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Old October 6th, 2006, 12:06 PM
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Default Agartha, from my under-the-works demo guide

I thought I'd share what I've written so far with you. Comments and critique are welcome.


A subterranean nation of pale one-eyed giants who can breathe in water. Agartha offers a mix of powerful and advantages and severe disadvantages. You must play into their strengths and reduce their weaknesses to win.

Pros of Agartha
- The Pale Ones are strong and are superb in sieges. They utterly smash castles, quite possible speeding the game a fair bit.
- Pale Ones can be dangerous to an early supercombatant thanks to their strenght. Seal Guards have magic weapons.
- Pale Ones are amphibious. You can compete for the control of the seas!
- Troglodytes have Trample and can be very useful shock troops against infantry and units that are smaller than them
- Strong Earth magic
- Starts with a magic site that can be used for Scrying
- The Oracles are great battlemages
- Pale Ones Need Not Eat and you don't have to worry about supplies, and you can take Death-3 except in very long games

Cons of Agartha
- Weakness to missile attacks
- Pale Ones are bigger than humans and be ganged by smaller units
- Pale Ones are coldblooded and suffer from Cold scale
- Only one eye - Vision's Foe, Eye Shield or just plain unlucky Lost One Eye affliction makes an Agarthan unit essentially useless
- Poor Precision, Attack and Defence skill
- Earth Readers are your only not capital only mages

Agarthan Units

Pale One Militia:

These are your militia units and they are generaly speaking not worth buying. They are only 7 gold and 2 resources and come with all the Pale One bonuses so they can be situationaly useful. But they have pitiful attack and defence.

Wet One:

A step up from the Militia, these Pale Ones tote a spear and are marginaly better than militia. Not worth it.

Pale One:

Armed with a Shield and a Spear, these units have a bit higher Defence than many of your units but are weak against missile attacks. Only worth buying at first turn if you are hard pressed to get more for more units for cheap.

Pale One Warrior (1):

A Pale One with Bronze Scale Cuirass, a Spear and a Shield these units are good buy for the first few turns since they only cost 11 resources. They will most likely be the "bread-and-butter" unit of your armies since they are very affordable. They are somewhat vulnerable to missile attacks and have no helmets and are thus vulnerable to hits to head.

Pale One Warrior (2):

Similiar to the previous Pale One Warrior but he has a Bronze Cap that protects his head and he has higher protection than his less protected colleague.

Good unit, but 19 resources might be a tiny bit too steep for the very start. After you conquer some neighbouring provinces you should have enough resource to buy these in mass.

Or if you took Productivity you can propably afford them from the start. If you have problems with resources you should just buy Pale One Warriors without the caps.

Cavern Guard:

Similiar to Pale One Warrior (2), but instead of the Spear and Buckler combo he has a high damage Glaive and a small number of these could take down even a bit more thuggy creature...if they can hit as they have poor Attack. They are more expensive and resource intensive than Pale One Warriors but have a bit more HP and better Morale.


These large monstrosities are not Pale Ones but instead creatures that look like massive rat humanoids with no head and some spikes popping out of them. They are somewhat expensive in money (50 Gold) but very cheap in resources.

They are Size 4 creatures and the main attraction of these units is that they can Trample. Trampling is a an attack that allows the unit to do armour piercing damage to a large number of targets and it actually moves the unit inside the enemy fromation.

Downside is that Trampling units get fatigued in prolonged charges and are vulnerable to being ganged on. Same applies for Troglodytes, and it takes some skill to use them. But when used correctly they can be very destructive. Place them on the flanks of your armies and set them to Attack Rear.

Ancient Stone Hurler 1 & 2:

Practicaly the same unit with the difference being that one of them has a bronze scale cuirass and the other doesn't. Thus the other is a bit more protected and resource intensive, though 11 resources isn't bad.

The unarmored one costs 1 resources however and has the same weapons, a Boulder and his Fist. The Boulder is a ranged weapon with 8 base damage and the strength of the Stone Hurler also aplies, meaning that the Boulder does 28 points of damage which is enough to possibly kill everything that doesn't have great HP, Protection or both if it hits.

They have poor precision though and the range of the Boulder is very short. Stone Hurlers are Sacred, so you'll pay less upkeep for them and you can Bless them.

Ancient One:

The Ancient Ones are huge, Sacred Pale Ones. They have equipment similiar to Pale One Warrior (2) and in fact cost the same amount of resources but 40 Gold. They have 9 Attack and 10 Defence which are better than most Agarthans get.

If you're not having problems with Gold these are worth buying. Be careful that Ancient Ones are very large and can get easily ganged on by smaller creatures. Since they are Sacred you can Bless them.

Seal Guard:

The elite, Capital Only warrior armed with a magical Obsidian Glaive that has the superb damage of 11. The Seal Guards are large and Sacred.

They also cost 55 Gold and 37 resources and it's quite likely you will have troubles fielding large amounts of these units.

Most useful for dealing with large, tough enemies as their weapons do high damage and the Seal Guards have Attack of 10 which allows them to hit more reliably than other Agarthan units. Their usefulness also depends on what starting magics you took.

National Summons:

Magma Child (Rhuax Pact):

The Magma Children are summoned with the Conj 3 1E 1F spell "Rhuax Pact". The spell summons five of Magma Children for 2 Fire gems. Magma Children are great for that price. They are not only immune to fire and poison but they also get a Fire Shield that deals 8 points of armour piercing fire damage to an enemy that hits them. Their Flame Strike attack does damage that is equal to their Strenght (12), as area of effect of one square and does armor piercing fire damage. Magma Children live off on magic energies and Need Not Eat.

Their stats, defence excluded, are superior to a normal human troop and even if they are numericaly less strong than a Pale One they are very powerful for their cost and level and they can be easily massed. Thanks to their Flame Strike and Fireshield they have no problems with mobs and will incinerate their way through ranks of weaker units and and even some stronger non-fire resistant troops will fall to them if surrounded by Magma Children.

The Magma Children are indeed powerful, but they have low protection, they are magic beings that need to be commanded by mages, are Mindless and will die without a mage commanding them in battle and they radiate intense heat which is a double edged sword. The heat fatigues and occasionaly sets non-fire resistant units and this includes your Pale Ones and even Earth Elementals can catch fire from them!

The lack of synergy between Magma Children and rest of your units is a bit of a problem. They are also useless against fire immune units and much weaker against fire resistant ones. They are vulnerable to arrows, so getting something to be used as arrow pinchusion could be good. Placing them into flanks of your armies away from your other troops, putting them into front and rest of your units way back or using taskforces made only from them works the best.

Earth Elemental (Barathrus Pact):

The 2 Earth spell "Barathrus Pact" found on Conjuration 3 summons a Size 4 Earth Elemental to serve you. The Elemental is quite the bargain for two gems as it is immune to Poison, can Trample, Regenerates 4HP per battle turn and is hard to kill because they first shrink in size and power and then die. They are Inanimate and thus immune to some spells and they don't need to eat either.

Earth Elemental has 38 HP, 18 Strenght and 15 Magic Resistance. They have great Strenght, but their weapon is the poor Fist. They also have the curiosly low Protection of 8.

Earth Elementals are Tramplers, pure and simple. They are tougher than Troglodytes and can also double as arrow pincushions but they have troubles with opponents of their own size. They also have no elemental resistances, so you should be careful if your enemy has powerful elemental magics. Earth Elementals are Mindless and Magic Beings and have all of their drawbacks.

Umbral (not avaitable in demo)

Agarthan Commanders:

Pale One Scout:

This is your Scout commander and he has all the advantages and disadvantages of a Pale One. Scouts are very useful, but generaly speaking you are better off finding an independent province with Scouts and then recruit there.

Pale One Commander:

This is your basic commander with Leadership rating of 40. Ancient Lords have more Leadership and Oracles have the same or a tiny bit more. Unless you're in trouble with money and you need to haul lots of troops around you are better off buying something else than these.

Troglodyte Lord:

A cool looking commander who isn't much of a commander but a recruitable thug chassis. 90 Gold and 1 Resources is not a high price, but the Troglodyte Lord can only command 10 troops. He can Trample like all Troglodytes and if you deck him with some magic items he could be used as a trampling thug, but it's risky. His Attack skill is 13 and this can be further boosted with some fire items Agartha can easily produce. A Troglodyte Lord with a Fire Pearl and a Sword of Sharpness can do massive damage on creatures that are of his size or larger.

Ancient Lord:

Ancient Lord is an ancient Agarthan Commander. He has no priestly skill but can be blessed. He can command 80 units and he has some thug potential, being Sacred and having high HP and strength. His Attack and Defence need some work though.

Earth Reader:

Your only mage that isn't restricted to your capital, the Earth Reader has 1 Holy, 1 Earth and 1 random pick of either Earth, Fire, Water or Death.

The Earth Readers won't inspire much passions at first look but they have their uses. First of all they are the most efficient mages to cast your national spells.

Earth Readers with 1 Fire can cast Magma Bolts and the wonderful Rhuax Pact ritual.

Earth Readers with 2 Earth can cast Summon Earthpower and then use Blade Wind which is a terrifyingly powerful spell in the Early Age. They can also Summon Cave Drakes and do the Barathrus Pact.

Earth Readers with one Water pick have rather limited usefulnes in demo, but in full version they could forge some useful items and cast Frozen Heart.

In demo they can, well, er, cast Claymen. And Slime, which can bog down an unit's Defence to levels where your units can hit them.

Death Earth Readers can cast Dark Knowledge and use Raise Skeletons in a battle if given some Death gems or an item that boosts their Death magic.

They are a quite useful mage for 120 Gold and they are also Sacred.

Oracle of the Subterranean Waters:

A member of one of the three orders of the Oracles, the Oracle of Subterranean Waters has 3 Earth, 1 Water, 3 Holy and 1 random that is either Water or Earth and 10% chance to get additional Water or Earth. All Oracles can cast Smite which allows them to be combat casters with 0 points of research done.

All Oracles also have acces to Blade Wind which is a superb spell and which is easily powered up further by Summon Earthpower.

In full version Oracles with high Earth picks are mostly just more powerful Blade Winders, but in full version they can use a lot of powerful spells with minimal effort. Oracles are also very thuggy and won't die easily, and they can use the various Earth protection spells such as Ironskin and Stoneskin, but remember that these spells will also give you a weakness.

The Oracle of Sub. Waters has limited usefulnes in the demo because you can't research to Construction 6 which would allow them to forge Water Bracelets and thus easily boost themselves to 2/3 Water. In Demo they are mostly restricted to being Claymen summoners, Rust Mist casters and the 2W ones can use some spells and summons that will speed your conquest of the seas.

You don't start with any Water gem income so find them if you are interested in useing Oracles of Subterranean Waters to their full power.

The Oracles of Sub. Waters are Capital Only and Sacred.

Oracle of the Subterranean Fires:

A Fire variety of the Oracles, the Oracles of Sub. Fires start with 3 Earth 3 Holy 1 Fire and have 1 random that is either 1 Fire or Earth and they have a 10% chance to have yet another pick of Fire or Earth.

Like with all things, their usefulnes is a bit restricted in the demo because you cannot cast Magma Eruption which is often the main attraction of Fire/Earth mages. You can use Magma Bolts though, but you are most likely better of shooting Blade Wind and using other Oracle tactics.

You could use them as Earth-focused mages because Fire is hard to boost with items but Earth has the Earth Boots that can be forged easily.

Or then you could use them as thugs since they can cast Fire Shield and the various protection spells from Earth. They are Capital Only and Sacred.

Oracle of the Dead

A Death variety of the Oracles, the Oracles of the Dead start with 3 Earth 3 Holy 1 Death and have 1 random that is either 1 Death or Earth and they have a 10% chance to have yet another pick of Death or Earth.

Oracles of the Dead can cast Blight, which is a nasty little spell for harassing the enemy, but not very damaging. In combat Oracles of the Dead with 2 Death can cast Raise Skeleton. "Skellyspamming" is a time honoured traditional tactic.

Forging a Skull Staff would allow you to boost their Death to 3 or 4 if you ever live to see an Oracle of the Dead who comes with 3 Death magic from the start. They can also cast Reanimation and the 2 Death ones can use some other undead summoning spells. They are Capital Only and Sacred.

Some Strategies and Tactics for Agartha

Bless Benefits:

The large Agarthans benefit from the following Blesses:

Air: Your Sacred units are vulnerable to missiles and an Air Blessing can remedy this situation.

Fire: The Agarthans have low Attack and Fire Blessing will help with this situation. A Fire 9 could be a tempting strategy, but Fire 9 blessing is best suited for units that get multiple attack per turn which Agarthans don't. Some extreme people will propably try Fire 9/Water 9 bless with Agartha.

Earth: Earth Bless gives your sacred units Reinvigoration when blessed. This is helpful for your priest-mages.

Water: Agarthans have low Defence and Water Blessing help with it. Water 9 gives Quickness to your sacred unit when blessed, allowing them to act twice in a turn. This does not affect spellcasting though, but is quite helpful nevertheless.

Nature: A moderate amount of Nature (4-6) Bless will give your scared units Regeneration when blessed. Thanks to their large base HP they will get more HP restored per turn and Regeneration will protect them a bit from Afflictions.

Massed Blade Wind:

All of your Oracles can cast Blade Wind once you research enough Evocation, and they can further boost themselves by casting Summon Earthpower which helps them with the fatigue the spell causes. Having three-four or more Oracles scripted Summon Earthpower - Bladewind - Bladewind - Bladewind -

Bladewind can do massive damage against unarmored troops which are common in the Early Age. Summon Earthpower is not necessary but it makes Bladewind more powerful since it scales well with increased Earth magic and it helps with spellcasting fatigue.

Keep in mind that Bladewind can hurt your troops also and is not so effective against armored targets.

Thug Commanders:

Troglodyte Lords and Ancient Lords can make good early thugs. Forging them Fire Pearls, Swords of Sharpness or Stingers and Black Steel Shields allows them to do Armor Piercing damage against their enemies with increased attack accuracy.

However the Troglodyte Lord is only useful against enemies that are of his size or larger since he Tramples but he has superior Attack and Defence compared to the Ancient Lord. However, he is not Sacred.

Later on in game when you research more Construction you can give them more powerful magic items.

Keep in mind that dealing with large mobs is Agartha's weakness, at least untill a certain point in the game, so you could consider stuff like Ancient Lord with Holy Scourge or Sword of Swiftness and a Water 9 bless that would give them 4 attacks per round in combat.

There are tons of items in the game and some combinations work better in some situations than others. Charcoal Shields are noteworthy replacements for Black Steel Shields and Fire Brands are superb replacements for Swords of Sharpness.

You could also try using one of the Oracles as a thug since they have superhuman stats, attack, defence and precision excluded, and they can cast the various protection spells that require Earth magic.

A Trample oriented Troglodyte Lord could be done with a Main Gaughe of Parrying, Charcoal Shield, Bracers of Defence and some armor and reinvigoration item.

Conquer the Seas:

Since nearly all of your units can go underwater conquest of the seas is a viable strategy. If there are no amphibious nations in the game you can conquer the seas with little opposition at all.

Oracles of Subterranean Waters with 2 Water picks can use some summons that call powerful underwater monsters and he can also cast Friendly Currents which makes your units less clumsy underwater.

Keep in mind that a vast number of underwater independents use poison weapons and are smaller than your units so you risk poisoning and getting ganged on.

Seas will allow you to launch attacks against enemy coastlines and you can find mundane and magical riches in the deeps if you are lucky. It will also be very hard for your enemy to eliminate you if you have water provinces under your control.

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