Note: If you're new to the game (or just want to brush up on the fundamentals), you'll want to start with the Beginner's Guide.
Have you ever attacked a land certain of victory only to have it snatched away by some unforeseen circumstance? Does Land Protection make you feel that things have just gotten hopeless? Does Kelpie spell doom for you? What the heck is Support and why should I care?
These are things that every Culdcept player thinks at one point or another when they first venture online. This can be a discouraging experience for some of the newer players who may think they'll never get to where the veterans are at. This guide is an attempt to help the newer player better understand the intricate details of land invasion and defense as well as some ways to get around troublesome territories.
Let's start with the first scenario I proposed. You attack a land and for some reason, things didn't work out the way you planned. Why is this? It could be any number of reasons, so I'll run down a checklist of things to look at prior to attacking a land.
A) Does your opponent have an item in his/her hand that could make this invasion difficult?
A lot of times the fight is futile before you even begin. If your opponent has a Gaseous Form or a Counter Amulet in hand, it can be very difficult to take the land over. Certain things like the Senility curse or Paralyzer makes it pointless or impossible for the opponent to use these items. Scrolls have a handy way of bypassing Gaseous Form or Counter Amulet as well.
First Attack items can also make the invasion difficult. If the defending creature takes the attacking creature out before it even lifts a finger then the defense wins. A special note on First Attack creatures and items: If both creatures have First Attack, the invading First Attack creature will always attack first. Stacking a First Attack item on a first attack creature does not make them attack faster.
B) Are there any "Boost Effect" creatures or spells in play?
There are several creatures that provide a global boost to the stats of certain creature types. These creatures are Brontides (+10HP to Red/Green), Hell Pyron (+10ST to Red/Green), Rahab (+10HP to Blue/Yellow), Lord of Bane (+10ST to Blue/Yellow), Ares (+20ST to invading), Poseidon (+20HP to defending), Borgess (+20HP to Neutral) and Red Cap (+20ST/+20HP to Goblins). There are also Sphinx (-10HP to Green) and Humbaba (-10ST to Yellow).
Now that I've flooded you with all that, let me tell you why these creatures are important enough to keep tabs on. Boost creatures provide their statistic benefit after every other aspect of combat has been factored in. The negative boosts (-10ST/-10HP) are factored in prior to the positive boosts, so if a creatures HP goes to 0 as a result of this, they die before gaining the positive boosts. Regardless of that, the positive boosts are where you generally have to worry. An extra 10HP can be the difference between severely wounding them and killing them. The unfortunate thing about this is that it could also be the difference between taking over a level 5 land and paying a 2500g toll. Poseidon and Borgess with Red Cap can turn an unsuspecting 20/30 goblin into a 40/90 defender. See the significance of boost creatures now?
Boost spells are various spells enchanting either the creature or the owning Cepter. Some to look out for are Hustle (+30ST/+30HP to enchanted creature), Brave Song (+20ST), Tough Song (+20HP) and Mesozoic Song (Turn all owning creatures into 50ST/60HP Tyrannosauruses). There are a few other spells to look out for, but I'm not going to list them all. Like the boost creatures, these boost spells can be easily missed and drastically alter the outcome of a battle.
C) What are the innate abilities of the defending creature?
Certain creatures are not all they appear to be. When you land on a territory, the game will say "Hey, this creature has an equal/greater/lesser amount of strength to the defending creature's HP." Don't follow these guidelines alone when attacking. Certain creatures have abilities that make these comparisons completely useless. Magma/Storm Avatar looks like a 30ST/30HP creature on the surface, but in the heat of battle he can easily turn into 90ST/90HP or more when you least expect it. The same goes for Red Cap or Mothman. They're going to turn into something they're not.
D) What Idols are in play?
Idols may seem like insignificant 0ST/20HP neutral creatures with obscure global effects, but don't let appearances fool you. They are anything but insignificant. When an Idol hits the board all the rules change. Marble Idol makes it so no duplicate creatures can be summoned. What this translates to is, those Barbarians you've been holding in your hand for a rainy night of whoop are useless if there's already a Barbarian in play. So you effectively can't summon any creatures if you land on the Boardwalk. Catch my drift? Silver Idol makes all defending creatures Attack First. This is huge! Suddenly, all your creatures are dying before they can lay a finger on the defender. Makes things painful, for sure. Opal Idol means all creatures can regenerate. This means any attempt at hacking into a defender's life is futile. It's a one shot kill or nothing. Idols can make things very difficult to do what you need to do so treat them with the utmost respect.
E) Can you afford to invade?
This is a very important check on your list. Take into consideration the cost of your items, creatures and whether you can defend the land after taking it in the first place. If Ivory Idol is down or Waste is on you, this is doubly important. Thinking of taking out a land with a Sage and Colossus support and you only have 200G in your pocket? That's 70G to summon the Sage and another 120G to use the Colossus as support. You're left with... 10 bucks. Sure, you took over the land, but the next turn your opponent lands on the castle and strolls over to take out the Sage. Good luck summoning decent support with 10 bucks. Now say Ivory was in play, it would have taken 380G to do what you just did. Imagine Waste on top of that. Sage goes from 70G to 280G. Colossus goes from 120G to 480G. It would have taken a whopping 760G to summon Sage and Colossus. Pretty expensive to take over a land. Conversely, pay attention to whether your opponent can defend himself. If he or she can't, take advantage.
You should also ask yourself if it's even worth invading. If the land in question is a level 1 neutral land with a 16G toll and an insignificant creature out in the middle of nowhere... just pay the toll. You're spending more money invading than you're gaining. Conversely, if your opponent is depending on that one green land even as a level 1, in order to provide him with the prerequisites to summon all of the creatures flooding his hand... take that territory with a vengeance!
Now that we've gone over the checklist on if to invade or not let's look at some of the alternatives to invading at all or setting up the perfect invasion. I won't go over the specifics of combat, I explain that process in my Beginner's Guide. Say your opponent has a Level 5, Fat Bodied, 0ST/100HP Sea Bonze with Land Protection on. Seems like a nearly impossible thing to overcome, right? Wrong.
Subsidence has a chance of hitting that level 5, dropping it to a perhaps more manageable level 4. At least you won't pay as big a toll. Cleanse is a decent set up with Paralyzer, remove the Land Protection, paralyze and attack. Sea Bonze will no longer be able to neutralize creature abilities. Perhaps you could use that Paralyze to Exile the Sea Bonze. Even after Land Protection is removed with Cleanse or Mass Phantasm or Desert Storm or Noble Shaman or Plague... etc... You could use Telekinesis to move the defensive creature over. He's defensive, he won't be able to waltz right back onto the big land.
What if you're dealing with a larger creature on a like colored land? Paralyze is always the answer, right? Wrong! If you have a hard-to-manage, high-HP creature on lots of land bonus, Paralyzer may not be the answer. Illness works well to help lower HP. Senility will let you kill outright if you invade. Your creature may not survive, but neither will theirs. Remove troublesome Boost and Idol effects by paralyzing those creatures. A paralyzed Red Cap no longer provides a boost to the local goblins. This works across the board.
What if your opponent has a bothersome item that will make it impossible to take the land you've been eyeing all match? Bluff! A lot of players are greedy, no offense to the greedy ones. They don't use their items wisely and will defend a low land when they should be saving it to keep their big land safe. Attack a land you wouldn't otherwise in order to draw the offending item out of their hand and free up opportunities for taking the land you really want. While you're doing this, don't use the items needed to accomplish what you want to do, as that would defeat the whole purpose. Crusher, Squeeze, Capture and Bookworm help with problematic items in an opponent's hand as well.
Why does it even have to come down to attacking a land? Direct damage works just as well in most cases. Lightning/Hardrock Dragon can devastate high level lands. Armored Dragon takes out pesky Idols that cramp your style (but not Ebony Idol, of course). Magic Bolt can help soften creatures up to attack later. Assassin will automatically kill creatures that have at least 20 damage dealt to them. Time Tide is one of the least used cards in a game, but it can bring rampant Mutations and Fat Bodies back in check. It'll also restore any reduced ST statistics preventing those irritating Lunatic Lights. A little known fact about Time Tide is that it ignores the effects of Phantasm.
I hope that the tips in this guide help you develop your game to a higher level. One thing that I always preach is that the game is not over until it's over. Things may seem hopeless, but with luck and good draws, the game can change completely in a matter of turns. When somebody absolutely destroys you in a game, take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes or from theirs. Figure out why you lost and what kind of strategies could overcome the problems you had. There is no flawless strategy in this game. I'll see you on Live. Good luck!
Note: You may be wondering, "But, where is the Beginner's Guide?" Don't worry! It will be returning to the site very shortly for all to enjoy!
Last Updated on Saturday, 08 June 2013 15:34