Blood Mage Terrorism
An introduction is an excellent way to establish style. A good
introduction can identify the quality of your writing skills
immediately. Screw it, let's get to the action.
The match up is on Bandit Ridge under patch 1.18. I random to humans and pull
the upper left corner. My arch-nemesis Anhnho chose humans and finds himself
on the lower right. We both wish each other a good time and get down to business.
Well, at least he does. I have other plans.
You see, I know he's human. It's true that I haven't played in months, but
I feel confident that humans still don't do much harassing early on, especially
if he doesn't know what race I am. That leaves me free to send all five of my
peasants to gold and the next two to wood. Then I start building a farm, two
barracks, another farm, and an alter. This slower build will let me run my barracks
longer, trading hero time for a stronger army. My mortal enemy starts off with
a much more standard and immediate build of alter, barracks, and farm.
Our choice of starting hero was the same though. We both opted to employee the blood mage.
Anhnho's mage finishes first and he promptly came to the same conclusion that
I did, the blood mage doesn't creep so well. So he let's his mage sit around
twiddling his thumbs while some poor footman gets volunteered to scout my base.
Said footman cheerfully marches across the map and into my waiting army. The
little footman promptly shits himself and runs away upon seeing said army. This
is not a little tinker toy army. This a real army with a capital 'A'. I have
six footmen to his three, more on the way from twice as many barracks, and his
barracks isn't even working.
I'd say I intimidated him ever so slightly, but more on this later.
My blood mage is ready to go. All that mana is just burning a hole in his
energy meter, and he wants to spend it right away. I'm more than happy to oblige,
so off we go! I haven't played on this map before so I choose a random creep
camp and head toward it. I find two ogre magi. I tuck my tail between my legs,
turn right around, and head the other way. Next! This time I try the goblin
laboratory and find good creeping. The blood mage may not creep all that well,
but a shitload of footmen do! After that I've got enough confidence in my footmen
horde to take on the ogre magi. Unfortunately I am very rusty from not playing
in ages, and this is shown by me loosing one of my footmen. Oh well, you've
got to be ready to get a bloody nose if you want to get the good creeps early.
I found some boots of Quel'thalas which I promptly exchange for a healing scroll.
While I'm doing this, the arch-villain of this battlereport has not
been idle! He sends his army and a group of militia to the mine in the
upper right side of the map. Once there he wipes out the creeps and
begins construction of a fast expansion. He also takes the time to kill
a cute raccoon, proving he is the vilest of evil! As his town hall
begins construction, he opts to protect his expansion with no less than
five towers! Damn man, that took some
effort! Yes, I'd say he is still slightly intimidated by my early army.
Even with defend I'm not interested in attacking five towers, and that's if
I even knew this was going on. Instead I go ahead and creep the mine on the
bottom left, trying out my new mana siphon spell. Then I take on the large
creep camp by the mine just south east of my base. Now you might be thinking
that those are some pretty tough customers. You would be right as I lost no
less than four footmen. Of course, two deaths or more could have been prevented
by using the healing scroll I had in my pocket before the battle to heal the
half of my army that was a few hundred shy of full health. Live and learn. The
last action of the early game is for me to clear the goblin shop just to the
left of my nemesis' expansion. I'm starting to get the hang of timing flame
strike and for once I don't end up frying my guys.
The game is afoot!
Let's take some time to review. Our strategies take different turns at this
point. My opponent has fast expanded. He is getting some riflemen, arcane sanctuaries,
and has a tinker for his second hero. He's doing the standard human stuff that
you would be expected to do if you don't want to be laughed at. Good for you.
Meanwhile, I have opted for the highly skilled, seriously gosu, ultra finessing
strategy known as, "Brute Force". It involves getting shitloads of footmen followed
by shitloads of knights at full 3/3 upgrades. To use this "Brute Force" strategy,
I will require the assistance of the incredibly intricate micro management technique
known as, "Attack Move".
Since I was so focused, I was already to 2/1 and researching. My arch-nemesis had not upgraded at all.
Peasant, the other white meat.
At this point my blood mage turns to me and loudly declares, "They shall burn!"
I agree, it's time to attack! I send my army home and trade in my creeping booty
for boots of speed, a staff of teleport, and a potion of invisibility. I gulp
down the potion and head toward the despicable villain's main base. I run right
by the guy's massive expansion defense without noticing, but marking
it on my mini map for later. Once I get in his base, I walk right by his defensive
tower, find his peasant line, and flamestrike the poor sods. My blood mage follows
up with some standard attack to finish them off. This attack killed seven peasants.
Anhnho responds by ringing the bell and calling in the militia. I fall back
to the tree line and flamestrike the militia as they attack my blood mage. After
dispatching the sixth militia peasant, his army finally town portals home and
I escape with my staff of teleportation. Before this attack my opponent had
a strong workforce of thirteen peasants at his main base. Now he has a somewhat
less strong workforce of two peasants, but his castle is busy training more.
All told, I wasted thirteen workers.
Can you imagine what it must feel like, to be ready to do something
cute like flamestriking your enemy's workers only to find your opponent
did it first and better? Can you imagine how demoralizing it must be to
click on your base and find all the gold miners dead? Ouch! Poor slob.
Of course, we had apparently thought alike, and he flamestriked my gold miners
as well. My footman surrounded the blood mage before he could finish my work
force off. The opposing pyromaniac teleported home. His total body count was
a big fat zero. Of great annoyance was my too quick response to seeing his mage
in my base. I mis-clicked in
my haste and the footmen got busy taking down my arcane vault. Heh, whoops!
Three construction experts fixed that problem in a jiffy and I got a scroll
to heal my hurting peasants. I also got a worker to fix my damaged farms, build
an extra arcane tower in the path he approached, and start an arcane sanctuary
for the true sight tower upgrade. All in all, I'd say my attack was a little
bit more successful. With my dangerous opponent thus decimated, I decided there
could only be one logical course of action.
I wanna do that again!
Poor bastard. I buy another potion of invisibility, gulp it down, and head
towards his main base. I notice his towers in the mini map though and turn around.
Once safely behind the impressive defenses I flamestrike the gold trail again,
laying waste to all five miners. Some standard attack and another flamestrike
later nets me two more peon kills before I cut my losses and teleport out with
my staff. All told, my seven kills reduced the ten peasant workforce to a scant
four, with reinforcements training.
Okay, now it's time for a real fight. I bring my army of knights and footman
to the staging area at the goblin shop. We are just in visual range of the vile
enemy army. I see a smaller army of less upgraded units. I do the only thing
a terrorist would do, turn around and look for more civilians to bomb. My knights
head home, I grab another invisibility potion, and head to his main base. He
must have figured out what I was up to because he was much quicker with his
response. Furthermore he had a lot more arcane towers now. All told, I only
made four kills before cutting my loses and heading home.
Until now, Anhnho and I had a give and take relationship. I give it,
he takes it. But he's now figured out that letting me slaughter his
peasants is just not a winning strategy. Actually, I think he's mad and
wants a little blood. He goes looking for my expansion, only to find I
don't have one. But my army is also on the move and we meet at the mine
to the southeast of my base.
Brute Force Vs Mixed Forces
It's battle time! Let's review forces.
My arch-nemesis has shown his skill by acquiring a mixed army of four knights,
five footmen, four riflemen, and two spell breakers led by a level three blood
mage and a level two tinker. They are currently sitting at the mine to the southeast
of my main base in a randomish formation. The only upgrade he has is one melee
I have seven knights, ten footmen, and a level five blood mage charging up
the hill. All my units are at 2/2 upgrades.
The battle that follows was very similar to the German invasion of France in
the second world war. We rolled straight over his forces like they weren't even
there. I had three upgrades on his army and more units despite his fast expansion.
His army balled up while mine surrounded them. It was absolutely perfect conditions
for a flamestrike. Too bad I jumped the gun on mana siphoning his tinker and
ended up canceling the flamestrike. Still, he flamestriked my blood mage by
his lonesome self so he did no real damage either. All told, a lot of stuff
hit the ground and it wasn't my stuff. The red army was devastated, leaving
him with a knight, a footman, a spell breaker, two riflemen, and all of this
heroes. My blue tinted army did not suffer one fatality. A few scrolls of regeneration
and we'll be good as new.
You know, there might be something to this, "Brute Force" thing I'm using!
While Anhnho was frittering away money on frivolious units, I invested in a
solid sledge hammer. Of course, twenty four peon kills may also have had something
to do with it. Our mines were running low so I sent a peasant to set up shop
at our recent battleground. The arch-villain of this battlereport added a mountain
king to his army.
Pushing my advant... uh... Whoops.
Eager to do some some damage now that I have established myself as the current
dominant military power, I head over to his expansion. It is guarded with five
guard towers circled by four farms. There are also four arcane towers to the
side. To your standard human army with a water elemental dispenser and a mountain
king, attacking that expansion would be a huge undertaking.
I don't have a normal army.
I have a blood mage and all those towers are bunched up. In fact, they were
bunched up so tightly that I could hit all five towers and all four farms with
one flamestrike. It would only take three flamestrikes to reduce those formidable
defenses to rubble! That has got to hurt. It also hurt that I accidentally canceled
my third flamestrike by retreating too quickly.
I'm afraid the battle station will be fully operational.
Add in the fact that my attack move tactics have my army targeting the peasants
and not the towers that are shooting at them. By the time I pull out I have
lost a knight and two footmen. Oh yeah, I also lost my blood mage too. Heh,
whoops. I find him tilting one back with a cute and cuddly panda at the tavern,
and persuade him to get back into the action with a sizable cash donation.
During this attack I summoned my first phoenix. As it got low in
life I retreated it over a forest. Did you know that if there is no
open ground around for the egg to land on the phoenix just dies. Whoops.
My gold mine decided that it was one hundred percent necessary to
explode in a massive spray of rock and dirt. I redirect my miners to
the new location on the hill. Since this expansion has a town hall and
five peasants, I decided to locate my army there for the time being, to
protect it. I wasn't a moment too soon because in comes my
arch-nemesis! Sadly, most of his stuff was badly damaged and my army
was happy to finish the job, including two knight surrounds on his
mountain king and tinker. If you think ghouls can take down a hero
fast, you should see fully upgraded knights! It makes the dreadlord and
his ghoul squad look like amateurs!
In retaliation I walked into his expansion, wiped out all six peasants there, and walked out.
My arch-nemesis is eager to attack again. He pulls up to the right of my base,
where my blood mage is buying potions. My army is just below him at my expansion.
Leading the rogue's charge is five knights and a gryphon, still only with one melee
attack upgrade. They charge my mage, whom promptly decides to exercise the better part of valor. As my mage strategically
retreats, my own knights run down the hill for a flank. Anhnho's rear line units
are run down by my horse riders, killing a rifleman, a priest, and two sorceresses.
I take no losses in the battle, but the insidious opposition forces sneak a
blood mage into my expansion and kill two peasants there. I
build an arcane tower to prevent further terrorist attacks.
In retaliation, I walked into his expansion, wiped out all three
peasants there, and walked out. I also invisibled into his main base
and killed another three lumberjacks there.
You know, I think he's pissed. He charged my expansion in a last ditch attempt
to save what tatters are left of his peasantry. My blood mage teleports back
to the battle and spends the entire time being chased by his knights. That's
quite fine by me, because while he is chasing my mage I am hammering his back.
We end up trading blood magi at the same time, but by then the damage was done.
What's left of his army retreats, three knights, a tinker, and a gryphon.
The Grande Finale
I find my blood mage drunk off his stump again and hitting on a
cute, furry panda. A large wad of cash catches his interest and he
heads back to base. Two of my knights gave chase to Anhnho's retreating
army and are lead right to his under-construction expansion. There is a
town hall being constructed under the worried but watchful eye of his
entire army. My two knights waltz in and splatter that construction
worker right under said army's nose and waltz out again. That is never
a good sign. Then my phoenix chases off the peasants that have once
against started mining the fast expansion.
Time to finish it.
I march down to that new expansion and turn it into a grease stain. My nemesis
has gotten a dragonhawk to help with my phoenix. It would have been a wise move
if it wasn't magic immune. In a regular fight the poor little dragonhawk was
a bit outmatched by my flying infernal. Both gryphon and dragonhawk perish as
my elite knights roll over what is left of his tattered army. To add insult
to injury, I flamestrike the peasants at this last mining operation netting
another seven kills. My adversary concedes defeat and quits.
Here is what I learned in the end.
- Those poor peasants! My blood mage killed thirty-six of the poor sods, forty-three
if you count the final battle. Between the peasant kills and gold lost to upkeep,
my opponent didn't have much more money than I did, even with the fast expansion!
Needless to say my adversary never put up a coherent defense against it. I
was using invisibility potions to bypass his defenses, so he should have upgraded
his towers to detect invisible units. With that a few spaced arcane towers
would have put a large crimp in my attacks.
- Make sure you don't move your blood mage until the flamestrike starts. I lost
three flamestrikes this way during the game. The first was at a critical time
in the battle when I would have hit at least five or six units. The second
was the final blow against his massive tower defenses. Had either of them
gone off I would have been in a much better position!
- Don't try to be gosu if you're not. I'm not and made an army I could use.
He had all sorts of units and three heroes. Even with three heroes he barely
cast more crap than I did.
- Don't bunch up your towers when a flamestrike happy mage is around.
- Upgrade! My fully upgraded army just rolled straight over his
unupgraded units. The difference this no micro enhancement makes is
astounding. A fully upgraded knight will kill an unupgraded knight and have half his health left over.
- Keep your army healthy. Failing to do this got a third of my
footman killed against an ogre camp. It got a lot of his army killed in
a charge against me.
- All text battlereports kick behind.
Well, that's all. You can find the replay here. I hope you enjoyed it!