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Old April 4th, 2013, 08:05 AM
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Unit Strategy Review: Raelin the Kyrie Warrior (SotM)

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Unit Strategy Review
Unit: Raelin the Kyrie Warrior (Swarm of the Marro)
Author: Wriggz

Once a merciful member of Jandar's army, time has taken its toll on the angelic Raelin, and she is now resolute in taking the battle into her own hands. We are talking about the Swarm of the Marro Raelin no longer content to stand back and protect a small huddle of ranged fighters, Raelin is heading to the front lines commanding a large mobile army, and she is ready to attack anyone and everything in her path.[/font]

Analyzed Statistics:
Life: 5 – Average
Move: 6 – Fast*
Range: 1 – Melee
Attack: 3 – Average**
Defense: 3 – Vulnerable
Able to ignore elevations - Medium tactical advantage.
**Whirlwind Assault
Able to attack all figures adjacent to her - Medium tactical advantage.

In-Depth Analysis:
Of course, with all of these strategy articles, we use Agatagary’s guide to rate the figures, based on chess pieces.

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

Class: Knight
This Raelin is a Knight in the very spirit of the word. While her Extended Defensive Aura may grant the benefit of an extra defense dice to your entire army, her death should not be crippling. Additionally, she will be drawing lots of fire, either as a cheerleader, clean up figure, or as a decoy, so you should be prepared to lose her if you opponent decides to bombard her with attacks. Either sensibly benefiting your forces, or recklessly interfering with your opponents plans, Raelin is a key, but not crucial component of your army.

Threat Range:
6 move + 1 range = 7 with flying

While 5 life is reasonable, and Raelin should have a defense of 4 most of the time by grabbing height with her flying ability, she is going to need every shield possible. Whether it is due to sensory response of trying to kill RotV Raelin so many times, or simply the fact that she is the only one without a boost from a defensive aura, your opponent is likely to focus on this poor Kyrie. Making things more difficult is that you don't want to try and protect Raelin by repositioning her, since your order markers are better used on attacking with the squads she is protecting. Moreover although her sculpt is reasonably slight and her wings and spear are not hit zones you need to keep her visible so she can impart her aura to as many of your squad figures as possible.

The best option is to keep her 4~6 spaces from the front lines so she can offer her aura to your fighters while remaining out of range of arrows and bullets. When this is not possible, seek out shadow tiles and Jungle trees (since the trees block less visibility) to further improve her defense. Finally, you may have to come to terms with the fact that she may not make it through the battle, but with each direct attack on Raelin, your squad forces are able to stay at full strength longer, and can claim victory in the name of Fallen Kyrie.

Offensive ability:
Unlike most units, when we speak of Raelin actual attacking is secondary (if mentioned at all). Instead, Raelin's real offence comes from protecting more devastating units. Using Sisyphus’ Probability Tables we can compare the probability of destroying a squad figure since that is who Raelin will be often protecting. Let’s compare some numbers:

Base Def RotV   SotM   Diff.    RotV   SotM   Diff.   RotV   SotM   Diff.
   0     0.625  0.75   0.17     0.757  0.854  0.11    0.847  0.917  0.08
   1     0.509  0.625  0.19     0.655  0.757  0.13    0.766  0.847  0.1
   2     0.407  0.509  0.2      0.556  0.655  0.15    0.679  0.766  0.11
   3     0.321  0.407  0.21     0.463  0.556  0.17    0.592  0.679  0.13
   4     0.25   0.321  0.22     0.38   0.463  0.18    0.507  0.592  0.14
   5     0.192  0.25   0.23     0.308  0.38   0.19    0.429  0.507  0.15
   6     0.146  0.192  0.24     0.246  0.308  0.2     0.358  0.429  0.17
As you see when facing an Attack of 3 RotV Raelin only increased the odds of survival by approximately 20%. This means that on averages RotV Raelin protects an extra squad figure every 5 attacks. With regards to facing Attacks of 4 and 5 respectively RotV Raelin is less impactful, increasing the survival of squad figures by 16% and 13% over SotM Raelin. Certainly, that extra squad figure can make or break the game, but what if RotV’s Aura is just not big enough.

It may come as a surprise, but SotM Raelin’s aura covers 126 hexes, compared to RotV Raelin covering 60 Hexes. Just to put that into perspective the Underdark Master set only includes a total of 161 hexes. In many cases SotM Raelin doesn’t even have to use a single order marker to protect your entire army for a good portion of the game. There are situations where RotV simply cannot cover enough ground to adequately protect your forces.

One of Raelin's abilities which is often overlooked is her speed. Move 6 with flying is incredibly fast, especially over hilly or waterlogged terrain. Raelin's ability to move as fast if not faster than the army she is supporting is key to her usefulness. It should be rare that you need to activate Raelin more than twice to get her into prime position to protect your forces. This also makes her ideal as a cleanup figure since she should be able to get first strike on stray melee figures and catch any ranged unit attempting to “run and gun” in the endgame.

As far as attacking goes, SotM Raelin is average. A standard attack of three will not strike fear in your enemy however SotM Raelin has the added benefit of attacking all figures adjacent to her. Moreover she can further improve this attack with glyphs and height leading to a more powerful attack. The fear of receiving up to 6 attacks of 3 or more, will often force your opponent to unnaturally spread out or clump their forces to present as few multiple attack opportunities as possible. You can use this to your advantage by limiting potential engagements, slowing down troop progress or forcing your opponent to take a weaker position on the map, since they may give up height for fear of being on the receiving end of Raelin's assault.

In cases where one of your squad figures was surrounded by attackers and fell or there is choke point where figures get bogged down it is handy to have the option of using a Raelin's Whirlwind assault to clear out multiple figures. However, do not simply charge Raelin out and start clearing cheap squad figures from the board, as this would be a waste of Raelin's unique abilities. Raelin's Whirlwind Assault is a nice bonus, not a reason to draft her, as she is far more valuable protecting your forces. The only time you should be attacking with Raelin is as a cleanup figure or as an attack of opportunity as you position her for more powerful forces to further benefit from her aura.

Tournament Readiness: Medium
If not for the existence of traditional RotV Raelin, it is likely SotM Raelin would appear at far more tournaments. However, it is a fact that SotM Raelin has synergy with EVERY unit in Heroscape. SotM Raelin is able to give an extra defense dice to some of the fastest, largest and longest ranged squads in the game, and due to her extended aura can do it longer than RotV Raelin. Many of the armies she benefits best are second tier builds, but in the hands of a skilled player can be quite competitive. Between an Extended Aura and the potential of killing a reasonable amount of points if the situation requires it, SotM Raelin should not remain ignored.

The first question when drafting SotM Raelin is whether it would be wiser to just draft RotV Raelin and a squad of Deathreavers (or some other 40 point filler. There are actually numerous reasons why you would make this uncommon choice. First, consider your start zone, if you are limited for spaces, SotM Raelin may be your only choice when choosing a cheerleader. Second, look at how many cards or the nature of the units in your army. If you already have a challenge with Order Markers, as is the case with Brute/Goblin and Omnicron Armies, taking a single figure that will require few Order Markers may be a more efficient choice. Also, if your units are Sharks or Menacers that devour your Order makers like the Zombies, again having one figure that only moves once or twice allows you to keep your forces attacking longer with the benefit of and extra defense dice. Finally, will RotV Raelin's aura of 4 spaces cover your entire attacking force? If the answer is no, then SotM Raelin may be in order.

It is also very important to consider terrain conditions. If the foot print of the map is fairly small or if there is not significant distance between you and your opponents forces, the smaller 4 space aura may be sufficient On long narrow maps (ones that are less than 11~12 spaces wide) it may be easily possible to keep figures in RotV Raelin's aura so the extra spaces are wasted. Finally if your primary force does not have Flying ability, a very hilly terrain may slow even the fastest forces down, to allow you to get RotV Raelin into position. If you have to slow your army down to stay within 4 spaces or require excessive order markers to re-position RotV Raelin, the map may be better played with SotM Raelin. Additionally the existence of choke points (narrow paths between Trees, molten lava, water, etc.) may create excellent locations for whirlwind assault, giving even more reason to bring the resolute Kyrie.

There are 3 main types of army you may want to include SotM Raelin with: fast order marker intensive melee, armies that cover large areas, and spread out high range forces. In all three cases SotM Raelin is a superior choice as she is able to offer extra defense to a larger percentage of your army. In these types of armies, Raelin should be the only hero (with a few exceptions) since you want to get the most out of her defensive aura, by having the greatest number of targets possible.

Shock Troops
These are forces that are really fast (move 6~8, have flying or another special ability that makes them quick). They should also have a high attack output able to hit will lots of dice or make multiple attacks. With a high move and attack it is not surprising they usually lack defense and need the extra defense dice that Raelin offers. They are usually also rather pricy (about 25-45 points per figures) so you are going to want to keep them alive as long as possible. With good positioning on height and gaining and extra defense dice from Raelin’s aura these fast units should be able to weather a ranged attack or two, and should always get first strike when facing melee armies.

During the opening rounds, you want to activate melee units, and when a critical mass of your forces have moved (but are still within Raelin's aura) move Raelin. Next, attack with Melee forces aggressively. Ignore Raelin, since the attack output of your forces should be greater than the loss of Raelin. If you run out of targets and need to attack the second line, evaluate moving Raelin. Take into account if she has enough life to survive for long, if there is a good position for her, or if her Whirlwind assault may be useful. Continue pounding with your melee, there really is no retreat when using high speed and attack figures, however if you have reinforcements keep bringing them up into Raelin's aura. Eventually your assault should result in victory, although it is unlikely Raelin has survived to claim it.

Common Squads that move quickly and strike hard:
Spoiler Alert!

Sheer Numbers
Sometimes it is simply impossible to keep your entire army within 4 spaces of a single figure, however when drafting such a large army one extra defense can go a long way. In these cases the setup is the same as above. Move up your forces at the beginning and then when they are at the extent of Raelin's Aura move her up and repeat. Instead of a Shock attack as above, this is one giant wave moving across the battle field. With so many more figures to protect, keeping Raelin safe is far more important in this army; since it is far better to loss a few cheap commons than their prize cheerleader. Because of this you may want to seek out line of sight blockers to keep her alive longer. The only time Raelin should take attacking into her own hands is when virtually all your squads are destroyed and it is time for cleanup duty.

It is of up most importance to keep as many figures within Raelin’s aura when using large armies. Since most figures will only have 2 or 3 defense even when boosted you want to ensure the best chance of survival and gain the best value out of Raelin. Remember that Clear Sight Spaces means that if Raelin can see ANY part of the figure including none hit zones. For example the even if the body of a figure is blocked you can carefully position the Quasatch’s clubs or Ashigaru’s spears within view of Raelin, while still hiding them from dangerous attacks.

Armies that cover large areas and are Order Marker intensive:

Spoiler Alert!

In the opening Rounds you are going to want to get Raelin to the best possible perch where she has the greatest vantage point for offering her protection to the greatest percentage of you army. With the bait set, use your following Order markers to cast your net. Spreading out your ranged forces so they are receiving Raelin's protection, but are not clumped together, meaning that your more vulnerable ranged forces can avoid being swarmed all at once. It is important to use you maximum range to its full potential. This type of army should be able to whittle away at melee as they slowly take out difficult to reach Ranged forces. When facing armies like the 4th mass, 10th and stingers you should be able to out range and avoid taking excessive losses.

During the battle your opponent will have the choice to slowly destroy your spread out ranged forces one by one or go after Raelin directly, either way you should be able to use superior Range, position and defensive bonus to your advantage. With an extended Aura of 6 spaces you may even be able to move part of you forces and attack vulnerable range units, cheerleaders, or ideally commanders like Kurrok without fear of retaliation.

Units that have a high Threat Range and need Defensive Support:
Spoiler Alert!

Optional Strategies:
It is important to note these strategies are “surprise” attacks, which should only be used if your primary plan is failing. When you have far less forces to protect with Raelin's Defensive aura and little else to lose, recklessly attacking with Raelin may be the only way to victory. However, you should never move Raelin away from protecting your forces unless absolutely necessary. The success of these strategies is based on the fact that only a fool would put Raelin in unnecessary danger.

Flank: First decide where the bulk of the battle will take place, this should be on one side of the map, avoiding the middle. It is recommended to use a squad with a strong defense and not so fast they will move outside Raelin’s aura. Examples include Minions, Sentinels, Knights of Weston and Dwarfs against large or huge figures. As you move, you will need to position Raelin on the other side of the map, while still offering her aura to your troops. Raelin should be outside your opponent’s range, protected by LoS blockers, or difficult to engage due to rough terrain.

When the timing is right you should be able to launch a surprise attack with Raelin’s Whirlwind Assault. The goal is to tie up expensive range units or devastate a group of reserves. The most ideal target of a surprise attack is a commander hero like Kurrok, Kato or the Hive. Before launching your attack try to acquire powerful glyphs that will aid your strike such as the attack glyph or poison stone. At this point your opponents will not be able to ignore Raelin and will focus all their attacks upon her. If Raelin survives a few rounds all the better (possibility you have a defense glyph too!), but her job is done as you move in your heavy hitters and finish the match victorious.

Explosive Attack Decoy: This strategy requires a bit of finesse and luck but can reap big rewards. Have one of your figures occupy a prime location which should ideally also be on height, with none of the adjoining spaced blocked. Throughout the match use Raelin as your X order marker holder, except when you have to reposition her, at which point you will use the 3rd order marker. If after the final round the figure occupying the key space has fallen to a swarm of low defense common figures now is the time to act.

Place your first Order marker on Raelin and drop her on the spot. Her Whirlwind Assault with height bonus should be sufficient to clean out the figures, and Raelin should have the defense and life to hold the position. If she is swarmed again (and survives to the next round) you can attempt yet another Assault. While your opponent is dealing with Raelin you should be able to attack a more valuable target with the bulk of your forces unhindered.

Units to Avoid:
Auto killers/Defensive Bypass: What good is an extra defense dice when your opponent can just destroy your figures with a roll of the D20? Other that the large swarm builds, most armies featuring SotM Raelin are composed of high priced squad figures which can be automatically destroyed by Grimnak's Chomp or easily sprayed with acid by Braxas. Even worse either monster has a fairly reasonable chance of taking our Raelin herself, so either attack them before they can due excessive damage or avoid them entirely.

Also be wary of other units that bypass defense. The Black Wyrmling, Marrden Hounds, and worst of all the Fire elemental all have multiple chances to kill your figures without a defense dice being rolled

Defensive Bypass Units: In the same vein as auto wounding units, figures that can reduce the number of defense dice also can pose a challenge. Most of the units drafted with SotM Raelin need the extra defense for a reason so an even lower defense is to be avoided at all costs. When facing the likes of Zelrig, the Red Wyrmling, Death Knights and Goblins, it may be better to draft more units that augment an even lower defense value.

Slogging it Out: Speedy armies, low attack commons and high value range, cannot afford to be tied down with high defense figures, which can survive attacks long enough to launch a counter attack, or have ranged back up rain fire upon your figures. Armies that excel at tying your down include: Gladiatrons & Blastatrons, the Knights of Weston and dreaded Deathreavers. Furthermore these armies are able to specifically hold Raelin down with Cyberclaw, Coward's Reward and multiple leaving engagement attacks.

Assassins: Rather than endangering your army, there are figures that can target Raelin specifically and remove her aura from the game prematurely. Keep a close eye on Agent Carr, Mika Connour, Cyprien, Atlaga, and especially Isamu since a dishonorable attack of 5 from a 10 point figure is not a good bargain.

For additional information see: The Book of Raelin the Kyrie Warrior (Swarm of the Marro)

wriggz's custom Figures and Terrain

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Last edited by wriggz; April 4th, 2013 at 08:45 AM.
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