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Joined: 29 Jun 2008
Location: Hillsborough, NJ
|Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:47 pm GMT Post subject: Scalder Racial Introduction
Scalders have a lot of dice with a fairly wide distribution of magic, maneuvers, melees, and missiles, but a number of their dice are weak on saves (somewhat similar to Lava Elves). This wide distribution makes them difficult to predict how they will perform on any given roll, which can surprise an opponent or disappoint their owner, given the fickleness of dice – so they might be viewed as more of a “finesse” army. The monsters are less focused than the commons, uncommons and rares.
Their weakness in save icons and SAI’s are partly compensated by their racial abilities. Intangibility offers some automatic saves against missile attacks, while Scorching Touch causes damage to an attacker during a save roll for each non-ID save rolled.
A player using Scalders has an easier decision on what terrains to choose with the release of the Battlefields expansion in 2010. The Feylands terrain allows the doubling of Green magic and Red magic, but a player using a combination of Scalders and another race still has some interesting choices to make. Choosing an 8th face warrants a careful decision. A Highlands Standing Stones can help an all Scalder army or one combined with Dwarves, Firewalkers or Lava Elves by allowing access to gold magic, as well has being able to use the Dwarves or Lava Elves racial abilities. A Coastlands Standing Stones can offer similar opportunities for Scalders combined with Coral Elves, Dwarves, or Firewalkers by allowing access to blue magic (and use of the Coral Elf racial abilities). A Swamplands Standing Stones could be a good choice for a Scalders / Treefolk army. A Tower could be chosen for a Missile-oriented army, but consider if that would also benefit your opponent. The City will allow you to bring back units faster. The Temple will allow you to bury units a bit quicker, and the protection from black magic can be a big plus if you are not planning on using it yourself.
Scalder Racial Abilities
Scorching Touch: Scalders, when rolling for saves during the attack phase of a melee action, generate one point of damage for each non-ID save result back against the attacking army. Only magical saves protect against this damage.
Intangibility: During a save roll against a missile action, each Scalder unit in the defending army provides one automatic save result to this army against any non-SAI missile damage.
Note that the Scalder Scorching Touch only applies to the save roll against a melee attack. It does not apply to the save roll during a melee counter-attack. That's why the somewhat awkward phrase "when rolling for saves during the attack phase of a melee action" is used.
Scalder Unit Summary
Singesman [maneuver, save, melee, melee, melee x2]
The Singeman is a good melee Common, concentrating mostly on melee, with one maneuver and one save face.
Kindler [maneuver, maneuver, melee, melee, melee x2]
More maneuvers than the Singeman, but sacrificing saves.
Dragonne Tender [maneuver, maneuver x2, melee, melee, save]
The Dragonne Tender is the most maneuver-heavy Common, with a useful save icon.
Glower [maneuver, maneuver, missile, missile, missile x2]
The Glower is all “move and shoot”.
Sparker [maneuver, save, magic, magic, magic x2]
The Sparker is a good magic Common, with a maneuver face and a save face.
Scorcher [maneuver x2, save x2, melee, melee x3, melee x4]
The Scorcher is a good melee Uncommon, concentrating mostly on melee, but with a maneuver and save face.
Igniter [maneuver x1, maneuver x3, melee x1, melee x3, melee x4]
The Igniter has similar melee power to the Scorcher, but sacrifices its save face for extra maneuvers.
Dragonne Rider [maneuver x3, maneuver x4, melee x1, melee x2, save x2]
The Dragonne Rider has lots of maneuver icons, somewhat weak in melee, but with a useful save face.
Burner [maneuver x1, maneuver x2, missile x2, missile x3, missile x4]
A good “move and shoot” missile Uncommon, but has no saves.
Smolderer [maneuver x2, save x 2, magic x1, magic x3, magic x4]
A very good magic Uncommon with a save face and a maneuver face.
Searer [maneuver x2, save x2, melee x2, Smite x4, melee x6]
The Searer is a very strong melee unit (especially with the Smite x4 and melee x 6 faces). The save face is useful as well.
Charkin [maneuver x2, maneuver x3, melee x2, melee x5, Counter x4]
The Charkin is a potent “light melee” unit. The Counter SAI is this unit’s strongest feature.
Dragonne Knight [Fly x4, maneuver x2, maneuver x6, save x 2, melee x 2]
The Dragonne Knight is an excellent “cavalry” unit with 15 of 19 icons counting for maneuvers on 4 faces. The Fly SAI and save face are also very useful.
Blazer [maneuver x2, maneuver x3, missile x1, missile x6, Flaming Arrow x4]
The Blazer is the top end of the “move and shoot” missile units. Flaming Arrow is not as deadly as Bullseye, but has the potential to bury a target that fails to save. The missile x6 face looks as impressive as the missile x1 face appears dissappointing.
Inferno [maneuver x2, save x2, magic x2, magic x6, Cantrip x4]
An impressive-looking magic unit with 4 faces counting for magic, the Inferno also has a maneuver face and a save face.
Ettercap [missile, missile, Bullseye, maneuver, maneuver, magic, melee, save, save]
The Ettercap is a “Jack-of-all-trades” monster (and master of none), focused somewhat on missiles, but with magic, maneuvers, melee and saves. It’s considered a very weak monster with only a single Bullseye SAI (although the two save faces still benefit from the Scorching Touch racial ability). The single magic face means the Ettercap counts as a magician, but a poor one at that.
Quickling [maneuver, maneuver, maneuver, maneuver, save, save, missile, missile, Poison]
The Quickling is focused mostly on maneuvers (50% chance of rolling), but would have been a bit more useful with melee faces to complement the Poison SAI and save faces, instead of missile faces. Almost as unfocused as the Ettercap, the Quickling is also considered a weak monster.
Unsealie Faerie [maneuver, maneuver, magic, magic, magic, Cantrip, save, save, melee]
The Unsealie Faerie is a fairly focused magic unit with a 50% chance of getting magic, 30% chance of maneuvers or saves, and 20% chance of melee.
Web Birds [Web, Web, Fly, Fly, missile, missile, missile, melee, melee]
The Web Birds have 4 SAI’s, but is split between missile and melee. It has a 50% chance of contributing to a melee, 40% chance of contributing to a missile action, and 30% chance of saves or maneuvers. The Web SAI is not that powerful, but could have some value in combination with other melee units.
Will o Wisps [Confuse, Fly, Fly, Dispel Magic, Dispel Magic, magic, magic, missile, melee]
The Will o Wisps is an interesting magic unit. It’s 5 diverse SAI’s make it a bit unpredictable and tough to decide where it should be employed.
Bullseye (Ettercap): During a missile action, each Bullseye result immediately inflicts one point of damage. The total damage may individually target one or more units in the defending army as the acting player chooses. Each target unit must immediately generate saves against the damage assigned to it. During a dragon attack or missile avoidance roll, Bullseye generates missile results.
Cantrip (Unsealie Faerie): During a magic action or magic negation roll, Cantrip generates magic results. During any non-magic action, save roll or non-maneuver avoidance roll, Cantrip can be used to purchase spells that are immediately resolved.
Confuse (Will o Wisp): During a melee attack or missile action, after the defending army rolls for saves but before they apply any unique or special resolution SAIs, choose up to four health-worth of units in the defending army and force them to roll again. Selected units ignore their original roll and apply the new roll instead.
Counter (Charkin): During a melee attack or melee avoidance roll, Counter generates melee results. During a save roll, Counter generates save results. During a save roll in a melee attack, Counter immediately generates both save results and melee results upon the attacking army or unit. Only magical saves protect against this damage. During a dragon attack, Counter generates save and melee results.
Dispel Magic (Will o Wisps): Whenever any magic targets this unit, the army containing this unit and/or the terrain this unit occupies, you may roll this unit after all spells are announced but before any are resolved. If the Dispel Magic icon comes up, immediately negate all unresolved magic that applies to the target(s). Only one dispel attempt is made per unit and, if it fails, then all the spell(s) are resolved normally.
Flaming Arrow (Blazer): During a missile action, for each unit that generates Flaming Arrow results choose one unit in the defending army. Each Flaming Arrow result immediately inflicts one point of damage to the target unit, which must generate saves against this damage. If the target unit is killed it must roll a save or be buried. During a dragon attack or missile avoidance roll, Flaming Arrow generates missile results.
Fly (Dragonne Knight, Web Birds, Will o Wisps): During any roll, each Fly result generates one maneuver or one save result.
Poison (Ettercap): During a melee attack, choose one health-worth of units in the defending army per Poison result generated. Each target unit must immediately generate a save or be killed. Any units that are killed must roll a save or be buried.
Smite (Searer): During a melee attack, each Smite result immediately inflicts one point of damage on the defending army or unit; no saves (including those provided by spells) can stop this damage. During a dragon attack or melee avoidance roll, Smite generates melee results
Web (Web Birds): During a melee attack, choose up to 4-health worth of units in the defending army to be webbed unless each targeted unit immediately rolls a melee result. Target units that fail their avoidance roll cannot be rolled until the beginning of your next turn.
Scalder Racial Spells
Firestorm (3 red): Target any terrain that has an enemy army present. Immediately inflict two points of damage to each army at the target terrain, which may roll to save. Multiple castings increase the effect or target another terrain.
Tidal Wave (6 Green): Target any terrain with the green (water) element and has an enemy army present. Immediately inflict eight points of damage to each army at the target terrain, which may roll to save. In addition, reduce the target terrain die one step unless any army generates eight or more maneuver results during this combination roll. Multiple castings target multiple terrains.
Volcanic Eruption (6 Red): Target any terrain with the red (fire) element and has an enemy army present. Immediately inflict eight points of damage to each army at the target terrain, which may roll to save. In addition, reduce the target terrain die one step unless any army generates eight or more maneuver results in this combination roll. Multiple castings target multiple terrains.
Water Walking (4 Green): Target any army located at a terrain with the green (water) element. Until the beginning of your next turn, add four maneuver results to the target army. Multiple castings increase the effect or target another army.
The Scalders also have access to several powerful Green and Red spells:
· Spark of Life allows you to return even multi-health units back to the game, which is an important advantage in a battle of attrition;
· Ash Storm is an inexpensive “penalty” spell, reducing an army’s ability to generate normal magic, maneuvers, melee, missiles, or saves, but it affects all armies at the target terrain. It can be very effective as a magic, maneuver, missile, or save suppression tactic, even when the opponent holds an 8th Face – since deductions occur first (but it won’t affect SAI’s);
· Burning Hands can be an effective spell in a melee by doubling the normal melee results on your units, but recognize that this won’t work with SAIs;
· Dancing Lights is also a useful magic and missile suppression spell that targets the army;
· Watery Double is a useful, low-cost protection spell, that stays in effective for Dragon attacks the next round;
· Wall of Ice generates a few quick saves (even if temporary ones), often helping your army survive an attack, only to better fortify their position next turn;
· Wall of Fog is a useful protection spell, especially against missile-intensive armies;
· Flash Flood, cast under the right circumstances, can change the flow of the game, especially when it successfully takes control of a terrain away from your opponent;
· Dragon summoning is important as a means to whittle away your opponent’s forces, and both Green and Red Dragon breath have the potential to bury enemy units; and
· Summon Dragonkin can provide important protection for your magicians, both in saves and the ability to melee, and remember that Dragonkin are eligible for promotion at a City 8th Face, a dragon’s Treasure Chest, or after a dragon has been killed. A Dragonkin Champion can have an important effect in the game. Dragonkin are like bonus units, but can’t move from the terrain they have been summoned at.
Scalders have no significant terrain advantages, other than being able to double magic with a color in common with the terrain and having several racial spells that impact terrains with the green or red color. Feylands is the obvious choice for an all-Scalder army, but when the army includes a significany number of allies, then other choices should be entertained. Consider Coastlands with Coral Elf allies and Swamplands with Goblins, Swampstalkers, and/or Treefolk allies to permit doubling of Green Magic and use of the ally's racial ability, or Highlands with Dwarf/Lava Elf allies to permit doubling of Red Magic and use of the ally's racial ability. A Wasteland might be considered when using Firewalkers as allies to permit doubling of red magic and use of the ally's racial ability.
Scalder missile units are well-focused with 3 missile faces and 2 maneuver faces. The absence of a save face makes the missile units look weak, but the Scalder Intangibility racial effect compensates for this apparent weakness, so a Scalder missile strategy is a viable option.
Scalder magicians are also well-focused, and while they might not always roll high, the Scalder player can expect opportunities where a lot of magic can be generated.
Scalder “heavy melee”, “cavalry”, and “magician” units have a save face. The Scorching Touch racial ability gives the save face a similar effect to a Counter SAI – and that can be a big intimidation factor on opponents (or a surprise to those unfamiliar with the effect), since most opponents will not want to “feel the heat”. A melee or maneuver strategy should include these units.
Scalder monsters are not that useful or valuable, unfortunately, with the possible exception of the Unsealie Faerie (in terms of usage, as opposed to rarity). However, Scalder monsters have two save faces that have the equivalent of a 4-point Counter SAI, due to the Scalding Touch racial ability – so there might be room for one to give your opponent something to worry about.
Magic: Scalders have access to green and red magic. Both colors have defensive spells and red has the ability to bring back units from the DUA and some limited offensive capability. Water Walking needs terrain with the green color to gain the maneuver benefit – so a Scalder army could be vulnerable to another army that uses blue or gold magic and is pursuing a maneuver strategy.
The Scalder racial spells each have value. Tidal Wave and Volcanic Eruption can be against armies in sole possession of a terrain with the green or red color (respectively) and is more effective against smaller armies (both for casualties as well as turning down the terrain face). Firestorm targets the army at a terrain, as opposed to an individual unit – which can circumvent defensive spells that protect individual units (such as Earthen Armor). A Scalder/Firewalker army could use a combination of Red Elemental Blast and Firestorm to eliminate a Feral unit that has Hide cast on it.
Pick strengths to match your strategy or game-plan. This 36-health Scalder army was used in the “Single Race” event at GENCON 2006:
2 x Scorchers, 4 x Singeman, 1 x Charkin, 1 x Dragonne Knight, 1 x Dragonne Rider, 4 x Dragonne Tenders, 2 x Inferno, 3 x Smolderers, 4 x Sparkers.
Highland Cities or a Standing Stones for the magicians are a good choice for this army. This provides you with a good balance of units and health. Remember to promote as often as possible so you can use your magic to its maximum potential.
This 36-health Dwarves/Scalders army was used in the Nationals event at DEXCON XI with Highlands terrains:
Dwarves: 1 x Warlord, 1 x Pony Rider, 1 x Lizard Rider, 2 x Mammoth Rider, 2 x Thergist, 2 x Thaumatergist, 1 x Wizard
Scalders: 2 x Sparker, 2 x Smolderer, 1 x Inferno, 1 x Dragonne Knight, 1 x Searer
This 36-health Feral/Lava Elf/Scalder army was used with a Flatlands Standing Stones and a Highlands Standing Stones for an on-line game that required an army that included each of the 5 colors:
Feral: 1 x Antelope-folk, 1 x Fox-folk, 1 x Weasel-folk, 1 x Badger-folk, 2 x Wolverine-folk.
Lava Elves: 1 x Adept, 1 x Warlock, 2 x Necromancers
Scalders: 1 x Dragonne Tender, 2 x Dragonne Riders, 2 x Dragonne Knights, 2 x Scorchers
The Feral and Lava Elves provided the magic, while the Scalders provided maneuverability and muscle (aided by the use of Burning Hands, Flaming Shields, and Wilding).
Scalders are a good race to combine with another race. Most combinations are with a second race that shares a color with the Scalders, such as Coral Elves, Firewalkers, Dwarves, Lava Elves, Swampstalkers and Treefolk, which will expand magic spell options, but still allow the combination of the two races’ magic points to cast high-cost or multiple spells of the color they share in common. Other considerations for combining two or more races in an army include terrain advantages, racial abilities, complementary strengths, and compensating weaknesses in one race with advantages from the other.
(Edited on August 1, 2011)
US National Champion (DEXCON 2007, 2009, 2010)
World Champion (GENCON 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014)
Battlefest Champion (DEXCON 2008, GENCON 2009, 2011, co-champion GENCON 2010, 2017 DEXCON 2011)
"No Magicians" (GENCON 2008)
"Single Race" (DEXCON 2008, GENCON 2010, 2011, 2017, co-champion 2014)
Last edited by dburkley on Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:33 pm GMT; edited 3 times in total
Joined: 22 May 2011
|Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:29 pm GMT Post subject:
|A Coastlands Standing Stones can offer similar opportunities for Scalders combined with Coral Elves, Dwarves, or Firewalkers by allowing access to blue magic (an use of the Coral Elf racial abilities). |
Coastland and Dwarves? Oh, the word "an" in the last sentence should be "and".
Joined: 17 Jul 2010
Location: Florence, KY
|Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:08 pm GMT Post subject:
|it mentions "that currently there are no red and green terrains" that should be fixed i think
2nd Place World Championship Gecon 2011 (no loses)
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