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-   -   Jomon advice wanted (http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/showthread.php?t=38894)

Pablomatic May 22nd, 2008 02:00 PM

Jomon advice wanted
Hi all. I'm a pretty new player, though I've played SP extensively. Can't wait to try MP when I get a chance.

I like LA Jomon. Guess I like the Ninjas, the Summons, and the Heroes it has.

First a specific question: The unit description for the two types of sacred Samurai (can't remember names) says they don't like fighting alongside one another. Does anyone know if this translates into an actual game effect? If not, those troops will just have to get over it because I like to combine them in squads together to improve morale.

Second, I'd like any advice (complete guides?) anyone can give me for Jomon. I've been going with an imprisoned Celestial General pretender, w/ A4, E4, D4, and +1 to all scales except heat/cold and 7 dominion.

I don't care for the death bless, but want to have D4 for all the juicy Jomon national summons. Seems a waste to have magic paths less than 4 on a pretender. Even a weak bless is better than none.

Is it possible to successfully get away with an imprisoned pretender in MP? With anyone other than Vanheim/Jotenheim (who don't seem to have any weaknesses) I mean?

I'm sure someone will tell me that I need production +3, but it bugs me to have negative scales in anything. I want luck to get my heroes, production for resources, the growth for supplies and people, and order to cut down on random events plus for gold. Of course I end up with too much gold and not enough resources. Always things to do with the gold though. Guess I have trouble being a "power gamer."

I usually make my starting commander my prophet, then Daimyos if I recruit any more non-mage commanders (hopefully the heroes show up so I don't have to).

Problems I'm running in to:

No shields on melee troops. Often my archers do more damage to my samurai and ashigaru than they do to the enemy. I usually set archers on "fire archers," but in those cases where the enemy has no archers, or after they route, my archers fire into any ongoing melee and do at least as much damage to my guys as to the enemy. Ok, I can recruit heavy infantry indies for this. What else?

National troops have trouble with crossbows, but also especially heavy cavalry. Jomon cavalry isn't that impressive.

What spells should I be going for. I have some idea, but does anyone have any advice for specific uses of mages with specific path combinations?

I usually research evo3, thau2, alt4, const6, conj6+ in that order.

Looking forward to any responses.

Zenzei May 22nd, 2008 02:38 PM

Re: Jomon advice wanted
I'd definitely take an awake pretender with Jomon that either boosts your starting army enough or is capable of taking indies alone. This is because Jomon starting arny isn't very good imo and you need those provinces around capital to get more resources for serious troop building.
For example: awake W9 blue dragon, dom str 5, order3/prod1/cold2/misfortune2.

For early strategy I would go with lots of samurai archers featuring flaming arrows. With this in mind I would research thaumaturgy 2(communion+remotes), conjuration 3(phoenix power), enchantment 4(flaming arrows) first. Cast flaming arrows via communion made of 5 of those mages with S2 and 2 randoms. After flaming arrows have been acquired you can continue straight to enchantment 6 for arrow fend, which is also super good and happens to patch up that lack of shields nicely.

MaxWilson May 22nd, 2008 03:27 PM

Re: Jomon advice wanted
A weak bless may tempt you into using troops that you really shouldn't. A LA Agarthan Blindfighter is still inferior to a Cave Knight even if he has a N4 and D4 bless. You could take D2 (and forge a skull staff to boost yourself to M3 to cast Mound Find and give him the skull staff to be D4) instead and save 56 points, which is a scale.

IMHO, if you're going to bother with a bless you should make it a good one. Otherwise, forget about the bless entirely except for niche uses. In most cases a weak bless is not as good as a battlefield buff spell like Strength of Giants.


JimMorrison May 22nd, 2008 03:32 PM

Re: Jomon advice wanted
As Zenzei showed, it isn't 100% necessary to go 3 Prod, but the high resource cost of Jomon troops will remain an issue. Really, your 2 primary options are either 3 Prod, or an awake SC. If you don't have one or the other, you will be dreadfully slow in growing, as once your starting garbage troops start to die, you'll have only a handful of men to replace them with.

So basically, to avoid the 3Prod, I'd generally take my buddy:
Cyclops, E9, Dom 5, Order3/Cold1/Drain2

You can put him to sleep to research buffs or cons first:
Dormant Cyclops, E9, Dom5, Order3/Prod3/Cold1/Misf1

While I mostly have used the Earth bless for Jomon, I am a big fan of Water as well:
Dormant Lady of Fortune, W9 S4, Dom6, Order3/Prod3/Cold1/Misf2/Drain2

As far as sticking with your Celestial General, you have to ask yourself, "what do I really expect to get from X magic path?". Maximizing your pretender build is extremely important, as it's the only thing you can't just change in the middle of the game. Using your D4 as an example, the highest level Jomon summons, needs D4. If you took D3, you can make a Skull Staff to use for the summons. Bear in mind, that 4th circle cost you 32 points, that's almost a scale point - and you need 1F as well to summon the Dai Oni, something that you lack.

Some points to bear in mind - if you want to do a bless strat with capital only troops that need 20+ resources, you probably need the Prod3. The 3 minor blesses that you show (A/E/D) won't provide near enough benefit to even worry much about your bless anyways. The problem for you with Jomon, is that your other heavy infantry are pretty solid, so you really need a major bless to even make it worth fussing over. Simply put, 20% Air Shield, 2 Reinvig, and +100% Affliction rate isn't going to make your bless troops substantively more powerful.

Since your General wasn't awake, I'll give another suggestion for a more magic/summons heavy strat:
Dormant Enchantress, 6 Dom, F4/E4/S4/D4, Order3/Prod3/Cold1/Misf1/Drain2 - You could drop the Drain into Misf, but Misf3 while doable, can be frustrating. You could also experiment with dropping the Prod 1-2 points to boost the other damaged scales, or balance with a little out of your Order, if you are used to playing without the cash. Just pay close attention to your rate of troop acquisition in the starting phase of the game, and how fast you are able to topple indies. If you can't expand your territory very efficiently at first, then the second stage of the strat needs to come fairly early, and be well thought out. http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/wink.gif

Hoplosternum May 22nd, 2008 03:43 PM

Re: Jomon advice wanted
Hopefully someone will post a decent guide as I am no expert at mp or Jomon. But I've got Jomon in an upcoming mp game and I'd like all the advice I can get. And I have been playing them a little because of it. The Shinuyama guide is good on the summons for jomon as they are the same. I think Zenzei's Flame arrows is a great aim to go for. Your Longbow Samauris are a key unit.

I am sure the W9 Dragon is good but I am not sure that Jomon is an especially bless strategy friendly nation and it wouldn't be my paths on a Jomon pretender. You do have some sacred summons (iirc), but the sacred troops are capital only and don't really excel at anything and are as resource intensive as the rest of Jomon.

Your national mages are decent all rounders but they can't summon most of the national summons. Therefore I think you really need them on your Pretender. You need some death and some fire to get your best summons (Dai Oni). Air, water and earth add extra summon options too. Quite frankly the manual suggested awake Ghost King with D3, F2, A2 & E2 is not that bad for Jomon.

The ghost king is not the best awake SC points can buy but you can get the extra paths fairly cheaply so he will help with early conquests (with the army) then provide your early summoning and finally some decent forging options. I usually operate him with my army as he is a bit frail for an SC and losing him is a disaster. His etherial nature helps when your samauri are peppering the enemies he is fighting too. But try and script him and them to hit different things.

While Jomon is very resource hungry and therefore cries out for Production scales it has been pointed that you are usually better off going for extra cash (order or high luck) and then building another castle soon. That is the usual 'rule' for multiplayer Dominions anyway. And goes for most - some would say all - nations. Your almost always better off with Sloth 3 and 120 points in the 'bank'.

But in Jomon's case your small and poor quality starting army plus crippling resource intensive troops makes either an awake SC or high Production scales needed if you are not to get off with a very, very slow start. Which will kill you in mp. The Jomon's starting army struggles against indie 5s IME and won't take one a turn unless you are very lucky. You simply can't build anything decent at under about 24 resources a piece (and even then they are not exactly good) so you won't be able to even replace early losses let alone boost the army until you have the capitals surroundings conquered.

Also as you pick up new areas you may want to build some troops with shields to protect your Samauri from these provinces. It is suprising just how many indie chaff you can build with just Production 1 after playing so often with the traditional Sloth 2/3. You can then build purely samauris at your forts. So I think Jomon is one of the very few nations where a positive Production scale is a possibility. At least consider it.

Money is seldom a worry for Jomon. Your top mages are only 160 each and your troops are cheap (and too resource expensive to mass). So you could consider taking less order and can get away with it. I think Turmoil/Luck is good for Jomon as the bonus gems and cash it generates are very useful. Plus the Heroes of course. Picking even +1 positive production seems to greatly increase the appearence of the resource boosting mine finds too and these are obvious sites for new forts.

I like a bit of magic too if I can aford it with Jomon. You will recruit a lot of mages (as they are not capital only) and it's a decent research boost. And it makes the cheaper 90 cost mages actually more efficent as researchers.

Quite frankly Jomon's strength is not in it's troops - although the Samauri LB is nice - but you just need to get in to the middle game when your summons & mages can take over. Without a plan for the early turns you will be easy prey in mp. So an awake SC and/or Production scales are needed to keep you in the game.

You have another problem though. Most of your good summons require death gems. Ghost generals (nice Thug) and Oni Generals (ditto - but why not get a Bane Lord instead?) and finally the Dai Oni - practically an SC - all require plenty of death gems. Plus the better Oni troop summons want Death (or valuable Fire) gems. Although I am not really sure that the troops are as useful as the Thugs.

But Jomon has no death income and no death mages. So your pretender needs enough to at least summon a Revenant or two to start remote site searching as soon as possible. Happilly Revenents are Enchant 3 so you pick up the ability on the way to Flaming arrows anyway. Some alchemising is going to be needed for that though. Plus a bit of searching by your mini Rainbow Ghost King. You see he has no end of uses http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/image...es/biggrin.gif It's another reason high luck is useful. Getting a couple of death gem finds can boost you a lot early.

JimMorrison May 22nd, 2008 03:46 PM

Re: Jomon advice wanted
Max made a shorter post that raised a couple of my points while I was still typing. http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/image...ies/tongue.gif Forgive me if I don't want to edit the entire body of it to reflect that. http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/wink.gif

Hoplosternum May 22nd, 2008 03:51 PM

Re: Jomon advice wanted
Max and Jim both posted good points while I was typing as I type very slowly http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/image...ies/tongue.gif I'll be here far to long if I try and edit so I'm not going to bother either http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/image...ies/tongue.gif

Micah May 22nd, 2008 04:05 PM

Re: Jomon advice wanted
Jomon is incredibly resource hungry, so that means you want an awake SC (with awe, of course). If you're keen on having death access I'd go for a ghost king, give him a bit of A/E on top of his death so he can self-buff (air shield is especially important early, it should make him able to solo most indies right off the bat)

The other option is an awake 'clops, which will give you a couple more points of productivity and a safer early game SC, at the cost of some magical flexibility. (Or you could splash D on him instead of taking scales if you prefer...the GK will have better mobility later on, but is vulnerable to anti-undead spells, the cyclops is less mobile, but doesn't have the undead weakness to certain spells. Take your pick.)

You'll need to budget 45 astral pearls in order to empower one of your S2 guys to S3 to make the 2 rings, but you've got crystal coins available nationally, so it's not a huge weakness.

I wouldn't bother with the Jomon sacreds, they're kind of horrible. Go with the archers and flaming arrows strat mentioned early, just keep recruiting until you get an F2 mage and cast phoenix power and you're good to go. Commune if you get bad picks and only have F1 mages available.

Pablomatic May 22nd, 2008 05:11 PM

Re: Jomon advice wanted
Good stuff. Thanks everybody. I do appreciate it.
I tend to play thematically, which makes me balk at a Ghost King or Cyclops pretender. This is why I like the Celestial General. He has an awesome standard, and should be a decent SC if I can ever get there, though his paths aren't what I'd like for Jomon. I might go with either a Lady of Fortune, Lord of Plenty, or an Enchantress. A Crone might be perfect, but I can't stomache having an age problem with my pretender.
I guess I will bite the bullet and go for production 3, and maybe Luck 3/Disorder 3.

Another question.JimMorrison said he likes an earth bless for Jomon. I can't understand that. Since Jomon's mages aren't sacred, they get no benefit from the reenvig. Sure the pretender gets a benefit, but there's no other real use.

Also, does anybody know how/if the Lord of Plenty pretender brings "good fortune to those around him."

atul May 22nd, 2008 05:18 PM

Re: Jomon advice wanted
Crone loses her age problems the moment you take a nature magic pick. Or two, can't remember for sure. As to earth bless, if you have heavy sacreds, reinvigoration and extra armour help them a lot. But really shouldn't bother with Jomon's troops...

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