Combat Chompers: The Wardogs Class

by Terikel Grayhair

Greetings, warlords! Today we will be discussing Battle Bowsers, Fighting Fifi, Melee Mutts, or good old war hounds. These Fighting Fidos are a wonderful boost to any warhost, and give you commanders some flexibility and means of attack that are often the difference between your men fleeing screaming from the field, or that of the enemy doing the same with Cujo on his ass.

First off, your wardogs unit is composed of a number of dog handlers. Each handler has two or three dogs, each of which he trained from a puppy to bite your opponents' balls and rip him to shreds. Thus when you see sixty on your unit card, that means twenty handlers and forty combat chompers are in that unit. The Germanics and the Scythians have twenty handlers and forty dogs on what you people call the Normal Scale. Then other factions have twelve handlers and thirty six mutts.

Be aware of that fact! When a man dies, his dogs become useless. So you lose basically three to four from the unit for every true casualty suffered. A flight of well-aimed arrows from afar can mutilate this unit and render it useless- so be careful!

Your wardogs are starved for a few days before battle. That makes them hungry for manflesh, and terrible to face in melee. They scare the crap out of people, always have, always will. But do not worry, general. Your wardogs are trained to know the scent of your own troops from those of the enemy. They will take bites out of only the foe.

So, here are your stats:

You can see that these powerful puppies are noted for their ability to make the other chaps crap their pants, and that their chompers can really take a bite out of someone. The handlers are not so damned well protected, but they do not need to be. Why is that, someone in the back asked? Well, let us move on to how we employ these fine canine combat comrades and find out.

Dogs are like meat-seeking fire-and-forget missiles from the future. You bring your handlers forward, click on an opposing unit, and order the attack. It is just that easy. You handlers will point out the target to the beasties then release them. After that, the dogs launch themselves at the foe in a frenzy of flashing teeth and barking horror.

At this point, however, you might want to order the handlers back to safety. Their task is done- they have released the dogs of war. This is especially handy in a siege, when you make a sally. Sally the pups out, let loose the hounds, then pull the empty-handed handlers back inside you gates and let them cool their heels. The dogs will attack their target until they are dead, or the enemy is dead, in which case they move on to the closest enemy unit and start chewing on its butt as well. The best part of this is that the handlers an train new Combat Cujos during the break so that the next turn, they have a full fleet of Fighting Fidos to release upon the next warhost stupid enough to try to besiege your burg.

Dogs are especially useful against unarmored opponents. Maybe they don't like the taste of metal, I do not know. But I do know they love horseflesh. I have watched many a general turn to dogfood while sitting there on his high horse, not realizing that his mount if becoming hamburger under him until he topples from the saddle and into a sea of sawing fangs. Archers are also good dogmeat, as are them there little spearchuckers.

One caveat though- phalanxes will kill your dogs quicker than spit. If you ever find yourself on the wrong side of a set of choppers, run your ass behind a line of unengaged phalangites and wait. The dogs are hungry, but not too bright. They will charge at their meat, regardless of what is in the way. This means that if you put a phalanx of lowered spears between you and them, they will impale themselves trying to get to you.

One thing I love about them hounds is that they do not stop. Ever. If your foe flees the battle, and crosses that Magic Red Line, your human soldiers stop there. But not Bowser. He charges across that line like it ain't there. To him, it ain't- he's colorblind, you know. So he goes a-roaring off after them fleeing cowards and keeps on a-killing until he and his compadres are out of sight.