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joshuaslater

Spy and Scrye

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The SA Spy, and the Spell, Scrye, are both about control of the initiative deck in Warlord. So far, I've only got a grip on using Spy for deployment, which delays me putting down a troop and lets me have some better tactics on the battlefield.

 

I don't have a grip on Spy after the deployment phase, or Scrye.

 

Can any of you Warlord experts give me some insight on the use of these two things in the course of gameplay?

 

Thanks for your patience in my many questions on the game, and I am learning, albeit slowly.

 

It will prolly be another week to ten days before my next game, so any help is appreciated.

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Spy was used during Deployment in the old version of Warlord. That is no longer true in Warlord 2. It is now only used during the game as part of the Initiative passes.

 

Use of Spies are a calculated risk.They are best held for when the remaining cards in the deck are very lopsided in your favor, but the wrong card comes up (be it your card when you want the opponent to go, or your opponent's card when you want to go). Here are two game examples of where a Spy would come in handy.

 

Initiative pass 1 of the game. There are two cards remaining in the deck, one from each side. You have been holding your archery-heavy unit to last, waiting for targets to come in range. Your card comes up instead. Spy it, make your opponent move his last troop, then engage with your archery unit.

 

Initiative pass 2 of the game. Your total card count is higher than your opponents (4-3), plus you have Tacticians where he does not, so you out-number his cards in the deck 6-3. However, his card comes up first; the remaining cards in the deck at 6-2, meaning the odds of another of his cards coming up is highly unlikely. Spying his card to get off an early Round 2 strike would be useful.

 

Of course, the spy is a two-edged sword. If you Spy, and another of your opponent's cards come up, you've just handed him back-to-back activations with the *knowledge* that he has them. This can be very bad, in the wrong situation.

 

~v

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I actually laughed out loud!! We bought into Warlord in the first edition, which is why we played that wrong in this edition. D'oh!!

 

My friend Dalton moved an Orc Spearman into attacking from reach last night, but it was a move from Chronopia, and not Warlord, so we had to move him to another spot.

 

We're still learning the game, and I can see Spy being a gamble if you know the odds of how many cards are remaining in the deck, but I'm still keeping track of all the SAs and my Faction Doctrine!!

 

We may continue to use Spy to delay putting a troop down during deployment, just 'cause it's cool.

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The best way to control the deck during Deployment is through the use of Summoned solos. This allows you to minimize the number of cards in your Deployment deck, hopefully forcing the opponent to have to deploy at least some of his force before you have to. It also means that he is likely to have to move more/first in Round 1, setting him up for you to take some offensive actions against him at the end of the Round, especially with spells and ranged attacks. By bringing those solos on to the table via Summoning late in Round 1, plus bringing some Tacticians and Spies, your card-count in the deck dramatically increases for Round 2, setting you up to go right back on the offensive at the beginning of the Round. This "flip" of consecutive activations at the end of one Round and the beginning of the next can be devastating when executed properly (see my recent post in the O'lords thread).

 

~v

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Another point about Spy is that it is not persistant if the Spy model gets taken out of action. Several times I've held the Spy ability back only to have the model get whacked before it could use the ability. This is somewhat more obvious with Scrye, I suppose :rolleyes:

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This is an excellent point. I have to be mindful of this, especially when playing O'lords, since I end up with so many spies, and can use them in 2 different ways. I generally make sure I use up the spies that are most likely to see combat action early, followed by fragile models. The same tactic applies to getting rid of Tacticians, and removing the opponent's WA from the game early on.

 

~v

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I love Spy and learning to use it can really make the difference. For example with my Darkspawn build I have 4 troops, during deployment I declare that all but one is summoned. Now that put 1 card in the deck and most armies average 4-5 troops. This almost guarantees that I’ll deploy near last.

 

Warlord, I feel, rewards later activations in the early turns and earlier activation in the later turns. If you can, control this by low card count at first and then even up the card count by turn 3 and you’ll be golden. Then I use Spy in the end phases of the game. My goal is to punish people for taking tacticians, or neutralizing the advantage that tactician provides.

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It's got me thinking of how to slow play a game. I haven't used it yet, but my latest force has a few models with Spy, so I want to learn it.

 

Thanks again for the discussion.

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It's got me thinking of how to slow play a game. I haven't used it yet, but my latest force has a few models with Spy, so I want to learn it.

 

Thanks again for the discussion.

 

I don't think you mean "slow play." Slow play is a tournament term which means to let the clock defeat your opponent instead of actually playing the game. It is a very insidious way to cheat because it is easier to pretend that you're not doing this.

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My goal is to punish people for taking tacticians, or neutralizing the advantage that tactician provides.

 

Not sure that this actually works, at least in the case of the former, unless the player has a poor understanding of how Tacticians work. You are always free to add or remove any or all of the Tacticians that are part of your list from the Initiative Deck at the beginning of each round of the game. I typically withhold mine in Turn 1 (rarely in to turn 2, unless the game is moving slowly), after which I'm all in for the rest of the game. Rarely is there a case late-game where I want to pull my Tacticians back out (I can think of some very specific situations, but they are rare).

 

~v

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Maybe I'm using the wrong term, but I'm not talking about slowing the game down, or cheating in any way.

 

If you have a fantasy army that has an initiative disadvantage, like my Snakes on a Plane force, with three or four cards, and you're playing an opponent with more cards, you need to able to formulate a strategy that counters this.

 

I used the term "slow play" from a Chronopia army I have. It has low Leadership, so it will win the initiative less than other armies. I compensate by having models with speed and concentrating my fewer activations with that.

 

My snakes, couatls, and raptors have great speed, so I'm learning to play them to that advantage, while not having tactitians in the force.

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My goal is to punish people for taking tacticians, or neutralizing the advantage that tactician provides.

 

Not sure that this actually works, at least in the case of the former, unless the player has a poor understanding of how Tacticians work. You are always free to add or remove any or all of the Tacticians that are part of your list from the Initiative Deck at the beginning of each round of the game. I typically withhold mine in Turn 1 (rarely in to turn 2, unless the game is moving slowly), after which I'm all in for the rest of the game. Rarely is there a case late-game where I want to pull my Tacticians back out (I can think of some very specific situations, but they are rare).

 

~v

 

My experience has been most people don't think about what adding the Tactician(s) card(s) to the deck will do. That's what I mean by punish. No particular reward exists to going first. I build around ignoring the initiative deck. You charged first? Great! We're in melee (if we didn't wipe each other out on your activation) and now I get to use all those sweet +1 powerups built into the game to finish this dance. I've found dominating speed, magic, and melee to be far more valuable than shooting and initiative.

 

Maybe I'm using the wrong term, but I'm not talking about slowing the game down, or cheating in any way.

 

If you have a fantasy army that has an initiative disadvantage, like my Snakes on a Plane force, with three or four cards, and you're playing an opponent with more cards, you need to able to formulate a strategy that counters this.

 

I used the term "slow play" from a Chronopia army I have. It has low Leadership, so it will win the initiative less than other armies. I compensate by having models with speed and concentrating my fewer activations with that.

 

My snakes, couatls, and raptors have great speed, so I'm learning to play them to that advantage, while not having tactitians in the force.

 

Which is why I said, "I don't think you mean 'slow play.'"

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I've only been playing with one opponent, but he sure does understand Tactician. As for going first, there is a tremendous advantage in that you can set up your troops in a formation to maximize a gang up bonus and supporting spears, inspire, and any number of effects which add up to more than just one model focusing. Using missile troops to shoot first also brings down the defender a damage track or two. Many models are taken out before they get to activate.

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If you're playing on a featureless plain then you're right. However on a table with 25%-50% terrain, the tables are turned. You see where he is going, where the missle troops are, etc. Now you avoid the missle troops or give them at most a single turn of shots, which he will, in all likelyhood, miss because he needs an 8+ to hit you. I hate missile troops in this game. They are a massive waste of points. Especially with armies that can be across the table on turn one starting on their board edge and the number of ways to mitigate missile effects. I prefer units that are harder to hit and hit harder in combat. Archers don't win this game anymore.

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