Azreal's long and detailed ERAD Guide
- 1 General advice
- 2 Part 2
- 3 Part 3
- 3.1 RESOURCES FOR REDS
- 3.2 TROOPS FOR REDS
- 3.3 STRATEGIES FOR REDS
- 3.4 COLOR MATCH-UPS
- 3.5 Red vs. Green
- 3.6 Red vs. White=
- 3.7 Red vs. Black=
- 3.8 Red vs. Blue=
- 3.9 DEFENSE
- 3.10 LAND
- 3.11 ENCHANTMENTS
- 3.12 HEROES, EXTRA SPELLS, UNIQUES, AND "STUFF"
- 4 And that's all, folks!
...for all those playing Eradication Mages.
(This is not a good guide, you will do better learning for yourself. Read the other red guide for more useful advice)
Eradication (Red) mages are powerful on offense, but their defensive abilities are often relatively weak. Red dragons, in relative large numbers, are a good second stack, but they are costly and you will notice their weakness against cold attacks fairly quickly. Most other eradication units simply die in droves, which bodes ill for eradication mages defending against land grabs. Because of your defensive weakness, high forts and barriers are a must for every red mage. 2% - 2.5% for both is suggested.
red's main troops
For that reason, and that the Red Dragons don't use too much mana, try some liches as supplements to your army. The current relative weakness of eradication creatures almost necessitates that eradication mages seek non-eradication units. Eradication mages also have the benefit of using spells such as Gravity Pull, a surprisingly effective strategy (many opponents, particularly ascendant mages, seem to favor flying creatures or have no choice).
The next best eradication unit, however, is perhaps the hydra. They regenerate, and when used with items that promote this ability, hydra can be successfully incorporated into an eradication mages army. The primary problem faced by eradication mages is money production. To generate a significant income, you must have lots of people. Eradication mages need lots of farms and towns. Eradication mages often run at negative in this resource, and any eradication mage who wants to be highly ranked must learn to run at a high negative in income. Beware using units that consume your population, such as Lich and Vampires or you may all too quickly find yourself with a problem you cannot easily solve. Perhaps the best defensive spell and item combination for eradication mages is Inferno and Strange Metallic Can. Inferno costs lost of magic power, but it usually wipes out your opponent's weenie creatures. Since land loss is proportional to the number of surviving units of the attacker, weenie units are used to maximize land taken. And since Inferno wipes out most or all weenie units, it really minimizes land loss. The Strange Metallic Can has been known to bring back red dragons, which never hurts. This combo minimizes land, creature, and power loss.
To maximize land gains however try using a weenie troop of your own. Zombies are the way to go here with a sideoption of Nymphs for those who like to keep the beauty levels up.
A simple but in lower ranks effective strategy is using Lizardmen only and the spell Flameshiled, which will give a random stack (i.e. the Lizmen) Fireburst ability. Because you tend to have many Lizmen, it'll be a mighty fireburst. With this strategy you'll win every battle, as long as your oponent uses Zombies, Skels, Doms, Archangels, Angels, Knights, Knight Templar, Ghouls or Treants, as most people will.
This defense is easily broken by skilled players, so use it only in low ranks. It's an interesting opening to keep your heads low at rank 1,500 or so and gather about 4,500 acres with this strategy, which will not take long, before finally playing seriously for top positions.
Finally to maximize gold production get yourself Alchemists and Merchants. They will help you run with even more Dragons.
Playing red is tough and most guys will tell you it's hard to make it to top ten if you play such color. What you need is a good strategy, discipline, and patience. Most of the time, you will not have problems facing non-lich/non-devil/non-ice elemental based stacks. Problem arises when you have to defend against blacks with liches in the top three stacks and blues with both liches & iceEs in their stacking. To defend against it, you must learn how to distribute your power between your stacks. Whatever stacking you choose, be aware that your stack will always have their specific weaknesses and learning how to compensate with them will bring you success in combat.
While researching, it is advisable to recruit as few troops as possible. A bunch of salamanders can defend you against most attacks (ifever you choose to be defensive while researching). Finish your research at the fastest time as possible. Use blaze for defense.
When you are playing with low lands, it is advisable to play with a simple stacking like this: red dragon/chimera/salamanders (this is an offensive stacking and vulnerable from multi-attacks; to compensate, be sure to have numbers and use stun for defense to deal damage first before the enemy deals their damage; one casting of dragons will do when restacking). This is an economical decision if you value your resources. For offense, use flame blade (this will give you an upgraded attack power). Against another red, use stun (this will delay the other red's attacks and will help you deal damage first before he strikes).
If you choose to play defensive, you can play with this stack: red dragon/chimera/hydra/lizardmen. This stacking is economically feasible and can hold multi-attacks efficiently (a casting of dragons will do the trick). Have stun for defense and flame blade for offense (an exception is if you go against another red, use stun). Keep high numbers of 2nd to 4th stacks to ensure safety.
If you have enough lands to support a large army (say 4k lands), you must change stacking into something like: red dragon/lich/hydra/zombies. Keep dragons close to liches' power so that you will not loose in combat if ever your dragons soak up the damage. Liches are the best complex unit in the game so it will benefit you if you utilize their power in your ranks. Hydras are regenerating and tough, enough to kill an enemy's fodder troops. Zombies are tough in numbers so summon what you think is enough for you to landgrab your enemy. I have to point it out here that using night of living dead is risky since you will be exposing your ranks to lots of possible weaknesses. Wraiths are good in numbers and will definitely loose to a number of troops the enemy has. Ghouls don't do much damage and you need a large number to bring back a portion of what was killed from them (plus an unjustifiable high power rank they got). Vampires are good against complex units & phoenices but they are killed faster than you can summon them. So, I say, if you are stacking up in high ranks, keep in mind that the enemy have good stacking. In that case, a good way to defeat them is to ruin their stacks. One way of doing this is to use flameshield or inferno for defense (be sure not to set it in "use always", limit its use). Whether you are defending or attacking, you can use both spells. When you go up against blacks & blues, it's good to use inferno or flameshield. Try it yourself and you'll see the results
When you play red, be sure to have weather summoning (to maximize towns for population production) and very importantly concentration (to lessen casting off-color failures).
When you have nothing to do post long things.=)
RESOURCES FOR REDS
In my opinion, no matter what color you play, it all starts and ends with the four resources: Turns, Mana, Geld, and Population. This is particularly true for red. The interaction between your handling of the resources will ultimately determine whether you succeed or fail. Mages who forget this (or never figured it out) will forever be mediocre at this game. Therefore, I will analyze red in terms of resources. That is the underlying structure (and the underlying message) of these comments.
It should go without saying that geld and population are so intertwined, that it is difficult to talk of one without talking of the other. Population generates geld. That is a clear relationship. I do not believe it is possible to play an effective red game without making a fundamental decision right up front: Am I going to run a big geld income deficit or a big mana income deficit? If you do not run one of the two, you will not be very effective. If you try to run both, you will not be very effective. Another way to translate this question is: Am I going to spend a fair number of turns mana charging or gelding? I have played both ways successfully, and I don't think it matters which way you decide to play it - but you must decide!
TROOPS FOR REDS
There are many opinions about red's troops. Here are some fundamentals. - Red has no indigenous ranged units. If you want to include ranged troops in your army, you must go off-color to get them. - Red has only two flying units - Red Dragons and Chimera. Red Dragons are the most powerful offensive unit in the game, and they have decent (not spectacular) defensive capabilities. Chimera can be awesome in offense, but they rarely defend well and can die in droves against the wrong stacking. - Red has lousy barracks units. None of them are worth anyone's consideration for any purpose. They are expensive to maintain and they die like flies! - That leaves the "ground pounders": Hydra, Salamander, Hell Hound, and Lizard Man. Hydra have three attacks and regenerate - they can be very useful; but they die a lot. Salamanders have a fire attack and 100% fire resistance - this makes them very useful against other reds and against greens; they are perhaps the best red ground unit. Hell Hounds have two attacks (melee and Fire Breath) and 100% fire resistance - also good against red and green; I like Hell Hounds a lot as a low stack. Lizard Men are pure fodder units; they die like flies, but that doesn't count a lot against you!
In general, no red troops have high initiative. Initiative 3 is as good as it gets for any red troops, and that is usually a second attack. Lizard Man's one attack is an initiative 1 - they can be taken completely out of a battle by an initiative-degrading spell or item.
STRATEGIES FOR REDS
There are a lot of ways to play a red mage. I'll try to cover the most popular ones (and some gimicky ones) here.
Many top mages use this strategy. Basically, they have as many dragons as their resources can possibly support and then add fodder stacks to protect against pillages. This strategy is very geld and population intensive, but it is fairly easy on mana. The big risk in using this strategy is that it can be very easy to go into a "population spiral" where you are losing population each turn you take. If population reaches zero, you lose the dragon stack (because it has a population upkeep requirement). I believe this can be a useful wartime red strategy, because a Heavy Dragon red can do tremendous damage to another mage's troops. It can also be a useful strategy for a red that has top 10 aspirations. I recommend using 9 fodder stacks with this strategy - it helps to spread the damage when you are attacked.
Some red mages use nothing but flying units - usually dragons and chimera at roughly the same power level, plus a third fairly heavy stack of fliers - usually Wraiths or Pegasus. They may add additional flying stacks in smaller numbers (Wraith or Pegasus, Sprites, Sylphs, Vampires). This strategy is resource intensive and hard to balance in a resource sense - the dragons eat pop and geld, the chims eat geld and mana, the other stacks use resources as well. On the other hand, Pegasus and Sprite in particular are cheap to summon. This strategy defends well against opponents who attack with heavy ground troops, particularly greens with heavy treants. It attacks well against the same, but in the offense it is very vulnerable to Call Hurricane or Gravity Pull (get those fliers down on the ground, and they get pounded real good!).
This is a variation of the Heavy Dragon and All-Flier Strategies, where all the strength is consolidated in roughly equal power dragon and chimera stacks. It is another popular strategy for mages who have lots of land and are aiming at the Hall of Fame. It is resource intense and hard to manage. In the hands of a red mage with a lot of land and high rank, it can be very effective defensively - the defensive philosophy being that the red can do more damage to the attacker than the attacker can do to him. It is a very resource-intensive strategy, eating population, geld, and mana in sizeable quantities. If you use it, watch your resource levels carefully!
The Balanced Red
This is the strategy I play most of the time in peacetime. It employs ten stacks that are a mixture of ranged, flying, and melee troops. The stacking I prefer is Red Dragon/Hydra/Salamander/Lich/ Chimera/Nymph/Hell Hound/Sprite/Zombie. The goal here is not to have a huge army. I usually run between 30K and 40K troops total, with nearly half the troop total in the Nymph stack. Nymphs in large quantities can be awesome Ultimate killers, no matter what the Ultimate unit is. It is important, however, to have stacks below the nymphs - I prefer the Hell Hounds there. This protects the nymphs from being gang-banged by the opponent's fodder stacks. On offense, I move the Chimera stack up, depending on the color and stacking of the opponent. The stacking shown above is the defensive stacking. A word about Sprites: I like them in small numbers, because they have an Initiative 5 attack. This means they will jump out in front and attack the opponent's top stack before anything else happens in a battle. They will die. But in dying, they weaken that top stack's endurance, making it less effective in subsequent battles. It is quite possible to run either positive mana income or positive geld income with this strategy (but not both). Please note that the red dragons do not have to be the top stack in this configuration. Many experienced reds will argue that dragons are more effective in the 3rd or even 4th stacking slot. I do not disagree, but I rarely manage to achieve that.
The No Dragons Red
I also call this the "No Undisbandables" strategy. One of the problems with dragons is that once you have them, they are yours until they die! You can't get rid of them any other way. In the early stages of the game, or if you are catfishing in wartime, having undisbandable units can seriously limit your ability to move up and down in rank to attack selected targets. At low power levels, chimera are probably as effective as dragons. The No Dragons Red uses his chimera like red dragons - they are the power-hitting top stack. At higher power levels, this is not a particularly effective strategy, in my opinion. At low levels, this is my preferred strategy. I seldom summon any red dragons until I have at least 3,000 acres of land. Geld is generally not a big problem with this strategy - I can last a long time without having to do any gelding; but you will find yourself mana charging a fair bit. This is the one strategy I have found where it is possible to run a "fat" red mage that has both positive mana income and positive geld income.
The Blood Ritual Red
Blood Ritual is a nether spell that is available to red mages. When active, it generates ghouls for each turn taken in sizeable numbers. The spell lasts 200 turns. Before too long, the red finds that the ghouls are his top stack. Ghouls paralyze the stack they attack, so they do not take counterattack damage. Ghouls are relatively low in power rank, which means you can lose a lot of them and still win battles. I do not use this strategy, mainly because ghouls are undisbandable, and I tend to steer clear of most undisbandable units. However, I have seen red mages who employ this strategy rather effectively. Ghouls' upkeep is an odd combination of mana and population, which is an interesting mix in the resource management equation.
The Flame Shield Red
This strategy was very popular a couple of resets ago, when the developers made some very questionable changes to the Flame Shield spell. Those changes have since been removed from the game. Basically, the FS red attacks with a huge fodder stack (zombies, ghouls, or lizard men were the most popular) and the Flame Shield spell. Under the current rules, Flame Shield will only activate once in an attack. The fodder are sure to be slaughtered. So why use it? It has a very specialized use - it is still a devastating attack against a mage who has only one stack. The Flame Shield will burst on that stack, and it is quite likely to completely wipe it out. However, it must be a melee stack (it can be flying, but it must use a melee attack) and it must not be a unit with significant fire resistance. Fire resistance can be overcome by using Oil Flasks as your offensive item. Flame Shield also does not work against units that paralyze or opponents who cast Paralyze as a defensive spell, because the spell is triggered in your counterattack - if you don't counterattack (i.e., you are paralyzed), the spell does not trigger. Likewise, it does not work against ranged units, since counterattacks against ranged units always fail. This is one of the "gimmick" strategies I mentioned earlier - I do not recommend it.
The Off-Color Red
I think this is a truly idiotic strategy, usually limited to newbie players; but you will see it sometimes. In this strategy, the red mage uses stacks consisting entirely of non-red units. Most of these players like treants in particular (though red's Plant Growth is so weak that it hardly makes a difference!). I suppose the idea is that the attacker would never expect a red mage to be using a stacking like this. Well, of course not - it is dumb! It is a gimmick that doesn't work worth a hoot! Don't try it.
The VE Machine
In guild situations only, sometimes a guild likes to have a few red mages whose primary purpose in life is to cast Volcano Eruption spells on enemies. Since Volcano Eruption costs a lot of mana and turns, the VE Machine is usually set up to maximize mana production at the expense of other resources. This is a specialized gimmick mage that should only be used if your guild asks you to play this role.
stop calling it Machine...this is magic
Here are some of my opinions on color match-ups, particularly for offense:
==Red vs. Red=== My favorite color to attack! Particularly at low ranks, most reds do not have barriers. Reds without barriers have another common name - toast! I nearly always use a combination of Stun/Candle of Sleeping against other reds. It takes advantage of their low attack initiatives and lowers whatever resistance they may have. Even really good reds are marginal when comes to defense. The run-of-the-mill red is a juicy target.
Red vs. Green
Everyone "knows" that green is weak against red. Well, sometimes. Greens have a number of ways to screw you up, starting with barriers to block your spell and item and continuing with Call Hurricane which grounds your chimera stack and makes it a tasty dish for treants and werebears to chew on. There are some other green spells that cause serious problems for you, including Wooden Soul and Rust Armor. If you are going with dragons and chimera as your top stacks, you had better do your best to make sure the dragons line up against phoenix and the chimera against treants, because the opposite is devastating - phoenix are very nasty for chimera! That's the bad news. The good news is that greens have their own resource problems - huge ones; and they frequently have to take risks to overcome them. The biggest risk is not having a lot of barriers. If you get your spells and items through, you will beat most greens. Greens also love to Lore - and a loring green often has a "fake" army, consisting of a lot of Elven Archers, Elven Magicians, Nymphs, and Dryads. That is fun, too! Then there are the single-stack treant greens. If they also have Call Hurricane, they are trouble. If not, your flying stacks of dragons and chimera will eat them for lunch! I vary my spell/item combinations against greens, depending on what I know about their stacking. If they have treants and werebears as their main ground troops, then I use Flame Blade/Brooch of Protection or Flame Blade/Carpet of Flying. If they are relying on phoenix, then I use Flame Blade/Oil Flasks. If I have to guess, I usually go with Flame Blade/Brooch.
Red vs. White=
Whites with Love and Peace, Resurrection, and good barriers are very hard to beat! If you find one of these, look for another target, if you can. But all three of those ingredients must be present, or you can beat him. The Blood Curse spell stops his resurrection in its tracks; so if he has low/no barriers, it is not that hard to beat him. Some whites put Angels or Pegasus high in their stacking - this is also very beatable by the red's dragons and chimera. Generally, I use Blood Curse and a troop-killing item (Powder Keg, Staff of Illusion, Javelin of Lightning Bolt) against whites. Sometimes, I will use Blood Curse/Vial of Venom if I know they have significant numbers of white units (which generally are weak against poison attacks) and Mind Rippers (also weak against poison).
Red vs. Black=
Nether is the "red-killer" according to most commonly-held beliefs. I do not enjoy attacking black mages - my chances of winning are signficantly lower than against red, green, or white. But blacks can be beaten, particularly if they are over-summoned with zombies and skeletons. Red units will kill these in large numbers. And I just love to see red dragons line up against vampires - that is a slaughter! The problem are those #&$**@^ liches, of course. A lich-heavy nether is a red mage nightmare - very hard to beat offensively, though a bit easier to defend against. If the black mage doesn't have barriers, a Stun spell can seriously degrade the performance of his liches. If you are expecting nether attacks, you should always have Stun set as your defensive spell! If I attack a nether, I will nearly always use Stun. The item choice is optional: Candle of Sleeping is good and I use it a lot. I also use Flasks of Holy Water against blacks (black's big weakness is Holy attack). I do not recommend using a white spell against a black mage - white spells will more often than not "fizzle" in the hands of a red mage.
Red vs. Blue=
Ugh! I hate blue mages! Hate 'em, hate 'em, hate 'em. Blue is the chamelion color - a blue mage can mix up his stacks and his spells so much that it is almost impossible to predict what might work against them. The only time I will attack a blue is when I know his stacks - know them for sure! Some blues stack like white mages - in that case, I use a white strategy against them. Others, like nethers - use a nether strategy. A few have the idea that mass sprites are a good thing, but their idea of "mass" had better be right, or they are slaughterable! With enough sprites, I leave them alone; but if they try to go with 50K-60K or so, I hit them with a big dragon stack and the rest is history! Red dragons versus ice elementals is another very intersting battle - dragons are weak to cold attacks and ice elems are weak to fire attacks; generally, I find that the dragons do okay in that match-up. But bottom line - stay away from blue if you can! Part 4
Some people would say that "red defense" is an oxymoron. They are not far from wrong. Red is not a great defensive color. There are things you can do that will help. First, build barriers - full barriers. Red has enough problems on defense without letting spells and items compound the issue. Second, don't leave chimera stacked too high in your defensive stacking - chimera die to too many different causes, and they have a high power rating. This combination can cost you a lot of land if you are not careful. Third, I nearly always use the Stun spell as my defensive spell. Stun is cheap (in a mana sense) and it is about as effective a general-purpose spell as I know. Other spells are better in certain situations, but on defense, you rarely know what is coming. For a defensive item, I like Satchel of Mist a lot - it reduces the opponent's accuracy and that is a good thing. Spider Webs are a great defensive item, but probably too expensive for most reds. The same is true of Carpets of Flying. If I don't have Satchels available, I will try to use a troop-killing item of some kind (Staff of Illusion, Powder Keg, Javelin of Lightning Bolt) - usually something cheap that I can afford to buy. Every once in while, just to cross people up, I will set Inferno as my defensive spell. Most black mages are fast learners - they don't come back soon after running into one of those! But Inferno costs a ton of mana, so use it sparingly and never in war!
As I said at the beginning, you need to decide right at the start whether you are going to mana charge a lot or geld a lot. That decision will affect how you set your land up. Regardless of that decision, I recommend the following:
- Guilds: After research, leave about 200 guilds in place - they will generate items as you play; and as a red mage, you can't afford to do a lot of shopping in the Black Market. - Barriers: Yes, yes, and yes! 2.5% of your land should be barriers - that is also called "full barriers." - Fortresses: I try to keep somewhere between 1% and 1.5% of my land in fortresses. - Workshops: Have a minimum of 299. More is better, but not at the expense of your mana or geld generating capability. - Nodes, Farms, Towns: The balance will depend on your resource decision. But no matter what you do, always try to balance your towns and farms so that they each produce roughly the same number of population (you can check this on your Status Report page).
I believe there are two enchantments that a red should always run: Concentration and Weather Summoning. Unless you have a very high spell level, other enchantments are not worth it for a red. In battle, beware of the Battle Chant spell - it will increase your attack power to some extent, but it weakens the hit points of most red units. I generally do not use it. NEVER leave Battle Chant on when you are defending!
HEROES, EXTRA SPELLS, UNIQUES, AND "STUFF"
Red mages rarely have a lot of geld. Deciding how to spend it is important.
- Extra spells: If you buy an extra spell, you will have an increased spell level for the rest of the reset; and that higher spell level means you will summon more troops, be more effective as a spell-caster, and can dispell offensive enchantments more easily. In short, extra spells are a good thing! - Heroes: I think heroes are not generally worth the expense for a red. At least not until you have a very big red mage that is unlikely to see whole stacks wiped out in battle. Non-battle heroes, if bought cheaply, can be worth the expense; but remember, they cost you resources! My favorite non-battle hero is the Engineer. He can save you turns in building, and turns are one of the four resources. - Uniques: They cost too much to be worth it for a red mage, in my opinion. - "Stuff": I haven't said much about red's powerful spell weapons, Meteor Storm, Call Lightning, and Volcano Eruption; nor have I said a lot about the powerful attack/defense spells, Inferno and Chain Lightning. Be aware that they are there. Attack spells and enchantments are red's greatest strength, but they all cost resources. You generally cannot use them willy-nilly and expect to be able to do much else. If you are a new red player, use these judiciously - try them out, see what works for you and what doesn't. In particular, always be aware that Chain Lightning will kill your own troops as well as those of your opponent.
And that's all, folks!
A note by TheGreatOne
since ive been red forever I ought to add to this, ill do an in depth type of thing if I get round to it, but for now i will add this..
Stun is your friend, used with oil a good friend, used with candle (yes, candle is better IMO) your best friend...
giant strength is now a VERY good spell since they removed the resist own spell bug AM had...
Mass RD's ARE good, but in big mass and supported by a decent 2nd stack, IMO, FE's, yes that right, FE's.. 9 turns, 280-300k to cast (cant remember which) and you get 70-80 at normal spell level, as a 2nd stack, they suprise blacks trying to hit you expecting just RD and efreeti and chims, the element of suprise, and a suprise that has the ability to hurt 2nd stacks..
I find getting 1 cast of Sals/Wyv's/Hell hounds is nice, and maybe a few of hydra for defence due to their regen.
like I say, a few vague things I do and do ok with, but as ever, black is the biggest enemy of red.. I will post more when I get back into my stride somemore, hehe, the stuff I post will more be for a catfishing/warring red than ranking though..
A note by crappy
If u get hit alot by nether, use this stack: Chims/RD, having aroung 10-17k chims and 20-50 RD depending on your land. I only used Giant Strength but ofcourse if u can afford oil flasks it would rock!
Why this stack? well, nether who attacks erad usually try to kill alot of RDs So they'll be stacking UR, zombs or lich top. Chims don't take as much damage from lich or UR but they do massive damage in return. if they got zombs/lich/../.. the liches will still hit your chims and you'll kill huge amounts of zombs. I have RD as second to absorb damage and kill URs.