Guide to Evaluating Unit Strength
Heyo! I’m FeralPony and I’m new here! I’m a game designer who loves Blight and I’ve also always loved community guides so thought I’d try my hand at one and help some new players out. I’ve played through the majority of the Single Player missions and done about two dozen or so Multiplayer games at varying difficulties, but I’m still a relatively new player. So while many of the folks here are more experienced with the game and they’ll write much better specific guides than I will. I thought I’d take a different approach by making a quick guide to help people evaluate the power of their units. I thought I’d take this approach because I’m personally very interested in the theory portion of unit design and there were some things I was undervaluing when I first started.
Core Critical Stats -
Cost per Card:
This is the total gold cost. It’s pretty straightforward, but one thing to focus on especially for these cards is how they relate to your opening hand. You have a limited amount of starting gold and the more units you can start with and spread your territory the better. In multiplayer games this is doubly important since you may not be online when the game starts and getting units moving on their first order is critically important. In this phase of rapid expansion cheaper cards generally reign supreme, while later on when strictly combat becomes more important more expensive cards increase in value.
This is the total strength of the unit. It’s the big number you’ll see on the unit from the map screen and it’s the number that’ll be compared to the zombies strength when combat occurs. The higher value here the better because the higher score wins!
Speed is a very important stat in Blight, since it’s fundamentally a game about resource manipulation and map presence. Speed is displayed as a # of hours it takes to get from the corner of 1 triangle to the next corner. In this regard a lower speed is better. A unit with 3 speed vs 6 speed is going to arrive twice as quickly to it’s location. This may not seem like a big deal especially in the multiplayer game where you may not be logging on every hour but with the addition of terrain which slows all units down or other factors these speed differences can be immense and mean the difference between saving a town or having to deal with another 500 zombie orcs.
Number of Units: This is the number of a cities population that are removed when a unit is made. While not the most important stat there are a few things to keep in mind. All other things being equal a lower here is better. Why?
1- If the unit is killed in combat it will be resurrected as the enemy. The more troops in a unit the more that are turned against you.
2- Units are drawn from local population numbers which generate gold. One way you can think of it is the unit size will drain a permanent X gold per day for the duration of the game in addition to it’s main cost. (X is based on type of unit. Orcs and Humans generate less income per person and are less expensive to recruit in the long run (0.5 per person). Dwarfs and Goblins generate 2 gold per day per person. Trolls and Elves generate 1 gold per day)
3- Units drawn from the local population mean there are less soldiers to draw from in the future.
There are a few Benefits though worth calling out for large unit sizes. Each of these fundamentally come down to bonus strength that is applied per soldier, as opposed to a bonus for the overall unit.
1- Combat Experience - Each time a unit partakes in combat it gains experience. This increases the strength of each individual unit but 1 point (occasionally more for bigger units). A unit a 60 50 Orcish Swords have 12 Strength each. Winning a combat increases their strength to 13 which adds an extra 50 overall strength!. This number keeps increasing and you can fuse units of the same type together and transfer that experience resulting in insanely powerful units.
2- Leadership Units or Fortification - Many units increase the strength of their fellow soldiers in their army. This might say something like +6 strength to all Orcs in your army. Similar to Combat Experience this number gets big really fast. Toss them in front of giant piles of men for best results.
3- Fortification - Similar to Leadership but it’s only given when defending larger cities.
4- Ranged Attacks - Most ranged attacks are made on a per-unit basis. The more units you have the stronger the volley.
Strength Per Unit:
This is functionally how strong each unit for it’s population cost. Goblin Pirates are 150 strength for a single soldier, while Goblin Archers may be 150 strength for the entire 25 man squad and as a result are less powerful per unit. Not really a big deal when you’ve already looked at unit size and overall strength but is another nice tool to help evaluate units and one I’ve seen the ironhelm folks use for balancing units already.
While not directly tied to the units value it is very important. This is due to quantity and redundancy. As a player you have limited card slots and currency, and rare cards are frankly harder to get. If using the drafting system you have a 10% chance of a Rare card, 30% of an Uncommon, and 60% common. (I personally recommend just recruiting hero cards from in game when you sometimes stumble on them in settlements as it’s WAY more cost effective, but you have even less choice in what units you discover)
This ultimately means you simply will not have access to every card you want, and certainly not maximum copies of every card you want this is doubly true for Rare Cards. Blight does a good job of generally making units of all rarities pretty useful, with Uncommons and Rares being more specialized units, not just strictly better than Commons (though some are). As a result having 6 copies of a mediocre card is usually much better than having 1 copy of a rare card since in total they’ll be way more powerful than your rare card.
Race Specific Relative Strength:
Let’s look at Forge Urchin vs Wolfpup Handler. It’s an adorable Strength 16, 25 Gold Cost Dwarf with Speed 4 and compare it with the Wolfpup Handle a Strengh 24, 50 Gold, Orc with Speed 3. For all effective purposes I’d take the Wolfpup Handler, but I feel Forge Urchin is the better card at the end of the day.
Why would I say that. For starters I’m going to ignore the differences in price because both are “Dirt Cheap”, and strength because both are “Pathetically Weak”. But the Wolfpup is much faster, and for a cheap scouting unit I want speed above all else. So why is Forge Urchin a great card? Because it’s speed of 4 is wildy off-norm for Dwarfs. Orcs have lots of units with speed of 3 and tons of them with speed 4. Relatively speaking they aren’t that much faster than base orc units and have competition because orcs are fast, while Dwarfs are slow so the Urchin is awesome. Additionally Dwarfs don’t have very many cheap units so early rush units are super helpful.
It’s important to keep units in perspective in how they related to other units in their race. Is a unit faster? Stronger Per Unit? Rare ability? The only Ranged Unit? The only compulsion (zombie moving) Unit? A good go-to reference point if you don’t have all the units of a faction is to look at the base troop type. They have the standard speed, strength, and cost for a faction.
Almost never used, but there are a few cards that use the unit types and keywords.
Finally, Look at the Unit’s Ability
While it might seem logical to jump right into what the unit’s special power is, I recommend starting with the base stats when evaluating a new unit. The reason is you get to compare it to the baseline first. Establish what core attributes make it different and then move into what unique feature it brings. Some units, generally those with one a unit size of 1 and generally low strength may effectively only bring an ability to the table but that should be quickly made clear when you see how poor their base stats are
There are a few types of basic Hero Cards to watch for.
Specialist Fighters - These are basic army units that get a bonus in a particular Terrain type or under some other condition (like current mana pool etc). Generally they are equal in strength to basic soldiers of their race but are smaller in number requiring you to trigger their condition to be stronger. Most monsters also fall into this camp
Recruiters - These units either let you hire soldiers or Heros either cheaper or from odd locations (like far away from towns etc).
Scouts - Units like Wolfpup Handler and Forge Urchin. They are cheap, fast, and terrible at everything else. Use these to scout ahead and get far out settlements without committing your real units to the journey.
Shooters - These are cards like Dark Forest Witch or Artillery and generally only exist for their ranged attacks. (FUN TRICK! If you have two ranged units in the same zone, fire one. Grab the second one and fuse it to the first one. You’ll be able to make another ranged attack with a larger group. Useful for when you need bursts of arrows!)
Leaders- Cards like Desert Maiden, or Foolhardy Bigwig exist just to increase the leadership of your armies. They generally also have decent strength especially for a 1 model unit.
Manipulators - These manipulate the Zombies in some ways and are some of the most powerful cards in the entire game. Tree Whisperer and Bridge Witch here can force entire swarms of zombies to move in a different direction or lock them in place. Either way you’re now in control.
Merchants - These are cards like Cowardly Noble or Miners that allow you to transfer one resource into another. Valor for Gold, Mana for Gold, etc.
Flyers! - While rarer than most units these units can fly (Like Griffons and Dragons!)! This means they are fast and you can spend Valor to make them ignore collision with Zombies. These are really flexible units but tend to be on the weakside and very expensive. Use with care!
Using these lenses I want to show an example of it in action! Let’s say I got this unit and compare it to the base unit of dwarfs.
If I start by comparing it to the base dwarf unit, I can focus on the differences instead of unit in isolation. In this case these guys have identical Total Strength, Unit Count, Speed, and Type. Let’s look at the differences.
Wing Warriors have in their favor: Lion Strength Ability (+Strength when Griffons are Flying),
Wing Warriors suffer vs the Basic Unit: +50 Total Gold (250 vs 200) and they are Uncommon.
When all other factors are removed it should be much easier to look at a map and assess if you feel these guys are worth grabbing on a given map.
Anyways hope this was useful for somebody and helped you evaluate how powerful the unit’s you’re picking up are! It’s a new style of guide writing for me so if there is any feedback I’d love to hear it.