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Duel of Ages Set 1: Worldspanner» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Character Analysis: Sandman rss

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Adam Mitchell
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Sandman, found in the Master's Addendum, is one of the game's most unique characters and hence one of the most specialized; you cannot treat him as you would most characters.

Obviously his Speed of three renders him all but useless as a labryinth challenger. You could use him as a mere labryinth blocker, but that would be a waste of most of his abilities. Here's how we've found Sandman is most advantageously employed.

First, you must choose the Alamo (otherwise known as the Sandman Superconductor) as your chosen platter. If you're Team Black, I would place the Alamo, attach the single 2-3-6 dome key to it and put the Colonial Labryinth next to that key, attached to the section where there is a building right in front of the Labyrinth entrance, but no buildings blocking off either side of it. If possible you then want to attach one of the two 1-4-5 dome keys to the other side of the Colonial Labyrinth and your opponent's team base directly opposite the Labyrinth, so that the Main Gate is adjacent to part of the building. Your final addition to this platter should be the Mercenary Camp.

Having all six numbers represented on the platter makes it easy for Sandman to appear there intially (I generally place him as my first character) and to return there when he is dismissed. It also makes it easy to send your more fragile characters to the Colonial Labyrinth to advance the challenge marker, knowing that they're protected by Sandman. Finally, the fact that Sandman is guarding the COLONIAL Labyrinth means that your opponent cannot use its Tower of Maneuver to banish him from his home platter, which is a disaster for the Urban Legend. That's why I never place the Lith Strategica when I have Sandman on my team. Assuming my opponent doesn't place it, I then control the only ToM in the game.

Once Sandman is inside the Alamo, unless there's an opposing character present in one of the platter's domes, I send him to the enemy base's Main Gate to challenge his White Stealth against it's Yellow. When he gains entrance to the base it only takes him one movement point to get back into the building and another to block the entrance to the Colonial Labyrinth, so he can be back in place as a blocker in one turn if necessary. If not, I always have him hit the H.Q., where his White Melee will destroy it and net you a point on a roll of six or less. Unless you roll an eleven, you will also be dismissed and with any luck can send Sandman straight to one of the Alamo's dome keys. The H.Q. should be your first priority, but you could also have Sandman raid the Vault or liberate a captive from the Prison. The former is not a bad idea, but the latter should be avoided unless absolutely necessary, since at best it means Sandman will be banished too.

Speaking of the Mercenary Camp, Sandman is one of those most suited to advancing your marker there. With his status as a modern character, Yellow Strength, Yellow Wits and propensity to pick up weapons from those he has banished, Sandman could conceviably advance the Merc Camp to the Deal, locking down that point for you. Of course there is always the danger of his being banished on a bad roll, so I would make sure you have the enemy H.Q destroyed and a healthy lead in the Colonial Labyrinth before trying to challenge the Yellow Strength or Wits section of the Mercenary Camp. Then, too, if your opponent isn't braving Sandman's wrath to advance his own Mercenary marker, there's no pressing need to lock down the point.

As I noted earlier, banishment is a terrible fate for Sandman, as his low Speed makes it extremely difficult for him to return to his home platter. He does, however, have the advantage of moving at one through rough, woods, and fire, and being able to safely end his move in fire or an obstacle, where he may not be fired upon by any enemy. You might consider having another character use the Tower of Maneuver to return Sandman to the Alamo, if you think you can do so safely.

Sandman's White Melee, White React, and Green Armor make him very well-suited to melee combat, but his three life means he is fragile and his close combat damage is like that of no other character in the game. Obviously the lower your target's Wits the better for you, but even those with higher wits Will roll badly on occasion, and a simple fail means the loss of all that character's cards and banishment. Most characters won't want to risk that, especially if Sandman has taken his place blocking the Colonial Labyrinth and they will have to fight him every step of the way

Dedicated melee beatsticks such as the Bladed Terror, Dr. Memnar or Jade the Unicorn are of course a serious threat to Sandman, but given their generally low Wits they also put themselves at risk by engaging the Urban Legend. For example, our only Sandman/Bladed Terror combat to date saw the Bladed Terror Imprisoned, whereas Sandman survived the three damage dealt to him (after being banished earlier he had Amazed a Labyrinth challenge which gave him an extra two life).

Always remember that Sandman is immune to single target weapons! This is a huge protection for him. Though less generally useful, keep in mind that he is also immune to Thrust weapons, ignores Imprisonment results, and creatures may not attack him; no Sentinel can bar Sandman's way or snipe at him.

Given his unrivaled ability to control his home platter, Sandman is a big target for the enemy and there is no guarantee he'll live out the game. That's one of the main reasons I try to use him to destroy the enemy H.Q. as quickly as possible, before he perishes. If he can score just that one point first, Sandman will have more than earned his keep. If he's also able through his guardianship to preserve your lead in the Colonial Labyrinth and Mercenary Camp until the end of the game, then so much the better! Three points potentially won by the presence and actions of one character makes Sandman one of the most useful and valuable characters out of all one hundred and sixty.
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Wanda Davies
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I appreciate the time and effort you put into this analysis. I've yet to have the pleasure of working with Sandman, but I'll try to enact your set-up when I do. Do you have any advice for using Sandman in other scenarios? For instance, if the opponent is the black team and they have control of the Alamo plate- how does Sandman function out of his element?

As a new player, I'd love to read more analyses like this. My thanks!
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Adam Mitchell
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Hello Gregor wrote:
I appreciate the time and effort you put into this analysis. I've yet to have the pleasure of working with Sandman, but I'll try to enact your set-up when I do. Do you have any advice for using Sandman in other scenarios? For instance, if the opponent is the black team and they have control of the Alamo plate- how does Sandman function out of his element?

As a new player, I'd love to read more analyses like this. My thanks!


Thank you, and you're most welcome! In regard to your question, if your opponent is the Black team, you will be able to select your platter first and so can take the Alamo. If the opposing player is the White team, it is very unlikely he will choose the Alamo as his platter, since the only character it really benefits is Sandman. Once your opponent has sufficient experience, however, taking the Alamo will be a dead giveaway to him that you have Sandman and he will likely interfere with your proper construction around the platter. There is no remedy for this, unless you're willing to go so far as to deliberately select the Alamo during games in which you don't have Sandman, just to psych your opponent out and mess with his preconceptions. If you do that then when you choose that platter in the future he won't know if you have Sandman or are simply trying to trick him again.

Out of his element I'm afraid Sandman is rather like a fish out of water; it is therefore vital that you return him to the Alamo as quickly as possible. The fastest way is to send another of your characters into the ToM and dismiss Sandman. If that's not possible, he needs to make a beeline for the closest challenge that is likely to dismiss him. Of course if that challenge is in a labyrinth and you've got a couple of enemy characters coming up behind you, you might want to switch to blocker for a while, assuming that other enemy characters aren't pouring into the Alamo in Sandman's absence.

When he is out of his element, though, don't forget about the Urban Legend's other movement abilities! In one game Kassina the Dragon Queen ended up only a few spaces away from him in her Dragon form. With her Yellow Wits, she's a poor target for Sandman and as a Dragon was quite capable of biting him in half with one strike. Sandman responded to her presence by darting into a nearby fire hex and remaining there until she left.

Two or three times in our games the Starport platter has actually ended up connected to the Alamo, giving Sandman a tremendous range of movement! Sadly, in one of those games he was killed almost immediately by an area weapon, rather depressing his controlling playersoblue. Incidentally, Tombstone attached to the Alamo also gives Sandman great opportunies to strike unexpectedaly, flashing across a platter and a half to do so. Since you can only select one platter, though, such vastly beneficial situations are purely a result of the luck of the draw.

Also, remember that Sandman CAN use Cubes! In one game he killed two characters at once who were on their last health by using what I believe was the Shockwave Cube.

Finally, since I can easily come up with half a dozen other characters that I'd like to write a similar analysis of, I think you can count on seeing more from me in the very near future.

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Wanda Davies
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Solan wrote:
Finally, since I can easily come up with half a dozen other characters that I'd like to write a similar analysis of, I think you can count on seeing more from me in the very near future.

Most excellent! Any clue as to who's next?
 
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As Solan's playing partner, I've had a fair bit of experience with DoA, and feel quite comfortable writing a review on any character. Any requests, Greg?
 
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J Mathews
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Out of curiosity, why Alamo instead of the 2 or 3 other building-heavy platters (Spaceport, Tombstone, etc)? I tend to split time between Alamo and Spaceport depending on who else is on my team.
 
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Wanda Davies
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Tobec wrote:
As Solan's playing partner, I've had a fair bit of experience with DoA, and feel quite comfortable writing a review on any character. Any requests, Greg?

Wow, Tobec, thanks! I just got done reading the first part of Solan's Tips article and, it seems to me, that the characters who fall under the Special category would be the natural choices for articles of strategy. Are there any you particularly love? Perhaps Fanged Tracnids? (I can't remember off hand what their abilities are as I've not drawn them yet...)
 
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Adam Mitchell
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EventHorizon wrote:
Out of curiosity, why Alamo instead of the 2 or 3 other building-heavy platters (Spaceport, Tombstone, etc)? I tend to split time between Alamo and Spaceport depending on who else is on my team.


An excellent question! Lithopolis and Tombstone are completely unsuited to Sandman, since the buildings aren't positioned in the proper place to allow Sandman to travel instantly between the Colonial Labyrinth, the enemy Base and the Mercenary Camp.

The Starport is almost the equal of the Alamo for Sandman, but the presence of the swamps on that platter gives you no leeway in placing the keys you need if your opponent interferes, while with the Alamo all six notches are more or less viable locations for placement.

As for my next character analysis, Greg, I believe I will be going with . . . Thotus!

 
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In general, Alamo is the best platter for Sandman. However, sometimes you have a few characters who need specific platters, and choosing who to favor is tough. Sandman is pretty high on the list, so I'd normally choose it. However, one game I had Sandman and GRASP, so I choose Starport. But in general, the Alamo is almost always the right choice. Place keys on it yourself, and see. A properly positioned Sandman can reach almost any space on the Alamo, while the same can't be said of the Starport. Greg, Fanged Tracnids are a good character, but they are not too complicated to use. I'll probably pick a special type character, and go with that.
 
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