How to play Loyalists

From The Battle for Wesnoth Wiki
Factions of the Default Era

Description: LoyalistsRebelsNorthernersUndeadKnalgan AllianceDrakesDunefolk
How to Play: LoyalistsRebelsNorthernersUndeadKnalgan AllianceDrakesDunefolk


Loyalist units

Spearman is a basic combat unit with ability to strike and retaliate before his enemies.

  • good defense in mountains and villages
  • lawful, can be upgraded into 3 useful units (balanced melee/ranged javelineer and melee units with strong blade or pierce damage)
  • strong vs drakes, cavalry and ulfserkers; weak vs skeletons and skeleton archers
  • strong melee attack with first strike (pierce), weak ranged attack (pierce)

Heavy Infantryman is very slow, but powerful defender. He can hit hard and have great resistances and low defenses.

  • low defenses, wlo and cannot reach mountain hexes
  • lawful, but can have fearless trait to fight well any time
  • strong vs skeletons and melee fighters; weak vs mages, dune burners and orcish archers
  • strong melee attack (impact)

Fencer is quick skirmisher. He asi faster than most loyalist units and he is a good support, not a frontline unit. Good for blocking enemy units.

  • maximum defense in multiple terrains (70%), but low hitpoints
  • lawful
  • strong against wounded units; weak in 1vs1 fighting
  • strong melee attack (blade)

Horseman is a very important unit. During day, they can use their charged attack to kill some units in a single strike. Better in offense than in defense. Very expensive unit (23 gold)

  • low defenses, but good resistances to blade and impact weapons.
  • lawful, can be upgraded into 2 useful units (balanced knight and very offensive lancer)
  • strong when attacking; weak in defending
  • strong melee attack (blade) with charge

Cavalryman is a mixture of horseman and fencer. Balanced unit with good resistances, low defenses and quick movement. Good mobility on flat lands, slow on difficult terrains.

  • low defenses, but good resistances to blade and impact weapons.
  • lawful
  • strong against grunts, augurs and even dark adepts; weak to spearmen, skeletons and archers
  • strong melee attack (blade)

Bowman is the only ranged unit of the loyalists, not counting mages. While they are weak in melee fighting, all other units will not retaliate to enemy archers.

  • good defense in mountains and villages
  • lawful
  • strong vs drakes and anyone with no or limited ranged attack; weak vs ulfserkers and skeletons
  • weak melee attack (blade), strong ranged attack (pierce)

Mages are in both rebel and loyalist armies. They provide fire damage in their magical ranged attack.

  • good defense in mountains and villages, but low hitpoints
  • lawful, can be upgraded into 2 useful units (white mage is a good healer, while red mage provides excellent damage)
  • strong against skeletons, saurians, ghosts; weak when not protected by other units
  • weak melee attack (impact), strong magical ranged attack (fire)

Merman Fighter is a melee warrior connected with water.

  • good defense in water (50-70%)
  • lawful
  • strong on maps with lots of water and swamps; weak on maps with small amount of water
  • strong melee attack (pierce)

Starting troops - random opponent

core%24images%24units%24human-loyalists%24cavalryman%24cavalryman.png core%24images%24units%24human-loyalists%24fencer.png core%24images%24units%24human-loyalists%24bowman.png core%24images%24units%24human-loyalists%24spearman.png core%24images%24units%24human-magi%24mage.png core%24images%24units%24merfolk%24fighter.png (95 gold)

When you don't know which faction you are facing, it is good to get a mixture of units.

White mage is an obvious pick. Healer and good ranged attacker against undead and drakes. Lieutenant is another solid option, because he can use his leadership in a battle. Swordman is another usable unit, because he is a very good fighter, stronger and more resilient than lieutantants in melee combat.

General Loyalist Strategy

Loyalists are considered to be the most versatile faction in the game. They have most available unit types to recruit (8), more than any other faction. Loyalists are mostly melee oriented faction, with only two ranged unit types, the mage and the bowman, but their ranged units play a significant role in the loyalists strategy and have to be used effectively. About the melee troops the loyalist player gets to choose among:

  • Heavy Infantrymen: few strikes, high damage per strike, slow, higher hitpoints, good resistances, low defenses, deals impact damage which is good against undead
  • Spearman average strikes, average damage per strike, average movement, medium hitpoints, normal resistances, average defenses, deals pierce damage which is good against drakes, has a weak ranged attack
  • Fencer: high number of strikes, low damage per strike, quick, low hitpoints, bad resistances, good defenses, deals blade damage which is good against elusive foots or wose, deals less total damage than the other two, is a skirmisher.

The loyalists unit price ranges from the cheap spearmen and mermen (14 gold) to the expensive horsemen (23 gold).

Loyalist units generally have good hitpoints and they deal good damage, even the cheap spearmen and bowmen. Even their scouts have high hitpoints and better melee attack compared to most of the scouts of the other factions. But OTOH, the loyalist scouts have lower defences than most of the other scouts and they do not have a ranged attack.

The loyalists have some units with good resistances, like HI or Cavalryman, which can be very good for defending if you notice that your opponent doesn't have the proper units to counter them. Other units, like the bowman, who is more vulnerable than the previous two, but is also good for defense because it has better defense, is cheaper and it deals solid damage back in both melee and range. Similar goes for the spearman.

When attacking, Loyalists have units which can be pretty devastating, like the horseman for attacking enemy magi and other ranged units, magi against the entrenched melee units, fencers for killing enemy injured and valuable units trying to heal behind their lines. But the mentioned units are also very vulnerable and they can die very easily if not properly supported.

The loyalists as a faction generally have average defenses (they do not get 70% defense anywhere, with the exception of the fencer, which is a special case) and they are not a terrain dependent faction (like the Elves or Knalgans are). Therefore, even if it good to put spearmen and bowmen on mountains, villages and castles where they get 60% defense, you should also take the faction you are facing into account when deciding where to place your units. For example, if you are fighting knalgans, you should try not to move your units next to hills and mountains and/or take the hills and mountains with your units and leave the forest to the dwarves.

All the loyalist units are lawful, which obviously leads to the conclusion that the loyalists should be more aggressive and attack at day (or even start at dawn, because your opponent in most of the cases will be reluctant to attack too aggressively and leave units on bad ground when the morning arrives) while at night the loyalists should at least play conservatively, or in some cases even run away. Of course, that is also dependent upon the faction of your opponent.

The greatest weakness of the loyalists is their limited mobility. The loyalists' units have normal movement, some of their units like the horseman, cavalryman, merman fighter and the fencer are pretty quick when they are in their favorable environment, but all their units get slowed over rough terrain a lot compared to the other factions' units. Half of the loyalists units can not even move on/over mountains, and their scouts get significantly slowed in forest, for example. This lack of mobility will often give your opponent an opportunity to outmaneuver you in the game. To prevent that, sometimes it is good to attack hard on a certain point and defend only with minimal amount of units elsewhere, rather than uniformly spreading your units around the front.

Loyalists have access to blade, pierce and impact attacks, same as any other faction. However, their mages can use fire, while white mages can use arcane attack.



Spearmen, bowmen and of course fencers are good to hold villages. You can also use units like heavy infantry or cavalryman, but their defenses are weaker. Use your fencers and cavalrymen to grab villages quickly. You can also use horsemen to attack enemy with their powerful attack and take enemy village next turn, but it is very dependant on remaining hitpoints. Mermen are obvious choice for water and swamp villages.

Loyalists vs Loyalists

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Loyalists in mirror match means a lot of possibilities on each side. 8 units vs 8 units. Some of them are only good against cavalry, some only against mages... so your tactics should be a lot about rock-paper-scissor strategy. Find out what exactly is your enemy doing. It is possible that all units will be used again and again.

You must be ready to spearmen rush, cavalier rush or any other rushes - and expect fighting all the time, because all units are lawful. Cavalry might be good here, but they can be forced to retreat by spearmen and other cavalry. Fencers might be killed by mages and mages by fencers. So this game will be a lot of fun, or a lot of defending.

Horseman, cavalryman and fencers are fast on flat plains, while units like heavy infantry is very slow. Killing mages is always a good idea, because mage upgraded to white or red variant is very useful for his team.

Think about targets for your attacks. Mages can be killed easily, so think twice how many of them will you want. While fencers are weak, they can be your "ecomony" guy, if he and some of your cavalry can get deep into enemy territory and take some villages. Trading fencer for mage is nice, because difference is 4 gold.

  • Spearman: Good unit for everything. It can attack and defend with their good melee attack, even with help of the first strike ability. Use them a lot. They can also collect experience with their weak ranged attack, when holding the line. They are good against horsemen, cavalryman, fencers and mages. Try to not attack heavy infantry of course.
  • Heavy Infantryman: Defensive unit, usable vs spearman and cavalry. Slow when moving and retreating.
  • Fencer: One or two will not hurt. Use them on good terrain, because they might die fast. Also mages can burn them with ease.
  • Horseman Good unit, but not in loyalist vs loyalist. Can be used against other cavalry, but your money (horseman costs 23 gold) will be better spend elsewhere. 2 spearman and one bowman (42 gold) is better than 2 horseman (46 gold)
  • Cavalryman: Take one for village grabbing, but this is not the best unit you can use against loyalists.
  • Bowman: Your "poke" guy. They will weaken enemy, but you have other units for killing.
  • Mage: Your best damage dealer. They can attack spearmen, heavy infantryman, mermen or any other units. Make sure to protect then well, because mages (and especially ones with quick trait) can die quickly. Use them as support unit, not as the main fighting units. Fencers are their arch enemies. Alternate approach is to get as much villages as possible with your fastest units and rush mages with escort in ratio 1:1.
  • Merman Fighter: Good in water. Who have more of them usually wins, but making too much of them will mean that your land units will be weaker.

Loyalists vs Rebels

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Elves are a very versatile faction like the Loyalists. So you need to counter their versatility with yours. Their weakest trait is low hitpoints. That is compensated somewhat by relatively higher defenses and mobility, so you'll need a combination of hard-hitters and speed. Mages are also nice for their magical attacks. Anyways, the key for a Loyalist general is to effectively use his hard-hitting units and kill as many units as he can at day. And at night, to defend well as elves are neutral.

The smartest thing you can do upon discovering that your opponent is playing Rebels is to assume that your opponent has Woses and recruit accordingly. Woses are a necessary counter to Loyalists' daytime attacks and as soon as your opponent realizes that you are Loyalists he will almost certainly recruit Woses. Remember that just because you don't see any Woses doesn't mean there aren't a couple hiding in the forest! To fight Woses you will need Cavalry as meat shields, Mages to deal damage, and maybe Fencers to get the last hit in. Sadly, Cavalry are very vulnerable to Elvish Archers, so you'll need to make sure that the Archers die, which can be difficult if they are in forest. Get Horsemen which can one-shot Archers (despite their high dodge) and keep up with your Cav. If one horseman misses, follow up with another one, it's a lucky archer that can dodge 4/4 one-shot attempts. HI are also great against everything but Woses and Mages, and will reduce the effectiveness of Archer spam. Spearmen are useless against Woses, recruit them sparingly and keep them away from unscouted forest.

An alternative way of playing this match-up is to maximize the mobility offered by the Loyalists' fastest units, namely the two horse units. By using them to outrun the Rebel units you can achieve some devastating rushes. Some matches require use of both styles of playing. Again, their versatility must be countered with yours.

  • Bowman: Rebels in general are effective in both melee and ranged attacks, so recruiting a ranged unit is less beneficial than most factions because most of the Rebels' units can retaliate against you. They can be useful for taking out an Scout or two, but otherwise, this is not really a smart buy.
  • Cavalryman: A good scout and an effective counter to Woses. Watch out for Archers, though, they can really tear horses to shreds. And as always, they are effective against ranged oriented units like the mage. If you're going for some faster action, Cavalrymen are vital in the attack. They do great damage during the day, and combined with their dangerous mobility, they can be a fearsome unit indeed. Just be careful of archers ZoCing you and tearing the unit to shreds. Cavalryman can be ambushed by rangers and woses then marching near the forest.
  • Fencer: The Fencer shares the 70% defense in the forest like most of the elves, but it has negative resistances. Theoretically, they should be effective against Woses, but more often than not Woses will crush them easily. In spite of this, Fencers still have skirmsher, which means that they can sneak behind an injured unit and finish them off. Do not over-recruit them, as enemy Mages will tear though their high defense. They are also dangerous to elvish archers located on flat land.
  • Heavy Infantryman: Usefullness similar to bowman. It's too slow to deal with most of the Rebel units, and it is owned by Mages, Woses, and even Archers. Even though it has a high damage potential and good resistances, because of its inherently low defense Shamans can easily get hits on it and turn it into a piece of metal for a turn. Shaman can also make sure that their attack will be too weak to injure elves or mages in the rebel army.
  • Horseman: One Horseman may be nice, but no more than that. Enemy Archers will tear them apart and Shamans totally mess them up. They're expensive too. Their greatest use is probably killing Mages or an Archer/shaman that has gone slightly off-track. Again, when mobility is required, these units need to come and do serious damage. Since Rebels are mostly comprised of low-hp units, horsemen at day can usually rip them apart. Again be careful of archers, for this unit is worth 23 gold. Shield him properly if he is damaged.
  • Mage: You'll need these guys to tear though those high elvish 60-70% evasion in the forest; but be careful, Archers and Shamans will retaliate and some pretty nasty things may come from that. One purely positive thing though, they just absolutely destroy Woses. 13-3 at day. Ouch. Mages are expensive and fragile though, so keep them protected.
  • Merman Fighter: If the map has a lot of water, maybe recruit a few to prevent the Rebel's Mermen Hunters from taking over the waters. Otherwise they don't really contribute much else.
  • Spearman: A necessity. To defend at night, to kill pretty much anything except for Woses, and to be cheap and cost only 14 gold. These guys pretty much tear though most of the Rebel units, if it were not only for the high-defense Archer and Shaman. Get a bunch, and move them like a wall against the enemy units.

At the start of the game, recruit 1-2 Cavalrymen, depending on the map size, 1 Mage, (1 Merman Fighter if you need some water coverage), maybe 1 Fencer, and the rest Spearman. Later on you maybe can recruit some Horseman if you opponent recruits mass Mages, or more Cavalrymen and Mages if he masses Woses. Otherwise, Spearmen and Mages should help you get through most of the match.

If you're going for speed, recruit 2-3 Cavalrymen, depending on the map, 1 Horseman, maybe 1 Fencer, and the rest Spearmen. Use your Spearmen to fill the holes and consolidate the territory that the horses took over. Use the horses to outrun the archers and attack when they can.

Loyalists vs Northerners

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The main problem you will have when facing northeners are two things: poison and numbers. If northeners didn't have assassins, it wouldn't be much of a big deal; you could out maneuver them with your superior scouting units and skirmishers to grab their villages and then finish them off one by one with spearmen/bowmen. Thing is, assassins poison makes defending at night extremely difficult, and by poisoning your units, they often force you to retreat and heal, or die due to retaliation. The key to winning this matchup is to use your superior versatility; the northeners greatest weakness is that ALL of their units are very average and don't often have many special abilities. Use your first strike in spearmen to defend against grunts, trolls and wolf riders (even at night), use your magic to finish off wounded assassins, and you can charge any of their wounded units and kill them with one hit. Since all of your units are lawful and theirs are chaotic, you'll want to press your advantage at day and kill as much as possible. Another problem the northeners have is that all though their units are many in number, they do not have a very high damage per hex ratio. Use this to your advantage; travel in packs and use ZoC lines to prevent your units from being swarmed too easily, and keep your vulnerable units like mages behind damage soakers like spearmen or HI. If you can, try and make night time defenses near rivers; northeners will hurt themselves when they attack you, as they have low defense in water and are very annoyed by deep water, because it prevents them from easily swarming you.

Don't attack assassins with bowmen; you don't want to be poisoned and be forced to retreat in your daytime assault.

  • Spearmen: Pretty much your best unit against northeners. Their first strike ability is great in defense and their attack power to cost ratio is quite high. They also have good health and can retaliate in ranged. As in many matchups, the bulk of your army.
  • Mage: The mage is fragile and expensive and has a weak melee attack, which is the exact opposite of northeners. Not a great defender unless your opponent goes mad with assassins. However, they have lots of attack power at day and are very useful for nocking trolls of their perches and finishing off those damn assassins. You'll want a few of these, but make sure you keep them protected.
  • Bowmen: Good unit to have. They can attack grunts and trolls (although you'd want mages to attack trolls) without retaliation, and can defend against assassins in the night. They can also take out any wolves that stray too far from the main orchish army. They're not as good as mages, but they're cheaper and tougher.
  • Cavalryman: Cavalryman are superior to their wolves and can hold ground against grunts and trolls reasonably well. It's also a good idea if your opponent likes to spam lots of assassins, to let them be the target of their poison; cavalryman can run away and heal. Your HI? Not so much. Beware though, of the cheap orchish archer, as cavalrymen are weak to pierce.
  • Heavy Infantryman: Heavy infantryman are heavily resistant to physical attacks like blade, pierce and to a lesser degree, impact. You'd think this would make them great units against northeners, if the orchish archer didn't have a ranged fire attack... HI are also much too slow too effectively deal with poison, and that's a 19 gold unit that can't fight. However, they are useful in defence if you opponent hasn't spammed many archers, and they can even be useful in attack to crush up injured grunts and what have you.
  • Horseman: The horseman is a little controversial in this matchup. Northeners are cheap and melee orientated, which is exactly what horseman do badly against. They're also quite tough, which means one hit kills are rare. However, they have one very important advantage over the northeners - high damage per hex. A horseman is very useful for softening up units or outfight killing them (particularly when paired with a mage) which will be important in breaking ZoC lines, which can be a real pain with all the units northeners can field. Get one or two, but no more, else it quickly produces diminishing returns.
  • Fencer: The fencer is a melee based unit that is fragile against blade attacks of grunts, which means they don't have an awful lot of fighting effectiveness with them. On the other hand, the fencer's skirmisher ability is really valuable with the many northener units, and can finish off injured archers or go on sneaky village grabbing incursions. One or two might be useful, but no more - this unit is not a serious fighter! Make sure you keep them on 70% terrain if you can as well - two hitter grunts can have trouble taking them out.
  • Merman Fighter: Water based melee unit that doesn't do well against the orc nagas, recruit only if there's lots of water and keep them in defendable terrain, else they'll quickly be killed.

As usual, recruit cavalrymen and mermen depending on map (3-4 cavalryman for larger maps, 2-3 for medium sized ones and probably no more than one or two for small maps like Isar's cross). Recruit plenty of spearmen and attack at day. Speaking of that, make sure you travel in large groups and do not attack with small numbers even at day - northeners will swarm you too easily. Also, make sure you don't overextend yourself at day, as northeners do a lot more damage at night. Pay careful attention to your mages - they will be the one the northies will be going after, so retreat them quickly. When defending, try to avoid attacking units that can retaliate - unless you have a reasonably high chance of killing them that turn. Avoid attacking trolls if you can't heavily damage them or outright kill them - they're regenaration will quickly mean they can heal from any scratches your bowmen might have dealt them.

Loyalists vs Undead

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This battle is very different in campaigns and in classic multiplayer. In multiplayer, When fighting undead, your recruiting pattern will depend on whether your opponent spams Skeleton Archers or Dark Adepts for ranged attacks. If you see lots of skeletons, you'll have to focus heavily on HI and Mages. If you see lots of DAs, you'll want some Cavalry, Horsemen and maybe some Spearmen.

  • Bowman: Almost entirely useless. You might use them to poke at Walking Corpses, Ghouls, Vampire Bats and Ghosts, but Mages are much better at all of these things. I would only buy a Bowman to counter a large zombie horde.
  • Cavalryman: You'll want some Cavalry for scouting and dealing initial damage to DAs so that a Horseman can finish them. They are also decent at fighting Skeletons in the daytime, because Cavalry are blade-resistant. However, the cheap Skeleton Archers will really ruin Cavalry quickly at night, so if there are any Skeleton Archers on the other side you won't be able to use Cavalry to hold territory. If your opponent over-recruits DAs, however, you can use cold-resistant Cavalry to hold territory against them. They are also decent for holding territory against Ghouls because they can run away and heal (unlike your HI).
  • Fencer: Fencers are a bad recruit in this matchup because they are vulnerable to the blade and pierce damage of skeletons and cannot damage them much in return. They are also incapable of holding territory against DAs, who cut right through the high defense of Fencers. However, you may want to have a Fencer or two around for trapping DAs or getting in that last hit. With luck, they may also be able to frustrate non-magical attacks from skeletons and the like.
  • Heavy Infantryman: You need Heavy Infantry to hold territory against Skeletons and Skeleton Archers, and they will be your unit of choice for dealing melee damage, especially to the cheap Skeleton Archers. Any HI in the daytime can kill a full-health skeleton archer in two hits, while a strong HI in the daytime can kill a full-health skeleton in two hits, dealing 18 damage per strike (even a Mage in daytime cannot kill a skeleton in one round, unless supported by a Lieutenant). A fearless HI may be dangerous even at night. If you don't have enough HI to go around, you can get your initial hits in on a Skeleton Archer with an HI and finish him with a Mage. Just keep HI away from DAs, and only let Ghouls hit HI if the HI is on a village (or has a White Mage or other healer next to him), since HI can't easily run away to heal. Also beware Walking Corpses, which deal a surprising amount of damage at all times of day since HI can't dodge and impact damage goes around their resistances, and the ranged cold attack of Ghosts. The biggest problem with HI is they are slow, which means they're hard to retreat at night and hard to advance in day. Without shielding units they'll get trapped and killed, and if you have to shield a unit maybe it should be a Mage instead.
  • Horseman: Because they deal pierce damage, Horsemen may not be very useful when faced with Skeletons. However, if your opponent over-recruits Dark Adepts, Horsemen can be extremely useful, as DAs deal no return damage to the normally risky charge attack. Horsemen can even be used to finish Skeleton Archers, their nemesis, in the daytime. However, if your opponent recruits enough Skeleton Archers you will have a hard time shielding your Horsemen from their devastating pierce attacks, and Skeleton Archers are dirt cheap. Horsemen can also one-shot bats and zombies, which can be useful if you need to clear out a lot of lvl 0 units quickly. I would want to have at least one Horseman around to keep my opponent from getting too bold with DAs, if not more. Your opponent will be forced to recruit DAs if you have HI in the field.
  • Mage: Mages are an absolute necessity against Undead. If you do not have Mages it will be almost impossible for you to kill Ghosts, but with Mages it's a piece of cake. Mages are the best unit for killing almost everything Undead can throw at you, and can even be used to finish Dark Adepts in the daytime. Your main problem is that Dark Adepts are cheaper and deal almost as much damage, so your opponent can spam DAs while you cannot afford to spam Mages. You will also have the difficult task of shielding fragile, expensive mages against lots of cheap Undead units. Your opponent will use Skeletons and Ghouls to attack your Mages when he can, but bats, zombies or just about any other unit will do for killing your Mages in a pinch. Shield your Mages well, surround them with damage soakers and if you can deliver them safely to their targets you'll be able to clear out the Undead quickly.
  • Merman Fighter: Mermen make a decent navy against Undead, since bats and Ghosts will have a hard time killing them with their high defense. Even Dark Adepts will find Mermen annoying because of their 20% cold resistance. However, Mermen will have a hard time hurting anything the Undead have with their lame pierce weapon. Generally Mermen are only good for holding water hexes and scouting, but don't underestimate how useful that can be. Some well-placed Mermen on a water map can prevent bats from sneaking behind your lines and capturing villages or killing injured units. Even on mostly land maps, a Merman in a river can help hold a defensive line, or a quick Merman can use a river to slip behind the enemy to trap DAs or other units that are trying to escape at daytime.
  • Spearman: Spearmen are mostly useful as cheap units for holding villages and occupying space when faced with Dark Adepts or Skeleton Archers. (You'll want to avoid letting DAs hit your Heavy Infantrymen because of their vulnerability to cold.) However, you don't really want Spearmen to take hits from DAs, it would be better to let the cold-resistant Cavalry absorb the damage. The only units Spearmen are good for attacking are Dark Adepts and Walking Corpses. Spearmen are completely useless against skeletons unless you level one into a Swordsman, and even then they're pretty mediocre. However, if there are lots of Skeleton Archers you won't be able to use much Cavalry or Horsemen, so a Spearman or two may be necessary as defenders and damage soakers even if they are lousy at dealing damage to Undead.

Loyalists vs Knalgans

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Dwarves are tough and have high defence on their preferred terrain, while their counterparts — outlaws — are mobile and benefit from high defence on non-dwarf terrain, such as flat, forest and swamp. As in the other matchups, an important part of your strategy will be countering their versatility with yours: your mages can defeat high defence ratings, your cavalrymen can outrun (and kill) outlaws, while your heavy infantry can act as road blocks. Nonetheless, the knalgan faction does have superior tactical flexibility, and you must be aware of that.

Terrain is very important in this matchup, as dwarves are much weaker out in the open. Your units move poorly on rough terrain; it is important that you take note of terrain placement and avoid placing your units in such a way that they can be outmaneouvred. You don’t want your spearman to be forced to fight a dwarvish fighter on a hill or mountain. And if you can grab a mountain, hill or forest hex before your opponent, it means advantage for you. Your enemy has no way to bypass a good defence rating.

  • Spearman: The meat of your army, as usual. Their first strike ability is especially useful against thieves and dwarvish fighters.
  • Bowman: The bowman doesn’t have enough damage potential to break tough dwarves. Spearman will do 7–3 or (if strong) 8–3, and that rises to 9–3 and 10–3 at day; your bowman will only do 6–3 and 7–3 respectively. Mages deal more damage and with higher accuracy. But, mages are fragile and spearmen are melee units, so there are some uses for this unit.
  • Heavy infrantryman: This unit’s resistances make him awesome against the knalgan faction, but he’s too slow (and can’t even occupy mountain hexes!) Avoid over-recruiting, as your enemy will be able to outmaneouvre you and force you to fight on unfavourable terrain. That said, this unit is hard to kill; he can really buttress your force if correctly placed and supported.
  • Mage: The mage’s magical fire attacks are very useful against dwarvish and outlaw units, but they are very vulnerable to ulfs; they also should not be used to attack thunderers/poachers when not on mountain or castle hexes. An important utility unit, but don’t go overboard.
  • Cavalryman: This unit is useful for countering outlaw forces (even poachers: you can attack them before they can attack you) and can hold ground against dwarvish fighters. Unfortunately, thunderers really mess this guy up.
  • Horseman: This unit’s usefulness is debatable. On the one hand, he is a powerful damage dealer at day: thunderers, poachers, gryphons and even fighters will fear him then. On the other hand, the poachers’ and especially thunderers’ pierce attacks are devastating; at night he is a liability rather than asset. Also, he is very risky to attack dwarves or outlaw units on 60% or more defence.
  • Fencer: Another debatable unit. Skirmish and good mobility (especially on those important hill and mountain hexes) allows him to finish off weakened dwarves or hold key terrain. His high defences allow him to dodge the enemy’s attacks. On the other hand: he lacks the damage ability needed to break the opponent’s defences. Personally, I like this unit, but not all players agree.
  • Merman fighter: Good on water. But he he has no other virtues.

Loyalists vs Drakes

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Battle between loyalists and drakes is intense and you can expect a lot of fire damage from drakes. However, none of your units fears fire. While drakes are 1-on-1 stronger, you can prepare more cheaper units. Also, drakes are friends with saurians, who can push back or destroy your cavalry. Common strategy is also using a lot of spearmen, because they are much cheaper than drakes and brakes are weak to pierce damage. They can also fight well against saurians, because this loyalist unit have much more HPs that saurian skirmishers or augurs.

  • Spearman: Great! Great against almost everything. And if you can upgrade one, it is even better against drakes and/or saurians. Same as bowmen, one alone spearman is not very dangerous.
  • Bowman: Good unit against drakes, average against saurians. If you opponent buy a lot of drake burners, use several archers and spearmen against them. However, bowmen are weak against drake fighters and clashers during the day.
  • Horseman: Great against drakes, but very vulnerable to saurians. However they can greatly weaken strong drakes or even kill them. Make sure you attack first. Not good for defense, do not over recruit. Spearman is simply better most of the times.
  • Fencer: Blade attack against saurians, good defense, high mobility, skirmisher - all you need to defend important units at night and ZOCing during day. Make sure that big, powerful drake fighters, gliders and burners cannot run away from your spearmen. Fencers works great with horseman too.
  • Merman Fighter: While not needed, their ability to fight saurians in swamps and water can be useful. All drakes with exception of clashers can attack them and not get any retaliation.

Other units are not very important for you. Situationally you can use mermen against saurians in the swamps. Also remember, that you need more units than drake player, so cheap units like spearmen are the way to go. Heavy infandrymen and cavalrymen might be good based on ratio between drakes and saurians.

Loyalists vs Dunefolk

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Dunefolk have an obvious advantage over loyalists in ranged combat. Many of their units can attack you without fear of retaliation. Two or your ranged units are weak to their melee and balanced fighters. Dunefolk is similar to elves, so same tactics can be used - hit them hard and do as much damage as possible.

Both factions are lawful, with some small liminal and neutral exceptions. Speed is mostly better for dunefolk, so you will have to combine any of your units with your cavalry. Problem is that your cavalry is weak to pierce damage from rovers, dune scouts and dune skirmishers. Enemy units are also vulnerable to certain attack types, so use it to your advantage.

One of the main problems you might face are dune soldiers. They are very strong in 1v1 fight, so usually it is a good time to attack from multiple sides. Because dunefolk is generally faster, this can be a big problem and some of your units may get encycled. They are also resistant to pierce and blade attacks, making them a walking fortress. It takes a lot of firepower from mages, but they can kill your mages quickly.

  • Spearman: Important unit for both frontline and hunting dune riders. Weak to dune soldiers. Their first strike is very good, so balanced enemy unit will attack him with ranged weapon.
  • Bowman: Bowman are generally weak and easily countered by dunefolk units. Melee-only dune soldiers are resistant to pierce.
  • Heavy infrantryman: Very slow, but also well armored. These guys is your answer to many of the dunefolk units. Because almost everyone is lawful, these guys can slowly march forward, with help of other units. They can be countered hard by dune burners, so try to keep burners from your HIs. Combination of HIs and fencers/cavalryman might be interesting here.
  • Mage: 20 gold for good attacker, that can by slain during the day too quickly. Do not over recruit them.
  • Cavalryman: Vulnerable to pierce, what is very bad against dunefolk. On the other side, they are very good against blade (dune soldiers, dune rovers) and impact (herbalists). They are one of your faster units, so you need them.
  • Horseman: When used correctly and against good enemy, these guys can provide some very needed kills. Dunefolk can withstand their attack with many of their units. 23 gold for a mediocre unit in this battle is too much.
  • Fencer: We can say that they are "cousins" to dune skirmishers. Blade is generally good against dunefolk. Try to hit burners and herbalists. Enemy do not have any marksman or magic attack, so they can be a good roadblock and hunt down enemy wounded units.
  • Merman fighter: Good on water. Neutral nagas are their rivals, so try to attack during the day and guard during the night.


How to play specialists: Horseman - Mages - Skirmishers

This page was last edited on 19 April 2021, at 19:35.