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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 22nd day of Collecting, Yr 19
The Neopian Times Week 65 > Articles > How to Become an Invasion of Meridell Champion

How to Become an Invasion of Meridell Champion

by tskaaron

MERIDELL - So you like the look of the new Neopets game, Invasion of Meridell. (Or maybe you just like the idea of adding a shiny new trophy to your cabinet.) You've read the instructions, you've read the strategy guide, and you think you're ready to kick some tail. But no matter how hard you try, you just CAN'T beat those pesky Invader Moehogs, the Lost Item is as far from your grasp as ever, and... is that another village being sacked over there?

Never fear! Read this handy guide, and you'll be an IoM champion in no time...

INTRODUCTION: SO WHAT IS INVASION OF MERIDELL?
Experienced gamers will recognise Invasion of Meridell - IoM for short - as a simple wargame. Yes, I said 'simple'! IoM has a lot less rules than many of the RL games. But it's still complex enough to be a real challenge for complete beginners to get to grips with.

The game board here represents Meridell; your troops are Meridell citizens, trying to defend their homeland from the evil, warped Invaders. Your aim is to stop the Invaders sacking the villages. Some people make a mistake in thinking that the aim of the game is to convert all the Invaders back to their good Meridell selves, and are so busy doing this that they forget about the villages altogether, which leads to serious tactical errors. Remember that you can afford to lose no more than three villages - lose a fourth and it's game over!

YOUR TROOPS
You start with five fighters. In each successful battle you gain new fighters, but at the end of every battle you have to choose to discard all but five of these to carry on to the next battle. As a general rule, you stick with the five that you started with, who have been accumulating bonuses since the very first battle.

These are the five species of Neopet featured in IoM, and you start with one of each on your side:

Moehog - the weakest of the fighters at the outset, but what they lack in hardiness they make up for in speed.

Skeith - strong but slow. Your best attacker through at least the first 2-3 missions, and with the right items also becomes much more flexible moving around the board.

Techo - the least specialised of your fighters, but can become an excellent all-rounder when given the right items.

Scorchio - unremarkable in early missions, but when they get to Soldier rank, with a Bow in hand, Scorchios become really powerful fighters!

Grundo - seems fairly weak and insignificant at first, but get hold of some magic items and in the later battles your Grundo will become THE indispensable one of your troops.

VITAL STATISTICS
Stats are made up of three things: health, attack strength, and defence strength. It is strongly advised that to see full details of both sets of troops' stats during the game, along with the items your fighters are carrying, you click on 'Fixed Full' in the top right hand corner of the screen.

Hit points (hp) represent the health of the fighter. Your fighter is on full health with 18hps, and no matter how hard you try to heal them their hps will never rise above 18. If any fighter's hps fall to 0 or lower, they are converted to the other side of the battle.

Attack strength represents how good a fighter is at hitting things. The higher a fighter's attack, the more damage they are likely to do when they attack an enemy. This is primarily based off the SECOND number of the attack strength (the one after the plus sign). If your fighter has an attack of 8 or less and is carrying no weapon then there will be only one number.

Defence strength represents how good a fighter is at avoiding damage when attacked. Like attack it can be composed of two numbers. The base defence can never rise above 14, while the bonus comes entirely from whatever defence item the fighter is carrying, so if your fighter has no defence item then they have no bonus. Add the two numbers together to get the overall level of defence for your fighter.

SAVES AND RANKS
An Invader is converted back to its good Meridell self - saved - when it's health is reduced to 0. The more saves you can make the better, as fighters with several saves will increase in rank. Try to have your main five fighters make all the saves, so that they will increase in rank faster. These are the ranks:

With no saves, a fighter starts as a VILLAGER
With THREE saves a fighter becomes DEFENDER
With NINE saves a fighter becomes a SOLDIER
With EIGHTEEN saves a fighter becomes CAPTAIN
With THIRTY saves a fighter becomes a LIEUTENANT

Every time a fighter increases in rank they are given an extra point of attack and defence strength (up to a maximum of 18 attack, 14 defence). So you want each of your fighters to make several saves to help improve their stats, but don't let any one get too far ahead of the rest! It is far better to have a well-balanced army of five Soldiers than four weak fighters under a powerful Captain or Lieutenant.

USEFUL ITEMS
Aside from mountains, villages, and troops, you will see several kinds of items dotted about the game board. There are four kinds of items: healing potions, attack boost items, defence boost items, and Lost Items. If an Invader should move onto a square occupied by any of these items the item will vanish, though the Invader cannot make use of it.

Healing potions: There are two of these around the centre of the board at the beginning of every battle. Fairly obvious how to use these, just try to land your fighters on one of them when their hit points are getting low.

Attack and defence items: Two of each these will be placed at random somewhere on the lower half of the board in each battle. The most powerful items won't start to appear until the later battles. Almost every attack and defence item works better for one species than for any of the others. If you want some pretty heavy clues as to what items work best for a species, click on the little pictures of each of your fighters that appear next to their stats.

Lost Items. You do not NEED to get the Lost Items to successfully complete the game, but it does make things a lot easier if you do, especially in the earliest missions where your fighters are at their weakest. Recapturing a Lost Item will boost the attack and defence strength of every one of your fighters by one point each (up to the maximum level of 18 attack and 14 defence). You will probably need to defeat at least a couple of the Invaders before you get a decent chance to send a fighter off towards the Lost Item. But don't wait too long, as because when there is only one Invader left on the board the Lost Item will vanish for the rest of the battle!

STRATEGY TIPS FOR MOVING YOUR FIGHTERS
You are allowed up to five moves each turn. You can use each move for a different fighter, or you can choose to move the same two or three fighters several times. Each can only move a certain number of times, depending on their species (if you look a little way below the game board it tells you how many moves each species can make in one turn). Generally speaking it makes sense to move all or most of your fighters up into a defensive line in front of the villages at the outset. But you might want to give some extra moves to those fighters who are in a position to grab any decent items that are sitting around the board.

Before you start moving your fighters, you may want to check out your opponents' stats (by clicking 'Fixed Full') and deciding which of the Invaders you want to target first. It is usually best to target your earliest attacks against the weakest Invaders; that is, those with the lowest defence. Also keep an eye out for which Invaders have the highest attack, as these are the ones who can do most damage to your troops.

Once you have managed to save a couple of the Invaders the fight usually starts to get a lot easier. But if the converted Invaders are too weak to defend themselves, you may want to think of moving them out of reach of the remainder of the Invaders so that they are not reconverted to the enemy side

PREDICTING THE ENEMY'S MOVES
Being able to predict what your enemy will do is a great help in battle. The first thing they do is, obviously, advance across the board, to where your fighters and the villages you are protecting await them. At this stage they will advance in a straight line unless there is a mountain in their way, in which case they move diagonally around it.

When they reach a square adjacent to one of your fighters they will attack at the first possible opportunity - UNLESS there is also a village in one of the squares adjacent to the Invader. If they have a choice of attacking a fighter or sacking a village, they will choose the village; the only way to stop this happening is to save that Invader before the end of your turn.

The number of moves in the enemy's turn depends entirely on the number of Invaders left on the board. Each Invader will make one move with each and every turn, regardless of their species. The INTELLIGENCE of their moves, however, does seem depend on their species. The easy Moehog Invaders tend just to advance in vertical lines down the board until they walk into an enemy to hit or a village to sack, whereas the more cunning Scorchios and Grundos may move in a variety of directions with the aim of following or ganging up on your fighters.

HOW COMBAT WORKS
And finally, we come to the nasty technical maths bit - it can really help you if you understand this, because it lets you work out EXACTLY how much damage your fighter could do to an opponent, and vice versa. But if you can't stand maths, or if all you wanted was a few tips for game strategy, it might be an idea to skip this bit for now and keep it for future reference if things start going wrong.

To see how combat works, again you need your stats set to 'Fixed Full' - as well as showing full stats for both sides it shows how well you rolled your virtual die from 1-20 when you engage in combat. This is the random element of the game, with a 20 doing the most damage and a very low roll missing altogether.

How hard your fighter hits is based on adding together the SECOND number of the fighter's attack and the number that they roll between 1 and 20. For example, if your fighter has an attack strength of 18 + 4 and rolls an 11, they will hit with a strength of 15 (4 + 11 = 15).

How much damage a hit of strength 15 will do depends on the defence of the individual being attacked. The damage is the strength of the hit minus the defence of the opponent. So, if your opponent only has a defence of 8, then your 15 strength hit will do 7hps damage (15 - 8 = 7). If your opponent has a defence of 15 or more, then a hit of strength 15 will not damage them at all.

So, to sum it up in terms of mathematical formulae:

B + R = S
Where B is the fighter's attack Bonus, R is the number that they Roll when attacking,and S is the Strength of their hit.

S - D = I
Where S is the Strength of the attacker's hit, D is their opponent's Defence, and I is the amount of Injury done to the opponent in hit points.

Use this to work out what is the maximum damage your fighter can take in a round by looking at the defence strength of your fighter and the attack strength of any adjacent Invaders. (The attack bonus of the Invader doesn't show on their stats, but you can work it out by looking at the game's strategy guide page.) Assume that every Invader who is in a position to hit your fighter will roll a 20 and you can use the formulae above to work out what is the worst possible damage they can do to your fighter in a single enemy turn.

Of course it is very unlikely that the Invaders will all roll 20s; and if the Invaders have more than one fighter within target range, you can only guess at which ones they will try to attack. This is where you have to take a calculated risk, but it helps to be able to work out your odds of survival.

The above guide was condensed for readability. The original version appears on the Derangel's pet page. I hope you learned something from reading it, and that now you can go out and get a nice big gold trophy for your cabinets - and have fun playing IoM while you're at it!

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