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Old May 1st, 2009, 05:57 PM
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Default Fever fetish: How to use it effectively

I've been impressed that people often underestimate this powerful item so I've decided to share my knowledge and experience with it.
First of all, some basic stuff and numbers:
Fever fetish is supposed to disease its wielder and to bring 1 fire gem per turn. It is well known that it works poorly on undead and demons (it was way too powerful in times of Dominions: PPP when it could be used on undead) and brings gems rarely. I used fetishes a lot in all games I had access to them and I noticed that fetish brings gems more often when its wielder has less HP than the base and so I decided to disease commanders a turn before I planned to wear fetish on them. Yes, it was even more time consuming but it made fetishes more effective.
The exact numbers were given by Ich recently. So fetish has a
- 25% chance to bring a gem when its wielder has base HP
- 50% chance when wielder has 1 HP less
- 75% chance with 2 HP less
- 100% with 3 or more HP less.
So, it is probably most effective to wear fetishes when commander has 2HP less because 75% is a good chance and 3HP less makes the life of a low-HP wielder really short. It's quite simple to do - just equip a healthy commander with a fetish, then remove it (commander stays diseased) and then equip it again in 2 turns.
Also, these maths explain why fetish works poorly on undead, demons and commanders with regeneration – they all just never lose HP to disease. OTOH, if you give a regeneration item to a fetish wielder when he has 3 or less HP, it will bring gems forever.
But yes, all this requires a tremendous amount of micromanagement. Planning how many fetishes you'll have two turns later and checking each wielder's HP so that he doesn't die can really be a pain (for everyone who is not micro fan like me). Is it really worth the gain? Yes, it is because this micro allows you to always get (roughly) 1 fire gem per turn with this cheap item. If you want to win this can be invaluable.
It is often said that clam is more effective than fetish because fetish brings (nearly) useless gems, requires a lot of micro and money to recruit disposable commanders. All this is true in some aspects but even if we say that 2 fire gems are equal to one pearl…
- 2 fetishes (with hammers) cost 6 fire and 6 nature gems (12 total). They pay for themselves very quickly in terms of fire gems but require more nature.
- 1 clam (with hammer) costs 11 water and 3 nature gems (14 total) and clams don't pay for themselves at all because they give gems of type they don't require to make (of course you may alchemize but then the numbers will be different).
So minuses of fetish are more mages (and hammers) to produce, more nature gems (which may be quite important) and gold for disposable wielders but in pure numbers it looks more effective. I think that you see now that they may be really effective even if 2 fire gems are considered equal to 1 pearl which is not true because there're other good ways to spend fire gems in most cases.
Now let's talk about those wielders mentioned above that you have to recruit if you go fetishing. It is obvious that the more HP fetish wielder has the better so if you have access to high-HP commanders, they are ideal targets for fetishes because they will last long and bring a lot of gems for the price (and require a lot less micro). But if you don't have high-HP commanders, the most effective (among indies) wielders in terms of gold spent/gems brought are barbarian chief and scout.
Can these fetish-wielding indies do anything else except just sitting in your big castle and slowly dying from disease and bringing gems? Yes, they can. If you want to diversify into blood which, IMO, any nation without native access to blood should do, you will anyway need to recruit independent commanders/scouts for hunting. Why not equipping them with fetishes? Being diseased doesn't affect their blood hunting potential at all and it is a good idea to give a fetish to each hunter and then just replace him when he dies.
Also, if you have access to good healers or commanders with recuperation it may be a good idea to equip just anyone (including researchers) with fetishes and when they have 1-2HP remove them and start healing (remember that you may always wear a regeneration item on a commander with 1HP and he will not die until you heal him)
Also, if you have access to commanders with second shape (Machakan Black sorcerers and sorceresses are the most obvious examples) it is worth knowing that they may never die from disease. When they lose their last HP they shapeshift and come with full health the next turn. And they even may cure some afflictions. So it might be a good idea to wear fetishes on those you don't plan to use as battle mages.
Also, there's one trick I discovered recently that made me write all this. Do you remember what I said somewhere above? Undead are poor wielders not because they're undead but because they never lose HP and it is really important. Now let's imagine that we may have undead commanders with 3HP less than the base… Yes, it means that these undead will bring you gems forever without dying and for no upkeep at all. Sounds sweet, doesn't it? If you go for reanimating your commanders with "Posion Cloud/Life after Death" trick (no matter why you may want it) your reanimated soulless will nearly always have less HP than base 15 due to a minor bug in Dominions engine (which noone is going to fix, AFAIK). The bug is that even if unit's second shape has poison resistance it will receive all poison damage its first form accumulated (I mean green line) so the soulless receive the remains of accumulated poison damage even though they have PR. (The same applies to Machakan spiders, btw) Soulless never heal so they will have less HP after the battle and if any lacks 3 or more HP you may easily wear fetish on it.

All that being said, let's make some conclusions.
You should always think of going for fetishes when you…
- have access to them (you're surprised, I know ! )
- are not afraid of all that micro
- plan to diversify into blood
- have access to good healers or commanders with high HP/recuperation/second shape
- have access to "Posion Cloud/Life after Death" trick

…and fetishes will greatly pay for themselves, believe me…

p.s. One minor advice on micro with fetishes: rename the commanders that you'll have to remove fetishes from the next turn or two for easier access to them later. It is often hard to remember who has many HP and who is going to die shortly. Renaming really helps here.

Last edited by ano; May 2nd, 2009 at 07:44 PM..
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  #2  
Old May 1st, 2009, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: Fever fetish: How to use it effectively

Good guide Ano. You are great fetishist
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Old May 1st, 2009, 06:56 PM

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Default Re: Fever fetish: How to use it effectively

I've come to disagree that fire is worthless. Consider this:

Demon Whips (a cheaper fire only substitute for fire brand without the moral or FR [note: in CBM only])

Dragon Helm (my favorite basic helm for all thugs, cheap and provides something most thugs need: morale)

Fire Plate (Paired with Dragon Helm, provides 100% FR with no other items. On a thug with just 1E, can still be turned into Prot 23 via Ironskin [actually prot 24 from the 1E too.])

There's also Fire/Earth stuff:

Fire Brand (it's like standard issue, the AoE effect plus FR and morale)

Charcoal Shield (another popular item, passive damage plus FR)


With the right paths access, a thug can be very effective with very little and just fire items
if you have a 1E thug:
Demon Whip x2
Dragon Helm
Fire Plate

that's _all_ fire gems filling in over half of your thug's needs and he can still boost prot to 24 which ain't bad. Slap on a Luck Pendant and you have a thug costing 20fire 5astral that is probably 80% combat effective versus a thug loaded up with 50 gems (or more) worth of valuable gem types (earth, air, water, death). Put this on an undead thug and the weight of Fire Plate is a non-factor, plus they get 100% in all resistances but shock. That's badass on the cheap, compliments of your worthless fire gems.
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Old May 1st, 2009, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: Fever fetish: How to use it effectively

I didn't say they're worthless, I just said that they are considered worthless. Or the least valuable among all others.
Of course, fire gems have their niche and not only because of forgery but also because of one of the most powerful remote evocations in the game that, with fetish economy properly deployed, can be spammed!
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Old May 1st, 2009, 08:32 PM
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Default Re: Fever fetish: How to use it effectively

Just thought I'd chime in here, on that note. I recently had a very large, and very powerful army totally decimated by 3 Fires From Afar. It was very expensive, and demoralizing.

Also, oddly, I was just thinking the other night about indie priests given a Shroud at 7hp, for perpetual gem income with little/no micro.

If you were to somehow manage to start this up with Caelum, you could even use Seraphines, who are stealthy (hard to interfere with), and can stealth preach your border provinces while they farm gems for you. But 4N is a weird path for a Caelum pretender, and you'd have to work hard to get a fetish economy in most cases, so it would be rough. Others have stealthy priests of course, but not flying.
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Old May 1st, 2009, 09:03 PM

MaxWilson MaxWilson is offline
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Default Re: Fever fetish: How to use it effectively

Okay, now I need to make a new pretender:

The Colossal Fever Fetish! only for Machaka.

-Max
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Old May 1st, 2009, 10:45 PM

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Default Re: Fever fetish: How to use it effectively

Problem is that Fever Fetish needs those N gems, and if you are constrained by such clams are better option. Of course you could just alchemize 3N from 12F.
Compared to that, a clam cost 28 astral gems not 30F of 2FF.

On commander efficiency.
You can see from the numbers that you produce an average of half gems in the first 3 turns. That's 1.5 gem. You also have to remove the fetish when reaching 2HP. So you produce HP-2.5 gems total for living nonregenerating commanders.
Regen items cost you an additional 3S/3N/7N increasing fetish price a lot.

Saying that, look for high HP indies.
Scout (10HP) can produce 7.5F gems for 20g. Say 2.67gold/gem.
Shambler Chief (22HP) 11 for 45, 2.3gold/gem.
Caveman, 24.5 for 60, 2.55gold/gem.
Kappa Chief, 19.5 for 30 in CBM is the cheapest indie for the job.

Neverhealing wound on undead/regenerating commanders might work too, I haven't tried it though.

Also, F gems can be converted to money 15 apiece which might come handy in case of Utterdark/Armaggedons so you can recruit more commanders. Keep a look on Alchemists.

Last edited by P3D; May 1st, 2009 at 11:10 PM..
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Old May 1st, 2009, 10:57 PM

chrispedersen chrispedersen is offline
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Default Re: Fever fetish: How to use it effectively

An undead prophet in enemy dominion also works?
still.. neverending wound undead + ff... lovely idea.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 01:12 AM
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Default Re: Fever fetish: How to use it effectively

Quote:
Originally Posted by ano View Post
All that being said, let's make some conclusions.
You should always think of going for fetishes when you…
- have access to them (you're surprised, I know ! )
- are not afraid of all that micro
- plan to diversify into blood
- have access to good healers or commanders with high HP/recuperation/second shape
- have access to "Posion Cloud/Life after Death" trick

…and fetishes will greatly pay for themselves, believe me…

p.s. One minor advice on micro with fetishes: rename the commanders that you'll have to remove fetishes from the next turn or two for easier access to them later. It is often hard to remember who has many HP and who is going to die shortly. Renaming really helps here.
This sounds like an effective way to get an edge, but not very fun.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 01:16 AM

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Default Re: Fever fetish: How to use it effectively

The trick with undead w/out full hps giving you endless gems smells like an exploit to me in all honesty.
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