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Classic 'Scape Strategy - December 2016

Posted December 1st, 2016 at 01:11 PM by HS Codex

Unit Strategy Review
Unit: Anubian Wolves
Author: Scytale

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One of the earliest expansion units, the Anubian Wolves often get forgotten, especially in the tournament scene, due to their inconsistency. That doesn’t make them subpar units, however; the Anubians are more than just the occasional lucky 20.

Analyzed Statistics:
Life – 1 (Squad)
Move – 6 (Above Average)
Range – 1 (Melee)
Attack – variable (from Poor to Very High)
Defense – 4 (Above Average)
Unleashed Fury: Before moving, roll the 20-sided die.
If you roll a 1, choose an Anubian Wolf you control and destroy it.
If you roll a 2-6, add 1 to the attack value of this card.
If you roll a 7-11, add 2 to the attack value of this card.
If you roll a 12-15, add 3 to the attack value of this card.
If you roll a 16-19, add 4 to the attack value of this card.
If you roll a 20, add 8 to the attack value of this card.

In-Depth Analysis
Each unit is complex, and must be well analyzed to be truly understood. For the Anubian Wolves, let us begin with their cost. By cost, we refer mostly to their value in points, but also to their importance in your army. To simplify analysis, Agatagary has created several categories of cost, based off of chess, for comparison and nomenclature. For reference,
  • 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 and 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)

Anubians are a Knight class. At 25 points a figure they are somewhat expendable, but the losses can add up quickly. They could provide the bulk of an army’s forces or in smaller numbers to add in some extra punch to a different build.

A base defense of 4 is solid, but not outstanding, and they lack any survival techniques outside of plain-old defense dice. Expect them to have moderate survivability against lower-attack units, but not against heavy attacks or auto-wound powers.

The Anubian’s claim to fame is their unmatched but inconsistent attack power. When they get the 20 on the 20-sided die, three attacks of 9 is unmatched, capable of felling any foe. On the other end of the spectrum, three attacks of just 1 is terribly weak ... and, to add insult to injury, you have to destroy an Anubian when that happens. The good news is that almost half the time they roll 4 or more attack, which is usually sufficient to deal wounds.

Curiously, Anubian Wolves’ overall strategy does not completely revolve around Unleashed Fury. The 20-sided die roll is both inevitable and unpredictable; you do not know when, if ever, you will roll a 20 or a 1. Nor do you know if you will be rolling meager attack dice or massive. Blindly relying on their inconsistent offense will lead to overextended figures with insufficient attack power at key moments, and playing too conservatively all but ensures you will not be able to take advantage of the opportunities you do get.

It is best, then, to play for the average. Assume moderate attacks of 3 or 4 and claim board position accordingly. Defense of 4 does not guarantee survival, but it’s all they’ve got, so use it to your advantage. Use their speed to keep them on high ground, next to jungle brush and trees, and in darkness when possible. Do not throw them blindly in the path of armies or powerful heroes, but rely on them to hold their ground against mid-level offense.

Board control and positioning is vital for many units, but it is even more so for the Anubians due to their swingy nature. To maximize their potential, they need to be able to strike vital spots when their Fury is truly Unleashed. Again, their good speed is important for this, but even 6 move is not enough to make up for poor positioning. On a poor roll where they are unable to roll more than two attack dice, consider holding them back or moving up rear units. More often than not being aggressive when their Fury is low will not only fail to deal wounds, but will leave the wolfmen in disadvantageous positions engaged with weaker enemy figures. Even if they survive the counterattack, a powerful Fury next turn is likely to get wasted on those weaker units you’re still engaged with.

When the big rolls do come, look to maximize the damage you can do. Key figures like Raelin or bonding heroes are prime targets, especially if you happen to get the devastating 20. Always check all of your options when this occurs; do not be distracted by Wolves engaged with weaker units if unengaged ones can move in and strike more valuable targets.

In terms of synergies, you could look to utilizing some adjacency-based boosts from Khosumet or Dumutefs, but these bonuses are both very difficult to set up and generally unrewarding. Even with these boosts in place, the Anubians are mostly dependent on Unleashed Fury, making the investment subpar.

Khosumet’s other bonus, Unleashed Fury Enhancement, is another matter. Adding +1 to the Unleashed Fury roll isn’t as good as it first appears: for most of the ranges, the size of range does not change, which means those results are equally likely with or without Enhancement. The two points that do change are the important ones, however. Doubling the chance of the super attack is fantastic and improves everything about maintaining board control. Removing the posibility of a 1 is also very helpful: it not only prevents the loss of a figure, but also gets rid of the terrible attack of only 1.

Still, Khosumet’s worth is dependent on the number of Anubians in your army and on your luck, so he’s not always worth picking up instead of another unit of Anubians. (He doesn’t add much to an army himself.) Decide for yourself if he’s worth his point cost.

Units to Avoid:
Cheap Low Defense Units With Lots of Attacks: Anubians can cut through cheap, weak units pretty well, even without a hot d20, but the war of attrition is not in their favor. Four defense is solid, but it only takes a single miss to lose your Wolf, and lots of little attacks will hit that sore spot often enough. Worst of all, a good Unleashed Fury roll is wasted on these guys, and they usually clog up the battlefield enough to prevent you from getting to the key targets.

Screens: Their speed and defense is normally enough for Anubians to be able to get close enough to mix it up with range units, but screening units like Deathreavers are a problem. Without a means to run past them, the Anubians are stuck having to slash their way through, all while getting pelted by ranged attacks. Four defense is good, but not that good.

Units with Powers That Negate Wounds: Anubian Wolves need the occasional powerful Fury roll to rise above other units. Those moments are the game-changers that can and do make or break games. If Crixus holds them off with One Shield Defense, or ninjas disappear away, or Stealth Armor protects a Microcorp, Anubians lose their big chance. Powers like Defensive Agility fall into the same troublesome category.

For additional information see the Book of the Anubian Wolves.
Total Comments 3


HS Codex's Avatar
We plan on releasing our final hiatus-article around the 15th.

Plans for the restart are coming along, and we anticipate starting slowly, and building up to never-before-seen levels of articles around March.

You can watch our progress on our facebook page, at HSCodex.
Posted December 1st, 2016 at 01:15 PM by HS Codex HS Codex is offline
Always enjoyed these dogs. Only have the one squad but proxies added to create three with Khosumet always gave a nice base to a 500 point army.
Posted December 6th, 2016 at 09:43 PM by AMIS AMIS is offline
Updated December 6th, 2016 at 09:49 PM by AMIS (Not that I was ever successful with it :))
Tornado's Avatar
One of my go to units in the early days until I lost my magic d20.
Posted December 14th, 2016 at 08:53 PM by Tornado Tornado is online now
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