The Knalgan Alliance is a faction of Dwarves and their outlaw Human allies. Dwarves are an old race who live underground and have tough, but short, warriors. The outlaws are humans who are not socially acceptable among others of their race, but have become allies of the dwarves due to common enemies. This leads to a combination of tough and defensive dwarves who are only good on certain terrain and humans who can cover ground that dwarves are not good at fighting in.
The Dwarves are a race famed for their miners, blacksmiths, merchants and warriors. Considered as the third oldest race on the great continent after the elves and trolls, their early history is shrouded in mystery. Legends tell of a time long forgotten when their people began emerging from their underground world through caves. Nothing is known about their life prior to their arrival, or their reasons for entering the surface world, but they have been an integral part of the continent’s history since. Soon after their emergence from the underground, the dwarves entered into conflict with the original inhabitants of the land, the elves. The original reason for their dispute has been lost to history, but the two races have since fought three long wars, interrupted by a few decades of peace. During these wars the dwarves could not dislodge the elves from the deep forests in the south, but managed to consolidate their position in hills and the mountains in the north of the continent, known now as the Northlands. Since then they have constructed fantastic fortifications and settlements deep within the mountains and crags of their territory.
The race of men is an extremely diverse one. Although they originally came from the Old Continent, men have spread all over the world and split into many different cultures and races. Although they are not imbued with magic like other creatures, humans can learn to wield it and able to learn more types than most others. They have no extra special abilities or aptitudes except their versatility and drive. Although often at odds with all races, they can occasionally form alliances with the less aggressive races such as elves and dwarves. The less scrupulous among them do not shrink back from hiring orcish mercenaries, either. They have no natural enemies, although the majority of men, like most people of all races, have an instinctive dislike of the undead. Men are shorter than the elves, but taller still than dwarves. Their skin color can vary, from almost white to dark brown.
These majestic and powerful creatures are masters of the sky. Gryphons are both dangerous and wary of other intelligent creatures, but some are able to bond with the mighty Gryphons. Those who do may become Gryphon Riders, and discover the world of the skies upon the backs of these flying beasts.
Units and How to use them' Edit
Description: Sturdy, strong and versatile top-notch melee fighter
Strengths: Strong blade attack, good impact attack, good HP, good all-around resistances, excellent defense on hills and mountains, full move through forest
Weaknesses: Slow, very vulnerable on open terrain or woods
Advancement: Average, makes it much stronger and even sturdier
One of the main assets of the Knalgan lineup, this unit rules supreme on mountains and hills against pretty much anything. They even win against drake units or cavalry thanks to their defense, even though those resist both blade and impact. Everything else? Dwarves can fight woses, dwarves crush skeletons, dwarves are superior to grunts... The list is endless. Strong dwarves give everyone a run for their money.
Sadly, the mainline maps don't consist of just mountains and hills and castles; it has lots of other terrain. And on this other terrain, dwarvish fighters devolve into something of a glass cannon. 30% defense means ranged units will make mincemeat out of them if they attack. But oftentimes, it's a plain necessity; you can't force the enemy into fighting on your terms all the time. If the enemy fields lots of dark adepts, you might as well ignore being on the mountains and just try to catch them; for magical it doesn't matter whether your dwarves stand in the mountain or in the water. You need to have other units for open terrain and forests in any case. Only 50% defense on villages is also below average, and they are easy to out-maneuver.
Magical and marksman units in general are the bane of dwarves... Somewhat. They do resist fire and cold by a slight bit and have okay HP, and usually kill the mage units just fine themselves. Assassins, on the other hand, though they die to two fighter hits, are much scarier, as poison works well against their low movement.
Still, fighters are a good recruit when in doubt. Keep in mind that they are very slow, so you might not want to get them if you need reinforcements faster. Get them at the beginning of your unfavourable time of day so they can catch up in time for the assault.
In the initial recruit, get them if they can take a village, or for villages that are eight squares away, or if your other units can take the villages left while the dwarves runs for the frontline, which might be the best way to go about it in general - in Caves of the Basilisk for instance you can use a dwarf to get the cavern village on the left, but then they'll take longer to get to the fighting - much better to send them off and take that village with your leader on the second turn. Remember there's a chance for quick dwarves, which can be useful depending on the castle layout.
Description: Extremely sturdy defending specialist
Strengths: Steadfast, solid pierce retaliation, very hard to kill, full move through forest
Weaknesses: Lacks killing power, slow, expensive
Advancement: Pretty hard to get, adds to its strength and increases competence on open terrain
Guardsmen have slightly less extreme defenses on hills and mountains, but this does little to dimish their superhuman defense capabilities. Fact: On defense, guardsmen have the second-highest overall resistances of all the mainline units, beaten only by the ghost, which has nowhere near the HP it needs to rival guardsmen on defense, and is much easier to counter. Combine this with being hard to hit on some terrains and having excellent HP and you get something nobody can kill quickly. Okay, being attacked by dark adepts from three sides can work, and a surrounded and isolated guardsman is usually dead too, and on open terrain their defense is bad enough archery works, but they always retaliate, and they always take away enemy attention and stick up for their fellow dwarf or man. Knalgans want their opponents to attack guardsmen, since that's what they're there for. For 19 gold, 5-3 pierce damage is nothing on the offensive. In fact, don't ever attack, even if they're standing right next to the hex you want to stay in, unless you get no or only laughable retaliation - chuck a javelin at grunts, and maybe poke archer units or mages with your spear, or give cavalry a solid stab in the arse if your defensive qualities aren't needed as much in this and the subsequent turn, but as a general rule of thumb, preserve your HP for the enemy attack so steadfast can help most, and attack with the guys that were made to be attacking. Which doesn't mean that you shouldn't go for kills with this guy in an assault if he's the only one left who can do it, and use his primary attack to kill horses in the right situations.
Give these guys an enemy village that's decently far away from the enemy castle and you can have a good laugh while he tries to dislodge it in the time your reinforcements arrive to crush him (but if he has mages that laugh might come back to haunt you). Initial recruit, it's good to position this guy early since he is just impossible to rush past, and will discourage enemy assaults. Just keep in mind that some villages do have to be taken as soon as possible - a guardsman can hold a village like no one else, but he has no hope of disloding an enemy scout, and that you can't afford many four move units if you want to get a hold on your villages.
Description: Sturdy archer unit with killing power
Strengths: High killing power pierce attack, good defense on mountains, good melee attack, HP and resistances for an archer
Weaknesses: Highly unreliable, slow
Advancement: Okay, gives power enough to kill many full HP level 1 units with one shot, improves on its strengths and sturdiness
Thunderers are your "all or nothing" unit. 18-1 is insane if it hits, and horrible if it misses. It being pierce gives this unit the power to waste away drake unit in general, and benefits a lot from their low defense. Fact: If the unit can be gotten just into range for a kill, then you get ctk with this unit like no one else. A 18 HP grunt on open terrain is rarely killed by an elvish archer, but a thunderer does it at a stunning 60% chance. This is what makes them extreme, but this is also what makes them risky to use. You need to use the thunderstick, but you need to do it so you make the most use out of its killing power, and you need to plan for failure to hit. Thunderer-heavy Knalgans often win or lose by a few shots and RNG dice rolls - but at the very least they make sort of sure the game doesn't devolve into a draw. They are uniformly ineffective against pierce resistant guys though - skeletons have a prime time with them. Woses get hurt by their dagger in exchange, so it's not THAT hefty. Against heavy infantry it's less extreme; their bad defense lets them eat 11-1 thunder shots with good regularity, and it is one of the better ways to soften them up. Against units with significantly lower HP, thunderers are not the best choice since they cost a lot and need to be made use of (except of course if their respectable melee gets into killing range), but that's what your other units are for. The thunderer's defensive qualities are not to be underestimated - No one really wants to attack a thunderer with range, even mages (skeleton archers would, though), and on melee their 6-2 is still decent, and has at least 12 potential retaliation damage, making it the most universally punishing defensive unit save for the drake burner (who is more expensive and counterable). They are usually capable of defeating a full HP berserker in melee if they get their good terrain.
One funny thing about the thunderstick is that it can kill most level 0 units at full HP in one hit.
Description: Mage, archer and weakened units killer
Strengths: Berserk ability ensures killing or being killed, practically auto-kills many full HP units
Weaknesses: Gets destroyed by any dedicated melee unit, expensive, lackluster defense, pretty much dead if attacked on low HP
Advancement: Tricky to get because he's easy to kill, becomes even more deadly, can be used to kill exposed leaders or prepare them for a high ctk even if minimally exposed
Ulfserkers are often referred to as the dwarven mages. Their berserk ability certainly makes them very special, but they are called this way because they serve a similar role: Scoring kills with high probability (absolute, in a sense!). But what's different is the units that are killed. Mages are used against units on good terrain that can't retaliate, to soften them up and possibly kill them with magical attacks. Ulfserkers are used against units that are decidedly not melee, since most melee units beat ulfserkers quite handily. They kill mages, adepts, archers, weak scouts, and units that have very low HP but are on good terrain, and they do so with pretty much 100% certainty, which no one else can. And there even is a nice easter egg if you attack an adept. What's not to love?
19 gold is a lot for a unit that gets wasted by a grunt. This means that you lose gold if you only use him to kill units that cost less than that if it means losing him right after that - so as enjoyable it is to kill adepts with ulfs, stay away if you can't protect him from a skeleton afterwards or kill or severaly wound even more units in the same assault. Use ulfs carefully, and don't get more than one except if the enemy just loves being low on melee - ulfserkers are second to none at punishing them for this. They are not tanks - in fact, they are the very opposite of a tank, since losing HP diminishes much of their power and usefulness and they are so easily killed if the enemy has so much as a grunt, spearman, wose, heavy infantry available. A low HP ulf can be killed by near everyone. Ulf power is very dependant on traits. A strong resilient ulf is a force to be reckoned with - 5-4 attack and 40 HP is not easily beaten even on open terrain. A quick intelligent ulf, however, is a positive RNG screw - he kills mages like the rest of them, but let him lose a few HP and even archer units can beat him with their melee attack. 4-4 at 32 HP is fodder.
At five move, he can be useful for taking villages early, but keep in mind that he is best when surrounded by fighters and guardsmen to protect him, which you will only get later. Poachers are safer bets for that role.
Description: Mobile high killing power sort of scout
Strengths: High damage, decent defense everywhere, fast
Weaknesses: Extremely expensive, vulnerable to impact
Advancement: Not all that hard to get considering its killing power and retreat ability, becomes even more destructive
Gryphons are formidable and ferocious beasts, and this unit is an exception amongst scout units as being a top-notch killer in melee, not unlike the horseman. Consequently, they are the most expensive unit anyone can field, at whopping 24 gold. This means using this guy as only a scout or village taker is a terrible waste of money, but so is losing this unit to reckless maneuvers. He is best used to smack down the hurt on enemy non-melee, either to soften them up or even better to kill them, in company of other units that protect him afterwards. Gryphons are sturdy and defensive enough to survive usually unless you let the enemy trap them or attack from too many sides. That's in fact what you have to be careful about. Archers, mages, heavy infantry and trolls have a prime time killing these with enormous cost-effectiveness, and footpads and gliders love surrounding them and softening them up with their ranged attacks while exploiting the vulnerability. So while you have to use them to justify the expensive, it's not easy to use them and make them worth it. Restrict yourself to one gryphon in the initial recruit, and never get many, though the battlefield control exuded by a couple of these can be very impressive. They are useful to get good defense from otherwise open squares, but you need to make sure they live a long life and score tactically destructive kills where no one else can. Low HP units should be killed with someone else.
Get one in the initial recruit to take a village if you want a gryphon. Never two - you'll just lack sorely lack numbers if you try.
Description: Reliable archer with a love for difficult terrain
Strengths: Four strokes, pierce damage, good defense on forests and swamps, okay HP, easy leveling
Weaknesses: Very weak melee
Advancement: Easy to get, not an overwhelming power increase, but becomes fairly okay at melee
Outlaw units are crucial to Knalgan battle - with only dwarves the slowness is deadly. Poachers are part of the crucial outlaw trio. At first glance, this unit looks scarcely impressive. It does only cost 14 gold, but it deals fewer potential damage than bowmen or spearmen? Have the Knalgans been screwed? The answer is a decided no. Knalgans have a hell of a lot of reasons to get Poachers, much more than the loyalist has to recruit bowmen. This is because while loyalist have approximately a thousand units that fight using pierce, Knalgans get only three. The guardsman is there to defend and too expensive to be recruited as a pierce damage dealer, the thunderer is your all-or-nothing killing power guy, and the poacher is your reliable ranged killer - four strokes means he gets the highest ctk short of magical or marksman on a weak unit. At night, his 5-4 is decent and equal to the more expensive elvish archer. Also, this guy loves the woods. He is decent at tanking in them with the resilient trait, even. His 50% in swamps are rarely used, but can come in mighty handy. Summarized, this guy does for the Knalgans what the bowman does for the loyalists and quite bit more. He is a safe initial recruit for five move, useful against anyone - yes, even undead, since they can soften up ghosts and ghouls decently, along with the thunderer, and kill bats and corpses. Against pierce-vulnerable enemies, get a mix of thunderers and these guys, so they can mop up what the thunderers left standing. Their only real bane, apart from strong melee units, is the daylight. Hide them in some forests once dawn rears its ugly head.
Description: Cheap very light infantry
Strengths: Excellent defenses, fast
Weaknesses: Only average attack power, bad resistances
Advancement: Reasonable to get, becomes quite a bit more powerful
If dwarves only had gryphon riders to scout they'd have to spend far too much gold on mobility. Thankfully, they have footpads. Their straight-up battle capability is not bad on the defense - 30 HP is worth a lot at often 70% defence, where footpads can tank somewhat decently. They retaliate at melee and ranged equally well, which is not all that well. 5-2 is nothing at day, but makes a difference at night. It IS impact damage, so footpads can exploit vulnerabilities well - At night, they can harry skeletons with sling bullets, and retaliate decently while having skeleton attacks hopefully miss. This does not make them good frontline fighters by any stretch; dwarven fighters are better against skeletons by quite a bit, but it does support you well. Their primary strength is their 7 or even 8 movement. If they can, they want to sneak by enemy lines and take villages or attack your foes from behind to set up thief backstabs. Footpads can soften up and move around like bastards, not kill. Understand this and you can use them reasonably well. Keep in mind that impact is not equally useful against anyone; footpads perform poorly against drakes, for instance.
There are few things more annoying than a resilient strong footpad on an enemy village. Unless you have magic.
You usually want either one footpad or one gryphon or both in your initial recruit. Footpads retain some of their usefulness against anyone because of their speed and defenses, and they can make a difference with their attacks at night, but you need other units to do the actual killing.
Description: Cheap mobile potential glass cannon
Strengths: Backstab, defenses, fast leveling, cheap
Weaknesses: Horrible HP and resistances, dependant on backstab opportunities
Advancement: Easy to get save for the unit being easy to kill, adds Skirmisher ability to become much, much more applicable and dangerous
At 13 gold thieves are the cheapest Knalgan unit, and they reward that with having perhaps the most destructive offensive power of any level one unit in the game save for the horseman, at least if strong, provided two conditions are true: It is night, and there is an allied unit on the other side of the thing you want to kill. The difficulty of satisfying these conditions along with its sheer fragility is what makes this unit so cheap. Without backstab they can do few things; three attacks mean thieves are decent at killing low HP units and 5-3 or 6-3 bladed at night can be made use of in battle somewhat, and they are quick to reach crucial terrain spots and retain 70% defense. But in general, they need to backstab to be awesome, and even then they are not awesome against everything - skeletons, heavy infantry, cavalry, anything blade resistant, or melee for that matter, will fight back, and thieves are extremely squishy without being cheap enough to be truly expendable (though it might be worth it to backstab a wose with them - sure they are dead if the wose hits twice, but the damage you can do it with a thief is almost always enough for others to finish up). Don't make the mistake and recruit them every time you have exactly 13 gold; they can be useful and can ravage enemy units, but too often you lack the forces required to make enough of a hole in enemy lines to put the thief in. And just because backstab can be used doesn't mean it's a good idea in every situation to do so.
Get one in the initial recruit to take advantage of six move, but refrain from getting more unless you are good at using them.