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Thread: Skin-changers are a nightmare. Vale of Anduin are the fiercest enemy I fought!

  1. #1

    Default Skin-changers are a nightmare. Vale of Anduin are the fiercest enemy I fought!

    Skin-changers are the bodyguard unit for all the Vale of Anduin, or Beornings as I call them, generals. These guys are beasts! Like all other generals they have a tiny retinue of 45 guys but they sport insane damage of about 24 and a crazy defense skill too. Their armour is not too great and they have no shield but they have 2 hit points and they are probably the fastest runners in the game as I've seen them outrun some heavy cavalry.

    In battle they tear through everything. They die very slowly due to their defense skill and health and display the ferocious might of bears. Mordor Uruk Bodyguards are a complete joke in comparison. Even the Easterling halberd bodyguard can't be compare to these killing machines.

    However, what makes them the strongest is their numbers. That's right. In my campaign the Skin-changers often make up half the enemy roster with the biggest amount I've seen is 13/20 unit being all generals with skin-changer bodyguards. I don't know how they get so many generals. I thought it was a 1-off thing but I kept killing using ballistas and archers on bridges and they just keep coming back. On average I killed 2 generals per turn and their numbers only increase.

    Having generals used as normal troops like that is so obnoxious. I had one battle where my army was left in ruins but I barely won... only to have 6 enemy generals escape with 1 soldier remaining. Two turns later all the skin-changers ressurected and the generals had full troops again. The generals also act as tanks for the 24 damage skin-changers. There really is nothing more terryfing that seeing lines and lines of marching skin-changers... hundreds of them moving towards you.

    The Beorning army overall is very strong. I've heard it's "well-rounded" and I expected to see a "jack-of-all trades kind of army. Instead I saw a really strong army. Eotheod are just great. Nice heavy cavalry and good horse archers which double as charger cavalry too. Great spears and great longbowmen who might be the best human non-ranger archer units. Of course they also have rangers which pack a bigger punch then Ithilien rangers (7 damage compared to 6). They also javelins, very solid swordsmen, and top-tier pikemen. Overall their army is much harder to fight against than Rhun and it's definitely stronger. They have: better archers, similar cavalry though Rhun just tends to field more cavalry in general, better shock-infantry, and better general's retinue.

    From watching the old 2.2 overview I got the feeling they'd be like Enedwaith but a bit stronger. To me it looks like they just are a very strong faction and I gravely underestimated them. I've been forced to exploiting archers and bridges in an attempt to defeat their skin-changers but even then they just burry me with corpses. Sauron was right to strike at Minas Tirith first because if he attacked Beorn's house instead he'd be so in over his head all his allies would instantly abandon him.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Skin-changers are a nightmare. Vale of Anduin are the fiercest enemy I fought!

    Yeah in one game Vale was reduced to one city, but it was filled with generals (like over a dozen). The snow orcs spent the next 100 rounds assaulting it over and over to no effect.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Skin-changers are a nightmare. Vale of Anduin are the fiercest enemy I fought!

    Quote Originally Posted by Multicolored View Post
    Yeah in one game Vale was reduced to one city, but it was filled with generals (like over a dozen). The snow orcs spent the next 100 rounds assaulting it over and over to no effect.
    Auto-resolve also favours them. If not part of a grand force they're easily dealt with using archers. The problem arises when the enemy also has 2-3 eotheod riders and 2-3 eotheod longbowmen and a forester unit. You can't snipe them because you suffer heavy losses, you can't flank them properly with the archers because the cavalry are gonna get you, and facing them head on is simply suicide. They really are tough adversaries! Though it feel really good when they get shot dead by ballistas... every time that happens I thank those operators for their service as by killing a single skin-changer they most likely saved 50 lives of my men.

    The worst thing is if the skin-changers get the walls. You can pretty much kiss all your troops on the wall goodbye unless you have fierce reinforcements coming up and quick!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Skin-changers are a nightmare. Vale of Anduin are the fiercest enemy I fought!

    Haha I had a similar experience playing as Isengard. Dwarfes and Gondor, no problem. Elves... tough but managable. But the vale... Those skin changers chewed through my Uruk Hai who even outperformed most Gondor Elites due to their high model count like they were butter. Luckily, it was the last settlement I needed for the victory conditions so I ended it all in a huge climatic battle with three full Isengard stacks against their 1,5. Lost so many troops but it was worth it

    I never noticed that the many general problem occured with the vale more often than with any other faction. If that's the case a fix would be appreciated as it is a real pain in the ****.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Skin-changers are a nightmare. Vale of Anduin are the fiercest enemy I fought!

    Playing as the Vale is pretty easy because of how crazy these Skinchangers are. Overall they are quite a good faction, especially early game but they have a decent late game army because it is so versatile. You are playing as AA and thus you have very little cavalry and not too many archers either. That's not good; no easy way to win this that I see. I did not know the AI could recruit so many skinchangers.

    I'm going to guess that you did not get moving quick enough in the early game and are now in a very tough spot. You should have far more regions by turn 175. Sailing north and taking Angmar is not a great strategy unless you are good with diplomacy, for Angmar itself is surrounded by good factions. Also it takes a lot of time. It looks like the Blue Dwarves also got powerful with you destroying their enemy.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Skin-changers are a nightmare. Vale of Anduin are the fiercest enemy I fought!

    Those troublesome beornings foiled my plans. Though by now using diplomacy and cunning I have finally defeated them but it was not easy at all.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Skin-changers are a nightmare. Vale of Anduin are the fiercest enemy I fought!

    That's odd. I didn't find them too challenging in my evil faction campaigns (always play VH/VH). I played Orcs of Gundabad a while a go and I'm now Goblins of Moria.

    All you need to do is outnumber (particularly as Goblins or similar trash-army faction) and SURROUND them. Always run around and attack from the back. They are also quite vulnerable to cavalry charge (your basic Wargs will do just fine) and javelins.

    It's obviously a pain in the ass when you try to fight them "1 vs 1" with, for example, your bodyguard. But they are just 45 men a Unit, so you can easily outnumber them by hundreds or even thousands of troops in the battle field. Just make sure you get a nice surround AND when using Wargs, never hit them up front, always on the back or side and when they are already engaged in fighting some of your infantry. As for javelins - also try to run around and throw these javelins at them from the back or side for best effect (again, while they're already engaged in melee fight).

  8. #8

    Default Re: Skin-changers are a nightmare. Vale of Anduin are the fiercest enemy I fought!

    I always outnumber them with trash units, also, since they don't have shield's stat, all units charged from behind, like them with no shields, you'll trample, bc their defense on their backs is 0.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Skin-changers are a nightmare. Vale of Anduin are the fiercest enemy I fought!

    Like most crazy powerful units in this game, they're only a problem when you don't have easy access to javelins.

    The skin changers were definitely needed in the previous version to keep Anduin alive, and in the current version they're quite crucial to early settlement defense and expansion. I've never had to face late-game Anduin, but if they're really able to collect that many skin changer generals then I'll try to leave them alone if I'm ever in that position
    Last edited by LuckyPistol; January 24, 2020 at 03:12 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Skin-changers are a nightmare. Vale of Anduin are the fiercest enemy I fought!

    [QUOTE=LuckyPistol;15869765]Like most crazy powerful units in this game, they're only a problem when you don't have easy access to javelins. /QUOTE]
    One of the cleanest ways of dealing with them was when they came too close to my rhudaur axe throwers. After 4 volleys a handful of them were alive and the axe throwers killed them in melee.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Skin-changers are a nightmare. Vale of Anduin are the fiercest enemy I fought!

    Kudos for landing with AA in the north. I did the same, and it was a very interesting campaign.

    The only drawback is, as others have mentioned, is AA lack of cavalry. Hence, the difficulty versus Anduin.

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