Starla Lester
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I saw no less than eight comments that the Warlord is weak, unimpressive, or even unbalanced compared to the indomitable Forcemaster. I'm wondering who out there has played the Warlord successfully against the Forcemaster and what strategy you used.

I have trouble believing that the two mages are that unbalanced given the high rating of the expansion. I own the base set, and Druid vs Necromancer is on its way to my door (Hooray!), but I skipped this one because of the comments. Now I'm wondering if I should have dug deeper.



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Starla Lester
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Just a note,
I will be playing this with a friend who owns it tomorrow, and if he'll let me play the Warlord, I'll do my best to put your suggestions to use and see if the claims that the Warlord is weak are false. If you can help me prove he's any good, I'll pick the expansion up! My friend IS the better gamer of the two of us, so it will be a good, challenging test!

What do you think,
Shaminder Dhillon
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Mr G
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The Warlord is generally weak. Anything the Warlord can do, the Earth Wizard can do better.

I have found limited success with the Warlord using a big few Elite squad idea, but I only tried it to test it out. To be more specific,I used Thorg plus the blademaster guy plus a couple grunts. No spawnpoints. In general play, all mages are better.

Triple cost for arcane is very limiting.

The FM, on the other hand, is very effective. I find an FM with high level creatures can create a major pain for any opponent. Well worth triple cost.
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Starla Lester
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fentum wrote:
The Warlord is generally weak. Anything the Warlord can do, the Earth Wizard can do better.

I have found limited success with the Warlord using a big few Elite squad idea, but I only tried it to test it out. To be more specific,I used Thorg plus the blademaster guy plus a couple grunts. No spawnpoints. In general play, all mages are better.

Triple cost for arcane is very limiting.

The FM, on the other hand, is very effective. I find an FM with high level creatures can create a major pain for any opponent. Well worth triple cost.


Not a promising start, but thank you for the input. I'll definitely keep it in mind.
 
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Smurf-o-Deth
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Yeah, what Mr G said: the best way to play the Warlord is as an Earth Wizard.
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Mr G
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smurfodeth wrote:
Yeah, what Mr G said: the best way to play the Warlord is as an Earth Wizard.



USE THORG!

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Starla Lester
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fentum wrote:
smurfodeth wrote:
Yeah, what Mr G said: the best way to play the Warlord is as an Earth Wizard.



USE THORG!



I hear you loud and clear, Mon Capitan. I shall do as you direct and release Thorg upon the Forcemaster.

Thanks for the advice!
 
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Ivan Kidd
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The Warlord's main weakness is indeed the triple cost for Arcane Spells, but that's not his only weakness. His Battle Orders obviously favors multiple creatures, but he is not built very well for swarm tactics. Even if he was, grouping all your creatures in one zone is generally a bad idea for a swarm, and Battle Orders only affects one zone unless you equip the Horn of Gothos. Finally, his Veterans ability requires you to kill your opponent's creatures. Usually it's a better idea to focus on the opposing mage than the opponent's other creatures.

I agree with previous comments that the best way to play the Warlord is with an Elite Squad. As I said, he's not really built well for swarming (Barracks isn't worth casting normally) but you still want to have a decent number of creatures out on the field. I'd aim for at least 3 Creatures. Thorg and Corazin are both great, but another slightly cheaper option (mana wise) is the Bridge Troll if either of you have Conquest of Kumanjaro.

Now, this only answers half your question though. In addition to knowing how to best utilize the Warlord, you also need to know how to best fight a Forcemaster.

If your opponent's Spellbook is any good, it WILL include creatures. They will be big, hard hitting, and few in number. Neutralizing these creatures can really hurt the Forcemaster's strategy. I like to Sleep the creature and immobilize the Forcemaster so he can't wake it up. Then go to town. He might also have a Thoughtspore or two in addition to the big beefy. Just shoot them down, they can be 1 shot with attack spells.

If he goes in swinging with his Mage in addition to his creature, then Armor + Agony are amazing at neutering a Forcemaster. I'd fear a 7 year old girl scout more than an Agonized Forcemaster once I have a chest piece on.

So, you've managed to blunt the Forcemaster's aggression. You still have to get past her defenses. Falcon Precision is a must have in your spellbook to make your attacks unavoidable. That will get past all of her defense rolls (and she usually has multiple) as well as neutralizing Block and Reverse Attack. Forcefield could give you some trouble, but you should have enough creatures to break through it. After the initial counters on Forcefield are gone, you just need to hit it with your weakest creature at the start of every round and that'll open it up for your big creatures to smack her around. If you absolutely must though, it can always be Dispelled. You shouldn't include a lot of Arcane spells in your book, but Dispel is a must.

Mobility might be an issue as well. The Forcemaster can push, pull, and teleport all day long compared to your Warlord. If you want to compete, don't try to make yourself more mobile but rather focus on making her less so. Walls, Spiked Pit Trap (with Conquest of Kumanjaro), Tanglevine, and Forcehold can all work to keep her from controlling positioning.

Lookout for Mordok's Obelisk. It presents a double threat. First, it'll drain your mana since you'll have multiple creatures out on the field. Second, she can use that + Mind Control to instantly kill any of your creatures she wishes to. You can put Nullifies on your critters and prepare Dispels to prevent the Mind Control, but really the only option open to you if the Obelisk hits the field is to destroy it ASAP.

If she Charms any of your creatures, remember you can put them on Guard. Charm is only good if she also uses Mongoose Agility. You only need to waste a Dispel if both enchants are out.

I realize after writing all this that you have probably already had your battle with your friend, so my advice is a little late. I will conclude then with the sentiment that a Warlord CAN win his battles, he is not a complete invalid and I've seen it happen multiple times. He is definitely at a handicap though.
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Starla Lester
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That was an amazing overview. Thank you! I'll definitely keep that all in mind. My friend and I will need to play these characters again, because we overlooked some rules. So, your advice wasn't too late, at all.
 
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trevor

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Well I don't have such a sound analysis as that but I've really tried to get the Warlord to work, and have found some success.

Not having much access to Arcance really does hurt, so you have to really choose Arcane spells that are critical only, like dispell, other than that I have gone the route of using big guys like the swordsmaster and Thrall and beefing them up and going weenies also. While the barracks is a poor spawnpoint in cost comparison to the others, it always helps to be able to spawn two creatures a turn none the less. I find the towers to be rather useful also. But mostly, I try to keep him back and utilize his helm and horn to maximize the effectiveness of his commands. Thrall his good for keeping creatures off the warlord, and utilize good cost effective commands, like power strike and battle fury, to give otherwise weak creatures like the goblin grunt a nice punch.
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I've been trying different strategies with the Warlord, and really getting beat down. I've found throwing out a bunch of little outposts to be really feeble. Instead, use your conjurations that can do heavy attacking.
Last night I totally owned with the Warlord by using this set up.

Start out with the garrison post and barracks. Harmonize the barracks and get out your Ballistas asap. The Ballistas just reigned death in my last game. Akiro's Hammer should follow them up, if you can. Or just start sending out creatures and use the helm to beef their attacks. I bound Powerstrike to the helm and it was effective.

Also, I added a ton of earth-school Attack spells. Hurl Rock, Hurl Boulder, Hail of Stones, Hurl Meteorite. These spells do serious damage and can take out enemy conjurations.

Enchanting a zone with Fortified Position is awesome, especially in a team game. And, Warlord's Veteran Badge ability is almost broken in a team game, as it works on your teammate's creatures as well.

Basically, with the Warlord, I've learned to spend less time mana ramping and more time setting up combat conjurations. Conjurations can attack all at once immediately before you or your teammate's creatures' Action Phase. This lets you make two or three attacks ALL AT ONCE usually every other round. = awesome!
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