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Topic ClosedPurpose-Built Commanders (help + discussion)

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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Purpose-Built Commanders (help + discussion)
    Posted: 08 May 2013 at 20:04
This is a set of questions for the experienced wargamers on the forums.

The undead invasion was my first PvP tournament, and it turned up a lot of questions about how to correctly build PvP commanders. I'm familiar with capturing abandoned cities, and very familiar with hunting, but that's entirely different than tournaments, city defense and siege camps. Clearing abandoned cities and hunting are both 100% offense. Heroism alone will do it. Maybe a little Vitality and Accelerated Healing to recover faster, and Forced March to move quicker. Hunting parties tend to be small (50-200 troops), so army boosts like Bloodlust have a much smaller effect than Heroism.

In contrast, I found that tournaments, siege camps and city protection all mix offense and defense with large-scale armies. I finally crunched the math and learned that a commander with personal skills at 10/10 is exceeded by army formations at 15/15 using only 400 troops of the same type*. Obviously you're fielding a lot more than 400 troops in PvP battles. It seems obvious that you want a cocktail of offense, defense, army and personal skills, but what are some popular concoctions? Dwarf-specific advice is welcome, as I am playing a dwarf, but if there are obvious builds for other races, feel free to post those as well.

Commander Build Questions

Role: siege camp protection, tourney square occupation, city protection.
Home city: desert light forest (oasis) surrounded by large mountains.

Right now I have two commanders competing for this role, an older T2 spear (halbardier) and a much newer T1 cavalry (packsman). I started leveling the Halbardier because spears are effective in forest, and focused on his personal Avoid Charge skill. After the tournament, I realized that his Move:6 is a liability. Also, his Avoid Charge will top out at 400 halbardiers. Is the T1 cav commander a better build, with 10/10 Forced March and 15/15 Square Formation (anti-cavalry)? If I did build a commander to hold siege camps and tournament squares, how many points of Vitality and Accelerated Healing are recommended? How do you level those in progression with the other army defensive formations?

What should I do with the Halbardier 13... into the trash heap? I had considered using prestige to build a 10/10 Avoid Charge commander for an elite T2 spear division with Pikes and Reinforced Platemail (both anti-cav) for city-only defense. However, I could accomplish basically the same thing with a properly-equipped T2 cav Runerider, and enjoy much more speed and power on offense as well, even if it's just for hunting. I thought the Halbardier would have some hunting utility in the mountains, but even at 6/10 Heroism and terrain advantages, the halbardier's attack his much weaker than a Runerider commander riding a Dwarven Battle Mule.

Role: siege breaking, tourney square hacking, hunting.
Home city: heavy forest surrounded by forest.

This is a slightly different question. I've built up a trio of identical stalwarts (T2 infantry) for hunting, tournament fighting and offense. At the moment they are Heroism 7/10, Forced March 10/10 and Bloodlust 0/15. The triple-threat will deliver a crushingly efficient hit with 200 stalwarts... and then that army hits a wall. What would be a good configuration here, either leveling naturally or doing a prestige rebuild? I had considered two elite commanders at Heroism 10/10 leading 60 stalwarts apiece, and then one commander at Bloodlust 15/15 to lead the primary infantry force.

Role: city protection, other kinda random roles.
Home city: small hill surrounded by forest and hills.

My very first Axeman commander (T1 infantry) is still alive and level 47. His skills are a wild mix: Heroism 9/10, Sword Mastery 3/10, Avoid Charge 3/10, Vitality 6/10, Accelerated Healing 5/11, Forced March 10/10, Bloodlust 10/10, Interlocked Shields 2/15. I learned how to level commanders--and later how not to level commanders--by building up Wilhelm Badaxe. By the end of the tournament, he had evolved into a pretty decent vehicle for delivering a clearing force of T1 axes to a square. If you were to use prestige to rebuild this commander, what would you choose? I had considered a city protector build of all defensive formations maxed out at 10/10 and anti-infantry 15/15.

As a side note, I went into the tournament believing that stalwarts (T2 axes) were by far the best dwarven units. I quickly realized that they're awesome at taking squares, and terrible at holding them. I ended up using a lot of T1 axes to get a better offense/defense balance, even though a dwarven axeman's offense/upkeep is inferior to stalwarts. It was also convinient to deliver the attacks faster with axemen.

Role: city protection
Home city: small hill, small mountain, large hill, large mountain

If you had to build fresh commanders for these terrains, what would you choose and how would you build them? What armies would they lead? Assume that both build cost and upkeep are factors to consider. Crafted items are on the table, notably Reinforced Platemail and Dwarven Battle Mules.


* For rookie Illyrians, the personal skills are Heroism, Avoid Charge, Break Spear Wall, Cover, Sword Mastery. A commander gains +6x their base troop type for every level in personal skills. The army skills are 4 offense--Close Quarter Penetration, Concentrated Fire, Bloodlust, Charge--and 4 defense--Agile Defense, Tortoise Formation, Interlocked Shields and Square Formation. An army gains 1% of offense or defense in a particular weapon class for each point its commander has in these skills.

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