer most of the time. Very powerful is also the combination of Morgaine of Belwayne as a wizard, the Wizard's Apprentice and the Catapult. The wizard can cast the 'Sure Aim' spell on the Catapult, allowing the Boulder-missiles to be placed directlz on the target. And since it is a level 1 spell, the Wizard's Apprentice can save the spell from being used up and return it to the spellbook, making it available again next turn (thus, this combination also is a suitable circumvention of the turnament banning of the Familiar.)

Another very good possiblity for combining disks is the use of Princess Gwynneth together with fast units like Heavy Horse Cavallary, the Warhorse or the Groman Beastrider. Until the end of the turn, the Princess can give one disk the 'Swashbuckler'-ability, and if she uses her ability on one of these fast units it can gallop forward from a waiting position and possibly pin (and attack) one or more essential disks of the enemy. Although the attacking disk usually gets lost due to the amount of the defense-values massed against it, the damage caused is usually more than good compensation for the loss. This strategy also is extremely effective against players which like to keep their disks close together.

A very valueable disk for frontline-fighting is also King Falladir himself. Since he cannot be attacked as long as other Knight-disks are within 15 cm, he is a very powerful disk to help other disks against unwated attackers. He can stand in the front till late in the turn, and wait to see what happens to the disks around him.

Overall, the Knights are an army which can be recommended to players who like a high degree of strategy and who can hold back their forces till late in the game. Once a Knight-army is properly deployed, it is very hard to stop, but until then it is suicide to send a few units already into battle. This usually results in a loss of a few importat units, and this will prove to be devastating for the game.

[IMAGE]The Lotharian Elves

When playing an Elven Army, the player is immediately faced with the relative weakness of many Elven units. The Elves definately are of low value for hand-to-hand fighting, and for this reason the player has to find a strategy of how to keep his units out of major troubles. With the release of Moon over Thelgrim, the Elven player received some stronger units, and a good combination of the available units will offer at least some possibilities to construct a balanced army.

Central units of an Elven army are the Tree Ents, giant tree-creatures of great strength. An Elven player should have at least two of these in the front rank of his army, marching directly next to each other and being followed by an Elven Bard and some stronger units, like Solonar Avarnoth and Obriene Trimlathari. When closing on the enemy, the Elven Bard can suddenly increase the speed of a Tree Ent, allowing it to rush forward and pin - due to its size - several units in the opponent's front rank. This will force the opponent to react, trying to save his units from the Tree Ent by attacking it in turn. However, here the importance of keeping the bulk of the Elven army massed behind the Tree Ents becomes visible, since the other Elven units are now free to chose their targets for hand-to-hand combat and missile fire from the attackers of the Tree Ents.

Also, much more than other armies, an Elven army is highly dependent on spells and factionless disks. Elves have usually have to include a wizard, and he should be equipped with a potent spellbook. Due to the good missile-skills of the Deepwood Archers, one of the most potent spells is 'Sure Aim', allowing even a single unit of archers to place their 4 arrows directly, and thus causing a devastating damage of '8'. If playing against a race which is likely to use Fireballs, a 'Liquid Shield' spell can also be recommended, since it can protect a Tree Ent from Fireball-Damage for a crucial round of the Battle. Concerning factionless disks, the Elven player should include Fairy Swarms and Pixies. Especially the Fairy Swarm will prove valuable, since it can keep a crucial opposing unit out of battle for a maximum of 4 rounds.

Other disks which should be considered for the inclusion in the army are Kyalia Riwatani and the Elven Snipers. If the opponent is likely to use factionless disks, Kyalia Riwatani can become quite bothersome to him du to her ability to take control of one of these disks per round. This can effectively cause confusion on the enemy's ranks, and a clever use of the controlled disks may even greatly hinder the enemy. Here it is the best choice to simply flip the controlled disk onto other opposing disks, thus pinning them and keeping them out of combat for this round. Furthermore, if at least two Elven Snipers are included in an army, their special firing rules can give quite an edge in combat. Enemy disks can be eliminated if the attack an UA Elven Disk, thus freeing the Elven disk and allowing it again to move.

[IMAGE]Timorrans Accolytes

The Accolytes of Timorran are by nature a race which is not very suitable for agressive players. In effect, many of their units from the starting-edition of Diskwars possess at most average combat abilities, but this factor has been changed a bit by the release of Moon over Thelgrim.

Looking at the available units, it seems that it now is most suitable for the Accolytes to attack the enemy in two waves. Very early in the game, the player should take care to get a few Galzurq Riders into play fast and engange in hit-and-run skirmishes with the enemy. Especially if the enemy has mostlt slow disks, he will have to rgaise his marchin positions very well in order to keep from losing disks against the lighning-fast Galzurq Riders. Overall, the enemy usually will be slowed down quite a bit when there is a danger that some of his most valuable disks may fall prey to the Riders.

In the wake of the Riders, the Accolyte player can organise the bulk of his army. Here the slower but nonetheless effective units can be placed, and a good mix of fighting units and disks with special abilities is essential. Not depending on the preferences of each player, Mentalists, Psychical Adepts, Sanddancers and a Leviator are valuable additions to all Accolyte Armies, being accompanied by some suitable unique disks like Loki Dreamweaver, Waiqar Sumarion or Damin Skystinger. Due to the inclusion of Waiqar Sumarion, the player will also gain Level-III spellcasting abilities, and these should be used to include a number of good Level-III spells. A 'Resurrection' may be recommended here for on of the stronger disks, but also other spells like 'Rain of Steel' might prove themselves to be effective. If Galzurq Riders should have survived the first wave, they will now once again prove to be valuable, since the Levitator now can provide them with limited flying-capabilities, llowing them to strike targets far behind the enemy's front rank.

However, most essential to the Accolyte's player are Ys'maril from the Void and The Great Rok. If the enemy is likely to include spells, Ys'maril will prove to be a constant annoyance, since his ability to re-direct spells can prove fatal to the strategy of the enemy. Even more devastating is The Great Rok. Due to his size, he can moce with good speed and since he has a high attack value he can strike against powerful disks of the enemy. However, The Great Rok is also difficult to play. Thus, a Mountain-terrain is almost obligatory to be included, since it provides Rok with limited immunity against missiles, and furthermore the time for activation should be chosen rather well. Nothing is more unnerving than seeing Rok pinned in the ranks of the enemy, perishing despite all his might.

[IMAGE]The Dragons

Due to the immense strength of some of their units, the Dragons are quite suitable for aggressive play, marching against the enemy early in the game to deal him a devastating blow as soon as reasonably possible.

In effect, a Dragons player should organise his troops into two ranks: the fron rank of his army should be formed by Dragon Warriors: These are cheap and thus perfectly suitable as rank-and-file troops. Behind his frontline, the Dragons player can mass the stronger disks like Ballisters and Fire Wyverns and also the real powerful Zolo Hexx, Maryzak the Hydra and Azaellrog. As soon as the Dragon Army has closed in on the opponent, the Dragons player basically has to options to chose from. On the one hand, he can keep his Dragon Warriors in place, forcing the opponent to attack or draw back, and waiting with the bigger disks to strike from the back and counterattack any attackers. The other option is to open a gap in the front rank, allowing the powerful uniques to surge through and deal some devastating blows on the enemy.

The most crucial elements for a Dragon army are a good choice of spells and a speedy buildup. A combination of 'Call-to-Arms', 'Ward' or 'Shield', 'Fate' and 'Heal' seems to be most suitable, since it offers the right adavantages in the different phases of the game: in the beginning, where the Dragons player needs to establish marching formation as soon as possible, 'Call-to-Arms' will bring additional disks into play, getting the army ready fast. During the advance, 'Shield' and 'Ward' will protect to most essential disks from Missile fire, ad when the armies finally have met 'Fate' and 'Heal' both can give a decisive advantage in hand-to-hand combat.

[IMAGE]Farrengast's Undead

Similar to the Elves, the Undead suffer from weaker attributes of their most common combat troops. The Undead Hordes are cheap to buy, but their are likewise relatively easy to be overcome. For that reason, the Undead player has to arrange his units in a suitable way to make best use of the special attributes of some of his units.

While advancing, the undead player is best advised to keep some units of Crawling Limbs in his fontranks. True enough, these units have no attacking capabilities (since they do not possess an A-value), but still their are very effective as a deterrent due to their very high D and T. The opponent will think twice before charging against an Undead army with Crawling Limbs in its front ranks, because most probably his attacking units will not live to see another round of the game. On the one hand, they might be counterattacked by disks lurking in the second rank of the Undead army, while on the other hand the Undead player might even decide jst to remove one attacker while leaving the rest to be done by the Crawling Limbs counterattack. Thus, the Undead player needs to fear surprising attacks only from flying units.

When attacking, almost any Undead army should contain a Floating Head at some crucial position. Due to its special ability which allows the placement of 'A' markers on several enemy disks, the Floating Head will guaranntee to the Undead player that he will not have to fear a disasterous counterattack from surrounding disk. After placing these 'A'-markers, some other Undead disks can easily advance, slaughtering away the helpless enemy. For such an attack, a good combination seems to be Vhass Frotan, Oorlian, King of the Undead with some Undead Hordes and one or two units of Undead Cavalry. In total, these units are not too expensive, but they are quite efficient.

However, the Undead can gain a quite good advantage against powerful disks. By each Vampire which they move onto the target disk, the target's T-rating is reduced by 2. So, for example, if 3 Vampires are pinning an Elven Tree Ent (T 8, 4 Wounds), a single blow from a berserking Vhass Frotan can finish the whole Ent, while the Ent's D is too weak to harm even one of the Vampires - a frightening though!

Last, no army has as many disks with the 'Reanimate' skill as the Undead have. Although most of these disks are not too strong, it is usually a good counsel for the Undead player to include a good fraction of such disks. Their ability to be defeated and then join the game again may prove vaueable especially late in the game when both sides have totally depleted their reserves.

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Copyright © 2001 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Trier, Germany