Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
14 Posts

Summoner Wars: Tundra Orcs – Second Summoner» Forums » Strategy

Subject: oy, what to do? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Joe Stude
United States
Farmington Hills
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm a little surprised to see no strategy articles here at all for these guys. A friend of mine I've played tons of games of SW with recently picked up everything else SW-related that we didn't own and we've been putting some of it through its paces. My buddy decided to try out the Tundra Orcs second summoner against me with the Phoenix Elves second summoner. 2 or 3 games later, all wins, I switched factions and over the course of a couple of weeks stomped him 4 or 5 more times pretty handily. We tried a couple more tonight and I stopped him twice more using the Filth and the Jungle Elves before he finally gave up on the Orcs and switched to the Cave Goblin second summoner. I decided to give the Orcs a try and met with a similar fate despite lessons learned and trying to do things differently. The problem that game is the dice were disparate and abysmal for me and this is NOT a faction that can fight through that easily.

Our issue is that this deck feels luck-based to a fault. Crushers by definition are unreliable at best on paper and have been absolutely useless in our games, actually hitting something besides themselves maybe 2 or 3 times total in our 7 or 8 games with them. Shooters and Berserkers are decent, especially against weenie decks like the Goblin factions, but they need to perform in a framework that seems completely dependent on maintaining a well-positioned network of ice walls. This is the first faction we've both played where it feels like everything needs to go exactly right ... and we wonder what we're doing wrong.

So let's hear it people. Anyone played these guys and had any consistent success?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jin TS
Malaysia
Petaling Jaya
Selangor
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have played the TO second summoner more than six times and have loss all. It's a very difficult faction to win, due to the nature of its commons and Champions. I have no solution to it yet but because i am currently hot on playing other games, i have decided to put it aside for now, until i find my enthusiasm to play it again, from all the horrible losses i have endured.

I'm not saying this faction sucks, but it certainly is not a very easy faction to master and play well to win.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Liam
Scotland
flag msg tools
admin
badge
I am BGG's official honey trap
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I only have 5% batter so I'll make this brief.

I'd agree this is a more 'open' deck which doesn't have a silver bullet strategy to play.

I tend to use them as a counter attack (summoning units only when I can throw them immediately into combat). Magic Denial is also a big part of my play with this deck (though expect to lose some ice walls). This said you can't really just use Champions with them though due to the events 'For Glory' and 'Ice Armour'. I also try to ensure I have some ice walls that I can fling into my opponents half to provide an advanced start (summoning two champions in the same turn is fairly doable and will likely be too hot to handle if timed right) and to delay them from attacking me. Going for their walls as a strategy or simply as a way to distract them to your advancing ice walls is also handy.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Stude
United States
Farmington Hills
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the quick replies guys. Glad to see we're not the only ones having issues. I think my biggest issue with the deck is that it has glaring, game-changing weaknesses without any really reliable strengths. The ability to shift walls into a faction's backside is of course really strong but you have to be able to follow up with an appropriate payoff (which is tough to do with those commons).

I'm gonna dig around on the Plaid Hat forums and see what I can come up with.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have found Torgan challenging but fun to play, with a distinct learning curve. He can use minor ice walls as weapons, which is a neat trick, but it's easy for him to get hoist on his own petard by hemming himself in with walls.

I was afraid to summon Crushers at first, because of the strong possibility for them to take themselves out. But especially if you're up against some high-life-count units, they're totally worth it. After all, they do end up in your own magic pile after they have a fatal stumble. (And if you're playing base Torgan vs. base Grognack--a hilarious match-up that I highly recommend--Crushers happen to be the perfect anti-Smasher unit.)

Grokk is a terrific champion, especially with Torgan's ability to cover the field with walls. Torgan can paper a diagonal of minor ice walls into enemy territory, and Grokk can advance along it with AV-3 ranged attacks. Sweet.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Fede Miguez
Argentina
Capital Federal
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm talking smack since I haven't really played the game since 2nd summoners but my impression from Torgan is that he is a somewhat defensive deck that can punish opponent's who cull their own units, but overall is not that good at crowding over the opponent. Torgan has range and an ability that let's him hide and/or block flanks for his other units so he can play near the middle of the board at ease. I feel his default approach is to be defensive and harass the opponent's main wall, making him come to you and forcing a 1-on-1 fight for Commons or Champions. If they can't flank Ugg he has the upper hand against a lot of units. Similarly, you can make them come to you with Grok (it's not that hard to buff her damage against Walls). I feel Krom is the most situational of the 3 of them mostly to get out when you are going massive commons/Minor Ice Walls. And if the opponent doesn't come to you, you can drop some commons, Glacial Surge/Shift combo and crowd his wall in one swift move. Torgan's Commons are unreliable but a Summoner can't risk letting them near.
Also he benefits quite a lot from deck building with Grognack's deck (Smashers, Krung) and Reinforcements (Thwarters, Bragg).
What makes me sad is his 'For Glory' card, it's more flashy than efficient and seems to be his 'smoking gun' card. His Ice Armor Events are quite buildable IMO (again, best tactical value when the unit can't be flanked), best used when the opponent is sporting Champions and not Commons.

Again, all of that is without any empirical support so experienced players may say the complete opposite.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Noble Knave
United States
Santa Barbara
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I wrote a guide to Torgan on the PHG site: http://www.plaidhatgames.com/news/280

I suggest you give that a read, although it's mostly a breakdown of the individual Units and when to use them. Here's some general advice:

- Torgan likes to be in the midfield and requires planning a turn or two ahead to make the most of his Minor Ice Walls.
- Don't plan on getting all 3 Champs out, unless your opponent is just flooding you with Magic. Try and either go heavy with MIWs and then use Krom and Grok to rain death from afar, or go heavy with Commons and use Ugg to smash whatever challenges you. Using Torgan's power a lot, and summoning Commons, is often the best way to play, but will probably take Magic away from one or two of your Champs.
- Crushers springing from MIWs are a nasty way to inflict a lot of pain on unsuspecting Summoners and Champs. Yes, they're luck based, but the math is in your favor.
- Ice Armor works best on Berserkers in the base deck, since they can block 2+ Wounds with it or else take a single Wound and save the Ice Armor for later.
- Grok nestled in an ice fortress with an enemy Wall in her sights is the best way to force them to deal with her or else lose a Wall.
- Try and maximize each of your Glacial Shifts. They're the key to seizing the momentum and leaving your opponent with no good options.
- Torgan becomes much easier to play when he has access to Grognack's awesome arsenal and the Reinforcements. His base deck can win if you play it right, but the plethora of really good TO Units he can add can help you craft an easier strategy to pull off.


Hope this helps!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Stude
United States
Farmington Hills
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hey NK, thanks for the post. I'm gonna respond to each bullet based n our experiences so far.

thenobleknave wrote:

- Torgan likes to be in the midfield and requires planning a turn or two ahead to make the most of his Minor Ice Walls.


My buddy realized this early and tried this repeatedly and it never seemed to work, largely due to the variability of when you draw the shifts/surges. My one attempt with them I ended up walling Torgan in midfield trying to give my shooters a post to shoot from and it REALLY did not work out because it required several moves just to get him into position to drop more walls.

thenobleknave wrote:
- Don't plan on getting all 3 Champs out, unless your opponent is just flooding you with Magic. Try and either go heavy with MIWs and then use Krom and Grok to rain death from afar, or go heavy with Commons and use Ugg to smash whatever challenges you. Using Torgan's power a lot, and summoning Commons, is often the best way to play, but will probably take Magic away from one or two of your Champs.


In all the games we played seeing the champs was extremely rare because we kept having to summon commons to replace losses. In the one game I played with them vs. the CG second summoner, I chose to build most of the Crushers I drew to let my Berserkers do all the work against the weenie commons, which worked for a while until his first champ (Smeege, 1 attack that costs him 1 magic per turn to maintain) hit the table at which point everything went to shit as I suddenly couldn't hit the broad side of a barn and my buddy, using the summoner's ability to grant a second attack, couldn't miss. I ended up losing everything but my summoner and a few walls still facing Smeege, the Feeder, and a fully healthy summoner. Blah.

thenobleknave wrote:
- Crushers springing from MIWs are a nasty way to inflict a lot of pain on unsuspecting Summoners and Champs. Yes, they're luck based, but the math is in your favor.


Our experience with Crushers has been... horrific. In the 8-9 games we've played with them we've only seen them hit without killing themselves maybe 3 times and we have never seen a perfect 4-hitter. We're both gunshy about using them now and I can't see myself ever not just building them all again unless I can drop 2 or 3 at once and just hope for a big nuke. The potential loss of tempo and magic from using them piecemeal is just too risky.

thenobleknave wrote:
- Ice Armor works best on Berserkers in the base deck, since they can block 2+ Wounds with it or else take a single Wound and save the Ice Armor for later.


I feel like my buddy was misusing ice armor, using it on anything he could get in range, primarily shooters, and that's a waste given the freedom to take 1 wound on 2-HP commons without triggering the armor. I used mine in exactly the way you mentioned above and... it was still minimally effective.

thenobleknave wrote:
- Grok nestled in an ice fortress with an enemy Wall in her sights is the best way to force them to deal with her or else lose a Wall.


Would love to have gotten this set up but couldn't make it happen. I did make the mistake of walling Torgan in between a couple of ice walls and a standard wall in the one game I played with them and quickly learned the folly there as I had a ton of trouble getting any more ice walls out.

thenobleknave wrote:
- Try and maximize each of your Glacial Shifts. They're the key to seizing the momentum and leaving your opponent with no good options.


This was the conclusion I came to as well but it just never seemed to pan out, either because the timing wasn't right to drop them or because the walls often got taken out before any real harm could be done. I think this highlights the biggest weakness of the deck: extremely unreliable commons leading to extreme dependence on comboing critical events in a timely fashion (which we know in SW doesn't happen often).

thenobleknave wrote:
- Torgan becomes much easier to play when he has access to Grognack's awesome arsenal and the Reinforcements. His base deck can win if you play it right, but the plethora of really good TO Units he can add can help you craft an easier strategy to pull off.


That seems to be the same conclusion most people are drawing. It's a bit disappointing that all the other decks are so playable out of the box while this one is so fiddly and impetuous but whatever.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Noble Knave
United States
Santa Barbara
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jowjow wrote:
My buddy realized this early and tried this repeatedly and it never seemed to work, largely due to the variability of when you draw the shifts/surges. My one attempt with them I ended up walling Torgan in midfield trying to give my shooters a post to shoot from and it REALLY did not work out because it required several moves just to get him into position to drop more walls.


Hence why you have to plan a few turns ahead. It definitely requires more long-term thinking than most decks.

Quote:
In all the games we played seeing the champs was extremely rare because we kept having to summon commons to replace losses. In the one game I played with them vs. the CG second summoner, I chose to build most of the Crushers I drew to let my Berserkers do all the work against the weenie commons, which worked for a while until his first champ (Smeege, 1 attack that costs him 1 magic per turn to maintain) hit the table at which point everything went to shit as I suddenly couldn't hit the broad side of a barn and my buddy, using the summoner's ability to grant a second attack, couldn't miss. I ended up losing everything but my summoner and a few walls still facing Smeege, the Feeder, and a fully healthy summoner. Blah.


Sounds like dice luck played a huge factor there. That's going to skew results heavily, regardless of the decks involved. SW is a game where every once in a while, the dice are really uneven and it's tough to recover from that.

Quote:
Our experience with Crushers has been... horrific. In the 8-9 games we've played with them we've only seen them hit without killing themselves maybe 3 times and we have never seen a perfect 4-hitter. We're both gunshy about using them now and I can't see myself ever not just building them all again unless I can drop 2 or 3 at once and just hope for a big nuke. The potential loss of tempo and magic from using them piecemeal is just too risky.


Dropping 2 or 3 at once seems extremely inefficient. If the first one hits and kills the target, you've wasted the rest of the Magic on the other ones and now they're likely going to get killed and feed the Magic to the enemy. Since you get the Magic back if they die, you're gambling 2 Magic for a 60% chance of doing 3-4 Wounds on the target -- it's a solid gamble, but you have to know when it's worthwhile and when it's foolish. Getting burned by them time after time sucks, but it's a statistical outlier.

Quote:
I feel like my buddy was misusing ice armor, using it on anything he could get in range, primarily shooters, and that's a waste given the freedom to take 1 wound on 2-HP commons without triggering the armor. I used mine in exactly the way you mentioned above and... it was still minimally effective.


If it means you get one more Crusher attack in, you just saved 3 Magic from bringing a new one out, and you're forcing the opponent to waste attacks. It's really effective if the Ice Armor'ed Unit is part of a bigger push. If it's by itself, it is going to be minimally effective, since your opponent doesn't have other targets that are protected from counterattack due to extra attacks on the Ice Armored Unit..

Quote:
I think this highlights the biggest weakness of the deck: extremely unreliable commons leading to extreme dependence on comboing critical events in a timely fashion (which we know in SW doesn't happen often).


You're looking at it the wrong way -- there are several effective ways to play the deck, but you're only going to have success if you adjust your strategy to your draws. Getting your Surges and then Shifts early should make you push heavily with MIWs and then follow up with a big push. Getting the Shifts before the Surges means you may be better building them, consolidating on one side, and chipping away at the enemy walls. Letting your draw and the flow of the game help dictate whether it'll be a 3 Champ or a 1 or no Champ game is key.

Quote:
That seems to be the same conclusion most people are drawing. It's a bit disappointing that all the other decks are so playable out of the box while this one is so fiddly and impetuous but whatever.


It's partly a function of how crazy good many of the existing TO Units are, unfortunately. TO are one of the strongest factions in terms of their existing Units, so the playtesters were careful to keep from making Grognack much stronger with it (although try Crushers with Groggy's Reinforcements, it's really good). Torgan out of the box is still IMO stronger than base deck Ret-Talus or Sera, but he's tough to use well (as are they, just different).




Check out the following podcasts that were just released with some TO strategy:

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/14391301#14391301
4 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Raistlin
Italy
Torino
Torino
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
thenobleknave wrote:

It's partly a function of how crazy good many of the existing TO Units are, unfortunately. TO are one of the strongest factions in terms of their existing Units, so the playtesters were careful to keep from making Grognack much stronger with it


Sorry, but this is not a good excuse for put on the market weak decks (the maximum example is Hogar from Alliances, the worst deck ever seen right now). Because people like me that play only base decks have to tweak the weak decks to make them competitive.

Anyway, to give the deck a power up, I tweaked it adding a 3rd life point to Crushers. I'm playtesting the tweak to see if it is overpowered now.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Stude
United States
Farmington Hills
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'd be curious to see how this works out over multiple games.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Raistlin
Italy
Torino
Torino
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jowjow wrote:
I'd be curious to see how this works out over multiple games.


Not enough playtesting for now, but I'll try them again soon I hope. For sure they are stronger now, maybe too much - but in the end they need a strong common to power up the deck so it could work (and fortunately there are only 5 of them in the deck). Probably they should cost 3 to better balance, but I prefer to not vary the deck economy if possible.

The alternative could be to let 2 life points as they are, but to reduce their Attack Value to 3. Maybe it could be a more better solution (probably optimal), but I hate to tweak the AV graphic of the card and also the unit would be visually very similar to Berserkers (same stats), so I'll do a try with AV 4 and 3 life points first.

Anyway, with AV 4 and 3 life points they should have the 10% probability to kill themselves rolling 3 miss, 30% to self inflict 2 wounds and 2 hits (this is what would make the big difference), 40% to self inflict 1 wound and 3 hits, and 20% to roll 4 hits.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Fede Miguez
Argentina
Capital Federal
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My 2 cents, it's better to buff the Summoner or his events than the units, simpler to go back if for some reason you can't use it in your game.

A simple buff for Torgan, that has synergy with the rest of his deck, is to change his text from "Once per turn, during your Event Phase..." to "Once per turn, at any moment during your turn...".
It makes his push a lot more flexible.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Raistlin
Italy
Torino
Torino
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
PePe QuiCoSE wrote:
My 2 cents, it's better to buff the Summoner or his events than the units, simpler to go back if for some reason you can't use it in your game.

A simple buff for Torgan, that has synergy with the rest of his deck, is to change his text from "Once per turn, during your Event Phase..." to "Once per turn, at any moment during your turn...".
It makes his push a lot more flexible.


I agree with you, simple tweaks are the best for me too. But the one you suggest does not improve the bad Crusher ability. I also thought about changing the Ice Armor text in order to allow Ice Armor to prevent any kind of wound - not only those from attacks. That would be more useful, mostly played on Crushers at this point, and also giving to the deck some sort of little, useful combo.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.