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Old December 4th, 2010, 03:54 PM
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Unit Strategy Review: How to use Warden 816

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Unit Strategy Review
Unit: Warden 816
Author: Filthy the Clown, with help from the USRs' circle


Warden 816 adds mobility to your army, which is a decisive factor in engagement. Only a handful of heroes grant such bonuses: Sir Gilbert, Marcus Decimus Gallus, Spartacus, Venoc Warlord and Atlaga. To this list we add the gold-headed hero...Warden 816, a tricky Soulborg who uses fearmongery and an iron fist to extract every ounce of dedication from his Guards. With a special attack of five, range of seven, and a mammoth defense, the Warden is an impressive figure indeed! This guide will show you that despite his low life, the Warden is not only worth his points in certain situations; when coupled with fellow guards and increasing their strategic mobility, he is worth his weight in gold.


The strategy articles adhere to the standard classification system for various classes of units:

Pawn class (expendable, units that can be useful, but are not worth enormous trouble to protect)
Bishop class (more useful than a pawn, but still somewhat expendable)
Knight class (units that are interestingly powerful and can have a significant impact on the game in of themselves. It is advisable that they be kept alive, but if absolutely necessary they may be sacrificed)
Rook class (units that almost inevitably have a significant impact on the game, and whose death should be avoided as much as possible)
Queen class (devastatingly powerful or important units that should be protected at all costs)


Vital Statistics

Cost- 90
Class - Bishop/Rook*
Size - Medium - Vulnerable/Concealable
Life - 2 - Delicate
Move - 5 - Average
Range - 7 - Long Range
Attack** - 3 - Average
Defense - 6 - Enduring
Tournament Readiness – Moderate
* Guard Leadership - All guards that you control move one additional space. High Tactical Advantage
** Eviseraxe Special Attack - Strength 5 special attack cannot be used on small figures. Moderate Tactical Advantage.


Class

The Warden can walk the line between two classes: Bishop and Rook. As a 2-life, 90 point standalone hero, the Warden is a Bishop Class unit. Although he possesses some noteworthy attacks in his repertoire (range 7 attack of 3, and Eviseraxe), his paltry life of two means that you must be very careful how you play this gold-domed soulborg. However, his strongest asset is not his axe, but his movement bonus for Guards: when drafted with a Guard-heavy build, the Warden becomes a Rook class unit. He should be protected and placed out of direct harm's way as long as you have a large contingent of guards. Once your Guard reserves have been whittled down, or it is time for an end-game romp, do not be afraid to put the Warden on the front line, or use him to help finish off a wounded hero.


Offense

Although the Warden has a threat range of 12 and a melee Special Attack of 5, his offensive output has conditions that restrict his ability as a frontline strong-arm. Evisceraxe, while impressive, cannot be used on small-sized figures, which rules him out as a rat-clearing option and weakens him against Dwarves, Wyrmlings, and the like. He also shares the limitation of many heroes compared to squads; namely, he gets only one attack per order marker. However, given height, he can snipe away from seven spaces, especially against unsuspecting or engaged heroes, and he can thin out approaching squads with harassing fire. Until the end-game, use the occasional snipe at a prime target and the threat of his special attack to keep your opponent guessing while your Guards do most of the work. Only when your Guards are depleted will you move the Warden up to finish off opponents with his special attack.


Survivability

The Warden has an impressive Defense, comparable to such heavy weights as Ne-Gok-Sa and the Fen Hydra. As a Soulborg, Warden 816 is also immune to powers such as Chilling Touch, Marro Plague, and Toxic Skin, which adds to his resilience. When the dice gods are smiling on you, the Warden can live through just about anything thrown at him. However, the favor of the dice gods can change in a heartbeat, and hot dice can quickly turn on you. To further limit the Warden's odds of surviving, his meager life of 2 will quickly fall to repeated attacks, or even one whiffed defensive roll. Sure, you can throw him into the heart of the fray, and his defense just might hold. However, there is plenty of potential for a lone soldier of the 10th Regiment to drop him with one shot. If you are looking for a 90 point frontline shock troop, there are plenty of better options. Rather, rely on the Warden's Defense to get him out of tight situations, but always be mindful of his limitations. With that in mind, he belongs in the rear of your army, perched on height and directing the movement of his Guards. The Warden should not become engaged needlessly, as he should fear leaving engagement swipes more than most other multi-life heroes. If you play him with this in mind, saving his active order marker usage for the end-game, the Warden will earn his points.


Strategy

We have concluded that the Warden, despite his stats, is a cheerleader at heart; his strength lies in boosting the mobility of members of the Guard class. To quote Jexik in What's In an Order Marker :
These units [cheerleaders] are better seen and not heard. You might put an order marker or two on them in the early rounds to get them into position, but after that, they really don’t give you all that much out of a turn. They also usually have some sort of powerful aura that makes them actually useful without a single order marker on them! You should do your best to defend them, as your opponent will often try to ambush them. These units won’t kill their points-worth most of the time, but they will enable others to do much more.
Draft him with Guard-heavy armies, where his movement bonus can enhance your army's mobility. Tuck him in the back, nestled on height and out of direct harm: a true Rook class unit. There are quite a few Guard units with slow movement, and they will need the Warden to assist them; the following list shows how the Warden boosts specific Guard units (ranked by order of benefit received):
  • Granite Guardians: Base Move- 3; The Warden's move bonus grants these rock warriors an additional 33% of movement, which is huge. Additionally, the Warden can provide a bit of ranged support, helping to pick off any pesky units that harass the Granite Guardians from afar.
  • Obsidian Guards: Base Move - 4; As one of the few Attack 4/Defense 4 squads available, boosting the movement of these hot rocks to 5 not only expedites their route to engagement (where their above-average stats can shine); it also helps them to reach molten lava.
  • Marrden Nagrubs: Base Move - 6; The speedy Nagrubs seem like they could do without a Move enhancement. However, note that the Nagrubs must be adjacent to their Hivelord in order to feed him Life. With this in mind, extra mobility becomes an important factor: with a Move of 7, reinforcements can quickly catch up to an embattled Hivelord.
  • Dumutef Guards: Base Move- 6; Another speedy guard unit, but a Move of 7 helps them reach distant road tiles (where their Attack/Defense bonus is activated), as well as get adjacent to front-line Devourers and/or Death Knight bonding buddies. When paired with Death Knights, Dumutefs fill the role of mobile shock troops, so be sure to stock up on their numbers: a good base is one Dumutef for every squad of Death Knights, with other Relentless bonding options (Sir Hawthorne, Venoc Warlord, Taelord, Khosumet, and the Air Elemental) in support, and the Warden as clean-up.
  • Drow Chainfighter: Base Move - 6; Got a pesky unit that you need to remove? Need to reach that coveted shadow tile? A Move of 7 will help you reach your goal.
  • Gurei-Oni: Base Move - 5; Gurei-Oni needs a movement boost to quickly engage enemy targets and do as much damage before he falls (which, with a life of 4, can happen sooner rather than later).
  • Zettian Guards: Base Move - 4; With a paltry offensive output, and the limitations bestowed upon a unique, 2-unit squad, the Zettians need height more than many other ranged units. Although the Warden's boost helps them reach the coveted high ground, their camping nature means that they are less apt to use the movement boost once they have settled on a perch. When paired with Torin, a boost to their base Move helps them to maintain adjacency with the Cyclops (although, as with high ground, it is unlikely that they will be utilizing the movement bonus after getting settled in).
  • Blastatrons: Base Move - 5; Let's face it: when you have a range of 7, mobility does not seem as important. However, being able to take advantage of high ground gets you an additional attack die, which is important when your unmodified offensive output is limited to only one attack die. Most tournament games limit one's start zone to 24 spaces; with 3 squads of Blastatrons and 3 squads of Gladiatrons, your start zone is at maximum capacity. By drafting the Warden over a third squad of Blastatrons (or Gladiatrons, if warranted), you can free up space for other support units.
Respect the Warden's tricky nature and bamboozle your opponent by dropping the occasional order marker on the Warden, allowing him to take ranged shots of strength 4 against unwary enemy figures, and possibly drawing fire from other assets on your team (don't fret; his high Defense, and ability to claim height in the back of the map, should help to keep him alive). But, be sure to use him as a cheerleader first, and as a one-man clean-up crew only when the game dwindles down to the final stages.

When your guards units fall, and the end-game draws near, it is time to change his role to that of a Bishop class; give him order markers, and let him snipe away. With his threat range of 12, your opponent will be hard-pressed to reach him. If they do, you can fall back with his axe (which works great against Counter Strike and figures that rely on Tough) to cut closing threats down to size, while relying on his potent Defense. With this approach, you can whittle down your opponent's remaining forces, one hero/squad member at a time.

One of the Warden's limitations is the fact that he cannot use his special attack on small-sized units. Unfortunately, the list of small units is ever-growing, including Migol Ironwill and the Axegrinders of Burningforge, Fyorlag Spiders, Marrden Nagrubs, Omnicron Repulsors, Wolves of Badru, Goblin Cutters, the various Wyrmlings...and the Deathreavers. However, the majority of these units have an average Defense of 3, so the Warden's normal attack should be sufficient to thin out their ranks (per Sisyphus' Probability tables, an attack of 3 should wound a Defense 3 figure slightly more than 50% of the time; since the Warden should be on height, that increases his odds to 66%). Since the Warden can out-range all small units, he should utilize his range to snipe away at them, with the one exception being Deathreavers. Targeting them with a normal attack triggers Scatter, so he should ignore them at least until Scatter is no longer a strategic problem. Let your opponent swarm the Warden with rats. His defense will hold against their puny attacks, and tying up the Warden with rats means that your other units will be free to march and attack as needed.


Optional Strategies
  • Hold that Glyph! - When played as a Bishop class unit, the Warden can indeed make sacrifices for the good of the team. And what better way to perform this duty than by sticking him on a glyph? Although this can be viewed as rather suicidal, remember that the Warden has a solid Defense. Since he will be sitting on a glyph, you don't have to worry about his taking leaving engagement swipes. Let him guard the glyph, and if your opponent wants to flush him off, let him allocate the resources to do so. Meanwhile, you can brew tea in his start zone.
  • Sniper Spotter - The Warden loves getting 'old school' with the original Soulborg bad boys: the Zettians. Combine this with a trample stompin' hivelord, and you have the makings of a solid build. With Tor-Kul-Na and an army of Nagrubs opening the game up, and the Zettians claiming height to snipe away at pesky heroes and other ranged threats, the Warden can mastermind the whole affair from a safe perch. If anything survives the onslaught, the Warden can pick them off.
  • Golden Eye - Torin makes a great dance partner for the Warden, at any stage of the game. However, invest a couple of order markers to move them to the middle of the board early in the match, and then confound your opponent with random order markers. If they target the Warden, they risk getting ripped to shreds by evil eye protection. If they go for Torin, the Warden will be free to fire at will. And if they get adjacent, there are two axes to fear. Combine this pod with the Zettians and a screen of rats, or Raelin and Marro Stingers, and you have a mobile, ranged troop that can spit death at any point in the turn.
  • Soulborg Stew - What do you get when you mix in 2 squads of Blastatrons, 2 squads of Gladiatrons, Deathwalker 9000/Major Q10, and the Warden? Indigestion, for your opponent. This all-metal band is immune to a number of attacks, and has firepower to spare. If you are worried about turning into a metal head, try substituting Laglor for your large Soulborg; he gives the Blastatrons a nice range bonus, and his special attack will keep the pot simmering.
  • Road Kill - Dumutef Guards love roads, and they bond with Valkrill's Death Knights, so take them all for a one-way road trip that is loaded with mayhem. Load up 4 squads of Death Knights, 6 burly Dumutef, and the Warden, and you can hit the highways with 480 points of melee-loving vengeance, with the Warden riding shotgun and taking pot shots at pesky ranged threats. Swap in Sir Hawthorne or Venoc Warlord for a magic bus ride, sure to make your opponent steer well clear.

Units to Avoid


The Warden should avoid the following units:
  • Instant destroy/auto-wound abilities, such as Acid Breath, Engagement Strike, and Sharpshooter. High defense accounts for nothing, so keep the threats away.
  • Deathreavers - Watch out for rat screens. Eviseraxe cannot harm rats, and the Warden cannot risk disengagement. Luckily, the Warden should be perched close to your start zone, so if rats make it that far, just leave the Warden to tie them up.
  • Wolves of Badru - They can pounce him into oblivion (according to Sisyphus' Probability Tables, an attack of 5 can cause .9 wounds to a defense of 6, on average, which means that an 80 point squad of wolves can eradicate your 90 point hero). Luckily, you should be able to blast them as they approach, but use caution with the wolves.
  • Axegrinders - Don't let them get adjacent, as Eviseraxe will not help you against these small foes. Rather, try to shave their beards at neck-level with the Warden's threat range of 12.
  • Knights of Weston - Coward’s Reward can drop the Warden like a bad habit. If the Warden becomes engaged, put your faith in Eviseraxe, and do not risk leaving engagement!
  • Omnicron Repulsors - Keep them away, as Circuitry Overload or EMP Response can trip the kill switch for the Warden.

Additional Information


Last edited by Malechi : December 8th, 2010 at 05:16 PM.

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  #2  
Old December 4th, 2010, 07:47 PM
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Robotunit197 Robotunit197 is offline
 
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Re: Unit Strategy Review - Warden 816

This Strategy Guide is very well written! Nice job!


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Old December 4th, 2010, 07:53 PM
Fen_Hydra Fen_Hydra is offline
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Re: Unit Strategy Review - Warden 816

Excellent article!

Very well-written, and great ideas.


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Old December 4th, 2010, 08:57 PM
Looking East Looking East is offline
 
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Re: Unit Strategy Review - Warden 816

I've always thought the Warden deserves a little more respect than he seems to get from the vast majority of players.

He may not be the mostly godly 90 pt hero out there, but he fits a niche that no other unit can with his gaurd movement bonus. To illustrate it best, try playing the granites first with and then without him. Although most people would need to proxy a 4 or 5 squad granite army, it's really fun on a very small and hilly board.

Basically you just toss in Raelin, the Krav and the Warden and then slowly rumble across the highlands. The krav provide you with range support and make your enemy come to you and Raelin makes the Granites and Warden's already solid defences very hard to penatrate.

It's by no means a great build, but I highly recomend it in a match with a less skilled player. It gives them a chance at winning, and let's you play a really neat and unusual army.

Strange as it may sound, on a hilly map, a large Granite army can actually get around faster than a lot of the classic melee builds such as the KoW, Romans etc.


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Old December 5th, 2010, 09:57 AM
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Re: Unit Strategy Review - Warden 816

Quote:
Originally Posted by Looking East View Post
I've always thought the Warden deserves a little more respect than he seems to get from the vast majority of players.
True; great defense, commanding range and Soulborg immunities, and the Guard movement bonus is his mainstay. His most glaring weakness: Eviseraxe does not work on those of small stature. If he could smite small figures with his strength 5 special attack, he would see a lot more playing time. However, as the guide suggests, there are ways around that limitation.

The CEE has a nice battle report of the Warden in action as a Bishop Class hero (under the Fourth Battle spoiler), saved for cleanup duty (where he performed admirably).


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Old December 5th, 2010, 11:06 AM
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Re: Unit Strategy Review - Warden 816

Quote:
Originally Posted by Looking East View Post
He may not be the mostly godly 90 pt hero out there, but he fits a niche that no other unit can with his gaurd movement bonus. To illustrate it best, try playing the granites first with and then without him. Although most people would need to proxy a 4 or 5 squad granite army, it's really fun on a very small and hilly board.
I played GGx3 +Warden on a very hilly map at a recent draft tournament, and they had numbers on the central height very quickly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Looking East View Post
Strange as it may sound, on a hilly map, a large Granite army can actually get around faster than a lot of the classic melee builds such as the KoW, Romans etc.
It's actually not that surprising when you think about it. Not counting Gilbert's move, dispatching knights average 24 moves per OM. Granite Guardians get 9 from their base move, plus 3 more for the Warden, for 12. In order for the GGs to match the knights in overall movement per OM, they just need the average GHG move to be one and a third moves. On a hilly map, the average GHG move is actually better than that.


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Old December 5th, 2010, 11:43 PM
Looking East Looking East is offline
 
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Re: Unit Strategy Review - Warden 816

Quote:
Originally Posted by dok View Post
I played GGx3 +Warden on a very hilly map at a recent draft tournament, and they had numbers on the central height very quickly.

It's actually not that surprising when you think about it. Not counting Gilbert's move, dispatching knights average 24 moves per OM. Granite Guardians get 9 from their base move, plus 3 more for the Warden, for 12. In order for the GGs to match the knights in overall movement per OM, they just need the average GHG move to be one and a third moves. On a hilly map, the average GHG move is actually better than that.
The other thing that's really cool about their movement bonus is that you get to move every single GG in your army that extra space. In effect, the more GGs you have, the better their movement bonus becomes. They almosty remind me a bit of zombies the way so many creep up each move.


Last edited by Looking East : December 5th, 2010 at 11:48 PM.

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