Wardogs are ferocious beasts trained for war. Wardogs can occasionally be purchased from ordinary Markets however Kennels will offer a number of both unarmoured and armoured dogs which refresh regularly.
There are currently two types of wardogs available:
- normal, which have no armour at all and can die easily
- armoured, which can take significantly more damage but cost more and there are fewer available for sale
A mercenary with the Houndmaster background grants a released wardog Confident morale which gives the wardog morale, attack and defence bonuses.
Battle log observations on Wardogs in the full release version 188.8.131.52 reveal stats as follows:
Melee Skill: 50
Melee Defense: 20
Ranged Defense: 25
They have been recorded doing 21-28 damage to hps, with 2 strikes per turn but have sufficient AP to move a few hexes and still strike twice.
Armored Wardogs have about 55 body armor and the same stats as regular Wardogs.
Wardogs can be carried by a mercenary into battle in the Accessory slot. It costs no fatigue to do so. It unlocks the Unleash Wardog skill which allows you to release the wardog in any adjacent and unoccupied hex for a cost of 3 AP (Action Points) and 15 Fatigue. Once released, the accessory slot will be filed with an item called Wardog Collar until the wardog is killed (or until the battle ends).
You have no direct control of wardogs, although you can get them to more or less reliably attack a specific target if you deploy one in base contact with an enemy or in a hex close to the enemy you wish to target. Unfortunately, you do not have the ability to recall a wardog once deployed. The AI for the wardog will simply continue to choose a new target if their current target is killed (usually the closest enemy unit) until the battle ends or the wardog itself is killed.
Mercenaries may only carry one wardog at a time into combat.
Wardogs have their own separate morale from your mercenaries. A morale check on one friendly wardog can cause checks on other nearby friendly wardogs if passed or failed. Abilities which affect the morale of your mercenaries do not affect friendly wardogs.
Wardogs are a great help at catching enemy runners, tying up enemy archers and slowing the enemy advance when the player-controlled company needs to retreat from the battlefield. Enemy AI will often prioritize wardogs over your mercenaries. This makes them extremely useful to temporarily hold a flank or act as a distraction when you have wounded or vulnerable mercenaries you wish to try to save or protect.
Wardogs which move into base contact with an enemy will generate a morale check if there is already at least one ally in base contact with the target. Wardogs count towards surround bonuses for the purposes of bonus hit chance calculations.
Wardogs can trigger the an event on the world map where they will find a piece of equipment lost or misplaced by someone else. This will give you a free random weapon or piece of armour (usually low value).
You have a chance on the world map to get an event where you find a stray dog seeking food. You can choose to try to adopt is as a mascot. If successful, you gain a free wardog named "Battle Brother". If not, one of your mercenaries will receive an injury.
Having wardogs can trigger an event near towns where you can choose to allow one of your mercenaries to enter one of the company's wardogs into a fight to the death contest for a chance to win crowns. You can choose to pay 200 crowns to enter the fight and potentially win 500 crowns if your wardog wins. If you lose your wardog is killed and you lose your entrance fee (you can try to save your dog at the costs of the crowd's displeasure with a possible Renown impact).