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Old July 7th, 2008, 10:46 PM

IndyPendant IndyPendant is offline
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Default MP Guide to MA Ermor

MA Ermor is a strange nation. It is a bit of a one trick pony, with a few strengths and a great many weaknesses. What sets Ermor apart from other single-themed nations (such as EA Caelum) is that its few strengths are very good, and actually do manage to compensate for its many weaknesses--even in MP games. For that reason, I believe MA Ermor is a very good nation for MP newbies.

When I started writing this guide, it sort of grew out of my control, so I've broken it down into sections. I would love your feedback, and I plan to edit this guide appropriately from the responses I get, updating it regularly. This guide is written with a decided MP slant, and for the player that already has at least a little Dom3 experience.

Recruitable Ermor Leaders:
Scout: Useless unit. No different from the indy version, so a waste of a castle recruitment.

Assassin: Very limited, niche unit. Useful in early game if your opponent has weak mages that can't cast useful spells, or if you've screwed up and built a castle without a temple or lab.

Centurion: Useless unit. The Legatus Legionis is better in every way.

Legatis Legionis: Very limited, niche unit. The other unit (besides the Assassin) to recruit if you don't have a temple and lab in a castle. I can't think of any other use for this unit.

Ermorian Cultist: Very limited, niche unit. 5 gold cheaper than an indy priest, and can lead 10 more undead. Only worth recruiting if you don't have a lab in your castle. Otherwise, build a temple without a castle somewhere and recruit indy priests there instead.

Thaumaturg: Your bread and butter, core leader. Wonderful little guy, 1S1D2H for 130 gold. Army leaders, communion members in mid and late game, sometime reanimators, and your primary researchers all in one unit. You will be building hordes of these guys. Their one weakness is they are somewhat fragile; they are vulnerable to assassinations, Mage Duels, and Seeking Arrows.

Censor: A reasonably good leader for the cost, but in fact is a niche unit almost never recruited. Why? It is capital-only, and recruiting one of these means you are not recruiting a Grand Thaumaturg. I often recruit one or two in the very early game when gold is scarce, for patrolling and storing the hordes of longdead horsemen and shadow vestals until I can transfer them to my mound kings.

Grand Thaumaturg: Simply put, from about Turn 5 onward, build these and only these in your capitals each and every turn. 2S2D + 1AWSD (100%) + 1AWSD (10%) is good, but it's the 3H which is the big deal. Reanimation, baby!

Notable Indy Leaders:
Mound King: Summonable leaders requiring only Enchantment-2, 1D magic path (so your thaums can cast them), and 3 Death Gems. This unit along with the Thaumaturg will lead most of your armies. Mapmove of 4, and able to lead 40 regular and 80 undead units. I often research Enchantment first specifically for this leader. See General Strategies below for reasons.

IndyPendant (heh) Nature Leaders: There are a zillion of these all over the place. Get a lab and temple down asap in at least one province (don't bother with a castle unless it's a good spot for one) and recruit one a turn for researching, sitesearching and forging. Empower one of them to N2 if you must to start climbing the Nature Ladder, but usually it's better to wait for Const-6 and a Ring of Sorcery first.

Indy Priests: These H1 leaders are surprisingly useful for Ermor. Set 1-3 temples down somewhere and recruit them whenever you have the coin. Have them accompany your armies in small groups, casting Reanimate Soulless in provinces with corpses outside of battle, and Blessing near your Thaums during battle.

Recruitable Ermor Units:
Slinger: The standard indy version. Almost never worth it for Ermor; all of the uses for this unit either are not easily accessible to Ermor (Flame Arrows spell) or you have better alternatives (patrolling provinces, as a counter for elephants).

Velite, Alae Legionnaire, Hastatus: I have never found a use for these units. I hesitate to call them completely useless though; we'll see what kind of responses I get.

Principe: The bread and butter of your recruitable units, and one of the Big Three. Low gold, reasonable resources, good stats, tower shields, and mapmove 2. I generally recruit as many of these as I have gold and resources for each turn, after my leaders have been recruited.

Triarius and Praetorian Guard: Rare, niche units. Better stats than Principes, but they cost more in gold and resources, suffer from old age, and have mapmove 1 and battlefield move 6. I have never found a use for them.

Standard: Silly name, but very useful unit in small quantities. Worth the greater gold cost (same resources) vs Principes, despite their slightly worse stats. I usually include 1 Standard for every 5-10 Principes. Can also sometimes be useful for enhancing the morale of your Shadow Vestals.

Retarius and Gladiator: Solid niche units. Incredibly cheap, but only good for one battle then they're gone whether they survive or not. I have never recruited them, but in this case not because I can't think of uses for them. Just keep in mind that they're gone after any battle! They're patrolling and you discover a scout? Poof. Attack a 1-PD province with them? Poof. Etc etc.

Shadow Vestal: Ah, the shadow vestal. Second of the Big Three. Capital-only unit, so recruit as many as you can each and every turn, whether you have gone with a bless strategy or not. Without a bless, they're still very good; with an Astral Bless (my favourite), as few as 10 can take most indy and PD provinces by themselves. They have 0 Prot, but 16 defense and small shields, a mapmove of 3, and they are ethereal. They're not good enough to build an entire Bless Strategy around though.

Lictor: The other sacred capital-only unit, but not worth it in comparison to Vestals. Better prot and not undead, but lack of shield, mapmove of only 1, resource cost of 24, and not ethereal, all add up to make the Lictor inferior to the Vestals in almost every way. And every Lictor you recruit is one less Vestal.

Other units:
Ghouls: You can Reanimate these units with any Holy caster, but doing so kills that province's population, slowly but surely. Slightly better stats than soulless, and they are the only non-summoned undead units besides your vestals that are not Mindless. Still, there aren't many situations where ghouls will prove useful. One example of a good use would be to wipe out a swamp with a gold site, then set the province's taxes to 200%, but even then the ghouls themselves are just chaff.

Soulless: Reanimate these only with H1 leaders, and only if there are corpses in the province or if you have nothing better to do with them, even preaching. You can also Reanimate them using H2 leaders, but that's only worth it if you have an excess of corpses in a province. (The soulless you get are both better and more numerous when you Reanimate them in a province with corpses created by a battle.)

Longdead Warriors: The default unit to Reanimate for H2 units. Usually not worth it, unless your army is stopped somewhere without a lab (besieging, turtling up, waiting for reinforcements, that sort of thing). Researching/ crafting/ etc is almost always better.

Longdead Horsemen: The third of the Big Three units that will comprise your armies for most of the game. Requires H3 to Reanimate, so (usually) only possible with your Grand Thaumaturges, but you get 6 of them per H3 priest, so you should be setting them to Reanimate whenever you are not forced to craft, sitesearch, or fight with them. This unit is the reason you recruit a Grand Thaumaturg each and every turn in your capital, and why they never research.

Lion Tribe Archer: These independent units deserve an honourable mention. They only wield short bows, but they have a mapmove of 3, so they can keep up with your horsemen and vestals. And they only cost 10 gold and 3 resources! They're almost good enough to make a Big Fourth. Plunk a castle down on these boys to supplement your principes, vestals, and horsemen.
MP Guide to MA Ermor
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