Thursday, November 3, 2016

Diplomatic Units in Illy

Running a military city is an act of fine balancing between various needs. In addition to building troops a player has to pick and choose which diplomatic units to build and how many. Here, I will try to give a breakdown of diplo units by race and their strengths and weaknesses. This post should be taken with a grain of salt, as the success of your diplomatic units depends first and foremost on what your opponent is building.

Humans

Humans have the most well-balanced diplo units. Speed, attack, and defense skills place all of their T2 units in the top or middle of the pack. Human assassins and spies are the strongest of all races.

Elves

Elves outdo all the other races on the speed of units. Also, elves are kings of scouting, being both fastest and strongest on attack and defense, which makes them critical for running fast scout operations. Elf thieves are the weakest, lacking in strong attack/defense and good carry abilities.

Orcs

Like humans, orcs have overall robust diplo units, and their thieves and saboteurs are outstanding. Both orc T1 and T2 thieves have a very high carry capacity. With the increased warehouse size, orcs are the only race for which you can build a city that is capable of emptying a warehouse in a single trip and not have negative gold upkeep on the thief army.

Dwarves

Dwarves have really ended up with the short end of the stick - their diplomatic units are slow and have middling to poor performance. While dwarf thieves have high attack, their low speed and carry capacity make them much less useful than human or orc thieves. That said, dwarf diplo armies may still end up winning a lot of times, even if they are not as efficient as the other races.

 

Summary of diplo units

Race
Type
Name
Visibility
Speed
Attack
Defense
Carry
Scouts
Human
T1
Scout
1.9
17
15
17


T2
Ranger
4.1
22
34
28

Elf
T1
Tracker
1.6
22
18
20


T2
Outrider
2.8
30
40
36

Orc
T1
Hunter
2.9
18
15
17


T2
Stalker
4
20
36
30

Dwarf
T1
Sentry
1.7
14
14
17


T2
Watcher
4.4
18
33
31

Thieves
Human
T1
Burglar

15
15
16
59

T2
Master Thief

22
38
30
64
Elf
T1
Rogue

19
14
17
50

T2
Dark Elf

25
31
29
54
Orc
T1
Goblin Cutpurse

17
14
18
71

T2
Plunderer

20
34
28
76
Dwarf
T1
Footpad

14
18
20
57

T2
Halfling

16
39
36
60
Assassins
Human
T1
Cuttrhoat

16
18
18


T2
Assassin

22
39
35

Elf
T1
Willowblade

18
15
17


T2
Night Shade

24
34
30

Orc
T1
Poisoner

17
15
17


T2
Iqadron Acolyte

19
36
30

Dwarf
T1
Executioner

14
14
17


T2
Deep Dweller

18
33
31

Saboteurs
Human
T1
Saboteur

15
15
17


T2
Agent Provocateur

22
35
29

Elf
T1
Elven Pruner

17
14
17


T2
Dark Elf Saboteur

32
30
20

Orc
T1
Goblin Saboteur

16
17
20


T2
Arsonist

19
40
35

Dwarf
T1
Sapper

13
16
17


T2
Underminer

19
34
36

Spies
Human
T1
Agent
2.6
17
17
21


T2
Spymaster
3.6
23
39
37

Elf
T1
Waysman
1.6
21
14
17


T2
Farseer
4.2
28
32
32

Orc
T1
Goblin Spy
2.9
18
16
16


T2
Listener in the Dark
3
21
35
27

Dwarf
T1
Observer
2.7
16
15
17


T2
Keeper of Secrets
4.2
19
36
30

Race
Type
Name
Visibility
Speed
Attack
Defense
Carry

Differences between T1 and T2 units

T2 units tend to be used in most attack scenarios as they usually carry more bang for your Illy buck. T2 scouts report on all of the city’s armies including the ones stationed or moving outside the city; T2 thieves steal advanced resources in addition to basics; T2 saboteurs stall research, not just construction; a pack of T2 assassins can kill two commanders in one city whereas T1 only kills 1 commander per successful hit.

For defense, T1 units are cheaper and faster to build, and the ongoing upkeep is cheaper or the same per each defense point. However, building T1 is not always the most practical way of defending against enemy diplo.

What to build and how much?

When in doubt, build scouts. T1 scouts for defense and scouting armies stationed out in field, T2 for actively scouting cities. Every military city needs a few thousand scouts for defense. At the same time, when both sides build up a healthy stock of scouts during a war, getting a report becomes a real chore as scout packs (10,000 and more) start failing. In such cases, other methods of troop estimation, such as recording reports from direct attacks on cities, totaling up data from recent combats, and estimating based on sovereignty, become more important.

Thieves are worth bothering with only for offense, with some notable exceptions. The best defensive thief management is storing your advanced resources in the hub. When thieves come back to their owner with gold or basic resources, they haven’t stolen enough to justify their upkeep during the travel time, so they are a net gold drain on the player. However, that calculation changes drastically for a city under siege, and in some situations thief reinforcements may be called for.

It’s fun and worthwhile to have a pack of saboteurs on hand. 1-2 packs that are more than a few hundred will break through most defenses. This is a tool often used to “pin down” cities targeted for siege to ensure they cannot exodus because of stalled research. Sab defense is not a concern for players with complete research in cities. Experienced players tend to stop doing research during a war - but if research you must, consider sab reinforcements in combination with a rune.

Assassins can be a useful tool to help break through city reinforcements, when stacks of multiple commanders from many cities greatly increase the overall city defense. Bear in mind that an experienced opponent will be also reinforcing with assassins and it may require a large amount to break through the defense (although in practice, few people have scores of assassins on hand as they tend to be too rarely used). Plus, even T2 assassins only kill 5 commanders per hit at most. Thus, it would take several large packs to kill a lot of commanders in a city. If you want to take up the assassin gamble, build up a swarm of assassins in a city or two.

Spies can provide valuable insights into the city’s operations revealing the inventory, as well as build and research queues. Most typical use of spies is to get intel for thieves and saboteurs. Players who thieve usually have one or two packs of spies on hand - it does not have to be larger than a couple thousand as players rarely think to defend against spies.

Messengers

Messengers are often overlooked when queuing up diplo builds. It’s easy to start a queue of several thousand scouts or thieves and forget the messengers. Yet, a quick recall of occupying armies is often crucial during wars, so make sure that you have about 10 messengers on hand in every city, at all times.

Scribes of Allembine

These are special diplomatic units awarded in the Heroic Statue quest. They are a spy type of unit and each provides 120 defense against spies. 

This concludes an overview of diplomatic units in Illy. In another post, I will discuss some use techniques for diplo units and buildings.

Stay tuned!

--Tink

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