.com.unity Forums

.com.unity Forums (http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/index.php)
-   Dominions 3: The Awakening (http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/forumdisplay.php?f=138)
-   -   OW's Guide to Midgard, Scales and Skinshifters (http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/showthread.php?t=38147)

OmikronWarrior March 24th, 2008 10:31 PM

OW\'s Guide to Midgard, Scales and Skinshifters
Broad Strategic Outline:

The experts will tell you that Vanheim is an exceptionally powerful EA and maybe MA nation due to its glamor sacred units, though they have recently been made capitol only and given a cost increase. Give them a Water-9 bless, possibly add another bless with Fire-9 being particularly fearsome, and let them do your expansion stuff. Midgard does still have mounted, glamor sacred units, so in theory there is no reason why this bless strategy would not still work. Except, you do not need it. Bless strategies of this type come with incredibly high costs, usually paid for by reducing scales which means fewer mages in the long run. With Midgard comes a better way, Skinshifters. In a nutshell, 20 of these guys can take on almost all independent provinces with few losses. Thats 400 gold, 140 resources, plus a commander. The gold you should earn from your capitol alone in one turn, with resource limitations you can make that number in two turns and buy a mage to research in between commanders. Hence, you achieve the benefits of a bless strategy with out the gold deflating costs.

Then, Midgard has a powerful mid-game tactic that encourages you to have a lot of gold to buy mages. The Galderman comes with Air-2 guaranteed, with Air-3 on 1 in 4. The Air-3 Galdermans can cast Storm, letting all the Air-2 mages cast Summon Storm Power to get Air-3 themselves, than everyone casts Thunderstrike to decimate opposing armies. Plus, Galderman have some interesting randoms that require a lot of them to be made to get the most advantageous combinations (Earth-2, Blood-2, and Death-2).

By endgame, using Nature and Earth site searching, hopefully you will have found some independent mages to provide the necessary magic diversity for a strong end game. Fog Warriors is a very powerful spell which Midgard can easily cast and has great synergy with Skinshifters, giving Midgard an obvious end game. Also consider trying to summon the Air Queens to serve as Super Combatants and Troll Kings to plague enemy armies with Earthquake. Also, a couple of empowered blood mages casting disease demons. The usual end game strategies regarding Wish and Tartarians still apply.

The Units (currently only including units of note):

Einhere (20g, 20r): Despite my praise of Skinshifters earlier, you can actually debate which unit is better. Certainly, this unit has higher protection (14 vs 5) and is therefore less vulnerable to archer fire. It can also berserk (+5), which some players value highly. However, they cost three times the resources as Skinshifters, which makes them that much less desirable. Also, their default attacks are 10 and 9, making them vulnerable to higher defense and harder hitting units, such as barbarians. Obviously triggering that huge berserk bonus improves their attack and protection, but you have to be thinking of the limited utility of a unit which needs to be harmed to be most useful. In general, stick with Skinshifters as the core of your army, but keep these guys in mind for niche uses.

Skinshifter (20g, 7r): The engine that lets Midgard get away with out having a Super Combatant Pretender or a bless. First off, realize that this unit has two forms, the second of which only reveals itself when the first runs out of HP. In effect, you have a 25 HP unit for the cost of 20 gold. The first form packs a high damage punch using its high strength and greatsword. The second form gets three attacks per round (a bite and two claw attacks) which erodes high defense units while still doing considerable damage thanks to having 14 Strength. Both forms regeneration 2 HP per round. This also lets them somewhat ignore the effects of disease and starvation and gives them just a bit more survivability. The major weakness of Skinshifters is their low protection. They wear furs, which only provide 7 protection, and nothing on their heads. The most obvious way to exploit this weakness is archers. Fortunately, Midgard has access to the spells Mists (halves base precision), Storm (removes half of all projectiles and halves base precision again), and Arrow Fend (the ultimate defense against arrows, but is tougher to research at Enchant-6). Try to set up decoys with Einheres or lesser shielded troops. Other attempts to take advantage of the low protection means facing Skinshifters in melee, in which Midgard almost always comes out ahead. Remember, its 25 HP with regeneration while facing heavy damage to kill a Skinshifter which Midgard can produce in mass quantities.

Vans (90g, 16r): The Midgard sacred unit. It has a high defense (19 including parry), respectable protection (12), and glamor. However, it is capitol only and costs a lot. Basically, the cost assumes Vans will be recruited with a bless and with this in mind are not overpowering. If you did get a powerful bless, you would want to recruit these things right from the get go. If you're following my strategy and went with positive scales instead, they are a luxury best suited to be bought once you've established your territory, have multiple fortresses, and a solid gold income. Use them as raiders, powerful shock cavalry, and battlefield flankers.

Mages and Commanders (Also not complete):

Volva (120g, 1r): An Astral-2 mage with no randoms. This unit gives Midgard a solid Astral base. Send one out early to site search. In addition, each Volva has a 5% chance to stop an unlucky event from occurring in her current province. Not a bonus to build a strategy around, but one nonetheless. With the exception of Drain-3, these will be Midgard's most cost effective researchers. However, they are much harder to use on the battlefield. Low HP, a strategic move of 1, zero leadership, and no forest survival means they'll slow your army down while being vulnerable to Seeking Arrow and other remote spells. On the battlefield stray arrows and battlefield wide spells like Earthquake will easily kill them. Instead, rely more on Galdermen for your battlefield magic needs and try to keep Volva safely researching and adverting bad events. Obviously, when you need Astral magic bring them out. As with all Astral mages, they work wonders against low Magic Resistant units such as mammoths and elephants. Also, be sure to threaten horror marking on any SC that invades your dominion. Obviously, they can communion, and with a Starshine Skullcap can cast Dispel. For example, when against Ermor, create a communion of 5 Volva to cast Solar Brilliance. It would help to have a thug or SC to keep the hordes busy so the spell can do its work.

Galderman (210g, 1r): Your most powerful and versatile mage, and in general you will want to build more of these than Volva to take advantage of rarer path combination. Comes with Air-2, and two random paths (Air, Earth, Blood, Death and Earth, Blood, Death, Nature). Both randoms appear 100% of the time. Scripting Aim, Summon Storm Power, and Thunder Strike three times is always an option when combined with a Storm, but I'll discuss some of the more interesting combination below. First, however, notice the descriptions HP and the “skinshifter” mark in the description. Does this mean Galdermen can change shape as well? Yes, into a slightly different werewolf build, one with 6 base protection and 20 base HP, though this only occurs when wounded in battle. Galdermen also have 2 HP of regeneration per round. What this translates into is a hard to kill unit, for a mage. Spells like Seeking Arrow will be ineffective against them. Thats just not to say they are invincible compared to other units, just compared to your typical mage. They also have strategic move 2 and forest survival, making sure they do not slow your armies down.

-Air-3: 1 in 4 odds. These casters will serve as important catalysts on the battlefield and important ritualists on the home front. Notably you need one of these units to cast Storm, and the remaining Air-3 (soon to be Air-4) Galdermen will be able to cast Thunder Strike at half the fatigue, meaning more Thunder strikes. An Air-3 Galdermen is also capable of casting Seeking Arrow and Hurricane, and with boosters Dome of Solid Air. Once at Air-4, the Galderman can cast Fog Warriors. Air-5 (achieved by an item booster and Summon Storm Power) lets the Galdermen cast Wrathful Skies and Mists of Deception.

-Death-2: A rare Galderman with 1 in 16 odds, so try to keep it out of harms way. This unit can build Skull Staffs letting you climb the Death magic ladder with summons. You only need Death-1 to site search, but with out a natural death income you'll need to either do some initial site searching or trade for gems.

-Blood-2: Also rare at 1 in 16. A good candidate for empowering to let you build the typical blood boosters. In the interim, they can blood hunt, summon Storm Demons, and forge. Though it would be difficult to pull off, these units might be able to forge Robes of the Magi (requires Blood-5 and Air-5).

-Earth-2: The final 1 in 16 rare Galderman. This one is probably the most useful as well, so really protect them. The most obvious use is Gnome Lore for some site searching. They can also forge Earth Boots letting any Earth-1 Galderman site search as well. Using the boots themselves lets the Galderman reach Earth-3, where the magic happens. He can now forge Dwarven Hammers, which gives a 25% forging cost reduction, considering the high cost of Air boosters this is well worth it. Also, Earth-3 allows the summoning of Troll Kings, and very tough Earth-3 mage who excels at casting Earthquake, Bladewind, and various other battlefield wide enchantments.

-Blood-1 and Nature-1: Still 1 in 16 chance. Capable of building Jade Knives out the gate, which is useful as Midgard is a Blood Sacrifice nation. With boosters and perhaps empowerment these guys can make Armor of Twisting Thorns (Requires Blood-3, Nature-2 and boosts both paths by one). Finally, with Blood-3 these Galdermen can cast the Rain of Toads.

-Death-1 and Earth-1: Reasonable odds of appearing, 1 in 8 in fact. Throw some Earth Boots on and this guy can cast Blight.

-Blood-1 and Earth-1: 1 in 8 odds. Add boosters to build Bloodstones (require Blood-3 and Earth-2).

Vanjarls (280g, 16r): Your best commander and priest, but capitol only. Its very useful to try to buy one of these per turn by the midgame. Their main benefit is sailing, letting you attack opponents from unexpected directions and quickly move across the map. Meanwhile, all Vanjarls are Air-2, Blood-1, and Holy-2 mages with no randoms. The Air-2 lets them participate in Thunder Strike spamming. Or, if operating independent of Galdermen, which can easily happen due to sailing movement, add Air boosters and a Staff of Storms to cast spells that way. Their glamor makes them hard to catch scouts (especially useful for transferring gems or boosters to a main army which may involve crossing enemy provinces). Be sure to use them to site search when not otherwise occupied, mainly for the blood and holy paths. Holy sites tend to be a good source of Astral Pearls. Since they are guaranteed Blood mages, adding a Sanguine Dousing rod mades them effective Blood hunters. Finally, they can be made thugs, or even assassins with a Black Heart. The thug works best with some minor blesses helping the unit out.

OmikronWarrior March 24th, 2008 10:31 PM

Creating a Pretender
Pretender Design:

With the above strategy of focusing on positive scales, Midgard has some leeway in Pretender design. It does not need a Pretender to expand, nor does Midgard need to figure out the cheapest way to get W9N4 or W9S9 (and there is no totally free way). There are two things to consider with your Pretender: do you want an SC chasis and what magic does your Pretender give you. First, however, a discussion of scales are in order.

Order/Turmoil: Since Midgard likes money (Skinshifter and Galdermen), Order-3 is easy to recommend. It will be a good, constant money maker through out the game.

Hot/Cold: Midgard has a natural affinity for Cold-1, so thats an obvious decision. The choice to proceed to Cold-2 is less obvious. Since the game starts in summer, there is a very good chance that there will be a seasonal shift of 1 tick towards hot. This means you might actually maximize income for the first 6 to 8 turns by taking an unfavorable scale. However, in the long run this will work against you. Cold-2 turns into Cold-3 in the winter turns, resulting in a devastating -10% income penalty and slaps a +2 encumbrance penalty on all units. If you absolutely have to have points, maybe, but I'd recommend sticking with Cold-1.

Growth/Death: Midgard does not have any mages at risk for old age, except for recruitable independents such as sages. Hence, the usual motivation for Growth (avoiding crippling or killing afflictions on old mages) does not apply. However, Growth is a very good money maker, noticeable in the short term and as good as Order in the long term. Remember, Midgard likes gold. Combining Order-3 and Growth-3 is a great strategy for Midgard. Less than Growth-3, however, is a little more questionable. Exponential population growth means Growth-3 is disproportionally better than Growth-1 considering the same cost per tick. If not Growth-3, than consider putting points into Production instead. Stay away from Death, however, as that will allow devastating plague events to cripple your income.

Production/Sloth: This scale determines two things: how long you can go before needing to build a second fortress to produce Skinshifters and how quickly you can amass Skinshifters should you go to war. Positive production on resource rich maps lets you 'bank' your money during peace time, and rapidly mobilize during war time. It also lets you consider building Einheres more freely and helps maximize income. However, Sloth is hardly crippling, as with enough fortresses gold is almost always going to be the limiting factor in unit production. Still, going below Sloth-1 requires more forts and starts to hurt your income.

Luck/Misforune: Midgard's heroes are forgettable, the PD does alright in repelling barbarians, its armies are mobile, Volva reduce the likelihood of bad events, and you already have Growth and Order removing some of the most dangerous excesses of random events. In short, Midgard is an excellent candidate for Misfortune. Misfortune-3 might be a little too much, but Misfortune-2 works fine. Make no mistake, Misfortune precludes a lot of very favorable random events, such as free gems, massive income hikes, and more. Yet, if you need points this is probably the least painful place to acquire them.

Magic/Drain: The effects of this scale are well known and understood. Basically, you need to balance research needs with other Pretender expectations. Midgard comes alive with Evocation-5, and hitting that milestone earlier is a huge help and hitting it to late can doom your nation. In the long run, your gold scales and hopefully decent early expansion will let you build enough mages to keep up with the Jones in you pick Drain-2, especially if you start with an awake Pretender to research. If not, keeping this scale even is a good idea, and Magic-1 a useful way to go, once again emphasizing long term advantages.

Dominion: Since you should have positive scales (if you do not go read some other guide as you clearly have not been reading this one), it makes sense to want a high dominion to help spread your good scales around. Dominion-9 or 10 is too much, though, and go spend those points on some scales you skimped. Dominion-7 is a nice compromise. If you need points, though, you can strip Dominion as low as 5 and plan to aggressively push it using Blood Sacrifice.

Choosing a Chasis:

The earlier questions remain, do you want an SC chasis and regardless of the answer to the first question you want to pick magic paths that add utility to your nation.

Air: Two separate Air boosters come available at Air-4, but Midgard does not have any chance at acquiring an Air-4 mage. Hence, it makes sense to put Air-4 on your Pretender. If not, expect to empower an Galderman very early on. Also, do not bother getting anything less than Air-4.

Astral: Astral-4 means Rings of Sorcery and Wizardry can be forged by your Pretender (assuming he or she has a head) and puts Wish within reach though still requiring some empowerment . Astral-2 and Earth-2 (possibly achieved through boosters) let the Pretender build Crystal Coins (Astral +1) and Slave and Master Matrices. However, these low levels of Astral Magic make the Pretender vulnerable to Mind Duel and thus unsuited for SC duty. Higher levels, a minimum of 6, help alleviate these concerns, though they are still there, and make Wish more easily accessed.

Blood: Dominion bylaws state Blood Slaves are cheap and empowering with them is always an option. Depending on how much and how soon Blood magic becomes part of Midgard's strategy, there is little reason to include blood magic on a Pretender. However, if a nation wants to start casting blood spells right away, having a Blood-4 pretender to build Blood boosters is acceptable. Also, Blood-3 combines with Nature-2 and Earth-2, separately, to make Armor of Twisting Thorn and Blood Stones, respectively.

Death: Death-1 is redundant. Death-2 is useful as getting a Death-2 Galderman requires luck or patience. And Death-2 enables the forging of Skull Staffs, not unimportant. Death-3 is very useful, as it gives Midgard easy access to Skullfaces, an important Death-Booster giving your Pretender Death-5, where Wraith Helms can be forged. Throw Rings of Sorcery and Wizardry on the Pretender to start summoning Tartarians. There is little reason for Death-4 or above.

Earth: The capitol Earth income of 1 and the high likelihood of recruiting Galderman with at least Earth-1 make Earth-1 absolutely redundant on a Pretender for utility. If a player wants to be assured a remote site searcher, Earth-2 enables Earth Boots. Still, Earth magic lets players climb a ladder using Troll Kings (requires Earth-3, comes with Earth-3), assuming the player eventually recruits an Earth-2 Galderman. However, Earth magic is great for SC chaises, and Earth-4 helps manage fatigue on Vanjarls should they be used as thugs.

Fire: This path offers little help to Midgard. Combined with Earth it allows the forging of firebrands, a great weapon for thugs, but your Pretender's turn is probably better spent doing something else. By site searching other paths, independent mages can hopefully be found to break into fire later on.

Nature: Midgard has access to Nature-1 mages at most, and no capitol nature income. Hence, giving your Pretender Nature-2 at least to site search and build Thistle maces is key to having a strong Nature income. Nature-3, when combined with a Thistle Mace and Moonvine Bracelet (Nature-3, Astral-1) yields Nature-5 where Treelord Staffs (+2 Nature) can be forged and Mother Oak and Gift of Health can be cast. It also allows players to summon Fairy Courts and the important Fairy Queen (Nature-3, Air-3 and heals). The bless benefits of Nature-4 are negligible, but there.

Water: Unlike fire, water can be part of a long term strategy for Midgard, though it has no immediate synergy with its mages. Items like Boots of Quickness are tremendously helpful for thugs. More importantly, Clams can be forged with Water-3 and Nature-1 give Midgard a substantial Astral income boost. So, using a pretender to site search early is one way to go, and hope to get either independent mages capable of forging Clams with some boosters/empowerment, or summon a Naiad with combined Nature and Water magic. Finally, Water-4 gives a +2 defense bonus to some already incredibly high defense sacred units. Worth considering for the bless alone if the player plans on making Vanjarls thugs.

Physical Forms:

Thanks to Skinshifters, you don't need a Super Combatant to expand. However, some players just like the comfort of knowing they have an 80+ HP unit that can be equipped to take on entire armies at some point in the game. This section is for you. In general, such builds are best set to be asleep while your nation builds up research and items to equip and buff the Pretender when he awakes.

Wyrm (50p) Build 1: Like King Pawn's opening, its hard to go wrong with this build. High HP, Regeneration, and fear when combined with Dominion-10 for Awe+2 creates a great early expansion Pretender in the absence of equipment and magic. The simple utility of this build makes it difficult to disparage it, though it goes against what has been suggested elsewhere. It will help Midgard expand very early on, though its own utility plummets once magic arrives and everyone else allies against you and your enormous early expansion. In addition, the Wyrm is amphibious allowing Midgard to expand into water provinces with out forging.

Wyrm (50p) Build 2: Forgo early expansion, spend less on Dominion to put some Magic Paths on the Wyrm. Certainly doable, but the absence of chest and hand slots suggest another chasis for this strategy.

Titan (125p): Expensive, but probably worth it. He comes with Air and Earth Magic, Size-6, and a phenomenal shield. 50 more points to add a new path, which is not recommended.

Asynja(75p): Cheaper and slightly smaller than the Titan, the most important difference is the lack of base Earth magic. This Chasis also has the highest defense and attack skills. If you choose to forgo Earth magic on your SC Pretender (certainly a viable decision), then chances are this is your chasis.

Keeper of the Bridge (75p): Comes with Air and Earth magic and a giant Patrol bonus. Most useful if Midgard's scales do not include Growth to help income as he can Patrol while taxes are set high. Obviously, keeping him awake is vital to this practice. Other than that, very similar to the Asynja.

Father of Winter (75p): A Size-6 Pretender for cheap and has synergy with cold environments. The base Water magic, however, is less useful than Air or Earth for Super Combatants. Nature magic is recommended as an additional path.

Allfather(150p): The most expensive form available (the VQ might as well not be available). However, new paths are 20p cheaper than other SC's, and the Allfather has a ton of comparative advantages. Air and Death magic are present as bases, which are two paths useful to Midgard. Other advantages of the Allfather include, flying, glamor, Size-6, and sailing.

Rainbow(0-60p): The large variety of rainbow pretender chasis and the lack diversity among them allows them to be described together. Basically, choosing a rainbow lets Midgard invest in 2 to 4 additional paths than what a super combantant would allow. This advantage is compounded by the presence of path synergies, like Astral and Earth. The Sage, the Enchantress and the Crone are probably the best choices for this purpose. The Sage provides an enormous research bonus, the Enchantress comes with two paths and generates an Astral Pearl every turn, and the Crone does not cost any points and has four miscellaneous slots. However, depending on what paths you want almost any of the chasises can be used.

OmikronWarrior March 24th, 2008 10:32 PM

Ingame Strategies and Tactics
*To be completed at a later date*

thejeff March 25th, 2008 08:59 AM

Re: Ingame Strategies and Tactics
Two notes, since I've been playing with these in SP lately.

The big drawback to Einheres that you don't mention is that they are strategic move 1. This makes them a pain to combine with the faster skinshifters.

You mentioned communions of Volva, but it's not quite so obvious that any Galdermen with blood can join, or better yet lead a communion. This may be an easier, cheaper way to get access to the higher levels of Air battle magic. Also lets you use rejuvenation to wipe away fatigue.

kasnavada March 25th, 2008 09:34 AM

Re: Ingame Strategies and Tactics
Skullface bonus to death stack when your wear two of them ?

Endoperez March 25th, 2008 10:05 AM

Re: Ingame Strategies and Tactics

kasnavada said:
Skullface bonus to death stack when your wear two of them ?

Native Death 3 + Skull Staff + Skullface == Death 5.

Very nice guide!

thejeff March 25th, 2008 10:21 AM

Re: Ingame Strategies and Tactics
On the other hand with native Death 2 possible on Galdermen, a Skullstaff can be forged, allowing the summoning of Mound Fiends who have native D3, and with them Liches giving you D6 with Skull staff and skullface.

D3 pretender speeds up the process, but isn't necessary. The hard part, if you're going for Tartarians, isn't the death, but the Nature - for Gift of Reason and Chalice/Gift of Health. That'll need to be on the pretender or lucky indy finds.

kasnavada March 25th, 2008 10:30 AM

Re: Ingame Strategies and Tactics
Ah ok, I missed the other one... thanks.

mathusalem March 26th, 2008 06:11 AM

Re: Ingame Strategies and Tactics
nice guide, thanks http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/happy.gif

OmikronWarrior September 23rd, 2008 12:37 AM

Re: OW's Guide to Midgard, Scales and Skinshifters
I was reviewing this guide and saw one or two places to make an improvement, to say nothing of finally adding the third section (which was suppose to be dedicated to specific tactics). I was wondering if anybody else had a chance to try this strategy or just any other observations about Midgard in general that get worked into my edits and addenums.


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:54 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1999 - 2019, Shrapnel Games, Inc. - All Rights Reserved.