Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Reader Question: Defensive Sword Commanders

Good afternoon, cannon fodders. I've been busy, so I will get back into action with an easy post. A couple weeks ago, a reader asked about an intentional omission in my guide for matching troops and commanders. His question, paraphrased for brevity, edited for clarity:

In the article PvP Commanders and Troops, I notice that [defensive t1 sword commanders] can lead spear and bow troops. Defensive sword troops are only shown being led by a [defensive t1 sword commander]. I am curious about a [defensive t1 bow commander] leading sword troops.

Strength Multiplies Strength

To answer, I will refer back to the simplified chart. You rarely use infantry to defend. The only terrains where it even makes sense are forests and buildings, because those tiles so strongly amplify infantry units. Because of that, by far the most likely attacker is enemy infantry. Therefore, your best shot using infantry to defend is the t1 infantry commander to level Interlocked Shields +15 (division defense vs infantry attacks).

I would not advise the bow commander for infantry troops. A 15% bonus to a weak stat is not going to produce a good result. If you want some bow defense for your defenders, then really what you want is a smaller bow army led by a t1 bow commander. They will cover your infantry much more effectively than trying to directly boost the infantry army's bow defense.

You will see the same principle applied in Jagblade's Guide to Equipment. I see no point to providing a strong bonus to a weak stat. (I am not the originator of that idea, by the way, I am simply re-stating it as a mathematical truth.) Crossing strong with weak just results in a slightly less weak stat. With commanders and equipment, you always want to multiply strong bonuses with strong stats. If you want to improve defense against another category, it is almost always better to mix in additional troops to counter that specific threat. The classic example is kobolds and sentinels. By themselves, the kobolds are a good defense against infantry and cavalry on most terrains, but they are easily shot to death. The defensive bows are basically just there to prevent them from getting perforated by attacking enemy archers. 

Other Approaches

In this particular instance, there are other valid philosophies. A very famous orc uses mostly defensive t1 bow commanders for his kobolds, because of the damage done by archers. I can argue the maffs, but there is no disputing his results. Another very common strategy is to always use defensive t1 cavalry commanders, because cavalry is by far the most common attacker.

It is also worth noting that the variation in defensive commanders is 10% vs. 15% in a single category, so the entire debate boils down to where you want that extra 5% defense. For my troops, I'd prefer it to be in their greatest strength for that particular military plan.

Misbehave. Kill lots of stuff.

<^^^^^^^^||==O    Skint Jagblade

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