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Old September 16th, 2007, 12:49 AM
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Unit Strategy Review: How to Use the Dzu-Teh

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Unit Strategy Review
Unit: Dzu-Teh
Author: Taeblewalker (with thanks to my sewing circle)

Ever since terrain packs started coming out, the units therein have been seen as niche figures. The Obsidian Guards are a prime example, but what about the Dzu-Teh? While they are most useful on snow and ice, their high Attack and at least average other stats make them tempting to consider using on any map. Their cost, while not low, might seem prohibitive for what you are getting. However, a close look at these “Yeti” reveals that they are not all that snow-bound after all! They can be a great addition to your army with just a little imagination.

We will begin with their stats.

Vital Statistics
Cost – 75 – Bishop
Size – Medium – Vulnerable/Visible
Squad – 3 Average
Move – 5* – Average
Range – 1 – Melee
Attack – 4 – Good
Defense – 3 – Average
*Snow and Ice Enhanced Movement – Heavy snow spaces and slippery ice spaces only cost 1 movement point to enter – Low Situtational Tactical Advantage.
Glacial Camouflage – Immune to normal ranged attacks when adjacent to a glacier. High situational tactical advantage.
Glacial Traverse - Dzu-Teh may move from a space adjacent to a glacier to any other empty space adjacent to the same glacier. High situational tactical advantage.


In-Depth Analysis

We shall now look carefully at the Dzu-Tehs’ statistics, and draw strategies from our conclusions. Let us start with cost. Below is an explanation of Agatagary's cost classification:

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)

Class:
The Dzu-Teh are a Bishop class unit. This is not because of their cost, which is comparatively inexpensive, but because of their high attack. Having three attacks of 4 make the Dzu-Teh useful in ways that most Pawn units aren’t. Unlike most common squads, you can get away with only one squad, if you play them right. Nonetheless, their cost is low enough that you will most likely be able to afford two.

To examine the Dzu-Tehs’ core stats, we will break them up into two categories—offensive ability and survivability.

Offense:
The Dzu-Tehs’ Attack of 4 is higher than that of most squads, especially for the point cost (they are only 25 points each). The Anubian Wolves, Ashigaru Yari, Marro Stingers, Roman Archers, Tagawa Samurai, Templar Cavalry and Zombies of Morindan can all have a higher Attack, but only under specific circumstances, and most of these cost more to boot. Finally, the Minions of Utgar, Microcorp Agents, Ninjas of the North Wind and Obsidian Guards can at best match the Dzu-Teh, but all cost significantly more. Only the Kozuke Samurai have a higher hase Attack, and they are both costlier and a unique squad.

Combine their highly reliable Attack of 4 with their height of 6 – and often overlooked advantage in reaching ranged units already perched on superior height – and you have a powerful squad who can rush out from an ambush to decimate your foes.

Finally, their threat range - their Movement across flat terrain plus their Range - is 6. As always with non-flying units, this is more limited when climbing is required, but Glacial Traverse and Snow and Ice Enhanced Movement keep their threat range constant in wintry conditions that slow other units down.

Survivability:
With a Defense of 3 the survivability of the Dzu-Teh on maps without glaciers in below average. On glacial terrain, they have the blessing of Glacial Camouflage, which will significantly raise their survivability if kept close to it. Mostly, though, you will need to take advantage of their ability to hide from ranged units behind ruins, trees and castle walls before sending them out to do amazing damage to any foes that dare come close. Don't forget that hey have all the vulnerablities of medium size units while suffering from large hit zones.

Strategy:
How do you take a high Attack unit with mediocre survivability and average Move and get the figures close enough to do damage, all before ranged units can take them out? You either set an ambush for your opponent’s units, or you find a way to move them more quickly. We will explore both of these strategies below, but before we do so, bear in mind the following general points. Dzu-Teh have a height of 6, which allows them to engage enemies five levels higher than theirs. They also have large hit zones, which can be used to conceal more important figures behind them. They can speed across wintry terrain like no others.

The first tactic the Dzu-Teh excel at is as part of an ambush. They can hide behind ruins, trees, castle walls, and elevations of six of higher. When an enemy unit comes close, send them out! Use your order markers to anticipate when the enemy will draw near. And since you can't really "hide" your Dzu Teh from the other player, place the X Order marker on them from time to time: this bluff will keep him guessing and be similar to what would happen if you really could have them hidden, waiting to spring into action. A variant of this strategy is to have the Dzu-Teh waiting just inside the castle door. In this case, you will want to anticipate when the door is likely to give way and have an order marker waiting to activate your Dzu-Teh.

If you know that the Dzu-Teh are going to sit still for a while, consider drafting Thorgrim or Raelin with them and keeping the Defense Aura close to improve their survivability. You cannot use Thorgrim on the Dzu-Teh once he is dead, but he can be recycled on any of your unique army cards. Also, if you have drafted the Knights of Weston or the MacDirk Warriors, Thorgrim can be activated as needed when you place order markers on them, giving the Dzu-Teh the benefit of an ally who can attack any units that come close. This works especially well if the Dzu-Teh are "sleeping".

When you do send them out to ambush figures, choose your targets well. This is where their Bishop status comes into play. With three attacks of 4 a single Dzu-Teh squad can take out low Defense heroes or several low Defense squad figures in one turn. Higher Defense or high Life heroes can be beaten down significantly. If you wait for a queen figure, such as Braxas, to be worn down to low Life by another unit, the Dzu-Teh can reliably finish such figures off.

Even the maddeningly high Defense of units like the Minions of Utgar, the Zettian Guards and various the Deathwalkers will quake with fear at three attacks of 4. There is a threshold in Heroscape, before which units with high Defense feel confident that they can shrug off an attack and after which those units get nervous. That threshold is the transition from an Attack 3 to an Attack of 4, all the more so in this case because the Dzu-Teh have three possible activations per round.

Heavy snow and slippery ice offer no impediment to the Dzu-Teh. While this is nice on a tundra map, on most maps it will be irrelevant. Further, it does not actually allow the Dzu-Teh to get close to ranged units any faster than on normal terrain. Below, we must consider other ways to get Dzu-Teh where they need to go safely and effectively.

One way to mitigate the Dzu-Teh’s vulnerability to ranged attacks is to have a huge figure, such as Nilfheim, stand in front of them, providing cover. The dragon’s wings are like a moving castle wall. Take turns with him, devastating your foes, then bring in the Dzu-Teh from the rear to attack figures that try to swarm him.

You may substitute any huge figure in this strategy. Since the greatest drawback of most huge figures is an inability to take out many swarming figures at once, the Dzu-Teh can perform a cleaning function for your heavy hitters. Have the Dzu-Teh move along behind them, moving ahead to clearing away the clinging figures, freeing the huge figure to go after more expensive targets. In this function, the Dzu-Teh are like the wrasse, a fish that cleans a shark’s skin. This cleaning function for Nilfheim, et. al., is part of what makes them Bishops instead of pawns. Just remember, if you are performing this service for Jotun, make sure your Dzu-Teh give him plenty of space to set up a Wild Swing!

Even if your huge figure loses a battle of titans with an opponent's huge figure, your opponent’s huge figure will most likely have taken several wounds already. Use the Dzu-Teh to finish off the floundering titan. Alternately, if you are about initiate such a battle of the titans, send in the Dzu-Teh ahead to soften up the enemy, almost guaranteeing that your titan will stand victorius at the end.

Unlike the Roman Archers and similar units, the Dzu-Teh do not absolutely need to stay together to get all of their benefits. The strategy mentioned above makes much of the fact that they can take out heroes by acting in concert, but sometimes the defenders have low enough Defense that you really just need one brawny Dzu-Teh in their midst to make all the difference. This is especially true if the enemy figures are ranged attackers with low Attack as well as low Defense.

Use Jotun to throw a Dzu-Teh onto a castle wall (or anywhere else it’s needed). Fly one forward with Theracus to help clear a roadblock. Summon one with Saylind to bring a high attack figure to the front line. Carry one with Brunak to support him. Or, just send one out on foot on its own, taking advantage of cover along the way to reach a troubled spot that needs a clubbing.

This scattering works even better when you have at least two squads to use, as you can either cover more ground or replace Dzu-Teh that fall. The greatest benefit to this scenario is that when you reveal an order marker on the Dzu-Teh, you can activate them in several different battles across the board at one time. This last part works for any squad, of course, but with an Attack of 4, you can really make it count!

And what Dzu-Teh strategy guide would be complete without mentioning snow and ice? Glacial Camouflage lets your Dzu-Teh hide in plain sight from normal attacks. A winter map increases the options for an ambush strategy as detailed above. Even if your opponent has special ranged attacks, you can still hide behind the glaciers and use Glacial Traverse to come out of hiding when you want to spring an ambush.

If your map includes Heavy Snow or Slippery Ice, try to make your opponents come to you. Even fliers will have to expend an extra movement point to land. This includes Nilfheim, in spite of his ice theme.

On wintry terrain, you will be able to run circles around your opponents, protected by glaciers and able to outmaneuver your enemy. Many glaciers will have higher terrain on one side than on the other side. Glacial Traverse is a great way to attain higher ground. If the glacier happens to be at the base of a castle or a cliff, you have a super ice ladder that can get your Dzu-Teh around frighteningly quickly. And don't forget, Glacial Traverse works just as well for getting down as for getting up.
Be aware that Nerak receives Attack and Defense benefits from snow terrain. Use caution when approaching him on your home turf. His increased stats make him even better at supporting his orc friends that invade your icy demesnes. You may want to take him out first, but since he is an Attack 4 / Defense 4 figure on snow, you might enlist help from a ranged unit or one of your army’s heavy hitters. If you can lure him onto ice, you negate his bonuses. Even on snow you will still enjoy greater mobility, as Nerak does not have Snow and Ice Enhanced Movement.

Send out swarming units to tie up your opponent's ranged units long enough for you to get your Dzu-Teh across the board, without risking ranged attacks. You can afford to lose the Pawn squads, and they may even take out a ranged unit or two in the process. If you are playing on a glacial map, Venoc Vipers are especially good for this, as they Frenzy and have a base Move of 7, allowing them to quickly cross the map, even with the movement penalties due to heavy snow and slippery ice.

Additional Strategy:
Follow the Pied Piper
Sir Gilbert is great at leading Jandar armies. Being a human champion, he bonds well with the MacDirk Warriors. If you choose him as your human champion for Highland Fury, you can perform the following trick. Reveal an order marker on the MacDirks. Activate Sir Gilbert, moving him in to attack. Roll Jandar’s Dispatch for the Dzu-Teh to keep them close. Use the MacDirk Warriors to soften your foes, especially if Sir Gilbert has received any wounds. Remember that Attack Aura 1 gives them a base Attack of 3!

When the Pawn class MadDirks have fallen or Sir Gilbert is down, bring in the Dzu-Teh to finish what the humans started. This works especially well as Attack Aura 1 can only help the MacDirks if they stay close to Sir Gilbert. Jandar’s Dispatch would only be wasted on them, so using it on the Dzu-Teh is to your benefit. Also, use the flag as much as possible for cover.

Units to Avoid:
Braxas and Jotun: Aside from Jotun and Braxas, your Dzu-Teh should be able to take on any of the other huge figures pretty well. Bunak, Grimnak, Tor-Kul-Na and the others will likely take a few turns to take out your squad. During those turns, your three Attacks of 4 can devastate these heroes. Poisonous Acid Breath, however, has a pretty decent chance of taking out a whole squad at once, and 8 Life is a lot, even with a Defense of 3. Therefore, try to approach Braxas only when she is wounded. As for Jotun, Wild Swing can be deadly for the Dzu-Teh. If you attack him, keep the Dzu-Teh away from one another. His normal Attack of 8 almost guarantees that he will kill one Dzu-Teh per turn. As with Braxas, try to soften him up with other units first.

Ranged Special Attacks: While the strategies above often ignore glacial terrain, these units take away your ability to use Glacial Camouflage. The Roman Archers are very dangerous this way, though your opponent may have difficutly getting three together. Nilfheim, sparing no love for his glacial companions, could easily take out two in one turn.

Long-Range Normal Attacks: When the Dzu-Teh are not hiding behind cover or near glaciers, they are vulnerable to being sniped by Syvarris and Dead-eye Dan, who can stay outside their threat range. The Gorillinators, Krav Mage Agents, Microcorp Agents and Omnicron Snipers, all have a range of 7. You may not be able to engage these units before they can out the Dzu-Teh.

For additional information see the Book of Dzu-Teh


Last edited by Malechi; June 5th, 2008 at 02:19 PM. Reason: Changed contact info
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Old November 9th, 2007, 01:39 PM
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Old November 9th, 2007, 01:44 PM
Rajaat the Warbringer Rajaat the Warbringer is offline
 
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Good Stuff! I like the Dzu-Teh anyway, but this article gave me some more ideas on how to use them.

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Old November 12th, 2007, 11:08 PM
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This is a slow time on 'Scapers. Yawn.

Reading this reminded me of the guy a couple of weeks back who wanted to know if these guys would be good to take to a tournament. Wonder what happened with that?

The idea of Gilbert and the McDirks was cool. I haven't used that squad yet. I've been itchin' to try 'em. I'd actually just like to use the Dzu-Teh as bodyguards/shields for the Flagbearer in general. They would have 5 attack and, as you've pointed out, be big enough to shield him. If they are placed on height, which is where Gilbert works best, they would have 6 attack! Wow! I have to try that soon!

Despite this coolness, I think the Dzu-Teh are probably not going to see much use outside of a snow map, despite this review. 75 points for 4 attack, 3 defense and no specials to speak of doesn't excite most of us.

As an aside, I like the terrain-specific figures and cannot understand why everyone seems to bash them all the time. The spiders will become the favorite of the terrain-packed figures, because they can be used on any map with the same results. (The spiders are pretty weak, however, and must be drafted as a swarm to be effective for long. The Dzu-Teh, as you've pointed out, can be effective with just a single squad.) This is unfortunate, to me, as I am going to actually miss the terrain-specific powers that some units have.
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Old November 13th, 2007, 02:37 PM
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If I had to write one of these guides, it would be for the Dzu-Teh:

How to use the Dzu-Teh: with snow, ice, and glaciers.

:P


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Old November 13th, 2007, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soberman
This is a slow time on 'Scapers. Yawn.

Reading this reminded me of the guy a couple of weeks back who wanted to know if these guys would be good to take to a tournament. Wonder what happened with that?

The idea of Gilbert and the McDirks was cool. I haven't used that squad yet. I've been itchin' to try 'em. I'd actually just like to use the Dzu-Teh as bodyguards/shields for the Flagbearer in general. They would have 5 attack and, as you've pointed out, be big enough to shield him. If they are placed on height, which is where Gilbert works best, they would have 6 attack! Wow! I have to try that soon!

Despite this coolness, I think the Dzu-Teh are probably not going to see much use outside of a snow map, despite this review. 75 points for 4 attack, 3 defense and no specials to speak of doesn't excite most of us.

As an aside, I like the terrain-specific figures and cannot understand why everyone seems to bash them all the time. The spiders will become the favorite of the terrain-packed figures, because they can be used on any map with the same results. (The spiders are pretty weak, however, and must be drafted as a swarm to be effective for long. The Dzu-Teh, as you've pointed out, can be effective with just a single squad.) This is unfortunate, to me, as I am going to actually miss the terrain-specific powers that some units have.
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I appreciate the comments. I see how there is a conceptual barrier to using them on a non-snow map. One thing worth pointing out is that their Defense of 3 will last longer against lower attack units, like Blade Gruts. But overall, try to use them on the offensive before your opponent has a chance to take them out.

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Old November 13th, 2007, 03:52 PM
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My biggest qualm about using DzuTeh on non-snow maps is that I only own one squad and getting another means buying more terrain that I don't have anywhere to store. I've used a single squad effectively before, but two would be really nice. There seems to be a bit of a mental blind spot about these guys outside of their native terrain that pushes other less dangerous units to the top of an opponent's threat index. The yeti also make wonderful bodyguards for Raelin.

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Old November 13th, 2007, 04:02 PM
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I'm about to start a battle using the Dzu-Teh, I just read your article and will hopefully employ some of the strategics mentioned. I'll tell you how it works outs.

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Old November 13th, 2007, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hi1hi1hi1hi1
I'm about to start a battle using the Dzu-Teh, I just read your article and will hopefully employ some of the strategics mentioned. I'll tell you how it works outs.
Cool! I look forward to the report.

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Old August 29th, 2008, 01:05 AM
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Re: Unit Strategy Review: How to Use the Dzu-Teh

Nice article

Quote:
Long-Range Normal Attacks: When the Dzu-Teh are not hiding behind cover or near glaciers, they are vulnerable to being sniped by Syvarris and Dead-eye Dan, who can stay outside their threat range. The Gorillinators, Krav Mage Agents, Microcorp Agents and Omnicron Snipers, all have a range of 7. You may not be able to engage these units before they can out the Dzu-Teh.
I believe the G-nators have a range of 6
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Old August 29th, 2008, 10:20 AM
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Re: Unit Strategy Review: How to Use the Dzu-Teh

I really, really want to make these guys do well. A squad with 4 attack should be good - they can kill squads or heroes. We just have to find a way to get them there.

Having said that, I think the jungle trees go some of the way to helping out the Dzu-Teh. About half the maps at Gencon this year had either Jungle Trees or Glaciers on them - both of which help the Dzu-Teh get to the fight. Makes me want to try out something like this:

Raelin - 80
Dzu-Teh x2 - 150
Krav Maga Agents - 100
Sgt. Drake SOTM - 170

Total = 500

If the map is jungle or snow, you can send out the Dzu-Teh early with Raelin's protection. Throwing 5-6 defense and possibly having the glaciers on their side, they stand a good chance at softening up the enemy. If you're on a map that doesn't have those things, the Krav and Drake can be used early. The opponent is forced to bring the fight to them, thanks to Stealth Dodge and Thorian Speed. Once they come to you, the Dzu-Teh will be in range to put on the hurt.

Plus, could you imagine this army on a Glacial map? If the Dzu-Teh are next to the glaciers, there's basically no one that can be killed from range with a normal attack, save Raelin.

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