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Brandmeister View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Dwarven Huntmasters
    Posted: 05 Nov 2012 at 09:26
Release the Hounds! ~ Equipping your elite Dwarven hunting Commanders

The purpose of this article is to discuss specialized gear for hunting in Illyriad, and to present several optimized Dwarven commanders to lead your hunting expeditions.

Hunting in Illyria can be a glorious and rewarding experience. Forays into the wilds give players a chance to test their mettle against various NPC adversaries including animals, monsters, elementals and undead. Destoying NPCs on the map also provides material rewards in the form of basic Hides and exotic Animal Parts like brown bear furs, salamander fangs, giant scuttler exoskeletons and elemental salts. Once your skinners havest these rare items, they can be used to craft powerful gear that will increase the attack and defense powers of your armies.

One of the most useful hunting techniques is to equip crafted items to your troops. Although items can be very expensive--especially if they involve highly valuable components--a player can still get a significant boost by giving special gear to only their Commander. Dead troops automatically lose half their gear, and drop the other half as items to be scaveneged on the battlefield. Keeping crafted gear restricted to your Commanders makes good sense, as long as you're properly balancing your hunting force so that your Commander survives the battle. Even better, if you have researched Elite Units, all bonuses from your Commander's gear are doubled. By carefully outfitting your gear for each expedition, it is easy to get a +50% bonus to your commander's attack power, even with common gear that costs about 20000-30000 gold.

If you examine the Hunting Gear Chart*, you will find a very extensive array of specialized gear in three broad categories: biome, terrain and opponent. Biome gear is crafted for the arctic areas, deserts and jungles. While biome gear offers the smallest bonus (+6%), it works on all the terrain types in a biome and generally has common and inexpensive components. Terrain-specialized gear confers a +12% bonus for mountains, hills, forests and plains. It tends to require the most careful management for your hunting expeditions, but can bestow a +48% or +78% attack bonus. Terrain-specific items have some common and some rare components, so certain pieces can be in the middle of the equipment price range. Opponent-specific gear tends to be the most expensive because it is both the most powerful and uses the rarest components. The Silversteel sword is the best example--conveying a +30% attack bonus in all situations (+60% if doubled!), it is a mithril Swiss Army knife for your infantry Commander. It also sells for about 1,000,000 gold. Boar spears, harpoons, hunter's bows, spiked platemail, animal scale armor... these are all mighty and mightily expensive items.

As always, smart players will use terrain to their advantage. Mountains offer bonuses for bows and spears; forests heavily favor infantry; cavalry provides mastery of the open plains.


Graybeard Trollslayer

Base Type: Stalwart
Terrain: Forests
Opponents: Monstrous
Loadout: Reinforced Sword (+30%), Spiked Platemail (+20%)
Bonus: +50% (+100% elite)

Trollslayers are celebrated Dwarven champions. Most are seasoned warriors from the already elite ranks of the stalwarts. Trollslayers are neither elected nor appointed. Their brotherhood is one of natural selection--Trollslayers are simply the survivors of dozens of battles with enormous beasts, veteran Dwarven fighters recognized for their ferocity and swift footwork. They excel in the close confines of buildings and dense forests, resolutely standing toe-to-toe with monsters ten times their size. Trollslayers wear spiked armor to deter their larger adversaries from simply wrestling them to the ground. Their reinforced claymores can hack deeply into the hides and scales of Illyria's most ferocious denizens. Despite their small stature, Trollslayers are one of the most feared elite Dwarven units. Even the biggest cyclops will think twice when they see the famous plain green shield of these deadly stalwarts.


Sharpshooter Shaman

Base Type: Crossbowman
Terrain: Hills, Mountains
Opponents: Animals, Monstrous, Undead
Loadout: Dwarven Battle Mule (+15%), Animal Scale Armour (+24%), Midnight Armor (+20% at night), Hunter's Bow (+22% vs. Animals), Poacher's Bow (+14-25% vs. Animals), Hero's Bow (+25% vs. Monstrous), Ebony Bow (+6-20% vs. Undead)
Bonus: +57-62% (+114-124% elite)


At the fringes of Dwarven civilization, one mystical community stands ready to repel all the terrors of the night: the Crimson Sisterhood of the Arbalest. A candidate for this elite band of Dwarven snipers must first hone her mystical skills as a runecaster, mastering the dangerous intricacies of the Slaying runes that kill marauders. During this time, the prospective sister hones her singular intention to destroy those who dare prey upon outlying settlements. Once she can focus the lethal energies of murderous magic, the young archer is trained with a small arsenal of rare and extremely powerful bows. Her eyes are annointed with exotic oils and bound with secretive magicks so that she can see perfectly well even in the deepest dark of a moonless night. In the final stage of the binding process, a graduating Sister chooses her sturdy Dwarven battle mule. For the rest of her days, a member of the Crimson Sisterhood of the Arbalest will ride the mountain crags with a small band of handpicked archers. In battle, she will infuse their volleys with crackling magical energies that shear not only through flesh and bone, but also the ethereal forms of the restless dead. It is said that not even elementals can withstand their singular, silent fury.


Royal Huntmaster

Base Type: Runerider
Terrain: Plains
Opponents: Animals, Monstrous
Loadout: Plainsman's Platemail (+12%), Sun-Burnished Armor (+20% in daytime), Boar Spear (+16%), Jungle Hunter's Spear (+16-20%), Harpoon (+16-20%), Dragon Spear (+22%), Heavy Warhorse (+5%)
Bonus: +28-37% (+56-74% elite)

The Royal Huntmasters serve Dwarven aristocrats on their forays to hunt dangerous beasts. They are experts in tracking exotic game and engaging them on opportune terrain. For regular animals like bears, wolves, elephants, baboons and poisonous crawlers, the Huntmaster uses basic Plainsman's Platemail. In cold and temperate climates they prefer the versatile Harpoon, but for hot climates they always have a few Jungle Spears on hand. Huntmasters also work hand-in-hand with Trollslayers to defeat marauding monsters. If a dangerous beast breaks out of the forest and into open terrain, the green shielded stalwarts lose much of their natural advantage. The clarion call of hunting horns will change all that. The Royal Huntmasters will don their radiant yellow platemail and mount their famed Palamino Heavy Warhorses, riding down the offending monsters with enchanted Dragon Spears in a golden wave of destruction.


That's the end of this particular article. I have some additional elite units to propose, especially cost-effective ones for newer players. All feedback and insights are welcome!

* Note: I'm not sure how to paste an Illy table to the forum. Right now the table is appended to my profile, but it might violate forum policies to link directly to your Illy account like that.
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Brandmeister View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Nov 2012 at 10:05
One last Dwarven hunting unit for the road!

Kill Campers

Terrain: Any
Opponents: Cotters, Skinners
Loadout: Extra Light Chainmail (+15%), Light Sword (+10%), Riding Horse (+25%)
Bonus: +50% speed (+100% speed for elite)

After the glory of the hunt is over, the real work starts. Given the high market prices for hides and exotic animal parts, it is inevitable that nearby communities will send out harvesting parties to pick over your precious beasts. That's where Herr Ser Verboten comes in. While the hunting party retires back to regale each other with tales over a few liters of ale, Herr Verboten and his Achtung Brigade stand guard while the cotters and skinners do their work. Rain, sleet, blazing heat, high winds... none of it deters the Herr. Anyone who tries to steal the kill is greeted by a dour dwarf stomping up and barking, "Halt! Nein, this ist mein animals! Off you goes now, you brummig beggars!" Only a fool would ignore him.

Herr Ser Verboten rarely sees combat, but he and his two brothers must ride swiftly whenever their services are needed. They travel the countryside on swift riding horses, carrying only graceful yet slender swords and wearing Iceheart chainmail. They would be hard pressed in a real fight, but their light gear is more than sufficient to ward off the inevitable vultures. Wherever he plants is blue and yellow flag, beggars of all stripes know--this animal ist Verboten!

Note: unlike the other elite commanders above, both troops in the Kill Campers division are equipped identically to Herr Ser Verboten. This allows them to travel extremely swiftly, doubling their movement speed from 9 to 18. This is further enhanced by training Herr in Forced March, which makes troops go even faster.
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abstractdream View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Nov 2012 at 14:02
Elegant and informative. If only I was a dorf....
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Nov 2012 at 14:13
My attempt to post your chart. A bit on the low res side, but gets the job done.




Edited by abstractdream - 05 Nov 2012 at 14:17
Bonfyr Verboo
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Loud Whispers View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Nov 2012 at 22:59
Here's my chart:
Battle axe
Battle axe
More battle axes

Those things are cheap. You can get around 5 thousand from two cities in a month without specialization. No exact numbers yet though. A little off topic, but would multiple swordsmiths cut down production time? Isn't infantry's natural ability in forests more than dragging its own weight in minerals when combined with battle axes?
Are war axes not the best thing since axes?
In any case, nice chart! :D
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Nov 2012 at 05:13
Animal scale armour is not that expensive, only the research is rather convoluted, with several rounds of demolish this and build that.  Of course as long as nobody but Durc and me went to the trouble to research and sell it buying animal scale armour is not cheap, but still less than 100K:  No Arterium, Elemental Salt, or Silversteel involved; and actually better for orcs than for dwarves.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Nov 2012 at 22:29
@Whispers: my current commanders use War Axes for hunting, with a Riding Horse to offset the movement penalty. Works great for infantry. But for plains, that Boar Spear is killer.

@dunnoob: I have a neighbor down in Tallimar who researched Animal Scale armor as well. It's pretty much Teh Awesom (TM) for hunting anything. It seems like the beetle carapaces and poisonous crawler exoskeletons are available, but scaled charger scales are a little hard to come by.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2012 at 02:19
Getting beetles outside of Tallimar can be hard, in fact all those critters are hard, but I only want animal scale armour for commanders using leather armour, not for troops.  Maybe later for elite troops, if there is an xmas tournament with undead NPCs again.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 2012 at 09:46

Ya... I want beetle armour to...for xmas of course. Wink

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