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Hellioning
Jun 27, 2008



My snake was dormant, yes, since I needed the points.

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Ramc
May 4, 2008


In semi related dominions new MA CASSIA is ready for download!



Here is a link to the relevant post!

i will judge your gods at some point some too tho

the Orb of Zot
Jun 24, 2013

Apport: the Orb of Zot
The orb shrieks as your magic touches it!
Yoink! You pull the item towards yourself.
You see here the Orb of Zot.

What would be the most hell bless possible, assuming you were willing to imprison your pretender god to make it possible and lose during the three years before your incarnate blessings kick in?

Would it be possible to do quickness + ethereal? Awe + ethereal/quickness? Fear + Awe, since lowered morale makes the awe check harder to pass?

Or for an entirely different definition of hell bless: blood bond + blood vengeance + death explosion?

OOrochi
Jan 19, 2017


After winning newbad2, I was going to step back and let more new people fill in the slots. But then it ended up with 1 free slot and Arcvasti graciously let me take it. I didn't want to kick Technowolf out of Agartha (though they did offer to let me take it, which was cool), so instead i went with a totally new nation:

Atlantis: Frozen Sea



Lore-wise I think these guys are really cool. Despite being underwater starts in previous ages, LA Atlantis is now a land start made up of refugees from their kingdom after a magical alien cthulu cult started taking over the ocean and driving everything insane. However, one of their big goals is to go back and reclaim the ocean, where they meet up with scattered Atlantians who stayed hidden in the deeps. This split between the refugees and those who stayed is shown in their units and I think it gives it a lot of cool flavor.



But first is my god, who is, admittedly, pretty boring. I only have cap-only sacreds, and most of my battle mages aren't sacred, so I didn't really have a big need for a bless, and what I did take was mostly small boosts to keep my big important mages safe while casting. The magic itself was more determined by what I wanted to cast in the future, rather than any real bless thoughts.

Instead, I went in heavily on scales. Atlantis likes it cold for a ton of reasons, including that their coastal forts are made of ice (which melts if the temperature gets above neutral), so that was basically required. My land troops are even more resource intensive than Agartha's are, so productivity 3 was also completely necessary. And then I have magic to boost my research and luck because I had the points and didn't want to get hurt by indies as much as I did last game.

In general, my nation is very heavy on water and death magic, but I can get good access to a very solid amount of magic from other schools once I get underwater. Additionally, my troops almost all have magic weapons and temperature dependent armor, which opens up a few useful strategies. My big cap-only mages can also sail, meaning that I can dominate areas around the water even more as I can just skip right across provinces, or lurk in the deeps, ready to pop out when I see a chance.

Overall, I think I have a solid base to work with and that Atlantis looks like a really fun nation to try out.

Jack2142
Jul 17, 2014

Shitposting in Seattle



the Orb of Zot posted:

What would be the most hell bless possible, assuming you were willing to imprison your pretender god to make it possible and lose during the three years before your incarnate blessings kick in?

Would it be possible to do quickness + ethereal? Awe + ethereal/quickness? Fear + Awe, since lowered morale makes the awe check harder to pass?

Or for an entirely different definition of hell bless: blood bond + blood vengeance + death explosion?

I made a very stupid 5 incarnate bless for LA Marignon the goal was to make Flagellants really annoying.

Cerebral Bore
Apr 21, 2010




Fun Shoe

the Orb of Zot posted:

What would be the most hell bless possible, assuming you were willing to imprison your pretender god to make it possible and lose during the three years before your incarnate blessings kick in?

Would it be possible to do quickness + ethereal? Awe + ethereal/quickness? Fear + Awe, since lowered morale makes the awe check harder to pass?

Or for an entirely different definition of hell bless: blood bond + blood vengeance + death explosion?

Quickness, Blood Bond and Regeneration on Anakites is the stuff of nightmares. IIRC this actually used to be viable before they tweaked the bless costs.

gonadic io
Feb 16, 2011

>>=


Quickness, flaming weapons, thunder weapons nazca.

Cerebral Bore
Apr 21, 2010




Fun Shoe

gonadic io posted:

Quickness, flaming weapons, thunder weapons nazca.

Ah, the Condor buzzsaw build.

my dad
Oct 17, 2012

this shall be humorous


LA Atlantis is "gently caress R'lyeh" - the nation, both thematically and in its gameplay.

Also, it's crazy powerful, though in ways that mostly aren't obvious at first.



I'll just mention one that's visible just from looking at their units' stats:

LA Atlantis heavy infantry in cold 3 dominion are basically black plate infantry of MA Ulm, except they have normal magic resistance, more hitpoints, higher morale, better stats, magic weapons, and are amphibious, in exchange for costing a bit more gold and being prone to dying horribly in warmer climates. Since one of LA Atlantis commanders has sailing, and they start on a coast, they're surprisingly mobile, too.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Mictlan
Turn 01



I'm back.




After aeons trapped within the lightless depths of the Cthinema, I have broken free, free to lead my fursuiters once more! But it's obvious that something went wrong last time, we're going to need new strategies, new plans, new fursuits... new blood.



More people, which means more blood, more farms... but some things never change. We're going to need a prophet, hmmm... how about... "ready player two, now w/ fortnite"? Yeah, that's a good one. And we sure as hell aren't going to blind expand on turn one.

See, in pace with the Late Age being more "advanced" among the playable nations, more crossbows, more armor, the same is true for the indies. The provinces are more populous, and thus better defended, and the defenders have a nasty habit of having stuff like heavy cavalry, pikes and crossbowmen ready, rather than the shirtless losers(completely different from my shirtless losers) from the Early Age. And when those do pop up, they're usually in three times the number.

Sometimes you can steal a march on everyone else by expanding on turn 1, taking a gamble, if you've got a big chunky pretender and your dominion's spread into a neighbouring province so he'll have his blesses up there. However, we have neither an awake expander pretender nor dominion spread anywhere, because we haven't started sacrificing people yet.

Right now, one single bad -dominion event could kill me. So I'm gonna need to make some priests and get them started on chopping up slaves and carving out their hearts pronto. On the bright side, once I do get that started, I can make some items that'll let me get way more dominion-expansion out of a single temple than anyone else, but until then I'm fragile in a way no one else is. It'll also give me a bit of early trouble spreading my beneficial scales to any provinces I take.

Once I do get some dom-spread going, the mechanic is that each chance of candle(dominion, indicated by white candles for friendly, black for hostile)-spread is a roll(usually around 80%, though it improves by 5% for every 5 temples you have, which also increases the max dom per province, and can start lower if you have low starting dominion strength). Every successful roll increases the dominion by one white candle in the province it's made in, up to the max number. If it hits the max number, it randomly "spills over" into a neighbouring province. If said province has any black candles, there's a 50-50 chance of knocking one of them out or doing nothing, though a few things, like the Throne of Bureaucracy, the Throne of the Pantokrator, Mekone/Phlegra's spell Gigantomachia and I believe one or two nations' specific bonuses, can improve the odds in your favour.



Now who else is around... ah, yes, a few familiar faces that have woken up as well.



And the throne setup is what's probably the most standard one, someone will have to take seven thrones. There are no 1-pointers or 3-pointers. The 1-pointers aren't particularly interesting, they tend to be defended much like the 2-point thrones for the most part, but the 3-point thrones almost always have the same chassis' as pretender gods are made from guarding them, along with extremely nasty troops, and their effects are a bigger deal. The aforementioned Throne of the Pantokrator, for instance, boosts your chances of winning dominion spread contests and also counts as a massive additional seven spread chances per turn.



The map is also notably smaller this time around, in most SA Dom 5 games the map loops north-south and east-west, and here we can already see the north-south loop at the far top and bottom of the screen. We're almost certain to encounter new and exciting friends much sooner than last time.



And as an interesting side-note, here's our starting gem gen from our home province. An even spread, which is nice, and a single free blood slave per turn, which will ultimately amount to basically nothing in the long run.

With the simple Turn 1 out of the way, let's have a slightly closer look at LA Mictlan.



These three base mages are the same as in EA and MA, though in EA the Sun priests are B3 and H3, and in MA the Nature mages(Priest Kings) are H3. We also lose MA's Sky Priests and Couatls, so we no longer have any Air access whatsoever. Our Rain Priests, not pictured, are now also amphibious frog people. All of them having Blood also means that we can make a Sabbat(like a Communion, but messier) to chain them together and if we get really pissed we could Sabbat up a bunch of Mictlan Priests(B1/H1 recruits that are LA Mictlan's best value-for-money in terms of research) and cast Hell Power and drown the battlefield in horrors.



Our anywhere-sacreds are, like in EA, back to being Jaguar Warriors, which is a bit of a downgrade from the Eagle Warriors, but still not bad. Eagle Warriors are once again cap-onlies, and Rain Warriors are our new cap-only option. They're the hardest-hitting of our sacreds at base, doing 21 damage compared ot the 18 for the Jaguar Warrior's obsidian club sword, and actually wear armor! It's not exceptionally heavy armor, and Jaguar Warriors have more fundamental survival because of their second form, in my mind, but they add a bit of variety to the proceedings. Being amphibious, on a map with more water, and if we had an actual coastline, a pack of them and an amphibious leader could get us secure underneath the waves and producing our store brand Atlanteans.



These three are our truly new options, Kings of Rain are our H3B3W3 slow-to-recruit cap-onlies. They're really beefy and strong for mages, making them reasonably resistant to low-effort attempts at assassination and likely to survive remote attack spells. Priests and Mothers of All Waters are our underwater mage options, since obviously our human priests and mages wouldn't be recruitable there. Water isn't the strongest path(in my opinion, I'm sure someone will disagree), but it's very easy to get +2(Water Bracelet, Robe of the Sea) and have W5 casters on tap, compared to paths like Fire, Earth and Air which are either pains in the rear end to make boosters for or require specific crosspaths for half their boosters. This means we can belt out Murdering Winter against cold provinces full of non-cold-resistant troops(pretty unlikely, but you never know when it might crop up) and have access to both Falling Frost and Cleansing Water, the former of which hits pretty hard(especially since cold resistance is more rare than fire and shock resistance) and the latter of which vaporizes undead and demons like no one's business.

It'll also give us access to the Queens of Elemental Water at Conjuration 8, if we survive that long and no one beats us to them, and casters who can hurl out Living Water in battles, and hordes of angry elementals is always a useful strat.

Let's see if anyone else comes up with as amazing a prophet name as I did.

Arcvasti
Jun 12, 2019

Never trust a bird.

Falling Frost is way worse then it seems because it doesn't pierce armour at all. In the age of heavy armour this is an especially big drawback.

Ironically, Falling Frost is actually good against Mictlan's low-armour, but mean and sacred, troops. At least if they don't have Blood Vengeance, that is.

LA Mictlan's "top" mages are also pretty bad in general. The Kings of Rain are H3s which is useful and can random B3 which is ok, but are otherwise pretty sad. I guess you can use them for the W-crosspath blood summons if nothing else.

Alex0080
May 3, 2013


LA T'ien Ch'i, Barbarian Kings

Long Ago, Master Asia, in a bid to not be simply cast into the deepest, darkest crevasse in existence for the foreseeable future, threw his lot in with Your Local Theatre Presents: the God of Agartha in the hopes of having a place of honor among the table of the coming Pantokrator. And for some time he did, although the complete lack of light, with the exception of all the movie screens, was very uncomfortable for someone who had lived under the sun for so long. Because of this, he used his magical might in secret to form a miniature sun and hoarded it to himself. As with all secrets, the cat eventually fell out of the bag, ironically during a screening of Cats the movie. Your Local Theatre Presents: heard a complaint from the audience and blasted them, and the walls, to smithereens, revealing the forbidden light. For his transgression, Master Asia was punished, transformed into a being of cold, and locked away, never able to attend a theatrical event, and thus see light, for as long as the Pantokrator still ruled. But now the wheel has turned once again, and Master Asia has returned to try his hand at Godhood one more time.



Master Asia has been turned into a Frost Father, a pretender that starts with two paths of magic, Air 1 and Water 1, despite being about the same cost as all the other mages that usually only have one path to start with. This makes most builds where you want a wide spread of low level magic much cheaper on this guy than normal. It also fit my narrative perfectly, so that's what I did.



In the time Master Asia has been gone, the Celestial Bureaucracy has been cast down, conquered by the Khans with their mighty horsemen. We have lost all of the "Imperial" mages, Celestial Masters suck harder than ever (I still need them, and will likely have more than in newbad2 since they are my lone cap-only mage now), and the footman troop lineup has reverted to the Early Age forms, including forgetting how to make crossbows, in the age of crossbows. Those guys suck in the Late Age, hard. Thankfully the new Barbarian units are really, really good.



My bless is primarily defensive, as all of my mages are sacred, and I want them to not die. The Ancestor Guide is the most recruited of my three Ancestor Mages, because of the guaranteed Death 2, but the Ancestor Smiths (Earth 2 Death 1) and Spirit Masters (Nature 2 Death 1) are very similar. Whatever path they start with a 2 in, they cannot get an extra point in, but otherwise the pool for their random is Air, Earth, Nature, Death or Astral. These guys are my workhorse mages.




Fun fact, my Khans, and both Light and Heavy Barbarian Horseman, are recruit anywhere, I do not need a fort to recruit them. This drastically lowers the opportunity cost of recruiting a pathless 2 recruitment point commander, as this does not prevent any mage recruitment. My Heavy Horseman are also very good for how cheap they are, and will be my mainstay troop.



Finally for now, Ancestor Vessels, they are my capital-only sacred troop, my withering weapons is for them (and something else I may do later), they have bows that are innately magical, and have a fear effect, and when blessed, can wither my enemies, causing them to age and take damage every round.

Also just for fun, here's what Cold Power 2 (More attack, defense and movement speed in cold, less in heat) looks like in Heat 3:

Punished "Frosty" Master Asia


His weapon has 3 defense, so Master Asia has 4 attack and defense skill and movement speed. He does not like the heat. Such is the cruel punishment of a Pantokrator.

Turn 1

I see Purple just posted, so I will go ahead and cover turn 1, I don't have a screenshot of it, but I recruited 2 Ceremonial Masters, my standard priest, for busywork duty, some Ancestor Vessels, and put a big bid on the turn 1 Mercenary squad "Sir" Guifre and his Swordsmen. Also take a look at my starting location (screenshot taken from my having saved my second turn for posterity):



Hmm, the bottom of my map looks suspiciously similar to the top of Purple's. It must be nothing.

Alex0080 fucked around with this message at 02:07 on Jan 22, 2020

Technowolf
Nov 4, 2009






Agartha
Turn 01


After lightless aeons in the Cthinema depths, the peoples of Agartha, though victorious, learned that their victory came at a cost: the new low-flow toilets didn't work as well for them as the old ones did. So they schemed, and planned, and discussed ways to improve their plumbing situation until the very discussion became sentient.


Welcome to Agartha! In all ages, Agartha has a unique start in a cave province, which provides a lot of resources, but is usually low on gold and recruitment points. Thankfully, capitals have a ton of population, and income is influenced by how many people are in a province. Here we also see my cap circle (the provinces immediately surrounding my capital from which it can draw resources/income from when conquered). This is actually a decent start. The cave province and two forests will provide a decent amount of resources for my heavy troops, while the two plains will provide the gold I need for my mages.


First things first: prophetizing a commander. I usually use the normal starting commander, since he's not going to be doing anything else on the first turn anyway. And what better to proclaim the arrival of 10 - 15 Flushes than a diet of hamberders.


A larger view of my surroundings. There are two farm provinces (super high income) that I could nominally take within the first year. There are also two thrones within three provinces, so I start making plans to find out what's defending them.


First turn recruitment. As I said, I can poo poo out a buttload of light crossbowmen with even just my cap. I get a Servant of the Oracles to kickstart my research and a scout, because you can never have enough information. Agartha can upgrade their fortresses to the highest level in the late age, giving them 3 commander points each turn, which allows me to either recruit a mage and another commander or switch off between a normal mage and a slow-to-recruit one. I also recruit one heavy infantry to bolster my front lines.


A look at my starting army, one unit of light infantry and one unity of medium. My starting commander can actually lead 3 units without morale penalties, which also means he can put them in formations other than shamecube.

gonadic io
Feb 16, 2011

>>=


Frost father in heat 3 is a classic look, I've done it before. First edict after ascension will be to switch to cold 3.

This is certainly a game for imprisoned incarnate blesses though huh? If you just wanted the astral on your pretender I'd have done MR personally it's also great for mages.

How are u
May 19, 2005

by Azathoth


Yo Alex0080, none of your images are loading for me, idk if anybody else is the same.

Alex0080
May 3, 2013


How are u posted:

Yo Alex0080, none of your images are loading for me, idk if anybody else is the same.

It should be fixed. Also Twist Fate is good on something LA TC has that I'm not planning on using in the first three years, anyway. And to be fair, MR is good on them, too, but I wanted to try out Twist Fate.

Alex0080 fucked around with this message at 22:11 on Jan 16, 2020

Lord Koth
Jan 8, 2012



I'll admit, LA T'ien C'hi without a gimmicky bless makes me sad. Charged Body and/or Thunder Weapons is normally pretty amusing... or Death Explosion (+Fire Resist, obviously, so your mages don't accidentally explode each other). Decaying Weapons just isn't the same.

How are u
May 19, 2005

by Azathoth


Alex0080 posted:

It should be fixed. Also Twist Fate is good on something LA TC has that I'm not planning on using in the first three years, anyway. And to be fair, MR is good on them, too, but I wanted to try out Twist Fate.

Twist Fate is a wonderful bless that is almost always useful. It's also equally useful for troops and mages alike.

my dad
Oct 17, 2012

this shall be humorous


I thought twist fate doesn't work on undead, if we're thinking about the same TC summon?

OOrochi
Jan 19, 2017


Technowolf posted:

After lightless aeons in the Cthinema depths, the peoples of Agartha, though victorious, learned that their victory came at a cost: the new low-flow toilets didn't work as well for them as the old ones did. So they schemed, and planned, and discussed ways to improve their plumbing situation until the very discussion became sentient.

Alex0080 posted:

Long Ago, Master Asia, in a bid to not be simply cast into the deepest, darkest crevasse in existence for the foreseeable future, threw his lot in with Your Local Theatre Presents: the God of Agartha in the hopes of having a place of honor among the table of the coming Pantokrator. And for some time he did, although the complete lack of light, with the exception of all the movie screens, was very uncomfortable for someone who had lived under the sun for so long. Because of this, he used his magical might in secret to form a miniature sun and hoarded it to himself. As with all secrets, the cat eventually fell out of the bag, ironically during a screening of Cats the movie. Your Local Theatre Presents: heard a complaint from the audience and blasted them, and the walls, to smithereens, revealing the forbidden light. For his transgression, Master Asia was punished, transformed into a being of cold, and locked away, never able to attend a theatrical event, and thus see light, for as long as the Pantokrator still ruled. But now the wheel has turned once again, and Master Asia has returned to try his hand at Godhood one more time.

I love these so much.

Khisanth Magus
Mar 30, 2011

Vae Victus

Utgard Overview and turn 1

Turn 1
I don't really have any pictures of my turn 1 location, that will have to wait until turn 2. All I do on turn 1 is recruit some of my sacred troops.

Speaking of which....

Utgard Overview



Welcome to Utgard, also pretty much Jotunheim with the name filed off and a few, but significant, differences.



Oprah is back, and her time being banished has not made her very happy. She wants revenge on the dirty cavepeople who banished her from the world, and her chosen strategy for this is pretty simple: Make her giants even bigger! If giants are good, giant giants have to be better!

Her paths also open up lots of options normally unavailable, in particular the Earth, since Earth is not a path Utgard has any access to and it has some pretty important things.

Lets take a look at my mages.



These guys return from Jotun, and are pretty much the same as they were. Really good mages, but expensive and slow to recruit. They are also the only way to access blood that Utgard has.



These are my new cap only mage recruit, and they are a doozy. Really good paths and Fortune teller to get rid of any bad events that could come my way. The combination of Death and Astral opens up a skelespam communion, which speaking of....



These ladies here are the biggest change between Jotun and Utgard. These are my non-cap human mages. There are 4 important things about them: They are cheap, they have decent research, you can recruit 1 a turn, and they also have both astral and death. This makes them awesome communion slaves for skelespam or any other death spells you may want to cast.




These 2 commanders are back from Jotun, significant only in the fact that they make decent thugs without having to summon, and they are both sacred so they will get even better.




These are my only priests, and boy are they doozies in being lovely priests. They don't really offer anything at all, and given a choice I probably wouldn't recruit any of either.





Here are my troops that are notable. Unchanged from Jotun. I will rely heavily on my sacred troops to do most of my heavy lifting, supplemented by huskarls and javelins.

Lord Koth
Jan 8, 2012



my dad posted:

I thought twist fate doesn't work on undead, if we're thinking about the same TC summon?

I know Luck always fails on undead but I think Twist Fate works fine.

Lord Koth fucked around with this message at 04:37 on Jan 17, 2020

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Mictlan
Turn 02



The best part of any goon game, turn 2, where we get all of the prophet names.








I get a sense that Utgard might be harboring some sort of mild grudge against Agartha, and I have to respect Erytheia's god/prophet combo because I've done that exact same one in at least one previous game. :v:



We also get our first look at our surroundings and... hmmm... yeah, alright, those are some big stacks of indies already, NW is the only one that looks particularly fragile. I believe I mentioned it before, but one of LA Mictlan's issues is that while indie strengths have buffed since EA and MA, Mictlan's basic troops have just... not. On the bright side, once we get rolling, we'll be more likely to find multiple 10k pop provinces for forts and blood hunting, while in the EA we were lucky to find even one, and in MA they were still a rare treat. Also a big fat pack of barbs to our east.

Now, most nations would at this point have had their dominion splash out of their cap a bit, too, bringing the advantage of knowing more about their neighbouring provs. A few nations, I believe only the Arcos, get way more info out of nations provs their dom is on, essentially the same as having a scout or spy there, but all nations get at least some basic province info from it, like income, pop and resources, which are very useful for deciding where to expand. We, on the other hand, just get extremely basic info.

We also have our first priest on the line. Mictlan Priests are H1B1 at all times and have a 10% chance of an additional Fire, Water, Nature or Astral magic. Money-wise, they're also marginally better value than Nahuallis for research, being 65 gold for 7(or 8, because of our Magic 1) vs 125 gold for 11(or, again, 12). A Nahualli is slightly above 10 gold per RP, while a Mictlan Priest is slightly below that. Plus the more small researchers we have, the better our Magic scale will pay for itself.







Fighting 80 barbs is just right out, 20 or 40 mixed light/heavy inf and militia sounds like a more reasonable fight, and I don't want to mess with the two larger provinces packing crossbowmen just yet. I know some people like to gamble with their first couple of turns, but in my experience if you gently caress up your first expand it can really delay you, while even just another 50 gold from a low-risk early expansion, as well as not losing too much of your initial expansion squad, can snowball into a decent advantage in the first ten or so turns.

I ultimately decide to go for the province to my northwest, since that's clearly the most fragile, and since the post is otherwise somewhat short, let's look at a bit more of LA Mictlan's fun aspects.



On the Conjuration side of things, reasonably far up the scale, they get four unique summons at Conjuration 7 and also Couatls. Oddly enough they're worse than MA Mictlan's recruitable couatls since they have no chance of Air, making them less flexible and able to leverage their astral for communion casting into fun stuff. I'm not really sure if they're worth 40 nature gems a piece, honestly, that's almost casting Wild Hunt and we know Herne is good value for gems. The Tlaloques on the other hand, cost 60 water gems each, and I've ranted on about how great it is to have Blood 3 and upwards since it spares you some expensive empowering, and since they've got body slots, they're just an armor of thorns and a blood dagger from being Blood 5 and able to do fun stuff like spamming Infernal Disease, solid blood hunters, varied paths, Holy 3 and Death 2(which Mictlan otherwise has no real access to, so it's a nice bit of variety) make them something I hope to be able to summon eventually.



On the Blood side of things I'm really not sold on Civateteos, 50 blood slaves I can use for better things than a D1B1 caster

Tlahuelpuchis are more interesting, having better paths and being flying assassins. I'd probably want to give them a bit of gear before using them for that, but their alright base stats means that some body armor and a weapon upgrade is about all they'd need. On the other hand, for only another 6 blood slaves(66 vs 60), I'd be able to summon a Succubus who's fundamentally a much tougher chassis(about twice the hit points), Invisible(unless you got Spirit Vision, good luck fighting her or patrolling her out, ever) and can attempt Dream Seductions(which have a tendency to turn into messy assassinations).

Onaqui, on the other hand, have my complete attention. At 101 blood slaves they're somewhat expensive, but they come with a free value pack of Beast Bats(about 45 blood slaves' worth) and constantly summon more, additionally they're very good blood hunters, starting out equal to a Blood 5 because of their + Blood Searcher attribute, guaranteed to have +1 random to Fire, Death, Nature or Blood, flying, buff, fully equippable except for the body slot(which does hurt a bit for blood mages, but I'll live). They're a prime research goal, having in my mind no actual downsides.



Aside from that, Mictlan also has some misc. summons, which have some overlap with C'tis and Xibalba, and most novelly, they're all Sacred. Jaguars are basically summoned Jaguar Warriors, at 17 per 25 nature gems, a good bless can make them very scary. I've never bothered summoning the toads before, but Monster Toads are very tanky, maybe even worth hitting with Gift of Reason and using as a chassis(though they'd have terrible slots), but their poison cloud carries a large risk of friendly fire. At 2 nature gems each they're actually reasonably cheap, but expensive in mage turns since you only get one per casting. Could be worth leaving a Nahualli to spam those at some point, assuming the nature gem surplus.

Jade Serpents I'm a huge fan of, extremely beefy, cost water gems which you don't have much other use for, for a lot of the game, sacred like the rest of them and their poison is actually powerful enough to get through poison resistances, since I don't think any unit has more than 25 or 30 poison resistance base. In Newbad2 I managed to poison one of Arcvasti's golems to death with one, so there you go, toxic enough to melt clay.

Beast Bats are... situational. If their paralyzing poison takes effect, heck yeah, dead enemy. On the other hand, it's an on damage effect, on a 10 damage AP attack, which means a lot of armored enemies might shrug it off. Powerful nasty against mages, however. The way I read it, it should only do fatigue damage, but mages already have plenty of that from just casting spells, usually.

Onaqui are the big nasty summon Mictlan gets, being literally flying super-jaguars. Expensive to summon, but very nasty once they're on the field. This access to summonable sacred fliers is part of what makes Mictlan scary, along with their Eagle Warriors, since having to plan for Attack Rear orders can upset strategies and cause grievous losses for anyone who didn't plan for it, and if you get the Eagle Warriors massed early, they usually make mulch of most indie formations.

I forgot to screenshot their last option, but Tzizimitl are basically Ozelotls+, even having the same summoning cost despite being better in basically every way. The balancing part is that they're summoned one at a time and thus can be expensive in Moon Priest turns(they require S2B2 to summon) if you want to mass a decent number of them. They get an armor-negating(WITHOUT MR to resist) ranged attack, claws like the jaguar and a scorpion tail with poison like a Jade Serpent. Being humanoid, the pro strat might be to summon one, Gift of Reason it, and thug it up a bit so it can really do damage on the back lines. If I get the chance, I'll definitely consider playing around with that.

Lord Koth
Jan 8, 2012



...Why the hell did JBBM massively increase the cost of Ozelotls? Like, EA Mictlan is a powerhouse, but they're hardly the only one. And LA Mictlan really isn't close to that. Yes, Ozelotls are great, but they're hardly gamebreaking or extremely hard to counter (like Infernal Disease is - and there's definitely been an argument made that Disease Demons went from OP to nearly completely useless).

Twice the cost for the base spell, and 2.5 times the cost for Rain of Jaguars is insane.

Arcvasti
Jun 12, 2019

Never trust a bird.

Lord Koth posted:

...Why the hell did JBBM massively increase the cost of Ozelotls?

In general it doubled the prices of all blood summons, except for the mass versions at high levels that got a higher amount. It would be silly not to increase the price of some of the best blood summons in the process of doing that.

Technowolf
Nov 4, 2009






Agartha
Turn 2

No events other than prophet proclamations, which Purple already posted.


A look at the indies in my cap circle. Nothing too intimidating. Windsong Forest to the north shows as just heavy infantry and crossbows. Going clockwise from there, Mines of Fortune has ko-oni, a type of demon normally only available to the Japanese nations (Yomi/Shinuyama/Jomon), Robber Home has Militia and Archers, Histrya has light and heavy infantry and crossbowmen, while Towen shows heavy infantry and crossbowmen. Now scouting reports are usually inaccurate to some degree (the amount of troops in each province can vary bo 50% - 200% for instance), and the Late Age can have surprise heavy cavalry, but I feel confident that I can take at least my cap circle before things go spectacularly wrong.

I send my prophet's army north, since that's the weakest province and will provide some much needed resources for my capital. Forests also have a higher chance of having magic sites in them.


I also put in a bid on some mercenaries. Never too early to think about getting a second expansion party going.


Since this is a short post, let's go over some of my early game magic research priorites:


Since this is the Late Age and I took magic 3 on my pretender, I start with 300 research points already 'spent'. There's nothing really ground-breaking in these early levels, but I can get off some nice low level spells if I need to. You can see that I queue up research to Conjuration 3 and Enchantment 2. These are when Agartha gets their lowest level national summons.


Conjuration 3 gets me Penumbrals and Shard Wights.



Penumbrals are ethereal undead with life drain attacks that cost 6 gems for 4. They're decent blockers and it's not hard to amass an army of them, as long as I get the death income.



Shard Wights are more expensive (15 gems per 5 units), but are slightly more powerful than penumbrals. They have a magic glaive that hits fairly hard, have decent protections, and a cold aura that fatigues non-cold resistant units in their vicinity.


Enchantment 2 gets me Iron Ancestors and Corpses.



Iron Corpses are cheap chaff that wield two short swords. Unlike other undead, they cost earth gems instead of death gems.



Iron Ancestors are commander versions of Iron Corpses. They're not that great, although they are cheap, but I'd rather use my mages to cart undead around.

Technowolf fucked around with this message at 17:33 on Jan 18, 2020

Tuna-Fish
Sep 13, 2017



Gath
Overview


When everyone was re-picking the LA versions of their previous nations, I skipped it because Midgård is mostly just Vanheim but worse totally missed that we were supposed to be doing that, and instead went with Gath, the LA version of the Jewish-themed fire giants.

As Gath is a nation of giants, the choice in the bless was mostly about what I will pick alongside the regen I am definitely getting. I toyed with a lot of special snowflake variants, but eventually went with what is the most cookie cutter build possible: Regen & FSR.



FSR is just low-key amazing past the midgame, as it makes both my troops and mages a lot less vulnerable to the easiest counters they would usually have. It also opens all kinds of interesting possibilities later on in the game.

Because my bless is of the least interesting possible variety, I had to compensate a bit by picking a somewhat less common god chassis. There are two "default choices" for E&N awake expanders, a big pig and the Earth Mother that Jotun is (again) using. They are the defaults because they are good -- specifically, the built-in trample and either recuperation or the extra regen makes them really good at taking out indies right from the game start. I went with this bad boy instead:



He is a normal annunaki/titan chassis with mediocre giant stats, especially as he starts the game basically naked and needs to put on some armor before he can go face the heavy cavalry and crossbowmen that are found in basically every drat province in LA. The only visible interesting trait is that he is "Spring Immortal", that is, if he dies, he'll respawn the next time early spring comes around without losing paths or without having to pray for his return. If I lose him normally, I'm probably going to just pray him back, though, as I'm going to have a lot of priests. It does means that on midwinter, I can just toss him to the nearest province and at worst lose the equipment. He also gets a little bit of extra stats during the spring, and in battle he always summons a few deer and goats to aid him. They chaff is otherwise useless, but it does help take out the lances of heavy cavalry before they reach him. However, the big feature that is only hinted at in the flavor text is that he has a "built-in vine shield" -- that is, anyone trying to him gets entangled by vines and gets stuck until they pass a str check. That is actually really good, and will later help turn him into a buzzsaw that hacks through troops like they are not even there without ever taking a scratch.

The name is a stupid callback to the last game, and the fact that I will be getting a lot of goat summons this game. I bitterly regret that referring to goat simulator only came into mind after pretender submissions closed.

So why did I get him? Really mostly because he's a bit cheaper, and I could fit +1 scale or candle to my dominion with him over what I get with a pig or an earth mother. Speaking of:
(dom strength is 6)
Heat should be self-evident, we are fire giants after all. Production is there because my cap-only giants are kind of expensive in resources, and I kept rolling maps with like 3 neighbours on the cap and being unable to make more than like 3 a turn. This would be disastrous for my early/mid-game, so I chose to just pay to make sure I can make enough of them. This turned out to be unnecessary, as I rolled good enough neighbours on my cap that just one of them is enough to guarantee full supply. Growth is +2 because Gath is so very much a blood nation, and blood nations like all their pop not dying. Of the remaining, I went with T3/L2 because in LA the extra gems are really useful, and I got hit by bad invasions one time too many during my last game where I went order/misfortune and during expansion tests for this game. The last is Drain 3. This is usually really bad for most nations, but Gath has these guys:


On first look, they look like they suck. Only 6 research. However, what is not visible in this picture is that they cost one commander point less than most mages, so you can make 3 of them per turn in a citadel, for 18RP/turn/turn. Also not made clear in this picture is that as they have no magic paths, they are not affected by drain/magic scales. So by using these guys as my researchers, I can choose to dump drain with no ill effects, and get 120 design points to use on other scales. As a downside, the last-ditch tactic of drafting the research mages to fight battles is just not available for me, as these would do little else than die if taken to the front line. As a plus, they are pretty drat cheap, especially in upkeep, allowing me to make a lot of them, and making me one of the research powerhouses in this game.

My most important mages are:



Kohen Gadols are my big magic powerhouses, as the 2? is 2 linked randoms of FES, + 10% for one more FES. They also have +1 misc slot which can be surprisingly useful.

Normal Kohens are the basis of my blood economy, and also really good communion slaves for the big boys, as being sacred giants means I can fairly easily stack 20% regen on them. This, plus 23 hit points means that they will not really die of fatigue, I can overcast as much as I like without troubling them too much.

Abba, besides being a swedish music group, is apparently a kind of a healer. The combination of healer + stealthy is really useful, as it means I can shadow my god with one without risking it in battles, and hopefully healing any afflictions it catches before even a full turn has passed. Their randoms are also FES.

Second tier mages & a weirdo cap-only thug are:



Yeddeoni's random is FESD, and on a lot of other countries I would be thrilled to have them. I'm making a bunch for backline duties, but not being sacred means I'm just not that interested in them here. I guess a few could always skelespam if I need that, but really, I have giants and goats, having a frontline is a solved problem. I mostly want my mages to do damage, and given that my troops are going to be way more expensive and less disposable than most of my enemies, I probably don't want to drop meteors on the frontline, so I'm mostly going to pass these.

Sibyls are another "would be great on a different nation" pick. If I didn't have the sages, they would be my researchers. If I didn't have holy giant communion slaves, they'd do that. Now they mostly sitesearch and hopefully make me avoid a few ill events.

Serens are a weird one. The random is just 20% fsr, so unlikely to do much. They are clearly meant to be thugged out, but making two of them means not making a Kohen Gadol, and so I'm mostly going to pass on them. Also, if I do want to make giant thugs, a Kohen Gadol with E can self-bless, cast temper flesh, ironskin and summon earthpower, and can take one more misc item so even though they have slightly worse stats and are more expensive, they are still better.

As usual, the troop tree for this nation has a loads of different troops, all with interesting lore. And as usual, almost all of them are completely useless, as there are a few options that are just better. My armies are pretty much going to consist of:

The first ones are the base of my early expansion, and will form a backbone of my armies until lategame. They have great stats, pretty good equipment, and magic swords. Add the regen bless and they very rarely take casualties from lesser enemies.

Levite Zealots are recruit-everywhere, and are otherwise pretty uninspiring light infantry, except that they patrol as well as 3 normal dudes, and cost half normal upkeep because they are sacred. These will be made in numbers for blood hunting before I have enough gems and free casters to summon up a whole bunch of wolves. The last dominions patch halved the effectiveness of wolves for patrolling, and they are still pretty much the best choice as they cost no upkeep, can be lead by normal commanders and are available cheaply in large numbers. That should tell something about the general level of balance in this game.

Se'ir are the goat demons that are the cause of my terrible pretender name. With my bless they are perfectly reasonable as line troops, if a bit fragile. However, the reason they are great is that they are very massable (only 4 slaves per, easy to cast spell, takes no supply and costs no upkeep) and are a very good base to cast late-game buffs on. Add some str, prot and ap weapons from spells and suddenly they turn from reasonable to pretty unreasonable.

Turn 1
Sadly I lack screenshots from before turn 3, so you'll have to make do with a description. I got a perfectly decent starting location, prophetised my starting commander (Goat Simulator Fan), and hired as many giants and sages as I could. God starts researching, and research initially goes to Construction 2, so I can get some better armor to fit on my God before he heads out to take provinces.

Turn 2
I send my prophet with his troops and the few freshly recruited giants to take the weakest neighbour.

How are u
May 19, 2005

by Azathoth


Gath rules and I'm happy to see them in the game. If one wants to see vanilla Dominions 4 Gath unleashed go read my old LP.

e: guess I mentioned it so may as well link it. You need archives, though. Dom4 Gath LP

How are u fucked around with this message at 20:10 on Jan 19, 2020

atelier morgan
Mar 11, 2003

super-scientific, ultra-gay



Lipstick Apathy

Arcvasti posted:

You assumed wrong, but miraculously no one actually picked them anyways. This is a highly virtuous group of players here.

Fortunately for newbad3 I had won a game by this point and inflicted my interest in playing Lemuria on a non newbad game instead

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Mictlan
Turn 03



First fight of the game! Woo!



...man I miss my MA Mictlan blessed-up Eagle Warriors already. That's close to half of my starting troops wiped out. I didn't screenshot it, but on turn 1 I started out recruiting some Jaguar Warriors because without a solid defensive bless or the numbers/offense bless advantage needed to one-shot the enemy and really mob their commanders off the field instantly, Eagle Warriors were gonna be turned into KFC in most cases. The Jags were more sturdy thanks to their woundedform. The Feathered Warriors is just a banner carrier sort of dude that ups morale for his squad by +1, I like to mix a few into most squads when able, just to stave off routs by that much more.



And my expanders are gonna be pulling back to restock on dudes, I wouldn't do this with all nations, but these guys are fragile enough for it. Like I think I've said before, getting your first expansion team obliterated can really set you back, so I greatly prefer to be cautious.



I also start plotting out my research. Generally I try to get everything but Blood(except, of course, with blood nations) up to rank 2, and with Nature-strong nations like Mictlan, Conjuration 5 is also an early priority because Howl is how you win fights. Construction 4 is another vital secondary goal to unlock a lot of important boosters and gear(like Sanguine Dowsing Rods).



Dominion's also started spreading because my first priest, rather than researching, is busy chopping up commoners. Priests with more ranks of Holy can do more sacrificing, but my better priests all have better things to do since they're also my best mages, instead each temple is gonna get a novice who'll eventually get equipped, as soon as I hit Construction 2, with one of Mictlan's unique national Jade Daggers, which allows him to sacrifice two more slaves than his priest rank would normally indicate. That'll mean that most of my temples will be squeezing out three temple checks per turn, staving off the horrors of getting domkilled.

Oh and, uh, look who's already here, it's TC! Hi TC. LA TC can be plenty scary, but thankfully I'm convinced that we'll be best of friends since I've turned over a new leaf and am no longer going to be plotting and scheming against anyone at all. :)

Alex0080
May 3, 2013


T'ien Ch'i Turn 2



No random events, and I got the first Mercenary, Guifre. My Ceremonial Masters, who are my nation's basic priest, spend the turn preaching due to having nothing better to do yet.

All of the independent troops around my capital are incredibly soft targets, with Militia being the primary unit, backed up by one or two other unit types, Heavy Infantry, Archers, Crossbowmen, or in once case, light infantry. I will be able to take two of these no problem.



I recruited three Barbarian Heavy Horsemen last turn in addition to my two priests, the Horsemen will accompany Gym.



This turn, I recruit my first mage, an Ancestor Guide, and three more Heavy Horse.

T'ien Ch'i Turn 3



Still no random event, and My Ancestor Guide was a nature random, which are my best mages for casting Horde of Skeletons. One downside to the "Barbarian" mages is that they have a special flag that is alluded to in their description that forces them to be old, even if you take the unaging bless that normally makes your sacred units younger. Nature magic, however, increases how old you need to be to start taking penalties, and this will make them not old if they get a point in it from their random path.

I also have one of my priests cart the Heavy Horsemen I recruited to Gym. This will let me reinforce my army while continuing to take provinces.



My horsemen, being only three guys, got surrounded a bit and took a heavy beating. I lost a handful of pikeman as well, but nothing too bad, the reinforcements from the priests will allow me to replace my front line troops and eventually have a nice solid wall of horsemen.



Guifre does well getting me another province.



With the extra resources from having two new provinces, I can recruit a lot more horsemen.



(Edit: I forgot to include this part) In Henwood, the forest Guifre got me, I start recruiting a Khan. They, as well as both variants of Barbarian Horesemen, are recruitable in any land province I own, even without a palisade. This lets me recruit actually good leaders without interrupting my mage recruitment. I'd prefer the option to recruit Generals instead, as they are cheaper, but I love putting my units into lines rather than gross blobs so I'm recruiting Khans anyway.



For research, I start working on Construction, at least up to 2, since all of my Ancestor Guides and 1 in 4 of my Ancestor Smiths, who have a small discount when crafting magic items, can make Owl Quills to aid future research. The reason I haven't made any Smiths yet to start rolling the dice for one that can make Quills is because they cost more resources than Guides, and I want an extra horseman per turn right now.



Finally, hello yourself, Purple, it is good to see that I have a trustworthy friend to the south who is not already plotting how to backstab me on turn 3.

Alex0080 fucked around with this message at 02:11 on Jan 22, 2020

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Alex0080 posted:


:mercenaries:


I have to admit, I personally almost never recruit mercenaries, because I find it hard to think of a nation where I don't have something better to spend my gold on, another bunch of sacreds that can expand for more than two turns and won't be loving Urgek Beast Brother, or another mage, or a bunch of my normal troops which are almost always better than whatever mercs are up for grabs.

Alex0080 posted:



Finally, hello yourself, Purple, it is good to see that I have a trustworthy friend to the south who is not already plotting how to backstab me on turn 3.

Firstly, I see that filename. :v:

Secondly, at this point I'm only going to backstab you if it becomes expedient for whatever reason. It's not like I'm somehow compelled to engage in as much pointless treachery as possible.

Alex0080
May 3, 2013


PurpleXVI posted:

I have to admit, I personally almost never recruit mercenaries, because I find it hard to think of a nation where I don't have something better to spend my gold on, another bunch of sacreds that can expand for more than two turns and won't be loving Urgek Beast Brother, or another mage, or a bunch of my normal troops which are almost always better than whatever mercs are up for grabs.

The benefit of Mercs early on like this is that they bypass recruitment limits, the unit I want to recruit, Heavy Horsemen, cost 27 resources and 20 gold, leaving me to choose between recruiting lesser units, or buying mercs. I got an extra province this turn which would be impossible otherwise, and the gold you get from the extra provinces can pay off the merc before their first contract is up, or shortly after, as long as they don't run away from a battle they are winning like cowards, no foreshadowing there.

PurpleXVI posted:

Firstly, I see that filename. :v:

Secondly, at this point I'm only going to backstab you if it becomes expedient for whatever reason. It's not like I'm somehow compelled to engage in as much pointless treachery as possible.

Once expansion is mostly over, I'll be giving cliff notes rather than full updates, but I feel showing off how early we spot each other here will set things up nicely for later. Also I forgot an entire screenshot, and will need to edit my last post edit: and done, I have now shown off how cool steppe nomads are.

Alex0080 fucked around with this message at 23:33 on Jan 19, 2020

Arcvasti
Jun 12, 2019

Never trust a bird.

PurpleXVI posted:

I have to admit, I personally almost never recruit mercenaries, because I find it hard to think of a nation where I don't have something better to spend my gold on, another bunch of sacreds that can expand for more than two turns and won't be loving Urgek Beast Brother, or another mage, or a bunch of my normal troops which are almost always better than whatever mercs are up for grabs.

Lots of nations are not gold-limited for expansion and mercenaries give you something to spend that extra gold on. Especially on Ind this is a big issue because your capital gives you a ton of money thanks to the maximized order on it, but you can only make like nine sacreds a turn and so end up with absurd amounts of money you can't spend on expansion parties. Nations with heavily armoured troops like Agartha or Ulm have a similar, less extreme, problem.

Obviously you want an actually good mercenary band and not Urgek Beast-Brother or Victor's Villains though. Even just 30 spearman can double or triple expand, especially in earlier ages. Paying like 300 gold for three provinces you wouldn't have gotten otherwise is really good.

Technowolf
Nov 4, 2009






Agartha
Turn 3


Not a very exciting turn.


I win without even losing any of my light infantry.

I then direct my army to the province just east of my capital. It's a plains province defended by mostly light infantry. It'll probably be harder than Windsong Forest, but not by much.

Khisanth Magus
Mar 30, 2011

Vae Victus

Utgard Turn 2



Nothing interesting here in the messages, just the prophet declarations already posted.



Here we can see my neighboring provinces. South we have a pretty small band of militia, to the east a band of heavy infantry, northeast a bit more militia, and north we have a really annoying cave province with a bunch of cave people. That one will have to wait.



Like last turn I am just recruiting my sacred troops. I will start getting some mages once I have increased my income a bit.



And here is my planned movement. My pretender will take care of the squishy militia to the south, who shouldn't pose any problem, while my starting army + turn 1 recruits will take care of the heavy infantry to my east.

There should be nothing that can go wrong with this plan.

Utgard Turn 3

Everything went wrong with that plan.



Messages for the turn. The 2 battles and my first event!

First the event.



Well, -10 income in my capital isn't a great start.

I didn't take a picture of it but my army expansion to the east went off with no casualties.

And then for the other battle.



Well, bugger. The scouting here wasn't so accurate. "About 15 militia" I believe is what it said. My pretender got surrounded by the heavy militia and they got some really good rolls going through her naturally high protection.

This is a bit of a setback. She was supposed to help me speed up my expansion, while providing some much needed earthy-ness later on. Because I have absolutely poo poo for priests it is unlikely I will be able to bring her back any time soon.

On the other hand, as a giant nation I don't really need her to expand. My Giant Giants will be able to handle expansion quite well on their own, and none of my bless is incarnate so it doesn't require her to be around.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Those militia must be so, so proud of themselves.

I can't be mad at the little guys, it's time they caught a break.

How are u
May 19, 2005

by Azathoth


:laffo:

disastrous!

Khisanth Magus
Mar 30, 2011

Vae Victus

I would just like to say that I tested this build in like 3-5 different test games where I just did the first few turns to make sure she would be fine, and that never happened.

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CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Militiaman pretender god chassis when?

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