Of all the new units being added to the Stronghold roster in Crusader 2, the Slave Driver is the most natural evolution from Crusader 1’s Slave. A large unit with plenty of hit points, the Slave Driver is a support type unit who can more than hold his own in a fight. Specialising in ‘motivating’ Slave units to fight harder and longer, the Driver will fight for victory even if it kills them!
What makes the Slave Driver unique is the special ability provided by his whip. This weapon ‘motivates’ all nearby Slaves within five meters of the Slave Driver, giving them added protection and significantly reducing the amount of damage taken from melee and ranged attacks. This ability, which only affects Slaves, is constantly active. If Slaves are near a Slave Driver and can be seen pumping the air with their fists you know they have added protection against arrows, boulders, swords and anything else your opponent can throw at you! Keeping them within this area of effect will ensure that all Slaves fight as long and hard as possible, before they eventually meet their maker.
Together the Slave Driver and Slave are absolutely integral to planning a cheap or indeed early rush attack against your foe. Unlike the Horse Archer, Sassanid Knight and other more expensive units capable of rushing the enemy, Slaves are one of the the cheapest units in the game. One Slave Driver and a horde of ‘motivated’ Slaves will cost you next to nothing in comparison and can be recruited near the beginning of a skirmish match, making them perfect for a surprise attack. The two units work hand-in-hand, the Driver making his surrounding Slaves stronger and the Slaves protecting him from attack. Combine this strategy with another support unit, such as the Arabic Healer, and a group of torch wielding Slaves starts to look like a fearsome army.
Just don’t make him mad…