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  #1  
Old March 15th, 2007, 02:25 AM

MaxWilson MaxWilson is offline
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Default Vampire Queen + Underrated Pretenders?

Having gotten the demo three weeks ago and the full game in the mail last week, I'm still learning the nations in single-player. This time I selected a random EA nation and got Ulm. "Hmmm," thought I, "supposedly Ulm has strong Master Smiths that aren't affected by Drain and pretty well-armored warriors. I think I'll try Drain-3, Turmoil-3, Luck-2, and a sleeping Dominion-10 Vampire Queen with Death-6 and Earth-4 for protection spells." As it turned out, my Ulm didn't have Master Smiths (I guess that's MA) and were affected by Drain (although only at half-strength, it seems)... but my Vampire Queen was a blast! By the time she woke up I had Alteration-2 and thus Barkskin, and she went around whomping on all the Independents with Protection-15 and Life Drain. After a couple of turns I got the bright idea of forging her some Black Steel Plate, a shield, and a helmet, thus boosting her to near-invulnerablility together with her 70+ hit points from drain. Right now I'm occupying a small portion of the map against Lanka, building temples like mad and hoping for a dominion kill, while my Vampire Queen holds the border against huge armies. I suppose I could use some of the gold I have stored up in the bank to buy myself a nice big Ulmish army (Mountain Warriors seem nice) but I'm having too much fun with my invulnerable Vampire Queen. From the Pretender selection screen I initially hesitated to choose Vampire Queen because although immortality is nice, the Prot-0 was kind of offputting. I'm glad it turns out not to be a fun-killer.

I have no idea if she's "worth" 175 points, but this is a lot of fun so far.

Anything else I should know about Vampire Queen? Or other underrated pretenders?

-Max Wilson
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  #2  
Old March 15th, 2007, 02:43 AM
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Default Re: Vampire Queen + Underrated Pretenders?

The VQ is severely overnerfed in Dom3. There's no way s he is worth the 175 points even with immortality. Not with the ethereal removed. When she used to cost 150 points in Dom2, she was still painfully expensive but usable and thematic for some nations (especially Black Forest Ulm), but 175 is a minimum of 50 points too expensive in Dom3 with all the other great choices out there. By contrast, the far more powerful Bog Mummy for Niefelheim/Jotunheim/Utgård costs only 110, is far more resilient than VQ, has equal or better magics, better dominion and shares the immortality. It doesn't have flying or dominion summoning of vampires, but that's about it.

Make VQ cost 110 to 130 and she's playable. Otherwise the high price, low starting dominion and magic paths make her a rather unattractive choice.

Personally, I like Scorpion King a lot, especially for Abysia. Don't know how popular that one is. I've not had much time to play Dom3 yet, I've spent so much time documenting it. Depends on what you want, but there are several rather suboptimal pretenders that would be fun to play.

Edi
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Old March 15th, 2007, 06:09 AM

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Default Re: Vampire Queen + Underrated Pretenders?

Hmmm, I can kind of see it. The bog mummy at least has more hit points, although he lacks stealthiness and flying (which really helps for shuttling around my border attacking threats) and lacks life drain. He can go underwater, but he lacks life drain, which gets my VQ up to 100+ hit points in her own dominion. I basically don't see anything to recommend the bog mummy over the lich; the VQ's key advantages are flying and life drain, although I agree that she's probably not "worth" 175 points. (But still, she's a lot of fun and for this Ulm game I didn't feel like I needed the points for a high bless. I'm glad I tried it.)

-Max
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Old March 15th, 2007, 06:54 AM

Eressil3 Eressil3 is offline
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Default Re: Vampire Queen + Underrated Pretenders?

Try a gorgon (sauromatia - pangaea) you'll be surprised. It has flying and do not need life drain because it kills everything in no time !
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Old March 15th, 2007, 06:58 AM
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Default Re: Vampire Queen + Underrated Pretenders?

Ulm rarely if ever needs a high bless, its strengths are elsewhere.

Bog mummies can get life drain equivalent with the spell Leeching Touch, but it requires fairly extensive blood research. Bog mummies also have the second path of magic to start with, making them viable for a double bless, though few would take lv 9 D/B bless.

In general, neither the BM nor the VQ is what I'd pick for pretender in most cases. I'd pick VQ for BF Ulm but not at that price. You can get a ridiculously striped awake rainbow crone for the same price and it becomes even more ridiculous if you make it dormant. But that's a nation specific complaint, not overall.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 08:11 AM

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Default Re: Vampire Queen + Underrated Pretenders?

Nation-specific: So what does Ulm do with the rainbow crone? As Ulm, my research is slow enough that I'm not seeing any particularly good uses for my gems, which (I presume) is what rainbow crones are for. I suppose she would have upped my research some, but buying a pretender for research seems like a waste.

Honestly, Ulm seems like kind of a brute-force nation. Not much going on but flooding the enemy with archers and sword maidens, since the mages are too weak to cast any good spells. A rainbow crone *could* cast good battle spells, but my VQ can just win those battles by herself anyway, and either one can only be in one place at a time, which leaves N2 spells like Wooden Warriors and the occasional E2 spell like--oh. I should have gotten Conj-3 to enable Blade Wind, shouldn't I?

-M.D.W.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 08:43 AM
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Default Re: Vampire Queen + Underrated Pretenders?

EA Ulm doesn't need a rainbow crone for anything. LA Ulm, Black Forest, on the other hand does because it is so limited in its magic options and doesn't need a SC pretender for anything. For them, forger, site searcher, researcher.

EA Ulm's mages are plenty good as long as you get evocation 4 and 5 to get blade wind and magma eruption. You just need to mass them and keep forging earth boots for your mages. EA Ulm has all the elements and both nature and death available.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 10:31 AM

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Default Re: Vampire Queen + Underrated Pretenders?

fully agree with Edi here. no brainer he is kind a veteran here and makes a lot of stuff.

played dom1-dom3....and yes vampirequeen is in my very opinion one of the worst choice you can do. 175 points i would never, EVER waste. no pretender is worth so much design points....except he has high magic paths and dominion combined with good stats, but that would take away the fun of customization.

vampirqueen in dom2 for ermor(until patched) was a blast......i never like the change to remove her from ermor where she fits. also i do hate the fact that ermor has not all undead pretenders availible. bog mummy and draco lich are missing for example. only niefelheim and their other era themes have them, but honestly LA ermor should have them too. not much to do with LA ermor except designing a very good pretender anyways...as you can't really put the dominon positive scales to good use with luck as exception maybe. disturbing fact that luck also spawns zealots and militias though...

i suggest for LA ermor some special modifications, like luck not spawning free units and unluck not hurting them as much as other nations.(no gold penality event for example, it hurts a lot!)

i would like to hear what pretenders you consider underrated? in fact VQ is not underrated. she is just inefficent for the cost as is. try play a bog mummy or the argartha lich with soul vortex, body ethereal, quickness, luck scripted in each battle. or use draco lich who can cast soul vortex too, although in dragonform his death magic is reduced, so he needs a minimum of 5 death.

finally, what indie strenght are you playing with? i play with 7-8 usually as 5 is way too low.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 04:26 PM

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Default Re: Vampire Queen + Underrated Pretenders?

You say, "EA Ulm has all the elements." True, but it looks to me like Earth is the only one they can boost without using Empowerment, so Fire-1 Air-1 Water-2 is as far as it gets on the others. Is that right? Fire has some cool-looking spells like Phoenix Pyre, but they require F2-3, so to me Ulm looks like an Earth nation with enough mixins of other elements to use some specialized Earth spells like Magma Bolts. I guess next time I should put enough Fire on my pretender to forge the Skull of Death.

Anything else in Ulm's potential that I'm missing out on?

Thanks,
Max
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Old March 15th, 2007, 04:31 PM

MaxWilson MaxWilson is offline
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Default Re: Vampire Queen + Underrated Pretenders?

Quote: "i would like to hear what pretenders you consider underrated?"

I actually don't have an opinion yet on most pretenders. I had picked up on these boards that the Vampire Queen was considered to have been "overnerfed" since Dom2 (which I've never played), and so I was expecting her to not be any fun as an SC. I turned out to be pleasantly surprised. Mainly I was wondering whether there are other pretenders I'd be missing out on if I just stuck to the oft-mentioned ones on these boards like the Gorgon, Dragon, rainbow mage, master lich, etc.

-Max
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