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Baudin
Dec 31, 2009




Hello, lady goons and gentle goons. I'm Baudin Ramc, and I'm writing an LP for the multiplayer Dominions 4 NationDraft game that's currently in progress. I'm awful so I'm probably going to lose, but after flailing helplessly for numerous games Iím ready to lose again, only this time with a custom nation that Iíve drafted for tragedy and terror.
But first, have some exciting, fun filled screenshots of actual in game combat.









Yes kids, it really is just this exciting.
And here's a very representative example of the campaign map!



Or organizing your army!


Which you could use to do things like this:


The Game
I'm not going to rewrite a description for Dominions 4 because it has been done many times before by people far better at writing than I. If you want more information, check out the Dominions 4 Megathread or Modpud's stellar Lanka LP Chickenwing's excellent LP, Wishing for Armageddon is a Legit Strategy. Suffice it to say that Dominions is a turn-based strategy game that shoehorns pretty much every recognizable belief system in the world into the guise of a fantasy nation and then attempts to settle the question of whether Jesus or Thor would win in a barfight. Imagine a Total War game, but with magic and without the ability to control your units or real nation management or any semblance of balance whatsoever. Enticing, I know. Despite the silly, obtuse bullshit it's actually a surprisingly fun game. There's just something so satisfying about causing a volcanic eruption that wipes out a third of your enemy's capital population in one fell swoop, or having a single mage cast a spell that kills half an enemy army with a rain of large rocks.

This particular game is special because it's not vanilla dominions. Similar to Chickenwing's LP, this game is played with 100% custom nations, scavenged from the best (and ocasionally less best) bits and pieces of the various vanilla nations from all ages. If you read his LP you'll notice that I've recycled a large quantity of content. This is because I'm terribly lazy.

I've been told that someone else (Foolofsound) will be posting a rundown of each other player as I come across them. I'll steal his writeups and place them in the LP once he's posted them, because why get two people to do what one person volunteered to do? Down that path lies more effort than I care to undertake.

I'll also link to the updates as I go. If I forget please remind me (on IRC, where goons are even now asking me where the LP is for the past 3 days).

Of note, since this has a bunch of others playing with against me there's about a 12 turn delay so they can't exploit intel gathered here too much.

Notable Posts:
fool_of_sound's Pretender Design Workshop
Discussion of EA/MA/LA
Magic Discussion 1 and Magic Discussion 2, followed by Fluff Magic Power Rankings
A Brief Dom4 History Lesson by Neruz and Abysia and Caelum Historical Overview, followed by Bandar Log Talks and Tien Chi Discussion
I Love You! Libels Nuclearmonkee and Hatwer, and Provides Accurate Self Representation
Pretender Design By Fool of Sound

Also to quote fool_of_sound's post:
A Thread Contest!
We in the world of goon Dominions 4 have no taste, and love memes. If you submit hilarious memes based on this particular game of Dominions 4, you could win your very own Steam copy of the game! You submissions will be judged by a profession panel (Samog) at the end of the LP, and I'm going to try to harass some of the other regulars into submitting second and third prizes as well.

Baudin Updates:
Turn 2
Turn 3
Turn 4
Turn 5
Turn 6
Turn 7
Turn 8
Turn 9
Turn 10
Turn 11
Turn 12
Turn 13
Turn 14
Turn 15
Turn 16
Turn 17
Turn 18
Turn 19
Turn 20
Turn 21
Turn 22
Turn 23
Turn 24
Turn 25
Turn 26
Turn 27
Turn 28
Turn 29
Turn 30
Turn 31

Sloppy Milkshake Updates:
Turn 3
Turn 5
Turn 6
Turn 7
Turn 8

Turn 11
Turn 14

Ramc's the True Champion of this Thread: His Skulls Include the Following
EARULES or THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBLESS
EARULES, PART TWO: I VAN SO FAR AWAY
Ramc's Guide to Winning Dom4
Happy Newbie
DOMINONS_FOUR PART ONE: THE INQUISITION. WHAT A SHOW!
DOMINIONS_FOUR PART TWO: NOBODY EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION
HUMANITY: WHATÖ IS MAN?
Corn Update: Brain Reaped Again
Corn Update: Anime Belongs in the Trash
CORN PART ONE: ONE A-MAIZE-ING GAME
Corn part 2: Insert Corny Joke Here

Baudin fucked around with this message at 03:18 on Dec 14, 2016

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Baudin
Dec 31, 2009


THE DRAFT

Rules:
A copy of our drafting document

Each player got to draft a Cap-only mage, two recruit-anywhere mages, one cap-only troop, six recruit-anywhere troops - four of which were selected two at a time, a commander, a scout, a priest, a race's starting gem income, and a unique national feature (read: gimmick), from any nation in any age. Arising from this comes the most overpowered bullshit strategies that one can possibly mash into a nation, or terrible gimmicks that will never work but were created to assuage some unknown emptiness inside the drafter. My draft was as follows:

Cap-only mage: Kohen Gadol


Iím going to put it out there right now - my ďstrategyĒ for this draft is terrible - itís giant jews for the most part. That guy you just saw? Giant jew. Most of the rest of my picks? Also jews, or giants, or both. Iím casually racist gimmicky like that.
Asides from the terrible racism and gimmicky status this cap only mage has two really nice things going for him - one heís got three ranks in holy magic which allows him to bless all the sacreds on the field with one spell which is pretty baller, and he also can claim Thrones of Ascension, which is kind of important because theyíre how you win the game and only priests with three ranks of holy magic (which are rare - most nations rely on their prophet, of which you can only have one) and pretenders can do so. Hopefully weíll see a lot more of him later. Also of importance is the random chance for Astral, Fire and Earth - Iím guessing the earth and astral paths will be more important but I could be wrong.

Next up are my recruit anywhere mages, which also leads me to my gimmick. Also how completely idiotic I am.

Recruit-anywhere mages: Magister Arcane, Master Smith, Marshmaster and Acha
I spent my gimmick getting 4 mages instead of 2. Two of these mages encourage me taking drain scales, the other two not so much. This is not ideal.


Unfortunately neither of these units are giants or jews, immediately ruining my planned gimmick, in my defense though by the time I got around to my last mage picks I was experiencing a bit of anguish at the thought of only seeing giants, so I decided to mix things up a bit.
The Magister Arcane and Master Smith are pretty amazing since they ignore drain for research. I also like the synergy these units have - the master smith can forge boots that boost earth paths which I can use to forge hammers that reduce gem costs to create items, including quills which require the a2 provided by the magister. Then I can also use the increased earth boost on the magister arcanes to cast Rain of Stones to destroy everything on a battlefield. Rain of Stones (RoS) traps are very good, or so I hear, Iíve never managed to use them in game before.
Fallen victim to them, definitely. Used them? Not so much.
Iím more likely to hire a ton of master smiths for one simple reason - they provide 10 resources, resources Iím desperately going to need.

These two are my ďextraĒ mages. Iím less confident about these choices overall.



The Marshmaster is actually a great mage - heís expensive, cold blooded and fragile but he has great paths, can get further boosts to his death paths via a cold-blooded only item which is quite expensive to make and can summon tons of undead chaff as well. He also gets a much needed supply boost to my units due to the nature paths he has.
The Acha on the other hand I will probably only make a handful of. The main reason Iíve drafted these suckers is for the healer trait, which (god willing) weíll see some use of in the late game. Or not, who knows.

Cap-only troop: Anahim Anakite


These things are big, expensive, and probably a very bad idea. Iím unlikely to make a lot of them since theyíre so drat expensive to build and cap only, however they are sacred which means they have less upkeep, and their exorbitant resource cost should be slightly mitigated by the master smiths toiling away in the capital, churning out research and various useful items. Iím rather curious to see how well my initial expansion goes if I hire a few of these guys just to start with...


Recruit-anywhere troop: Levite Zealot and Ancient One


These two are my first choices for recruit anywhere troops. The Levites are jews, the Ancient Ones are giants. Seems clear enough! They both somewhat fit into my theme of giant jews, and also happen to both be recruit anywhere sacreds. This is important since whatever bless strategy I come up with (and it will be terrible) will form a major portion of my overall strategy.
The zealots are rather cheap and feature decent defense, Iíll likely end up mixing them into any sacred armies I build as cheaper fodder. Asides from the rather steep cost and higher hitpoints the major interesting features of the Ancient One is the need not eat and siege bonus traits - I might need these to siege down forts faster than I would otherwise.

Now for the other troop picks:



I picked these in pairs - the two guards were chosen first, then the horn blowers and archers. The important thing to notice if you paid any attention to the rules is the second batch are what form my province defense and starting army. I did not pay much attention to that particular rule, and so have units that are commonly acknowledged as bad for both starting army and province defense duty.

Regardless, These are from two of the three jewish factions - EA Hinnom and MA Ashdod, with the Tower Guard coming from LA Man. The Gileadite Archers are a token/joke pick, Iím unlikely to use them often due to their high cost, poor map move speed and abysmal precision. The Tower guard though have shields to block incoming arrows, decent defense and precision meaning they wonít get hit as often and will hit more often, and should do a bit better. I guess Iíll see what happens in game though.
The other notable thing about these picks is how the Horn Blowers increase morale in whichever group theyíre in by 1 (which does not stack with other horn blowers), and they also get a +5 siege bonus, meaning they count as 5 extra troops in the case of a siege. This could be interesting with the Ancient Ones.

The commander/scout/priest/simple troops were all picked at once and I was pretty much last, and so was left with some pretty garbage choices.

Commander: Rephaite Commander



This guy is just a generic gigantic commander, nothing too special unfortunately. I hope to not use him too much, to be honest. He does have decent leadership and good hitpoints though!

Scout: Caelian Scout


This sucker flies, which is pretty drat useful for quickly discovering where other players are on the map and for getting great vision of the map later on in the game when Iím inevitably left with 4 provinces barely alive so the LP can continue while you watch me death spiral while I show how other players are doing.

Priest: Jotun Gode


Nothing special, except that he's a giant and so has decent HP like the rest of my troops. Notably heís not jewish, which is crazy.

Pretender God: Mother of Monsters



Memorable quotes from IRC:
(11:48:04 AM) Corbeau: it's literally cheaper to lich it
(11:48:12 AM) Corbeau: or blood fountain it
(11:51:44 AM) Corbeau: I don't get why you're bothering with the minor death bless

(6:33:44 PM) Absum: Design points: -18
(6:33:58 PM) Absum: your god has issue
- Not pictured here: the +20 design bonus we all received for having our chassis of choice made favoured for each nation

(6:37:40 PM) iloveu: oh my god your nation is historically terrible
(6:40:07 PM) iloveu: marshmasters are your best thing im pretty stoked about that
(6:40:30 PM) iloveu: because you probably wont use them much since they require the opposite research of the rest of your mages
(6:40:32 PM) iloveu: owns owns onws

(6:45:03 PM) samog: please also mention that ancient ones are obese pale worm men

(1:21:00 PM) samog: when does baudin realize that dawn guard are actually good
(1:21:05 PM) Baudin: never

Rephalim is a nation formed from the magic drained lands inhabited primarily by giants. At the dawn of time a bad picker decided to choose only the most gigantic useless jewish giants in the game to form his perfect armies, and did so with the additional delusion of never needing to worry about magic ever again. Thus he looked to the descendants of the Nephilim, kings over the Avvim, Rephaites and Gath. Truly, a wise decision which will not be punished repeatedly.

Other Nation Overviews:
New Alfheim
Mongler Horde
Pax (by the Drafter)
Boingladesh

Baudin fucked around with this message at 01:49 on Aug 12, 2015

Baudin
Dec 31, 2009


Turn 1:

I log in to see this:


Something about why we're fighting to the deaths of many fake pixel men.

Here's the world map of what we're fighting over:


I zoom in to my starting province to see what I can expand into, and turn on the money/resource view so I can get an idea of how rich whichever provinces Iíve expanded dominion into are.



Ok, so far so good. It looks like Iím near mountainous provinces, with three nearby thrones. This seems like a good start, with the potential for me to not get completely destroyed in short order.

Then again, Iím notoriously bad and picked purely for a gimmick build that isnít very good. Lets see who my competition is!



Clearly someone is very, very lazy when it comes to picking a pretender name. Thatís 10 pretenders, and not a ton of land to go around. Some poking around on IRC reveals that itís notorious good poster fleurs. I might have to find him and destroy him first.

My first move is to send out my flying scout - I chose a flier purely to show off whats going on for the LP, and not because it lets me quickly figure out where other people are in the early game. Iím willing to bet that someone else is near these mountains, maybe even two or three others, so I send out my flier to check out a nearby province and hopefully get some good dirt on other goons.



Oh and since Iím an idiot my starting army looks like this:


To supplement this terrible start Iíve decided to recruit my levite zealots, the cheapest sacreds I could get. Iíve also made the starting commander my prophet so I can be sure theyíll get blessed. My first commander to be recruited is a marshmaster - another non giant unit that Iíll be using to scour the map for gems that might come in handy later.



As you can see thereís not a lot to do on the first turn, generally I can be done in a few minutes if I know the nation Iím playing. Which technically I should for this game since I picked all these units myself (two weeks ago :v:)

At this point I almost end my turn before I check one last thing - Mercenaries. I usually donít check for them on the first turn because I go through them too fast. I hope no one else notices theyíre available and put a few extra gold in my bid. Assuming I win the bidding process done when the turn ends Iíll have the mercenary band for 3 turns which will make expansion a bit easier, especially since my starting army consists primarily of horn blowers and terrible giant archers. And the horn blowers are in my pick purely to provide some extra morale and siege bonuses, not to expand with.



Unfortunately this means Iíll be recruiting a smith instead of the marsh master since theyíre a bit cheaper. Tragic I know.



Out of habit I hit the ďNĒ button a few times to scan for inactive commanders, and of course since I only have two at the start it does nothing. Good enough, lets see if I win the bidding war before fighting commences!

END TURN!

Baudin fucked around with this message at 00:36 on Aug 4, 2015

Samog
Dec 13, 2006
At least I'm not an 07.


this is the draft that dominions deserves

Absum
May 28, 2013



this lp is extremely good, draft owns and god bless

Johnny Joestar
Oct 21, 2010

Don't shoot him?

...
...





Absum posted:

god bless

Dragas
Apr 21, 2010

something something polish lithuania commonwealth will rise from the ashes


I am extremely cool with casual racism

Johnny Joestar
Oct 21, 2010

Don't shoot him?

...
...





Dragas posted:

I am extremely cool with casual racism

dominions 4 is the game 4 you

fool of sound
Oct 10, 2012


Dragas posted:

I am extremely cool with casual racism

I recommend the Japanese goblins, or Indian monkeymen.

Johnny Joestar
Oct 21, 2010

Don't shoot him?

...
...





dom4 is made by a bunch of sheltered scandinavian dudes and pretty much any fun gleaned from it is in spite of their involvement because they are somehow one of the most scattered, unreliable dev teams i have ever seen for a game in my life. they don't even understand how some of the systems in the game work anymore.

TheDemon
Dec 11, 2006

...on the plus side I'm feeling much more angry now than I expected so this totally helps me get in character.


wtf is that draft lol

is there a list of the whole thing somewhere

Baudin
Dec 31, 2009


TheDemon posted:

wtf is that draft lol

is there a list of the whole thing somewhere

It's pretty bad, here's a copy of the google doc we used.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BKNFyiUZlunhN10_gabcLBo1DMiHYlJ1lvzgE6lmhEk/edit

fool of sound
Oct 10, 2012


TheDemon posted:

wtf is that draft lol

is there a list of the whole thing somewhere

Plug it into the inspector. They're all MA.

TheDemon
Dec 11, 2006

...on the plus side I'm feeling much more angry now than I expected so this totally helps me get in character.



set it to link = read access plz. what to see what was available when the stuff was picked

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


You seem to have somehow drafted a nation that is like Gath but worse. Meditate on this.

I mean maybe there is some change between dom3 and dom4 (I've been too busy to pick up the latter) that makes Gath not the worst but I'm going to assume Gath is still hot garbage.

Baudin
Dec 31, 2009


Feinne posted:

You seem to have somehow drafted a nation that is like Gath but worse. Meditate on this.

I mean maybe there is some change between dom3 and dom4 (I've been too busy to pick up the latter) that makes Gath not the worst but I'm going to assume Gath is still hot garbage.

Yup, it's bad. I don't plan on winning this thing.

Johnny Joestar
Oct 21, 2010

Don't shoot him?

...
...





the balance is still all over the loving place but a big thing in the change from 3 to 4 is that supercombatants aren't popular anymore

fool of sound
Oct 10, 2012


Agent Kool-Aid posted:

the balance is still all over the loving place but a big thing in the change from 3 to 4 is that supercombatants aren't popular anymore

and gemgens are gone. And I think Throne victory is new?

TheDemon
Dec 11, 2006

...on the plus side I'm feeling much more angry now than I expected so this totally helps me get in character.


Throne Victory is basically the Victory Points option from Dom3, except better presented and set to default.

Very few people played Dom3 with gemgens in multiplayer.


Research slowing significantly at level 5+, Disciples mode, and the difficulty in building SCs due to resistance changes & bleeding (& partially due to lack of SC-providing mods, which is probably a good thing) are to me, some of the large changes.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


Like until I can see what all else everyone else has I can't be sure you didn't just literally miss every single other cap-only H3 mage priest but Kohen Gadol are just so bad.

I Love You!
Dec 6, 2002


Feinne posted:

Like until I can see what all else everyone else has I can't be sure you didn't just literally miss every single other cap-only H3 mage priest but Kohen Gadol are just so bad.

No you're right he literally only made bad decisions this is pretty exceptional

TheDemon
Dec 11, 2006

...on the plus side I'm feeling much more angry now than I expected so this totally helps me get in character.


I have read the draft document.

No one, not one person, drafted Longbows.

At least xbows were drafted by some.





Seriously, a single good (read:cheap) missile unit would have fit Baudin's lineup like a glove. Flaming Arrows is synergistic research, too. I guess there's always indeps...

e: The Zero Income, Zero Prod build is also awful for this lineup. Without some prod, or all those res-heavy units will never appears. Without decent income you will never be able to make any giants at all.

e2: WHITE ONES are a better Levite Zealot in pretty much every relevant way except the shield and the gcost, but since you're holy limited anyway and getting N9 bless...

TheDemon fucked around with this message at 05:05 on Aug 4, 2015

PotatoManJack
Nov 9, 2009


So if SCs are out in Doms 4 - what's the new end game all about? Are Wish Engines still a thing?

e: Will definitely be following this - I love a good Dominions LP even though they almost never get completed

PotatoManJack fucked around with this message at 05:34 on Aug 4, 2015

Baudin
Dec 31, 2009


Turn 2:
I check the message screen - all notices of other players picking their prophets:


Of note three players didnít pick prophets.

And this is mine:



I didnít come up with that name, but itís pretty much perfect. Actually how did that name come up?
(ed: foolofsound is a tricky man. Thanks for letting me have a non-generic prophet name!)

Unfortunately I failed to win the bidding war on the mercenaries - this could prove to be a major problem.



Oh well, maybe another crew will show up soon?

Iím not sure if my army will be good enough to expand, but I guess itís worth trying. After some thought I decide to send all my troops out and not keep back a standard bearer - Iím unlikely to win otherwise.



I need more resources for my highly expensive troops, and Iíd like a good expansion path. Iíd also love to support this meagre army on itsí next move, assuming it survives



Next turn I should be able to expand up into the woods to my west, assuming everything goes well. On that note I start up my recruitment:



Iím desperate for troops - the main issue with getting giants is you just donít get a lot of them. Iím not even trying to get anakims yet - theyíre too resource and gold costly for me to even recruit one a turn right now. Maybe once a few provinces nearby start feeding my capital their precious resources Iíll be able to though. Iím picking up a few ancient ones since Iím more resource starved then anything else - theyíre slightly cheaper resource wise than the zealots, and have more hps to regenerate and activate blood vengeance.

I check my research and set my freshly recruited mage to research this turn. Iím going for at least an early level of alteration so I can support my troops with Earth Might, a decent boost to strength (I think? I honestly should be more familiar with the magic of this game, but asides from thunderstrike spam itís a bit over my head)



And hereís Earth Might.



Iím likely to continue getting levels in alteration - there are some decent spells in there I think.

I then check on my scout to see what heís revealed:



Diddly squat. Too bad, it would have been nice to start up diplomacy early on. I send him up north to see what else is near the mountains.

With that I think my second turn is ready to be sent in.

Corbeau
Sep 12, 2010

Jack of All Trades


I don't think that I had fully grasped the implications of this draft. Should be an amusing read.

quite stretched out
Feb 17, 2011

the chillest


Agent Kool-Aid posted:

dom4 is made by a bunch of sheltered scandinavian dudes and pretty much any fun gleaned from it is in spite of their involvement because they are somehow one of the most scattered, unreliable dev teams i have ever seen for a game in my life. they don't even understand how some of the systems in the game work anymore.

"There are no changes to the basic morale system that I'm aware of. It is opaque enough that I don't remember how it works anymore. JK likewise. Since we don't understand it anymore we have no intention to make changes in it."

Sloppy Milkshake
Nov 9, 2004

I MAKE YOU HUMBLE



I forgot to take pictures and stuff for the first two turns but here's the notes from them:

turn 1: I blind expand with my piggod into a nearby forest for increased resources. This is slightly risky because there could be dumb bullshit in there, but mighty pig berserks and tramples so it's probably fine. Just to be safe I send a couple greek shield mans to draw fire/charges. I set my scout to retreat on his first turn and slam him into the other forest prov. Rename my storm commander to Samog as is right and proper, then prophet him. Recruit a bunch of crossbows and batman wizard. My start is really good actually: I have five connections, two of which are high resource forests. I'm near a coast though, so I'll need to expand out quickly. Future me: I forgot to check mercs like an idiot which sucks, because there was a crossbow company.

turn 2: Piggod murders a bunch of tribals, but his hoplites died. The other forest prov is the same poo poo but more dudes, so I'm setting pig to search for magic sites and recruiting some chaff. I think this might have been a bad move, but I don't want to lose my god on the second turn. I send out Samog with a bunch of crossbows and hoplites to murder some horse archers. This should be easy, pony bows are garbage. I also notice there is a heavy cav site to my south which is normally bad, but it looks like there are only two there? Scouts lie all the time, so I'm bashing one into that prov to find out for sure. Another batman and more crossbows. I threw in a non-sacred elf for good measure.

location spoiler: i'm pretty close to baudin's northeast

Sloppy Milkshake fucked around with this message at 07:08 on Aug 4, 2015

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


PotatoManJack posted:

So if SCs are out in Doms 4 - what's the new end game all about? Are Wish Engines still a thing?

e: Will definitely be following this - I love a good Dominions LP even though they almost never get completed

I'd assume it's about troops supported by battle-magic and beardy summons.

Or you don't get to the endgame because you're next to Mictlan, which seems even more likely now given they decided to add in Mayan and Incan themed Mictlan-likes.

ChickenWing
Jul 22, 2010

:v:



Feinne posted:

I'd assume it's about troops supported by battle-magic and beardy summons.

That but also with a hefty reliance on globals. It's hard to invade someone when all your mages get sniped by vengeful waters the first turn you hit >5 enemy domcandles.

Note also that domspread has changed, so it's not possible to spam temples to get your domspread % over 100 anymore, meaning that pushing away poision dom is hard.

Also horrors.

Nuclearmonkee
Jun 10, 2009




TheDemon posted:

wtf is that draft lol

It is a beautiful draft of good things. BIG GOOD. BIG STRONG.

Stuff like longbows are a less useful draft choice due to the heavy prevalence of zotz spam, though if you couple it with something to sandwich the longbows in, they can kill swarms of zotz quite easily. It's just problematic in that first year.

Baudin
Dec 31, 2009


Nuclearmonkee posted:

It is a beautiful draft of good things. BIG GOOD. BIG STRONG.

You forget how important the Jewish heritage is.

Lord Koth
Jan 8, 2012



Baudin posted:


The Magister Arcane and Master Smith are pretty amazing since they ignore drain for research. I also like the synergy these units have - the master smith can forge boots that boost earth paths which I can use to forge hammers that reduce gem costs to create items, including quills which require the a2 provided by the magister.

Just thought I'd point out that you only need A1 for quills. As that is one of a Master Smith's randoms, they are perfectly capable of forging them on their own - for 1 air gem each once you get a hammer.:v: Admittedly not as reliable, since it's only a 5% chance per smith, but if you're massing them odds are you'll get some reasonably early. Almost certainly before you get access to boots or hammers, unless you're heavily rushing Construction, and at 5 air gems base it's not like you'll particularly want to make many quills before then anyways. Not building them until you can get them for 1 gem apiece is even in character. :cheeky:

Not that Magister Arcane aren't good of course, but you certainly don't need them for that or Rain of Stones, given aforementioned Master Smiths with A can also get off turn 1 Rain of Stones with a pair of boots, leaving no time for defensive spells by the enemy if you're using them for traps. Just slap armor and helmets on them(easy considering the good ones for this sort of thing require E alone), and have them lurk in provinces.

fool of sound
Oct 10, 2012


Hi, I'm foolofsound. I'm the guy who's running the draft because I like be shouted at on IRC. I'm watching the game through use of the master password, and will be doing yearly state of the world updates until OP inevitably gets killed by someone who drafted well, and will also be doing selection and mechanics chat for stuff Baudin doesn't cover.

Today we're going to be talking about pretender design, and how to guess at what your opponent might have chosen. For this game, we have the special advantage of knowing which chassis all other players picked, but in most games you just have to make an educated guess.



The most obvious aspect to pretender construction is the chassis, the form that your god takes. Chassis does several important things: it determines starting paths, starting domscore, and of course, your god's stats and special abilities. The two former are particularly important, since purchasing new paths is expensive, and each point in a path or in domscore costs an exponential amount based on how many points you have already put into that score. To illustrate this, let's look at a pretender trying to reach 9 in the Fire path (9 being a highly desirable number for reasons I'll get into later). A pretender with a starting score of 3 in Fire would spend 168 points to reach Fire 9, while a pretender with a starting score of 1 would spend 288 points to reach the same level, and a pretender lacking the path altogether would pay not only the 288 point, but also a premium based on chassis. Starting domscore is also an important consideration: a pretender with a starting score of 1 would spend 147 points to reach a 'safe' dominion level, while a pretender with a 2 would spend 105, one with 3 would spend 70, and one with 4 (the highest) would only spend 42. Stats are primarily of importance to gods who expect to see early game combat, and a handful of chassis have unique and interesting abilities that I'm not going to go into unless they come up, but both are also lesser considerations. Pretenders can also purchase Scales, independent of their chassis. Scales provide either positive or negative effects in the player's controlled territory, with positive effects costing points, and negative effects refunding them. Pretenders start with 500 design points, and can gain an extra 150 be choosing to be Dormant (unavailable until the end of year 1), or 250 points by being Imprisoned (unavailable until the end of year 3). This choice is usually dictated by the strategy for the build, detailed below.

There are a couple of different major strategies you can use with your pretender construction:
---Expander: Gods constructed as expanders are made to gain an early game advantage, and to be sacrificed if need be. They are always taken Awake. They need to be strong enough to clear independent defenses alone, and can also be used to stop early game rushes. They are not usually useful for rushes themselves, since all pretender are weakened inside of enemy dominions, are generally become easy prey if leading an invasion. They're quite powerful on the defense though, since friendly dominion empowers them. Many expanders take a DomScore of 9, since such a high score grants the Awe ability; an aura of protection against melee attacks. Others have sufficient armor to simply ignore most enemies. In either case, Expanders almost inevitably have Trample (able to charge over small units, damaging each one), Fear (forces morale checks every turn to keep fighting), or both, in order to break enemies before the god becomes exhausted. Expanders tend to be weak spellcasters, and only have mediocre Scales; most of their points have to be spent to keep them alive. Periodically, they will be taken with more powerful magic, but bad scales instead. Earth magic is popular on expanders, since each point in Earth improves the god's natural armor.
---Blesser: Each god provides a Bless effect; a special buff that can be used by units with the Sacred ability. Each Path has two separate buffs; a weaker one that appears at 4 levels in a path, then improves with additional points, and a more powerful non-scaling bless that appears at 9 levels in a path. It's generally these latter effects that Bless gods are after, since a number of them are very powerful. Most Bless gods are taken Imprisoned, to free up more points for their expensive path purchases. They are generally taken with one powerful bless effect and beneficial scales, or two powerful bless effects and negative scales. Only certain nations can take full advantage of blesses, so gods of this sort are often highly telegraphed. Fire, Water, Nature, Blood, and (to a lesser extent) Earth magic are the most common blesses. Death is taken occasionally, and Air and Astral blesses are rarely purchased.
---Scales: The single most important thing Scales affect is income. All nations appreciate additional income, and some all but require it. More rarely they are used to increase the number of resources generated (the cap on per-province recruitment), faster research, or protection from bad events (and a better chance at good ones). It's uncommon for a god to be used for nothing but scales, but it does happen periodically. Scale heavy gods are often combined with global casters or single blessers.
---Global Caster: Global spells are powerful, game-wide effects, and many of them feature into winning strategies. The generally have high path requirements, though, and for many nations, their god is their only shot at getting many of them. Because of the high path cost, this strategy often coincides with a Blesser, but can be applied to any god. It's occasionally used as a primary strategy, on nations with both powerful expansion and weak bless potential.

At the beginning of each game, each pretender receives a random number of epitaphs based on paths, scales, domscore, and occasionally other things. These are always available to all players, and can be indicative of strategy with some understanding of the nation the god is attached to. Let's take a look at Baudin's opponents:



Sea Mother and Princess of Water are clearly indicative of Water magic, while Queen of Animals indicates Nature. Patron of Herbalists can mean Nature magic, Growth scales (income increases over time), or both. Since this is a draft game, and we know his chassis:



This doesn't come as much of a surprise. The Volla was traditionally a fairly good choice, but with a pretender rebalance a few months back, humanoid pretenders are considered a bit overcosted and are less popular. The Volla does generate free gems though, which is nice. Because of the specifics of his nation (that I'll go into in a future post), we can assume he's invested heavily in Luck scales and potentially Turmoil scales (to spam positive events). The epitaphs could either mean a Water/Nature bless (a powerful, but expensive bless; probably not worth it on his nation), or else a global caster, since Nature has several powerful globals, and Water has one very useful defensive global that is generally fought over. If this is the case, we can probably assume his pretender is Dormant (if a caster), or Imprisoned (if a blesser).



These are some pretty useful epitaphs. God of Metal means Earth magic, Vessel of Might means high DomScore, God of Order means Order scales (better income), and Teacher of Philosophy means probably Magic or Sloth scales (better research, or worse resources). The high DomScore epitaphs almost always mean an awake Expander, which Earth magic is pretty common on as well. I'm going to guess at Sloth from Teacher of Philosophy, since DomScore 9 is expensive, and he probably didn't have enough points for both Order and Magic scales. As for his chassis:



Yup, awake expander. The Devourer isn't the most popular Expander, but it's still a pretty good choice. It's bite attack is an irresistable instakill on anything, which means it will win a fight with nearly any other expander it runs into. Both Death and Earth magic are useful on expanders too. We can probably assume Boing is going to have a pretty strong start.



He Who Seals the Gates of Death and God of Darkness are both Death magic titles, with He Who Seals being restricted to high Death magic, I believe. God of Famine means Death scales (income is reduced over time), an uncommon choice, but one that can be helpful with specific strategies. He may have a Death bless (not common, but not terrible), but most likely plan to use his god to rush the powerful Death globals, two of which can be game winning strategies on their own. I expect that his god is Dormant.



Yeah, that's a global caster, and probably also a defensive battlemage (defense goes hand-in-hand with Death globals). His god is Immortal, which means that whenever he is killed inside his own territory, he instantly resurrects at his capital without penalty.



He Who is at the Center is another high DomScore epitaph, and I think the others are all Earth magic. I'm less certain on that though. So another awake expander, but that's really all we know.



Oh look it's Pigod. Pigod is one of the most popular Awake expanders because he both Tramples and has Berserk, which means he powers up the first time he takes damage, and will never retreat from battle. He's risks injury, but can capture provinces that no other expander can hope to. He's got useful paths too, if SpookyDanger decided to go for globals (not always a good plan on a suicidal boar).



Princess of the Afterlife and Gatherer of the Dead mean Death magic, of course, while Lady of Celestial Bodies means Astral magic. Probably not an expander or a blesser (since those paths aren't conducive to those strategies), so globals and scales is most likely.



Despite being a monster, the Sphinx is actually a pretty poor expander, since she lacks a decent Protection score or any sort of other defense. Flying+Fear can clear weaker provinces, but it's more likely that she was taken Dormant for use in globals.



Uh. Uh huh. God of War means Fire magic or Turmoil scales, King of Flowers and Spring is Nature magic, and Patron of Suicides is Blood magic. And considering that literally every unit in Kitfox' nation is Sacred, it's a pretty safe assumption that Kitfox has gone for the legendary TriBless. His troops have increased accuracy, increased damage, increased HP, flaming weapons, regeneration, and reflect damage taken on their attackers. This, on the other hand, means he's taken trash scales, and is going to rely on a powerful early game to win.



Irminsul is a fantastic pretender. He's immobile, but he's got a high Nature score for the powerful Nature bless, and enough HP in his own dominion to effectively defend the capital single handedly with a simple regeneration spell. He's almost certainly Imprisoned though, which means that he won't show up in person for a while.



Unmoving Master means another immobile pretender, Tamer of Demons means Blood magic, and Armorer and Lord of Soil mean Earth magic; a powerful combination for several reasons. Based on his nation, I'm willing to bet that Xanrick went for a Blood bless and high Scales.



Yeah, that's probably all right. The head will probably help Xanrick bootstrap into Blood magic later in the game, and is able to summon powerful demons on his own, including the excellent Demon Knights. It's not as useful as Irminsul on the defense, but it's still going to be a challenge to take the capital.



Great. Literally all of those epitaphs mean high DomScore. I'm going to go ahead and spoil here: JonJoe took a joke-y gimmicky custom pretender made for Kitfox88 that only has once viable build: DomScore 10, all scales max positive, no magic, Imprisoned, Immobile. It's safe to assume that's what he took.



Another not very useful collection of titles. All of those mean Astral magic, meaning that Fleur's god is probably a Wish Engine in the later game, or possibly a Master Enslave caster (a spell that has a chance of converting every enemy unit to your side). It's probably dormant at minimum



Yeah, because of Fleurs' nation gimmick, I know exactly what he's going to do with this. Basically, he can resurrect his god quickly and without the usual penalties, and thus is going to use a teleporting Astral 9 Oracle to be an absolute fucker as soon as he hits high research, defeating entire armies with a single spell.

So yeah, looks like OP's got his work cut out for him. If anyone has mechanics questions, I'm sure a lot of us would be happy to answer them. I'm also announcing a

:siren:Thread Contest:siren:

We in the world of goon Dominions 4 have no taste, and love memes. If you submit hilarious memes based on this particular game of Dominions 4, you could win your very own Steam copy of the game! You submissions will be judged by a profession panel (Samog) at the end of the LP, and I'm going to try to harass some of the other regulars into submitting second and third prizes as well.

Samog
Dec 13, 2006
At least I'm not an 07.


imo decrepus, as the world's foremost dominions meme expert, should also be a judge

fool of sound
Oct 10, 2012


Samog posted:

imo decrepus, as the world's foremost dominions meme expert, should also be a judge

ok

CongoJack
Nov 5, 2009

Ask Why, Asshole


Wait so that one guys pretender is just a statue of Hitler?

fool of sound
Oct 10, 2012


CongoJack posted:

Wait so that one guys pretender is just a statue of Hitler?

ya

fool of sound
Oct 10, 2012


We have s second prize for the meme contest:

Sloppy Milkshake
Nov 9, 2004

I MAKE YOU HUMBLE



hmm i don't know much about pro memeing but i really want that goddamn mug. i'm also near certain that piggod doesn't have dom9 or 10

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Baudin
Dec 31, 2009


Turn 3:
IRC Quote of the Turn:
(9:10:08 AM) Nuclearmonkee: everyone will find everyone within a couple turns in a draft game
(9:10:11 AM) Nuclearmonkee: cause everyone has good expansion

Time to check on my first battle!


Flawless Victory. Awesome, now to watch the battle!



I also got a great event for my capital, +15 defence which will stack for a total of 40. This results in the following total defensive army:


It also gives me better unrest control and patrol strength in case someone tries scouting me or unrest crops up.

I push up the province defence (PD) to 1 in my newly gained province, and move on to attacking the next province in my capitalís circle of provinces.



Iím sending in my support army with the marshmaster leading a few sacred troops - Iíd really like the marshmaster to survive so I send him to the back with orders to stay behind the troops. Iíll use independant commanders for moving reinforcements forward in the future so I take a closer look at my new province and notice it has a Great Silver Mine. Awesome!


Extra 60 gold per turn is a nice bonus on top of the 69 income the province itself provides. I recruit a indie commander and look to my home province to see what I should recruit.

After considering my options for a bit I decide to start on producing Ahiman Anakites - theyíre extremely powerful in the expansion phase and my starting army might be enough to take a few more provinces, which could leave me in a good position to start another expansion army and go in a different direction. Or support my existing army. Or something.


Thatís a pretty meagre looking reinforcement queue. But also a powerful one. I hope.

I hit ďNĒ and realize I have yet to deal with my poor scout - most importantly I notice thereís a small red and black candle which means someone else is nearby to the northwest of my capital. Time to swoop over and see!


And with that another turn is done.

Baudin fucked around with this message at 04:05 on Aug 5, 2015

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