Though my recent experience has proven to me that not everyone can play Caesar, I think I made my point clear. Han Xin is one of the most underrated heroes in Blood of Steel, but also one that demands a lot of skill from the player. His abilities to support allies everywhere on the battlefield with various bonuses make him the deciding force between victory and defeat.
2.The Unit – Prefecture Shieldman
Han Xin is accompanied by his unit “Prefecture Shieldman”, which is equipped with swords and shields. The unit consists of 40 men in total who have the same amount of HP as Caesar’s legionaries, for example (312 HP). However their armor and attack stats are worse, which makes the unit rather weak overall, being inferior to most other units. They can fill the role of a meat shield or gap filler very decently though, as well as being able to protect vulnerable units from ranged attacks using their shields. Provided the opportunity, you can also use the unit to perform flanking maneuvers, but you shouldn’t expect too much from it.
The only unit skill is “Toggle Shield-up” which is activated and deactivated by pressing 3 (On-Offstate). The unit will raise their shields, making it more likely to block incoming damage from the front while reducing the movement speed at the same time. I recommend deactivating this skill while in melee combat against other infantry, since the unit would then be fighting in a defensive style, withstanding enemies for longer, but also dealing much less damage, so you barely get any kills. When fighting ranged units, the skill should be activated as long as the rangers don’t run away. In that case you should deactivate the skill in order to gain more speed. Against cavalry, activating shield-up is useful as well, since the charge is repelled easier this way. Additionally, the deceleration effect is increased, forcing the horses to slow down.
3.The Art of War
The most important aspect of Han Xin definitely are the buffs gained from his skill “The Art of War”. This skill can be activated at any time by pressing 5, opening the interface depicted here:
On the left side, you see a list of your allies as well as information about their amount of troops. To the right, you see a map of the battlefield, on which the positions of your allies are marked. This interface will provide you with plenty of information on the battle, even from far away. At the bottom you see a selection of the possible actions.
With action 1 you designate yourself or one of your allies as the “vanguard”.
Action 2 is “Fight hard”, which immediately heals all soldiers of one unit by 20HP and then 80 additional HP over time. When healing over time, 5HP is restored every 2,5 seconds, making the effect last 40 seconds in total. Costing only 10%, this action consumes the least amount of focus and has the shortest cooldown of just 10 seconds.
By pressing 3, you select the action “Last Stand”, which increases the max amount of HP of all soldiers of one unit by 100 for 30 seconds. This action consumes 20% focus and has a cooldown of 20 seconds.
The last possible action is “Reinforcement”, which is performed by pressing 4. It spawns an amount of soldiers equal to 20% of the unit’s max strength when soldiers have died. Consuming 40% focus, it is the most expensive action by far and can only be activated every 60 seconds.
Pressing 5 a second time will close the interface again. Alternatively, you can also click the X with the cursor or simply press ESC. “The Art of War” does not have a cooldown, so you can show or hide the interface as often as you want. However, it obstructs your direct view, so you shouldn’t look at it for too long, else you might not contribute to the battle enough or don’t see enemies right in front of you in time. Worst case, you’ll be completely encircled by enemies and find yourself in a hopeless spot, so I recommend opening the interface from a safe position. Since you can still move your hero while the interface is open, you should also take a look at it while traveling longer distances.
So how do you gain focus? There are two ways in general:
1. Han Xin himself
When participating in battle, Han Xin gains a certain amount of focus (1-3%) depending on the damage dealt by him. His unit does not matter for this, only his own attacks. Hits with the crossbow also generate focus. Finally, you also gain focus by blocking attacks with your shield (melee and ranged attacks both count) as well as parrying with your sword.
2. Han Xin’s unit can also generate a certain amount of focus by blocking attacks with their shields, depending on the amount of damage they block.
Han Xin can designate himself or an ally as “vanguard” (action 1 on the “The Art of War” interface). You gain focus corresponding to the amount of damage dealt by the vanguard. Just like before, only attacks by the heroes themselves count. By selecting yourself as the vanguard, you can increase the focus generated by yourself.
There are two ways to allocate the buffs:
1. In “The Art of War”
As mentioned earlier, at the bottom of the “The Art of War” interface you see the actions you can perform. You select an action by pressing the corresponding button on your keyboard or by clicking the symbol with the cursor. Then, a small crosshair will appear on screen which can be moved with the mouse. Now you only have to select one of your allies or yourself and apply the action. Doing so will spend the respective amount of focus and activate the cooldown of the action.
2. Quicken Read
Quicken Read is skill 4 and enables a much faster way of allocating the buffs to allies close to you in direct field of view. By pressing 4, a small menu will open with the aforementioned actions 1-4 and a small crosshair will appear. Now you can point at an allied hero, which will frame them and display the names of hero and player. When you have selected your desired hero, you’ll just have to press a button of 1-4 to perform the corresponding action on them. Focus costs and cooldowns are equal to the actions in “The Art of War”, but you’re able to see what happens right in front of you and distribute your buffs much faster, especially for yourself. To buff yourself, simply don’t select an ally with the crosshair (the easiest way is to quickly look up or down).
6.Applying the skills
Using the skills correctly and adapt to the situation.
You can designate and switch Vanguard at all times, so I recommend selecting an ally right at the beginning (else you might forget it). At the start of battle you should choose a hero as vanguard who is likely to deal damage first (like cavalry or rangers). It is important to remember that focus is generated only when the hero deals damage, so you should always use Vanguard on heroes who are currently in combat. You can easily determine that by having a look at “The Art of War”, as you can see all allied units’ health bars there. As soon as you notice (melee) troops losing HP, most of the time you can deduce that the respective hero is in combat. When you notice that you barely gain any focus, you should change the vanguard. It often makes sense to select yourself as vanguard when in combat, as you know when you fight yourself and when not. When you are the vanguard, you should play a little more aggressively to gain more focus. Keep in mind that in the heat of battle it can be difficult to frequently switch vanguards though. In that case, select the hero you expect the largest damage output from. My experience in that regard:
By far the most effective heroes are those who basically make up the value of their unit on their own, and of those Lyu Bu is definitely the best one. His attacks can easily generate 40% focus in a short amount of time, enabling you to use your most valuable action. After that there are two-handed swordsmen like Godfrey or Baldwin I. Pikemen can be solid vanguards as well since they barely receive any damage themselves due to their long ranged weapons while still constantly dealing damage. According to my experience, rangers are suitable vanguards at the start of battle only, given no other hero is able to deal damage at that point. Mounted heroes who mainly deal damage via shock attacks are also rarely fit to be the vanguard as they are often not involved in longer fights.
2. “Fight Hard”
This is one of the strongest healing skills in the game and affects every soldier and the hero of one unit. Because of that I recommend using this action mainly on allies with many soldiers in their unit (e.g. Caesar – 40 legionaries). The action should only be used when the majority of troops in a unit is wounded since soldiers on full health don’t need any healing. You should choose the best option to distribute your healing via “The Art of War”. In many engagements units are damaged rather unevenly (usually few soldiers are fighting right at the front), causing some of them to die before others even took any damage. This is why “Fight Hard” is only suitable at a later stage of battle.
The skill proves to be especially useful for units which were under fire from ranged attacks, got attacked by cavalry or received AoE damage (e.g. by Zhuge Liang’s oil bomb). Certain skills of your own team, such as Kaihime’s even distribution of damage, make the action very effective to use. As the skill consumes very little focus and has a short cooldown you should use it quite often. At the end of battle allies often have few troops left, making the healing effect progressively worse over time until you should avoid using it completely. You’ll get a feeling for when the healing is worth it and when you should rather safe your focus for “Reinforcements” as you grow more experienced with Han Xin.
3. “Last Stand”
In contrast to “Fight Hard”, this effect is only temporary, lasting 30 seconds. It is particularly useful for allies rapidly losing troops in combat. Since the 100 HP are added up (even to max HP) the effect is often more suited for the start of a battle and in such situations where enemies are dealing a high amount of damage over short time (e.g. when charging ranged units or when retreating). But it is also useful at a later stage of battle when to keep units alive or to allocate buffs to different units. This is why I recommend using “Fight Hard” on one and “Last Stand” on another ally in order to have two units benefit from it. The duration of the effect lasts 10 seconds longer than its cooldown which is why you should either use “Last Stand” on different allies or wait until the 30 seconds have passed before buffing again.
Han Xin’s arguably strongest ability is to spawn new soldiers and contributing decisively to strategic advantages in the effect. The following amount of troops is restored depending on the unit size:
This action can only be used rarely and is very expensive, so you should use it wisely. Don’t use it before an allied unit has lost the corresponding amount of troops, otherwise it would be a “loss”. Pay attention to summon soldiers to where they are needed the most in battle currently, e.g. Caesar’s legionaries against rangers or Kaihime’s Hojo Shugoki against enemies with shields. Of course this depends on the enemy team. Cavalry can be summoned as well if an allied rider has no more horses, causing him to regain his actual strength by riding a horse of his newly spawned units. If there’s no need for specific reinforcements, you should summon troops with solid fighting capacity which does not only rely on their respective heroes (Caesar’s legionaries). In some cases you should also try to keep a certain unit on high manpower, as “Fight Hard” and “Last Stand” are also more effective when used on many soldiers simultaneously.
This is all about Blood of Steel – Han Xin Guide; I hope you enjoy reading the Guide! If you feel like we should add more information or we forget/mistake, please let us know via commenting below, and thanks! See you soon!
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