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Old April 7th, 2013, 12:42 AM
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fireemblemrox fireemblemrox is offline
 
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Post The Impact of Glyphs: In Depth Analysis and Tips.

FINISHED AT LAST.

Hi everyone! Fireemblemrox here, been a long long time since I last posted (at least a year or so now). Nevertheless, I have been reading the forums and playing this wonderful game during that time!

Today I wanted to bring up a topic that over my year of reading has been generally brought up, but never discussed with respect to specifics. That topic would be glyphs. People debate the overall impact of glyphs and the various levels of power that glyphs have on the battlefield. The purpose of this thread is to analyze each glyph and it's effect on the battlefield on various map layouts.

In terms of map analysis, let's assume that the glyphs are out of the way in terms of where the action generally would be, as per map design, and also not on any substantial height.

Also, I've noticed that stat boosting glyphs have more an impact on figures that lack the stat the glyph provides.

Glyph of Brandar

This glyph doesn't actually serve a purpose in gameplay, except in scenario situations. Usually in scenarios these glyphs are pretty vital, but in standard gameplay they usually act as dummy glyphs that just have no effect at all. In this case, the glyph essentially removes all value from the area of the map it is in and leaves glyph grabbers sitting rather uselessly until they're activated again to move elsewhere.

Glyph of Erland

This glyph has a myriad of uses and advantages that can give the player who grabs it an advantage if used early on. The usefulness of the glyph tends to decline as the game progresses, but due to the nature of gameplay in HeroScape this glyph is likely to be used early in the battle. Finally, because it is a summoning glyph that can summon only one figure, heroes will be commonly selected as a target of this glyph.

First off, the player could use this glyph to summon an ally. This makes it convenient to pull up a heavy hitter to a more forward position. While at first the more prudent decision seems to be to pull up a cheerleader to front lines, such as Raelin the Kyrie Warrior, this idea is usually a bad one because a seasoned player likely has an order marker on his cheerleader for the opening round, anyway. Also, any prudent opponent will have sent his own glyph grabbers, meaning that the summoned ally has to be prepared for action or able to take a couple hits. Summoning a cheerleader would be good in a situation where the grabber is not in immediate range of the opponent and with an order marker available later to fly to an optimal location, maybe saving the player an order marker in the future. In any case, this glyph helps with map control early game when summoning an ally in this fashion.

Another use is to pull an ally AWAY. A key hero or last Marro Warrior may be engaged and seemingly doomed until this glyph swoops in and saves day, provided the glyph itself isn't being contested at the time. By pulling an ally in this way, it should be kept in mind that the target doesn't expose itself to engagement strikes, letting a key unit (especially a ranged one like Syvaris) to escape to a new perch without harm. If the glyph is tucked into an enclave, this could give the unit a fantastic height advantage both early and mid to end game!

A third use would be to manipulate the enemy. This glyph can really throw off an opponent's battle plan by summoning an unsuspecting sleeper at any stage in the game, or by exposing a vital cheerleader unit. If the glyph happens to be on the edge of a map rife with lava, and is next to a lava field, a player can basically get a free kill on a vital unit 95% of the time! If picked by an expendable glyph grabber, the glyph can be used to summon an annoying gladiatron, or better yet, Major X17! If a powerful hero does pick it up, the opposite applies: a player should go for the centerpiece of the opponent's army.

Final tips:
  • When summoning allies, priorize powerful heroes and ranged units set up for activation later in the round.
  • Pull away enemy units either key to your opponent's strategy or the most annoying for yours.
  • Go for sleeping enemy figures and primed allied figures.
  • Pay attention to terrain: a tidy perch or a pool of lava has the potential to make this glyph that much more useful.
  • This glyph has the potential to make its area of map a highly contested zone, despite being a temporary glyph. Assess the situation and see if you can take the main parts of the map for more control.
  • A player can use this glyph to pull units off of other glyphs, if they exist on the map.

Units that Are worth Targeting: Powerful allied heroes set up to move (Agent Carr, Sargent Drake Alexander, Brunak, Jotun, Crixus), Powerful enemy heroes sleeping (see previous), Enemy Cheerleaders (Raelin, Taelord, Marcus), Allied Cheerleaders ready to move (Raelin, Taelord, Marcus), Unique squad Members (Krav Maga Agents, Airborne Elite)
Units that Aren't worth Targeting: Cheap squad figures (Deathreavers, Venoc Vipers) Melee Units (Knights of Weston, Tarn Viking Warriors), Cleanup units (Kaemon Awa, Marro Warriors)

Glyph of Mitonsoul

Another temporary glyph, this one has the potential to be devastating to either side or completely ineffectual. Every figure has to roll for the curse and has a minimal chance to be destroyed. Armies with swarms of figures are more likely to suffer a loss (about 1 if the army has >20 units) but the damage is likely to be small (for example, a 13.33 points of vipers). Conversely, an unlucky expensive hero would be much more terrible to lose, but with maybe only 10-15 units in a more hero centric army, chances are the player won't lose any units at all.

This glyph doesn't command the action of the game. It's a one-shot-go like many other temporary glyphs, meaning that once it's used, the figure(s) in the immediate area should move elsewhere. The use of the glyph may make its area of the map a dead zone, where action quickly fades as the main front opens up.

Final Tips:
  • Don't worry about this glyph too much. There is absolutely nothing you can do to stop the wrath of the D20, so just be prepared to adapt.
  • This glyph will have only a slight impact, if any, usually at the start of a game.
  • Because it will most likely be claimed early, expect almost your entire army to roll for the curse if it reveals itself.
  • This glyph doesn't present any advantage to the player that picks it up. It is one of the few glyphs with this property.

Glyph of Ivor

The Glyph of Ivor presents a huge advantage to any army that runs bread and butter ranged squads or heroes, like the Marro Stingers, 4th Massachusetts Line, or Krav Maga Agents. It doesn't have as major effect on an army centered on ranged units with special attacks, such as Major Q9, Major Q10, Elves, or Deadeye Dan. Of course, this glyph has no effect on an army with only melee units!

This glyph is a very valuable glyph that opens the map almost completely for the player that holds it. Because ranged units are usually present for the entirety of the game, whether as the main force or as cleanup, this glyph will have a tangible impact almost the entire time. Most tournaments don't include this one in their pools due to the enormous advantage that it gives the player holding it.

Of course, such a powerful glyph will attract attention. Armies will march forth to capture this glyph either to reap the rewards of possessing it or simply to prevent their opponents from securing the advantages for themselves. The only situation where this glyph WON'T make the area highly contested is where both armies have no range or special attack range (The glyph adds a stock range bonus of 4, not a special attack bonus). An example would be a Q9 army vs. a Zombies army. Keep in mind that even if YOU run a melee army, as long as your opponent runs a ranged army, it's in your best interests to secure the glyph anyway.

Final Tips:
  • Almost every game of HeroScape will demand the acquisition of this glyph if it emerges.
  • Expect to see opposition very soon after capturing this glyph. Glyph grabbers only last so long before they go down. Send reinforcements!
  • This glyph provides an indirect form of map control, where ranged units can cover more land whilst remaining in the same place.
  • The Marro Stingers and 4th Massachusetts line are particularly devastating with this glyph, opening up the stingers to hang back and get TWO blasts on their targets and letting the 4th Mass safely Wait Then Fire without moving much more often.
  • The glyph loses some power in maps with many line of sight blockers such as trees, ruins, or jungle.

Units that Really Benefit: Marro Stingers, 4th Massachusetts Line, 10th Regiment of Foot, Marro Warriors, Protectors of Ullar, Krav Maga Agents, Mezzodemon Warmongers, Nakita Agents
Units that Don't Really Benefit: Deadeye Dan, Major Q9, Major Q10, Kaemon Awa, James Murphy, Johnny "Shotgun" Sullivan, Deathwalker 8000, Deathwalker 9000, Roman Archers

Glyph of Astrid

This run-of-the-mill Attack +1 glyph is considered balanced by most HS players and as a result seen in many glyph pools. Because it's an overarching +1, it is automatically a direct upgrade to Crevcor and Ulaniva, because they grant bonuses to specific types of units. This glyph is worth finding and holding, but can be fairly safely ignored if not immediately in your grasp. Enemy figures can't reap the benefits of the glyph if they aren't around to attack!

Early game this glyph has more of an impact, but that's on the account of having more units in the army to benefit from the effect. Every unit benefits, but this glyph is really substantial with both standard ranged units (boosting an average 2 to a formidable 3) or melee units (boosting an average respectable 3 to a pretty devastating 4). Remember that 4 dice is the magic threshold for defense, but doesn't hold a candle to 4 attack dice!

While not really asserting more map control, psychologically it can either cause your opponent to avoid engaging or, unfortunately, to attack with a renewed zeal. Something about being able to collectively weaken an army motivates players to actually play more aggressively, usually by the logic of "If he's dead he can't hurt me." Consider sending reinforcements to back the glyph, but more often than not it's better to take advantage of this time to set up at the main front.

Final Tips:
  • Don't be too afraid to take a couple hits with +1. Sometimes it's better to give the appearance of trying to just thrash your opponent and suddenly rush in and take the glyph once your opponent leaves his grabbers sleeping.
  • The Omnicron Snipers and Zetacron reap enormous benefits from this glyph, not only having essentially a +2 bonus, but also a statistically higher chance of landing an almost unblockable 4 skull shot. A map with the Glyph of Astrid and snipers together makes Astrid a much more contested glyph.
  • Statistically, this glyph is superior to Gerda because there's a 1/2 chance of rolling a skull on a die but only a 1/3 chance of rolling a shield. However, Gerda's effect is static, taking effect whenever figures are attacked while Astrid only takes effect when your units actually attack.

Units that Really Benefit: Units with Deadly Shot/Strike (Zetacron, Omnicron Snipers, Migol Ironwill, Minions of Utgar), Units with Double Attack (Syvaris, Einar Imperium, Guilty McCreech)
Units that Don't Really Benefit: Screens or Glyph Grabbers (Deathreavers, Gladiatrons), Cheerleaders (Raelin, Taelord), Deadeye Dan, Special Attackers (Major Q9, Kaemon Awa)

Glyph of Dagmar

This is another popular glyph for glyph pools, granting a neat but not game-breaking advantage. Providing a +8 initiative advantage, essentially the glyph significantly raises your chances of winning initiative, almost totally guaranteeing it if the player rolls a 13 or higher. Exceptions to the 13 would be if your opponent runs the Capuan Gladiators or holds the Glyph of Lodin.

This glyph forces the opposing player to play more defensively and react to the holder's moves. Dagmar will usually indirectly motivate the player to push forwards.

The initiative glyph does NOT present combat advantages, only tactical ones! After the first order marker, the rest of the turn proceeds as normal! Sometimes players needlessly charge units forward based on an initiative advantage even though it doesn't make a difference, combat wise.

This glyph has a couple downsides. The enemy can actually plan to lose initiative and place order markers accordingly. Chances are, turns will be back and forth without the occasional game-changing end to beginning double turn. Also, on the off chance that a player does still lose initiative (It's very possible!), gained momentum can be lost.

Final Tips:
  • No combat adavantage here. Treat your army as carefully as you always do.
  • This glyph has much less of an impact on the game than others. It's safe to ignore this glyph for the entirety of the game.
  • If battling an opponent who holds Dagmar, place the first order marker on something that both reacts well to the opponent's next predicted move and is able to quickly capitalize on an initiative victory on your part.
  • Think of it this way: your opponent may make the opening moves, but rounds will now usually end with your last word. Make it count.

Glyph of Kelda

This one's a tough one. Up to this point I was rather unclear on the ruling, because in the book it specifies it must be placed face up at all times. My house ruling was that this glyph could actually be held in the event it was flipped by a figure with only 1 life. However, officially this glyph cannot be placed face-down.

It's nice to know that your Major Q9 or Charos has some insurance lying around on the map. Your opponent, however, also can take advantage of this. This glyph will thus usually cause its area to be contested, until it is used. Even after that, the hero renewed is now ready to dish and take a beating all over again.

Final Tips:
  • This glyph can make enemy movements more predictable. Eventually something important is going to make a beeline for that spot.
  • A squad heavy army will find this glyph much less useful. Consider just wasting the glyph by having a wounded insignifant hero grab it.
  • The more wounds the hero has, the greater the benefit. However, the more wounds the hero has, the more likely the enemy will finish the job.
  • Focus fire can destroy heroes without letting them reach the point where Kelda becomes effective.

Units that Really Benefit: High Life Heroes (Krug, Jotun, Charos, Valgard, Sargent Drake Alexander SOTM, Venoc Warlord, Alastair MacDirk), High Defense Heroes (Major Q9, Major Q10, Ne-Gok-Sa Warden 816), Cheerleaders (Raelin, Marcus, Taelord)
Units that Don't Really Benefit: Low Life, Low Defense Heroes (Syvaris, Zetacron, Deadeye Dan, Guilty McCreech), Filler Heroes (Marcu Esenwein, Sonya Esenwein), Spirit Heroes (Finn, Thorgrim, Eldgrim)

Glyph of Gerda

This glyph grants a stock +1 defense. While at first it seems purely inferior to Astrid because the chances of rolling a skull is higher than the chances for a shield, it should be taken into account that this glyph's effect is important at all times, and works against special attacks that don't negate defense. Agent Carr eating a candy bar? Covered. A napping pack of Anubian Wolves? Double check. Gerda performs all the time.

Just like Astrid, this glyph is good yet not overpowered. It isn't the end of the world to let the opponent grab the glyph. However, the defense glyph grants the added effect that the glyph holder is now harder to kill. Thus, the glyph is less likely to change sides after it has been seized. More effort is needed to overthrow the guardian of the glyph, and thus the area it is in gets some action.

Final Tips:
  • Gerda provides static defense. This doesn't mean that the player needs to be defensive. On the contrary, the glyph permits players to be more aggresive.
  • Due to the nature of defense, the +1 die that Gerda gives is more substantial on a low defense figure than a +1 die for attack does on a low attack figure, because players won't waste turns on a unit with mediocre, if boosted, attacks.
  • Units with counterstrike well from this glyph, such as Charos or the Samurai.
  • The glyph will boost fragile units with 3 defense to the magic threshold value of 4, increasing their survivability significantly. Prominent examples are the Krav Maga Agents, Warriors of Ashra, Marro Stingers, and Gladiatrons
  • See if you can get this glyph early. The increased effort to knock you off means added frustration for your opponent.

Units that Really Benefit: Units with some form of Tough (Gorillinators, Hatomato Taro), Units with 3 defense (Valiant 4th Massachusetts Line, Wolves of Badru, Heavy Gruts) Units with Stealth Dodge (Krav Maga Agents, Deathwalker 7000), Units with Counterstrike (Izumi Samurai, Kozuke Samurai, Tagawa Samurai, Tagawa Samurai Archers, Charos) Units with Shields of Valor (Sentinels of Jandar)
Units that Don't Really Benefit: Very low defense units (Venoc Vipers, Isamu), Very high defense units (Deathwalker 9000, Major Q9)

Glyph of Valda

Valda provides a movement bonus of +2, which helps out well with army movement. As such, the glyph only really holds value in early game where both armies try to set up and claim the high ground. Mid to end game the value of this glyph drops considerably as units die or get engaged and movement becomes much less of a factor.

Because of its utility and moderate usefulness, Valda is popular with many tournament game pools. The glyph is very good with units that normally have low movement, like the Knights of Weston or Zettian Guards, allowing them to engage farther up or grab height, respectively. This glyph actually boasts hefty bonuses to all speeds of units, granting slow units more flexibility and transforming quick ones like the Venoc Vipers into absolute tempests.

However, this glyph doesn't make its area very contested at all. By the time a player reaches the opponent to take the glyph, the opponent will likely have stormed mid. A better course of action is usually just to continue to engage and adapt to the situation. Again, once units are engaged the value of this glyph decreases a bit.

Final Tips:
  • Units with disengage or stealth flying receive a more lasting benefit from this glyph. Cyprien and orcs come to mind.
  • The bonus can be subtle. Openings in the enemy lines can be exploited that much easier. Flanking attacks become more feasible, especially if the primary melee screen is tied up.
  • Units with flying become almost uncatchable when they receive the bonus from this glyph.
  • Ranged units become almost uncatchable. Firing whilst retreating renders most melee screens helpless against any reasonable ranged force.

Units that Really Benefit: Slow units (Zettian Guards, Obsidian Guards, Granite Guardians, Knights of Weston, Zombies of Morindan), Screens (Izumi Samurai, Deathreavers), Multiple movements per order marker units (Tarn Viking Warriors, Venoc Vipers, Aubrien Archers), Fast Units (Elite Onyx Vipers, Armoc Vipers, Cyprien Esenwein), Flying Units (Sentinels of Jandar, Minions of Utgar)
Units that Don't Really Benefit: Cheerleaders as they don't move often (Raelin, Taelord), Glyph holders (Deathreavers)

Glyph of Jalgard

The Glyph of Jalgard grants a very formidable +2 defense bonus to the entire army that holds it. Remember that Jalgard is like Gerda in that it will help the player whenever any unit is attacked. The +2 makes it very difficult to score any kills at all. Imagine a Raelin buffed squad of Izumi Samurai with Jalgard. 9 defense counterstriking screens are sure to be a headache. Deathreavers get an impressive 6 dice and a huge 8 when protected by Raelin.

The holder of Jalgard can win the battle by sheer force of attrition. Most tournaments won't host the glyph in their pools because of the huge advantage it gives to the player that holds it. Expect Jalgard to attract a lot of attention, perhaps even more than the middle of the map. However, grabbers become that much harder to kill, and in the case of deathreavers huge amounts of force need to be used to push anyone off the glyph.

The winner of the game will usually hold this glyph. Almost every other glyph with the exception of Thorian can be abandoned for this glyph. The combat advantage it grants is enormous, enough to be substantial for every figure. While Gerda's +1 seems laughable when applied to the Venoc Vipers, a swarm of 2 defense Vipers that can actually block a few hits is absolutely terrifying. High defense units get elevated to almost invincible status. High life heroes like Charos or Krug become mighty bastions of destruction.

Final Tips:
  • This glyph is extremely high priority. Attempts to capture it should almost always be top priority.
  • Because of the trend for action to flow towards this glyph, flanking attacks can actually be made through mid. However, the effectiveness of these flanks is mitigated by the fact that even sleeping enemy units will have the +2 defense if the opponent holds Jalgard.
  • This glyph particularly benefits units with counterstrike, stealth dodge and tough.

Units that Really Benefit: See Gerda, except add Low defense units (Venoc Vipers) because +2 is enough to consistently block some attacks.
Units that Don't Really Benefit: Spirit Units (Finn, Thorgrim, Eldgrim), Overextenders (Alastair, Eldgrim), Isamu

Glyph of Lodin

This glyph provides a +1 bonus to the 20 sided dice rolls of the player who wields it. While it does give a tiny bonus to initiative rolls, the glyph primarily boosts the chances of units that possess d20 based powers to actually activate their power!

While some game-changing abilities like Ne-Gok-Sa's Mind Shackle make it seem worthwhile to hold this glyph, in reality the glyph isn't likely to attract much attention. It's nice to hold it, but not essential. Competition for the glyph will likely be low, or even nonexistent if no D20 figures exist on the battlefield.

That said, even if a figure like Ne-Gok-Sa is running around, it's easier to just kill him than to try to take the glyph. The bonus is a token one that can be quite safely ignored. In the event that an army is running a very D20 heavy army (A Marro Stingers + Marro Hive combo comes to mind) then this glyph is worth securing and holding, but most of the time action will remain centered at the midpoint of the map.

Final Tips:
  • It's not the end of the world if you don't hold this glyph. However, some units really do benefit greatly from the bonus and this should be taken into account.
  • Don't forget the initiative bonus it grants you. Many players tend to forget that it helps with initiative as well.
  • This is a situational glyph that favors certain army builds. Keep in mind that if your opponent runs an army suited for Lodin he's likely to make a beeline for the glyph. Take this opportunity to counter his movements, nail some sleepers, or just get your units set up better at mid.
  • The bonus makes it that much more likely to survive lava, essentially doubling the chances of survival.
  • Note that this glyph makes the holder immune to the glyph of Mitonsoul, turning that one into a purely advantageous glyph for the player that hold Lodin.

Units that Really Benefit: Units with game-changing abilities that don't activate often (Ne-Gok-Sa, Kee-Mo-Shi), Units with neat abilities that also don't activate very often (Sacred Band, Deepwyrm Drow, Aubrien Archers, Venoc Vipers, Microcorp Agents), Units with abilities that can rarely backfire (Marro Stingers, Anubian Wolves, Marrden Hounds)
Units that Don't Really Benefit: Runa, Units with Mid Tier Abilities (Marro Hive), Units with one time only abilities (Atlaga the Kyrie Warrior, Airborne Elite)

Glyph of Rannveig

Similar to Lodin, Rannveig is a pretty situational glyph, only having an effect on flying units. While only useful if the opponent runs flying units, if this happens to be the case Rannveig can be fairly devastating to the movements of a player.

Due to it's situational nature, the glyph is a popular inclusion to the glyph pool of tournaments. If neither player fields many flyers, the glyph area will quickly become a dead zone, but if either side was to field flyers, like kyrie, Rannveig becomes a huge priority to have control of.

It's important to know two reasons as to why Rannveig can be so devastating. Generally, flying units have a low base movement stat on account of their flight. The Sentinels and the Minions are prime examples of this. Removing their flight renders them to a snail's pace, making it difficult for them to even reach the glyph of Rannveig before retaking it. Secondly, a player who fields flyers who wishes to prevent the effect from taking place cannot actually stand on the glyph. It takes effect regardless of who stands on it and its mighty power doesn't discriminate.

Final Tips:
  • Analyze both your and your opponent's army. Predict whether or not Rannveig can be a big factor in the game and adapt accordingly to the possibility of pulling this glyph before it is even revealed.
  • Grounded flyers lose the mobility that makes many of them great units. Take the chance to blast them with range while they are disabled. Because of this, usually it's a good idea to hold this glyph with some ranged support as well. It'll be a long walk over for these hapless flyers.

Units that are Particularly Crippled: Cyprien Esenwein, Sentinels of Jandar, Minions of Utgar, Protectors of Ullar, Wyvern)

Glyph of Strula

This glyph seems at first to have potential to be useful. It seems that the hope to resurrect a fallen hero or even unique squad figure makes this glyph worth taking even if the benefit could potentially apply to the opponent. However, due to the nature of the game glyphs are likely to be taken very early on in the game, meaning that there isn't usually much of anything for Strula to revive at all.

Compare Strula to it's opposite, Mitonsoul. Mitonsoul will likely cast its curse on a full army, statistically able to take down a unit on each side. Strula was a very low chance of reviving a unit, particularly because only one or two are dead at the time it is picked up. In all my years as a HeroScape player, I've only revived one unit: a single blade grut that I had run forward for laughs.

Even if Strula does something, expect the effect to be minimal. The glyph will render that portion of map strategically useless and thus the area should be vacated immediately.

Final Tips:
  • The effect of this glyph depends on the will of the D20 Goddess. Don't worry if it has any impact on the game at all. It shouldn't be strategically viable to rely on this one to do something amazing. Just view any effect it has for you as a small bit of awesomeness.
  • The dice roll can be boosted by Lodin.
  • The glyph has double the chance of activating compared to Mitonsoul. However, Mitonsoul usually has 5-10 times more figures to target.
  • Revived units can be placed in ANY start zone, including your opponent's. In the event that your opponent has sleepers sitting around in the start zone, don't be afraid to send in your revived unit. Any damage is good damage, and even if they go down, the distraction and damage caused is enough to present a tactical advantage.

Glyph of Thorian

This glyph is almost universally accepted as the overpowered glyph. It makes all normal ranged attacks impossible to execute and really only served to balance out the 3rd scenario in the Swarm of the Marro set to make it actually possible for Drake's team to win.

Simply taking into account that this is Sargent Drake Alexander's primary special ability and he by himself is worth 110 or 170 points, players should and do shudder at the idea of facing an entire army with this ability. Ranged opponents can fire with almost total impunity while melee units can advance without fear of being mowed down. I've personally yet to see a tournament that runs this glyph in its pool at all, because it almost guarantees victory to the holder.

Note that this is one glyph that actually favors armies that rely on special attackers. Special attacks still work regardless of whether or not anyone holds the glyph. Melee armies will be totally unaffected. For example, a zombie or viper army can totally ignore the glyph and just pound the opponent regardless.

However, if either army contains normal ranged attackers, as most inevitably will (4th Mass, 10th Reg, Blastatrons, Krav), this glyph becomes a must have. Middle sectors of maps may even be ignored in the mad dash for the glyph. The player that holds it can only be ousted by a melee attack. An opponent will have to go out of his way to send something to smash your unit sitting on Thorian.

Final Tips:
  • Be afraid. Be very afraid. Your normal ranged army has been effectively neutralized until you solve this problem, unless you're willing to have them engage (Tagawa Samurai Archers). The glyph limits your choices if in the hands of your opponents.
  • Most players won't see this glyph as it is considered overpowered, with good reason. I've never seen it in a tournament glyph pool.

Glyph of Proftaka

Proftaka adds the sense of randomness to the glyph pool, because it's the only one with a negative effect reserved for the player that gets it. It'll make the area of map it's in a dead zone because nothing in it's right mind would go out of its way to fall into a trap.

Besides that, it has relatively little impact on the game, and usually in the early game where there is a dash for glyphs. Once the trap is triggered this glyph basically becomes useless.

Final Tips:
  • Don't worry too much if you trigger the trap. If necessary, have another glyph grabber rescue the one that fell in. Otherwise, just leave it in the trap. Grabbers are usually expendable anyway.
  • It can leave a strategic opening for your opponent to quickly rush and destroy the figure in the trap. This most often applies to a player that opts to use Airborne Elite to quickly nab glyphs. Most cases, though, the player won't even bother with a rescue, so why should you bother to destroy the figure?
  • If somehow this glyph is triggered late game it can spell doom for the player, as that's one vulnerable figure that can easily be destroyed.
  • Sending pairs to grab glyphs effectively neutralizes any threats Proftaka has.

Glyph of Crevcor

This glyph grants an attack bonus to common figures. See strategy for Astrid, except realize that this glyph might have less impact because it affects a smaller pool of units while Astrid helps everyone.

Final Tips:
  • Once again, the Omnicron Snipers reap huge benefits from this glyph. Most bread and butter armies feature large numbers of commons anyway, with the heroes as cheerleaders or cleanup.
  • Your opponent may make the mistake of ignoring the glyph if he doesn't run many commons. Make him pay.
  • Combined with Astrid, this glyph can wreak substantially more havoc, with a +2 common attack power too substantial to safely ignore.

Units that Really Benefit: The common units listed in Astrid's.
Units that Don't Really Benefit: The unique units listed in Astrid's.

Glyph of Ulaniva

See the Glyph of Crevcor, except replace "common" with "unique". Note that this glyph may have even less impact than Crevcor as unique heroes often either have a substantial attack already or aren't meant to attack at all. Unique squads thus benefit the most, with above average stats and more normal attacks per turn.

Final Tips:
  • Remember that unique heroes only get 1 attack per order marker, because special attacks aren't affected by this glyph.
  • This glyph comes into it's own in the endgame, where cleanup units and unique squads show up to do battle.
  • Unique squads like the Krav Maga Agents and the Airborne Elite become devastating powerhouses when this glyph is under your control. However, Astrid can do what Ulaniva can do and more.

Units that Really Benefit: The unique units included in Astrid's.
Units that Don't Really Benefit: The common units included in Astrid's.

Glyph of Wannok

This ranks as one of my personal favorites, because of its strategic value, its subtlety, and its potential. This glyph is popular in many tournament pools and is a very potent force in the games it appears in.

What it does is that it gives a 95% chance of inflicting a single wound on an opponent after every round. On the 5% offchance that it fails, the glyph holder suffers the wound instead. When dealing with Wannok, some players like putting multi-life heroes on glyphs so they can sustain the wound while holding the glyph. Unless the holder is like Eldgrim that actually wants to die, then this is a sad waste of a hero. The chance of failure is fairly minimal and even then it's easier just to have a second glyph grabber sitting next to the first in the event of disaster.

1 wound a round doesn't seem very significant, especially when compared to the likes of other popular glyphs like astrid or gerda, but in a 12 round game that's usually about 12 wounds if the player holding the glyph is ignored for the entirety of the game. Overall, Wannok will deal quite a lot of damage.

It's important to think of it more with the mindset of a zombie army. The individuals in the army are very slow but the army as an entirety are very fast. Wannok deals relatively insignificant individual damage but on a whole the glyph cripples the oppositng army.

Note that your opponent chooses who to place the wound on. This means they can choose rebirthable Marro chilling in the start zone, the spiritual vikings, or even worse, Krug. In this case, it may be the best interests of a player to control the area of Wannok and not the glyph itself. Any invading rats can simply be sliced off the glyph, unlike for Rannveig. These observations indicate that it may be feasible to drop your own Viking onto the glyph in case of failure and that this will be a highly contested glyph, perhaps finishing off the viking in the process and granting its spirit. Nevertheless, this glyph will definitely be contested early on by any adept player and by any player once the end game is reached and only a few stragglers are left on the board.

Wannok really comes into its own in the endgame. It forces opponents to be aggressive lest they allow their units to slowly and surely die cowering on the other end of the map. Even if they do attempt offensive play, the glyph may take effect and finish them off anyway. The opponent will have a much harder time picking who to wound when not many remain.

Final Tips:
  • Expect the holder of Wannok to come under concentrated ranged fire at some point.
  • Wannok comes into its own end game, but the effect has mathematically equivalent magnitude early game. Capitalize on this fact.
  • Never under any circumstances hold Wannok with a high defense, low life hero like a Deathwalker.
  • Keep another glyph grabber and holder handy in case the current one succumbs.
  • See what your opponent chooses to wound. It gives insight on what he's thinking. If he selects a sqaud figure in the start zone, make note of which figure it is. He might be abandoning that squad to cannon fodder to utilize his others. If he opts against wounding a high life hero in the thick of it, that likely means he will try to make an attack with said hero.
  • Also pay attention to where on the map he makes his selection. The opponent is weakening that sector and leaving it open to attack. Those figures are more likely to be asleep at the beginning of the next round.
  • Don't be afraid to abandon the glyph if heavy artillery shows up. Use this time to have heavy hitters of your own deal more damage. Remember, it's one wound a round. Your figures can do so much more in a single order marker!
  • Make observations on the behavior of your opponent. Make sure not to make the same mistakes he does, as outlined above.
  • Sacrifice units that can either be revived or are expendable. Good examples would be the dregs of common squads, the last member of a unique squad, or a spirit viking.

Expendable Units to Sacrifice: Spirit Vikings (Finn, Thorgrim, Eldgrim), cheap screens (Deathreavers, etc.), High life heroes (Charos, Jotun), incomplete squad members, regenerating squad members (Zombies of Morindan, Marro with the Hive, heroes next to Ana Karithon or Kelda, Cyprien, Marcu)
Units to Avoid Sacrificing: Cheerleaders, High Defense Low Life heroes (Deathwalkers, Majors, Warden 816), unique squad members, figures in tactically good positions

Glyph of Oreld

Intercept Order is a glyph that has the most effect at the beginning of the game and fortunately will most likely be picked up and used at the beginning of the game. It has slightly higher than a 1/2 chance to remove an order marker from an opponent's army card.

This can potentially deny your opponent an important turn at the beginning and set them behind in development onto the board. Impact wanes progressively as the game goes on, however.

Note that not only is the chances of failure significant, there's a chance that the removed order marker will be the X dummy marker. Worse still, if picked up near the end of the round, the opponent may not even have an unused order marker to lose.

As such, the glyph simply grants the possibility for a tactical advantaged that should be built upon to continue momentum. Players shouldn't worry too much about this glyph and simply clear out once it's gone, much like the case with almost every other temporary glyph.

Final Tips:
  • Pick a figure that you don't want moving at the beginning. Even if the marker removed was the X, that means that they weren't going to move it in the first place.
  • Build momentum that this glyph gives you to have a significant advantage later on. One marker can mean the difference between getting height or grabbing another glyph and being rudely denied bonuses.

Glyph of Nilrend

The glyph of Nilrend has a lot of potential. It costs no points or order markers, unlike Morsbane, and even has a better chance of negating an enemy. Plus, it can be on any enemy on the field, with the possible exception of the Airborne Elite if undropped.

Chances are, your opponent has some sort of unique squad or hero. Of course, only the best tend to make it into armies, and these should logically be targeted as soon as possible. Many heroes and squads become average or even below average once negated. Units with low base stats should be targeted first. Good targets for this glyph will be given below. Depending on the target, a successful negation could singlehandedly determine the outcome.

Keep in mind that the glyph does have a 1 out of 5 chance of failing. It's okay to feel disappointed by a miss but at least your unique figures are safe! Regardless of whether or not a unit is negated, once the glyph is used there's no point in staying in that area, so be sure to clear out.

Final Tips:
  • Negate expensive units or units that gain most of their value from their abilities.
  • Even if no such unit presents itself, at the very least your uniques won't be targeted.
  • A successful negation can be a psychological downer for your opponent. Take advantage of this by paying closer attention to potential tactical blunders.

Good Units to Negate: Krug, Syvaris, Deadeye Dan, Raelin, Taelord, Braxas, Nilfheim, Krav Maga Agents, Grimnak, Elves, Flagbearers, Samurai, Cyprien Esenwein, Sargent Drake Alexander, Mimring
Bad Units to Negate: Jotun, Dropped Airborne Elite, Venoc Warlord, Ne-Gok-Sa

It's quite a lot but you don't have to read it all in one go. Feedback and additional strats are welcome!

Thanks for reading.

Last edited by fireemblemrox; October 29th, 2014 at 01:08 AM. Reason: Hadn't finished!
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Old April 7th, 2013, 12:43 AM
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Re: Normal Glyphs and Their Effective Impacts: An Analysis

Whoops, I meant to press the "Preview post" button. I'm not quite finished, yet. :P
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Old April 7th, 2013, 11:43 AM
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Re: The Impact of Glyphs: In Depth Analysis and Tips. DT!

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Originally Posted by fireemblemrox View Post
THIS POST WILL BE FINISHED TOMORROW. I'M OFF TO BED.



Glyph of Dagmar

This is another popular glyph for glyph pools, granting a neat but not game-breaking advantage. Providing a +8 initiative advantage, essentially the glyph significantly raises your chances of winning initiative, guaranteeing it if the player rolls a 13 or higher.



It's quite a lot but you don't have to read it all in one go. Feedback and additional strats are welcome!
This has been a good read so far, but just for the sake of accuracy that statement isn't entirely true if your playing Capuans or Morgrim who I believe give a plus 3 to initiative, in which case a 16 would be needed to guarantee initiative.
Great job for taking the time to write this, I'm enjoying it so far.

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Old April 7th, 2013, 12:48 PM
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Re: The Impact of Glyphs: In Depth Analysis and Tips. DT!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crixus33 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by fireemblemrox View Post
THIS POST WILL BE FINISHED TOMORROW. I'M OFF TO BED.



Glyph of Dagmar

This is another popular glyph for glyph pools, granting a neat but not game-breaking advantage. Providing a +8 initiative advantage, essentially the glyph significantly raises your chances of winning initiative, guaranteeing it if the player rolls a 13 or higher.



It's quite a lot but you don't have to read it all in one go. Feedback and additional strats are welcome!
This has been a good read so far, but just for the sake of accuracy that statement isn't entirely true if your playing Capuans or Morgrim who I believe give a plus 3 to initiative, in which case a 16 would be needed to guarantee initiative.
Great job for taking the time to write this, I'm enjoying it so far.
You're absolutely right. I'll add "virtually". Thanks for the catch! Glad you're enjoying the article.
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Old April 7th, 2013, 12:53 PM
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Re: The Impact of Glyphs: In Depth Analysis and Tips. DT!

Looking forward to conclusion of your article. Very well done thus far!


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Old April 7th, 2013, 01:29 PM
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Re: The Impact of Glyphs: In Depth Analysis and Tips. DT!

Excellent article, the Dagmar section is especially good. I learned some things!
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Old April 7th, 2013, 07:22 PM
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Re: The Impact of Glyphs: In Depth Analysis and Tips.

All done and wrapped up.
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Old April 7th, 2013, 09:06 PM
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Re: The Impact of Glyphs: In Depth Analysis and Tips.

Glad that this is finished! I very much enjoyed this and I was able to take a lot of knowledge away from this.
The only thing I don't entirely agree with (and this is nit-picky) is that valda is very much so useful during mid-game especially if your opponent is either out strategizing you or just has really hot dice and has destroyed most of your forces that have moved up, it allows you to bring reinforcements up faster and potentially save yourself from having to make up ground later. Even if you aren't being completely devastated where the battle is raging you are probably sustaining some losses, but since you have valda you can resupply the lines quicker allowing you to keep pushing the opponent back.

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Last edited by Crixus33; April 7th, 2013 at 09:10 PM. Reason: If I'm being annoying with my critiquing, I apologize
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Old April 7th, 2013, 09:40 PM
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Re: The Impact of Glyphs: In Depth Analysis and Tips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crixus33 View Post
Glad that this is finished! I very much enjoyed this and I was able to take a lot of knowledge away from this.
The only thing I don't entirely agree with (and this is nit-picky) is that valda is very much so useful during mid-game especially if your opponent is either out strategizing you or just has really hot dice and has destroyed most of your forces that have moved up, it allows you to bring reinforcements up faster and potentially save yourself from having to make up ground later. Even if you aren't being completely devastated where the battle is raging you are probably sustaining some losses, but since you have valda you can resupply the lines quicker allowing you to keep pushing the opponent back.
You're not being annoying at all, in reply to your edit reason.

I actually never really considered this, it's a very valid point.
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