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Subject: Help with daqan vs undead rss

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James
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My opponent and I have played over a dozen games of daqan vs undead, and the undead player completely annihilated the daqan side every time. The games were not even remotely close. At this point, we decided to continue playing *only* daqan vs undead, to see whether daqan can ever win at all in this matchup. In contrast, our other matchups are fairly even.

Do you have any general pointers for playing as daqan vs undead? We play by the book with no house rules and we use all army packs. Here are some observations about our games (I'm not saying these are always true, but they are just remarks about how we've been playing, to solicit tips):

* The daqan player usually uses both units of rune golems. Rarely uses any ironbound or siege golem or crystal spires. Infrequently uses one or two archers.
* The daqan side generally does worse the more ranged units it deploys.
* We generally like riverwatch riders, but its usefulness seems to be largely offset by its low attack dice. I will still usually deploy at least one.
* Undead generally roll more attack dice because reanimates and death knights are more useful than ironbound, and because reanimates and wraiths are more useful in forests than daqan units.
* Undead generally have more favorable rolls because more of their units use 'heroic' die results, and because blight and panic reduce daqan usable die results.
* Undead lore cards seem to be stronger, and more daqan lore cards need to be swapped during selection. More daqan lore cards are unit-specific.
* Undead scenarios seem easier and allow more points to accrue on their side of the board. Also, there is usually a good spot for an undead command tent, while the decision to use a daqan command tent is less obvious.

Is there a special strategy that the daqan player needs to follow? Are there some daqan scenarios that are too disadvantaged and should not be considered? I think the combo of more attack dice plus higher probabilities of useful rolls for the undead is really the killer. Maybe the daqan player needs to get to the vp spots slower and converge more units on every attack, using riverwatch riders?
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Garrett
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I'm not aware of any special strategy for a Daqan vs. Undead matchup, but I can say that most of my Daqan vs. Undead games have been close. While I don't have any specific advice, I did notice that some of your observations seem at odds with conventional forum wisdom and my own experience.

jameskk wrote:
* The daqan player usually uses both units of rune golems. Rarely uses any ironbound or siege golem or crystal spires. Infrequently uses one or two archers.
* The daqan side generally does worse the more ranged units it deploys.

I absolutely agree that Rune Golems are strong. The Combination of Immovable 1 + Stunning Blow makes them very good. However, I'm surprised you don't field more archers. The Daqan archers are the best archers in the game. I haven't had a lot of experience with the Greyhaven Battlemages, but the Yeoman Archers can really put in work, especially with the combination of lore cards and command cards. Also, ranged units will be very helpful at decreasing the combat value of Reanimates before they reach your front lines.

jameskk wrote:
* We generally like riverwatch riders, but its usefulness seems to be largely offset by its low attack dice. I will still usually deploy at least one.

I would try fielding all three of them and see how you do. Try to keep them together so that they are giving each other a bonus die. Vigilant is an amazing ability. If you can get all three of them to attack with 3 attack and no counters, I think your opponent will not be pleased. Also, the speed of 4 means these things can really position where you want them to be. You can use them to take VP banners or to support other units' attacks rather easily because of the movement value of 4.

jameskk wrote:
* Undead generally roll more attack dice because reanimates and death knights are more useful than ironbound, and because reanimates and wraiths are more useful in forests than daqan units.

I think you're right about more raw dice for the Undead, but again, I would consider Yeoman Archers. They can attack into and out of forests for no penalty and should give the Undead a run for their money. Because there are no defense dice in this game, the Yeoman Archers' Double Shot ability basically gives them a 4-dice attack with almost no drawback. Pair it up with a Riverwatch Rider and you're throwing 6 dice!

jameskk wrote:
* Undead generally have more favorable rolls because more of their units use 'heroic' die results, and because blight and panic reduce daqan usable die results.

You're right. That can be very frustrating.

jameskk wrote:
* Undead lore cards seem to be stronger, and more daqan lore cards need to be swapped during selection. More daqan lore cards are unit-specific.

They may be more powerful, but they are also expensive. The total lore costs for Daqan's 20-card decks are 65 and 68, while the Undead have 71 and 75. By the way, do you customize decks?

jameskk wrote:
* Undead scenarios seem easier and allow more points to accrue on their side of the board. Also, there is usually a good spot for an undead command tent, while the decision to use a daqan command tent is less obvious.

I haven't noticed the command tent placement because I don't use those very often. When the Undead do have a command tent, does the Daqan player target it for the extra VP? Looking at the scenarios, they seem pretty even to me as far as collecting VP goes. I will say the Undead scenario rules seem easier to use because they are less specific than the Daqan ones seem to be. If you have a Daqan scenario that benefits from using a certain unit, but that unit is bad for the Undead's scenario, that could be rough. Then again, I think you would just muster that unit and focus on your own scenario with that unit while using other units to disrupt the Undead's objectives.

I'm curious what your Undead army composition usually looks like. How would you rank the most-used Unead units across all of your games?
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Giulio
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We had a similar experience when we played the Daqan and Uthuk expansions. We received them together and made a series of matches using only the new scenario cards found in the expansions. I remember a series of 11 subsequent Uthuk victories. At the end I think the balance was something like 15 to 2 for the Uthuk. Our opinion is that what mattered the most in this difference were the scenario cards, rather then unit abilities or lore cards. Both factions can field effective armies. But the Uthuk victory requirements seemed in several occasion easier to achieve, or at least, for some reason, it was easier for us to devise an effective strategy for the Uthuk side.

No blame here. With such a number of abilities and powers and given the strong asymmetry of the factions, it's really difficult to design a truly balanced scenario. if you want to measure yourself against your opponent on fairer ground, I think playing the same scenario twice, switching sides, is the only way to go.
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jarrad layne
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I've played a couple games of the Undead vs Daqan and they have all been fairly close. I see the Daqan players field a lot of Yeoman archers and Riverwatch Riders. This plays to the Undead's weakness which I think is their speed.

Position archers in key positions (hills near victory banners, Blockades, or fords) while the undead army advances, they can't move very fast so you should be able to get your archers where you want easily. Then run your Riverwatch Riders in using their superior movement. The closest matches I've played with the Undead vs Daqan armies has been a lot of archers and all the riverwatch rider units.

Once you have your archers positioned try to move them as little as possible to gain the double shot bonus. This comboed with the Riders and you got six dice a turn you are throwing for each archer unit. This will weaken advancing reanimates. Also archers have a better range than the Necromancers, try to cut the necromancers off from the rest of their army, they can only control a minion troop off of a heroic die roll if they are with in two hexes. Use retreats to push them apart. Also Yeomen archers that are blighted don't really get affected unless you want to move 2 hexes on a turn.

The more I play the more I find movement and positioning to be critical to making those big turns count. Use your movement and retreat rolls to force the Undead into bad positions like separating their necromancers away from their minion troops, or baiting and fleeing dread knights that only have two movement to get them out of position. The giant rune golem archer thing that looks like a cow with crossbow on top of it has a range of 2-6. That can't be touched by anything in the game. Stay back and pepper the undead with arrows, then when they get close go in with the ground Legendary/Elite or some other heavier hitting unit (rune golems are great here) and finish off the weaker units that make it to the front line.

Customize your Lore deck if you are not, Make a 20 card deck that plays to your units, to your strategy. The Enchanted Arrows give more range and ignore line of sight, great for an archer heavy army, but shouldn't even be in the deck for the armies your fielding if you have not archers.

Daqan army feels more like a sit and defend army in a lot of respects for me, Although I have probably played that army the least in my play throughs. I would suggest picking the scenarios where you get VP unless an enemy unit is in a building on your side (that is one of the scenarios I remember that heavily favor the Daqan).
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Dawid
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My 2 cents.
It's hard to advice in this game on general level, because in my opinion the devil is in details here. Everything counts: your scenario, your opponent scenario, units you choose, units your opponent chooses, positioning of units, tactics, situations, opportunities and so on.
But I will give you one general advise for Daqan Lords (I have a lot of experience playing against them cos my friend plays them 90% of time).
And the general advise is be as offensive as possible.
This is contrary to what Ecto44 suggests
Ecto44 wrote:
Daqan army feels more like a sit and defend army in a lot of respects for me
I might agree that Dagan Lords feel as if they should defend but from my experience counter intuitively opposite strategy is the most effective for them.
One thing I should emphasise is, by 'offensive' I don't mean 'focus on enemy units', what I mean is - rush for the victory.
Take as many VP each turn as possible including (or maybe even especially) banners on the opponent side. Your biggest advantage is movement so use it.
And this is something you should think of already during deployment phase. If you are first player it is very likely that during the first turn you will be able to put units on your banners, reasure your scenario based VP and take one of the banners on the opponents side. (Don't be affraid to sacrifice cavalry to do so). Don't do this if you cannot secure "your own" VPs. First secure yours then go for enemy's.
What you are gaining is momentum. Most probably he will regain his banner during his turn. But during your subsequent turns you are sending next waves and tug of war happens with your advantage. You are forcing opponent to fight back to regain balance while you are fighting just to keep your dominance.
So very basic strategy is to bring a lot of cavalry, couple of Guards and depending on situation either Roc or Siege Golem or non of them.
Don't be discouraged by Riverwatch Riders low attack value. They are one of the most effective and annoying units there are. I won't give you all the possibilities here but just give them more chances then you'll see. Deploy more than one. Experiment with keeping them together as an uncouterable attack force or separate as backup (flanking) units.
Also don't underestimate archers. In most cases they are the best units to secure your banners at the 'back line'.
Ahh...
I wish I had more time to go into all the details
Keep up!
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Garrett
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Given Ignipes' advice above, another strategy you might take is to try to ensure you get the 1st-player token as the Daqan player so you can really get that early momentum. It's much easier to conquer VP hexes before they are occupied. So make sure to lean toward scenarios with higher initiative value.
 
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Giulio
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Ignipes suggestions are good. In fact, they are so good that, IMHO, they apply to ANY faction. The answer to the question should I grab the maximum numbers of VPs or should I try to do something else, is ALMOST ALWAYS grab the maximum number of VPs. This game is a race.
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Peter Sikachev
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If I compare core units, then Daqan has somewhat better maneuverability than Waiqar. True, undead have some move 3 units, but they are either situational (Wraiths, Barghests) or expensive (Dragon).

You can try to use that to your advantage. Protect your objective with small force, but the one that would be costly for your opponent to attack (Rune Golems).

To seize your opponent objective, go all mobile. Deploy your units in the way you can strike the objective, but your opponent cannot strike back. Try using Citadel Lancers together with Riverwatch - they are formidable against Banshee-supported units.

As a side note, pay attention to the way you use Citadel Guards. While it is meant to be a barebone of the Daqan's army, I find this unit to be one of the most tricky to play. But when you play it right (utilizing Superior Tactics & Pursue right), the results could be devastating.

Again, could you give us some more info? Particular scenarios, units that you got troubles with? It is very hard to give a generic advice otherwise.
 
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