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-   -   Best way to play C'tis Miasma? (http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/showthread.php?t=24138)

Nappa June 10th, 2005 06:04 PM

Best way to play C\'tis Miasma?
scales, pretender etc.

What I'm trying is not working. Rainbow pretender and I'm focusing on death summons and vine ogres for troops. Went horribly negative scales to focus on dominion (6) and tons of magic on my pretender.


Boron June 10th, 2005 06:16 PM

Re: Best way to play C\'tis Miasma?
Don't build troops at all, just buy hordes of marshmasters.
Most important spells to rush at are quickness, relief and animate skeletons.

In midgame just drain the world in skeletons. In lategame you can then set up tartarian factories or stuff like that.

As pretender i would say father of serpents with n4d4 and good scales.

Truper June 10th, 2005 07:38 PM

Re: Best way to play C\'tis Miasma?
Miasma is a good nation with which to try out the Astral Wyrm I wrote about in the guide to buffing thread. He has Swamp Survival, so he's immune to the nasty effects of your dominion, and he benefits from the research paths Boron suggested.

Take a Wyrm, Astral 3, dominion strength 6, and a castle. That leaves enough points for 6 positive scales. Distribute those as you like. I'd probably go with magic 3 and luck 3, but then I'm a bit weird, and enjoy playing with luck - perhaps more than its worth http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/wink.gif On turn 1, recruit a Lizard King, and on turn 2 make him your prophet. Its always fun to have a prophet who can Smite http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/happy.gif Meanwhile, have your Wyrm research Alteration 1. Once you've got that, your Wyrm is ready to go out and conquer, since he can cast Personal Luck. Then start researching Enchantment. That will eventually get you a few things. At ench 2, you can add Astral Weapon to the Wyrm's script, and at 3, Astral Shield. The big serpent is now a force to be reckoned with! The great thing is that your Marshmasters can now cast Animate Skeletons - one of the most annoyingly effective tactics in the game. I'd then reseach Alteration 2, so you can cast quickness before beginning the Skeleton spam. After that, you're on your own as far as research goes, althought getting Ivy Crowns and Vine Ogres is a solid strat - and don't forget that Miasma starts with Summon Bog Beast as its national spell - and that Vine Ogres are immune to poison.

As far as troops go, the combination of City Guard and Light Infanty you start with works pretty well. Put the City Guard out front to do the fighting, and the Light Inf. slightly behind and to one side set to fire closest, so they'll use their javelins. I myself can never resist buying a force of runners to be used as flankers set to attack rear http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/wink.gif

If you do it this way, you give up the magical diversity of a rainbow pretender, but you gain a pretender who can conquer on his own, and much better scales. Later in the game, you can even use you Wyrm as a Comminion Master, and a bunch of Shamen as Communion Slaves for some heavy-duty Astral casting. Note that the Shamen are very cost-effective researchers, since they're sacred, and you'll likely have a bunch of them around.

Hope this helps.

FrankTrollman June 10th, 2005 08:23 PM

Re: Best way to play C\'tis Miasma?
You need Swamp Survival, Cold Blood, Poison Immunity, Lifelessness, or Undead status on your god. Dominion is always good, but in this case acts as a money multiplier, and an outright attack on nearby units. So very high dominions are a must. A Dominion of 6 is completely insufficient. You should be looking at 8 or 9.

Don't even consider pretenders that have even a small chance of getting diseased, so bypass any and all thoughts of Master Druids or Lords of the Gates.

The list of possible gods is quite large, you could have a Golden Naga or a Master of Serpents, for example. But you aren't going to, because buying Dominion is so good and so expensive. It costs 105 points to buy an Oracle up to Dominion 9, it costs 147 points to buy a Prince of Death up to Dominion 9, it costs 196 points to buy a Scorpion King up to Dominion 9, and it costs a hefty 252 points to get a stupid Naga up to speed.

So you are looking at a money multiplier, so you definately want a +$$$ scale setup, because a large Dominion multiplies that bonus. Nevertheless, as noted your troops are kind of a waste a of time, so Sloth is looking pretty good as a way to get points. So Order 3/Sloth3 is a given. Growth is also very good, since you get to multiply both ends of that gold bonus. And of course, you are taking Order to the max, so Misfortune writes itself into the equation. You get small sacred researchers automatically, so Magic is a must. And Heat 2 is a requirement of the theme.

So your Scales and special theme together cost: 50 points. Order 3/Sloth 3/ Heat 2/ Growth 2/Misfortune 2/Magic 2 is not unreasonable, which are theoretically balanced scales even though they are grossly tilted in favor of the Miasma way of life.

Marshmasters can be built anywhere, and you have a money bonus, so expect to mad castle like, well, mad. Maximize the benefits of that by taking a Wizard's Tower. Total cost: 170.

So now you have 330 points to buy a god, a set of magic, and a Dominion of 9. That can be done. Remember that looks are somewhat deceiving on cost. A Manticore says that it is free. But in practice you are paying 42 points for it over a Dominion 3 God because it starts at dominion 2.

Decent choices include an Oracle with Astral 9 and Water 2; or a Prince of Death with Death 5 and Earth 3. You can't afford a Vampire Queen at all.


Ironhawk June 10th, 2005 08:27 PM

Re: Best way to play C\'tis Miasma?
I was under the impression that Hill Fortresses (or whatever the maximum defense fort is) are the standard for Miasma Ctis. Since you want to stall any possible seige against you as long as possible to ensure that the enemy troops were debilitated by disease injuries.

Truper June 10th, 2005 08:53 PM

Re: Best way to play C\'tis Miasma?
Frank: What would one do with either of the pretenders you've suggested? Miasma has no sacred troops to speak of, since they lose the Serpent Dancers, so the point of that Oracle you've suggested can't be the Astral 9 bless. I also can't figure putting water on it, unless you intend to have it teleport about spamming Stellar Cascades or some such. I've never found that Earth 3 alone is enough to turn a pretender like the PoD into a SC - I'd want to have Air for Mistform/Mirror Image.

I can buy parts of your argument for scales, although I must say that in an MP game Miasma without a combat pretender, with full Sloth and with a Dominion strength of 9 would appear to be saying "ally against me first".

Boron mocked my Miasma build on the IRC channel, so I expect to be dissected here shortly http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/wink.gif

FrankTrollman June 10th, 2005 09:14 PM

Re: Best way to play C\'tis Miasma?
Oracle Pretender: You can have your Oracle research quite well. Also it can make its own clams if none of your Marshmasters can do so. Finally, you don't need to go past Construction 4 or find any special magic sites to get your Wish factory or Arcane Nexus going. In short, you'll be able to bypass the entire "powering up" stage of high-end astral casting. Personally, I'd probably use an Astral 8 Pretender and take the saved 48 points to buy an extra point of Growth, as that is still plenty to Arcane Nexus and you'll be wanting to spam Enchantment anyway.

The Prince of Death is able to Soul Vortex/Invulnerability/Drain Life as soon as you hit Alteration 5. He's also big enough to make any Death effect you'll ever want - such as the Well of Misery or the Tartarian Gate. Also it can make Dwarven Hammers if you ever get Earth gems from anywhere. Finally, everyone in your empire can lead those stupid naked skeletons he makes around, and the spawn is better at higher Dominion levels, which you will have.

Ctis should be assassinating themselves to stolen provinces as soon as possible, so a Researcher Pretender is actually going to conquer more territory in the long run by allowing you to have more Assassins with Skull Staves spamming Raise Skeletons than a SC Pretender is. Especially compared to a SC pretender without Recuperation or Immortality.

Honestly, I find any attempt at a SC that lacks one of thse abilities to be asking for a lucky crossbow bolt to feeblemind your god and ruin your entire life. I do not and will not use them.

Gods are there to be casters as part of armies, site finders, specialty mages capable of casting spells you want to get up that your national mages can't master without empowerment, early researchers, or in the exclusive case of gods who can deal with battle afflictions - take provinces by themselves.

Miasma can't afford a god who can ignore battle afflictions, and therefore every second you spend considering a SC Pretender is a moment of your life you can never get back.


Ironhawk June 10th, 2005 09:39 PM

Re: Best way to play C\'tis Miasma?

FrankTrollman said:
...Especially compared to a SC pretender without Recuperation or Immortality.

Honestly, I find any attempt at a SC that lacks one of thse abilities to be asking for a lucky crossbow bolt to feeblemind your god and ruin your entire life. I do not and will not use them....

I play with Dragons (red and blue) without either of those abilities all the time. They work great, tho I admit that it does require a certain degree of subtlety when you deploy them.

Zen June 10th, 2005 09:41 PM

Re: Best way to play C\'tis Miasma?
Wow, your expansion strategy revolves around Empoisoners with Skull Staves? Or is that the secondary expansion force, behind your Marshmaster force.

I'm guessing you don't plan on being any sort of early threat since your taking an Immobile and planning on expanding (quickly?) at Construction 4 after you can start expanding as soon as you hit Enchantment 3 and can expand about twice as fast when you hit Alteration 2.

At the very least I disagree that the Oracle is a 'good' pretender for Ctis Miasma. It has it's merits (easy high dominion) your probably better off with a PoD, Ghost King or a very thin possibility of a Phoenix (if you like/need Fire) with a point less of Dominion (especially since in the unmodded game) Sloth gives C'tis a big edge and 'free' points.

Zooko June 10th, 2005 09:58 PM

Re: Best way to play C\'tis Miasma?
Empoisoners equipped Skull Talisman are excellent against independents -- probably greater than 95% success rate at assassinations, and you can start churning them out with no research whatsoever.

Later, when you have higher levels of spells available, you can power them up with empowering items to make them a good threat against other nations.

Here's my idea (but keep in mind that I don't play the normal "Free For All" multi-player style -- I play only multiplayer, but I play only styles in which there is Proper Incentive For War, such as 1 team vs. 1 team or Pentagram).

Oracle, 10 Dominion (oh yes, 10)
+3 Order, +3 Sloth, +2 Heat, +3 Growth, standard luck/misfortune, +3 Magic
Mountain Fortress (oh yes, the Mountain Fortress)
spend the rest of the points on whatever magic you will use to forge items for your Empoisoners

Start with several Empoisoners, making the first one your Prophet. Each one forges a Skull Talisman for himself and then sets about assassinating. (Keep notes about how many leaders you've assassinated from each province.)

Then hire the best researcher you can each turn, and research Construction and Enchantment, so that your Empoisoners, equipped with Death-boosting items, can cast bigger "summon undead" spells during assassinations.

Don't spend any money on troops. Don't spend money on temples unless you've started building a Mountain Fortress in that province. You need a second Mountain Fortress as soon as possible.

Improvise. Have fun.

Thanks to Panther for teaching me some of the flaws of the design that preceded this one... ;-)

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