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  #21  
Old January 2nd, 2009, 03:17 PM
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Baalz Baalz is offline
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Default Re: Helheim - lets burn some rubber

Thanks for the encouraging words guys. I generally write a guide for a nation I feel is under appreciated, when I can find a competitive angle that seems to be mostly overlooked. When I wrote the Hinnom guide they were brand new, and I don't think anybody (including me when I started) appreciated how strong they were.

MA Oceana is the only nation I've picked up and tried hard to polish, only to fail. In my opinion they are not only the weakest nation I've played, but horribly crippled. We had a fun thread awhile ago with some thematic suggestions to add to them, but as they are now I can't come up with anything remotely competitive to do with them after your initial expansion. Perhaps somebody more clever than me could, but I failed.

I heard a request for Niefelheim and Yomi, I'll see if I can find some inspiring stuff to write for these.
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  #22  
Old January 2nd, 2009, 03:21 PM

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Default Re: Helheim - lets burn some rubber

I'd like a Niefel guide that doesn't use a heavy bless, since the heavy bless method is very well known. Something that makes good use of the Skratti too.
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  #23  
Old January 2nd, 2009, 03:42 PM
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Default Re: Helheim - lets burn some rubber

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
One other comment about Helheim: if you don't want to burn death gems on skull mentors, there's really nothing stopping you from taking Magic and researching with indy mages. Generally indy mage research is pretty contemptible, but you can produce 4 or 5 sacred indy shamans per turn without much trouble, which IIRC is +240 RP per year in Magic-3 for very little cost (22 gold per RP initially, 0.733333333 gold per RP ongoing).

Vanir infantry are also a lot more fun once they've been buffed with Strength of Giants/Legions of Steel/Weapons of Sharpness. It's more of a pain now to get Svartalfs in the right places to cast these, but you can still do it.

Don't forget that Hangadrottir thugs benefit disproportionately from Bracers of Defense (w/ E9 blessing they thicken to Prot 6, w/ Legions of Steel they thicken to Prot 9, cumulative with other sources of Prot), although some people view that as a bug.

-Max

-Max
Ah yes, I really meant to mention the bracers of defense and forgot to. With the abundance of earth gems they make very cost effective additions to your ubiquitous thugs.

I have to disagree with you on the indie research angle though. You have to consider the opportunity cost. You're switching from drain-2 to magic-3, which costs 200 design points and makes your thugs more vulnerable to counters in your own dominion. Not sure where you intend to get those design points from, but that's a huge opportunity cost right off the bat. You suggest sacred shamans, so you're putting up 5 labs plus temples - were you putting up castles to, or hoping nobody raids you, pops your temples and kills all your researchers? So 4500-9000 gold before you start paying for the mages themselves depending on your tolerance for risk. So, on top of the straight gold opportunity cost there's the time opportunity cost of gathering that gold, building the infrastructure, and recruiting the mages.

This actually is a very good illustration of the very heart of my thesis for this guide. Assuming you're not suggesting you can line all this up in the first year you've got a whole hell of a lot of catchup to do to my suggested strategy which, if luck is with you is cranking out 50 research point generators (4 skull mentors + 3 mages) per turn by the end of year one. It's just not remotely in the same ballpark, I don't think it's even possible to catch up in a best case scenario. It's the difference between being an extremely solid first place in research and being mediocre at best. It's the difference between virtually being assured to snag the chalice and then pump out Tartarians while everyone else has their thumbs up their butts, or playing catchup as people research solid counters to your sacred troops and thugs.

This is what I was trying to convey with my metaphor about not dancing on your lame foot. Its a bad idea to focus on your weaknesses, you're never going to be competitive like that. Focus on your strengths and *circumvent* your weaknesses. Dumping that huge opportunity costs into getting still rather bleh research is...bad.
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  #24  
Old January 2nd, 2009, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: Helheim - lets burn some rubber

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Originally Posted by Sombre View Post
lch: Everyone hates Oceania.
I like ea oceania...
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  #25  
Old January 2nd, 2009, 03:58 PM

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Default Re: Helheim - lets burn some rubber

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Originally Posted by Baalz View Post
Whereas Ulm is the model of German efficiency, Helheim is a V-12 American muscle car.
There essentially hasn't been an American V12 since World War II.

Quote:
Lets take an awake master druid 2F 4W 9E 2S 4N, with Order-3, sloth-3, cold-1, death -3, luck-3 and drain-2 with a dominion score of 3.
I can't find the points for this build in CBM and cannot get close in vanilla.
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  #26  
Old January 2nd, 2009, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: Helheim - lets burn some rubber

I'm planning a Yomi guide when I get back to playing some heavy MP's but it'll be nice to see some alter views on it.
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  #27  
Old January 2nd, 2009, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: Helheim - lets burn some rubber

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baalz View Post
Whereas Ulm is the model of German efficiency, Helheim is a V-12 American muscle car.
There essentially hasn't been an American V12 since World War II.

Quote:
Lets take an awake master druid 2F 4W 9E 2S 4N, with Order-3, sloth-3, cold-1, death -3, luck-3 and drain-2 with a dominion score of 3.
I can't find the points for this build in CBM and cannot get close in vanilla.
I did this in CBM, though you can certainly do something similar in vanilla as CBM doesn't make any critical differences to this strategy.

Sorry, I actually took cold-2 to squeeze in the points, though you can tweak this as you like.
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  #28  
Old January 2nd, 2009, 05:32 PM

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Default Re: Helheim - lets burn some rubber

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baalz View Post
I have to disagree with you on the indie research angle though. You have to consider the opportunity cost. You're switching from drain-2 to magic-3, which costs 200 design points and makes your thugs more vulnerable to counters in your own dominion. Not sure where you intend to get those design points from, but that's a huge opportunity cost right off the bat. You suggest sacred shamans, so you're putting up 5 labs plus temples - were you putting up castles to, or hoping nobody raids you, pops your temples and kills all your researchers? So 4500-9000 gold before you start paying for the mages themselves depending on your tolerance for risk. So, on top of the straight gold opportunity cost there's the time opportunity cost of gathering that gold, building the infrastructure, and recruiting the mages.
The design points could come from taking an imprisoned pretender instead of an awake one (and you have 50 points left over for higher Dominion or whatnot). I agree that this is the exact opposite of the approach you suggest in your guide. On a crowded map going for long-term gain (Magic-3 instead of awake pretender) is likely to be painful for exactly the reasons you suggest. On a larger map with less early conflict, +3 RP per researcher is a better deal than an extra 29 RP per turn. It's not like Magic and skull mentors are mutually exclusive, after all, and Magic also helps your thugs by reducing their early fatigue from Soul Vortex. (It also makes Soul Vortex kill more chaff and suck in more healing/reinvig.)

You don't have to build forts to protect your temples, just set the researchers to retreat, unless there's enough of them that you *want* them supporting the PD (which they can't do from inside a fort). So yeah, 4500 setup cost (5 labs, 5 temples for indies) vs. 5100 (3 labs, 3 temples, 3 forts for Vanjarls) although the indies have obvious disadvantages too. Note that I'm not even necessarily suggesting that you have to build the indies, just that it becomes an attractive option which you rule out by taking Drain in favor of an awake pretender.

Quote:
a lot of catchup to do to my suggested strategy which, if luck is with you is cranking out 50 research point generators (4 skull mentors + 3 mages) per turn by the end of year one.
Not as much catchup as you'd think, since you can still have just as many death gems stockpiled. You'll take longer to hit Const-4, but once you do you're in an even better position. (You're generating 62 RP from those same 4 skull mentors and 3 mages.)

Quote:
It's just not remotely in the same ballpark, I don't think it's even possible to catch up in a best case scenario. It's the difference between being an extremely solid first place in research and being mediocre at best.
This I just don't buy--it's not that hard to catch up on research if you have gems stockpiled and a good economy, and aren't busy fighting a war, and Helheim isn't a likely rush target. I used to play heavily in favor of skull mentors, making Const-4 a top priority for every nation, but sometimes it really hurts to blow 140 death gems for a mere 180 RP per turn, and once your economy is cranking 180 RP is a drop in the bucket. It comes down to this: I may be wrong, I frequently am, but to me it looks like taking Drain-2 in order to have an awake pretender is a poor tradeoff for Helheim.

-Max

Edit: just to re-emphasize, Baalz is more likely to be right than I am about anything involving MP, because I only play SP. Maybe Helheim really does need the early research to stave off attackers.
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Last edited by MaxWilson; January 2nd, 2009 at 05:37 PM..
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  #29  
Old January 2nd, 2009, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: Helheim - lets burn some rubber

Well written guide Baalz - thanks for the insights. I agree that the conventional dual bless for the Heims is fun in the short-run, but not really viable in the long-run, at least that was my experience with Van - have never tried Helheim in MP.

Interestingly, elements of this strategy actually parallel a strategy for LA TC. They have ready access to E2 and D2 mages (all their "Ancestor" mages have some D so D gem income is easy to get up and running) and putting hammer-forged Skull mentors on 100GP sacred Masters of the Way is, as you say, like nitrous on your research, and you can use an Earth blessing on small bands of sacred Ancestor Vessels to easily expand.
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  #30  
Old January 2nd, 2009, 05:42 PM

chrispedersen chrispedersen is offline
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Default Re: Helheim - lets burn some rubber

[quote=Baalz;663456][quote=MaxWilson;663442]if luck is with you is cranking out 50 research point generators (4 skull mentors + 3 mages) per turn by the end of year one. It's just not remotely in the same ballpark, I don't think it's even possible to catch up in a best case scenario. It's the difference between being an extremely solid first place in research and being mediocre at best. QUOTE]

Hey Baalz

I agree with most of your analysis most of the time. However assuming a first place research on the strength of skull mentors is overstating the case.

Competitive research - sure. But you will still fall behind any nation utilizing skull mentors without a magic drain, yet with a competent research mage.
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