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C3G Strategy - September 2018

Posted September 16th, 2018 at 08:08 PM by HS Codex

C3G Strategy Guide
Ares
By: Lazy Orang


I’ve always loved mythology, ever since I was very young. I also enjoy Heroscape battles that turn into fast-paced, bloodsoaked massacres. Let’s have a look at a unit that scratches both itches, shall we?

Analyzed Statistics

Left Box Breakdown
Species – Olympian (no effect)
Uniqueness – Event Hero (event heroes are similar to unique heroes, but they have extra defenses, e.g. they cannot be mind-controlled or auto-killed, and do not count as unique heroes for the purposes of special powers—read the full event hero rules)
Class – Warlord (no effect in pure C3G, though he is able to bond with the Roman Legionnaires if playing mixed—at which stage you’re legally obliged to call him Mars)
Personality – Malevolent (no effect)
Size/Height – Medium 5 (manoeuverable; can be affected by a number of beneficial powers such as Carry, but also vulnerable to a number of enemy powers, like Magneto’s throws)

Apart from the significant effects (positive and negative) of being an event hero, there’s little strategically relevant about his left-hand stats.

Statistics Breakdown
Life – 9 (Cat-like)
Move – 7 (Swift)
Range – 4 (Short)
Attack – 5 (Solid)
Defence – 7 (Resilient)
Points – 570 (Basically half your army, most of the time)

His stats—particularly life and defence—are pretty damn good, but, especially given his comparatively low attack, Ares is going to need some fairly significant powers to justify that price.

Powers Breakdown

God of War
At the end of each players’ turn, if at least one Unique or Event Hero received wounds or was destroyed that turn, place 1 black War Marker on this card, to a maximum of 3. At the end of each players’ turn, if no figures received wounds or were destroyed that turn, remove a War Marker from this card.

All this power actually does is set up the conditions for his third power—independently, it has no effect whatsoever.

Tactical Advantage – N/A

Fueled by Death
Anytime a Unique or Event Hero is destroyed, remove one Wound Marker from this Army Card. If you control the destroyed figure’s Army Card, you may place any unrevealed Order Markers from its card on this card.

This power is great ... if you use it correctly. I’ll go into this later, but just trying to regenerate by killing opponents isn’t enough. Make use of the ability to recover order markers and use weaker allies as cannon fodder—there are times when you’re kind of happy to see your own figures die, thanks to the bonuses they provide Ares. With careful management and positioning, you can use this power to keep Ares active and alive until end-game.

Tactical Advantage – High

Malevolent Influence
When attacking an adjacent figure with Ares’ normal attack, add one to his Attack number for each War Marker on this card. If there is at least:
  • 1 War Marker on this card, all other figures within 4 spaces of Ares add 1 to their Attack number; and
  • 2 War Markers on this card, all other figures within 4 spaces of Ares subtract 1 from their Defense number; and
  • 3 War Markers on this card, all other figures within 4 spaces of Ares cannot leave engagements and must attack an adjacent figure after ending their movement, if possible.

Well, this is it, ladies and gentlemen—the main event. One, it’s quite capable of boosting his attack from initially middling to fittingly god-like levels. Two, the first two bullet-points cause the battle around him to basically turn into a complete blood-bath. Finally, the last bullet-point may seem insignificant on first glance, but in the end, it’s arguably the most useful—place your pieces carefully, and you can absolutely control the flow of the battlefield. While it’s not entirely ideal that your opponents’ figures benefit from the aura as much as your own, they’re not the ones who’ll be building their army and using it explicitly to make the most of this power—you are. You need to be strategic to make the most of this ability and Ares, but if you are, you can make this power which, at first glance, benefits your opponent almost as much as yourself, and use it to completely dominate the game. You are the God of War, after all.

Tactical Advantage – Extremely High

Super Strength

Really not much to say here.

Tactical Advantage – Low

Flying

We all know what this does; it’s great.

Tactical Advantage – High


In Depth Analysis

For the purposes of this strategy article, I will be using a slight variation on Agatagary’s chess-based unit evaluation system; for those unfamiliar, it can be found in a previous article.

As a mid-level event hero whose role is to dominate the battlefield and pick off enemy warriors like carrion, Ares is fundamentally a queen, with a hint of king about him as well.

The Meat Grinder
The most important aspect of playing Ares is this: forget everything you know about compassion. Okay, that’s a little over-dramatic—I mean to say, don’t even try to keep your own figures alive. They are pawns, nothing more: a means to an end, to be thrown into the meat-grinder. Ares is the only figure whose life really matters—everyone else is absolutely expendable.

Now, this may seem like poor strategy; in war, while you need to expend your soldiers wisely, you should never waste them. That remains true here ... however, in Ares’s case, expending them becomes far more tantalising, as you actually benefit from their deaths. If your soldiers are wounded or killed, you gain one of those all important war markers, and if someone is killed, not only does Ares heal, but he can also commandeer their order markers, so there’s not even any risk of losing turns in this way. As a matter of fact, since at the end of any turn where no one was hurt, you not only fail to gain any war markers, but lose one, you’ll want to do all you can to ensure that your opponent doesn’t take a turn where they fail to harm one of your figures. An exception would be if you can manage to harm your opponent on their own turn or, in multiplayer free-for-alls, the other armies are slaughtering each other—however, while beneficial, such occurrences are difficult to plan for and inconsistent, so it’s best not to rely on them.

In the end, the ideal fighter to go alongside Ares is a multi-attacking, low cost glass cannon. That being said, you’re probably best off building an army out of figures that qualify for one or more of those categories, rather than trying to make everyone fit into all of them (though of course such figures should be among the first you reach for!). Low cost heroes are particularly helpful—the more corpses you leave behind, the more wounds Ares can heal. Sidekicks such as Jubilee or a Robin are particularly good .... not only do they provide a bonus turn for their bonding hero while benefitting from Ares’s attack boosts, but they’re also cheap, squishy and expendable!

Controlled Massacre
When using Ares, you need to manage a careful balance. Ares needs to be on the front lines, for various reasons:
  1. his effect is a 4 space aura, so he needs to be up front to cover as much of the actual battleground as possible with his aura;
  2. he’s far too dangerous a fighter not to be fighting, and
  3. due to the style and power of his healing, if he doesn’t take any hits and is left till last for cleanup, you lose some of his potential—each wound he heals is attack power which is, in the end, wasted.
As such, you need to be careful when managing the battlefield—Ares is the key to your army and your victory. Everyone in your army is expendable, except for Ares himself. He needs to be active in combat throughout the battle, but you must not let him die. How do you go about this? Well, fortunately, Malevolent Influence is working in your favour.

Since Ares isn’t affected by his own aura, he can extract himself from engagements even when he’s up to 3 war markers—only he will be able to do this. Yes, he’s going to take leaving engagement attacks, but this still makes him comparatively mobile. Attacking with Ares to lay the smack-down on your opponent, then retreating at the right moments so he can heal from the carnage and any wounds inflicted on him before end up being a waste of enemy attacks, is key—always retreat in good time, around the 4, 5, or 6 wound mark: never risk his death. Don’t be afraid to attack with him at range at times, if keeping him safer is the present priority—his attack may be weaker, but you can never afford to let him die.

Now, remember what I said before about 3 war markers being the best effect? Well, by using this effect, if you arrange your forces carefully, you can keep your opponent tied up in, to them, useless combats—they can’t get to Ares, and they must attack someone adjacent. You can use this in many ways, from forcing your opponent’s figures into combats they don’t want to fight, to forcing them to waste their time dealing with non-threatening characters acting as, essentially, meat-shields, protecting more valuable units, keeping the enemy locked down on non-favourable terrain and wasting their time while you attack them. More than that, by sacrificing your heroes in this way, you can even heal Ares! In this way, you can keep him protected, healing and alive even when on the front lines making his presence felt. This type of battlefield control is essential when playing the God of War effectively—you need to use strong offensive units to strike your enemy as brutally as possible (Ares, various normal multi-attackers he can boost up, ideally glass-cannons as I said before) and cheap cannon-fodder to gum the enemy up and cause them to waste their boosted attacks. The key is to maximise your efficiency, minimise enemy efficiency, and keep Ares alive so that in the end he stands tall amongst the piles of corpses. Beware of the ebb and flow of battle, though ... if figures stop being hurt and you start losing war markers, you may have to rethink on the fly. Avoid this when you can, but be aware you won’t always be able to.

One last thing to note—the 3 war marker effect forces figures to make an attack, quite specifically—no “instead of attacking” special powers here. Use this to stymie enemy combatants who rely on such abilities, such as Magneto (II)—and whatever you do, don’t draft any such units yourself.

Choose Your Cannon-Fodder
Okay, since we’ve talked about how to use Ares, now we have to decide what poor, unfortunate saps to guide to their almost certain deaths alongside him! Hey, I told you to suppress your sense of compassion, right?

The following isn’t an exhaustive list, as there are so many excellent options to choose from. I’m also going to focus generally on figures who provide you with more than normal multi-attacks; those obviously work well with anyone who can add to your attack and subtract from enemy defence—there are simply too many to list and they’re easy to identify. Figures with Deadly Strike effects are also invaluable, but here I’ll be looking at characters who provide something a bit different.
  • Angel (Warren Worthington III): Though he only has one attack, and a low one, Angel’s Carry provides incredible mobility for your army, at a cheap cost. Not just mobility—reactive mobility. As well as being able to use Carry to mobilise your forces in the early game, by using Guardian Angel, you can passively move your pieces into positions to tie enemy figures down with Malevolent Influence. You’ll want to be careful to avoid allowing Angel into combat when doing this though, since he’ll be no more capable of extricating himself than anyone else, and would be unable to continue ferrying your figures with Guardian Angel. There is a time you’d want to throw him in though—when you’re down to your last few figures, Angel can move in to tie someone up without any order marker expenditure. The final thing he’s great for is passively extracting Ares from engagements without having to worry about leaving engagement attacks—this guy is truly invaluable to the God of War.
  • Doctor Octopus and Blob: These figures can lock enemies down even when you’re not at the all important three war markers—extremely helpful for maintaining battlefield control. Blob is more durable (not always the best thing in an Ares build) and cheaper, while Doc Ock is more mobile and has a multi-hitting normal attack—Doc Ock is probably the slightly better choice if you can afford him, but both are viable.
  • Wasp (I): Invaluable if you feel Ares is in danger—throw her forwards, sting the enemy if you can, force the enemy to attack her with Daring Decoy, and suddenly they’ve wasted an attack on her and Ares has healed a wound and gained a marker. Not bad for 50 points.
  • Raphael: Just as Ares benefits from loads of dead people on your team, so does Raph—and when he hits that boosted Self Importance roll, he’ll be charging in with four attacks of five when affected by Ares!
  • Fire Ants and Skrull Infiltrators: While not being unique prevents their deaths from accumulating war markers or healing Ares, passive roadblocks are always useful to the God of War.
  • Spoiler and Aqualad: I already explained why sidekicks and cheap heroes are good—a 50 or 60 point sidekick to bond with other cheap sidekicks can’t go amiss!
  • Beast Boy (Cheetah): 20 Points, 1 life, attack of 5? Let him charge and do some damage, then watch his death feed Ares!


Closing Thoughts

Ready to spill the blood of your foes? What are you waiting for! Take Ares out for a good night’s slaughtering, and until next time, may the War God bless you with victory!
Total Comments 2

Comments

Old
Scapemage's Avatar
A complex unit I missed in my absence explained very nicely. Well done as always.
Posted September 17th, 2018 at 01:29 PM by Scapemage Scapemage is offline
Old
Lazy Orang's Avatar
Thanks, @Scapemage - glad to hear you found it helpful.

If anyone wants to test a unit that'll pair really well with Ares, I can highly recommend Bob & Carol & Ted & Ringo by @Tornado ! Check out the C3G Playtesting thread and give them a go - not much cooler than an army with four dinosaurs and the God of War.
Posted September 18th, 2018 at 12:01 PM by Lazy Orang Lazy Orang is offline
 
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