Advanced Strategy: Vanguards Part 3

Here’s a list of my favorite Vanguards for each faction! They’re not necessarily always the best in every matchup, but they’re all extremely powerful and incredibly fun. Let me know your favorite Vanguards!

This Vanguard floods the board with four units that generate gold, including one Captain and two units with 3 speed, allowing you to start taking control of resource centers immediately, and recruit new threats every turn!

I play a very punish-heavy Doom Sand. I wait for my opponent to overextend, then I slam down Genie Khan or Assassin Mage or Anubite Astromancer, so this start is extremely defensive, to let my opponent fall into that trap!

While certainly weak to ranged units, this Vanguard lets you start out with a powerful Zone Controller (see my previous post in this series for more information) while still generating tons of gold!

While this might seem weak at first, it has performed time and time again. Camazotz Sorcererlord’s Ruinous Blast spell is so threatening, especially early on in the game, that you can threaten a huge amount of the battleground. Let Ihalban Reaver advance to take resource centers, and if your enemy tries to stop him, you have an extremely powerful retort at Rank 4!

I barely ever run a Vanguard without Baazaria Necromancer anymore, it just allows you to spend your mana so efficiently early in the game. If you’re against a passive faction, use the Packmaster’s War Horn ability to call in Asanbosam Swiftblade to take a center resource tile. If you’re playing against an aggressive faction, us it on Asanbosam Warlord for its powerful one-time ranged strike!

Note that this Vanguard only if there is a water space on or next to the far center resource center (or really a water space on or next to any gold resource center, which is most of the time), otherwise substitute Inkanyamba for Dwarf Warrior and either Dwarf Pyromancer or Island Umlingo, depending on the matchup!

I was very tempted to just put Amazon Champion here by herself, since using her War Horn ability on the first turn is actually a very viable strategy, but I decided to shake things up. This is an all-or-nothing Vanguard that plays towards the center of the battleground. If the resource tile closest to you is gold, capture it immediately to start playing things like Tortuloid Soldier and Yugolori Sentinel to start building up gold. If the resource tile closest is mana, capture it and stand your ground in the center of the battlefield so you can take the gold tile next turn. Any enemy that gets close to challenge you will be within range of some serious spell damage.

Centaur Stampeders is one of the best Zone Controllers in the game, so run it up the center of the battleground and start wreaking havoc!

This Vanguard is deceptively powerful. Vukazi Scout lets you capture a resource center for only one gold, then Malicious Hantu threatens to paralyze or poison enemies at range, letting you slowly but surely get ahead and play some of the terrifying creatures Moonshadow has to offer. Vukazi General is here to Command the Hantu, letting it paralyze enemies with a rank of less than 3.

Hope you all liked my list! Share your thoughts in the comments or on the Discord server! See you all on the battlegrounds!

8 thoughts on “Advanced Strategy: Vanguards Part 3

  1. Really interested in the Baazaria idea. I like pairing the fast and uptempo Asanbosam with the Necromancer…. Going to have to try that one. Camazotz is one of the most underrated units in the game in my opinion.. That Ruinous Blast spell gives Ihalaban a major point scorer without having to spend a ton on their behemoths….I am with you on Kragg too, I like to rack up a lot of gold and do a big of fast damage, then send in heavy hitters!


  2. So many fun looking Factions! Moonshadow’s dark vibe has me definitely interested! Looks like I could spend a good few hours picking up and mastering each of the factions! Even Zermano has my attention! Looking forward to getting my hands on this! Could use a new board game to bring to game night!

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  3. You’re on a roll Afraid! I really like the Doom Sand Vanguard. The archer for a range threat and the +1 gold is key here to bring Anubite in early on to start wreaking havoc. As for Ihalaban, I haven’t used Camazotz ever since I got the game. I’ll have to check out this starting formation next time I play them. The reaver is a must have early in the game to generate that gold and provide some offense. I may try Parada or Primus or both the next time I play. I’ll definitely share this with my gaming group also. Thanks for the feedback Afraid!


  4. Im a Doomsand main and I’ve had a decent amount of experience figuring what is the best way to begin a match. I generally start with a captive, a sunray hawk, and a gorolox the captive will always stay on your end of the board giving you boosted resources the sunray hawk can help you get to resources faster then others and the gorolox is a good combatant early game to let you defend your resources long enough for you to pump out more soldiers to build an army harboring mana for the genie to pretty much wipe out any of your foes armies. Always save the wyvern and wyrm for end game as they are expensive but also will save you if you fall behind using the wyrm to pretty much slaughter any foes since it is one of the biggest creatures in the game and the wyvern will help you with aerial foes and take our ganged up units with its fire breath. The other units can be used in a number of ways from using your kidnappers to sneakily make your enemies waste resources to using your other magic users to control the board.

    When starting thou always try to get the most tiles as that will help you thrive since one of your characters can deal damage to all creatures on a sand tile also you can manuever these tiles so your big creatures can mover across the board faster then even parada.

    Factions that are difficult for Doomsand to fight against are Parada with their ranged units and measurable swiftness, Bazaaria with their seemingly endless hordes that could beat you in atrition, and Primus since they have the army building power that you can have able to put out lots or units at a speed and rate that can match you with the added benefits of having units built for cross aquatic combat.

    Remeber Doomsand is a land of criminals and cuthroats even the mages of the scorched wastes of blood and gold use these underhanded tactics to their aid you will need to build plans for how to trick opponents sometimes even risking a weaker unit to open them up to your bigger creatures it maybe cruel but kindness and comradery only get you so far before you are claimed by the sands of Doomsand.


    • Great analysis!!! Doom Sand has some great “finishers” like the Wyrum and multiple extreme spellcasters and the other units versatility can complement this. Parada, Primus and Baazaria are all tough matchups for sure for the reasons you pointed out. Parada in particular can really reach all over the board with ranged attacks and speed, and Doom Sand has to be mobile because those massive monsters and spells require multiple resource centers to sustain. Doom Sand vs Parada is always really high-octane madness!


  5. I’ve been playing a ton of primus, and have enjoyed testing your all-in primus opener with mystic witch and monarch coatl. Found a few issues with it, mainly a lack of mana to use spells after using the expensive runestone, and a lack of gold producing units.
    The Amazon champion opening, though, has been incredibly strong in my experience, bring two gold producing units on the board quickly. While it is slower than most other factions openings, it does allow you to capture the mine or mana pool closest to your base and support it with a ranged attacker. Holding the coatl in reserve for a later turn where you can purchase, move, and use the spell to eliminate one or two units is incredibly powerful. I have found this opening can be a bit weak to baazaria and its paralyze spells specifically, since it is so reliant on one large unit. Thanks for such a comprehensive article, it’s given lots of stuff to playtest!


    • Awesome insight Nate! Monarch Coatl is, IMO, the best overall unit in the game… The real question is do you implement it to gain a big lead or as a finisher. Amazon Champion is a powerhouse as well, and really sets the tone on the front lines. The reliance on large units is Primus’ downfall often, but also their greatest strength.. I think you’ve discovered a really big key in being successful with Primus, and that is using the Runestone for one big unit, and then outright purchasing another later in the game (or vice versa). It usually will take 2 “waves” of giant monsters for Primus to come out on top!


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