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Old February 10th, 2011, 09:11 AM
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Unit Strategy Review: How to use the Wolves of Badru


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Unit Strategy Review
Unit: Wolves of Badru

With flashing fangs and gleaming eyes, the Wolves of Badru sprint across the battlefield, pouncing at everything in their way and leaving a trail of half-devoured carcasses for the vultures. Despite their relatively high cost, these Hunters can go for the throat and live to tell about it. As fast as the Wolves are, let's waste no time in learning how to claim victory with them!


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- 80
Class - Bishop
Size - small - Vulnerable/Concealable
Squad - 3 - Medium
Move - 6 - Fast
Range - 1* - Melee
Attack* - 3 - Average
Defense - 3 - Vulnerable
Tournament Readiness – Moderate

* Pounce - Range 3. Attack 5.
A Wolf of Badru that moved but did not attack normally may use Pounce Special Attack. To pounce, choose a non-adjacent small or medium figure whose base is not higher or lower than 5 levels from the base of the attacking Wolf. If the figure is destroyed, immediately place the attacking Wolf on the space the figure occupied. If the figure is not destroyed, destroy the attacking Wolf - High Tactical Advantage.

Darklord Bonding - Before taking a turn with Wolves of Badru, you may first take a turn with any Darklord that you control - Medium Tactical Advantage.


Class
Because of the rather suicidal nature of Pounce Special Attack, it seems that the Wolves fit as a Pawn class unit: you charge towards the enemy and pounce away until either your enemy, or your Wolves, have bit the dust. It takes a certain finesse in choosing targets that offer the best strategic value; it is this finesse that helps to cement the Wolves' class as that of Bishop: they are expendable (Pounce is the main reason to use them, and you have to expect to lose some to failed Pounce), but their relatively high cost (26.6 points a Wolf) means that you want to get the most out of your investment of 80 points per squad and not waste them heedlessly.


Offense
Pounce can rip through all but the toughest Small and Medium figures (even Minions of Utgar can fall to the fang, as an attack of 5 has a 51% chance of inflicting a wound on a defense of 6...Slightly better odds than rolling a single skull on one die). Since Pounce essentially turns the Wolves into ranged attackers, they have the potential to move up to 17 spaces (base Move of 6, +3 for Road spaces, +3 for Range, +5 Height) to get to an opponent. Pounce also works great against figures with defensive abilities that only work against Normal attacks, such as the Phantom Knights, Deepwyrm Drow, and Gorillinators.

Badru have quite a bit in common with Marro Stingers: base attack/defense stats of 3, a similar threat range (10 for Stingers, and 9 for Badru via Pounce, including up to 5 levels of elevation), as well as a potentially self-destructing ability. The major difference is the 20 point differential between the two squads, which seems to tip the odds firmly in favor of the Stingers. With Drain, Stingers can only throw a maximum of 12 unmodified attack dice per turn, while a Badru squad can dish out a 15 dice salvo (up to 19 attack dice with Darklord Bonding). Stingers are also subjected to a d20 roll whenever they choose to use Drain, while the Badru are only limited by the ratio of attack dice to the opponent's defensive dice rolled. Of course, there are limitations to Pounce: you can't pounce Large/Huge figures, and you can't be engaged prior to pouncing. However, under the right circumstances, the Wolves can dish out a woodshed beating.

The following chart shows the probability of pouncing a figure with one Badru:
Spoiler Alert!
For example: A pouncing Badru has a 76.7% chance of killing a figure with 1 live and 3 defense. Looking at the odds, one can determine that lone-wolf pouncing works best when used against squad members with up to 6 defense, or low-life heroes such as Kyntella Gynn and Guilty McCreech. Pounce can also be used against more resilient heroes; we will discuss this further in the Strategy section.

The Wolves' Normal attack of 3 lacks the punch of Pounce. However, you will have to rely on it when facing Large/Huge figures or attacking from adjacency, so claim height whenever possible. Successfully pouncing a figure with height can also bestow the height bonuses on your Wolf: one extra Defense die to weather any attacks and an additional Attack die if you are engaged and have to rely on a Normal attack.


Survivability
The Wolves can lay down the hurt. So what keeps them from seeing more use? There are two Achilles' Heels on our furry friends: a frail Defense of 3 (Badru are at their most vulnerable immediately following a successful Pounce, as they will be surrounded by enemies and quite possibly out of the protective aura of any cheerleaders. According to Sisyphus' Probability Tables, an attack of 3 has a 75% chance of destroying a Wolf...Stiff odds for the Badru), and the self-destructive nature of a failed Pounce. To offset the Wolves' low Defense, take advantage of their small size, as they can be easily concealed. Cheerleaders such as Raelin (SOTM Raelin is ideal, as her enhanced aura keeps the Wolves mobile) and defensive-based glyphs (make either the glyph of Gerda or Jalgard a strategic objective) can also improve their survivability.


Strategy
We have deduced that the Badru are a versatile squad with mobility, bonding, and a potent offensive weapon. According to Jexik's What's In an Order Marker, the Badru Wolves are Sharks:

Quote:
They have an uncanny knack for drawing attention: once you activate them, you’ve gotta keep activating them and see how much havoc they can wreak.
The Wolves are not the hardiest squad available and should rarely be used as the mainstay of your army, and the threat of Pounce can force your opponent to target them early. Draft 1 - 3 squads of Badru and a Darklord, using them as aggressive, mobile Hunters. The best times to unleash your wolf horde is either at the beginning of the game, when your opponent is still trying to get his units in position, or in mid-game, when your opponent has lost units and is in the process of re-positioning his forces. Wolves, specifically Pounce, are unsuited to end-game play, as failed Pounce does your opponents work for you by removing your remaining units from the game! Of course, situation can dictate as to when you will let slip your dogs of war, but there are factors to look for when deciding.

Setting your Wolves loose at the beginning of the game
You can throw your opponent's strategy to the dogs by drawing first blood with your fast-moving, Darklord-bonding pack. The Werewolf Lord is the preferred Darklord in this scenario, as he can aim for your opponent's bonding heroes. Infecting heroes with Lycanthropy early in the game not only turns them into ravenous, slobbering beasts; it can prevent the bonded squad from activating the infected hero, and it gives you a chance to take a free turn with the infected hero via Moon Frenzy (provided that you do not have the same hero in your own army). Furthermore, the psychological threat of Lycanthropy can also turn your opponent into a trembling, nervous wreck and radically befuddle his strategy. While your Werewolf Lord has possession of all Lycanthropy markers, you should limit your pouncing to units that block your Darklord's path to enemy heroes. Once your Darklord deals out Lycanthropy markers, the Badru essentially become a kamikaze squad; you want to use up your Badru and then transition your Order Markers on to your Darklord.

Use the terrain and other units to hide your Wolves as you advance, and avoid engagement until you can bring your Werewolf Lord close to a bonding enemy hero. Since your Darklord takes his turn before the Badru, slam him into the nearest target (ideally a bonding hero; if you can't get to the hero, use the Werewolf Lord to attack a screening unit, then pounce on figures that are adjacent to your Darklord's target). Successful pounces should create a corridor between your Werewolf Lord and enemy hero, forcing your opponent to alter his plans or risk becoming a Hybrid hero. This tactic works great against armies comprised of Pounce-worthy units with low defense squads and bonding heroes, such as the Death Chasers of Thesk (a plus: Orc Battle Rush can put the Death Chasers in range of a first-turn Pounce).

At 500 points, you can field two squads of Badru, one Werewolf Lord, and four squads of Goblin Cutters. Use your Badru and Darklord to take out your opponent's Special Attackers and bonding heroes, which the low-defense Goblins fear (bonding allows your opponent to attack with the bonding hero and then attack again after Scurry activates). Once they have been removed, your Goblins will be free to scurry across the battlefield.

When targeting non-bonding heroes, look for isolated figures such as Marcu Esenwein, who is usually sent out early to procure a glyph. With his low defense, he should be easy to wound with the Werewolf Lord, and when activated via Moon Frenzy, you don't have to worry about Eternal Hatred threatening your own units.

You can accomplish the same objectives sans Darklord, but be sure to target either unique or expensive squads who will quickly feel the loss of one or two members.

Saving your Wolves for mid-game
When using your Wolves in mid-game, first lead with Menacers such as Marro Stingers, Phantom Knights, or the Krav Maga, targeting ranged threats and drawing your opponent closer to the periphery of your board control. Once you lose units through attrition, or suck your foe's forces into Pounce range, unleash your bloodthirsty pack. Bringing a Darklord along will increase your offensive capability. The Werewolf Lord works as a great beatstick and provides a counter for Large/Huge foes that are immune to Pounce. Khosumet is also a mid-game bonding option, a worthy leader for a lean, mobile strike force. For 155 points, one squad of Badru and Khosumet can hide out and ambush key targets as needed. Team this up with Anubian Wolves, and send out your Anubians as a first wave. If your Anubians fail to eradicate the enemy, and Khosumet has few if any Anubians to shield with his Unleashed Fury bonus, send out your 4-wolf strike force to punish any remaining units. Khosumet's Relentless Assault bonus can boost your Wolves to a Normal Attack of 4; with their fast movement, height should be easily attainable, making it possible to match the strength of Pounce without the negative consequences.

Brunak is another worthy hero to send out in advance of a Wolf contingent, especially if your opponent leads with a mass of ranged or melee commons. His Blood Hungry Special Attack can plow through squads, and his double-hex size lets him lock down enemy units before you charge your Wolves into the fray. Although ROTV Raelin is not the best-suited cheerleader for the Wolves, this is one time where she can come in handy. Brunak can carry her around, providing a defensive boost at no Order Marker cost. With a massive 9-defense, Brunak can weather all but the luckiest blows, and you will have a defensive bastion that will shelter your Wolves in transit to and immediately after Pounce.

Attacking multiple-life heroes
There will be times when you deem it necessary to pounce multiple-life heroes. When pouncing with a full squad of three wolves, your odds of killing the hero improve dramatically. The following chart shows the probability of pouncing with one squad of Wolves and killing a figure with x lives and y Defense:
Spoiler Alert!
Using the chart, one can tell that when pouncing a 3 life, 4 defense figure with 3 Wolves, there is a 65.5% chance that you will kill the figure. Note that this also means that you can lose all three Wolves to failed pounces (up to 2 dead Wolves, if you succeed in killing your target). When pouncing multi-life heroes, choose one with either a high-cost (meaning that losing 80 points of Wolf can be worth the risk if you take out a 120 point Hero) or strategic importance, such as Raelin. There is less than a 2% chance that one pouncing Badru can finish Raelin off. However, 3 pouncing Badru have a 50.3% chance of killing her; the odds are just tipped slightly in the Wolves' favor. Even if you are not able to kill Raelin with a round of pouncing, you will have added some red wound markers to her card, making it easier for you to kill her in upcoming turns. Inversely, you can use other units to place wounds on Raelin, and then finish her off with Pounce. Either way, you will be throwing a wrench in your opponent's strategy, as he will now need to allocate resources to protect Raelin and deal with any remaining Wolves in the vicinity. The same can be said against targets with stats similar to Raelin, such as Kurrok (removing him early in the game essentially ensures that your opponent won't be claiming a victory) or Kelda. Since Counter Strike is not triggered by Pounce, Kaemon Awa makes a good target; soften him up with a blast from any ranged support that you possess, then feed him to the wolves.

Adding a Darklord to your attacks can increase the odds off finishing off the multi-life hero. Let's continue with Raelin as a target: adding Khosumet's attack of 3 (in addition to 3 pounces) gives the Wolves a 58% chance of killing Raelin. When using the Werewolf Lord's attack of 4 (with 3 pouncing Badru), you now have a 64% chance of removing your opponent's Raelin from the battlefield...Much better odds (Note: although Raelin can be targeted with Lycanthropy, attacking to kill, rather than infect, is usually a better option, as a dead Raelin can provide no assistance to your opponent's army when she is not under the influence of Moon Frenzy).

A perfect target for Pounce is the Elf Wizard group. With an average Defense of 2-3, all of the Wizards can be attacked via Pounce, excluding the Large Ulginesh (don't worry; your Werewolf Lord has something special in store for him). As the Elves are high cost heroes, sacrificing Wolves via Pounce can be well worth the return. So, if your opponent starts drafting Elf Wizards (and even other Elves, such as Syvarris: he is Pounce material as well), counter-draft with Badru and feed your Wolves some tasty Elf flesh.


Optional Strategies
  • Lethal Leap Frog - Since engaged Badru cannot Pounce, your opponent will want to engage your Wolves in order to keep them from unleashing their deadly Special Attack. Once engaged, it is quite possible that your opponent will turn a blind eye to non-pouncing Wolves and focus on another target. You can use this to your advantage. Using your high mobility, use a reserve Badru to pounce at the figure engaged to your front line Wolf. Once free to pounce, your previously engaged Wolf might have an array of juicy targets within 3 spaces (remember: a move of 0 is still considered a move, so your Wolves can still pounce provided they are unengaged).
  • Hold that Glyph! - Badru Wolves are one of the few units that can kill a glyph holder and assume possession of the glyph in the same turn. Zombies of Morindan can take an occupied glyph via Zombies Rise Again, and Warforged Soliders can gain possession via Tactical Switch (though they will not necessarily destroy the enemy figure).
  • Shield Yield - Use your Badru to pounce at the central figure in a Roman Legionnaire formation. Once the central hub is destroyed, the remaining Romans will have a reduced defense, perfect for attacking with the Normal attack of your remaining Badru. Additionally, the adjacent Romans are now engaged and will have to spend a turn killing your Wolf, which gives you time to meet other objectives.
  • Fur is in Style - The Badru work great with Menacers, so why not team them up with the Horned Skull Brutes? The Wolves can pounce, and then the Brutes can use Barge into Battle to remove the more-fragile Wolves from engagement, freeing them up for another pounce and hopefully increasing their lifespan in the process.
  • Exorcise those Demons! - With a 77% chance of pouncing a Mezzodemon into the afterlife, while denying the fiend the safety of Exoskeleton, you can send these 2-demon squads back to the Abyss.
Units to Avoid

Anything that can damage a defense of 3 from range. This includes a wide array of units, but the key is to use whatever you can to protect your Wolves as they approach the enemy, including height, line of sight blockers, and defensive boosts.

Units to Avoid in Regards to Pounce
  • Gladiatrons: Cyber Claw prevents them from moving and thus using Pounce, so be sure to get first strike against these disciplined Hunters.
  • Krav Maga: Stealth Dodge works against Pounce. When facing the men (and woman) in black, turn to the Wolves' Normal attack to avoid turning your wolf into a tanned hide.
  • Major Q9: Pounce will not work on Large/Huge figures, and Q9's Special Attack can cut through a squad of Wolves with ease. Werelord Bonding helps a bit with this match-up, as the Werewolf Lord has a better chance to wound the Soulborg. Still, when facing the Major, make sure to counter-draft a unit that is more apt to take on Q9.
Additional Information


Last edited by Filthy the Clown : September 29th, 2011 at 12:14 PM. Reason: Updated Eternal Hatred wording.

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Old February 10th, 2011, 09:27 AM
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Re: Unit Strategy Review: How to use the Wolves of Badru

Awesome first second guide!


Last edited by Taeblewalker : February 10th, 2011 at 10:06 AM.

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Old February 10th, 2011, 10:01 AM
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Re: Unit Strategy Review: How to use the Wolves of Badru

I believe second (Warden), however that does not negate the awesomeness. I definitely will try out the Khosumet/Baru strike force.


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Old February 10th, 2011, 11:18 AM
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Re: Unit Strategy Review: How to use the Wolves of Badru

nice write up, thanks for sharing


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Old February 10th, 2011, 12:20 PM
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Re: Unit Strategy Review: How to use the Wolves of Badru

Nice job Filthy!


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Old February 10th, 2011, 01:41 PM
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Re: Unit Strategy Review: How to use the Wolves of Badru

I enjoyed this! Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that the Mezzodemon Warmongers may still use an exoskeleton marker to stay alive, thus killing the WoB.


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Old February 10th, 2011, 01:51 PM
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Re: Unit Strategy Review: How to use the Wolves of Badru

Quote:
Originally Posted by pinche_guey View Post
I enjoyed this! Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that the Mezzodemon Warmongers may still use an exoskeleton marker to stay alive, thus killing the WoB.
From the Mezzodemon's card:
Quote:
After a Mezzodemon Warmonger rolls defense dice against a normal attack, you may remove 1 Exoskeleton marker from its Army Card to ignore all wounds inflicted by that attack.
Since Pounce is a Special Attack, the Exoskeleton card cannot be used.


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Old February 10th, 2011, 10:11 PM
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Re: Unit Strategy Review: How to use the Wolves of Badru

Q10 would be just as good a WoB killer as Q9. Both are Large, as stated, and Q10's Wrist Rocket/Machine Pistol may actually be slightly more effective than Queglix Gun (either a bit higher attack or more attacks per turn).


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Old February 11th, 2011, 07:42 AM
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Re: Unit Strategy Review: How to use the Wolves of Badru

Very nice review!


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Deadliest Warrior View Post
Q10 would be just as good a WoB killer as Q9. Both are Large, as stated, and Q10's Wrist Rocket/Machine Pistol may actually be slightly more effective than Queglix Gun (either a bit higher attack or more attacks per turn).
Q9 can do 4 attacks of 2 and one attack of 1.


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Old February 11th, 2011, 08:22 AM
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Re: Unit Strategy Review: How to use the Wolves of Badru

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Deadliest Warrior View Post
Q10 would be just as good a WoB killer as Q9. Both are Large, as stated, and Q10's Wrist Rocket/Machine Pistol may actually be slightly more effective than Queglix Gun (either a bit higher attack or more attacks per turn).
As Fen_Hydra said, Q9's Queglix Gun can still do the 2-2-2-2-1 if he wants to, and the 3-3-3 is actually better against the Badru than Q10's 4-4. Plus, since the Badru have 6 move, even Q10's extra range on Machine Pistol can't stop the Badru from engaging him on flat ground.

However, I agree that Q10 isn't really a figure that the Badru want to see. For that matter, any Large/Huge figure isn't really the Wolves' best matchup - especially Soulborgs (and Constructs) since they're immune to Lycanthropy.


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Old February 11th, 2011, 08:59 AM
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Re: Unit Strategy Review: How to use the Wolves of Badru

It's the Defense of Q10, compared to Q9, that at least gives the Wolves a chance of wounding him (still only 33%, but much better than the 19% against Q9). Either way, it pays to have a ranged counter, or a defensive boost for the Wolves, up your sleeve.

Quote:
Originally Posted by killercactus View Post
For that matter, any Large/Huge figure isn't really the Wolves' best matchup - especially Soulborgs (and Constructs) since they're immune to Lycanthropy.
Actually, the Wolves are favored to win against Su-Bak-Na, if they get first strike. Other than that...Yeah, they don't get the Easy button.


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Old February 11th, 2011, 10:16 AM
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Re: Unit Strategy Review: How to use the Wolves of Badru

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filthy the Clown View Post
It's the Defense of Q10, compared to Q9, that at least gives the Wolves a chance of wounding him (still only 33%, but much better than the 19% against Q9). Either way, it pays to have a ranged counter, or a defensive boost for the Wolves, up your sleeve.

Quote:
Originally Posted by killercactus View Post
For that matter, any Large/Huge figure isn't really the Wolves' best matchup - especially Soulborgs (and Constructs) since they're immune to Lycanthropy.
Actually, the Wolves are favored to win against Su-Bak-Na, if they get first strike. Other than that...Yeah, they don't get the Easy button.
Assuming they can spread out and there are no Greenscales, they're probably favored against Othkurik and Mimring, too, but still I don't think I'd draft them against those figures if I didn't have to.


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Heroscape Strategy Articles: Heroscape Strategy Articles with discussions. Including Order Markers, Units, Game Play, etc.


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