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Nullkigan
03-07-2012, 06:56 PM
I've played Pyth a bit in singleplayer so I know about the gladiatiors, I just found it strange that you'd spammed them in that fort and wasn't sure if you'd invested in a flying ship.

My own thugs and supercombatants should be with you in a few turns.

lasikbear
05-07-2012, 06:12 PM
If y'all want to check out some of the various mods here is a download page with most of them:

http://www.proactiveapathy.com/dom3/mods/mods.html

We could use Forbidden Friendship (combination AwesomeGods, AwesomeEndgame and CBM) if we really want to change things up. There are some patchnotes at the top of the mod files, but I don't think they go back all the way.

To install a mod just copy the files from the download into the mods directory (in the same folder as the savedgames directory) and then choose to enable it from preferences->mod preferences. Mods come into effect at pretender creation so any previous games will not be touched and you can turn them off again without messing up your modded games.

Nullkigan
05-07-2012, 09:22 PM
I wouldn't mind something insane like a 2v2v2v2 with 6-8 ai spacing us out using Forbidden Friendship or whatever the latest Ninja-Debugger compilation pack is (awesome-mods always sound better than CBM in LPs). We could even make our own magical custom map, and to prevent the teams being too overpowered do race selection from a hat. And also save me from having to redraw the thing for my personal, annotated copy.


... this is really just an excuse to say I've spent three hours on a ten mile journey and am thus in no fit state to submit my turn tonight. I've got most of the recruitment done and half the orders, but the rituals, equipement and other half of the orders require more brainpower than I can muster tonight. Should be in fairly early tomorrow night I hope.

Nullkigan
15-07-2012, 10:36 PM
OK so wow:

In the North, that was one hell of a battle. The attack ALMOST worked. It was a coin toss on the morale with both of us sustaining so many losses and I think the RNG went easy on me. I never get to use Orb Lightning myself because nobody comes close enough to my vandrotts, and it turns out to be even more hideously effective than my first experiments indicated. Fortunately I'd planned for the Draconians and scripted storm to prevent too many distractions getting into the back whilst the bless/orb spam occured. I'll need a cunning plan to kill all those mages, I guess.

In the South, again that ALMOST worked. The Angel of Fury was doing a real number on individual units but fortunately only landed in the middle of summon spam. With the Gladiators I know you have running around (I saw you raise a new bunch in the Yellow Mountains earlier, then they disappeared - I presumed south as part of the trap you tried this turn, but they didn't turn up; was there a battle event that took them away from you?) it probably would have worked. Still, the Fury wasn't quite ready to take on entire armies yet and my own SuperCombatants just started popping up this turn.

The immortal Wraith Lords don't count, they're busy eating Man (which is a bad idea for various reasons, but we'll see how well it works out in the end).

AI R'lyeh is going to annoy me but I should have enough gold after all these losses to prepare some proper PD to keep him out of the game now.

Jarvis
15-07-2012, 10:59 PM
Those orb mages all cast eagle eye and increased their air level (courtesy of the storm spell I knew you'd cast to counter my archers.)

Nullkigan
20-07-2012, 07:46 PM
I killed Rain of Heaven. I'm not sure that I get a head to mount for this one, though...

PS that is a lot of Hydras. Please hold and the god of ROCK will be with you shortly. Love, AIRWOLF.

groovychainsaw
23-07-2012, 09:53 PM
Urgh - another terrible turn for my troops. I really don't have the time to learn this game properly. I make what i think are good tactical decisions and they just don't work. The battle orders system appears woeful. For example, my flying guys were supposed to get stuck in to your magic dudes null, but your gargoyles got to me before they took off. I didn't know that would happen. Kinda ruined my whole strategy there. The game just never gives you enough information to figure these things out on your own without diving headifrst into arcance forums somewhere. The battles are awful in this, I just can't make my guys do the right thing. I don't mind giving the orders in advance, there just doesn't seem to be enough orders, or you can't force your own orders through. Too many times my great counter has just not appeared to work at all, whilst your guys seem to be hitting exactly the right person at will. Can you target individuals? Because my mages are getting locked far too frequently.

Plus the fact that those earth elementals are assassinating my mages and i have no answer to that. Apparently even if i set them all to magic duel whatever appears, that doesn't work. I'm pretty close to giving up. All my strategies have failed and I just don't have the time or the patience to learn why, there's too many options in the system for me to manage it all, and none of my cool stuff ever works. The randomness of the battles is really killing the game for me, which is a shame after so long in the game. :-(.

Nullkigan
23-07-2012, 10:01 PM
Attack Rear requires you to pass morale checks for every unit you pass. I keep a unit of troops near the back in most battles specifically to draw out such attempts in the event of a successful series of checks as you can only target units. You can't target commanders explicitly without cheating (i.e. copying unique orders from special, random event units you have to use a hell of a lot of specialised magic to capture).

The defender moves first and I like to cast storm as soon as my troops have moved, as that prevents enemy fliers from moving.

The Earth Elementals have no magic and thus can't be harmed by magic duel, which only works on enemy mages with astral magic. You could script returning, which would teleport them out of the assassination and back to your cap, but otherwise you're kind of out of luck, as I can't remember any good spells for killing elementals. Maybe a lucky paralysis? Size six summons/bodyguards?

I really want to play another game after this, maybe a team-based one would work better so we can discuss strategies more freely?

(Now to dive into the turn myself.)

Jarvis
23-07-2012, 10:09 PM
A team game sounds like it could be good.

groovychainsaw
24-07-2012, 11:18 AM
Right, bloody earth elementals are the perfect counter to me then. Hmm. There must be another counter-spell somewhere. There's one spell somewhere that is very bad for magical beings, I'm sure. I'm not sure I've unlocked it though. There's just too much for me to track. I think it is a game that would benefit from having a little bit more focus, rather than a mix of 500 different spells. Or just a bit more transparency about how they ACTUALLY work.

It IS my first ever game, and I've done better than expected, but there isn't enough tactics in it for me to feel like I'm actually making a difference. If I had the time to learn everything in the game maybe it'd seem better, but hings like morale check for attacking rear is... just deliberately obscure :-). And I swore I had left some guys back for your gargoyles to feed on this time, but obviously not. I'm just being grumpy, I guess, as I'm getting thoroughly kicked now and can't come up with a counter (I don't have time to find one by trawling forums, either). I think I'll be done in 2 more turns without some luck in a battle. And that seems to hard to come by.

Sarigs
24-07-2012, 12:25 PM
I think you've done fantastically Groovy. I'm not 100% but I think the "ward" shields should stop most of the attacks against the province they are cast in. I believe that should stop the spell Earth Attack (Although I could well be wrong perhaps Nullk knows best as our resident expert) (I double checked and I mean the "Dome" spells which you hit at enchantment 6)

Nullkigan
24-07-2012, 06:38 PM
Wards/Domes might work, but I'm not sure if they'll stop elementals as I've never tried it myself. They have a high chance of stopping stuff like Fires from Afar (by the way, my guy who was casting it made it into the hall of fame somehow).

However, Wards/Domes do not stop 100% of spells, and they fizzle out after being pounded on enough. I can send four or five elementals your way each turn and I'll shortly have my third elemental royal up and running, with Tartarians only two turns away.

At least you've made it to second place, Groovy. Think of poor Bandar Log!

lasikbear
24-07-2012, 06:50 PM
1640


Also you could assign your mages body guards if you have enough troops sitting about that can take an elemental and feel like your life doesn't have enough micromanagement in it already.

Jarvis
31-07-2012, 08:22 PM
You've a cap of 5 bodyguards in the "mini" battle, a ring of warning doubles that.

On the topic of a new, modded game I think the biggest change i'd like to see would be to strip all of the gem producing sites barring your national starting ones and swap the generation method to something that all mages have as an option to do.

Option - generate gems, and the mage that used it would get a gem for each actual level in a magic path they had (excluding item granted increases)

It'd remove all of the randomness and luck involved in site searching and hoping what you need is there - In noob reloaded I found just about nothing and I searched everywhere I owned with all the paths I could but in my current game i'm rolling around in gems.

With the ability to make your own gems spells will fly thicker which I reckon is probably a good thing and yet it's still a sacrifice since it takes them away from other activities.

Nullkigan
31-07-2012, 08:44 PM
Ironically that's the opposite stance to most vets - who prefer to remove gemgens and other dependable incomes to restrict optimal pathing and make contesting territory important.

Jarvis
31-07-2012, 08:54 PM
Perhaps when i've played more I might see things that'll change my mind but at the moment I'm actually trying to optimal path on spell research a̶n̶d̶ ̶I̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶n̶k̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶m̶o̶r̶e̶ ̶g̶e̶m̶s̶ ̶c̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶r̶e̶d̶u̶c̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶t̶e̶n̶d̶a̶n̶c̶y̶.̶

I'm looking at costs, getting access to low level stuff and skipping it or using minimal amounts of it due to having little gem stock and needing to save what I do have to both build the items I need to cast higher level spells and stockpiling to afford their cost.

Knowing I've an increasing ability to generate gems via having more mages frees me to cast lower level spells more often, yet you've still got to balance buying mages against buying troops since they'll still just die on their own.

EDIT:

I'm wrong there people would still optimal path, but I'd still like to see a way to increase the utility of the lower levels and reduce the sheer luck factor of the sites to make things more tactical.

lasikbear
01-08-2012, 04:03 PM
I think most of the mods you will find try to address the same issue by making more stuff viable. So if you get stuck with only water gems, great make a bunch of kraken and their crazy cross-paths will help you break into other schools. If you have a ton of fire gems, summon the new fancy zmey and start raiding. You still might end up with crappy sites, but hopefully whatever you do get will let you do something and maybe break into a path you didn't have access to previously.

The main issue seems to be that the relative cost of high level vs low level spells is heavily weighted toward the high level ones. Why summon a bunch of shades when you can wait a few months and start summoning dead gods?

Jarvis
02-08-2012, 01:39 PM
By the way Nulkigan are you still doing your AAR for this game.

Nullkigan
02-08-2012, 06:53 PM
I stopped around turn 15 or so when I moved, as I didn't have enough spare time to continue and I'd been doing it straight into a blog. There was a fair amount of content including speculations on what all your builds were so it might still be an interesting read after I've proofed it a little.

I'm half-heartedly planning on putting together a summary gif of about ~60 frames once Groovy and yourself have finally surrendered. I know all my province captures from turn 0 (and we have an archive of all the turns) so THE RED TIDE can be animated quite well. And I can finally point out all my conj/ench/const/blood druid/iron sage sites.

It'll take me at least another three or four turns to beat enough shades of hell out of R'lyeh to land troops on your last island (boats have a range of one). However, I summoned my first Tart this turn so I guess the fat lady is warming up those chords...

Nullkigan
02-08-2012, 08:39 PM
Actually it looks like I only wrote nine turns up, guessed a lot of pretenders incorrectly, and forgot to proof anything. So if you're really that interested in my early-game craziness you can look at this (http://www.ranthold.com/) now I guess.

Nullkigan
04-08-2012, 02:16 PM
I just went to process the turns and it looks like you've both set yourselves to AI?

AIRWOLF VICTORY.

Well fought, and it was nice of you all to keep playing past the point where others would decide they've already lost (when in most cases they can still significantly affect the outcome of the game!)

Bandar Log I never encountered, although they did ask me to jump on Man's back, several turns after Ulm, Man and Van had formed a sort of triumvirate. Late-game Bandar has mind hunt and some decent summons so I honestly was relieved they got stomped so early on. Actually, given how weakly they start maybe they could have been allowed to live for another few turns instead of another nation. Some earlier diplomacy might have helped. Unfortunately they started next to three non-compliant nations (Ulm and Man were allied, whilst R'lyeh hates everyone on the coast) and I could tell Man was looking to come out of the gates swinging based upon past experiences with their player.

Jotunheim was aggressive beyond their reach - they started by claiming a province in a foreign cap circle, then ignored my warnings to leave me some room to expand, and had multiple raiding parties set to make them the biggest nation in the game. However, they did not understand the strengths of their nation and tried to stop the werewolf apocalypse with a mix of PD and cheap giants when it is their expensive giants and goblins that are combat effective. The cheap giants and PD have trouble with independent infantry, let alone units with 11+ attack/def. The problem was, I think, that the expensive giants were SO expensive (and so few in number) that the sheer number of skinshifters and (later) vanir panicked their leadership.

The war with Jotunheim gave me Const, Conj and Ench sites, though I took quite a while to find the Ench site. The Conj site was on my border with Man (and basically won that war for me by letting me summon huge numbers of monsters after their armies started sieging the castle).

R'lyeh went AI too early, they ended up as the second most powerful nation when the game was called, and if they had allied with Man and Pythium would have given me much bigger headaches. They have some very powerful sneaky units and assassins so that would have been a real pain to deal with. Alternatively, if they had allied with me we would have seen a very different East vs. West endgame, which R'lyeh would probably have won by virtue of superior mages and it still being such a pain for me to go under water. That's why I have longships!

Ulm was never quite on-target - at first they ceded land in their cap circle to another player, and then they tried an unprepared assault on a nation with mind hunt, whilst ignoring the fact that they were basically pinning another nation into a corner. Yes, I did some duplicitous diplomacy and was the first one to take a territory under the control of the Triumvirate. However, I was pinned and Ulm had picked up a province I told him I wanted, so...

The last crusade was an interesting move, but was ultimately countered by the preparations I'd made for the inevitable war with Man. I didn't realise that Arrow Fend would work so well against Ulm when I rushed for it.

Shortly before the War with Ulm started I managed to find a site with astral casters, or else I suspect we'd now be praising some Fountain instead of the Grand Enchantress.

Man got caught up in the pace of other players. He played fairly and well (despite my initial misgivings about him wanting to stick stealth units everywhere in my territory he didn't actually do so with particular enthusiasm or without warning) but wasn't able to leverage his stealth and missile fire advantages against me, partly due to interference by R'lyeh and partly due to my paranoia-driven research and lucky sites.

Meanwhile I found a site with astral casters, or else I suspect we'd now be praising some fountain instead of the Grand Enchantress.

Pythium is an absolute powerhouse of a nation if used correctly. Hydras and Mind Hunt are an extremely potent combination that let them pick off raiders or mop up big armies at will. The only surprise was that they didn't do better - early wars with R'lyeh stunted their growth just enough that by the time we came to blows I was that fraction of a step ahead. Butterfly effects followed on. I was worried for a while about the Angels, and their potential for simply flying over my armies and raiding my rear territories, but that never actually happened. After some VERY lucky battles on my part it came down to economic warfare, and by that point I had more than half of the land provinces on the map.

(Also yes, I think it's pretty obvious by now that I tried - and succeeded - to get Pyth and Ulm to fight so they'd be weakened enough for me to eat the loser. Which I was 85% sure was going to be Ulm due to Mind Hunt. The Ulmish armies were actually much tougher than I expected, just not tough in the ways they needed to be.)

Have some screengrabs:
1689
(Estimated Territories circa turn 20ish)

1691
(A few turns later, with mark up of key sites - but several are guessed. I never did find R'lyeh's capital).

1692
(What the last few turns have looked like. Lots of money, large monsters, huge armies, Death Himself)

1690
(One of my Elemental Royals kitted up, who got to fight in all of one battle)

Jarvis
04-08-2012, 11:25 PM
I have somewhere an AAR up to turn 13, most significantly it includes my thoughts and plans for my side. But I can't find it.

In brief summery then:-

My build was centered around my sacred units, the knights of avalon are, in my original estimation, double hard bast**d's, I used my pretender to help fix their weakness of fatigue which also bumped up their protection and morale.

I fully intended to have squads of 10 to 20 knights with their monk leaders blessing them infiltrating everywhere but R'lyeh! happened and I ended up massing them to counter him in the early stages which was a bad side track which kept extending.

Early game was on track, I squashed Bandar Log but was then hemmed in by my alliances, my original plan focus on construction 6, get in the water and take over R'lyeh, with that territory that (hopefully) others weren't equipped to conquer i'd then turn on the other land nations.

In reality I only really recruited the mother casters for research, having been put off by my very first crone coming out the door diseased, I badly lagged on research and ended up relying on ulm for magic items to get into the water which of course was never going to turn out well but after a point the plan had inertia.

I think it's entirely possible that if vanheim and man had swapped places and the need to defend against R'lyeh then I'd be victorious here as it is I just couldn't justify starting a second war given the troops I needed to defend against him.

Nullkigan
05-08-2012, 12:08 AM
I don't think I saw a single Knight of Avalon in any battle where they could have made a real difference, but the Wardens seemed reasonably tough against thrice their number in standard troops or ~1.75x in national specials (Skinshifters). Which was about right for their cost. In most situations a lack of shield would have been ruinous for them, but you had the mixed fortune of facing nations that couldn't really use that against you. They weren't tough enough that I would have gone for an Earth 9/Dom10 build when I could have had something like a phoenix giving flaming, wind guided longbows everywhere, but that is a strategy shut down by anyone with air access for Arrow Fend or Storm/Fog Warriors. Which would have been me and maybe a percentage of Pythium's Arch Theurgs.

Ironically I was originally going to go for a similar stealth strategy - all my Vanir (including Van cavalry, Vanjarls, Vanherses and Vandrotts) were stealth capable but I only launched about two sneak attacks and recruited some 30-40 Van in total. Between my Dom7 and the high cost of the Van I coudln't really justify heavy investment for a unit of just four worthwhile rounds of attack (a spear and three javelins - no swords!), even if being mounted meant they dealt really well with fatigue and most units would never have hit them back due to obscene defensive scores. Instead, by the time I went to war with Man I was pulling in 40+ skinshifters a turn and had at least twenty Van commanders on the fronts purely to summon lightning bolts and winds.

Meanwhile I use the ships ability of my commanders (move through one sea province to another land province with your army) only once because I was landlocked. Even after I'd captured most of the coast. It might have helped in a defensive war against R'lyeh, but I'm not convinced the terrain was ideal for that. It would have required a lot of feinting and trapping.

When I first went to war with Ulm I was terrified it would get me killed. I knew Man had to attack me as part of the original informal alliance, because Ulm had you choked up in the middle and because holding R'lyehs water territories is nigh impossible for non-amphibious nations. Almost all of my troops were down south under the pretence of pressuring Pythium. (I got away with stacking up a decent number on Ulm's borders by claiming I had lots of Carpets, which was both a reasonable claim for my nation's paths/gems and made sense from a logistical point of view given the terrains and distances involved.)

Basically what I'm saying is we each played the others starting location and ideal strategy (me: troops, you: sacreds), but it worked out better for me after that One Battle At Gipha With The Summons.

I had a lucky starting location, lucky sites, and was luckily next to one of the nations that couldn't effectively choke me with PD or blockers.