Stormbound: Kingdom Wars Tactical Guide To Holding Your Frontline

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Winning at Stormbound: Kingdom Wars is all about tactical positioning and maintaining an indomitable frontline. Paladin Studios / Kongregate

Stormbound combines deck building and unit combat on a chess-like board. Unlike most CCGs, placement of units matters just as much as which units you play. While Stormbound has a steep play curve, particularly if you don’t want to spend any money, it’s possible to give yourself an edge even against superior decks by deploying these tactics in your next battle.

Always Be Swapping

It’s tempting to stick with the plan laid out during an enemy’s turn. Chances are you’ve already done the simple arithmetic and know the maximum you can afford with the available mana. But  instead of first strategizing which card to play, consider which card to discard.

One card can be swapped out for a randomly drawn card each turn. Do it every chance you get. You might be surprised by the new strategy formulations that pop up.

Early in a battle, swap out the expensive units you can’t yet afford. Don’t worry, they’ll be back. Later in the battle, when mana is plentiful, swap out your cheapest card and hope for something more brutal. Always swap.

Complementary Units

Unlike more sprawling deck building games, the relatively limited Stormbound decks offer more opportunity for dual-action tactics. Two cards with complementary powers aren’t very useful if they’ll never show up in your hand together. But in Stormbound, the opportunity will arise fairly often.

Frosthexers and Midwinter Chaos freeze units on the board. Drop an Icicle Blast to blow them apart. Photo: Paladin Studios / Kongregate

The Front Lines

More than units, the most important part of a Stormbound battle is maintaining the furthest forward frontline possible. Your frontline determines where you can drop troops at the beginning of your next turn. Get close enough and you can spawn fighters who can run into the enemy base unopposed.

Two strategies are essential in establishing and holding a frontline right at your enemy’s door.

First, diversify your troop expenditures. While it may be tempting to spawn the most powerful unit you can afford, if it means holding only one square on the frontlines, then it’s probably wiser to use your mana on two or more less powerful unit cards.

Second, deploy forward bases. It’s enticing to use buildings more like support units — plopping Emerald Towers or The Hearth on the back row to buff troops — but support buildings are best used in tandem with damage-soaking buildings like Fort of Ebonrock. Since building abilities don’t take effect until the beginning of your next turn, a fragile Mech Workshop or Siege Assembly can be a tempting target. Instead, make sure your front line has a beach head, forcing your enemy to pay dearly should they attempt to knock you back.

Bases can help hold your front line, even if all your troops are slaughtered. Photo: Paladin Studios / Kongregate

Buildings can also be an essential component of one of the most advanced Stormbound techniques: precise positioning.

Boxed Out

Enemy units can be attacked from the side, not just head-on. This becomes key in repelling enemy units right at your base. But less obvious is how this can work to an attacker’s advantage.

Players hoping to attack from the side have one distinct disadvantage: it’s not up to them which path a unit chooses, beyond the initial placement. Instead, units follow a very simple rule: always attack what’s right in front of them before attacking enemies to the side.

This comes in handy when you have units on the row just in front of the enemy base. Your opponent has their whole turn to kill the barbarians at the gate before the units automatically move into their base at the beginning of your next turn.

Most players will go all out to prevent this. But by simply setting units in the squares diagonal from the unit you hope to protect, your opponent’s units will automatically attack forward rather than sideways.

Here’s an example:

Use unit movement predictability to your advantage. Photo: Paladin Studios / Kongregate

Those three red units are getting into that base at the beginning of the next turn, since the blue player can’t attack them directly without first depleting mana to deal with enemies directly ahead. Getting in the position to be unattackable is key to slipping past an opponent’s final defenses.

Now get out there and kill, kill, kill. Stormbound: Kingdom Wars is available on Android and iOS.

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