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Old September 5th, 2007, 11:31 AM
rai12 rai12 is offline
 
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Unit Strategy Review: How to use the Dumutef Guard

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Unit Strategy Review
Unit: Dumutef Guard
Author: Rai12 (w/ extensive collaboration with the Strategy Review Authors)

Often relegated to the role of “Filler Unit” the menacing look of the Dumutef Guard sculpt has always been considered the only part of him that is intimidating. His battlefield performance has always left something to be desired. I believe that this is primarily due to our perception of this misunderstood character. Perhaps he is not as dim-witted and useless as his name would suggest.

Let’s begin with his base stats:.

Analyzed Statistics:
Cost – 25 - Bishop Class
Size – Large - Safe/ Ill-concealable
Life – 1 - Brittle
Move – 6 - Fast
Range – 1 – Melee
Attack – 4 - Above Average
Defense – 4 - Average
Road Strength: +1 Attack and Defense while on a road space. - Medium Tactical Advantage
Devourer Attack Enhancement: Adjacent Friendly Devourers receive +1 Attack. - Low Tactical Advantage

In-depth Analysis:
We shall now look carefully at The Dumutef Guard's 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:
At first glance the Dumutef Guard would appear to be a Pawn. His cost of 25 points, which automatically raises the “Filler Unit” flag, would typically classify him as a Pawn. It is the versatility of its tactical and support abilities that make this unit a Bishop. With the right army and the proper strategy the Dumutef Guard can fulfill his full potential as a Bishop class unit. His Road Strength ability can make him an imposing melee threat on his own. This, combined with his Devourer Attack Enhancement, makes him a very dependable support unit for his point cost. He is a unit that will not fit perfectly into every army, though he does have his niche.

To examine the Dumutef Guard’s core stats, we will break them up into two categories – offensive ability and survivability. We will start with his offense.

Offense:
A Dumutef Guard has a base attack of four, and a threat range of 7 (6 movement + 1 range). This makes him a decent melee threat when attacking most characters and with his threat range of seven space he has first strike capabilities against the slower moving melee units. The Dumutef Guard's strength in the field comes from his ability to benefit from other units in your army and the terrain of the map. Every Dumutef Guard gains an extra attack die if he is standing on at least one road space, but remember that this does not include castle tiles. He can also gain an extra attack die from Khosumet and his Relentless Assault ability; combined, this can raise his assault to a deadly attack of six. Another aspect of his offensive strength is his ability to increase any adjacent devourers' attack by one, which can benefit the Shades of Bleakwoode, Marcu Esenwein, the Anubian Wolves and the Rechets of Bogdan. The preferred choice of companions would be the Anubian Wolves with Khosumet the Darklord. The Shades are not an offensive threat, Marcu will, in all likelihood, betray his Dumutef Guard companion, and the Rechets are actually more effective with the lower attack. Another offensive facet of the Dumutef Guard is his Guard Class, which can receive a movement bonus from Warden 816. This gives the Dumutef Guard a potential movement rate of seven (or ten on a road), making him a very maneuverable unit that can delivery a dangerous attack. His double space base gives him a slight movement advantage in crossing water, though not in climbing or narrow passes. It also contributes to his primary task as discussed below.


Survivability:
With a life of only one Dumutef Guard may seem a little delicate, especially compared to his menacing appearance. His defense of four (five on a road space) slightly makes up for his life deficiency, but he is not built to stand up to the assault of a fierce melee hero, though he should be able to withstand a few standard range attacks of three, or the normal attacks of most pawn units. His low life means that he will eventually fall to a full squad assault--he is definitely not built for a one man assault on the enemy front rank. Due to this fact the Dumutef Guard requires a little finesse when maneuvering on the field.

His large size and very nature prohibit him from finding good cover from ranged units, but being a Large unit he is immune to a wide range of special attacks that smaller units are susceptible to, such as: Chomp, Engagement Strike 15, Whip, Poisonous Acid Breath, Cyberclaw, Throw, Ullar Enhanced Rifle, Lethal Sting, Zombies Rise Again & Net Trip 14. His common status gives him a few more immunities from the likes of: Soul Devour, Mind Shackle 19 & 20, Rod of Negation and as a Hero he is tougher to eliminate with Stare of Stone.

Strategy:
The first strategic point in using a Dumutef Guard is in making the decision to use him. Don't draft him as a point filler. A filler unit is a stand alone figure, while he should be selected with other units that complement him or benefit from his presence. The typical “Filler Unit” tactic consists of a heroic charge into the middle of the field on the first round and is a waste of Dumutef Guard's talents. Perhaps he will make his 25 point contribution to your army, more than likely he dies without any of his potential being realized. The Dumutef Guard is a unit that requires a pre-determined strategy to be effective.

The other pre-draft consideration is that if you are playing a map with no roads you automatically lose a potential 25% bonus to Dumutef Guard's attack and defense rolls. You should definitely consider another unit on this type of map unless you are planning on using him solely as a support unit for his Devourer Attack Enhancement.

The Dumutef Guard fits nicely in an army focusing either on his relentless personality or his Devourer Attack Enhancement, though his base stats and low cost make him a legitimate choice for any army. If your style is to move your units in slow moving, tight formations around Raelin use the Dumutef Guard to fill out your army. It is always a good idea to draft two or three Dumutef Guards, since he is common and will typically fall when the battle comes to him or he is actively engaged for more than a round or two.

Any army you build around the Dumutef Guard will definately be an assault army. Focus on eliminating your enemy by the sheer force of your attack. To use him effectively your troops will need to maneuver in tight formations. Oddly enough, the Dumutef should not be used as an assault unit unless the right opportunity presents itself. If you build a relentless or devourer army, for example, the Dumutef Guard will more than likely be the character with the highest defense in your army, excluding the Minions of Utgar. This type of army will benifit from some hardy ranged units, such as the Krav Maga or Nakita Agents.

To use a Dumutef Guard effectively he must be used as a lead unit. His job is to protect your higher valued units and set up the attacks that will decimate your opponents forces. The Dumutef Guard should be sent out in front of your main force. This maneuver should be completed in a way that makes your opponent think that you are planning the typical “filler unit” death charge. Move him out and position him in the middle of a road that leads towards your forces. Since most roadways are one or two spaces a single Dumutef Guard should be able to block passage on the road. This positioning forces enemy units to stop and fight where you want them to. The Dumutef Guard is built perfectly for this type of strategic positioning, due to his double space base, Road Strength, and low point cost.

Any units with disengage may obviously bypass a Dumutef Guard, but this at least forces them off the road and they lose the movement bonus. As an added bonus, the Dumutef will get a free attack, although this plan obviously does not work with any unit with Ghost Walk. Once your Dumutef Guard(s) are in position it is imperative that you position the remaining units of your army in range. This way, once a Dumutef Guard becomes engaged, possibly eliminated, your assault forces (The Anubian Wolves, Minions of Utgar, Shades of Bleakwoode, etc.) are in position to retaliate.

If your opponent chooses not to engage you, and instead starts to line up ranged units to take out a Dumutef Guard or your other units, then you can rely on his mobility. With a movement of six, seven with Warden 816 in play, for a possible total movement of ten on a road, the Dumutef Guard can close in on most ranged figures once he is in range to be attacked. Just by forcing the enemy to position his troops to respond to the threat that a Dumutef Guard presents has made the decision to utilize him well worth it.

If played correctly, a Dumutef Guard will give you control of the battlesite, forcing the enemy to engage you where you want. From a completely cynical point of view, making the enemy waste two or three attacks on a 25 point unit definitely adds value to your army and it is exactly this fact that makes the Dumutef Guard a Bishop. Compared to other low cost units, the Dumutef Guard is more reliable than Isamu or Marcu Esenwein, more versatile than the Deathreavers or Kyntela Gynn, and more durable than the Swog Rider or Guilty McCreech.

The other thing that makes the Dumutef Guard a Bishop and not a simple Pawon is the The Devourer Attack Enhancement, which can be a valuable bonus to the right army.

Due to the fact that there are no units that have bonding with the Dumutef Guards they require well planned, methodical maneuvering to take full advantage of this ability. A Dumutef Guard will have to be in position before you advance and attack with the Dumutef-enhanced melee units. Luckily, all of the units that the Dumutef Guard can enhance are fast units: Anubian Wolves, the Shades of Bleakwoode, and Marcu Esenwein. With the blocking maneuver described above you would place a Dumutef in the same position, and then advance your melee squads in to the front line, adjacent to the Dumutef Guard (I will describe specific unit maneuvering further below). The key to taking full advantage of the Dumutef Guard’s Devourer Attack Enhancement is to find the perfect position on the map to establish your forward battle line. This could be in the middle of a road or at a strategic elevated position that your opponent will want to establish his ranged units on. Of course, an elevated road position would work best for the Dumutef Guard since Road Strength is a special ability, not a special attack. When utilizing the Dumutef Guard for his Devourer Attack Enhancement ability you will want to recruit multiples of them, due to their low survival rate. This will also give you the versitality to activate any Dumutef Guard that you control when an order marker is them. Having multiple Dumutef Guards active and in a forward position will keep your opponent guessing as to what you are planning.

If treated with a little respect and given a chance to show his worth the Dumutef Guard can be an effective part of any army. He is a very versatile unit and can easily adapt to any situation that may arise when two armies collide. He is durable enough to be the focal point of the battle for a few turns; he is quick enough and strong enough to greatly disrupt key units of your opponents army. He can be your assault unit that pushes the battle lines deeper into the opposing territory allowing you to gain a better position on the battlefield; he can be the defensive tank that your opponent wastes precious attacks on. Oh, and he can also be the support unit for a Devourer type army. It is this obvious versatility that your opponent must respond to when planning his attacks. The more attacks and maneuvers that you can get your opponent to waste on a Dumutef Guard the better--these are all attacks that are not damaging your key figures.

Optional Strategy
Unit Maneuvering Example 1: “Decoy”
The standard maneuvering I use when working with a Relentless army is as follows: move a Dumutef Guard into his first blocking position, restricting land access to your main army. Bring Khosumet into position directly behind the Dumutef Guard so that the Dumutef Guard gains the adjacent attack bonus. After this, position the Minions of Utgar within four spaces of the Dumutef Guard, and position your ranged units to protect your flanks. Continue advancing your units until engagement occurs or an opportunity opens up (this can work especially well with multiple Dumutef Guards). If your opponent targets a Dumutef Guard with his melee troops let him fight it out--he should inflict some casualties on your enemy's forces. Once he falls, the Minions are in position to fly in and replace him in the melee and, benefitting from the Relentless Assault bonus from Khosumet, the Minions should be able to eliminate what is remaining of your opponent's first assault. This is particularly effective against high life, mid-level defense heroes, of which there are several.

If your opponent bypasses the Dumutef Guard and goes directly for Khosumet be prepared to send the Minions in early to quickly dispose of any units adjacent to Khosumet.

Unit Maneuvering Example 2: “Bait and Switch”
This example has yet to be tested, but I think it has some merit. First position a Dumutef Guard as described above. Next, position the Shades of Bleakwoode adjacent to the Dumutef Guard to establish your front line. This position will actually give the Shades a respectable attack of three. It will also encourage your opponent to send in squad units to eliminate the Shades of Bleakwoode rather than risk their Soul Devour, after all, even a 10% chance of losing a unique Hero is too high to risk when attempted two or three times a turn. Once the Shades become engaged with the enemies' squads utilize their Stealth Flight ability to position behind the enemy line, while keeping the enemy units engaged. Attack or try to Soul Devour. Any squad units that survive will be forced to attack the Shade or take an engagement strike if they advance on the Dumutef Guard. Your next turn marker should be on the Anubian Wolves: move them into position between your Dumutef Guard and the enemy's remaining front line and eliminate all remaining troops with the Anubian Wolves’ boosted attack. There is a 65% chance that the Anubian Wolves’ boosted attack will be between three and five, and a 25% chance--30% with Khosumet--that it will be six or ten. Once you decimate your opponents first wave squad troop he should send in his unique Heros to retaliate. Keep the Shades of Bleakwoode in the front position to respond.

Units to Avoid:
In any of the strategies listed above you should avoid Agent Carr, Ninjas of the North Wind, Isamu and Shiori due to their Ghostwalk/ Phantom Walk abilities. The strategy is also less effective against armies heavy with flying units, especially with Stealth Flying. Ranged units are always a threat to a Dumutef Guard. Remember, the Dumutef Guard is not a unit that you should spend all game trying to protect. He has his duties, and sometimes that is to die in battle so that his fellow units can prevail. He will fall quickly to the barrage of most squad units. He cannot go toe to toe with any strong melee hero. However, he can be used tie up the squads or Heros, and cause some damage, while you maneuver your higher cost units to perform the final assault.


For additional information see the Book of The Dumutef Guard

Last edited by Malechi; June 5th, 2008 at 03:15 PM. Reason: Changed contact info
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  #2  
Old September 5th, 2007, 11:47 AM
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Thank you I have been waiting for a while for this strategy. I would also like to see one for the Ashigaru Harquebus and Ashigaru Yari because they seem like a waste of points.

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Old September 5th, 2007, 02:25 PM
Baconsteak Baconsteak is offline
 
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Another great strategy analysis!

I really like adding some dumatefs to varations of "horror" themed Utgar armies. By that I mean combinations of zombies, anubian wolves, shades, vampires and sometimes minions. They work great for lots of other reasons also but another fun set up is to use the Dumatef to block lines of sight to your zombies heads. He's so bulky it could at least make your enemies shuffle around a bit if they want to pick off zombies at range.

I remember reading something like that in a post here a while back, forget who mentioned it, but it can come in handy sometimes when you need to cross some open area with the zombie hoard... it might protect a few here and there.
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Old September 5th, 2007, 04:08 PM
jcb231 jcb231 is offline
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Good work. I find thouhg, that the Dumutef can also be used as a last-wave attacker. He is usually best used in the first wave as you describe, but I have had considerable success using him and his common brothers to "clean up" in the late game, given his high attack/defense values for the cost. Sometimes poor planning on the part of the opponent (or good fighting on your part) will leave him without a heavy hitter in the late game....that will make it hard for him to crack a tough road defense.
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Old September 5th, 2007, 04:16 PM
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Awesome rai12! I love reading these articles, very helpful.
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Old September 5th, 2007, 04:20 PM
bluekitsune13 bluekitsune13 is offline
 
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Very well thought out indeed. I'm starting to think the the Dumutef guard is being outclassed by other low cost heroes, but I think that I do see potential in him to reek havoc.

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Old September 5th, 2007, 05:14 PM
Madd_Mugsy Madd_Mugsy is offline
 
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Quote:
Every Dumutef Guard gains an extra attack die if he is standing on at least one road space, but remember that this does not include castle tiles.
Pardon my ignorance, but where does it say that castle tiles != road tiles? They use the same mold and colour scheme, but they're not the same?

This is the first I've heard of castle tiles not granting the bonus. I didn't see anything about it in the Book of Dumutef or the FAQ (but maybe I'm blind). Am I the only one confused about this?

Otherwise very good
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Old September 5th, 2007, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madd_Mugsy
Pardon my ignorance, but where does it say that castle tiles != road tiles? They use the same mold and colour scheme, but they're not the same?
That is the official ruling. I am not really aware of anyone who actually makes the distinction though.

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Old September 5th, 2007, 05:56 PM
ArcturusII ArcturusII is offline
 
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Re: Unit Strategy Review: How to use the Dumutef Guard

Quote:
Originally Posted by rai12
The first strategic point in using a Dumutef Guard is in making the decision to use him. Don't draft him as a point filler.
Unless you plan on drafting multiple copies of Dumutef, he really is a point filler, though not necessarily the best one for his cost.

At 25 points, Dumutef can be compared with the Swog Rider, Marcu Esenwein, and Kyntela Gwyn. If you have an extra 5 points to spare, then you can also consider Guilty McCreech and Eldgrim.

Compared to the Swog, Dumutef is stronger but slower. Compared to Marcu, Dumutef is more reliable (though I would usually choose Marcu over Dumutef). Compared to Kyntela, Dumutef is probably superior unless you have many elves in your army.

Guilty is probably better than Dumutef in most situations, while Eldgrim is probably better if you have Human Champion Bonding or you plan on sacrificing him for the movement bonus.

If you already are playing with Warden 816, the bonus movement will come in handy, making Dumutef a decent value.

For 25 points, Dumutef is all right. Most maps I play with feature roads, so I can draft him with a reasonable expectation that he will be able to get his road bonus. However, he will rarely make the difference between victory and defeat.

The Devourer Enhancement looks good on paper, but to take advantage of it, you not only have to burn order markers on the Dumutef to get him into position, but you also have to maneuver your Devourers to adjacent spaces, and since all Devourers are non-ranged figures, you need to make sure your target is also within one space of the Dumutef. Not a very likely scenario to occur in the heat of battle.

While it may be possible to draft multiple copies of Dumutef in order to preserve order markers when one of them dies, you then need to ask yourself if you wouldn't be better off with a squad of Marro Warriors instead for the same 50 points.

I do believe that the Dumutef has uses. In the "Road to the Forgotten Forest" scenarios, Dumutef starts off on a road with height advantage. That adds up to 6 attack and 6 defense, and potentially 9 movement. For 25 points, that is a very good value.

If your map features roads that are also choke points, Dumutef can be a cheap blocking figure that will slow down an enemy advance while you get your own figures into position. But even then, it's hard to justify spending turn markers on the Dumutef when you have other, more effective units available.

But, for 25 points, what do you expect? I would definitely rate Dumutef as a "Pawn."
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Old September 5th, 2007, 06:16 PM
GameBear GameBear is offline
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From the FA rulebook:
Quote:
Using Wall Walk Tiles as Road Tiles: When Wall Walks are not supported by Fortress Walls, ... The Wall Walks then become Road Tiles in your battlefield.
So if the tile is supported by a Fortress Wall, it is a Wall Walk; otherwise, it is a Road. A Dumutef Guard on top of a Fortress Wall, then, would not benefit from Road Strength.
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Old September 5th, 2007, 07:05 PM
rai12 rai12 is offline
 
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Re: Unit Strategy Review: How to use the Dumutef Guard

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcturusII
But, for 25 points, what do you expect? I would definitely rate Dumutef as a "Pawn."
I agree that a lot of time the Dumutef Guard will be a Pawn class character. It is his support role in the strategies outlined in the reveiw that justify his Bishop clasification. His attack enhancement for your assault units makes him a valuable component of your army. He is definately expendable, but you want to keep him around long enough enhance the enough attacks to cause your opponent some damage.

The Dumutef Guard is definately a tough unit to get the full potential out of. I have had some battles that he has performed his tasks well, and others that he came up short. Hopefully the strategies above will inspire someone to try the Dumutef Guard, and put him to the test.
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Old September 5th, 2007, 07:39 PM
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don't forget that he is a common hero meaning you can have more then one, which is big difference when compared with the other so called filler heros.

So you can field a couple of them and then instead of your opponent wasting his time trying to kill the big snuggly wuggley, hes also gotta figure out which one can be striking because when you field multiples your threat capability definitely goes up.

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