How to play Knalgans
General Knalgan strategies:
On the first turn when you have a random opponent it is good to get a mixture of units that will be good in any situation. A Gryphon, a Dwarvish Fighter (DF), a Dwarvish Thunderer (DT), a Poacher, and a Dwarvish Ulfserker (DU) recruit would be an example of such a recruit. When you discover what faction your opponent is, go to the appropriate section below for more advice.
Obviously, you'll want to stay in hills and mountains with Dwarves at all times, unless on village. With Outlaws, stay on non-grass terrain - mostly forests as your Dwarves will occupy the hils and mountains. Use Gryphons to plug other hexes with his 50% defense.
Neutrality and high defense, hp and resists make your Dwarves a powerful force. There is no time they are weak if they are on the right terrain. Your units can endure more blows, and more attempted blows than most other units in the game. Use this to your advantage and finish off the weaker opposing units and then ZOC and heal if you can. Ulfs are great utility killers against any unit with weak or no melee attacks. Remember they cost 19, so use them wisely.
With Knalgans, generally counter-attacks are the best attacks. They can sustain a lot of damage before they die, so the first wave of an opponents attack is likely not to kill any of your units. This will allow you to pick off particular units you wish to get rid of before your opponents next turn. Focus on killing their high damage units first, if possible, if not, kill and weaken as many units as possible to decrease the chances of success for your opponent on his second turn of the attack.
Knalgans versus Undead
If you know you're playing against Undead, the smartest thing to do is to recruit an ulfserker. He will automatically kill any Dark Adept (DA) that he attacks. He is also good for taking on Ghosts during day, or even Ghouls. Here are units you will want to recruit to counter Undead units:
Dwarvish Ulfserker: counters Dark Adepts, and most other UD units in daytime. Don't recruit many unless the opponent has no Skeletons. Skeletons can kill an ulf even in day. Ulfs are also expensive, so you don't want to trade them 1-for-1 with Undead units, unless you get a Ghost.
Dwarvish Fighter: counters Skeletons, Skele Archers, and is just a good high hp unit that can soak up nighttime damage for your front line.
Dwarvish Guardsman: Do not recruit this unit if you are fighting Undead. His Pierce damage is less useful than even Blade against Undead. His low damage also makes him a bad unit to counter-attack with.
Dwarvish Thunderer: This is a good unit to have in your front line in mountains. His 70% defense and decent resists should keep him alive from nighttime Skele attacks, and his 18-1 ranged will make Dark Adepts take a risk to come after you. They are also good to attack Ghosts, as 2 ranged hits will kill them - which even works at night.
Thief: Do not recruit this unit when fighting against Undead.
Poacher: A utility unit versus Undead. It's good for finishing Ghosts and killing Walking Corpses. It can also be used to pick at Skeletons and Ghouls. Money is spent better on other units, but don't forget that he may be useful.
Footpad: This weak character is really only useful versus Undead as a cheap scout. His Impact damage is good against Skeletons and Skele Archers, and he has the added bonuses of being Chaotic (which deals more damage when Undead try to advance at night), and being hard to hit. His best utility is his ranged attack versus Skeletons at night, and that's only 6-2. Recruiting 1 on your first turn to grab villages is likely the only use you'll get from this guy, unless you need a unit to occupy forest hexes (which dwarves do very poorly at 30% defense).
Gryphon: Probably not the best expenditure of gold versus Undead, but they do serve many purposes that can justify their cost: they give extended view of battle, allowing you to know what is coming and to counter appropriately; they are good for getting behind enemy lines to finish hurt Dark adepts; They serve as good ZOC units for plains and forest hexes. Unlike the Footpad they do not have negative resistance to Blade and Pierce - the weapons of skeletons.
Generally you'll want a good dose of Dwarvish Fighters, a few Thunderers, throw in a Gryphon for vision/utility, an ulf or two, and maybe a Poacher or Footpad. Dwarfs are really what you want to use mostly for their high hp and decent resists. This helps them survive the nightttime onslaught, and their neutrality will give them good damage in defense and also to press the attack at day. Don't be afraid to ulf a ghost in daytime - you won't see the CTK, but it will be good if your ulf is at high hp - and it will be nearly certain if he is Strong.
Knalgans versus Rebels
This is one of the trickiest matchups to play. Both factions are Neutral, so neither has an advantageous time of day to attack (with their main units). To win this battle you will need smart recruits and good unit placement, as well as a little luck; the same goes for your opponent. Knalgans have what I would consider a slight advantage with the "one unit must die" Ulfsersker, but Rebel defense as well as heal, slow, and magic could factor to your demise. Look for opportunities grab mountains and hills, especially if the have no forest next to them. Forests are your biggest enemy, so occupy them with your Outlaw counterparts or Gryphons.
Dwarvish Ulfserker: counters Mages, Elvish Shaman, and often times Elvish Archers. Again, don't recruit too many of these, as Elvish Fighters will easily come back to finish you up, and they are 5 gold cheaper. If you get a chance to take out a mage, do so. Not only will you gain 1 gold in attrition, but another unit will likely have to expose itself or get hurt to finish you off. Elvish Archers should be #2 on the "to kill" list, and they are sometimes worth jeopardizing your ulf for if you catch one of them off of forest. Again, the reasoning is you only lose 2 gold in the trade and the opponent must waste moves and usually hp in order to finish you. Again, they may also expose themselves. You might be able to get away with ulfing Woses if it's nighttime and you're in mountain. Make sure he isn' a Quick, Intelligent Ulf, and check the CTK as always.
Dwarvish Fighter: Again, these are the meat of your forces. Any front without one of these will succumb to Elvish Fighters. Dwarfs beat Elves 1-on-1, but they are more expensive. They are good damage soakers and damage dealers. Stay on preferred terrain at all times.
Dwarvish Guardsman: Guardsmen are great for holding frontline villages and chokepoints - with backup. A lone Guardsman can hold out for a turn, if lucky 2 or 3, while on a town, but he deals very little damage in return, especially against the ranged specialized Rebels. Recruit 1 if necessary, and no more than 2. They just aren't worth the lack of offensive/counter-attack units.
Dwarvish Thunderer: Another staple. This unit is great against Rebels with luck. Stick him on a mountain and Elves will hurt themselves trying to remove you. They aren't so great for dependable offense, but their counter-attacks are great.
Thief: Unlike when fighting Undead, you'll want 1 or 2 of these guys depending on your play style. At night, a combo of thieves can destroy Woses, Elvish Archers, Mages, and Shaman. Keep them in the forest hexes your opponent will want, but not in daytime.
Poacher: I like using Poachers to fill up forest hexes and to attack Elvish Fighters. Their main usefulness is as a counter-attacking utility unit to grab forest and press at night. They are cheap, somewhat weak, but deal more dependable offensive damage than the Thunderer. 5-4 at night is equivalent to a 17 gold Elvish Archer, and you only spend 14.
Whichever Chaotic unit if any you use, make sure to protect them at day.
Footpad: Don't recruit this unit when fighting Rebels.
Gryphon: These monsters are more useful against Rebels than Undead. Their utility lies in fighting any water battles against the weak Merman Hunters, scouting, taking opportunistic attacks agaist poorly placed Elves, and if you find a hurt Wose, you may cosider attacking one - even though Gryphons have a weakness for Impact. At night they do essentiall equal damage to each other, and you may not be able to get the finishing blow with one of your slower units. Do so as a calculated risk when you only need 1 hit to kill. Otherwise it's quite a risk.
Recruit a Gryphon (maybe 2 if there's enough water or the towns are spread out) first turn along with a mix of DFs, DTs, a DU, and perhaps a DG, or some Outlaws. If your opponent purchases scouts, feel lucky - they are next to useless against you. Beware of ambushes, and don't scout unsure forests with your Gryphon in daytime. Take as much tactical forest as you can with the appropriate units, and make a stranglehold on mountains. Ulf when you get a good chance, and be ready to counter in day as well as pressing at night. Each battle will play out differently in this matchup according to what your opponent recruits, so see what he has early, and keep track of any Woses. Also, do not let your Ulf be slowed or he is certainly dead.
Knalgans versus Drakes
These guys are big and nasty. They will burn and freeze you. Thunderers will be your main weapon, but he will require support units as well.
Dwarvish Ulfserker: Good for killing Augrs, scouts, and maybe Burners. Not really a good choice against Drakes in general, but can serve purposes.
Dwarvish Fighter: A good unit to use against saurians, but generally the DF is not how you want to go against Drakes.
Dwarvish Guardsman: Guardsmen are worth the price against Drakes. They're Pierce goes through their resistance, and a Strong one actually gets an additional point of damage on top of the point he gets for having the Strong trait (but not against Clashers). A couple of these are an alright buy, especially if you plop them on villages.
Dwarvish Thunderer: This should be your unit of choice versus Drakes. A DT does 20-1 damage to Drakes in ranged, and Burners will do (6/5/3)-4 damage in return. DTs have much better defense than Burners, but do suffer from having 8 less hp. DTs have the benefit of costing 4 less gold though. You'll want to use their "luck" attack on the easily hit Drakes as much as possible. Thunderers should be the meat of your army.
Thief: Not really useful against the Drakes, they are best used to counter Saurian Augrs, which are better countered by using Dwarven Fighters. No real need to recruit any.
Poacher: Another great unit against Drakes. Their attack at night deals a good 5-4 against all Drakes. Having better defense on Forest and villages, 1 or 2 of these guys aren't a bad idea.
Footpad: Don't recruit this unit when fighting Drakes.
Gryphon: Useful for early village grabbing, Gryphons also can be used against the weak Saurians or Drake Burners. These flyers are probably the only way you'll hunt down retreating hurt Drakes. Don't recruit too many due to their cost and lack of a ranged defensive weapon. Drakes can ZOC these units far better than any other faction.
Recruit a Gryphon, and a good mix of DTs, DGs, a Poacher or 2, and maybe a DF. Your opponent will likely get some Saurian mages to take away your high defense advantage, so having that DF around to take them out is usually quite helpful along with the Gryphon. Basically, recruit Pierce, Pierce, and more Pierce. Maintain your advantageoud defensive terrain as much as possible, because if you don't, and you put yourself on an even playing field in that respect, you will quickly be torn apart by the Drakes superior daytime damage and hp. The daytime onslaught will be brutal, so prepare for a counter-attack and try to keep your Guardsmen up front to utilize their Steadfast. It will be the difference between 7-4 and 6-4 daytime Burner damage and 6-4 to 5-4 daytime non-Strong Clasher damage. The Guardsmen also have 8 more hp than the Thunderers. If you can level a Guardsman (with 4 kills at 70% xp, or 3 kills and 1 battle if he's Intelligent), you will have a nearly undefeatable roadblock to use at your disposal.
Knalgans versus Knalgans
A tough battle. Dwarves have great defense, and no way to combat great defense. The high hp and the resists will make this a game needing a lot of strikes to kill. Don't think you'll be able to rush in and win - you're going to need intelligent unit placement and again, some luck. Focus on levelling (non-Gryphon) units if possible as the added damage will be needed.
Dwarvish Ulfserker: As always, one of these utility guys isn't a bad buy. Catch a thunderer off his perch, or a Thief or Poacher in daytime, and that's one less unit to deal with.
Dwarvish Fighter: One of these is a must. Use it against any unit. These guys are hard to kill.
Dwarvish Guardsman: Use these to hold villages and frustrate your opponent.
Dwarvish Thunderer: Use these to siege enemy villages or poke at DFs or Gryphons.
Thief: Not a good buy unless used to counter Thunderers and Poachers. Their Blade attack does little to Dwarves unless backstabbing at night (8-3). Better to use DFs for melee.
Poacher: An alright cheap buy for ranged forest grabbing.
Footpad: Don't buy this unit even if your opponent is bothering you with Gryphons. You can get 3+ Footpads for the price of 2 Gryphons, but it's not worth it. The weakness to Impact guarantees at least a 4-2 attack with these guys even in daytime, but unfortunately, unless you get bonus hp from traits, they will die in 2 hits from Gryphons, so it is still a risky buy - especially since they are useless against all other Knalgans. Just say no once again.
Gryphon: Useful as your only scout unit. Use these to get behind enemy lines to village steal, kill the wounded, or to ZOC a Dwarf on bad terrain. These guys are also good forest and plains holders for crucial areas that your Dwarves will fare poorly on.
Recruit a Gryphon, a DG, a DT, a DF, probably a DU, and a mix of other useful units. This game will be won through maintaining the hills and mountain, getting and keeping a money advantage, levelling a unit, and by waiting for your opponent to take a risk that they shouldn't. Keep them off of your mountains at any cost. If they get there you will spend precious moves, attacks, and hp trying to take them off. It's usually better to ignore enemies on mountains than to fight them.
Knalgans versus Loyalists
Defend in day, strike at night. That's how the battle will go. Beware the Horseman and Mage and be prepared to counter these heavy daytime hitters. Again, an Ulf can be your best friend, especially if you can catch a Horseman at night or a Mage.
Dwarvish Ulfserker: If you get one, don't get it until turn 2 or later. Grabbing one in your initial recruit will only make him be impotent during the first few truns of daytime. Ulfs you will use to kill Mages, grind up horse meat at night, as well as get rid of Bowmen - though they shuoldn't be recruiting many. You shouldn't need more than 1 unless they go mad with Mages.
Dwarvish Fighter: Good to fight Spearmen, having these guys is a necessity. These are also your best unit to defend against Heavy Infantry.
Dwarvish Guardsman: Get one of these guys. These will make your front line immune to Horsemen. Also useful to counter-attack Cavalry, Mages, and Bowmen. If HI get close enough, milk xp off of them with your ranged. The level will come faster than you expect.
Dwarvish Thunderer: Get 1 or 2. Good against essentially all of the Loyalist units, the Pierce ranged is even better against the 2 mounted units.
Thief: These guys can be used against most Loyalist units at night, but avoid trying to backstab Spearmen. Even at night their firststrike can get nasty on this low hp unit. I recommend the Poacher instead of this guy.
Poacher: A great unit to counter-attack Loyalists and press at night. His multiple strikes are of better use against the high defense Fencer, though his ranged Pierce is best against the mounted units. His attack does a modest 3-4 to HI at night (compared to a Thunderers 11-1), and this unit that you'll want to use against Spearmen outside of day as well. Although they will be weak during day, they serve many purposes and are well worth the 14 gold.
Footpad: Do not recruit this unit when fighting Loyalists.
Gryphon: Useful as scouts mainly, you can use these to run down hurt horses, go for 1-attack-kills on Fencers (9% chance if they have no bonus hp), or again, to try to hold important grassland hexes. Beware during day though, as HI, Mages, and Horsemen can all tear Gryphons apart quickly. Recruit no more than 1.
Recruit a DF, a DT, a DG, and a Gryphon depending on the layout of villages. Fill out your army with what you think will serve you best for that particular battle. Water battles will be nearly pointless. Cheap Mermen with higher defense will easily rout your Gryphon(s). Avoid sea battles unless you can taunt a Merman within range of a ranged unit (who can stand on decent terrain). A Gryphon's extra sight is good for spotting long range Horsemen, so it usually is worth having one around, but recruit no more than one. They don't counter any unit very cost-efficiently, so use it primarily as a scout and utility unit.
You'll want to press as hard as you can at night, moreso than even against Drakes. The reason for this is that Loyalists have no level 1 Neutral or Chaotic units. Every unit the opposing player has will suffer a penalty at night - unless he has a Sergeant behind his front line. Because of this possibility, don't press too close to his castle until you have maintained a monetary advantage, as you will start losing units more rapidly when he comes back at you with an additional +25%. Put your guardsman up front - this will dissuade any Charges. Keep a DF or DU nearby in case the player chooses to siege you with Mages. Spearmen that attack a DG in day will deal nearly equal damage to each other, which can add up quickly. counter any advance with Thunderers and Poachers. Don't expose your Dwarves to poor terrain or they will die.
You'll want to whittle away at HI with Poachers and DTs and you'll want to give the killing blow to a Fighter. Upgrading DFs should be your #1 priority as they are your best defense and counter to the easy Spearman spam. The massive hp on the level 2 will also give it the ability to withstand attacking HI and Mages.
Basically, Loyalists have an incredible amount of versatility. You'll have to play smart and counter-attack very well in order to win. Deal free damage when you can, and limit the number of hexes you can be attacked from - especially during day. Start commencing your attack before night actually breaks. You'll want to maximize your advantage over those 2 turns, so make sure they don't creep away before night hits. As always, stay on good terrain, and make sure Fencers can't skirmish around to kill any weak units you may be hiding.
Knalgans versus Northerners
The biggest problem you will have with Northerners will be their numbers. Northies will gladly trade units with you and gain a monetary advantage. Make them depend on luck by staying on good terrain, and their high upkeep may start to become a factor.
Dwarvish Ulfserker: Recruit one of these guys if you're really having a problem finishing their units off, or your opponent likes to use Assassins. He's expensive, and Northerners are melee oriented, so most of their units will be able to take a majority of this units hp away, if not kill him. Assassins Poison will quickly deteriorate your army's hp though, so having one may prove valuable. Since Assassins cost 17 gold you'll only lose 2 in attrition, and you'll likely take lots of hp from another unit with you.
Dwarvish Fighter: Again a necessity. His damage dealt in defense is how you'll deal a majority of your damage. If possible, get a rotation of these guys in the front line. You'll deal more damage than your opponent on average, but he will come with more units - 4 Grunts cost the same as 3 DFs.
Dwarvish Guardsman: Another good guys to have 1 of if not more. He can survive nighttime assaults better than the fighter, and will still do respectable damage back to the enemy. Use your ranged attack on Grunts to make them turn around and heal.
Dwarvish Thunderer: Nice to have. Their combination of good resists and ranged damage make them good counter-attackers. For cheaper ranged counter-attackers, use Poachers as they will also be used to hold forest hexes. Recruiting DTs may crowd your hill hexes, especially since that's what the Northies will be grabbing.
Thief: Not a great buy against Northies. His melee only nature along with his Chaotic alignment make him most effective in the same way Northeners are. Avoid the urge to recruit these guys.
Poacher: Again, these guys you'll want to recruit a few of. When the Northies come after you at night, you can make a strong counter-attack with their 5-4 ranged.
Footpad: This guy can be a utility unit against Northerners, but the money is better spent elsewhere. Footpads can harass Grunts and Wolfs, take forest hexes, and block Assassins from poisoning your Dwarves. Not the best buy, but you may be able to get your money's worth.
Gryphon: Again, it's usually good to have one of these guys to scout, plug up grassland, and be a defensive damage dealer. He's also good for trapping/killing Assassins and being a target for their poison.
The biggest thing you need to worry about will be Poison. If you get a good foothold on mountains and hills, Poison will be the weapon of choice to knock you offyour perch. Be ready to fill in with a replacement unit, and try to kill assassins before any other units. Melee strikes will have to get through your resistance - poison does not. You also don't deal any damage back when poison hits you.
Recruit a DF and a mix of other good units. Stay on towns or mountains for the first assault to minimize the effect any poison will have and reduce the chance of it hitting. Let your opponent attack you, and then counter-attack with your Poachers and DTs if you have them - even DGs ranged will add up. Ulf Assassins whenever you get a decent chance, as the Poison will hurt more than their melee attacks.
Allow your opponent to attack you from forest hexes if they are next to mountains that you occupy. Your 70% defense will outdo his 50% defense, and his confidence will be higher to attack since he won't be on grass. Even if an Assassin uses that hex, if an Ulf is within reach, he should be able to take him out from on top the mountain.
To kill Trolls, you will want to focus exclusively on them until they die. It is best to ignore them and kill others than to only do a minimal amoun of damage to Trolls each turn. Their regeneration will give them essentially limitless hp if you do this. Kill his friends and then focus on him. If there are several, take them out one at a time. Try to avoid water battles with Nagas, unless there is only 1. You won't want any Gryphons you get to be ZOCd, especially where you cannot help them, so be cautious with water battles.
To sum up, kill poisoners, get units that deal good melee damage in defense, and get good counter-attacking ranged units
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