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CardShark Content - Andrew Kocsis (12/16/2001)

Welcome to this week's edition of Underdogs. I hope you enjoyed last issue's column and that it gave you some good ideas on how to use figures you might have discarded previously. This issue's key underdog is the Dwarven Berserker. This figure get less play time then Dick Cheney's wang, when it deserves to be played like a cigar on a white house intern.

The key with the Dwarven Berserker is that he needs to be part of your battle plan instead of being an addition to it. The first obvious ability is that he is magic immune like nobody's business. This means that most of the Atlantis Guild's special abilities do not work on him. They will be unable to use magic blast to hit him while advancing. So instead of having to worry about the Demi-Maguses that are so common in games, he can run up to them and lay the smack down. Since his point cost is comparable to the Demi-Magus, he makes an excellent counter figure if you know your opponent leans towards magic heavy armies. The other benefit of magic immunity is even more impressive. By being magic immune, the Dwarven Berserker takes no extra clicks of damage when under fire from a figure that is being magically enhanced. This means is it very hard to take out several Dwarves that are rushing a position. If the attackers split their fire, the dwarves will only take at most a click at a time, not really enough to stop the charge. If the attackers concentrate their fire, then several Dwarfs will reach their lines unscathed, and that means trouble for any entrenched defense.

The Dwarven Berserker's second high point is his incredibly impressive stat line. His damage value never drops until he becomes demoralized and his attack value only drops by 2 over all his damage clicks. This means that a formation of Dwarven Berserkers is a great thing to go up against big uniques and other heavy hitters. The Berserker's stat line will keep all of them as a threat until they die. The difference between a Dwarf at full health and a Dwarf on death's door is the wounded Dwarf is a better fighter!

The above two advantages combine to make the Dwarven Berserker great at countering the weird ass Storm Golem/Demi-Magus army everyone and their monkey is fielding now days. Essentially immune to the Demi-Magus' magic blasts, he also limits the damage that can be done in a single volley with his magic immunity. And once the Dwarves hit, unless they are dead, they are all still a threat to the entire army.

To really exploit the Dwarven Berserker, team them up with someone who has a slot of command. This exploits the Dwarven Berserker's final high point. Right before a Berserker dies or goes demoralized, he is at his strongest. He is doing three clicks of damage, is berserk, and is only down one or two attack from his starting attack value. By having a figure with command near them, any attack that would demoralize the dwarf, will instead, at the start of your turn, transform them into frenzied killing machines.
The Dwarven Berserker for your army will depend on whether or not you team them up with a command figure. If you do, the yellow or blue is the choice since the command will heal them to their frenzied best and they are reasonably point efficient. If the command isn't there or you are only fielding one or two, go with the red Berserker. They never become demoralized and a unit of them is threatening enough to make your opponent think twice about getting close to you. Even one is plenty to guard weaker support figures and ranged strikers.
Give this squat little guy a chance or two and I think you will see that not only will he prove himself, but you will like the feeling that you get when an opponent stops shooting at the Dwarves and runs with his figures.

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