I want to share with you all an underused strategy that my friends and I have taken to calling “hummingbirding” (because hummingbirds are the only birds that can hover in place without needing to land). Hummingbirding started as a descriptor for how I started nearly every game when playing Zermano. I would fly my Scouting Gargoyle over to the center resource tile closest to me, and not land to capture it.
Scouting Gargoyle only has 2 health, meaning almost all attacks can take it out. This is why, as a cheap and fast flier, it’s usually most useful capturing resources in the left-or-right-side columns of the battleground rather than the center, where it’s most likely to get targeted. However, moving all the way up to the corner resources can take a couple turns, whereas flying this critter up the center column can happen on turn one.
Once I had the Scouting Gargoyle hovering over those resources, it was extremely useful at denying those resources from my opponent, as well as forcing them to move their units around that space rather than through it. This might seem counterintuitive, since it seems obvious that capturing resource spaces sooner is always better, since they then maximize the amount of resources you get every turn. However, since a lot of high-mobility units are balanced out by having low health, there’s actually an extremely likely chance that your unit wouldn’t be able to hold those resources for very long at all. Furthermore, once that unit dies, it opens up the space to get captured by your opponent.
Hummingbirding solves this by denying your opponent resources early by keeping your flying unit out of reach, only making it land once that area is protected by your other units. You can hummingbird with any flying unit, but there are some that are exceptional at it. Much like Scouting Gargoyle, there are other flying units with additional evasive abilities that let them take up space without putting themselves at risk. For example:
Some of these fliers also fall into the other big category: powerhouse threats that make your opponent stay away for fear of the flier attacking. Some other notable examples are:
High-cost units like these give up a lot of victory points when they’re destroyed, so it’s a good idea to Hummingbird with them to keep them alive as long as possible while still intimidating your opponent and keeping them away from your resources. I hope to hear all about how you use this strategy, and as always, I’ll see you all on the battleground!