The first major rogue strategy. First became popular on the game's release, and probably during beta. Basically entails rushing out an Observatory, and clearing what nodes you can while you erect forts and build up a surplus of gold. Basically involves a lot of rushing when you first get access to the Assassin. After that, you pump passives until you get Trail Running and the other relevant techs.
Compared to other covert attack strategies, it is one of the most stable, and comes out fastest. No other concealed attack strategy is as safe or stable as this. It's pretty much the gold standard. Additionally, with explorer upgrades this opening stays viable throughout midgame. It's extremely flexible, as the upgraded assassins are as fast as cavalry, and get a "pseudo-charge" due to assassins strike. Generally, this is best used to launch raids around turn 25-40, and disrupt the enemy so that they can't out-creep or out-produce you. Lastly, it's an extremely mobile strategy, as the Assassins are able to cover great distances very quickly. Human Assassins are even more ridiculous.
Tends to be vulnerable to fast rushes, as it takes about 20 turns to balance out with other strategies. It also is extremely research intensive, and involves significant delays to spellcasting abilities. It also doesn't clear nodes or dungeons very well, as they often have blight-immune undead. They're also not remarkably durable all things considered. This also means that if you don't run Explorer, the assassin strategy is *significantly* weaker. Without the added speed of Trail Running, they can't get that first strike in, which leaves them vulnerable to that initial volley of archer fire or more durable infantry lines.
- Explorer: Mandatory
- Destruction Adept: Hasty Plunder and Scorched Earth allow for assassins to get out quickly without needing to expose themselves, as asssassins are not good on defense.
- Water Adept: Freeze Water allows them to cross rivers and strike from unexpected angles.
- Wild Magic Adept: Swap Locations is brutal with assassins.
- Humans: Swimming water concealed assassins are borderline overpowered, and are overall even faster than regular assassins.
- Destruction Mastery: Storm Magic will block Trail Running far too often, leaving the single most important tech of this strategy blocked for around 20 turns. Suffice it to say, this is bad.
- Difficulty: 2
- Reliability: 5
- Effectiveness: 4