Faction Highlight: Tundra Orcs
Embrace strength and brutality.
The Tundra Orcs are not for the faint of heart. One way of looking at them is as the gambling faction: they rely on luck, and like any good gambler a player has to know how to stack the odds in his favor. But another way to view the Tundra Orcs is as the all-or-nothing-knockout-blow-to-the-head faction. The orcs revere strength and brutality above most other virtues, their frigid climate having created one of the hardiest and most ruthless races in Itharia.
These qualities are epitomized in the Tundra Orc Summoner Grognack, who rose to power by being able to ignore pain and rip his foes asunder with his bare hands.
He is currently tied for the highest Life Points of any Summoner, and has the highest Attack Value as well. Once you add in the option of having a fifty percent chance of hitting all foes adjacent to his Walls, he is a powerful force in his own right.
Walls of Ice Shard would be tough for most factions to get a lot of use out of since most decks only have three Wall Cards in them, but Grognack can make more Walls out of ice!
Besides serving as protective barriers and Ice Shard launchers, recall that Walls also serve as additional summoning points. Having more Walls in your deck means that you can often lash out at your opponent's Summoner from unexpected locations.
What's that you say? Summoning happens before Events such as Walls? Well, that's where the Reinforcements Card comes in.
The Reinforcements Event Card allows you to summon two Common Units from your hand at no cost. When played immediately after a Wall Card, you can summon any of the following troops to surprise your opponent's Summoner.
First there is the Shaman, the only ranged attacker in the Tundra Orc starter deck. Some players distrust the Shaman's Unwieldly Magic, but they are great for destroying two-life Common Units, or putting the hurt on your opponent's Champions or Summoner. Two hits will quickly wipe that haughty smirk off of Prince Elien's face. Shamans also prove that the best faction to oppose the Tundra Orcs is... more Tundra Orcs. Shamans easily reduce Smashers to smoking piles of ash.
There is also the Fighter, whose Fury and chance for repeated attacks is matched only by the Champion Ragnor.
Designer Tip: it is sometimes worth sending your Fighters after unworthy targets in an attempt to Fury- launch them towards your opponent's Summoner.
The best use for the Reinforcements Event Card is perhaps the mighty Smasher, whose combination of four Life Points and Attack Value two is unparalleled among Common Units.
Sure, the Smasher always takes the maximum damage when attacked, but the only characters currently capable of killing them in one hit are Grognack, and the Tundra Orc's very own Blagog. A Smasher or two can be essential to mounting a good offensive front, and can be especially trying for factions with low damage output.
Another way to keep the heat off your Tundra Orcs is the judicious use of the Freeze Event Card.
It is tempting to place this card on the most dangerous card in your opponent's arsenal, like a powerful Champion, or to place it on a Guild Dwarf unit with a passive ability that you would like to ignore. However, your opponent will almost undoubtedly pay the cost to remove Freeze right away. Another tactic is the common cold. Pick off some wayward Common Unit that is standing adjacent to one of your opponent's walls. By Freezing that guy, you slow down their ability to summon more troops, and give yourself yet another roadblock to hide behind as you advance your predominantly melee forces. Will your opponent really want to waste two Magic Points to defrost their one or zero-cost Common? Will they waste an attack on it to gain Magic Points back? Either way, it's a win for you. And of course Freeze is also useful against those Summoners who habitually run away. Freeze can prevent Sneeks from using his Sly ability to flee, and if you can manage to save several Freeze Event Cards in your hand, you can drop a pile of icy hurt on a Summoner that will make your opponent's jaw drop.
Now, get out there and smash some cocky elves!