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Old May 14th, 2009, 04:56 PM

TheDemon TheDemon is offline
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Default Re: MA Marignon Advice Needed (and newbie questions)

It seems like you have a really good handle on the basics of Marignon and dom3 in general. I'll see if I can answer some of your inquiries.

Originally Posted by Arcturas View Post
What is this with vine ogres everyone's talking about? I haven't gotten into summoning up armies, just SCs/thugs, and it seems rather gem-expensive to do so.
Awaken Vine Orgre, in the conj tree. They're terrible all-round. Apparently they were good in dom 2. I'm told that:

(1:43:54 PM) Ironhawk: yeah vine ogres got nerfed a lot in dom3
(1:44:05 PM) Ironhawk: in dom2, it was almost assumed that you would have a VO factory if you could
(1:44:21 PM) Ironhawk: just like it is assumed all players will have tart factories
As Marignon, I've seen Fire Snakes been used effectively, although not with xbows. They were used as a screen for fire mages, since they're immune. Same goes for Summer Lions.

I'm curious at this point what I ought to be doing with my mages other than falling fires. Flame storm is a few levels away, but seems really rough for the x-bows and knights, and I'd have to pay close attention to make sure all my mages were fire protected. Pillar of fire is even farther off, and seems a not-so-great tradeoff for the AoE of falling fires.
You're right, pillar of fire sucks.

Are the astral evocs worth it? I can get some astral fires or stellar cascades on my cap mages, and astral geysers from the S randoms, but I've gotten so used to the fire evocs, and so far haven't had much trouble with resists. I suppose I could forge some S helms and spam astral geysers, but it seems a poor use of my S gems since I'm struggling to summon angels as is, and given my lack of death access, this seems like the best ways to get SCs (and I don't know that I have great thugs. I could try a paladin...).
They can be. In single player you'll usually be fending off huge armies, so not so much. If you had to go against single targets, or small groups of elites, or things like mammoths, a lot of the astral spells become far more useful. Mind Burn and Paralyze, for example.

Are communions worth it for Marignon? I have unreasonable access to communion slaves, but it seems like the choice is between a witch hunter as slave and a witch hunter spamming falling fires, and I'd rather have the evocs. Do fire evoc. AoE's scale with the fire skill of the caster? (I'm unclear what the mage magic skill affects other than fatigue, and in some arcane way MR)
MR doesn't have anything to do with fire evocs, usually. The spell description or manual's spell description will tell you when a MR check is involved.

Fire AoEs do scale with the skill of the caster, for falling fires at least. But the benefit isn't very noticable. The main purpose of a Marignon communion though would be I think to boost your astral path for the nastier astral spells like Master Enslave.

Additionally, how do you all balance the different uses for your gems? I'm struggling with what seems like a low gem supply and too many things to use them on. Currently I have 20 provinces (playing on the Warhammer map someone posted on the llama server, and loving it) and am generating 7F, 4A, 5W, 4E, 5S, 6D, 13N gems a turn. This feels low now that I have reached the upper levels of research (8 conj, 4 alt, 5 evo, 7 const, 6 ench, 4 thaum). In other games, I've put together a blood economy generating 100 slaves/turn 2 years earlier without trouble, costing only ~100 gold a turn in lost revenue. Is there really such a large disparity between blood income and other income?
You'll always be short on gems. But your income is rather low. Use the remote search spells (Augury, Gnome Lore, Haruspex etc). Most of them are at thau 2, but some are at various other places like Arcane Probing or Voice of Apusu. You want a level 4 search on all of your provs for as many paths as you can. Sometimes you're just unlucky.

How do you all evaluate different units? Does it just take a long time to get a feel for the average str/def/prot/hp/etc values for certain gold/resource costs? I've exclusively been building x-bows and knights for offense because it's simple and works, and the other marignon units seem to be little better than indy ones, which I assume are typically worse than good nationals. I've been making royal guard rather than knights of the chalice because they are significantly cheaper gold-wise
Even the best players will rarely use all the units a nation has to offer. Knights of the Chalice, in addition to their price problems, are capital only, so you can't recruit them in large quantities. As your empire grows, this becomes even more of a challenge. It's usually not a good idea to spend pretender design points on a bless for a cap-only sacred. I'm sure there are exceptions.

In a less marignon related note, what's the big difference between thugs and SCs? Is it mostly that SCs have magic? Are thugs primarily aimed at killing PD/armies without mage support, and SCs at armies with mage support? In the end game, how much of your army is troops and how much mages? It feels like infantry decline in value drastically when you have high level magics and SCs running around.
Some people will say that thugs can solo low to medium PD and can kill armies working in teams. SCs are meant to be able to kill armies on their own.

You're quite right that troops decrease in value as research increases. You'll still need troops of some sort to act as a shield for your mages, at the very least, and buffs can make them deadly into the endgame. Depending on the situation your recruitable troops might last until endgame, or you might have to switch to a different kind of screen via summons. It may seem like I haven't answered your question, but my advice is to bring whatever proportion and quantity of troops/mages will win the current battles, and that will differ depending on your opponent.
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