What About DRAGONS!!!!

Kaelrich here again. As I have journeyed across Esfah spy….er, um, learning the tactics of the various races, I’ve found that a popular tactic is to summon a fire belching, two ton ball of wing, scale, fang and claw called a dragon. These behemoths can destroy armies on their own but, they are without a doubt the strongest creatures in the world. Lets take a look at the various dragons and how they can benefit a commander’s strategy.

Dragon Types

Lets talk about the types of Dragons first. There are 2 breeds of dragons, Wyrms and Drakes, Wyrms are more covetous and usually carry gold with them so there is always the chance that a soldier can get the coin to upgrade to their next rank. Drakes on the other hand are fiercer in combat but get board of a fight easily. With their massive wings they can leave a front very easily when board.

Wyrms have 1 Breath, 2 Bellies, 1 Jaw, 1 Treasure, 4 claws, and 3 Tail icons. These Dragons will stay in a front till slain, or a cunning mage army can get the magic to call them elsewhere.

Drakes have 1 Jaw, 1 Breath, 2 Belly, 2 wing, 2 Tail, and 4 claw icons. These have a greater burst potential and won’t promote single units but they do have a chance to fly away.

(Gaming terms)
Jaws: 12 damage
Breath: 5 damage
Belly: dragon looses automatic saves
Treasure: defending army may promote one unit. This only works if an army is being attacked
Claw: 6 damage
Tail: 3 Damage, reroll
Wing: 5 damage, then the dragon returns to the summoning pool

When a Dragon is on a Front they will Attack armies if there aren’t any opposing dragons present. That means that if there are 2 Dragons of matching colors present save for ivory and their ivory hybrid counterparts who will always attack armies. If an elemental dragon and another elemental dragon are at the same Front, then, if their color is opposed, including the hybrid variants, will battle each other. All dragons seem to have a pact with dragons of the same elemental affinity (including hybrids) but other than that all bets and honor bound pacts are off.

Ivory and ivory hybrids are a different matter all together, they seem less intelligent as their full elemental brethren and will always attack other armies. Full Elemental and elemental dragons will find some ivory dragons, the hybrid kind, as tainted and they will do everything in their power to destroy them. Cunning mages will find a way to attract the elemental-ivory hybrids to lessen the damage a dragon already there. Ivories can play a vital role in any strategy. However, there are dragons more powerful than the elemental hybrid dragons, Whites.

Twice the size of a regular dragon. Twice the destructive power. Whites are wrought from the very land. It takes a huge amount of magic to summon these beasts but even then the summoning army isn’t safe. These dragons cow other dragons and have a pact with other Whites. They are twice as strong as other dragons, and twice as hardy. (In gaming terms Whites have 10 health, 5 dragon saves, Each icon is double the normal attack value)

Dragon Usage

Lets talk about some uses for dragons. Other than their destructive power they are incredibly useful for distracting armies in the struggle for an eighth face. Early on Dragons can be a great source of damage, especially when the DUA isn’t too full for promotion units. There are a few things to remember about dragons though. Unless they are ivory or white any elemental or hybrid will attack each other will attack any dragon that isn’t an exact match or has some elemental commonality. Whites will destroy any dragons at a terrain first then work on armies. There are some ways around it but it can be dangerous for the caster if they aren’t on top of things. The use of the summon Dragon and Summon White Dragon can move a dragon from terrain to terrain. However one of the best side effects of having a dragon on the field is their breath attack they are as follows

Black: negates all ID results from the affected army till the beginning of it’s next turn.

This works really well at an eighth face. Especially when you are ready to remove the army at the face of the terrain.

Blue: the army’s melee results are halved until the beginning of its next turn. Results are rounded down.

This one is really nice against a melee oriented strategy. Add in some dancing lights or palsies for a terrible melee counter attack or primary attack.

Yellow: the army’s maneuver results are halved until the beginning of its next turn. Results are rounded down

Summon one of these beasties when you want to try and take an eighth face. These wonderful dragons will make a nice stone garden for your new eighth face, I suggest a good black gold hybrid for this so the opposing army can’t utilize the doubling of ID icons, for that matter they won’t even count.

Green: The army’s missile results are halved until the beginning of its next turn. Results are rounded down

The poisonus cloud breath attack can remove the threat of missile fire from most armies, Frostwings suffer most from this breath attack as their primary method of combat is missile.

Red: roll the units killed by this dragon’s breath attack, those that don’t generate a save is buried.

Probably the most tame of the breath effects, it’s still the best direct bury effect other than soiled ground.

Ivory: 5 health killed, no effect

No effects for ivories, just straight health-worth killed. However the good thing about an ivory is that it will ALWAYS attack armies. You can combine this constant attacking power with an ivory elemental hybrid for the breath effect you want with the constant army attacking and use it as a decoy for other elemental or elemental hybrid dragons that may come to your terrain.

White: take the colors of the terrain the dragon is at, use those breath weapons.

These dragons do double the damage, have double the health and automatic saves, and count as 2 dragons. If you want a dragon to clear an area for you this it is. Beware that it attacks all other dragons except pure ivories and other whites. It will clear the way for you, then turn on you so be ready to move it when the time comes.

Dragons are the ultimate “cavalry” to call in, if you are low on troops or have a weakly guarded front. When the dragon can get a string of tails and then a hard hitting face they can be devastating. Remember though, that good saves are bound to happen and not go get discouraged. Wyrms can be some of the best damage in the game but it’s also very risky as they tend to fly away rather than be destroyed.

To be really sneaky use your mages to summon a dragon to a hard hitting terrain, let the dragon do it’s thing to your opponent and then kill the dragon outright and promote your entire army. Sneaky trick to “level up” and army I know, but effective.