Intense music fills your ears, and you shudder as your last Kougra is taken off of the board. All that remains now are two Scorchios and the Eyrie leader. You have already determined the location of the other team’s Eyrie, but your three remaining pieces are no match for the four others that rest on the other side of the board. You ponder for a moment; if your Eyrie dies, the game is over, but neither Scorchio has any attack power. What should you do?
As of April 16 of Y12, there has been a new game released into Neopia: Sorcerers’ Skirmish. It takes vaguely after chess, save that the movements are more complex and there are various potions. And the pieces are much cooler.
The first time I played Sorcerers’ Skirmish was after watching my brother, Cy the Pteri, play. He basically took out the Skeith and Gelert, pushing his way through all of his opponents and trying to destroy them all. He did not win most of the time, for though he loves games like NeoQuest, he has no talent with strategy. I, on the other hand, have the intelligence of Mega Genius (54), despite the fact that I am a girl and the youngest in the family, making me the better strategist and writer.
As I have learned, each piece is very unique on what it can do. Here is a quick overview on each piece:
This fast moving sorceress can fly over walls and other players. Though her attack is somewhat weak, she can destroy fire.
Main element: Ice
Trained in the caverns of Terror Mountain, Acaras are the ideal pieces for getting places quickly. They are particularly good at attacking the Eyrie leader, though they can also take out Gelerts. They are the only thing that can kill Scorchios without a potion. Unfortunately, they can be killed easily with anything save other Acaras and Scorchios, though their immense speed allows them to attack from afar. I often use Acaras for getting through the game quickly, by attacking the Eyrie leader, but only the Eyrie leader. Attack almost anything else and they are killed. I often use Acaras to start the game, as they can get to the other side of the board quickly. Further down in the article is how to win only using one or both Acaras in the easy section.
This sorceress is well balanced and good enough for basic combat.
Main element: Light
Most Kougras come from Faerieland, and are evenly trained fighters. They can move relatively quickly, and can blast through almost anything. They can destroy everything but Skeiths and Scorchios. They can be easily be defeated by other Kougras and Skeiths. Against a Gelert, they must be the one to attack. I try to use Kougras second, because they can move at a relatively fast speed.
This tough magician more than makes up for his low speed with strong defense and offence.
Main element: Earth
Skeiths are mainly found in Meridell, and are good at attacking pieces that are very close to themselves. They are close to indestructible, but if attacked by another Skeith, Gelert, or the Eyrie leader, they can be killed. They can destroy anything but Scorchios, though there is a risk that they might be attacked by a Gelert due to their low speed. I have found that they are often in the back row, meaning that you must move other pieces out of the way first. I often use them third.
Though weak on defense, this magician has the speed and offence to be useful for quick, strong attacks.
Main element: Water
From Maraqua, Gelerts are good for attacking from a couple of spaces away. They are able to attack anything except for Scorchios, but if they get to close to anything they will immediately die. Preparing to attack other Gelerts, Kougras or Acaras is not recommended, since they can move the same amount, if not more, then your Gelert. If they move first, then go ahead. I personally do not like Gelerts, as they can be killed very easily. They happen to be my least favorite piece, and I often use them fourth.
This unit is extremely strong on defense, so try to trick your opponent into attacking it.
Main element: Fire
Most Scorchios come from Meridell, although a few of them are also from Moltara. They have the most extreme stats out of anything else on the board, and their low defense and speed may seem like they are the worst pieces. I have found this to be entirely untrue, as they are now one of my favorites. Using Scorchios, you have the ability to create a wall that can only be destroyed by an Acara. Anything else that tries to attack it is immediately killed. Listed in the hard section is a way to only win using two Scorchios (yes, you can defeat the Eyrie leader without attacking him). I only set up Scorchios as a line of defense, moving them at random moments in the game.
Each version of the game can be very different, each varying how you play the game:
Playing the easy way is, well, easy. You can visibly see each of your opponents, so you know what you are up against. You can target the Eyrie leader, and, using an Acara and a Dash potion, can win in only a few turns. My current record is seven turns only using one Acara. If you are defeated, use the other Acara (note: do not use the second Acara in Medium or Hard). If using that Acara does not work very well, then you should start using your Kougras and Gelert, sending them to defeat the edge of the other Army in front of the Eyrie. The Kougras should be closer then the Gelert (see Girl Power in the hard section for more info). Skeiths and Scorchios are hardly ever used in easy.
Medium is where things start to get tricky. This is also helpful for beginning on Hard, but later you cannot use this. You are unable to see your opponents’ pieces, and have no idea what you are up against, nor as to where the Eyrie leader may be. The first step, though, happens to be finding out where the Eyrie might be. As a general rule, they are close to directly across the board from your Eyrie, but sometimes that is untrue. Eyries are always in the back row, though, making them difficult to get to without defeating the pieces in front of them. What I often do is send my first Acara to the Dash potion, and then to go for what is believed to be the Eyrie. Sometimes I get lucky and hit him on the first try, but most of the time it is something else, probably with a higher defense than the Acara’s attack of 1. That piece will then be shown and the Acara will die.
The other team also has another piece out by now. If you watch its movement, you will be able to determine what it might be. If it has gone over a wall or another piece, it is an Acara. If it has moved a little bit, then it is a Kougra or a Gelert. If it has moved only a slight amount, then it is a Skeith or Scorchio. The Eyrie is hardly ever moved. Ignore it for now, though it is recommended that you put something with a larger defense than 2 near by. You can use this strategy to figure out what you are up against.
Either you have now won the game or your Acara is dead. From here, do not use your other Acara yet. At this point you should start moving other pieces forward. Begin with your Kougras, Gelert, and Skeith. The Scorchios should set up a wall after they have all gotten through. Your Gelert and Skeith should work together as a team, with the Skeith in front. The Kougras can fight alone. The other team will have most likely sent their Acaras forward first. You should not fight an Acara with another Acara, though if the other Acara attacks yours, you will win the battle. After the Acaras have been defeated, continue sending your pieces forward. Go down the back row until you hit the Eyrie leader. The first row will not contain the Eyrie leader. You should be able to do this in less than thirty turns.
Playing on the hardest level is very different. You have to learn how to win only using a few pieces, as most of yours will have already have been defeated. Follow the Medium strategy, which will most likely work. There are a few cases in which it fails, and these are some of the ways to win.
Play name: Dynamic Duo
Pieces used: Scorchio/Skeith and Acara/Gelert
Procedure: Remember the Acara you haven’t used yet? Or perhaps you have, and had forgotten about your Gelert. This is where either of those pieces finally becomes useful. Put the offence piece behind a Scorchio or a Skeith. Move the defense forward first, and then continue putting the offence behind it. As soon as you hit an enemy, you can A. attack with the offence piece. This is good if you have a Gelert, but if you have an Acara and know that you are definitely up against a Gelert or the Eyrie leader, then you should use this method. If not: B. move another piece and let the opposition attack your defense. Unless there are two Skeiths, then you have won that battle. Continue this for a while. Once you get to the Eyrie Leader, use the offence piece to attack. You do not have to be right next to him; you can be a little bit away.
Play name: Girls v. Boys
Pieces used: Gelert and Kougra against a Skeith (and possibly Scorchios)
Procedure: Similar to the Dynamic Duo, this play uses only two pieces. It does require sacrificing the Kougra. It may seem like all hope is lost, but if you bring them sideways to each other, you should be able to defeat the Skeith. The Kougra should be closer, and the Gelert right behind. When the Skeith has defeated the Kougra, attack the Skeith. Make sure that the Gelert was not too close to the Skeith, otherwise she will be defeated instead and the Kougra will be powerless. From there, defeat the Eyrie with the Gelert.
Play name: Last Resort
Pieces used: 1 or 2 Scorchios
Procedure: This is the most extreme of all of the scenarios. You have only your defense pieces and Eyrie left. Leave one Scorchio near the back, and send the closest one to the other Eyrie forward. Most likely the other team only has four or five pieces left, and all of the Acaras and potions are gone, making it so that Scorchios cannot die. Bring your Scorchio next to the Eyrie, and try not to be next to anything else. If you are lucky, the Eyrie should attack your piece and you emerge victorious. Occasionally, though, if your Scorchio is next to another piece, then the Eyrie will not attack. The worst is if you are next to another Scorchio, and that piece will probably not get out of the way. In that case, leave your Scorchio there and bring your other Scorchio around on the other side. If the Eyrie still refuses to attack you, readjust your Scorchios. This is very slow, and you were probably already over thirty turns before you had to start this. It should only be used as, yes, the last resort.
These are just a few ways to get out of tight scrapes. There are millions of possibilities, and there is no one solution to the game. Happy skirmishing!